What are some good writing lessons/tips/advice you have learned from reading fiction? For example, re-reading The Seven Realms series by Cinda Chima has shown me the importance of narrating in your character's voice. She has a character who grew up in the slums and speaks that way, using all kinds of historical and made-up words: slide-hand, scummer, on the daub, lytlings, mumper etc. The chapters in his voice are so realistic. I learned from Harry Potter that too much of a good character trait can be a flaw (in his case, loyalty to his friends) and still think about Ron and Hermione when I'm writing my MC's best friends. Sever Bonny's The Arinthian Line series (is AMAZING and you should go read it now) made me sit back and realize some things about fantasy as a genre. An excerpt from my progress journal where I wrote about it: I’ve come to the conclusion that some major motivating concepts are love and death. Most notably, our capacity for love, and the tendency for the villains to underestimate that capacity, and the fear of death…most notably, the fear the villains have of death and the lengths they will go to avoid it. You see this in Harry Potter and many others. Our heroes are strong because of their capacity for love- for strong friendships and allies and loyalty. Conversely, this is what makes the villains weak- their "friendships" are based on fear, not love, and the consistently underestimate our hero's capacity for love and why that makes them strong. Successful fantasy fiction deals with love, death (a fear of, or struggle to understand death), and good vs evil. Villains tend to fear death and go to lengths to avoid it. Heroes tend to struggle to understand and come to terms with death. But it's another one of those main themes of fantasy. And of course, the struggle of good versus evil. Heroes know that if they don't stand for something, all that is good in their world will cease to be. Villains want to control their world. They want power and seek to subjugate others to gain that power. Heroes just want to live their lives- they are not out looking to be a hero, but they understand that if they don't do something, others will perish. And that's why they make a stand. What have you learned about writing from the books you have read? Tell us what books and what you took away from them.