Digging deeper into my shelves. Have you ever noticed that a person’s bookshelves are kind of like an archeological dig into their lives? Most people will keep one or two (or twelve) childhood keepsakes around. But then...as they get older...people will hang onto more and more random books. These are the interesting ones. These are the ones that distinguish the evil geniuses from the fluffy bunnies.
before I started referring to myself as a “writer” I would gravitate
toward books with complex characters. Books with characters that didn’t
have stuff just handed to them on silver platters all the time. I like
books where the ending isn’t always sparkly and unicorns (even if there
are unicorns in it..). If it’s the right ending. I like it when the characters have to work for what they have. And I especially enjoy characters that are flawed and challenged. Characters that have a past.
It was because of these types of characters that I stopped being a 'passive' reader and started taking notice of the intricacies of the story itself. Specifically character development.
of the first books that I read like this, and will always have a place
on my bookshelf, is "Ender’s Game" by Orson Scott Card. I cannot imagine
the holy hell it must have been trying to get this book published. It’s
not YA. Oh no. Not by a long shot. But the MC is a kid. But he’s a wise
kid. And the subject matter isn’t kids stuff. Though they deal with it
in a very child-like way at times. Ender isn’t perfect. He isn’t some
know it all King Arthur type. But...things go his way, after a fashion. But the mind games played to get there?
The first time I read this book I
truly started to see what a flawed character could be. One with issues
that could still be trusted to save the day. Though, save the day for
So. What books are on your shelf that tweaked your brain as a writer? What made you sit up and take notice for the first time?