When I first started at uni, I found myself imitating writers I liked. My first assessment was actually a very cheeky short story that I had written in Roald Dahl’s voice. I didn’t mean to. But I’d always loved Roald Dahl’s books and so when I was writing the short story his voice just seemed to fit. The outcome was an original story in a stolen voice.*
I’ve been writing for a few years now and I’m much more comfortable in my own style. Though from time to time, I’ll find myself treading water with a story (usually when I’m editing) and I’ll go back to a book I admire to try and figure out where I’m going wrong.
These are usually my favourite books. Mostly because they felt like they were written just for me and reading the story was a hell of a ride, but also because I admire how the book was written.
The books below have helped me edit or have taught me more about story telling.
Tangled romances: The Luxe series by Anna Godbersen, The Autumn Castle by Kim Wilkins
Dialogue/slang: Uglies trilogy by Scott Westerfeld
Series: Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy
Trilogy: Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness
Secret or a mystery to reveal: One Foot Wrong by Sofie Laguna, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, Shift by Em Bailey
Awesome contemporary**: Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley, Pink by Lili Wilkinson
I’m always searching for more to read, so if you have any to add let me know.
*A story I still like strangely enough. Usually my uni writing makes me cringe.
**Yeah, I made that category up. But I grew up on crime and spec-fic, so these books remind me how awesome real-world stories can be.