You may think that the title of this is saying to directly steal off of your heroes and although it is a very misleading title, that isn’t what I mean at all. All I mean is, steal their styles and create your own. Let me explain further before you close this article and never read anything of mine ever again. If you think that this is a load of bullshit that you shouldn’t do, you are already doing it so keep reading.
Who was the first writer that made you want to write? For me it was Jack Kerouac, I have said this before, I loved the guy’s style, still do, the way he constructed some of his books to almost read like poetry is nothing short of beautiful. When I started writing my thoughts down, I was copying Jack so badly that my friend actually said about one piece “yeah, it’s alright, you can tell you read a lot of Kerouac though” I was so obsessed with him that everything I wrote was direct rip off of something he could have written 150 times better and I was pleased about it!!
I now have somewhat of my own style. This is because I have read a lot of other authors work and have taken their styles and created a monster. I have taken all the styles that I love, I am still adding to this, and I have created a unique one from it. The cool thing is that people like Kerouac himself did the same. It is no secret that Jack Kerouac was hugely inspired by Jack London so much of his work emulates London. There is nothing wrong with this because he said it and put this passion right on the page. It allowed people who had never heard of London a brief look at his style through someone else’s eyes.
As you evolve and read more, you take other people’s styles, add them to the collection and then have a Frankenstein monster of a style. I think a lot of creative people do this from artists to photographers. There is nothing wrong with this because it means that you are invested in the thing that you love to do. Is it wrong to simply try and copy one person’s style cos they have already done it and a copy of something original is never as good as the original, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films should teach you that.
By stealing styles from all your favourite writers, you are creating a unique style that will hopefully one-day influence someone else who has never read your favourite authors works. Your style could influence a best-selling book one day.
Anyway, I hope that makes a little more sense, developing your own style of doing anything is not easy but it can be done and has been done millions of times throughout history. Perhaps it is not even stealing, perhaps it is just breathing new life into an art form and putting your own take on it.