When you want to take a story that someone else has told and make it your own, do it like this. If you want to write a story, recognize your own magic, your own style, and add it to the story you want to steal. If you want to write a story, do what Laini Taylor did, and absorb the story, wait until it has seeped into the interstitial places of your writing, and give it back to your reader. Make it beautiful and true. And the only way you can do that is by figuring out what to you is beauty and truth. So many writers try to figure out what made something beautiful to someone else. They try to say, what made the Trojan war beautiful to Homer
? What made Harry Potter beautiful to J.K. Rowling
? And they try to imitate that. They don’t say, "What makes this story beautiful to me?" Well, Laini Taylor told us what makes these stories beautiful to her.
So, I’m a little expansive tonight. I’m a little drunk. I’m not usually one of those drunks who goes around telling everyone she loves them. In fact, I’ve been told I can recite a pretty good story while drunk, even if I don’t remember it a few months later. I usually don’t remember who I told stories to anyway, drunk or not drunk, no offense. Anyway, I just want to give this book a hug and tell it I love it. I love you, book. Like, in the full, Wayne’s World sense of the word. I love you, book. Damn, every time I write “book,” I spell it “bood.” Sorry.
I love this book in a drunk, college-high-school kind of way. I love this book like, “Wait a second, what have we all be doing, standing around fighting over whether vampires are sparkly or not?” So, it turns out there are people out there writing real love stories and fairy tales. There are people reading great writing like Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market
, getting inspired by them, and then writing these wonderful tributes to them.
I think, when anyone writes anything great, their ultimate hope has to be in some kind of legacy. They have to hope that their great writing will inspire something beautiful in the future, some kind of strength and inspiration. I think it is a tribute to the traditions that Rossetti, Hinduism, and Zoroastrianism created that Taylor could create something as beautiful as this book. And then, hopefully her writings will inspire someone else, and the stories of goblins, hell, and eternal life will continue. It is like how Shakespeare reminded us that 13-year-olds falling in love doesn’t always end for the best. And, look, that story has continued in tradition
because of him. Hopefully we will all, likewise, remember not to eat goblin fruit because of Taylor, not to doubt our own curses or our own mortality.
I had intended to talk about how some authors are natural with language, and how some authors know how to integrate a magical, traditional feeling with really modern writing. I don’t really feel like talking about that now that I am writing this. Maybe I will have more to say about that in the morning. Anyway, it’s not like Taylor tried to add a bunch of ‘ye’s to her writing, or like she tried to end everything with “e” like, unfortunately, some authors do, to give a sense of ye olde timmes. Taylor shows everything beautifully, and in doing so she shows how “modern times” are not removed from tradition and magick(e).
I like how this book is not about kisses, is not about love. When I first picked it up I thought it would be an emo version of Gossip Girl, but it is not that. It is about evil kisses, lips shutting in silence, and kisses that are sense memory. I like how this book is about loyalty and strength. I like how it is about curses. This book is beautiful, and in true, drunken or non-drunken spirit, I love it.