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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Monday, November 30, 2009

Another Batch of Cookies Down

Trivia:  Doing single batches of koulourakia is much easier on my hands.  I should have done it last year ... but then, I'm a slow learner.  Slow but sure, though, has filled the canning kettle.  Figure I still have four more batches to go ... plus the baklava.

(I'm avoiding thinking about wrapping presents.)

Lessons From My Reading:  Have started Joanne Harris' Runemarks.  Did I say somewhere that the Brits do fantasy well?  Well, they do.  This one is delicious ... after I slogged through all the explanation the beginning. --  Outcast girl with a forbidden magical rune mark meets up with a supposed-to-have been-exorcised Odin to change/save the world.

On some blog or forum, I read that paranormal and Nordic themes were "in" now.  The book was originally published in Britain in 2007 and here in 2008.  Maybe the book was part of the vanguard for the trend.

The writing styles British writers are allowed differ from the American blog/forum recommendations.  The beginning was larded with telling and about as interesting as an anthropology text even though the MC was chasing a goblin out of the cellar.  It took me several tries before the action/danger picked up speed for me to read it after the news.  By the time the local bully was following her into the hills after she got fired by his mother, I was into the story.  --  The action really picks after she meets Loki, about 80 pages into the book.

Nice to see Nordic mythology featured rather than Celtic, though.

My reaction to the beginning is ironic.  After thinking and comparing the beginnings of Emma and Demons, I'm beginning to wonder if my own fascination with milieu won't keep me from ever being published.  Of course, I think my action moves faster.  Oh, well.


Progress:   Maren:  Got the first chapter drafted -- POV: Faithfull Alice Sweet's journal.  It just bubbled out.  (It was an expansion of the paragraph mention in a previous blog.)  Now, I'll probably chop it.
 
Perhaps, the draft opening is too much like a prologue with too much telling.  Still, Sweet is a crucial antagonist to the human villain and Maren's defender/mentor in modern ways.   Of course its super short, but it names two more characters.  Forde Travers (sheriff) and Faithfull Alice Sweet.  The next chapter is more like ... 3rd person from Maren's POV.  It's not written but part of the 3rd chapter is.

Playing with and getting to know my characters is my favorite part of writing.  How I implement the ideas is another matter entirely.

Emma: is printed/off the computer. --  I've glanced at the first chapters.  They still don't flow evenly so I have a lot of work cut out for me.  I'm sure it'll go downhill once I get to the middle.  --  I'm using a couple of articles I tore from the Writer's Digest as editing crib sheets.

Need to get the Emma query going to help focus the first part of the book.  (I stink at writing fiction queries.)

Blog:   Note I changed the title.  Since I started this in September, I've been trying to focus the blog on some target.  I think I'm getting there.

Demons:  Am still trying to put the agent query together.  Just chopped half a page out of the five page story sample.  (Makes me worried about the rest of the manuscript.)  Maybe between the last of the Christmas shopping .... ?????

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