Reading for inspiration . . .
So what book inspired me to become a writer? Gone With the Wind. Yes, I know it’s a tome but when I read it I was transported into another time. It was the first time that happened to me. I think I was about 14 when I first read the book and I’ve probably re-read it a dozen times since then. Everything was so vivid. The setting, the characters, all of it. If you’ve only seen the movie, then you need to read the book. There are many, many differences from what made it to the big screen.
Scarlett is actually more selfish in the book, but at the same time, more complex. In spite of her flaws, you find yourself rooting for her as the story unfolds. And the backdrop of the Civil War really comes to life. Especially when the characters confront the aftermath of the war. Melanie isn’t as sympathetic as she is in the movie. But Rhett is as hot as ever. The sexual tension between Rhett and Scarlett is palpable. Ashley comes off as the same wuss he is in the movie. This IMHO is the only flaw in the book. What does Scarlett want the weenie for when she can have Rhett?
The pacing of the story is what makes it such a great blueprint for a novel. Give it a try.
There have been other books that I consider special. Sydney Sheldon’s Master of the Game comes to mind. For those of you who haven’t read it, the book is a multi-generational saga that starts in the diamond fields of South Africa and eventually ends up in New York several generations later. It’s a sweeping tale with a large cast of characters who are perfectly delineated. It’s the characters who make this story. The plot is a bit contrived but you read on to find out what new strife befalls the characters. It has wealth, intrigue and character conflict galore.
A great study in crafting characters. Check it out.