I love to read, and a lot of what I read influences my writing. However, it doesn’t dictate my writing. What reading does is help me learn how to write better.
One way is more technical. I get to see how other authors describe people, settings, actions, and more. It helps me learn better ways of doing that. I also see how they do dialogue, especially using dialogue tags. But I think the big thing is vocabulary. A lot of the books I’ve read have used words I didn’t recognise. It helps me learn new words. That is if I’d remember to make a note of the words. I really should do that.
My writing has been influenced by specific books (and TV series), as well. Ariadne started out as I was reading Anne McCaffrey’s Pern novels. I was intrigued by her worldbuilding, so I thought I could build my own world and think up a story set on it. And so I did. Star Trek also had a hand in my world’s development, mainly with interstellar space travel. However, the influence is only superficial in that case. Pern is most likely the biggest influence on my writing. Some of the more recent science fiction novels involve a lot of realism, and that has also given my writing a more reality-based style.
I had an early influence by traditional fantasy, but I’ve since abandoned that angle for Ariadne. I have a couple of fantasy novel series in development that are not traditional fantasy. They are entirely original worlds with mythologies that I created. No elves, no dwarves, no demons.
And finally, I have a solar system travel story that will be nine novellas (probably), and nothing I’ve read has influenced me in this case, except maybe news about space probes visiting planets. I think New Horizons really pushed me to develop this story. However, there’s a movie that has influenced me a little, but I won’t tell you what it is. It’ll spoil the ending.
If you write, what has influenced your writing?