Loved her Mallory series, but I was reading them for pleasure ... not looking for things I should do when I try to write. Oh, I write ... but how effective I am is open to question.
Lessons from My Reading: Finished reading Bone by Bone yesterday. I find I was right to read the book in chunks rather than bits-n-pieces. The last 50 pages +/- tied all the questions together and answered them -- even the origins of the mysterious mother-goddess-counselor character. What I thought were red herrings/superfluous secrets ended up tied to mystery-B which was related to mystery-A (the missing brother) by the relationships of the people involved. What a story board O'Connell must have constructed to keep it all straight!
For the record, O'Connell fulfilled P.D. James' comments about detective fiction. Plot is important but characterization is its equal. All 20 or so actors came across as people. Also, the one guy with the motive who sort of disappeared came back as a drunken-cop in the last third of the book. The ending centered around torturing a confession from him without the main character laying a hand on him. Beautiful.
So, my jaw hangs (figuratively) as I wonder if I could have written so masterfully if I had turned serious about writing fiction in the 70s instead of the 00s. Gives me something to think about as I structure Maren.
Progress: Emma... I'm doing whatever I'm doing in the middle of it now. I no longer feel so comfortable with what I accomplised -- if anything more than an ending.
Demons... Did I say I submitted my revised query to a few agents? I'm not holding my breath ... even about getting an ejection.
Maren ... She keeps opening the door of the room where I've shoved her, but she's mostly glaring at me. Maybe telling me to get on with it? It's kind of strange having this this person with her eyebrow ring and three tear drop tattoos staring at me. Reminding me she's waiting for me to get my act together?
Trivia: Christmas is almost done. Still have to write the dreaded Christmas letter. Maybe tonight. We also have to distribute the local goodie bags, but that's mostly part of the fun. Coffee. Good conversation. Etc.