This story is from a few months ago. I was working on Book Three of my trilogy. I wasn’t finished yet, but I sent it to my mother and father for any advice they may have.
My mother: “I love it. You are the best writer ever.”
My father: “It needs to be more like Watership Down.”
My dad is the kind of dad who doesn’t sugarcoat, who tells it like it is. (Although neither of my parents ever read middle grade. My mom likes adult cozy mysteries. My dad likes books about the genocide that occured in Rwanda during the nineties, and that ilk.)
I told him I tried to read Watership Down when I was about ten years old, and didn’t finish it. He said he also tried to read it, but didn’t finish it. But then my sister (the family book expert) borrowed it from the library and he listened to it during his drive from northern Texas to southern Texas. “It was mesmerizing,” he said. “So write Watership Down. That’s what you should do.”
Based on his advice, I was planning to buy it and listen to it as an audiobook, but then I found it in English at my library. It had been there the whole time, I had just overlooked it. So I borrowed it and read it. And yeah, I liked it. Can I write Watership Down? Can I write Harry Potter? Can I write Romeo and Juliet? Can I write The Hunger Games?
But I can read them, and hopefully improve my writing based on them. It’s a goal of mine, anyway, to write a mash-up. The Epic Adventures of the Harry Games, or How Juliet Waters Got Down and Hip. ha ha
Anyway, my dad’s advice was to read Watership Down. It’s great advice. It’s a wonderful book. I recommend it!