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.


Monday, October 12, 2009


Trivia:  My son sabotaged me on Saturday.  I was doing my normal reading pattern -- alternating a rereading of Fritz Leiber's Ill Met in Lankhmar and Stephanie Laurens Temptation and something, this time.  I combine reading with doing the cat-lap thing or resting my hip from the computer.  

Then, my son sent Jim Butcher's new Harry Dresden, Turn Coat.  I'm 200 pages into it even though I watched Castle tonight.

Reading Lessons:  I'm into 200-some pages of Laurens.  Just when she finally threw in a plot twist -- the MC's uncle (the one she ran away from) turns up at the inn she's managing.  I do plan to go back to it, but it can't complete with Butcher who has Dresden's enemy showing up wounded and seeking help, a run-in with a SW shapeshifter, another run-in with vampires, a run-in with giant fae spiders -- all in the first 100 pages.  (It's all very linear, somewhat simplistic, but fun.)

Something more than the pace is bothering me about Laurens' book -- the anachronism of the inn turning into a "Starbucks" for the local villages.  Ladies and gents all meet up in the common room for lunch and afternoon tea, all classes together too.

I'm probably comparing apples to oranges here, but I'll stand by my position that something has to happen in a book.  In fact, I try to write so that I have a hook at the end of each chapter to drag the possible reader to the next scene.

Speaking of hooks.  Have you ever noticed how TV shows always leave you hanging with a question just before the commercial?  I like the characters in Castle, especially the family moments.  Watching Castle tonight, had me wondering if it might be worth getting TIVO so I could study the pacing of the story telling.

(Oh, I also read the latest issue of Realms of Fantasy cover to cover.  Loved the twists in the concepts -- like flower fairies in a funeral home honoring a solitary old lady because she paid attention to them.  My favorite of the lot, though all made me embarrassed at my own attempts at short stories.)

Progress:  The rewriting.  The rewriting!  I'm doing nothing but rewriting. 

Tangled:  I finished 11 and now have chapter 12 on the chopping block.  Took out over 300 words in the first five pages, including most of the sex scene.

Emma:  Am changing it to middle grade-tween.  Mostly that means shortening the chapters and changing the ages.  Still, it took me over an hour to turn the first chapter into two.  I'm aiming for 1500 words chapters.  I think I read something somewhere that's appropriate for kids. 

Got my critiques done, so I feel virtuous even though I didn't get much written this week-end.  My oldest daughter and crew showed up for the day.  Then there were the family phone calls.
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