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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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Revisions're Dragging On and On ... and On

What I'm Reading:  Am done romping through James D. Doss's mythical Ute reservation [Snake Dreams], where the Indians always outsmart the whites, except for when they don't.  Charlie Moon, supposedly a slow-top being one of the best examples at besting.  Still, I wonder where the elders who are investing in creating oil from algae are hiding in his books. 

Daisy Perika, Charlie Moon's aunt, is in high form ... interfering in a murder investigation while in on the accident that causes the second death (of a villain).  Over all, I like the plot development of having Daisey possibly moving into town and developing a new crony who may be as smart as she is.  Fortunately, the crony has more finesse than Daisy.  This alone may just have me buying the next book even though the omniscient POV grates.  Think of all those eggs being broken for omelets.

While writing series might be one way of insuring an audience, series present their own problems.  Keeping them fresh.  Seems like the Charlie Moon series still has juice.  Doss even kept open the possible future romance of Moon and Sarah Frank, Daisy's teen apprentice who has a massive crush on Charlie.  Doss conveniently got rid of Moon's love interest that  had been dragging on for several books in this one.  

Should mention Sarah's becoming Daisy's apprentice is also a new element in the series.   This situation is fraught with comedic implications.  In Snake Dreams, Doss milked Sarah's bright red birthday truck for several buckets.

One thing does bother me, though, with authors with long standing series.  They seem to get away with craft flubs that would pillory an apprentice writer.  One example:  Doss is writing in the POV of the town's chief of police who is interrogating a suspect at Moon's dinner table.  Then, he writes:  "Sarah could hardly believe her ears.  I've never Nancy call Mr. Wetzel 'Daddy.'"  [page 155]

Progress:  Next to none, though I've been working steadily.  I'm still submitting Emma chapters to my critique partners.  [I'm always amazed at how each one finds different problems.]  Last week I got bombasted for have several "was"s to a paragraph.  Quite rightly too.  Took care of the problem by deleting a couple paragraphs of description, but keeping the most pertinent sentences.  Also, changed the was with the more active verb form.

I'm clenching my teeth, waiting for this week's batch of mistakes.

Now I'm not a grammar fetishishist.  I really don't mind telling, to bes, and adverbs.  But, like all seasonings, they should be used sparingly.


Maren is starting to nag me again.  Like get on with it.  Like breaking into my concentration.  Maybe it's because both are set in the same world -- my fake northern California Gold Country.

Trivia:  Had something neat to say, but I forgot it.  Guess it's time to go cook the old man's lamb chop.  [I don't have to eat lamb (half-mutton, as it comes out of the feedlots), so I'll fix me an alternative.] 

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