Thursday, July 12, 2012

I'm Reading UR Books. Stealing UR Karacters.

by Allison Pang

Not really. Or at least not in the outright plagiarizing way, anyway. The problem with this week's topic is that I've read and adored so many books and so many characters that trying to pick ones that I wish I'd written is horribly difficult.

From a success standpoint it's easy to just stand there and say, gee I wish I'd written Harry Potter or the vampire Lestat.

But I don't. And part of the issue here is that since I've become a writer myself, I have a much deeper appreciation for the authors who have put out such wonderful stories. Writing books can be hard - reading is so much more fun. Somehow the idea of writing such fabulous characters seems exhausting. ;-)

(I'm cheating here a bit because I'm picking entire books - without the story, where does the character stand?)

That in mind, I can say  I wish I'd written Kushiel's Dart  - I admit to having a fairly soft spot for it, in particular that first book - it had an epic sense of scale and yet a personal tale that I could relate to, without getting bogged down in the complexity of other high fantasy epics I might name. *gives Robert Jordan the hairy eyeball*
Love and intrigue and sex and just enough mysticism to put it squarely into my favorite of all time series. Love as thou wilt, indeed.

I've shied away from trying to write something similar. Partially because I don't think I could really ever live up to the expectation I'd set on myself, and partially because I'd always be comparing my story to that one and that's probably no good. But you never know. ;-)

I also wish I'd written Melusine. Mildmay in particular, is one of most complex characters I've ever seen, but there's a real humanism to him that allows the reader to be drawn into his past tragedies and his family issues. The whole series, is good, by the way - elements of fantasy with a bit of steam punk technology, although it's not really labelled as steampunk. In either case, the political twists and turns are quite fascinating and well worth looking into.

The world building is fabulous, but don't expect the author to spell out every little thing for you. I was completely absorbed and immersed. :)

Good Omens. I mean - you don't get much better than Neil Gaiman and Terry Prattchet, but from a humor standpoint, it's beyond fabulous. (It helps if you have a Monty Python sense of humor. Or if you've read anything by Prattchet before - much of it is along that same line - both ridiculous and mocking and yet so very, very true.

Hell, I'd have loved to write Sandman too, speaking of Gaiman.

And I suppose I'll doff my manga cap here and say I wish I'd written Ayashi no Ceres.

Yuu Watase's beautiful artwork and storytelling about a Celestial trying to find her hagaromo (robe of feathers) is one of my favorite of all time.  I actually have a pretty good cel collection from the anime because I liked it so much...

(The anime is okay - the manga is much better and more detailed, as books/graphic novels usually are.)

So there we go.  The thing is, any book that touches you so deeply is bound to leave a mark on your own creativity. It might be conscious or subconscious depending on what it is, but in a lot of ways that's the true legacy of a work of fiction.

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