Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Insurgent, & Why I Love It

So, I try not to fangirl too much, but I have to say it: I *LOVE* Veronica Roth's Divergent & Insurgent. They have captivated me unlike many other books, where I can sit them down and be okay with it. Veronica Roth, however, is mean.

You heard me, she's mean.

She won't let me stop reading her books!

I'm telling you, at least for me, her writing DEMANDS to be read. You can't quit turning the pages, because you're desperate to know what happens. Even in the non-action areas of the book, you're gripped. She won't take no for an answer, and you'll be loving every moment of the book.

And that, my friends, is what I aspire to become. An author that demands the pages of her books be read; that readers can't help but to continue on.

I think it's what every writer wants. If we didn't, then why would we write? But what I want to point out, is that if we want to become better writers, we have to do our homework. I love how agent Russell Galen put it (I'm paraphrasing, because unfortunately I can't find the exact quote): "Like a book? Read it once, but then take out your highlighter and re-read it, pointing out where you felt emotions and WHY you felt them." In my mind, Galen is a genius of an agent. He understands that we as writers have to hone our craft. We can't just "read for enjoyment," although I don't think that reading and enjoying it is a bad thing! Don't misinterpret me. What I'm saying is this: we need to be learning, growing, and becoming more adept at our craft by reading and researching.

For me, I write YA. Therefore, I need to be an expert in the YA genre. There's more to YA than Hunger Games, Harry Potter, and Twilight. Sure, they're great series and yes, I've read them all, but to truly succeed in ANY arena in life, we must become experts. Reading and becoming well versed in the publishing industry is a natural step to becoming a better writer.

So tell me, folks, what/who do you read to become a better writer? For me, I love to read Cassandra Clare and JK Rowling books to pick apart why they're so great - why I enjoy them so much. Veronica Roth is quickly becoming another. I study Publisher's Marketplace like it's going out of style. What do you guys do? Any tricks to the trade you care to share? Post them in the comments! And of course, go get Insurgent and read it yourself. You won't be disappointed. :)

Happy Reading, everyone!

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