As writers we cannot help but be influenced by the world around us, in fact our books would be very boring and bland if they did not reflect the word around us.
For me, the biggest influences on my writing are:
My own life experience
When I mix all four influences together and put pen to paper, that is when my stories start to take shape and the chapters flow.
However, when I write I stay far away from any books/poems/ short stories, as I do not want to be influenced by another writer; I do not want their storyline or plot getting added to my mix of influences.
When I finish a chapter or short story, I don’t want to read it and think that sounds just like how “Mr X” would write it, or think “That is a plot taken straight out of Ms Y book”
As for films, well yes they have plots and storylines but if you think of a truly fantastic film, say – The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. There is surprisingly little dialogue for a film of its length, but the set pieces are breath taking, the atmosphere created by the camera panning from one character to another characters face is simply majestic, and finally the characters are extremely well developed.
It’s those qualities I want to bring to my work.
Anyway, I was wondering does anyone else actively avoid being influenced when they write, or am I the only mad person lol : )