Or perhaps just barely.
So the past few weeks have been a blur for me, and I thank you all for bearing with my sporadic posting schedule. I've been on a writing hiatus while I sort out my living arrangements. I don't think I have cracked open my laptop in at least a month, but you know, I'm OK with that. I've taken the time to do some reading, namely The Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly, who is one of my favorite writers. I love her books. I remember reading The Tea Rose back in college. I had the misfortune of picking up this book during exam week and could barely put it down in order to study. In fact, I raced through it in less than two days and then after exams I went back to read it again.
There is nothing I love more than reading a book that makes you want to read it again and again... I think the quality that hooks me into a book is the characters. Characterization is everything to me. I love characters so life like that when you stumble upon a villain, you want to throw the book across the room because he/she is so evil.
I want to create characters like that. I want my readers to cheer, laugh, cry, and growl as they make their way through my writing. It's a tall order, though. It's probably why I put down 75% of the books I read. The characters just don't grab me. Their stories are just...well, blah. They're not different; they have no humor or they don't evoke sympathy. It's really sad that agents/editors/publishers are sacrificing characterization for sensationalism. Set the same old characters in the prevailing popular time period and...voila!...you have a "bestseller".
But I digress. The real subject of this post was about how I am determined to read some of my favorite books (now that they have found their way out of boxes and onto my lone bookshelf) and identify why I love them. And then I will endeavor to evoke those characteristics in my own writing.
So what about you guys? What draws you into a book? Do you try to capture those same things in your own writing?