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, June 21, 2010

Dialog = More thanTalk

The Surprise Reading Lesson...
Dialog should mirror how your characters should speak when they talk to each other.  Right?  I've read stuff where a 10-year-old character sounds like a TV curmudgeon.  I think there was even a TV series that played on that twist ... but it doesn't feel right to me when I read a middle grade novel.  I want to believe that the kid is doing all that wonderful stuff ... and s/he needs to talk like a kid to do it.

Then, there's Derek Landy's Scepter of the Ancients featuring detective Skulduggery Pleasant, an animated skeleton who lands in the middle of a mystery when a girl's uncle is murdered.  My NYC son kept after me to read the book while I was working on Emma since I have two characters constantly sniping at each other --  only Landy's characters are friends.

Found the book interesting because much of Landy's scene setting and descriptions are done in telling mode, but he uses very little of it.  Dialog carries his story forward to good effect and suspense as the characters roll from one adventure to the next disaster.  Landy solves the books major problem ... then, lays the groundwork for a set of new problems for the sequel.  [which I'm going to read next, I think.]

Web Notes Twittering ...
I'm finally getting a handle on TwitteringThe conventions.  The shorthand.  Then, Michelle Schusterman at YA Highway wrote a blog on Twitter Transgressions.  Interesting stuff you should know.  Fortunately, I don't think I committed any of the sins ... mostly because I'm technically incompetent.
  
Progress ...
Grumble.  Grumble.  At the beginning of last week, I had three chapters left in Voices.  Finished a chapter to my satisfaction for a draft.  Wrote part of the next chapter.  Still have three chapters left to go in Voices.  Had to add a chapter because I couldn't squeeze all the needed action into one chapter.  Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

Am itching to query Demons (Britt) again.  In fact, wrote a new query which seems closer to what agents say they like to see in the blogs.  Only problem?  Agents also needs to love the premise and writing in the books before they offer representation.  There are a few other caveats ... but who's counting. 

Yeah, I'll continue hitting my head against the wall.  My list of suitable agents isn't any where near exhausted ... thanks to Agent Query, AW Water Cooler, Casey McCormick, Chuck Sambuchino, Writer's Digest, etc.  [Need links?  Look in my "Useful Places".]

Trivia ...
We're going to eat fresh Local strawberries three days in a row!!  Would have bought more, but we also bought a lot of cherries this week.  The Bings and Raniers are in!  Summer fruit-eating time is here!
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