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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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It's Snowing, Major Big Time

Trivia:  What a day to stay in and read and drink the coffee pot dry!  The Colorado weather people are hinting we may have a record setting October storm.  There's around a foot of snow here now and another ten inches +/- are expected.  Someone should have warned our stupid apricot.  It's standing out in the cold with drooping branches even though the old man knocked the snow off the leaves several times.

Writing Lessons:  Well, I got Hamilton's Burnt Offerings and Galenorn's Jade Dragon read.  [I've almost finished Galenorn's Mystic Moon today since I didn't do errands.]  While I liked both books, I realized that Hamilton constructs a more complex read, ie. multiple plot lines.  This may be one of the reasons I reread the Blake series and not Galenorn's.

Galenorn gives us a mystery set amidst a group of friends in a cozy small town setting.  O'Brien's paranormal abilities operate as a personality trait rather than something dark and dangerous.  Some people laugh a lot.  Some people scratch.  O'Brien sees auras, among other things.  

In this book, O'Brien must free herself and her kids from an ancient curse while protecting herself from the more mundane tasks of preventing more robberies and her son's kidnapping.  The writing follows O'Brien through her days in a linear sequence until she saves her son and converts a potential enemy into a friend.

In the middle books in the Anita Blake series, Laurens' plots tend to spiral around the various aspects of Blake's life:  her animator job where she raises zombies and fights with her boss, her contacts with the various lycanthrope communities and her role as the werewolf lupa, her uneasy relationships among the vampires, and her consulting with the police investigating paranormal activities.  

In Burnt Offerings, the major problem revolves around the attempts of Blake and Jean-Claud [the vampire master of the city and Blake's lover]  to save their people from the plots of visiting representatives of the vampire council to destroy them and their dependents.  Minor problems in the various areas of her life are directly affected by the visiting vampires.  As she solves the problems, Blake gains insights that help her in defeating the vampires for this round.  For all the supposed darkness of the Blake books [dealing with monsters of various kinds], the books offer a set of warm relationships every bit as cozy as Galedorn's.

[The lack of complexity as I draft Emma has been bothering me.  Maybe now that I'm changing it to a middle grade novel, I can accept the linear plot line.]


Progress:  I've started my critiques, one of which is lo-o-o-ng.  Much longer than our original submission agreement.  I'm going to be obnoxious and just do half it for the first session and the rest for the second.


Tangled:  It's sort of on the back burner.  Translation:  I'm not writing, editing or revising, but I think a lot about the characters.


Emma:  Is rolling along.  I'm almost to the end of the changes to my original draft. Then, I think it's 3-4 chapters to the end.


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