Writing isn’t as solitary a pursuit as many think. Inspiration comes in many forms, but most often, it comes in the shape of people. All month long, we’re asking writers to write a Not-So-Secret-Admirer’s Note to the people who’ve inspired them to take up the pen. Today, participant Heather Bennett thanks a teacher who gave her her voice:
Dear Mrs. Rascoe,
It started simply enough. You asked your first grade class to write a story. I remember writing a story about a little girl being sad that the leaves were falling from the trees until one of the falling leaves told the little girl not to be sad because she had so much fun twirling to the ground. It was short. It was simple; but you liked it so much, you brought me across the hall to read my story to the bigger kids in second grade.
That day you created a writer.
I’ve had amazing teachers along the way. My eighth grade teacher took my awful, angst-y, tween-before-there-was-such-a-thing stories and critiqued them in her “spare time” to encourage me to keep writing.
I went on to graduate college with a BA in English, with a Concentration in Creative Writing. Today, my job requires me to be creative on a daily basis. I’ve made friends all around the world because of the words I’ve written and the stories I’ve created. My life revolves around telling stories and if someone was to connect the dots, they’d trace it all back to you.
You showed me, a shy little six year old, that I had a voice. You made me feel important and like I could do something. You made me feel like I had something to say, and I haven’t stopped speaking since.
You Inspire Me: To Authors Who Build Fantastic Worlds
Writing isn’t as solitary a pursuit as many think. Inspiration comes in many forms, but most often, it comes in the shape of people. All month long, we’re asking writers to write a Not-So-Secret-Admirer’s Note to the people who’ve inspired them to take up the pen. Today, participant Frederika Hellgren thanks an author who shaped her creative life:
Dear Cornelia Funke,
Thank you so much for writing the Inkheart trilogy. When I first read it, I was eleven years old, and I remember the characters and settings feeling incredibly real to me. While I was reading Inkspell, Inkworld and its many inhabitants would often crop up in my dreams at night.
I am currently attempting to write a fantasy novel of my own, and have been looking to my old copy of Inkdeath to find inspiration. I now realise exactly what it is about the Inkheart series that made it so compelling to eleven-year-old me. You are masterful in the way you combine vivid description with an action-packed plot. This delicate balance is something I struggle with in my own writing.
I am also finding the process of building a believable fictional universe to be quite challenging, and for this I also look to you for inspiration. You weave a whole world out of words, which the reader can almost reach out and step into.
Your stories remind me of the importance of creating flawed, complex characters that readers can connect with, and who evolve as the story progresses.
Finally, your books showcase the importance of having a strong central idea or concept, such as the ability to enter a fictional world (every young bookworm’s dream!)
Basically, what I’d like to say is: Thank you for being one of my role models in the art of writing fantasy for young readers. Your books are wonderful and inspirational.