- “Feature image courtesy of Eifion via Creative Commons”
- What’s your favorite book and why?
When I was younger I often thought about what it would be like to write an amazing book that people would talk about for years afterward.
I came to A Farewell to Arms with some reluctance, it’s Hemingway, and with a bit of swagger, a word I never use, but I couldn’t think of any word that really fit.
A Farewell to Arms, and Hemingway, made me think about what kind of writer I’d want to be.
I only read it five years ago, and I was really early in my novel writing. I have favorite writers, Anne Rice, Poe, Tolkien, but I’d never read a book, up to then, that moved me and made me want to try harder with my writing.
Every writer has that book that makes them want to write, mine was The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice, but I don’t think every writer reads a book that truly changes their writing style, the way they view their writing and whether they are worthy of writing anything that could compare to the content in that book.
A Farewell to Arms made me realize a few things about my writing.
- I’m a lot better than I believed.
- I need to write what I’m familiar with. The old, “write what you know” thing.
- Writing can be a symphony, each word can be a sonnet and a book can be a masterpiece.
I believe books fall in our hands at the right time, place and we end up exactly where we’re supposed to be.
A Farewell to Arms changed who I am as a writer, what I choose to write about and how involved the story is with my own life.
Each writer finds who we are in moments, glimpses of what great writing is. After reading this book I understand why we’re supposed to read great writers. Not so much because they’re great, but to see what made them great.
What books made you a better writer? Answer in the comments.
Brian B. Baker is an unpublished writer of Science Fiction/Fantasy and Horror. He’s been writing short stories since high school, and is certain it’s one of the few things that keeps him sane. Brian blogs at The Bleeding Inkwell.