How Much Is Your Writing Like Your Favorite Author’s? (Week of 30 January 2012)

Don’t try to deny it: everyone who does anything creative is influenced by another who has done something similar before. Sometimes the impetus to pursue a career is as simple as “I can do better than her” or even more basic, like “I wish I could do that like him”. What it takes is the courage to make the attempt. Jedi Master Yoda is famously and often quoted: “Do or do not. There is no try.” We are exhorted to “Just Do It” by Nike ads. But whose lead do we follow?

For writers, we have to learn at the feet of the masters. Just who those masters are is up for grabs, though. Each person views their own hero as a master, whether or not the rest of the world does. That said, most of the names dropped this week in the Cafe are universally acknowledged as masters of the craft of writing. Many have won awards that are ultimately meaningless. Or are they?

The Confabulators walk the borderlands between what’s real (coffee, for instance) and what’s not (imagination, as an example). Meshing the two is a lot of work. Creating believable settings for readers to get lost in takes practice, too. And each of us has aped a style made famous by someone else. It’s all part of the process. That said, we don’t take standing on the shoulders of giants lightly. Come in, pull up a seat and see what we mean by that.

Cafe Management is run by the administration of The Confabulator Cafe. We keep things running smoothly, post stories by guest authors, and manage other boring back-end tasks.

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