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Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Writing Wednesday: Favourite Least-Favourite Book Quotes . . . Paradox, much?

(Yes, I know the title is confusing -- I'll get to that.)

Greetings, all. Since I have exactly nothing to say about my own writing -- there has been a stunning lack thereof since I finished my first draft -- I'm going to talk about other people's. This week I compiled a list of my top 5 favourite least-favourite book quotes -- i.e., I love them because they're clever or dramatic or something, but I hate them because they made me feel like someone was tearing vital organs out of my chest. Not that I'm being melodramatic or anything ;). They are awesome and awful, and I love them from a writer's perspective but dislike them from a reader's. Thus, my favourite least-favourite book quotes. Paradox, much?

Please note: May possibly contain spoilers, depending on how good you are at putting two and two together. Read at your own risk. Also, may not have the same kind of emotionally-shattering effect for someone who hasn't read the book.

In order or favourite least-favouriteness (1 most, 5 least):

5) Someone covers me, protecting me from the blast. But I wanted to see it. I wanted to see her, one last time. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake.

4) "I don't need an invitation to step over your threshold" Christophe Reynard, from Strange Angels by Lili St Crow. Sidenote: is it just me and my best friend who see the double meaning here?

3) "There is no District 12" Gale Hawthorne, from Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.

2) Osteosarcoma sometimes takes a limb to check you out. The, if it likes you, it takes the rest. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green.

ALL TIME FAVOURITE LEAST-FAVOURITE: 1) Since you have taken my Broken, I shall break another. A note from Sergej, from Jealousy by Lili St Crow. Sidenote: this one made my heart stop altogether. It was hands-down absolutely the meanest thing Lili St Crow could have possibly done. And she had the nerve to do it. I can't be hypocritical, though, because in all honesty, I can see myself pulling an evil stunt like that. But notice how there are two quotes from the same author? Do with that what you will . . .

Why is the world of fiction so cruel, people? I'll tell you why: readers love to feel pain. Well, they love to feel joy too, but the happy ending is always so much better after a long, hard fight. If Harry Potter had had a wonderful, privileged childhood and everyone had loved him and his life was oh-so-easy, and he'd defeated Voldemort -- oops, I mean He Who Shall Not Be named -- on the first try, we wouldn't have been nearly so happy when he finally did. The character should never have it easy. God knows I didn't make it very easy for my protagonist. But that's how it's supposed to be! Pain makes good storytelling. You probably should give the reader what they want eventually . . . but what's the rush? Why not throw in some more evil plot twists? (Lili St Crow can certainly tell you about that.) No matter how much I complain about these EVIL cliffhangers at the ends of books, I can't deny that 90% of the time, these books have been my favourites. I'm not saying cliffhangers automatically = good book -- au contraire! Don't drown your reader in cliffhangers just because, and don't overdo it, because that's a good way to drive off an audience. Everything in writing is about finding a balance. After all, anyone who's eaten five slices of chocolate cake in one day will know that, yes, you most definitely can have too much of a good thing. Not that I've ever eaten that much cake. Honest.

Just some food for thought :)