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.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Gotta Love the Villain

The Read ...
Love the way Lee Child constructs his villains.  Take a couple common traits, and then he twists them into something evil.  The twisting gets tighter and tighter through the some 400+ pages of the book until Reacher, the hero, finds a way to defeat them.  61 Hours presents an excellent example.  This time it's a super-short guy who over compensates, and Child gives a running commentary of the villain's actions/POV during the course of the book.  You'll never look at short people the same again.  

Child never ceases to amaze me with the way he weaves seemingly unconnected facts together to make a reasonable sub-plot when he ties them together.  Most authors do well with one or two.  [It's one of the reasons they get published by "traditional" publishers.]  Child scatters sub-plots like seeds ... manages to tie the results neatly at the end.  In this case, he manages to create a plausible defeat the human villain and his assortment of bad guys.

One possible loose end.  When the snow near the bunker was melted for two miles around at the end, it left the question that Reacher might not have survive his race up the stairs to the surface.  Here the internet is a spoiler since his official site publicizes the next book in the series ... where Reacher is very much alive.

This book may be a pivot point in the series.  Reacher, the supreme loner, is showing some need for attachments ... however much he denies the need of them.

Web and Other Stuff ...
Writer groups are an invaluable new set of eyes to review your manuscript.  They can catch the craft mistakes you make and then gloss over.  They can tell you when your plot and characters don't make sense.  They can tell you when you say the same thing twice in the same paragraph [aka telling, then showing].  I you lack a group, the Galleycat's recent blog gave its readers some good pointers on keeping a group going if you find a couple writers to work with.

1st Turning Point contributor, Jeri Westerson, gives an interesting case study on being a mid-list author ... and needing to promote your own work since your publisher won't pay much attention to you:  Promo Idea Number 25.  She nails my feelings in the first sentence:  "Promotion is the bane of authors."  Only problem is that it's also the bane of writer's too.  [Since some of the agent blogs I've read, my mind separates the part of seriously writing (writer) and getting published by someone other than yourself (author).]

Do have a complaint about the article.  I've read other blogs of Westerson which mentioned her sleuth.  This time for some reason Crispin Guest -- disgraced knight turned "private eye" with a thief side-kick -- poke my curiosity enough to go looking for the books.  And, I thought my to-read pile was down to 3 1/2 feet.

I've mentioned the Northern Colorado Writers before.  On Wednesday, Kerrie Flanagan wrote a right on blog about writing queries.  As I said in the comments, I wonder why I was able to write accepted queries [most of the time] for non-fiction, but can't seem to find my footing for fiction.

Most writers should know Nathan Bransford has one of the best publishing blogs around, but he also often features guest  bloggers. On Thursday it was author Hannah Moskowitz, who I think I should know.  Whatever, she discusses professionalism and writing.  I include the link here because of the info, but also because I flunked most of the activities, especially remembering book titles and authors.  

Example?  At the moment, I can't remember who wrote the Hunger Games trilogy even though the books wrung me out emotionally.  Yeah, I know I could look it up on the web and appear more insightful than I am.

Then, Stephen Tremp gives shares a great idea on using Twitter [and Facebook] for promoting your book.  Check out "Blowout Sale".

Now to forget the serious stuff.  Followed some Tweet to Tabby's Nocturnal Nights.  Now I know why I don't shop at Wal-Mart ... if only I'd have to fight with too many train crossings [in our town].  If you want the full gallery, check this out.  Actually, this is pretty gross -- just to warn you.

Progress ...

None.  Unless you consider the rejection of Dark Solstice progress.

Trivia ...
The old man's prowling ... waiting for me to get off the computer to do the important stuff.  Going to the bank, out to lunch, and buying groceries.
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