A well read writer

I want to be that author that people reread in order to find nuances and depth in the stories I tell. Why do I tell you, my esteemed readers, this? Because every time I reread an author I admire, I learn something.

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While I had grand plans to write millions of words on my vacation, I found myself rereading Anne McCaffrey‘s Dragonriders of PERN series. I was in middle school when I started reading a series that began when I was 2 years old. I was enamored with the world McCaffrey had created, awaiting each new release with bated breath. I read up to The Skies of PERN, then life got busy.

Anne McCaffrey played a huge role in my love of dragons.

Artwork by imo-draconus – http://imo-draconus.deviantart.com/

I really didn’t read anything that she’d written with her son, Todd McCaffrey. I think I was worried that this particular collaboration would not give me the same rush of McCaffrey’s original series.

Dumb, I was dumb. I’d read her collaborations with André Norton, Elizabeth Moon, and Mercedes Lackey loving each and every page. Why did I think it would be different with her son? Silly me.

I read the series in chronological order, enjoying the complicated timeline created for the series. Having not read the PERN books in at least a decade, I was thrilled the books had the same effect on my imagination. I still wanted to impress and ride a dragon.

I suppose I’d have a hard time getting my HOA to accept a dragon in the neighborhood. Artwork by bronze dragonrider – http://bronze-dragonrider.deviantart.com/

There is a reason Anne McCaffrey was an acknowledged Master Harper. She understood her craft.

Here are the things I’ve learned from rereading all 25 (not counting short stories) books:

  • Time travel should never overwrite existing fixed points in time (unless you’re the Doctor, then all bets are off).
  • An author should always know when and where their characters and stories are.
  • As long as you understands the story you are writing, a supposed genre switch only needs to be validated by the series you are writing. Case in point, when Anne wrote the beginning trilogy (Dragonflight, Dragonquest, & White Dragon), I read it as a fantasy series. Only later did I realize it was science fiction.
  • A well told story can be read by all ages.
  • Every character feels the same emotions that the reader does, forming a connection.
  • Never be afraid to let your characters make difficult decisions, feel deeply, and strive for something more.

While my heart broke when she passed in 2011, I revel in the body of work she left.

This is why I reread my favorite authors and hope to one day stand with them.

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4 comments

  • My reading list has grown tremendously since I’ve been blogging. It will be a help if I have another extended hospital stay.

    • We just want you healthy. 🙂

  • hello leila its dennis the vizsla dog hay dada is just now finaly gitting arownd to reeding the first trioldjee!!! he sez he likes it wen sf maskerayds as fantasee for instanse in the coldfire trioldjee by cs friedman or a plague of ayndjels or pritty mutch ennything else by sheri tepper hooever that is!!! ok bye

    • Dennis, your dad a is a wise man.

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