I know it because it does more than entertain me for an hour before bedtime.
It fills my creative well--with beautifully crafted description of setting, or emotion, or physical appearance, using sentences and phrases that strike me as fresh and specific and just so perfectly right, that I stop and read them again and again, without ever breaking the story-dream the writer has woven.
Creativity-refreshing fiction is in the eye of the beholder, but here are some titles and authors that are doing it for me:
Love Amid the Ashes
by Mesu Andrews
by Jennifer Erin Valent
by James Alexander Thom
by Stephanie Barron
John & Patricia Beatty
Who Comes to King's Mountain?
These books have a wonderful rare chemistry with me, and somehow peel back the veil between my plodding everyday mind to the part of my brain where stories swirl like mist, and show themselves in glimpses. They're the kind I want to lose myself in and savor, and simultaneously jump up and work on my own manuscripts for all the fresh inspiration they stir up.
So what books have filled your well, and made you want to jump into your own creative endeavors?