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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Monday, December 21, 2009

Coming Up for Air ...

As far as I'm concerned ... 
Christmas is over (except for the easy part --
eating, and talking ... and revising???).  
Now, it's on to Los Reyos and more seasonal excess.
Happy Solstice, by the way.


Lessons from My Reading:  I'm slogging through Kim Harrison's White Witch, Black Curse, as a part of my best seller read-a-thon.  It's as dense as chewing taffy with dentures.  Of course, I'm jumping into book seven in a series, but I get a little annoyed when Harrison mentions a bunch of characters and proceeds with the action without giving me an idea of where she's going.  I started the first chapter at least three times.  I'm now 200 pages into the book.  It's a nice complicated story with several plot threads twining around each other.  --  But I think the editors should be on alert that not all readers of a single book ... have read all the other books in the series.

Guess I should define "dense".  Like on page one, Harrison mentions three characters -- Kisten, Ford, and Edden plus the narrator/MC Rachel Morgan.  You get an idea of who Ford is by the action in the next two pages.  You get an idea of who Rachel is by her first person viewpoint of the events.  Kisten's murder is mentioned, but not who he? or she? was.  Edden is just a name in the middle of a sentence.  Having reached the middle of the book, I now know that all these people were/are important continuing characters.  A simple tag (like what she used to describe "... Ivy, my roomate and business partner," on page 2) would have made following the text much easier.


Compare this to my current gold standard (along with Lee Child), Carol O'Connell.  On page 1 of Bone by Bone, she sets up one character the M/C Oren Hobbs.  On the second page, O'Connell introduces the secondary M/C, Hannah, around which the two related mysteries in the book intertwine.  She also begins defining the structure of the relationship between the two people mentioned.  --  In comparison, Harrison was still confusing me on page 3.

In plain English, I'm complaining about Harrison's handling the back story of the series.

Progress:  Emma.  The revision progresses.  Actually, I've almost finished going through it once.  But ... I'm thinking after I transfer my corrections to the confuser, I need to reprint it and revise again.  I may get a friend to read it to see if its a bunch of  *^#%*^@*.  Only, I don't have friends who read fantasy.  Or, I may see if I can find someone willing to read a full novel at the AW Water Cooler.   First, I have to decide whether I want to read a full novel in exchange.  Decisions.  (Or, is that just more work?)


Critiquing.  Finally got my obligations done.  Must say I like seeing stories getting fleshed out chapter by chapter.

Demons/Gargoyles.  Haven't heard a peep or seen an ejection. 

Trivia:  I'm baking pies for Christmas dinner ... for which we have to drive down to Brighton (CO).  We'll be picking up the NYC son ... so I probably won't be blogging much until the New Year.  Hopefully, I'll soon be able to get this thing whipped into shape.

Have a safe and comfortable Christmas.
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