So some stuff came up yesterday and I was not home from practically the time I woke up to the time I went to sleep. Obviously this has affected my IF post, but since I drew the picture and am trying to be a good blogger, I have decided this week it will be Inspiration Saturday.
Friday Saturday. Every Friday This Saturday I find a topic and give
three things from that topic that inspire me. This is not a favorites list
necessarily, though they are some of my favorite things. This weeks topic is Books.
Now for me this is the hardest one so far to write and I had to constantly remind myself this is not a favorites list, because three books is not nearly enough to even touch my most favorite of stories. So I decided to focus on books that took me to a different place with my writing.
First we have maybe the most influential book I have ever read. Before this book, I was reading Tom Sawyer and White Fang and Treasure Island, before that I was having Charlotte's Web read to me at night before I went to sleep. This series, The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe in particular, was the first time I had read something so fantastical. Has anyone seen the movie the Neverending Story? When Bastian is up in the attic(I believe it was an attic, been a while for me) and he starts to read and the story comes to life. This is how I felt reading these books. I would stay with my Godmother who lived on the grounds of a private school and during the summer the library there would be completely empty. It was as still as a graveyard and I would take my copy of LtWatW and I'd find a little nook and start reading. This was the first time I understood that a story could not just be fun, not just make you feel something, but it could be magic. After reading, no closet was left un-searched, no lamppost was ever looked at the same way and my love for lions was sealed. It is funny a book published in the 50s could speak to me so much, but that is what great books do they bridge time and become timeless. I have not felt so attached to a children series until I finally caved and read the Harry Potter books. I can honestly say this was the beginning for me as a writer and I will always thank C. S. Lewis for that.
Ah Drizzt. It is so funny to think this character was supposed to be a sidekick. It goes to show you that no matter what we plan as writers stories have a way of growing out of us in ways we can't always foresee. I was six when the first book of the Icewind Dale Trilogy was published it wouldn't be for another ten years that I would discover this amazing series. By this time I was reading a lot of fantasy. It was funny because until I got deep into reading about this Dark Elf I didn't understand what the Fantasy genre could be. Yes is has fantastical elements that evoke fun and amazement, that send our imaginations whirling, but they can also tell us about ourselves. The Drizzt books aren't a story about one of the baddest fantasy figures to ever hold a sword...or two—well it is, but it isn't just that. This is a story that talks about racism, about fitting into a world that may reject you, but doing it because it is worth it to try. About friendship and what it means to love another enough to give your life for them. We can talk all day about people's opinion of this sort of fantasy, but at the end of the day, for me, I felt like a better person after reading these books. A better writer to boot. Drizzt taught me that while it is sometimes important to fight, it is why we fight that means the most in this world. Mr R. A. Salvatore is still writing away at these and on my desk next to me I have the 27th book that has been written about this character, I have trouble thinking of a more prolific author. With no end in sight I am comforted by the fact I will have my friend the dark elf for many years to come.
This was a hard one for me, four book series rushed forward to fill this spot or maybe I should say authors: Brent Weeks, Jim Butcher, Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss. I started reading these people's books all about the same time. So why Rothfuss? Well this is going to sound egotistical after I write it, but I hope this will be taken as I mean it and not as it sounds. When I am done reading a book I often ask myself a question. Could I write this? Often I have to say 'with a lot of work and honing of my craft', but I find confidence at some point and say yes I think I could. (Now this may be delusions of grandeur but that works for me.) A book that made me stop and say...wow no, no I don't think I could, was The Name of The Wind. This book is so smart, so classy(yes classy). The way the story is told is clean and crisp and while Patrick has said there isn't really a plot, it so doesn't matter. The characters are real and make you feel for them or hate or love/hate them. As a reader I was a complete puppet for both books in the Kingkiller Chronicles. As a writer I often find myself speculating as I read and many times I know things before they happen. With this book it wasn't even a matter of I couldn't do that, I just didn't even want to try. I was in this book for each word and all that mattered while I was reading was what I was reading. I am a slow reader and suffice it to say I lost a portion of my life after buying each book. Well all I can say to that is—time well spent. This series has become something for me to look up to while writing my fantasy. I have enjoyed books and have favorites that mean as much to me as this series does. Yet this one has become like a ghost haunting my keyboard. I often hear its chains rattling as I start to write a fantasy scene and an eerie voice floats to my ears, "Remember the Kingkiller, be better...."
Sorry for such a long post, but as I'm sure many of you can relate books mean a great deal to me. I could write this post over with three different books everyday for months and not finish off my list.
Anyway, what are some books that inspire you? As always have fun and keep writing.