Thursday, February 24, 2011

What Makes Something Inhale-Worthy?

Sorry.  Yesterday I dove into the new Allison Brennan - Kiss Me, Kill Me - and as always, I didn't get anything else done.  I still have the last bit to read, but I should be free of Allison's dastardly (and awesome) writing clutches sometime this morning.

Ya know, I really don't know what it is about certain writers that make me want to inhale their words.  Allison Brennan, Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant, Lynn Viehl (aka S.L. Viehl), Monica McCarty...  Their books arrive in my TBR pile and I squeal with glee.  I rush through whatever I'm reading so I can get to their books ASAP.  And then I inhale them.

They're like the best cheesecake ever - not too heavy, not too light, and perfectly flavored.  I love their writing so much I want to eat it all in one sitting.  (And best of all, no calories.)

Of course, sitting here writing this post, I'm feeling a little pathetic because I really don't know how these people do what they do.  I mean, as a writer, I ought to know the recipe.  Not that I'm not proud of my cheesecakes, but are they inhale-worthy? 

Like making the perfect cheesecake, though, inhale-worthy writing isn't really something you learn.  Sure, you can go to the finest cooking school in the world and make really great cheesecake, but it takes something more.  You can graduate with honors from the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) and still not have that certain je ne sais quoi.  

Of course, like those who love cheesecake, everyone's got their own idea of what makes an inhale-worthy read.  Not everyone loves Allison Brennan the way I do.  And I don't love New York cheesecake (oh, I'll eat it, but it's too dry to be inhale-worthy).  That's probably what agents mean by 'subjective' in their rejection letters.

Still, I'd love for the majority of readers to think of my novels as inhale-worthy.  Maybe I already have that elusive quality.  Maybe I'm still searching for it.  If I figure out what it is, I'll let you know.

What makes a book inhale-worthy to you?  What about cheesecake?  What do you inhale when you have the chance?


  1. A book is inhale-worthy for me when the author writes about characters I feel I could run into on the street. Once I care about them, I cannot put a novel down for one second!

  2. I call it 'zing factor'. It is sort of elusive. For me, it's a fast paced book with stuff actually happening. So many books drag along and nothing much happens. And definitely characters that are real and kick ass.

  3. I wish there was, like, one perfect ingredient to make a novel inhaleable. BUT I guess that would mean everyone could do it...It's more special to learn how or just be able to do it.

  4. I'd never pass up the chance of inhaling cheesecake.

    An inhale-worthy book for me is one that instantly transports me into the characters' lives.

  5. I'm with you...I don't know exactly how they do it or what their perfect recipe is, but I'd love to know. I suppose the more we read, the more we can hope their greatness will seep inside us. My inhale worthy favorite is Jodi Piccoult. Love her work.