Wednesday, November 6, 2013

IWSG Post – Book Envy

This year is hurtling superfast towards its end. I can’t believe that this is my eleventh IWSG post. IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) a writer’s group founded by Ninja Captain Alex Cavanaugh, is a support group for writers, where we talk of our writing insecurities, share ways we circumvent these insecurities and help and support each other. We post on the first Wednesday of every month. Check out the IWSG website. Click here to read the other IWSG posts.

This month I am sharing an insecurity which every writer secretly cradles in his/her heart. Book Envy. Sometimes when we read a few books, the green eyed monster called envy consumes us. Not in a jealous way, but in a way that makes us strive harder to write such books ourselves.

Some writers can leave us stunned, at the story they have created, the sheer magic their words weave leaves us asking for more. Their characters just worm their way into our affections and we start living their story wondering what will happen next.

This happened to me last week when I read John Greens ‘The fault in our stars’. To say that the book affected me in a big way would be an understatement. It left me with my mouth hanging open. I fervently hope that I write one such book in my life. A book that will touch readers across age groups the world over.


Have you ever felt such a strong case of book envy? I feel no jealousy for the author, infact I now consider myself a huge fan of his. Has any book left you envious? Do you hope to write a book that will touch readers’ hearts the world over? Do share your book envy story.

21 comments:

  1. What's the book about, Rachna? I would love to read such books - to me, great books offer an excellent opportunity to learn. When we read them, we subconsciously learn to write (a bit) like them.

    I only wish I was a quick reader, I could have read many books. My reading speed is so slow. Do you have any tips to increase the speed?

    destinationinfinity.org

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  2. I definitely have to read that book. And yes, I know what you mean about book envy.

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  3. When I read a really great book I don't think it even occurs to me I could do something like that. Seems like a million miles away. Still, one foot in front of the other and eventually...

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  4. A good book usually inspires me rather than arousing envy. Usually I pick over it to see what made it affect me so much, what made it so good. I don't expect to do as well, but I do look for what makes it work so well.

    I keep hearing about The Fault Is in Our Stars, so that looks like another book for my TBR list.

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  5. Any time I read a book by Preston and Child. I want my stories to flow as well as theirs do.

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  6. Oh yes oh yes oh yes. I also get singing envy. And looks envy. I have to remind myself that comparison is an act of vengeance against yourself. Hang in there.

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  7. A little book envy is good...it drives us to be better. Too much book envy probably requires a restraining order, but you're too sweet to require that I think:)

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  8. I definitely do feel book envy sometimes. Certain authors make me want to strive to be a better writer.

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  9. I envy other authors sometimes. A little bit is good as it prods us to do better.

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  10. Ooo, I love it when a book leaves your mouth hanging open in shock and wonder! I haven't yet read The Fault in Our Stars, but it seems like most people's reactions to that book is similar to yours.

    Pretty much every author and book I love gives me book envy. It's inspirational book envy, though!

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

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  11. There are some incredibly talented writers out there, whose words touch us. I guess we all feel that envy sometimes but it is a compliment.

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  12. I most certainly have (and will again, I;m sure) succumbed to book envy. I think it's unavoidable. But I know that if I try to mimic what the writer does so well i ruin my own writing. I can't sound like anyone other than myself, I can't write with any voice but my own and I can't see the world through anyone else's eyes. My writing comes from me- beginning, middle and end of story.

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  13. I don't have envy. I have my microscope out parsing the phrases, nouns, and verbs of authors that I adore. I take their sentences apart to see why I love them and the words they use. I want to look at each syllable and then put them back together.

    I use a great author's methods of sentence structure to improve my own.

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  14. Huntress's idea is very good, but the truth is you can't copy someone. They are them and you are you, and that's just nature. Let John Green do his thing and you do yours - decide what you do well and concentrate on that. Good luck!! :-)

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  15. I get title envy, cover art envy, synopsis envy and I'm sure I could think of a few more, but you get the idea. I figure I am good as long as it inspires me to get better and not defeat me in my path. haha.

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  16. I haven't had it with books, actually. Most of Hayao Miyazaki's movies and some episodes of Dr. Who leave me with the same sort of reaction.

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  17. There are far too many writers who are inspiring and Dan Brown and Mario Puzo are such writers that I wish I could write like one day:)

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  18. I really need to read The fault in our stars. I've heard such good things about it.

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  19. Every time I read a book I enjoy I want to write something that will give people that same pleasure.

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  20. I have total book envy about all the Harry Potter books.

    Thanks for the glowing recommendation on John Greene!

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  21. I keep hearing about that book, I have to make time to check it out. And yes, I'm with Gwen and Rahul, I get book envy with J.K. Rowlings and Dan Brown.

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