A little bit about her first: She is simply a graduate student at BYU pursuing her MA in English, writing her thesis on young adult literature. Even though she's a starving student, she spends her grocery money on books, and she has frequent nightmares that her bookshelves are empty.
She is so much smarter than me! So let's have her take it away!
Last summer, I attended Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers in Salt Lake City. I came with questions because I was struggling with my dystopian WIP: the story was just not progressing. At the conference, Martine Leavitt, author of Keturah and Lord Death and other wonderful YA novels, introduced me to the concept of the palimpsest. In technical terms, a palimpsest results when the writing on a clay tablet or a piece of vellum is scraped away and replaced by new writing. Often, the original words can still be seen through the new words. In a similar way, as Martine pointed out, an older story can illuminate the themes of a new story.
Do you follow a master story when you write? Do you recognize the influence of master stories on the books you read?