A wise man once said, “Great minds think alike,” and before I could read literature, I believed him. I believed that to be one of those great minds, I had to be just like everyone else. The way I spoke, the way I dressed, and even the kind of ice cream I ordered had to be the same as my best friend, but as I grew older, I realized that it is our differences that set us apart from each other. Our differences make us not just unique, but interesting as well. Just as being different and interesting are good qualities for ourselves as human beings, they are good qualities for writing as well. Good writing transports the reader to another place where a new and exciting story takes place. It makes us care about the characters and feel some of the same emotions. When writers want to stand out, they think about what the reader would be thinking at that very moment, just as they turn the page to continue their journey.
One journey that I often embarked on when I was younger was that of Eric Carle in his book Brown Bear, Brown Bear. It was one of my favorite books growing up, and now that I look back onto this quote I can see why:
Blue horse, blue horse, what do you see? I see a green frog looking at me. (Carle 4)
This was a great quote because never in my life had I seen a blue horse, but I thought about what it may look like. Eric Carle was being creative and different when he wrote about the unnatural blue horse. The way the author worked with the colors of the animals and predicting which animal would be on the next page kept me, as a reader, wanting to know more. This is one of the skills used by most good writers: reader anticipation. A reader will want to read more if the topic is interesting, and presented in a cliff hanger type style. The writing leaves the reader hungry for more.
While I was encountering the tough times of middle school, I stumbled upon Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment when I was looking through a book store. While deciding whether or not to purchase the book, I opened up to the first page and read this:
Congratulations. The fact that you’re reading this means you’ve taken one giant step closer to surviving till your next birthday. Yes, you, standing there leafing through these pages. Do not put this book down. I’m dead serious—your life...