Thursday, December 19, 2013

5 Wish I'd Written by Jodi Meadows

I've heard it said that once you begin writing, it's very difficult to learn how to read like a reader again -- and that's certainly been true for me. When I first began writing, I became an extremely hyper-critical reader. How dare someone tell, when they should be showing! And is that an adjective I see? Gradually, though, my perspective on reading began to shift, and I started looking for what authors were doing right rather than what I perceived as wrong.

While I don't tend to think in terms of "I wish I'd written this book!" or "I wish that had been my idea!" I do sometimes think, "I wish I could execute [whatever] like that!" Those are the books I really study, the ones I try to learn from so that I can apply their techniques to my own style of writing. So, there's not really a specific book that I can cite, but I can give you a couple of authors.

1. Robin McKinley has taught me so much about writing through her books. From DEERSKIN, I've learned about creating tension in the smallest action. Worldbuilding -- which was something I struggled with so much as a beginning writer -- made more sense after I read SUNSHINE. In all of her books, the way she writes families and friends (including animals!) also makes me so, so happy; I feel close to all of her characters, even the ones we see only once or twice. I feel safe in her books. Even when bad things are happening, I feel safe with the characters, with the narrative, and I know that Robin isn't going to let me down at the end.

Through reading Robin's books, I've learned so much about character development, theme, and letting one's imagination guide the story. She is a master of these things. Her novels are so inspiring, and they always manage to stick with me for days and weeks and months after I've read them.

All of her books are my favorite, but for a new-to-Robin reader, I'd recommend SUNSHINE, BEAUTY, and THE BLUE SWORD for a nice idea of her writing. Her most recent release -- SHADOWS -- is phenomenal and I cannot recommend it enough.

2. J.K. Rowling is also a writer I love to learn from. She's written a story that managed to reach millions of readers all over the world, and she's done something so right that it's not just touched them, but affected them. It's connected with people and become part of our culture so much that we have movies, a theme park, and a million jokes or phrases or whatever -- things we all know came from HARRY POTTER.

I study JKR for her incredible worldbuilding. She has this way of adding tiny details that make her world feel so real and lived in, like knitting needles that knit without a person, and the clock that tells where the family is located. These bits of practical magic enchant me, and make me want to learn how to make my own worlds feel as authentic. She is also incredibly skilled at developing her secondary characters; they're so quirky and memorable, and I love that.

There are really a lot of authors I admire and study, but there's no way I'd be able to name everyone who's taught me something important about writing! So I'll stick with these two: one for the influence she's had on my life, and one for the influence she's had on the world.

About The Author

Jodi Meadows lives and writes in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, with her husband, a Kippy*, and an alarming number of ferrets. She is a confessed book addict, and has wanted to be a writer ever since she decided against becoming an astronaut.

*A Kippy is a cat.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

About The Book

The Year of Souls begins with an earthquake—an alarming rumble from deep within the earth—and it’s only the first of greater dangers to come. The Range caldera is preparing to erupt. Ana knows that as Soul Night approaches, everything near Heart will be at risk.

Ana’s exile is frightening, but it may also be fortuitous, especially if she can convince her friends to flee Heart and Range with her. They’ll go north, seeking answers and allies to stop Janan’s ascension. And with any luck, the newsouls will be safe from harm’s reach.

The oldsouls might have forgotten the choice they made to give themselves limitless lifetimes, but Ana knows the true cost of reincarnation. What she doesn’t know is whether she’ll have the chance to finish this one sweet life with Sam, especially if she returns to Heart to stop Janan once and for all.

With gorgeous romance and thrilling action, the final book in the Incarnate trilogy offers a brilliant conclusion to the compelling questions of this fascinating world, where one new girl is the key to the lives of millions.

Amazon | Indiebound | Goodreads


  1. I completely get wanting to execute stories like other writers. I come up with so many ideas but I know the uniqueness of them isn't going to come through unless I execute it right. That cover is gorgeous, but the way!

  2. I didn't read Harry Potter until I was already all grown up. I remember my 2nd grade teacher trying to hand me the first book when it came out here in the US and I couldn't get into it . Needless to say as an adult writing for children I think JKs writing has taught me a lot of what not to do. Thanks for the inspiration I think I'll write my own post about what I've learned from other authors.

  3. Congrats Jodi! Great examples of how we can learn from other authors.

  4. I read THE BLUE SWORD and BEAUTY long ago, but I haven't read DEERSKIN or SUNSHINE--I'll have to give those a try! I remember liking her style/books. Great points about learning from other writers. I'm drooling over Maggie Stiefvater lately, myself, having just finished BALLAD. :) I love the cover of INFINITE!

  5. I will definitely be checking out Robin McKinley's books as well as Jodi's. Thanks for an interesting post.


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