During Write Things this week, we talked about writing through specific challenges. For example, our president talked about a story he’s working on and asked us how repetitive we thought he could make the narrative without losing readers.
The problem I brought up was writing stories too similar to your own life. This is something I always have trouble with because I automatically write what I know and find myself needing to consciously change details of my story because it’s too close to reality. A couple of months ago, one of my favorite authors made a Tumblr post about this problem. She explains how she learned how to write fictional people and stories by writing real ones and figuring out how to make fictional people seem real. This made a lot of sense to me and was really motivational. Writing is more than making up characters, it’s learning how to write them.
So I told the group about this and we discussed how this is similar to imitating another writer’s style or multiple writers’ styles. One of our newer members, Nisarg, argued that this is an insincere kind of writing and it’s better to develop your own style and perfect that. I disagreed, I think it’s perfectly fine to imitate another writer as long as you aren’t literally taking huge bits of another person’s story (which is apparently the author of Eragon did, but that’s a different story). I think writing is a learning process and that imitating different authors at different times is part of developing your own style. What do you guys think?