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, June 16, 2010

Juggling Characters

Lessons Found in my Reading ...
 In spite of reading diligently after the news [ You know, the-just-one-more-chapter-bit ], I have a good 100 pages left to go in Laurell K. Hamilton's Skin Trade.  Do you find yourself reading slower when you sink deep into a book?  I've caught myself doing it twice in a row.  Here and with Beka Cooper, Bloodhound.

Lots of writing craft stuff caught my attention in the book, but the enormous number of characters Hamilton juggles has my jaw dropping.  I sort of reviewed the number of heros/villains I deal with in all three of my tweensters.  I think just the number of Blake's lovers equals the number of major characters in each of my books -- and that doesn't even start to include the people in the factions Blake hits her head against.  The amazing thing to me is the Hamilton tags them enough -- without slowing the story -- so I can keep them straight.  Maybe others don't have problems keeping characters straight, but I often do.  [Trade Pile time!]

I think also Hamilton is foreshadowing futures books with bits of complications.  Didn't check out Hamilton's site, but if the incidents with the super-vampire villain (Mama Noir, the mother of all darkness) mean anything, some interesting things will be happening in the series.  I think Hamilton may be setting up a platform to end the series too.  After one feeding of the ardour with new lovers, Blake sets up a fail-safe system for two assassin vampires to kill her if she looses her humanity and turns evil. --  This happens after Hamilton proves that Blake isn't evil yet by her ability to call on St. Michael in a fight with Mommie Noir.

Why would this be important?  Hamilton gives a great summary of Blake's thinking about herself:  "Living vampire, serial killer; po-tay-to, po-ta-to."  Excuse me, I need to turn green.  [Envy.]

Web Notes ...
In case you didn't notice the moving gadget  in the corner, I want to alert you to a wonderful idea -- an online writing conference.  A free conference for kidlit writers.  My tweensters, being under 18, qualify.  This comes from the fertile brain of Casey McCormick.

I'm looking forward to "meeting" new people.

Progress ...
Sort of moving -- crawling ? -- towards the last chapter of Voices.   While I do make comments at the beginnings of my chapters, I find I have to go back and paint in the bits that support the action/comments later in the book.  Still, I hope to be able to print out a complete draft before I go visiting ... then, do the real edits/revisions when I get back.

Trivia ...
The fledgling robins are bumping around -- trying to fly.  Sometimes, the parents go ballistic. --   Does that remind you of anything?
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