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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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Trying to Switch Carts in Mid-stream

The Read:  Actually, I'm not reading much.  I'm devoting my after-the-news reading time to watching DVDs of Witchblade.  For those that don't get involved with fantasy much, the series is a dramatization of a comic book series of the same name made for TV -- featuring a NYC cop who becomes the foil for a supernatural weapon wielded through history only by women such as Joan of Arc.  

In this case, in stead of the evil English, Sara Pizzini (sp) fights a corrupt cell in the NYC police department.

Traces of simplistic comic-book characterization linger, but over all, Witchblade gives the watcher some coherent, fast paced story lines.  I'm about halfway through, and Sara, the main character, and others are growing.  I think I'm learning something about pacing action.  --  Now, if I can get a handle on characterization ...

My basic complaint is that the photography is dark so you miss a lot of the background detail.  The sound is also set very low -- or I have to increase the sound so much to understand the mumbles of dialog that we scramble to get the volume down when we watch normal TV programing.

I have been skimming through Simon R. Green's Winner Takes All -- another Hawk and Fisher political campaign mystery.  Many of the elements he uses for Haven are better recycled in the Nightside series.  The Nightside books are more humorous and the characters are more sharply defined.  One of my biggest disappointments in reading the two short novels is the lack of depth in the characterization of Hawk and Fisher as well as their relationship.  The relationship between Taylor and Suzie [in the Nightside series] is hotter than that of the earlier pair.  -- I don't think I'll read any more of the series.

Progress:  Emma.  Did I say I was done with Emma?  I sure hope I didn't because that would be a lie.  Got back from tonight's critique group with a better understanding on how to depict one of the characters.  Not Emma, but one of her antagonists.  I also decided to go back and change the italics to underlining.  In the process, I've managed to delete a couple pages so far.  --  It may be months before I can put Emma in a box.

Maren.  I think I've started actually drafting.  I'm still journaling characters, but I've got enough to set up my first scenes.  I'm going to try to have my cake (with the backstory) and eat it too.  -- In other words, I'm opening in the dungeons just before Maren is launched into our world.  Why?  Because she brings a potential romantic interest or antagonist (perhaps both?) along with her.

At the moment, I'm trying to figure out the motivations of the my sheriff and county commissioner who differ on what to do with Maren after she is found at a multi-car crash site. 

Trivia:  I got my hair trimmed, and the white shows more.

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