What Lines Inspire You?

You know those passages that make you excited to be a writer. Those descriptions you have to read twice maybe even three times because they are just that good. As a lover of all things horror and dark, I get excited about chilling line and passages.

“A kind of nervous restless which haunted me as a fiend.” (Poe M.S Found in a Bottle)

“In the tortured ears there sounds unceasingly a nightmare whirring and flapping, and a faint distant baying as of some gigantic hound. It is not dream – it is not, I fear even madness – for too much already happened to give me these merciful doubts. (Lovecraft The Hound)

 “…seeing already in the dark air the picture of the thing beyond.” (Crawford The Dead Smile)

“More grotesque than any drag artist, the thing pirouetted in grim, constricting agony, its strange eyes glazing as I stared in a paralysis of horror. Then it was all over and the frail scarecrow of flesh, purple tongue still protruding from frothing lips, fell in a crumpled heap to the floor” (Lumley Aunt Hester)

Making note of brilliant lines is not just for studying. They’re inspirational. Things don’t have to be all rainbows and pink unicorns to lift your spirits. I read these and instantly I want to work on my own story to craft passages as brilliant as these.

I’m gonna be honest with you, though, they can be a blow to your self-confidence. I’ve wondered, and still do, if I can write anything half as good.

These lines may sit 1,000 feet above my current writing. What am I gonna do? Sit at my lowly spot brooding, gazing up at them with a mixture of longing and hatred, wishing I could write that good. Or, work hard as hell to write a glowing story.

What lines inspire you?

3 thoughts on “What Lines Inspire You?

  1. Edgar Alan Poe was a master at darkness, but his excerpt from "The Masque of the Red Death" and that ballroom scene was breath-taking. The fact that it was a run-on at such great length is the reason it was so powerful.

    He was a literary genius.

  2. "Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make!"
    –"Dracula", Bram Stoker

    "Never more!"
    –"The Raven", Poe

  3. I think some of the way Doyle conveys the bleakness of the moor in The Hound Of The Baskervilles still speaks to me each time I read it.

    Michael Shaara's entire novel, The Killer Angels, has much the same effect. It just resonates deep down inside, draws the reader right in.

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