Because I was so addicted to the Harry Potter series, I promised myself that I was going to avoid any and all teen/YA series for a while. Because standing in line with your 4-year-old at 11:30 p.m. in a packed bookstore holding costume contests just isn’t healthy. (It’s OK—I came to my senses around Book 5 and hit Target at 8 a.m. for the remaining books.)
And yet, I’m strangely drawn to the Eragon series and am thinking I might have to feast on a few, now that the last in the 4-book series, Inheritance, is about to be published. In an article appearing in the Washington Post, author Christopher Paolini confirms all that I suspected—that I should be mad jealous of his talent (and c’mon, a little luck. I bet there are more than a few 15-year-olds that have written novels equally worthy of publication), and the fact that even though just brushing the early side of his 30s, he’s sitting pretty in a house in Montana. Damnit!
Mostly, though, I appreciated this comment, when asked about kids that may aspire to be just like him:
“There are a couple of main things. Just writing a lot doesn’t necessarily make you a better writer. You have to hear yourself as a writer, and the best way to do that is to read your writing out loud. Then you’ll be able to hear things that sound wrong. I think I learned most from editing, both editing myself and having someone else edit me. It’s not always easy to have someone criticize your work, your baby. But if you can swallow your ego, you can really learn from the editing.”
I say this ALL THE TIME to the LittleLitzys under my roof, and thus was affirmed that at least in one case, I may be right. It’s my hope my kids will, someday, be able to write well. Especially in an age where the ability to write seems almost optional when it comes to a job hunt and subsequent career. Don’t let anyone ever tell you writing well is not important.