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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Monday, May 10, 2010

Spoiled Expectations?

The Read ... almost wasn't a read due to spoiled expectations.  Picked up Allyson James' Stormwalker  with high expectations without looking at it because the Dark Wyrm  http://tinyurl.com/2eacf3o gave it a thumbs up.  Then, I opened the first page to the not-so-hook:  "It was already dark by the time I zoomed out of the mountains, heading east toward the desserts, and the town of Magellan."  So?  Not until that last third of page two did what I consider a real hook appeared -- nasty mama.  All in all, the first chapter was stuffed with back story which almost made me throw it on the trade pile.

[My infernal, internal editor would have started the book somewhere in the middle of Chapter 1.] 

Beginning with Chapter 2, I found the book well constructed with two interesting story arcs:  1) the book's arc about finding a missing young woman and 2) a possible series arc about controlling nasty-goddess mama.   First third introduces an appealing cast of characters while dealing with the discovery of a dead body.  Second third complicates the situations of the first third highlighted by a hard-hitting surprise about the love-interest.  Third third gave a very nice resolution with the main character growing up a bit.  -- If only I could do it half so well.  [I still think my openings are better than this one, especially after my new critiquer tore into Britt.]

Web Notes ... 1st Turning Point caught my attention the longest among the blogs again with a post by Judith Laik on Promo Primer for the Unpublished.  Lots of good basic info which I'm mostly ignoring.  Primer for the Unpublished  I definitely need to go back and study it.

If you haven't noticed, you might check out the Nashville Relief Auction:  http://dothewritethingfornashville.blogspot.com

Janet Reid offered a critique that I drooled over, but it was already up to $750 when I first looked at it.  Personally, I'd love to pay Janet Reid to rip apart even a part of one of my manuscripts.  I do have a bid in, but it sure is hard to find it among all the good offers.  Check them out.  You can find many offers of professional critiques by authors and agents -- if you're ready for them.

Progress ...  Squeezing in revising first three chapters of Britt while working on Voices.

Trivia ...  The sun shown for Mother's Day ... and there were lots more vendors at the Farmer's Market.  [A good snickerdoodles!]  Also found a Dorothy Gilmore book, used, at the lunch-coffee-bookstore.
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