My friend and fellow author Gemma Juliana is having her blog day at Romance Books ‘4’ Us today and she’s talking about two well-known authors who wrote just one story and were made famous by them. *See link below.
You don’t have to go far to see the broad success of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander story. It’s a sweeping and hefty tale that recently made a successful transformation from page to film. I have to say this longtime fan of the series is enjoying the heck out of it.
J.K.Rowling’s Harry Potter saga is a chimera of literature that begins as a children’s book and two books in morphs into a darker and heavier reading experience any adult would appreciate. I regularly feast on both works.
Being a fast reader, absorbing J.K. Rowling’s books takes me about a day and a half per book. As it’s a series, I generally plow through them all in about eight days. Conversely, Diana’s densely-worded saga takes a larger block of time to go through. In the midst of life’s necessities (family, dinner, grocery shopping, pets, laundry etc), I can knock out one of her 1000-page masterpieces in a little under a week. I’m a binge fiction reader and when I binge, I do so in the truest sense — non-stop.
Binging on fiction?
In a book store such as Barnes & Noble, the information section is where I go. Non-fiction always pulls me in because I love to learn and I never mix fiction and nonfiction. It’s always either or for me. On rare occasion, a work of fiction will grab my attention and sets off a cascade of fiction binging. In a binge I could end up reading 20-30 novels depending on size. Fiction binging usually lasts a month or so and when it’s done, I may not pick up another work of fiction for a year.
When I first stumbled upon the Outlander story, I experienced a shift unlike any other in my life as a reader. Let’s just say the earth stood still until I’d finished all 4000 or so pages, giver or take, in four novels written up to that point. Why was I held in such a grip? Excellent storytelling.
Both of these authors wrote deeply complex stories. Both built worlds packed with detail and rich in interrelationships. I love stories like that. But by far what put them head and shoulders above others, in my opinion, was the depth these authors gave their characters. Both Harry and Jamie are the quintessential hero on par with heroes taken from classic literature, and both take on their own version of the hero’s quest. Their female counterparts have brains and bravery in abundance. In Outlander we have the juicy benefit of experiencing the story through the heroine Claire’s emotion as she tells the reader her adventure first hand. Compelling characters all.
So what makes a literary character memorable and who still stands the test of time? I have some thoughts on that and I’ll write more tomorrow. 🙂
For 100 days, I’ll post something from my chosen topic: Clichés.
There are 45 entries to come.
Here’s a cliché for today:
Read between the lines
Today is Author Gemma Juliana’s blog day.
Romance Books ‘4’ Us ~ The September contest is on, this time two winners!
I’m participating in Fall Into Romance — a month-long event hosted by The Romance Reviews. Hundreds of authors and industry people are participating and that means hundreds of prizes. Find my bit on my satellite blog: http://calliopeswritingtablet.blogspot.com/
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