We all know that one of the best ways to become a better writer is to learn from the masters. Tomorrow, 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. Last week, we had Maggie’s reading list; now it’s time for Lucy to share! Don’t forget to join us tomorrow—sign up here to get a reminder email.
1. Tomorrow When the War Began, by John Marsden. This book was so perfectly “me” when I was a teenager growing up in Australia. Ellie’s voice could have been my voice, or any one of my friends’ voices. I loved Ellie’s intimate diary-entry narration, and I responded to her effortless, casual, and very Australian approach. This book is surely one of the strongest early influences on my novel Stolen.
2. I Am The Cheese, by Robert Cormier. I love the movement and action behind this voice. The present tense, first-person narration works so perfectly to keep us readers hooked the whole way through. Even more skillful is when Cormier merges third-person past tense with the first-person present tense narration.
3. Graffiti Moon, by Cath Crowley. Crowley is another Australian author, and I love the lyricism, energy, and emotion that’s threaded through all of the characters’ voices within her three-person narration.
4. Skellig, by David Almond. It’s a different kind of lyricism that draws me to the voice here: Skellig is told with such effortless clarity and pared-back prose, managing to create powerful and astonishing images out of so few words. A 10-year-old boy’s world exists in stark and painful beauty.
5. Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell. I had to include Black Beauty on my Top 5 list because to write as a woman from a horse’s perspective during the 1800s is surely something pretty special, brave, and rare. Plus, Beauty’s voice has stayed with me for over 25 years now, since the story was first read to me as a five-year-old. I have been trying to write as successfully from a horse’s perspective ever since! Someday!
The chat is less than 24 hours away, but if you need some video fun to get through your Monday, here is Lucy Christopher, in the flesh (sort of), talking about voice in her novel, Stolen.
Impressed? Check out Lucy’s other voicey video.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
Check out these other Lucy and Maggie-centric links to get ready for the chat tomorrow: