Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Truly, Madly, Deeply
After devouring "The Last Olympian" the day it came out (LOVED it!), I spent the last week blasting through Suzanne Collins' brilliant series of "Gregor the Overlander" books. I know, I'm late to the party. The hardcover version of the first book in the series came out in 2003. What can I say...better late than never?
In case you weren't aware, I LOVE middle grade fantasy. I'll read just about anything with words (including cereal boxes and milk cartons) but I get quite passionate about MG books. When I went to my son's class yesterday to read with some of the kids, his friend Zack came out with book one, "Gregor the Overlander." I squealed. Literally. "Omigosh, you're going to LOVE that book!" I gushed, I congratulated him on his brilliant reading choice. I might have overwhelmed him a bit. But I've known Zack since he was 3. He's used to me :^)
So what makes me fall so deeply in love with a book?
As a reader, I can't always verbalize what makes a story resonate for me. But as I delve more into the craft of writing, I'm learning to analyze, to step outside the story and look at the construct, how the writer leads me to truly love these characters without ever feeling manipulated.
For me it comes down to characters. I want to care about the people I'm reading about. I want them to be like me, but better than me. I want them to have the quick comeback that it takes me half an hour to realize I should have said. I want them to always do the honorable thing, even when in real life, the right choice might have been a little gray.
Yeah, it might be a tall order. I know as a writer the words don't always flow the way I want them to. Sometimes it takes days, weeks, of puzzling a scene out in my head before I can dash off a thousand words. But as a reader, I expect no less. When I plunk down my hard-earned cash (especially for a hard cover!) I want to be blown away. I want to be transported away from the ordinary and left thinking about those characters long after I've read the last page.
What makes a book memorable for you?