Classic writers like Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Lucy Maud Montgomery, and Charles Dickens have influenced my writing in many ways. Their books are among my favorite novels of all time.
As far as modern writers go, Terry Goodkind and Stephen R. Lawhead are writers with a great impact on me. I love the way in which they choose to present their characters, it really draws me in as a reader.
I am a huge fan of Margaret Atwood's writing style. Every so often I come across a metaphor or a description in her writing that just makes me sit back in awe. For instance, from Cat's Eye after the death of her older brother the protagonist thinks:
"Now I will get older. And he will not."
It's just two simple sentences but I reread it and reread it because it evoked such intense feelings in me.
To me, John Steinbeck is about the most skilled wordsmith to ever live. I consider him to be one of the most talented writers I have ever read. I also enjoy Hemingway's dry, bare-bones prose. Some people might want to crucify me for this, but Jack London has a style all his own that is amazing in its own right.
I see most people love classics. That's good. Although that can also mean they stopped reading past their high school. I hope not. I love Cormac McCathy, J.M. Coetzee and Jose Saramago. I think they are re-inventing writing, or to say the least, they are shaping a new literary voice.
That's definitely not the case. My high school reading lists sadly didn't include any Steinbeck or Hemingway. That would have been great. Besides maybe a short story by Jack London, just a lot of Shakespeare and young adult lit that wasn't very memorable. (I agree with you, by the way. Cormac McCarthy is awesome.)
He's America's finest writer. The only reason he hasn't got the Nobel Prize is because he's American and the Oslo crowd is admittedly allergic to anything that is America. I think that The Nobel is in no way a measure of the quality of writing - it may be that is, in some case/ I don't think McCormac is worried. By the way Shakespeare is great. I did Shakespeare in school in Poland and now they also do Hemingway (The Old Man and the Sea).
Shortly after my work was moved from Squidoo to HubPages through the ill-conceived buyout, I sent an email to staff, asking if occasional profanity was allowed and explaining in what context I intended to use it. I had...