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, January 18, 2010

Living Dangerously ...

Lessons from My Reading:  Am going to be brave and go for broke.  During the Christmas excesses, I allowed myself to buy any book I thought interesting -- including two hardback mysteries by a friend.  (With luck, she'll stay a friend.)  So, here goes my impressions of Pat Stoltey's The Prairie Grass Murders which I think is Pat's first published book.    

Yeah, to put you out of your suspense, I liked it even though I had a few nit-picks.  The biggest:  While I liked her using a deprivation clairvoyant for a secondary character (Willie, the MC's brother), I think she could have have given a sharper delineation of how it happened in the first chapter.  In two sentences or less, of course.

Basically, Stoltey's rolls through the story's three acts without slowing down, but it's a gentle ride in spite of two murders.  (Is that what they mean by a "cozy"?]  There are twists and turns, but I liked the ending.  Rather than the big confrontation scene, she drags the solution on until one of the suspects moves in next door to the MC (that's from Illinois to Florida).  Even better, the MC side-steps the co-conspirator's revenge.  [Which, I assume didn't bother the MC over much.]

Progress:  Really am concentrating on Emma, but  the manuscript keeps growing.  Last week, I had six chapters to go.  This week I have eight.

Have spent the last three days reworking one chapter with major flaws.  It's now two chapters after I took care of the questions critique partners asked.  Like my adventurers found their quarry much too fast and with little effort.  Tonight I hope to polish my revisions.

What's taking so long?  Well, I'm juggling changes in four different chapters.  Seem to have this fixation that chapters are supposed to flow smoothly ... even if I fall flat on my face. 

Have I mentioned that critique partners are worth their weight in gold?

Demons. (or Gargoyles, Whatever).  I think the ejections have started invading my in box. Got two today.

Trivia:  Granted there's serious stuff happening today, but we decided to celebrate Winnie the Pooh Day by going out to eat lunch at an Scots-themed restaurant.  A little dose of  innocence can't hurt you, can it?

Haiti.  Just thought I'd say, I'm enjoying the improvement on the delivery of the news.

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