Monday, 23 May 2011

Last weekend I read a very popular YA Contemporary author for the first time. I write in the same genre, and I was curious to learn how her books became such favorites. So with pen in hand (I always take notes on my books; that’s why I like to buy my own), I dove into the story.

It took me a while to get into it. But before I realized what time it was, or what page number I was in and still no major Plot Turning Point, I was already in love with the characters, and I really wanted them to succeed and achieve their goals, AKA, each other.

And when I finished the book, the characters stayed with me, and I was mad at myself for finishing the book so fast. Now, I want to get this author’s other books, and see if they make a cameo appearance in another story (I read they do! And I’m so excited to see them again even if it’s not in their stories).

My favorite author is Carlos Ruiz Zafon. His book aren’t structurally perfect. There’s some telling, some repetition, but I love his characters; I think about them all the time.

In preparation for the WIFYR conference, I also read Keturah And Lord Death. Again. It’s the perfect book. I didn’t find a single thing that could even be questionable. I love the dialog, the characters, the subtle descriptions that make my mind take flights and fill in the blanks. The beautiful, lyrical language. I love Lord Death.

That’s why I love to read. To lose myself into someone else’s world for a few hours and when I’m finished, love or hate those characters that are now a part of me.

I’m working on my second draft of HEAR YE MORTALS, my Gothic YA with a boy main character, and I’m having a hard time with it. There’s so many rules to follow, my inner editor is so loud that my creative side of me has been a little  muffled lately. So this week, I plan on letting myself go, let these characters take life again, live outside of the charts and outlines. Maybe some day another person will love them (or hate them) as much as I love them. Because I love these people that speak in my mind, even the bad guy, because I know his motivations and where he comes from.

Do you love any stories even though you find flaws in them? Which ones?

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7 responses to “The Flaws in my favorites”

  1. Michelle says:

    I'm Julie's niece, I saw a link to your blog on her blog. I love the Hunger Games. Even though there is a love triangle (and love triangles are really starting to bug me) and even though Katniss is kind of a messed up person I still love the whole series. Even the second one, which many people said was a copy of the first, and even the third one, of which I have heard all about its flaws from pretty much everyone I know. For me the ending worked in pretty much every way. I can see what people don't like about it, but it just didn't bother me. I loved that she and Peeta didn't turn out perfect after going what they went through. The bittersweet ending was perfect for me. That last line in the third book is one of my favorites: But there are much worse games to play. I just dive right into Katniss' world and enjoy every minute of it, even the flawed ones.
    Thanks for letting me vent about my favorite imperfect book 🙂 The first one is still my favorite, by the way. I read it twice in a week and fell in love with Peeta pretty much the second I met him.

  2. Michelle says:

    And I'm not a writer in any way, shape or form. I just love to read.

  3. Julie Daines says:

    Michelle is actually my number one beta reader. As soon as I have anything close to finished, I send it to her and she gives me good, honest feedback.

    I hear what you're saying Yamile! I spent most of last night struggling to bring some voice into my main character in the Weaver. My writing was technically fine, but my character was flat. I think you really do have to let yourself go and not worry about lyrical writing, the perfect metaphor, and avoiding the word "was" in order to get into the mind of the characters and let them speak for themselves.

    I think I may have just found my next blogpost! Thanks!

  4. Yamile says:

    Hi, Michelle! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I think Mockingjay is the perfect ending for Hunger Games. I loved it. Love the whole trilogy actually. I know there's flaws and things that I wasn't happy with, but after I finished reading it, I felt like I would never want to read anything ever again. Of course, that feeling passed quickly, or I would have died, but yeah, I love Katniss with all her imperfections, and Peeta for being perfect. And Gale. I know Peeta is right for Katniss, but Gale (sigh). Gale is my ideal guy.

  5. Yamile says:

    And Julie,
    I need another Nano, but in June, to write without worrying about my inner editor.

  6. Tiffany says:

    I really like Shiver and I liked the Uglies even though I only heard negative reviews on each. I completely understand the negative points made about each series but I still fell in love with the characters and stories and overlooked a lot of flaws and enjoyed it anyway!

  7. I came over from Shelley Watters contest and had to comment on this post, even though your first page isn't up.

    Were you reading Sarah Dessen? If you were, yes, sometimes her characters make appearances in her other books. And they are totally character-driven, which I love, but not everyone does.

    If you end up in the first page contest, good luck (and go contemporary!)!

Yamile Saied Mendez

Yamile (sha-MEE-lay) Saied Méndez is a fútbol-obsessed Argentine-American, Picture Book, Middle Grade, and Young Adult author.

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