Sunday, November 3, 2013

Books of Influence

Since NaNoWrimo started on Friday, my creative well is focused on that. But writing and reading go hand-in-hand; so, as I endeavor to get to 50,000 words, I’ve also been reading like a mad woman. Look forward to book reviews come December. 

I like to read in the genre I’m writing in. Referencing other writers helps when I get stuck.

As I devour books in the YA genre to help with my own, I got to thinking about the books I’ve read in the past that really influenced me as a writer. 

So, every Sunday of November, I’m going to post an influential book that shaped my writing life. Up first:

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

I read this book in high school initially. It didn’t really leave any indelible mark on me, but then again anything I was forced to read in K-12 immediately made it onto the hate list out of principal.

It was my second run in with this book that really solidified it as my favorite book of all time. 

It was the first novel I ever analyzed critically and really the first glimpse of what goes on in books beyond the words on the page. I was reading with a concentration on what language was doing to Frankenstein’s monster and what other pieces of literature, such as Paradise Lost, was doing to the monster’s psyche, and I kind of fell in love with Shelley after that. Books became more than books. Reading became a challenge to see what they authors were really trying to get across on the page. And then of course, I wanted to be that kind of writer. I wanted to write the stuff that makes people think, question morals, all that good stuff. So now that this paragraph sounds like a poorly articulated love letter, I will leave it at: I just really really love this book. 

NaNoWrimo Update: I am over 5,000 words in. I don’t hate it yet, so that’s a plus. My inner editor is locked up and twitching in the corner over all my long winded exposition, tense shifts, that entire first page where I just threw convention to the wind and wrote in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person to try an feel out where I wanted to go. It’s been an interesting ride so far. 

What book influenced you?And if you’re NaNoing with me, how’s it going? 


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