And here we are at Wednesday, so according to my big new plan (that I’m following about… 85% of the time, I’d say, so that’s good) it’s time for a Writing Craft post.
I realized the other day that I hadn’t read any fiction in a really long time. I couldn’t remember the last novel I read, yet I always call myself an avid reader. I was pretty shocked, and it really made me wonder how I’d managed so long. But then, it hit me.
I’ve been so obsessed with writing this book, and working on this blog, that any time I thought about sitting down to do “nothing but read,” I felt like I was cheating myself out of time I should have spent trying to be a productive writer.
But then, I was discussing Harry Potter (as I often do) with a friend, and I simply had to recommend to her my favorite many-novels-length fanfiction series called The Sacrifices Arc by an author known only as Lightning on the Wave. It was published years ago online, and is the AU (alternative universe) story of the seven books of Harry Potter, told in a much darker, more intricately detailed, more adult-themed way. And I’m not just talking about “S-E-X” either 🙂 (although it does eventually become a Harry/Draco story, just fair warning) — there are themes of light vs. dark, abuse of power, child abuse, changing society, and tons more that I believe make these books even better than the original Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, although you should definitely know the source material before tackling this series.
The basic premise is that Harry has a younger twin brother Connor, who is the actual Boy-Who-Lived, and they are raised by Lily and James, who weren’t killed that fateful night. When Harry and Connor get to Hogwarts, Harry is sorted into Slytherin, much to everyone (but Draco’s) surprise. You can find the web version above, and it’s here in PDF and also ebook form. I’d love to hear what you think if you do read them — but be warned, it can a while to read the whole thing! And don’t let the Harry/Draco thing scare you off either — my husband isn’t a slash fan, but he was able to skip over any “intimate” parts (they don’t start until book 4) and he still enjoyed the series immensely. (Apparently you can also read the “less slash” version on Fanfiction.net, but I can’t vouch for that personally.)
The Sacrifices Arc by Lightning on the Wave:
- Saving Connor (~ 75.000 words)
- No Mouth But Some Serpent’s (~150.000 words)
- Comes Out of Darkness Morn (~ 265.000 words)
- Freedom and Not Peace (~ 630.000 words)
- Wind That Shakes the Seas and Stars (~ 1.000.000 words)
- A Song In Time of Revolution (~ 910.000 words)
- I Am Also Thy Brother (~ 700.000 words)
Okay, well then, now that I have my fangirling out of the way… what I’m getting at here is that, after I talked up the series so much (which I’ve read twice before), I couldn’t help myself and decided to dive in for one more re-read. It had been years, and I knew I was “too busy” to do it, and I had commitments that I should be working on instead, I chided myself — but really, I’m so glad I decided to go for it.
Because, as I’d forgotten, but as Stephen King is here to remind us all…
So that is my writerly advice for you today. Go read something. Make time for it, because it can only help you as a writer. But before you go, please enjoy one more picture of a dragon reading a book. I couldn’t find the original creator of this piece either, the internet led me around in circles today… but it certainly is beautiful.
All right, stay creative everyone!
Gold dragon reading a book
Stephen King quote — I don’t know anything about this guy’s blog, but the post this picture is in is pretty funny, and worth a quick read. 🙂
Golden dragon reading a book