I’m beginning to think I should impose a moratorium on my reading of Dorothy Dunnett’s novels. Some authors I can read and be inspired; she makes me despair for my ability to write at all. On every level I can think of, she induces a feeling of abject inferiority: her dialogue, her descriptions, her characters and her plotting . . . and hell, that’s just re-reading bits of The Game of Kings, also known as HER FIRST BLOODY NOVEL. I like Doppelganger and all, but it just doesn’t compare, and I know it.
It doesn’t even solve the problem to write some manner of fiction very different from hers. A first-person urban fantasy would sound odd indeed if written in her style, but that doesn’t quite let me shake the inescapable awareness that the awesomeness quotient of any given sentence isn’t up to snuff.
Sigh. I should go read some crappy fiction to get my spirits back up — but that wouldn’t be nearly so enjoyable in its own right, of course.