I’m reading The Hunger Games series at the moment, and really enjoying it, in the kind of way that makes me want to get writing myself. I’ve found that some books stir up this feeling in me, and others don’t – I’m yet to define what exactly it is about a book that makes me want to write though, so thought I would blog it out.
For me, there are a couple of different ways that a book can inspire me to get back to work – funnily, it isn’t just when a book is great though, because I’ll be totally honest and say that sometimes I read amazing books that make me think I should just give it up. I feel intimidated by just how awesome they are, like there is no way on earth that I could write something that could ever be that wonderful.
Anyways, below are some things about a novel that make me want to write:
a) it’s so bad that I know I can do better (not the case at all for The Hunger Games, by the way).
b) the writing is beautiful, inspiring, a sensory feast which sweeps me away from reality (an example of this, I think, would be All The Windwracked Stars by Elizabeth Bear).
c) the world building is fantastic and makes me want to work all the angles, to bring my worlds to life – to create a setting which is rich and vibrant and resonates (all while not being wordy and weighed down with over the top descriptions).
d) the characters speak to me on multiple levels.
I think The Hunger Games fits the last two categories for me. The narrator seems so very real, so solid in her world, so accurately portrayed – she sounds like a sixteen year old girl who has grown up in the world described. She isn’t perfect by any means, in fact she is self centered, totally focused on doing whatever it takes to survive – fitting for both the character, her back story and the world it’s set in. It’s this sense of realness, the immediacy of the story which makes it come to life for me.
And I want to bring that to my stories. I want them to be vital, and alive. I want to pull my readers into my characters worlds, immerse them in my creations.
Funnily, these thoughts do not seem to apply to TNFKAMN aka ‘The Novella Formerly Known as Mocha Nihilism’. I mean, I can make it vital and alive, but not in the same way as I find fantasy/sci fi. It’s not so life and death. It doesn’t deal with big questions. It’s admittedly more light hearted, more amusing than anything else I have written (well, at least, I think so). And there is nothing wrong with that at all – it’s one of the very many things I love about it.
But reading The Hunger Games makes me want to dive into something epic. It makes me want to write something that cuts to the bone, that breathes and feels and bleeds.
I am starting to seriously think about my next novel. Which is an exciting feeling.
But first, I really want to finish this novella.
What about you? What books make you want to write, and why?