Learning from My Reading: Spent the last few days reading Moyra Caldecott's young adult The Tall Stones triology set in still ring-worshipping Britain -- maybe Stonehendge though she doesn't name it as such.
Read the books in the late 70s, and my son brought them to light again because he remembered how impressed he was with them. Boy, has writing changed since she published. The first book was so bad, but the last two are mostly telling. Cadecott has some interesting takes on spirit travel (very close to shamanism) but, to me, her characters were drawn in primary colors. -- I like shades with even my evil comes in shades of gray.
Now, I'm old enough not to mind a fair amount of "telling" in the books I read. But I'm finding telling slows things down. Maybe movies and telling a story as if it is appearing on a stage have done us a favor. Too much "telling" feels more like the outline of the story rather than a complete presentation of your imagining of the happenings in the story. I know I'll keep "framing" the beginning of my action with a brief description of the scene, who's there, and any needed transition info before push my characters into action. Still, now I have to go back and look for those "filter" statements (thinks and seems) in my first person narrative as well as where I lay on the back story.
Why is writing such work?
Progress: Still on vacation. The revision binder for Emma made it upstairs to my computer, but I haven't opened it yet. Too busy watching DVDs, talking with visiting son, and looking at bookstores.
Trivia: Just got back from Denver where we visited yet more bookstores. Crowning achievement? We found two of Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series used, and I bought signed copies of Pat Stoltey's mysteries. That and a great gyro meal at Pete's made for a satisfying day. Even managed to avoid tight traffic.