Just Another Portal Fantasy Part Two: The Drive of Influence

I am a firm believer in the concept that childhood and teenage reading/ viewing/ hearing/ etc. habits indicate what a future writer’s work will look like. With that said, what are my influences and how do they reveal what my own writing is like?

The biggest influence for me is sword and sorcery. I grew up on classic (and cult) sword and sorcery films. I remember watching Conan the Barbarian and Conan the Destroyer religiously. I remember gobbling up Beastmaster. I remember adoring Masters of the Universe. And I worshiped Ray Harryhausen.

I came later to reading the Conan pastiches and even later to Robert E. Howard and the other legends of written sword and sorcery. But I naturally gravitate towards this particular genre of fantasy.

Along with sword and sorcery film, I gorged myself on science fantasy cartoon shows. He-Man and She-Ra loom large in my childhood. And I will always have a soft spot for Thundarr.

I watched other movies. I read other books. I remember reading some of the Little House books and loving them. I remember Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. There are so many.

But, ultimately, it is the sword and sorcery and science fantasy that I consumed as a child that has driven what I want to write.

My later readings have, largely, confirmed my earlier inclinations although other strands have emerged as well. I gorged myself on Agatha Christie for years. And I have a deep love of James Bond. How they will affect my writing remains to be seen.

While I am a strong sword and sorcery fan, I’m not a typical fan. I don’t have the same type of love for the standard heroic fantasy hero that a lot of other fans do. Where they (I suspect) wish to be that hero in real life, I want to go to bed with that hero (which is, probably, true of James Bond, as well).

However, as I explained to a degree in my “Black Magic” posts, I also have a strong affinity for the sorcery side of things. In a way, I think this is fueled by my fascination with villains.

So much of what a writer writes is informed by the culture experienced in youth.There is a rich mine of memory that is exploited unconsciously(and occasionally consciously).Hell, I’m probably not even aware of the vast majority of my influences.

Next time, world building.

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Posted on October 19, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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