Friday, May 24, 2013
Earlier this year, in an open letter to Laini Taylor, I talked about Laini’s way of describing things in Daughter of Smoke and Bone:
The world is so complete. You seem to relish describing the objects and places that Karou treasures: her tiny apartment, the wings spread above her bed, the wishbone, the ballet costume she gives to Zuzana. Each detail is vivid and drenched in meaning.
One of my favorite elements of any story is when an author describes an object or a place in a way that brings it to life. Somehow these details make the rest of the story seem even more real, and they connect me to the character that treasures them.
I particularly love the way Stephanie Perkins describes Lola’s bedroom in Lola and the Boy Next Door:
I have shelves running across the top of my bedroom walls, lined with turquoise mannequin heads. They model my wigs and sunglasses. The walls themselves are plastered with posters of movie costume dramas and glossy black-and-whites of classic actresses. My desk is hot pink with gold glitter, which I threw in while the paint was drying, and the surface is buried underneath open jars of sparkly makeup, bottles of half-dried nail polish, plastic kiddie barrettes, and false eyelashes.
On my bookcase, I have endless cans of spray paint and bundles of hot glue sticks, and my sewing table is collaged with magazine cutouts of Japanese street fashion. Bolts of fabric are stacked precariously on top, and the wall beside it has even more shelves, crammed with glass jars of buttons and thread and needles and zippers. Over my bed, I have a canopy made out of Indian saris and paper umbrellas from Chinatown.
It’s chaotic, but I love it. My bedroom is my sanctuary.
Sometimes I wish I could steal objects from the stories I love and collect them. I would have my own secret sanctuary cluttered with fictional treasures, and among my collection would be:
• Anna's banana necklace from Anna and the French Kiss
• Katniss's bow from the Hunger Games
• A wand from Ollivander's shop in the Harry Potter series
• One of Karou's sketchbooks from Daughter of Smoke and Bone
• The crystal key from Incarceron
• Cassia's compact from Matched
• One of Elizabeth's letters from The Book of Blood and Shadow
• One of the extra Godstones from The Girl of Fire and Thorns
What would be in your collection?
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on the shelf
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