I’ve been postponing this post. You have to understand that to write about Cassandra Clare it is kind of a big deal for me. I’ve been reading Cassie for a long time now; I still got her fanfics stored in my computer, and I treasure them like precious memories.
Well, first and foremost I must warn you: this will not be your typical review. It is not a description of the story, and it is not about my opinion. It is about unveiling what lies behind Cassandra’s awesomeness.
I, as a writer, read books not only for self indulgence but also to improve my writing skills. With this post I hope to enlighten the special qualities of City of the Fallen Angels (COFA). I tried to keep this spoiler free, but there are some comments that will give you a glimpse inside COFA. Just in case, I used the tag *Spoiler* to warn you. Now back to unveiling Cassie’s awesomeness:
One of the things I admire the most about Cassie is how all of her characters are real, even the waitress have a personality. Characters think, and they have their own motivations. Doesn’t matter if the secondary character is not even that important, you got to be able to fell them. Otherwise it is just a bunch of robots pulling your plot forward so your main characters can do something relevant. And no, that’s not good enough.
Have you noticed how people are all about Magnus, Alec, Izzy, and etc? They are all secondary characters, still we love them. It is because they are alive and we care about them. So, how Cassie does this? She describes. The tone of their voice, if they dart their eyes away. Those little things tell you everything. Body language and choice of words.
Example. There is this scene in the beginning of COFA that some human subjugates appear, and human subjugates are not compelling. Still, by the way they talk and their choice of words I can feel how hollow they are. I know they don’t have freewill, and because of their condition they lost the track of who they are. And it is important that I feel them; it tells me a lot about the vampire who controls them.
If you are interested in creating characters with layers I really recommend reading (and analyzing) the first chapter of COFA. Simon was so well developed that now he is my favorite character. Sorry Jace…
- Conduct your readers’ feelings
If you read COFA, *Spoiler* have you noticed how Cassie describes Simon and Izzy relationship and don’t go into much detail about Simon and Maia? *Spoiler* And the way she describes how immensely Jace and Clary love each other? Everything has a reason. She wants you to have certain feelings, and she puts you on the palm of her hand.
As an author you must be in control. You have the power, so act like you know what you are doing. Don’t do anything without a reason. If you want character A and B to be together, it is your job to make readers want that as well. Yes, you must manipulate your readers, make them care so you can crush them later. Which leads me to…
To love is to destroy, right?
Now that my characters are real and my readers love them you are telling me to torture them? Well, I like donuts, but I don’t eat them. It is not about what you want; it is about what has to be done.
Cassandra Clare is a master of torture, ask anyone. And we love that pain, don’t we?
*Spoiler* While Simon is being lead by a creepy young vampire, Alec and Magnus are having a couple discussion, and Jace and Clary… well, you got the picture *Spoiler*. Sometimes when we are writing we forget that things happen simultaneously. Cassandra Clare is better then all of us, and she never forgets that.
Especially if you are writing an action scene and your story have multiple characters, describing several things happening at the same time will give dimension to your story. If you want an example just read the end of COFA.
- Give me a freaking good climax
You have compelling characters. Your readers care. You have been torturing them throughout the entire book. Your characters are moving, things are coming to an end. So bring it!
People always remember the end. Read all the COFA reviews, what do they talk about? How blowed away they are because of… THE ENDING. Just like the movies: climax and resolution.
And by the way, anti climax only work if you are Quentin Tarantino and if we are talking about Kill Bill.
Hope you all enjoyed. Comments are what makes a post interesting, so don’t be shy and say something 🙂
p.s: If by any chance you are Cassandra Clare know that I love and admire you. It has been a blast reading everything you write.