One of the ways that I try to improve my writing is by reading books. Using lists like the Time’s 100 Best Children’s Books of All Time is a great place to start. Choosing whatever your genre is, and reading the best stories has long been shared advice. Depending on your preferences, some may make a connection, and others not be worth your time.
Personally, I think about what catches my interest and ask myself – how did they do that? At odds with this is how I really judge a book. Can I keep that analytical question forefront every time I pick the book up to read? Books that I forget my purpose and get totally wrapped up in the story, one that may take more than one read through before I can remember to analyze the writing, that is one to study.
Problem? Even when I did find a a story that has that affect, and tried to duplicate someone else’s success, it didn’t worked. I ended up tossing the effort. Because it was a lot like trying to write a boring assignment that I had no interest in.
So, in Snowball, and now in Bad Dream, I wrote with purpose and passion. I was absolutely terrified to publish Snowball. It is difficult to put your work out there for others to scrutinize and reject. I certainly haven’t regretted it.