Several months ago I was working and noticed a book on the shelf from one of my favorite authors, Brandon Sanderson. The cover depicted two men in armor facing each other across a chasm. The colors are striking. The picture seems to tell a story of adventure, mystery, and power. My anticipation grows when I read the title, The Way of Kings. I love saying it, my imagination perks up.
I won't tell you the story here, because you should read this book for yourself. Beware, it will draw you in and you will be a committed Sanderson fan and eagerly await every fat book he can write. When I finished reading The Way of Kings, I felt awed by the scope of the story and the writing skill. I am improving my writing skills and am working on developing a novel. I am reading now not only for enjoyment, but to improve my own craft. I felt small after reading this book, like a child trying to step in her fathers foot prints. I wonder if my writing skill can ever grab a reader and mesmerize him so that he can't put my book down. I aspire to write in a way that when people see my name they get excited and look at my website to see if I have any new books coming out.
I know at this point when my mom reads this she will tell me that she eagerly awaits the new things I write. Sorry mom, you are my mom and you are supposed to think like that. I appreciate your support and faith in my abilities because it is encouraging.
There is so much creation that goes into writing a good story. I feel like the creatures I imagine are just elephants that are colored differently or cats that have a different name. I want to be able to come up with creatures that are not just a variation of our animals, but something all their own. I want my stories to be fresh and not a remake of great authors stories.
I feel humbled after reading The Way of Kings because of the long way I have to go to become a professional author. I feel challenged to step up my writing, to push myself beyond my current imaginary and technical skill levels. I will never write like Brandon Sanderson. I will never come up with stories like Anne Bishop. My stories will not have the passion of Francine Rivers. However, I will develop a flavor all my own. I'm not a Brandon Sanderson, but I am Kristin Riggs. And as I improve my skills, the writer who is Kristin Riggs will emerge with a style and strengths all her own.