Monday, 28 January 2013

Book Crushing Again.

 I have a thing for the writing of Maggie Stiefvater. I may have mentioned it, oh a couple of many times. In addition to writing her novels, she used to post short stories on a site she shared with her two critique partners, Tessa Gratton (Blood Magic) and Brenna Yovanoff (The Replacement). The now defunct, (but still viewable) site is called Merry Sisters of Fate (and previously here.) It is well worth a browse.

How pretty is that cover?
Last year they published a selection of the stories in The Curiosities, the book that I am currently reading and crushing on completely. It isn’t just a collection of short stories. Oooooh no, it is sooo much more than that, because there are handwritten notes (and doodles) all over it from each of the writers. Additionally, there are commentaries on why they wrote the story, what they were trying to achieve, or what they loved about each others’ stories.

They’ve used the stories as testing grounds for new-to-them POVs, genres or attitudes and the deconstruction of each story is a fascinating to me as the story itself.  It means it isn’t just a book of stories, it’s also a book about writing as craft, and about short story as a form. It’s also a book about the relationship between three writers.
If you write for YA, this is a book you should have on your shelf. It's a how-to-improve book, with the most fabulous examples, but without being condescending or particularly seeking to teach. It makes you want to sit down and write a short story, it makes you want to expand your writing horizons and to improve your words. (Of course it is also deeply depressing when you read how well they write, so it is not one to be read during any editing periods.) But in terms of Inspirational, it’s bang on the money.
I haven't finished it yet (am reading it veeeeery slowly) and I cannot tell you how pleasing that is, as I don’t want it to end.
Gush over. Thank you.

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