Monday, December 22, 2014

Teens Can Write Too Blog Chain

I'm back, Internet! And I'm back with another post in the Teens Can Write Too! chain! The question this month is: What works of fiction have taught you by example, and what did they teach you? So... I shall make a list!

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer:

I am a pantser by nature. I'm realizing, though, that plotting definitely has its perks, so I'm starting to make the transition to the dark side. (They have less revisions, you know.) Plotting, I've learned, can especially have its perks when writing a series.

Because if you plot a series, you know what's going to happen later on, so you can drop all the fabulous little hints and cameo appearances that your reader isn't going to get until after the Big Twist. Then, when they go back to reread your book because the Big Twist was just so awesome, they will realize all of these little cookie crumbs that led up to it. Then they will be in even more awe.

Marissa Meyer is so great at this. I'm still in shock at all of the amazing little cameos and hints she dropped in her books about what was going to happen in the subsequent books. It's amazing. It takes an already awesome series and makes it three times more awesome.

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi:

I'm just going to come write out and say it. Authors are cruel, cruel beings. They deliberately try to torture their readers by writing scenes with the intention of soliciting the most emotional reaction. Of course, the type of scene with the most emotional reaction possible is a character's death scene. But wait. A character dying isn't enough to cause us readers emotional pain. No, we also have to sit through the other characters' reactions.

Characters' reactions to traumatizing moments multiply the emotions in the reader.

Through the Ever Night holds within its pages one of my favorite literary characters of all time. I'm not going to tell you who it is, though, because then this post is suddenly chock-full of spoilers, and we wouldn't want that, would we?

Well, this favorite character, code name Verity (sorry, I had to make that reference. It was right there.) code name AwesomeSauce (because this person is completely and totally awesome), experienced losing someone in a very traumatic way. Yes, the actual death of that character was very sad, but what broke me down was AwesomeSauce's (okay, I admit. That's a really weird code name) reaction.

The grief this character experienced and how s/he (because I can't risk spoiling anything) handled it just drove. me. to. tears. It upset me so much.

This book taught me to really wring out the emotions by taking a character that's pretty tough, or kind, or funny, or optimistic, or whatever that character's defining characteristic may be, and turning said characteristic on its head when he experiences a loss. Play out the emotions. Don't let the other characters just slide by when they lost someone they were close to.

And wow. That was a really long-winded description about Through the Ever Night. XD

Anyways, that's all for me. What about you guys? What books have taught you by example?

And check out the other blogs in the chain =D

25th – [off-day]
31st – (We’ll announce the topic for next month’s chain.)
*Note: Banner for The Lunar Chronicles from


  1. Great lessons! I know for me that learning a little extra planning skills would be incredibly useful to make my writing better, but it looks like it will take us both a little extra time to master it. :)

    1. Definitely! I'm so torn because I don't like editing really crappy first drafts, but I also do better when I get an idea and whip through the first draft really quickly. I guess I'll just have to give in and start planning a bit more, though. XD

  2. Great post, and great lessons! Sounds like I need to read these books.

    1. You definitely should! They're some of my favorite books ever! :D

  3. I'm so glad you're back! I love the Lunar Chronicles, and I've heard a bunch about Through The Ever Night.

    1. :D! The Lunar Chronicles is amazing! And if you're looking for another series to read, I'd definitely recommend Veronica Rossi's trilogy. The first book is Under the Never Sky. :D

  4. The Lunar Chronicles is amazing, and I agree that the whole world and plot of the series is so well thought out. I want to do more planning when I write some of my future novels because I think that's the best way to create a book or series that readers will have to reread over and over again to catch everything.

    1. I'm working on that, too. Planning can help tremendously.