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I've been creative writing all my life, though with various haitus(es) along the way. IFrom 2010 I started this blog and enjoyed sharing writing and other information with everyone. illness and bereavement supplied the more recent hiatus.

Monday, 11 April 2011

I: Insightful Ideas

Have you found Insightful Ideas through reading and emulating other authors?On my writing journey it was suggested that one might write in the style of an author you admire by reading their first page and then writing your own similar, but original first page.

I found this to be a most insightful exercise in finding out how easy/ hard it might be for me to write in the genre and style of that author. Interestingly I found my version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone to be stilted and boring. Sorry guys I can't find that one at the moment to share. I'm not advocating copying another author, just trying out their style to see how it fits with your own writing style. It's simply an exercise. 

However, here are some examples of my other first pages:

Is this something you might attempt?


  1. I haven't tried to directly emulate anything by other authors, but I've certainly been influenced by some.

    Tossing It Out
    Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

  2. I think this is a great technique, Madeleine. I've been trying something similar with plotlines. Going through my favourite novels and summarising the plots. What happens in chapter 1? etc.

    I'd like to copy emulate sections of the prose to. To try to get a feel for writing at novel length (I'm a very sparse short story person).

    I liken this technique to apprentice painters copying the works of the great masters.

  3. I don't like to copy another writer's style. I make my own.

  4. I think a very interesting exercise, try transpolar to photography.

  5. What an interesting exercise!! I think you pulled both these off quite well - especially your agatha christie one (and I love her books!!!!) and especially in an updated version too!! Take care

  6. Great exercise, and I fully understand that you're not advocating copying, here, just trying another writer's style on for size! Loved your examples :-)
    All best

  7. I remember doing this in my fiction writing classes in college. But it was an exercise in finding our own voices. The theory is that no matter how hard you try emulating another author, your own voice is bound to come through. And it does!

  8. An interesting exercise that I think I'd find very hard. Be worth trying but I've been talking/writing in this way so long. Never say never, though.

  9. An interesting idea, though not something I've tried myself. I shall have to give this a go!

  10. I tried a similar style to Rowling with my first novel, but soon realized it was all in passive voice. It's amazing how passive her first novel was. It wouldn't go in today's world. I soon created my own more active prose that worked well. But she has certainly influenced me as a writer.

  11. new follower here! great to meet you through the A-Z blogfest. I find that every time i read a book, it influences my style of writing. this is probably why i'm avoiding shakespeare (though i love his work)--i might end up writing my novels with words like "thou" and "wherefore".

  12. Interesting exercise. As someone who is utterly fascinated by film, I often instinctively recall moments of past films (from my favorite directors/movies) when gaining ideas for my own screenplays. It is a necessary utilization of thought, but as you suggest, all work must be original in writing and in implementation. Past works always inspire, therefore, it's virtually impossible to avoid some form of imitation.

    And great blog!

  13. It's a clever way to start out and to study the style of another

  14. I think we all hear an idea and try to develop it into our own syle and language....
    good post!


  15. This is an interesting way to study another author. I think it could also be useful in helping to develop one's own voice. I might need to try it.

  16. Thanks Michael, Gosh you know I hadn't noticed that. No wonder I found it hard to write my own version too! :O)


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