Tag Archives: on writing

RTW: Book of the Month for January, 2013

It’s that time again! Every month, the YA Highway team ask us to select our favorite read from the past month and write about it for the weekly Road Trip Wednesday meme.

Hands down, the best book I read in January was ON WRITING by Stephen King. But this was the third or fourth time I’ve read it, so even though it’s a great book, I’m not going to count it. Sorry Stephen!

Of the remaining books, my favorite reads of the month were actually two novellas: GLITCHES by Marissa Meyer, and DESTROY ME by Tahereh Mafi. Both of these are tie-ins with the authors’ current series, written to expand upon what has already happened, not to further the plot.

GLITCHES is a prequel to CINDER, describing Cinder’s first encounter with her step family. Marissa’s characters are so engaging, and Cinder is a truly delightful MC. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. It’s a shame it was so short, but it certainly amped up the anticipation for SCARLET, the second part of her Lunar Chronicles series. You don’t have to read GLITCHES before reading SCARLET, but it’s worth reading anyway.

DESTROY ME is very different in tone to GLITCHES. Rather than giving back story to SHATTER ME, Tahereh picks up the story from the end of SHATTER ME, but from the perspective of a different character, namely Warner. I won’t say too much more about the plot in case you have yet to read SHATTER ME. Suffice to say, Tahereh show us a new dimension to Warner, and even helps us understand him better–and perhaps even have some sympathy for him? This is much longer than GLITCHES, and very well written.

If I had to choose between the two, DESTROY ME would just get the edge, simply because I thought Tahereh did a great job of adding depth to Warner’s character, and giving us a very different perspective on things… and that’s all I’m saying.

What were your favorite reads in January? Comment here, or participate in the Road Trip (details on how to join in are on the YA Highway blog).

RTW: The Write Kind of Help…

Okay, okay, that’s a bit of a cheesy blog title for this week’s Road Trip Wednesday, but please, my creative energies are all NaNo-focused, so I’m afraid you get the scrapings from the bottom of the creative barrel. And you get really long sentences too, it seems! This week’s Road Trip prompt from the YA Highway ladies is:

Share your most inspiring and/or motivational video, book, or quote on writing!

When it comes to getting motivated about writing, if I need external help, there are some videos I turn to. In particular, documentaries about or interviews with writers about their writing can help. These are easy to come by on YouTube, just by searching on an author’s name. Depending on my mood, sometimes something fictional will help. There are a couple of Columbo stories, for example, that feature writers (yes, I’m a Columbo fan), and while not strictly about the craft, they’re fun, and strangely inspiring.

Books? If I want to be inspired to write, I will either read some good fiction, or pick up Stephen King’s ON WRITING. In fact, I’ll conclude with a couple of quotes from ON WRITING. These aren’t necessarily “Go get ’em, bucko!” kind of inspirational quotes, but to be honest, the whole book is inspiring, and since it would take too long (and put me in all kinds of copyright trouble) to quote the entire book, here are a couple of gems I plucked out. Pieces of Stephen King wisdom that I happen to wholeheartedly agree with:

Talent renders the whole idea of rehearsal meaningless; when you find something at which you are talented, you do it (whatever it is) until your fingers bleed or your eyes are ready to fall out of your head. Even when no one is listening (or reading, or watching), every outing is a bravura performance, because you as the creator are happy. Perhaps even ecstatic. That goes for reading and writing as well as for playing a musical instrument, hitting a baseball, or running the four-forty.

And here’s a theological statement from Stephen King to which I can honestly say, “Amen!”:

If God gives you something you can do, why in God’s name wouldn’t you do it?

So, what’s your inspiration? What movie, book, or quote helps you through the doubts, the dry patches, or the snarky comments from well-meaning friends and/or relatives? Comment below, or join the YA Highway Road Trip (see the YA Highway blog for details on how to participate).