This past year I’ve been told over and over to read more, especially of writing that’s similar to my own work. Reading is essential for writers because it can inspire new language patterns, diversify vocabulary, and expand formatting choices. For my Master’s Program, I have to have a reading list of works that I will be drawing from in my own thesis (the first book of nine for my newest series, the Wars of Vedam).
In this blog I have my reading list with a description of how each work has inspired or informed my own project.
Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
Doerr’s most recent publication weaves science fiction, magical realism, and other fiction forms to create a beautiful work of prose. Additionally, this woven narrative explores the connection of experiences through stories, similar to how legends and myths function in fantasy and fiction. Doerr’s work is also always a joy to read and has really encouraged me to write with both precision and eloquence.
The Vanished Queen by Lisbeth Campbell
In Lisbeth Campbell’s novel, she explores political and social themes that resonate with my own writing goals. The storyline of Campbell’s novel also follows a resistant member against a tyrannical government, which is both compelling and complex.
Dune by Frank Herbert
A classic piece of science fiction! Dune is an incredible example of character development, world-building, and multi-layered storytelling. Herbert’s novel also explores the interactions between fictional cultures and governments, which I also plan to deal directly with. The newest Dune films have also proved promising and have inspired me to reread the novels.
“Zodiac Series” by Romina Russell
Russell’s Zodiac series has been one of my favorite series since reading Riordan’s Kane Chronicles! The Zodiac Series combines mystery, science fiction, and fantasy to create a compelling plotline. Russell’s work is highly imaginative with a multitude of different planets and cultures. Witnessing Russell’s masterful weaving of cultures and characters inspired me to emulate this in my own writing. The series also has a treasure hunt vibe that mixes well with the coming-of-age storyline.
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
Some of the central themes in my story are immortality and perceptions of love, and Babbitt’s novel comments on both of these themes in digestible and poetic ways. Also, Babbitt’s discussions of humanity and life are significant to the wider world of fiction, and I hope to contribute to these discussions as well.
Parable of the Sower & Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler
I read Parable of the Sower in my science fiction class in college. Bulter’s unique narration pulls the reader in immediately and the complex situation of the main character is both tragic and invigorating. There are several components of this story that have stuck with me. First, the main character is the creator of a unique religion that combines Christian attributes with more native and spiritual practices. Additionally, the direct conflict of war and disaster against a young and ambitious protagonist aligns well with the dynamics of my own story, not to mention, it’s intense! I have yet to read Parable of the Talents, but knowing Butler, it’s bound to be just as good, or better!