Wednesday, November 25, 2009
1-Word Author Wisdoms
Whilst tweeting earlier today I pondered the idea of a single great word of wisdom I have received from authors I admire and how to remember it and apply it to my own writing. So here is that list.
From Steven Pressfield, author of Gates of Fire, Tides of War, Virtues of War, The Afhgan Campaign, and the great motivational book War of Art, the single word would be MOMENTUM-the drive to keep working at your art.
From Robert E. Howard, author of Hour of the Dragon, Solomon Kane, Bran Mak Morn-The Last King, Grim Lands, Crimson Shadows and much much more I think the single word that best captures his guide to me in writing is WONDER-Howard never lets up in his pacing or sense of wonder-the mysterious and magical the terror or heroic.
I first read George R.R. Martin a number
of years ago when his Song of Ice and Fire was getting going and was taken aback at his harsh yet realistic low magic world (Thats a good thing). He was the first to present me with the idea of reading and WRITING everyday. I would say the single word for him would be EPIC. There is no hindrance for having a cast of thousands in his series and it still makes sense.
was someone I read a lot of when I was a kid-just the westerns-pulp and full of action with a mysterious stranger who comes to town and takes care of bizness. But as I got older I found he had a lot more to offer-Haunted Mesa, Last of the Breed, Walking Drum, Off the Mangrove Coast. For Louis I would say RANGE. He wrote stories all across the board and I want to as well.
Researching anything of interest led me to pick up Hells Angels by Hunter S. Thompson. He
delighted me with both insanity and humor-Great Shark Hunt, Where the BuffaloRoam, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Titles range far and wide in his reporting of various events and I can't read a piece by him and not chuckle at the least-though he wrote non-fiction he still inspires my fiction and the word would be ABSURDITY.
H.P. Lovecraft is a horror writer extraordinaire with an uncanny gift for delicious purple prose-The Call of Cthullu,
Dagon, At the Mountains of Madness. His malevolent genius for monsters (Old Ones)out of space and time reaches into my brain for crawling hulks to inhabit the dark places where Heroes dare to tread. A single word of lesson from him would be DETAIL.
Cormac McCarthy has a brutal simple
style that evokes a bleak world view-but I am not convinced that is entirely the case. Despite the dark worlds his characters inhabit-The Road, No Country for Old Men and especially his best Blood Meridian-I sense something more -THEME.
The author who has held me longer than any other is undoubtedly J.R.R.Tolkien. By blending myth, lan
guage and legend into a cohesive saga spanning millenia-his works have occupied my daydreams since before I could read- I credit him-IMAGINATION.