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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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Writing Improbable Characters

The Read ...
Can Death be a love interest?  Do you feel more comfortable with a hunky fae masquerading as a normal cop?  Kalayna Price offers the reader both in her Alex Craft novel, Grave Witch, the first book in her second seriesThe first paragraph starts off running:

"The first time I encountered Death, I hurled my mother's medical chart at him.  As far as impressions went, I blew it, but I was five at the time, so he eventually forgave me.  some days I wished he hadn't -- particularly when we crossed paths on the job." 

By the end of the chapter you know that Craft has an uneasy working relationship with the police department and is estranged from her family ... all revealed in quick thoughts commenting on the action as she copes with an unhappy customer.  Yeah, Death shows up ... and the cop/fae.  My internal editor shut off while reading this book ... so I'll recommend her as a good craft example to follow.

Price's marking is also good.  Take a look at Kalayna Price Official Website for some ideas you may be able to translate for your own marketing.  I know I bookmarked the site.
 

Web and Other Stuff ...
Ever wonder how a publisher [and maybe an agent] might look at your full manuscript?  L. J. Sellers, mystery writer, has a blog on the Blood Red Pencil with the checkpoints on a Publisher Evaluation.

Eric at Pimp My Novel punctures a few myths in his latest blog, Here Be Dragons.  He gives one of the most pertinent summaries of the current status of the publishing industry.  While he really doesn't say much new, it's a succinct summary. 

If you're on a tight time line:  "Think of it this way: chains are the dinosaurs, indies are the scrappy mammals, and Amazon is the asteroid."

Then, I finished Christine Feehan's Dark Slayer.  A nice satisfying read about which if I said more I would land both feet into the land of spoilers.  But the book has other interests for a writer than just a well-written story.  Marketing information.

For the first time I've noticed that the Penguin Group is offering a money-back guarantee on, I assume, selected books.  Return the book by 5 December 2010, and you get 100% of your money back.  And, it didn't even look like there were strings attached. 

When I went looking for more details on the offer, I discovered Penguin.Com's Screening Room.

I got lost for about fifteen minutes watching videos of some of my favorite authors before my priorities reared their stern heads.  [Hey, dimwit, you got a blog to write.] If you're wondering what a big publishers is doing to promote their first line authors, you might explore a while.  You might pick up some tips you can use for your own books ... provided you can find a way to imitate them cheaper. 

[Yeah,  my computer literate artist daughter and I have been discussing doing videos to plant on YouTube.  Biggest two problems at this point:  the script and the artwork.  Stay tuned.]
 
Progress ...
Still wrapped up in Voices of Ghost Creek.   Revisions, revisions, revisions.

As I said on the Half-Elven blog:  "Oh, on the Renna's Tales front.  Revisions don't bore me ... but give me creating any time ... ideas bouncing around like bucky balls is much more interesting than the discipline of editing, etc.  Latest idea.  Renna wants to be a serialized novel of the years just after the Rebellion.  

"Think of Renna and Maren arm wrestling.  My mind seems to be doubly active when I'm dozing in my chair with Wiggles sprawled on my lap."

Trivia ...
Roasted vegetables with rosemary/garlic chicken.  Even the last of the zucchini tasted good ... and only one pan to clean up.  --  I thought it was the last of the zucchini.  The old man brought two more in.
  
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