Lessons from My Reading

M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Another Day

Trivia:  Yesterday, we were going to look at the leaves, only the forecast said rain on the flats.  It's too early to drive in snow, even possible snow, so we went to Loveland instead.  Schmidts for a krautburger lunch.  Yumm.  You can't get a good krautburger in our town.  [My Russian German background sneaks in in odd places.]


Then, on to the Loveland museum for their ofrenda exhibit -- Memento Mori.  While interesting and worth the drive, I'm not into rococo.  Too ornate for my taste.  You can't see anything for the clutter.  Bottom line:  I'm glad I didn't have to set up the exhibit.  Maybe the pieces were glued together.  I hope so.


Comment:   The papers and magazines are saying that the "people" don't think the Obama administration is solving our economic problems quick enough.  Do they really expect instant results?


The problems took over a decade to develop.  The Republicans turned the "free market" loose during the Clinton administration by reversing the bank regulation put in place during the Depression.  Their reason:  the market experts, not government, knew how to regulate best.  Their Greed reigned and eventually exploded in our faces -- and wallets.  Logic says, it'd take a while to clean up the systemic mess thus created.  But what do I know?  Maybe someone has a direct line to a miracle worker?  I haven't seen any sign of it.  Only hot air.


So far, one good result: no one is talking about privatizing retirement accounts.


Reading:  I'm reading less.  The new television series have arrived.  Castle.  The Forgotten.  I even watched Eastwick last night, but don't know if I'll continue.  I could always rent the movie or read the book ... if I wanted to visit that world.  Maybe, it's because Cher isn't there.  (She was in that movie, wasn't she?)


Picked up a Barbara Hambly book, Traveling with Vampires which ended up being a disappointment.  Right off, the first chapter didn't clue me into the time period.  I waited until the second chapter to learn it was set in Edwardian times, just before WWI.  The vampires are the gothic kind with a helpful faction and an evil one plus the academic heros.  Why are smart female characters in historical novels always wearing spectacles?  [Of course, I don't read books where vampires are the primary characters ... except for the Anita Blake series and ??...]

How disappointing was Traveling?  Let's just say, I got to page 66 in the week.  I'm on page 52 of Charlaine Harris' A Secret Rage in one day.  In between, I read two sections of Edward Rutherfurd's The Forest.  [I reread the sections like short stories.]


Writing:  Back to the Rococo thing.  One of my faults when drafting a WIP is saying the same thing twice, maybe more times.  It doesn't bother me that much because I figure I can always take the best description and eliminate the rest.  It helps reduce the word count.



But in working through Tangled, my second writing effort, I find there is another way I repeat.  I show the action, then tell the reader what's happening.  I wonder how many other beginning writers do the same thing.  Of course, I'm deleting some and my critique partners are finding others I missed.  More words on the chopping block.  [Am in chapter 8, almost ready to start 9.]  -- We won't talk about backstory.



Whatever, I find I'm trying to imitate Lee Child's style ... which may not be such a good thing with YA fantasy.  But, then, Tangled isn't YA.  It's a multi-character driven adult political fantasy.  I think I got off to the wrong foot by emphasizing the kid character in the book, something I did because I needed a vulnerable character.  Adult elves aren't much vulnerable except to boredom.


Progress:  Tangled.  I'm thinking of getting rid of the "Austel's Idiot" angle in the title, queries, etc.  Am about a fourth through the chopping an eliminated 10,000 words.  It may actually get down to a reasonable size when I get to the print editing phase.


Emma?  Finished chapter 13 and found out why Fritha lured her into Faery. [Not the reason I thought.]  I even know how she's going to escape in 14.  I'm getting to the end of this WIP because of the water constraints.  You can only go so long without drinking water and you can't carry much in a knapsack.



 
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