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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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Stuffing Action in Your Story

The Read:  Lee Child keeps winding up the action to his plot for Gone Tommorow ...  or maybe his plots move fast because Jack Reacher is a synonym for action.  Example:  Setting up the suicide that starts the book moving takes twenty seven pages and six chapters.  Reacher must then connect the pieces after some freelance goons give Reacher two names that connect the suicide to a senate candidate and a Ukraine reporter.

It all feels like tumbling rocks:  all those bits and pieces of plot moving from one scene to another, changing color and nuance as they go.  I'm now in the middle of the book, and the puzzle pieces are tumbling at a greater place.  Big surprise: our governmental agents (people connected to the US Defense Department and down the chain of command of the presidency)  sudden turn into the goons Reacher and allies must escape from because they want Reacher to stop poking the hornets raised by the suicide.  The goons try to swat him, but he escapes and we know Reacher will come back and annoy them ... and the senate candidate whose aide was on the train when the suicide occurred.  (Reacher recognized the aide in the publicity photos when he visited the candidates office.)

Oh, the minor goons, who gave Reacher the senate candidate's name, who got a medal for service in a secret operation, and the ex-Soviet piece, who claimed to be a friend of the suicide and who claims she wants and explanation from the senate candidate for offenses committed, have been offed with possible identifiers removed rather messily.  At least, some of the possible villains have been removed.  But, Reacher is still in action over his head.

(If you think the above sentence was complicated, that was a simplified version of what is happening in the book.  Like I said, action uber alles.) 

Web Notes:  An example of why social media are important.  I'd have never learned about 1st Turning Point without the silly computer and one of the blogs I read. 

To the point:  Lillian Cauldwell has a much needed blog on writer business cards and what to put on them:
You haven't published anything, you say?  Well, put your pitch on the back, she says ... along with a lot of other good advice. 

[ My cards now have my blog info on the front and blank backs.  When I replace them, they'll have pitches for whatever books I have ready at the time. ]

Another Note:  You should subscribe to Kristen Nelsen's newsletter?  You don't?  You should.  Sara Megibow gives three items all good queries should have in their March issue.  Go the the blog and get on the list.  A link is in my Useful Places. 

Progress:  Maren is finally coming to the fore ... and learning English.  Fortunately, she's smart and was gifted with magic.  According to the critiquer #1, the chapters move too slow.  Just what I was worrying about.  So I'll be combining chapters ... when I get around to it ... someday.

Trivia:  The sun is shining before the storm ... probably rain this time around.  At this point, it's raining a lot of pennies on Susan Weschler.  The cheapskate here decided to commission one of her mosaics after I found some bare wall space.  

Mentioned that a rose was the center piece, and the kid thought I was commemorating their Tata.
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