Bookshelf Muse I'd like to bring on one member of the two member team, Becca, to talk a little bit about the top five books she wished she'd written herself. Because what writer doesn't have those thoughts? HARRY POTTER anyone? If you're a writer or know someone that is, be sure to snag a copy of The Bookshelf Muse's Emotion Thesaurus that's now available for download and bound purchase. It's an excellent resource to help any writer rid them of the woes of eye rolling, shoulder shrugging and the mundane like.
Thanks for stopping by, Becca!
Top 5 Books I Wish I’d Written Myself
The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Ok, so that’s 3 books (6, actually, if you’re a big enough nerd to know that each volume consists of 2 books), but whatever. No other story has had the biggest impact upon me as a writer. It’s the quintessential hero’s journey, good vs. evil, both an epic and the ultimate buddy story with themes of loyalty, redemption, perseverance, and hope. Oh my gosh, I could go on forever. When it comes to books that have greatly influenced literature, I put LotR right up there with The Odyssey and The Bible. Naturally, I wish I’d written it.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. When I first read this, my mind was blown by the sheer force of imagination. Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, Platform Nine and Three-Quarters, the mirror of Erised, the Great Hall, quidditch, the sorting hat. It was one amazing new invention after another. As a budding author, I was inspired by the unadulterated creativity. My favorite book in the series is #6, but this is the one that turns me green with writer envy.
Doomsday Book. Of all the books on my list, this is the kind of book I wish I could write. It’s sci-fi, historical fiction, and time-travel all rolled into one. There are two viewpoint characters--one an Oxford professor from the future, the other a college student stuck in the 1300s. Connie Willis seamlessly fluctuates between the two in a way that makes you just ache for them. When it comes to high stakes and high emotion, this book is one of the best.
Chime. A lot of elements are needed to write a good story. The hardest, in my opinion, is creating a strong, consistent, and individual character voice. Franny Billingsley nails this in Chime. I’m a sucker for a unique turn of phrase and this book is just riddled with them. And the opening lines! I’ve confessed to everything and I’d like to be hanged. Now, if you please. Man. If I could write like that, it would be my books popping up on these lists.
Goodnight Moon. Everybody who read this book loves it. Every. Single. Person. If I could come up with a storyline so simple and write it in a way that resonated with every person on the planet...well, isn’t that pretty much the goal?
So those are my top choices. What about you? What book do you wish you’d written?
Becca Puglisi is one half of The Bookshelf Muse blogging duo, and co-author of The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression. Listing the body language, visceral reactions and thoughts associated with 75 different emotions, this brainstorming guide is a valuable tool for showing, not telling, emotion. The Emotion Thesaurus is available for purchase through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Smashwords, and the PDF can be purchased directly from her blog.