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.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Series Fatigue

The Read ...  Have you ever suffered from series fatigue -- as a reader ... or writer?  

There are a number of authors I gave up on when once I bought every new title.  Patricia Cornwall, the best selling mystery writer, is one that quickly comes to mind.  Thousands of people still buy her new books, but I gave up on on Kay Scarpetta several years ago as she wallowed in the same personal problems for several books.  Another example from the net: seems like a lot of Laurell K Hamilton's fans got upset when Anita Blake started "gang banging".

Readers can get tired of series for any number of reasons, but how do authors overcome fatigue with the series they write -- besides setting up another one with different characters? 

That asked, I pulled Kay Hooper's Blood Sins out of the to read pile ... where it's been sitting for awhile.  Kay Hooper books occupy a good two feet high stack on the messy bookshelf, maybe more.  Some of the later titles are stuck in just any old where.  And the book sat, partly because I was afraid to read it.  --  I'm a third of the way through and hooked.

One of the reasons I think Hooper has stayed engrossing is that she's created a world ... and then, populated it with different people.  Sort of like started a new series, but not quite.  Characters from earlier books, especially Noah Bishop of the FBI Special Crimes Unit and his wife, Miranda, keep appearing in subsequent books in roles of various sizes and importance.

Also, instead of concentrating on a long series of books featuring one character, Hooper arranges her books in a series of trilogies.  The result:  a reader returns to a familiar world but meets different people along the way.  I think the format keeps the anticipation for a new story sharp.  [Yeah, I know I let the book sit after I bought it, but I still have loads of interesting books I should read ... without buying or trading for new ones.]

Blog Notes ... Eric, a publisher salesperson at Pimp My Novel, woke me up with a blog on writing effective queries.  It's well worth the click to go there ... though it gives similar info agents repeat often on their blogs

I've long considered agents salespeople, so it was nice to see my prejudices reinforced.  Also, a little disheartening.  I rather avoid salespeople -- for you know, the penny pinching thing.

Incidentally, I just learned he joined Twitter (and yes, I'm following).

Progress ...  Am fighting to fill outlined chapters of Voices with scenes rather than tell the readers what should be happening.  Got a whole 500 words saved last night.  We won't mention how many I deleted.

Gave myself an exercise to see how many critique comments I could eliminate from There Be Demons ... before my critique partner for the book pointed out my blind sports.

New Book?  Had this terrific image [while providing my muse with his morning lap] of one of the characters from a short story dancing around her new apartment after she finished unpacking and setting wards ... when a spirit appeared and bitched about being sealed into the place.  Guess I'll set up a new file.  Problem:  it's an adult novel.

Trivia ...  Demonstrated my psychic abilities last night.  The old man was rumpling plastic in the next room, and I asked him for a piece of peanut brittle without looking away from the computer.


Kay said...

Guess this is the last time I highlight info I want to check with color.

Linda L. Henk said...

Was the peanut brittle good or did he share?

Margo Berendsen said...

Your posts make me smile! I like the trivia you always share, and the antics of your muse.

Love your new idea!

Agree with you that authors can only take one main character so far in a series; I'm starting to burn out on CJ Box's Joe Picket, I've gotten through 5 books and there are still 5 more Pickett books to go (and maybe he's writing more? - but still, they are books about Wyoming. Few and far between). Reading another author, Lisa Samson, who resuses some of her characters in each novel, the one who was MC in one novel is now just a secondary character in another novel. I like that approach, esp. since you get to see the former MC from a different perspective.

Kay said...

Yeah, we're nibbling on the peanut brittle (Kilwin's) ... and it's only a fourth gone.

If he didn't share, I'd just open the other bag -- left over from Christmas.