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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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Same Ole, Same Old Stuff

Trivia:  Spent yesterday afternoon getting the car in shape for winter, including a new battery.  The dealership didn't have any record of me buying a new battery since 1999 so I figured it was time.

Managed to finish Christine Feehan's Dark Curse while waiting[Read one chapter on Saturday when I should have been writing.  Took two days for a 400 page book.]

Reading Lessons:  So what did I learn?  [Other than I'm a faithful series reader ... as long as the story line doesn't bore me.  Guess, I like retreating into other people's worlds ... though I don't fantasize about them afterwards.]


Feehan's working in back story without filling up pages of explanation caught my admiration.  Many of Feehan's older characters appear in the book with just enough tag to place them in the world's setting.  No giving their life histories and their characters remain consistent with what I remember.  Jim Butcher does this very well in his Dresden series too.   Both do this without using the same tags repeatedly.


Feehan's done her Carpathian series for over a decade and is pushing twenty books.   I'm overwhelmed by her output.  [Three series plus, and I'm doing good to get one 'book' a year with endless revisions.]  To keep all that straight, her character outlines must be as long as a book to keep her people straight.  [My Half-Elven stuff, including locations, covers three 'books' and runs about twenty pages; other WIPs are only three-four pages.]


While the attraction/love scenes repeated themselves, Feehan managed to switch gears before I became bored with the same repeated descriptions.  Redundancy, anyone?  To me, redundancy is more than telling and then showing the same action.  Some might think she head hops because she switches viewpoints in mid-chapter, but she's easy to follow so I didn't mind.


Progress:  I continue to chop about 1000 words a chapter on Tangled.  Most of it is redundancies, adverbs/double adjectives, and passive verbs.  When I get to the end, I'm seriously going to have to look at whether I want to simplify the viewpoints.  I'm sure I'll hit my head against the wall of liking to read multiple viewpoint stories.


Emma got slammed by my local crit group because I don't give enough emotion.  Well, I'm not emotional ... also she's suppressed her emotions due to the abusive treatment of the grandmother.  I need to work on that a bit.  Maybe have her feel more emotion and consciously suppress them.


Whoever said writing was easy.

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