Thursday, March 5, 2009

Reading all night...

Cape Cod Weather Today: The sun is still rising, but it looks like it will be bright out. After last week's warmth and the weekend's White Weather, this week has seemed bitterly cold and an unfair step backward into winter... it's 19 degrees right now, and I ran laundry before 6 a.m. to keep the machine from freezing...

Last week I went to the library, because I just HAD to read Cassandra Clare's second book in her series, City of Ashes. While there I picked up two other YA books I'd heard buzz on: Kristin Cashore's Graceling and Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games. You see all these book titles in my sidebar list, the list of books I'm reading and highly recommending to anyone who reads this or listens to me jabber on about books.

And let me just say, Oh. My. God.

I know I went to the library especially for Clare's book, and I read that first on Friday, but the other two have left me simply breathless. Breathless. Really.

A little of it is envy, especially for Cashore's debut novel and all the accolades it's currently receiving. But also from lack of sleep... I devoured The Hunger Games in 4 hours, last night, not even picking it up until I got frustrated with my own writing close to 11 p.m. And then I couldn't go to sleep without finishing it.

When I worry about the pace of my own stories, worry that the stakes I set for my characters aren't high enough, worry that my characters aren't compelling enough...

I guess I have reason to worry.

It was after finishing Cashore's book on Sunday that I decided to go back and strip the Middle Grade aspects from my own young book, and rebuild it as a YA offering, making the characters slightly older, giving the villain more screen time and more evil. More mwa-ha-ha, as Editorial Anonymous would say.

My beta reader loves it. I was happier with it, until I read The Hunger Games. Now I want what Collins wrote. A book that keeps you up because you HAVE to know what happens. After three hours of sleep, this is all that seems important at the moment. And all that seems unattainable.

Maybe things will look brighter after a nap...

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