There are lots of good books. There are many great books. There are books you race through because they're fun. Then there are the books that inspire you to be a better writer, while at the same time bringing you to the depths of despair, sure you'll never write that beautifully.
The first time that sensation hit me was when I finished reading the Harry Potter series. Recently, it happened to me after reading a Black Dagger Brotherhood novel by J.R. Ward. I began reading this series in August, and I'm already through book #7. And with each and every one, I'm struck multiple times throughout the book as to how brilliant Ms. Ward is. The depth of her characterizations, the plotting - sometimes just a sentence that then bursts into clarity three books later - is astounding. It literally takes my breath away. Each one is so intricately crafted, it is like a master class in writing. Sooo motivating.
And yet so depressing. I'm in the middle of plotting a paranormal right now. Pretty proud of myself for the plot, for weaving a trilogy....at least I was until I finished Lover Enshrined last weekend. I caught a crushing case of why should I even try because I'll never be as good as her. Followed by an absolute certainty that my previously brilliant plot was about as solid as a cobweb.
I've picked myself up over the past few days. Reminded myself I've sold three books, am working on selling #4, and am deep in writing #5. Obviously I do indeed know how to write (I keep repeating that phrase like a mantra). So I shall learn from Ms. Ward as much as possible, and keep striving to be a better writer. But Lover Avenged is on my coffeetable right now, so I'm pretty sure my tongue will be rolling out of my mouth in shock and awe again very soon.
Do you have any authors that knock you onto the seat of your pants?