Last weekend, I read an amazing book, The Time Traveler’s Wife.
I had avoided reading this book because I thought I already knew the story. I had watched a movie about a somewhat similar story that was made in the 1980s or maybe even earlier than that. I thought this book was the same story- but it turns out it was written in 2003 or so- meaning I was wrong.
I’ll write a full review later, but The Time Traveler’s Wife is one of the most intelligent fiction stories I have ever read. It is not only well-written, but there is thought in every page. The level of education and knowledge that each character has is way beyond the intelligence level of most people. It also has a driving story line that made me read almost the entire book in one sitting (and it is quite large).
Ordinarily, when someone wants to write, the thought is “I can be better than that author.” But, rather than simply trying to be better than the worst famous authors out there, what if we tried to be as good as the best authors out there? Sure, you can write something that is “good enough” but those books will soon be lost to time, and you will never be as proud of something “good enough” when you have the option to make something great.
I find it inspiring to read literature that is unique, well-written, has a detailed plot, and realistic characters. When I finally publish my book, I want it to be something I can be proud of- not just something I threw together like Creative Writing 101 homework that I started the night before the deadline.
I find these authors incredibly inspiring:
George RR Martin: I cringe at his portrayal of women, and I wouldn’t classify him as the best “writer” but what he has is amazing detail and a universe that is almost alive with how detailed and real everything is.
J RR Tolkien: His stories are based around complete languages, histories, and beings that he created from the ground up. Imagine a world without fantasy inspired by J Tolkien. It would look entirely different and elves would probably still be making shoes.
Erin Morgenstern: She is new to writing, but The Night Circus is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. The descriptions will blow you away.
Audrey Niffenegger: She has only written three books, but I wish she would write a million. Unlike the other authors in this list, she seems to have it all: beautiful writing, amazing story lines, and pacing that forces you to read until you have devoured the last page.
Cornelia Funke: The Inkheart series is beautiful, and the idea of traveling into books- although not a new idea, is well done in her universe. I find her descriptions and characters incredibly inspiring.
Victor Hugo: Although he does tend to lapse into monologues about French patriotism and Catholic morals, Victor Hugo knows people. All of the stories of his that I have read are compelling and insightful reads.
Neil Gaiman: I love the balance he finds between terrifying horror, everyday cynicism, and insider humor.
Patrick Rothfuss: He is agonizingly slow in writing speed, but once he finally crafts something, it is clear, precise, and enjoyable to read. Plus, his online presence is amazing and hilarious.
Who are your most inspiring authors?