Every book that has joined my favourite list has taught me lots of writing lessons. Roald Dahl’s books taught me the benefits of wild, wacky and wicked humour. His unique characters: the grumpy couple in The Twits, the funny Mr Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate factory, the adorable George in George’s Marvellous Medicine who gives his Grandma a medicine that makes her grow and grow and grow, has nurtured in me the urge to create characters that kids will love. I am still trying to do that. Though you have been a great teacher, Mr Dahl, I am a slow student.
J.K.Rowling with her seven book saga on witches and wizards taught me the benefit of creating unique settings and plotting in detail. Each Potter book was full of surprises. Every question I had in my mind was answered by Rowling as though she had read the questions via telepathy. Rowling has made me see the benefits of extensive plotting especially when we plan a series. I am constantly amazed at how Rowling managed to hold a firm grip on all the characters, the various plot threads, without her books plunging into dull terrain. Her ability to offer something new and interesting in each book made me gasp.
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer, another of my firm favourites has urged me to create characters that this generation of gizmo friendly children will enjoy. For a person like me not blessed with techno abilities, it’s difficult to emulate Colfer. The humour in the Fowl books makes them wonderful, as do all the characters.
Rick Riordan the author of the Percy Jackson series who has dished up history in a fabulous never seen before way, makes me rush towards Indian Mythological Creatures to see if I can rustle up some of Riordan’s magic. As of now, none of the Indian characters want to join my literary world. Perhaps they don’t trust me to write their stories.
The Princess Diaries books by Meg Cabot taught me the art of staying true to the target readers. The reason the books are so successful are because they echo the mindset, desires and attitudes of the generation they are catering to. Its important that our stories resonate with the readers to make an emotional connection.
What have your favourite books and authors taught you? What is the reason you read them again and again? Please share your views with us.