So let's talk about books (something new and different, yes?).
I've asked you what you write. I've asked you what you read. Now I'm asking you what makes a book really, truly ZING.
Forget your "favorite genre." Forget your "favorite author." Forget preconceptions and pet storylines. I'm talking...what is it that makes a reader forget to breathe?
I've just read HUNGER GAMES (a little late, I know). It's not a literary masterpiece. It's not a book I will reread yearly for the rest of my life.
But it's brilliant. It's nonstop tension. It's masterful.
It made me forget to breathe.
It also plunged me into a partial day of I-quit-this-WIP-will-never-work-and-I'm-not-cut-out-to-write-YA-fiction.
Don't worry. I got over it quickly.
But goodness me. A book written in first person present tense? Taking my BREATH away? I hate first person and I hate present tense, and this was a double whammy. Yet it's done so well, so seamlessly, that one forgets. I can't imagine reading the story any other way.
And here I sit, stumbling over word choices for explaining WHY I've been so impacted by this novel. I literally stopped life to finish reading it on Wednesday. Not that it took long; for all its beauty and tension, it's an easy read. Fluid.
And ruthless. I simply had to know what happened next. Of course it's obvious the protagonist will live, since she's the one telling the story. But there's so much more at stake than that.
I am undone.
I'm also encouraged to have gotten over the punched-in-the-stomach feeling quickly. My entire afternoon today is dedicated to the shredding and refining of my dystopic someday-masterpiece.
Oh yes. Someday. A near future someday, too. Not an ages-from-now someday.
Your turn. Talk to me about that elusive -- or not-so-elusive -- ZING. What is it? Where have you found it?
How do you CREATE it?