This week, the YA Indie Carnival sponsors are talking about the things they learn when reading. Without a doubt, the lessons I've learned are as vast as the sea of books within the largest library. Every book's hundreds of pages and thousands of words hold power and knowledge - for those searching - deeply embedded within its character development, excitement, adventure, and romance.
Through resilient lead characters, I've learned no man is an island. No matter how strong, independent, or powerful, the main character must have a team of people supporting his/her efforts and at least one adversary trying to prevent him/her from reaching their goals. Think Marked (House of Night #1), Zoey, and her gang.
The most awesome hero(ine) will not take you far if the reader does not fall in love with him/her...have a vested interest in their outcome...feel completely horrible when they lose...and beyond happy when they win. For this to be the case, I've learned the importance of portraying passion, devotion, commitment, and friendship in ways so real the readers experience the characters' emotions. Think Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1), Rose, Dimitri, and Lissa.
Through books, I learned the setting is as much of a character as anything else described between the covers. Because of this, I make sure to write about places I know well, describing the look, feel, and smell in ways that produces images in the reader's mind, pangs in their heart, and scents in the air around them. Think Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse #1) and Bon Temps.
Through great authors, I've come to understand how powerful a book can be if the reader suffers alongside the characters in a manner that makes them feel like they would know what it's like to be in the character's shoes...even if they've never taken one step in them. Think The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1) and Katniss' starvation and survival.
I love to read. Studying the characters and the way the authors write sentences - ones that can be structured dozens of ways - and noticing how the writer's version is truly the best because it flowed from them during their writing trance or while they pounded through their writer's block.
Now, join me in finding what my fellow authors/blogger have learned while reading: