Guilty of trying to be something I’m not.
Most of my writing career I’ve aspired to write like Hemingway or Faulkner. Yes, I want to be a great literary figure. (We’ll get to my delusions of grandeur in another post.) It’s only recently that I’ve come to realize that the way to accomplish this isn’t to imitate the greats, but to find my own voice. Literature doesn’t want another Fitzgerald, it already has one. (Two, if you count Zelda.) What literature wants is Justin M. Kelly. It wants my unique point of view and writing style.
I’m also going to stop trying to write great literature and just write what I want to write. Just because it may fit into one genre or another, doesn’t mean it can’t also be literature. I’ve rejected way too many story ideas because they weren’t “literary” enough. At the moment I’m working on a fun little horror short story and having a bast. Literature be damned.
Although, now that I think of it, the main premise could be said to be copying themes from several stories written by the King of horror fiction. Although to be fair, trying to write a horror story that he hasn’t already covered in some form is like trying to write a comedy cartoon premise that The Simpsons hasn’t already done.