This week I read The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver and Dracula by Bram Stoker. The Spindlers was a beautifully written middle grade novel with an exciting quest to find a snotty little brother inside of the vast reaches of a creepy underworld. Dracula was a classic that I have never been able to get through until now. I am so glad that I stuck with it. There was one boring section but later I saw how it was vital to the plot. It was a superbly told tale with great evil and a group of everyday individuals sworn to stand against that evil no matter the cost.
What did I learn from my reading this week…
One, that even when a book is beautifully written with a fast plot and sympathetic characters, you don’t always get sucked into the story. This makes me realize that there is a chance my stories are not being rejected because they are terrible. I mean they might be terrible, that is always a possibility. But some books are rejected because the agent or editor simply isn’t sucked into the story and they can’t explain exactly why.
Secondly, I learned that in order for a book to have an amazing and beautiful conclusion, there has to be pain and darkness and yes even death. Part of why Dracula is a classic and has such a lovely conclusion is because the characters must sacrifice terribly to accomplish that beautiful ending. The pain and heartache and terror must occur for the light to come at the end. The books I have read that don’t show that terrible sacrifice, they feel shallow and fake. Because really, isn’t life like that. Full of heartbreak and beauty and sacrifice. Even Christ did not rescue us without a terrible terrible sacrifice and Dracula is epic because it shows both the horror and the beauty of life and love and triumph.