If you write or even just enjoy Young Adult literature, you NEED to pick up a copy of the short story collection (The Curiosities) I just finished by YA writers Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton and Brenna Yovanoff. Even if YA isn’t your area and you appreciate the short story form, you should still pick it up. It is by far the coolest view into three writers’ writing and editing processes that I’ve ever seen. Now for some background. In 2008, these three authors started a blog called the Merry Sisters of Fate where they could write and experiment in the form of short fiction. They did so on this public blog, posting whatever they came up with either from answering prompts or just writing. They put together some of the stories in the anthology along with handwritten notes and doodles. It is the perfect little slice of their thought processes and the stories themselves are fantastic, haunting and captivating.
What I enjoyed most about this collection was how much I felt like I could relate to it as a young writer. These are well known and successful authors, but you are seeing their exploration stages. The work isn’t all polished. They fall into their own patterns, realize their mistakes and just truly explore the concepts they are most interested in, while benefitting from the feedback of their very different colleagues. It’s refreshing to read this and to be given permission to try things out. Most of all, even for established novelists, this work points out the purpose of continuing to write all the time. Within the time of the Merry Sisters of Fate project, all three authors point out the things they’ve learned from each other and from just writing constantly. It’s inspiring and entertaining. Plus there are fun sketches and notes.