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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Friday, February 26, 2010

Back to YA

The Read:  I was going to finish Tamora Pierce's Beka Cooper: Terrior, a Tortall Legend, a YA fantasy with a double murder mystery, last night.   I watched the figure skating finals at the Olympics in spite of the commercials.  Yes, the skaters made me dizzy just watching them.  Skating wouldn't make me dizzy because I'd be flat on my arse on the ice.  --  Not a pleasant thought.  Hopefully, I'm not so far out of my league with my writing.

Pierce comes up with some interesting fantasy elements as Beka does her on-the-job training to become a cop (essentially), but is called a "puppy" as her "dogs" train her.  Beka has limited magical powers -- hearing the last thoughts of the dead via pigeons and dust devils -- and a lot of perseverance.  She even displays some character realistic weaknesses.  Shyness, anyone?

Oh, Beka's alienated from her surviving family but has a magical cat who talks and works magic.  (Mine just wiggles and does the usual cat things.)

The society is medieval without being a cliche and has a well developed under culture (criminal element drawn out of poverty).  The dogs know one murder culprit but can't find the bodies, and for the other one, they have the bodies (and survivors) without the culprit.  I still have some 100 pages of the book (out of 500+) to go and am looking forward to seeing how Pierce ties it all up.

I'm fairly sure I've read Tamora Pierce before but can't remember the books.  She joins Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson series) and Victoria Hanley (Violet Wings) among my favorites.  I'd mention J. K. Rowling, but I'm waiting to see if she'll ever write something besides Harry Potter.  (Yeah, Potter's world is great, but ... )

Progress:  Emma.  Am going to swat my hand if I even think of changing something in the manuscript unless an agent or publisher tells me.  My changes from italics to underlines are long done, but I keep dinking ... probably to no purpose.  I manage to keep my hands off Britt and company.  Why not Emma?  --  Hope it's because it's the newest.

Maren.  Have the the first chapter going -- even a segment (only three pages) polished enough to submit for a critique class (by Victoria Hanley) on Saturday.  I expect to get blasted for the construction.  A back story scene (I guess you could call it a prologue but it's only three paragraphs and a bit of dialog.)  A secondary character's comments on the headlines of the blast that Maren caused when she entered our world.  Then, I get around to starting the story about what should be done with Maren.

Trivia:  Got my bit of porn for this morning.  Two morning doves were mating in the Catalpa outside my kitchen window.  Can spring be far behind?   Or, do I have to wait for the squirrels to go squirrelly?
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