Day 3: Books that make you want to write

I’d like to give a shout-out today to Rainbow Rowell, the author of a book I just finished reading called Fangirl. This book is amazing, and I loved it. It combined sincere knowledge of the fanfiction world with identical twin sisters, severe social anxiety, and first love. But what I probably enjoyed most about it is that it is a story set in our world. It isn’t a dystopian future, or a supernatural romance. It is the first book I’ve read in a long time that captured this particular moment in time. It didn’t feel the need to do more than faithfully present characters that feel like they could really exist, and show you their growth.

There are other authors, of course, that I love and would love to be more like as a writer. I love Suzanne Collins and Neal Shusterman for writing books based on a version of our future, and taking me there via arguments that I found completely convincing. I love Scott Westerfeld for his imagination and ability to take a character through lengthy story arcs very naturally. I admire Tamora Pierce, for writing series that age very well, and Cate Tiernan for writing the first series to pull me in and never let me go. And while I don’t actually aspire to write like my favorite writers–at least not too much like them, because I’d rather keep my own voice–I love reading books that give me hope as a writer, that make me feel less alone.

I don’t know what my book will really be about yet. It barely exists today, and I don’t know where it’s headed. However, Fangirl made me want to write better, and it even included the perfect quote to express today’s progress:

This wasn’t good, but it was something. Cath could always change it later. That was the beauty in stacking up words–they got cheaper, the more you had of them. It would feel good to come back and cut this when she’d worked her way to something better.  [Fangirl, pg. 425, by Rainbow Rowell. Quoted without permission.]

This is exactly where I’m coming from today. I’m still about a day ahead in terms of my word count, but I’m hoping to really add to it this evening anyway. I’d like to get to nine or ten thousand words before tomorrow, just because it feels possible now. They probably won’t be very good, and since mostly I’m using them to explore the characters without really advancing the plot, I probably won’t keep much of them in the end. But as long as I keep writing, there’s a chance I could get a book out of it. And you know who would agree with me?

Rainbow Rowell. Fangirl‘s first draft came from NaNoWriMo 2011. 🙂

Have you ever read a book that reminded you why you write? What are your favorites?

Today’s word count: 3,788

Total word count: 10,035

Today’s excerpt: She took a few shuddering breaths, trying to find the balance between taking care of herself and not getting anyone’s attention. The stakes were higher now that she was known, now that she had a kind of reputation to uphold. She was not the girl who acted weird in the halls.


Day 3: Books that make you want to write

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