In my last post I chattered on about my love of Circa Survive and friendly people…or something like that.
What I neglected to talk about was the book I devoured half-way through the bus ride to Syracuse: ‘A Monster Calls‘ By Patrick Ness. The book was based on an idea by the late Siobhan Dowd whose work I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading, which will be corrected soon. Through out the book the wonderfully creepy and expressive art of Jim Kay haunts the pages.
As soon as I opened the book, it grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. I was caught as soon as I read the first sentence:
“The Monster showed up just after midnight. As they do.”
So much yes in one opening line and it just snowballed from there. I’ve always loved macabre dark things (if done right and oh is it done right here). I’ve always found a beauty in it and this book epitomizes all of that. It’s dark, wonderfully creepy, beautifully written & illustrated and heartbreakingly moving.
This was the first Patrick Ness book I have read but like Siobhan Dowd I intend to correct the oversight. Jim Kay, who’s lovely inky art work I fell in love with, is now going to be working with Bloomsbury to Illustrate all of the Harry Potter books. The same books that I and probably most of my generation loved to bits and pieces. I’ve already started to save up to buy the project when it’s completed, which could be YEARS from now (ugh the suspense).
I’ll talk much more in depth about Harry Potter and one fangirl’s theories/disagreements at a later date.
‘A Monster Calls’ was truly an enchanting read. It had been on my To Be Read Pile for a couple of months and I had finally gotten around to tackling it after I boarded the bus to Syracuse. I finished it in two hours and towards the end had to fight the urge to tear up in the middle of a crowded bus.
It’s been awhile since I read a book I enjoyed so much that I honestly felt sad when it was over and was put quite possibly into some sort of dejected stage of book mourning. I loved how the book was broken up into stories within a story. I tend to favour that kind of writing because it seems to pile on more mythology and backstory into what generally was a straight timeline.
I started outlining my first draft of my novel towards the end of my 19th year and completed the outline around February of this year. The outline, or draft to be, follows a similar structure of having stories within the ‘main story’ to enhance the tale being told. I think a lot of truly effective stories are effective because they have far reaching and intricate mythologies or backstory.
My love for a good interwoven tale is the reason I squealed like my teenaged self when I first heard the premise of Scott Westerfeld’s ‘Afterworlds‘. The daunting height of my TBR pile kept me from instantly pre-ordering it, that and well bills, student loan payments and my attempts at being a responsible adult and budgeting.
Which sucks because….books.
Books with their own stories are powerful because, to me, it creates more lands and forests and oceans for the reader to get lost in. To be found in. To have their own adventures inside their heads and on the page.
I will say this now. I am a huge proponent of FanFiction & FanArt. I would be nothing if not for it. A book with a base, with a mythology strong enough for people to make their own mythologies within it are effective books. ‘Harry Potter’, which was the second fandom I joined when I finally found out that those “what if” stories I made up in my head actually had a whole vast community that would appreciate them, at the last count on Fanfiction.net alone had 688K worth of works. Six hundred and Eighty-Eight THOUSAND stories. On one website alone certain fan-authors have written what equates to the entire series written eight times over in overall wordcount, by themselves. That is amazing to me.
That is Beautiful.
I can only hope that one day my stories can inspire people to write like that.
But that is what I mean about the importance of far reaching mythologies. Harry Potter has a mythology so vast and intricate that fans needed to create an to keep track.
The following are all prime examples of series with a far reaching mythology, and of course this is hardly a teardrop in an ocean of equally complex stories.
The Demonata Series by Darren Shan
The Artemis Fowl Series by Eoin Colfer
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R.Tolkien
*The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice
*Which we’re not allowed to write fanfiction for, which we totally want to. (Still love you though Mrs.Rice)
The background, The Mythology, The story is strong. The love of the fans is awe inspiring and that is the best an author can hope for.
To write a story you could be proud of and that fans will love enough to be inspired to new levels of crazy, like making an entire musical based off your work.
I suppose what I’m trying to say out of this whole rambling post is that
• I’m writing again.
• Patrick Ness and Jim Kay are made of Awesome
• If you want a good book pay heed to the mythology & world building of your story.
• J.K Rowling will forever hold a place in my fangirliest of hearts.
• Fans are Amazing. Write something someone can be proud to go completely crazy for.
• Books and the ideas they inspire keep the world interesting