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Novels That Helped You Write Better

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201 Reviews

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Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:53 pm
peanut19 says...

Dancing on the Edge by Han Nolan taught me how to characterize a person and how to make them so real that I felt like I knew them personally when I was done reading.

All Sarah Dessen books have taught me how to look at things that are common in a different way. All of her books are about the exact same thing but they are all so different because of the backstories and character development.

\Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson taught me how to write with a unique voice and how to tell a story that people are afraid to tell.
There is a light in you, a Vision in the making with sorrow enough to extinguish the stars. I can help you.
~And The Light Fades

The people down here are our zombies, who should be dead or not exist but do.
~Away From What We Started

P.S Got YWS?

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103 Reviews

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Points: 4119
Reviews: 103
Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:09 pm
Dynamo says...

I don't read novels anymore, I don't have the time or patience for it. The last book I tried to read was Fellowship of the Ring, but Tolkin's writing proved a little too Shakespearian for my tastes. However, the book that inspired me to start writing seriously had to be Eragon. Before I started reading it I was playing around with a story I had thought up at some point which turned out to be an Inu Yasha clone at best. But when I started reading Eragon I began to think, "Hey, if this kid can write a book then what's stopping me?" The Eragon series was actually quite good and I enjoyed it, which is why the Eragon movie broke my heart for the franchise. I have all three books on my overhead bookshelf, but to this day I have yet to crack the surface of the third book. Part of the reason is because the movie butchered the story so bad that it ruined the series for me. It's also the reason why I'm not going to take any movie deals for my book until it's firmly established, like six or seven books in.

I feel the difference between a movie adeptation between Eragon and, say, Lord of the Rings is respect for the franchise. The third book hadn't even been finished when the Eragon movie premiered, and because of that Hollywood thought of it as a cash cow because the series lacked the kind of respect an established saga like Lord of the Rings has. Will my books ever be as good as Lord of the Rings? Not in a million years. But if someone wants to turn my story into a movie I'll need to know that they won't handle it as carelessly as Eragon and subsiquently ruin the rest of my beloved story for all my readers. In order for that to happen, my books need to be out long enough for people to fall in love with them.

...I seemed to have rambled off a bit there. I tend to get a little passionate when it comes to the silver screen's mutilation of the novel saga that brought me into the world of writing.
Chicken <-- Egg <-- Rocket Powered Fist
Take that, science!

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202 Reviews

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Points: 8831
Reviews: 202
Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:35 am
Octave says...

The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde

I don't know. I loved it so much I could die.

The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch

Superb plotting, and I adored the voice of the novel.

North of Beautiful, by Justina Chen Headley

The emotions and the setting and the character development is so beautiful. *~*

Cracked Up To Be, by Courtney Summers

Present tense and extremely raw voice. I think this had the most profound impact on my writing, even though I'm not a very big fan of it anymore. I loved it when I read it, though.

Other books that probably had an impact, but I can't tell how:

Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov

The Silence of the Lambs, by Thomas Harris

Idlewild, by Nick Sagan
"The moral of this story, is that if I cause a stranger to choke to death for my amusement, what do you think I’ll do to you if you don’t tell me who ordered you to kill Colosimo?“

-Boardwalk Empire

Love, get out of my way.

Dulcinea: 2,500/50,000

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81 Reviews

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Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:50 am
Pigeon says...

I have to agree with the people who said 'Eragon' taught them what not to do. When people say how much they liked Eragon I say they should read stuff by: David Eddings, who Paolini stole most of his plot and characters from; Anne McCaffrey, whose dragon lore Paolini emulated just a little too closely, and he also got the name Eragon from her books (she has a character called Erragon with two Rs instead of one); and Ursula Le Guin, whose magic lore Paolini copied.
I think it's a shame Christopher Paoini got published so early - his later books show signs of having some writing potential. Maybe if he'd waited he would have published something half-decent.
Okay, that's enough of a rant on that.

I recently had to write an annotated bibliography of texts which influenced me in writing an English major work. Here's part of what I wrote about one of my main influences and the best book I have ever read, J. M. Coetzee's 'Diary of a Bad Year':
It is the story of an elderly writer and his typist, told through the most basic human emotions, with nothing ostentatious or pretentious about it. It was, seemingly effortlessly, the most beautiful and heart-warming book I have ever read. This showed me how every-day occurrences can be significant and emotional, and how, in the end, the things in-between matter more than the big events of life.

And then there's this, about Steven Herrick's 'The Simple Gift', which I was forced to study:
I passionately despised this 'free verse novel'. I thought it was the worst thing I'd ever finished reading, so naturally it influenced me a great deal. Herrick's novel caused me to fully realise how any text is in danger of becoming tediously dull if it has nothing to say, and thus how important a message or concept is in any body of work.
Reader, what are you doing?


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167 Reviews

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Reviews: 167
Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:00 am
confetti says...

Any good book, really. But to be specific, I think John Green's books. I just love his style.
"So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads."
— Dr. Seuss

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26 Reviews

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Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:25 am
pyro says...

The entire 'Sword of Truth' series, written by the brilliant Terry Goodkind.
"Beer is living proof that God loves us, and wants us to be happy." Benjamin Franklin

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196 Reviews

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Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:27 pm
peanutgallery007 says...

1. Ellen Hopkins books. They really helped me with my poetry-- formatting, word choice, metaphors, similes, etc.

2. Best Young Writers and Artists of America anthology, from winners of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. It helped me see the importance of raw emotion and truths. Plus it helped me with story formatting.

3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. One of my favorite books in the world, helped me with the concept of universal themes and proper realistic fiction writing techniques.
Have a peanut =)

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136 Reviews

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Reviews: 136
Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:42 pm
Leahweird says...

I like to think that I am influenced by all my favourite writers, but the book that seems to actually influence my writing visibly is The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle. Such an amazing author.

More generally, I think writing springs from reading. I was always passionate about books, but I've noticed that most tpeople that read have that one book that got them started. Harry Potter is one that turns up frequently, which may be one of the reasons it's so popular. (I want to be a librarian, so I listen for this stuff). I think more people would love reading if they wre givien freedom to find what inspires them rather than being forcefed the "classics". *rant over* Sorry, I kind of went off on a tangent there.

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Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:26 am
TheRose says...

Well, almost anything from Jack Kerouac and other writers of the beat generation. Their books really go to show that there are no boundaries, rules and other barriers concerning what you write and how you write it, as long as you like it, 'cause in the end of the day you write for yourself and no one else.
there's a feeling I get when I look to the west, and my spirit is crying for leaving.

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32 Reviews

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Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:42 pm
Sandvich says...

The "A Song of Ice and Fire" series by George R.R Martin (specifically A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings). Got me into multiple-POV writing, hugely improved my writing style (in my opinion) and taught me a bunch of new, medieval-style words.
That last one is especially useful since I usually write "gritty" medieval fantasy. :D
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336 Reviews

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Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:19 pm
Jas says...

The Kite Runner & A Thousand Splendid Suns helped me write imagery better.

Jodi Picoult's books in general has really helped me become a better writer. She showed me that a story isn't just a beginning, middle and end, it's characters and emotions and the backstory as well.

The Book Thief showed me that a story doesn't have to have a usual narrator plus it helped me with imagery as well.
I am nothing
but a mouthful of 'sorry's, half-hearted
apologies that roll of my tongue, smoothquick, like 'r's
or maybe like pocket candy
that's just a bit too sweet.


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71 Reviews

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Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:57 pm
Gheala says...

Alexander Dumas's The Count of Monte Cristo.
Dear God, that book never gets old!
I'm back to my YWS after months of disappearance, hoping that I'd gain the immunity of books and quills against the harmful realism of our world.

In case this made no sense, I'm just saying that I'm happy I'm back!

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44 Reviews

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Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:51 pm
Winchester says...

My friend has got me addicted to John Green, because he's amazing. So, bit by bit as I've been reading 'The Fault In Our Stars' and 'Will Grayson, Will Grayson' - I'm now reading Paper Towns, then Looking For Alaska - it's helping me create a better voice for my current novel characters.
"Winner, winner, chicken dinner" Wise words said by the one and only, Dean Winchester.

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5 Reviews

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Reviews: 5
Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:02 pm
evelynelectra says...

Bram Stoker's Dracula is just an amazing book and I aspire to write like him. It plunged me into their world and the character development was absolutely brilliant. I was sad when it ended, I felt like the characters were my friends and I had lost them. Especially Van Helsing, I wanted to hug him.

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Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:01 am
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MorningStar says...

Anything by Oscar Wilde. Seriously, he has such a fun wit and a great way of communicating his ideas.
Mad, bad, and dangerous to know

No person can be a great leader unless he takes genuine joy in the successes of those under him.
— W. A. Nance