Monday, January 20, 2014

Writers in your life and how they've inspired you

Picking favorite books is a challenge, but choosing my favorite authors is simple. Here are my Big 3 Authors. I found them at different stages of my life and writing development, and each has affected me in a huge way.

J.K. Rowling – the reason I read books.
(Technically, my mom deserves some credit for buying me the Sorcerer’s Stone, so allow me to acknowledge her here. Thanks Mom!)
I still think I’d love books if I hadn’t read Harry Potter, but I wouldn’t be addicted to them in the same way. Also, my childhood would’ve been a tiny bit emptier without Harry. I also learned the basics of storytelling from the books. I learned about chapters, paragraphs, sentence structure. I learned how to handle a large cast of characters. I learned how to structure dialogue. I learned most of my big words (comprehension, indignantly) from the Potter books. They really did teach me how to write. And that is pretty magical.

Sarah Dessen – the reason I decided to pursue writing.

I discovered Sarah Dessen’s books when I was fifteen or sixteen. She was one of the first YA authors I read (after Meg Cabot) and I absolutely fell in love with her style. Her books were the first I’d come across where nothing insanely dramatic occurs in the plot. Her characters aren’t fighting evil wizards or discovering they are princesses or saving the President. They were just teenagers going through normal teenager problems, the same problems I faced (and some I hadn’t but soon would). Sarah gave me the lightbulb moment, the I-could-actually-do-this moment. She writes about the same things I want to write about, so maybe one day my stories could be famous too.

John Green – the author whose stories I wish I'd written.

I picked up LOOKING FOR ALASKA in summer 2011 and immediately fell in writer-love with the character of Alaska Young. I’d never read a character quite like her: self-destructive, wild, yet fiercely intelligent. And then I was jealous. Why didn’t I come up with a character like her? Then I read the rest of John’s books (THE FAULT IN OUR STARS had not been released yet) and was amazed by his level of storytelling. His characters grapple with philosophical questions and still remain hilarious. They are sarcastic and smart, yet still normal and relatable. They are always searching for someone or something, whether it is their own identity or the girl who’s mysteriously disappeared. TFIOS took all of that to a new level when it was released in January 2012 and solidified John as the author whose career I would most like to steal. Also, I overcame my fear about writing male protagonists because of his novels (which is a bigger deal than it sounds).

How about you? What writers inspire you?

Funny coincidence: I wrote/scheduled this post a while ago, and the lovely Katy Upperman just posted almost the same thing over at her blog today! Maybe we're psychics? Hop over and check out hers! :)  

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