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.
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.
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.
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.