I was reading The Craft of Writing Science Fiction That Sells by Ben Bova and this quote from Ernest Hemingway jumped out at me:
All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that it all happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.
I think this is the best idea of what makes a writer that I have ever seen. That it comes from a writer whose works I don’t usually enjoy strikes me as odd.
I think this is the ideal. You want all that, you want the reader to feel the story so deeply that they don’t forgot, so deeply that they come back to the story over and over again.You want the reader to get lost in the story and never want to leave. You want the reader to care deeply about the character’s sorrow and joy.
I also think it’s incredibly rare and that stories that do this won’t be the same from everyone. It’s too subjective.
Even so. I think to feel that way, you need a character you really connect to. I mean, as a reader I know I do. If a book doesn’t have a character I like, it’s very hard for me to read it. (This is why Game of Thrones remains unread on my kindle.)
And by connecting, I don’t mean the reader has to see themselves in the character. I really, really don’t see myself in Eve Dallas, Jaenelle Angelline or Miles Vorkosigan – three characters I love most and series I reread frequently. But I still connect, I still sympathize with them and I still like spending time with them.
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
“Ivan . . . left with a lady.”
“What, again? Here? Now? Does the boy have no sense of time or place? This isn’t Emperor Gregor’s Birthday Party, dammit.”
You know you are a fan when you find yourself dreaming about your favorite characters. I dreamed about Miles Vorkosigan, bombs and secrets yesterday.
Miles Vorkosigan is the lead character in space opera series by Lois McMaster Bujold. His father died in the last book and Miles became Count in his place. Lois McMaster Bujold is one of my favorite authors and I love love this series.
In my dream, someone was throwing bombs at Miles and chasing him down a shiny silver hallway. Than he was with the Council of Counts, defending himself against some charge.
The charge came about because the King (Gregor) declassified some of his earlier escapades. There was a resulting public outcry and some of his fellow Counts (the dream didn’t tell me who! Bad dream!) was using his blackops assignments to discredit him. This part I knew the way you know stuff in dreams.
I have dreamed about my own characters before, but I’ve never dreamed about other people’s characters. Has anyone else? It is strange. All I have to say if I am dreaming up Miles Vorkosigan stories on my own, I really really want a new one to read.
Are you listening, Lois McMaster Bujold? Could you please write a new Miles book? I like your fantasy stuff, but they really don’t compare to the Miles Vor series!