Growing up, I didn’t always have as deep of a love for the written word as I do now. When I was a child, I actually spent most of my days playing video games and watching television. It wasn’t until one of my English teachers mentioned Inkheart in the sixth grade and I read that book during the summer that my love for the written word manifested into what it is today.
If you’ve read my blog post How I Became a Reader and Writer, you’d already know this. In that particular post, I talk about Inkheart’s influence on me. I’d like to further continue that conversation by saying that I feel like the Inkworld trilogy as a whole has taught me so much. It has taught me not only about myself and my own reading preferences, but also some important lessons every writer should at some point learn.
I say all of this because I’m currently rereading this trilogy once more and want to have an open discussion about the Inkworld and its influence in my life. Because while Inkheart out of all of the books in this trilogy really shaped me into who I am, I believe Inkspell and Inkdeath also helped contribute making me into the fantasy loving person I am today. This trilogy taught me lessons no other series (well, maybe except for Harry Potter) has taught me. Every time I read these books, I find myself discovering something new within their pages.
Inkheart opened me up to the idea that there are books I’d enjoy. As a child, I didn’t enjoy reading quite as much as I do now. But this book in particular sparked an interest in reading for me I never truly experienced anywhere else. It made me believe in the power of the written word, and that fantasy was truly the genre I was destined to enjoy. I read this book at a time when I still felt like I was a child, right before things changed in my life for the worse. It’s the first book that truly spoke to me, made me want to open myself to becoming a more creative person and brought about a spark in me I didn’t have before.
Inkspell completely set my imagination on fire. With its detailed description of the Inkworld, I found myself drawn to its pages, wishing I could go to this world myself, despite its many dangers. This book especially drew me into the fantasy genre because I could feel the magic all around me as I followed Meggie and the rest of the characters into this enchantingly dark world. Like Inkheart, I found myself continuously flipping through the pages to find out how this book would end, wanting to see if things would turn out alright for everyone involved. I read this book at a different stage of my life than whenever I’d picked up its predecessor. I was struggling because my life had been turned upside down and I needed a book to escape. This book was perfect for what I needed because I wanted to get away from the real world and this book helped me do exactly that.
Inkdeath made me realize that I can be the hero of my own story. It also taught me that every character in a story has an important part to play, even if you don’t realize it at first. This book also taught me that even when things seem bad, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. To never give up hope, even when that’s exactly what you want to do. For me, this book came at a point in my life when I exactly needed it. I was dealing with some difficult circumstances and this book helped me believe in myself and made me realize that I’m the hero in my story. And that when things seem dark and scary, there’s always going to be light too.
Rereading this series once again many years later, I find the child within me coming alive. I’m reminded of why I want to be a writer to begin with, and find myself inspired to keep writing even at times when that’s not what I want to do. I’m reminded of where my love for the written word truly came from and try the best I can to never forget that.
As a writer, Inkheart taught me some of the basics when it came to character development. I learned through the pages how to create life-like characters who I could imagine standing in front of me. I learned about dialogue, how to make the words that come out of a character’s mouth sound believable, even when you have a hard time with it. I learned voice because of Mo/Silvertongue and Meggie’s ability to read characters out of their stories. I could imagine the way they talked, almost as if they were using their gift in front of me.
In Inkspell, I learned about world building. I learned how to create a place so believable that people could see it in their imagination. About making things detailed so that when someone is reading your story, they can see it themselves without you having to give too much away. I also learned how to further advance the plot of your story so that the reader doesn’t lose interest along with including interesting information that’ll make your reader want to continue reading. Learned to end stories in a series with a cliff hanger so that my readers will want to read the next installment to find out what happens to the characters.
With Inkdeath, I learned about conflict. I learned how to build up conflict so as the keep the reader hooked. I also learned how to surprise readers by making the unexpected happen, such as having minor characters play a crucial role in the story arc. I also learned how to kill off characters only to bring them back changed in their development.
Each book in this trilogy offered so much to me as a writer. But this trilogy as a whole also taught me so much about myself and the things I enjoy. It made me realize how much reading and writing mean to me that it’ll always have a special place in my heart. I hope others enjoy this trilogy as much as I do every time I read it.