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By Bhalachandra Sahaj

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Hi everyone!

dance, dance, danceThe end of the fall and the beginning of winter is the time when doing something is incredibly difficult. I know it from my own experience, because at the moment I kind of have winter blues, or seasonal emotional disorder, or whatever else it’s called. This is especially nasty in regard to the fact when I’m trying to work on my novel, it takes a huge effort to keep writing (even though I try to follow my own advice that I write on this blog).

One day, after heroically writing a whole paragraph, I was lying on my couch and re-reading Haruki Murakami’s “Dance, Dance, Dance.” I knew the plot, the dialogues, and the descriptions by heart already, but I like this book anyways. I enjoy the atmosphere the author managed to create. Somehow, he made mundane things look charming in their own special way, and his characters incredibly realistic, in my opinion, seem to always remain themselves, under any circumstances. I guess this is what I appreciate the most about Haruki Murakami: his unique ability to transfer his version of reality onto his readers, in one piece, without distortions.

Well, to cut the long story short, Murakami’s “Dance, Dance, Dance” inspired me, and encouraged me to finish writing the entire chapter. It also made me think about the authors whose works inspire me, give me enthusiasm, lend me some interesting ideas, and so on. As a result I remembered a couple of authors who helped me to get back in writing shape, and to write this blog post.

Milorad Pavic, a Serbian writer known for his unique writing style, is also among those authors whose novels gave me strength and inspiration. In his “Dictionary of the Khazars,” which is a weird combination of fiction and historical events, Pavic creates an enigmatic and magical atmosphere by means so simple you would not probably believe they could be efficient. Instead of piling up wordy descriptions, he uses brief remarks regarding a character, an item, or an event he was writing about. He wrote about magical events as if they were something trivial, and everyday reality in his novels looks like a fairy-tale. You cannot copy Milorad Pavic’s writing style, but you can take a sip of it to try to remake it in your own way.

Yet another writer whom I like to re-read and whose works boost my creativity is Shakespeare. Yep, the great and famous. I enjoy his comedies, and I am constantly amazed by how he managed to twist his plots. I admire how he was able to see through the ways people usually behave to discover their secret motives, passions, and fears. To me, Shakespeare is, I don’t know, a psychology professor in a college; the difference is I don’t have to pass any tests, but anyways: you can always learn something new about people when you read Shakespeare. If you want to create credible characters, Shakespeare is the author to read first.

Okay, so now I’ve got to reread some of the stuff I mentioned above to get inspired and maybe write another chapter of my novel, but before I leave, I’d like to ask you to share your favorite writers in the comments. I wonder if I can find any confederates here.

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