We all know that one of the best ways to become a better writer is to learn from the masters. On Tuesday, you’ll all get to pick Maggie’s and Lucy’s brains for tips and advice—but who did they learn from? We asked both authors to give us the names of five books that do outstanding work with voice. Today, we’ve got Maggie’s list; come back next week for Lucy’s! And don’t forget to join us next week—sign up here to get a reminder email.
1. Feed, by MT Anderson. A close first-person look at a terrible future where everyone has the Internet implanted in their brain. It only works because we really believe the narrator has grown up completely immersed in and believing in this culture.
2. Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein. Two girls working with the war effort in the 1940s are shot down over France. The narrator’s particular brand of British humor and stiff upper lip comes through really well in the voice. [Ed note—you can start reading this book on Figment next week! So come back!]
3. Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. This humorous tale of the apocalypse is narrated by a demon with all the humor you can expect from a demon.
4. Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You, by Peter Cameron. This is the first novel I remember reading and feeling like I’d actually met someone new. The narrator is just that real.
5. Howl’s Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones. All of the other examples I gave are first person, mostly because it’s really easy to tell the difference between good and bad voice in first, but good voice is just as important in third person. Sophie’s voice in Howl’s Moving Castle is particularly clear.
Can’t wait till Tuesday? Here are some links to tide you over . . .