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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Friday, December 10, 2010

Fast Start, Slow Start.

The Read ...
 Fast or slow, the start of your novel and its speed off the blocks are always a problem.  A breaking point for agent, publisher, and reader.  My latest read has me puzzling this question ... because the start of next year's "novel" is breathing down my neck.   

I bought Cricket McRae's mystery, Lye in Wait, at a local author's reading.  She read such a vivid characterization of an interfering mother getting her way within the context of a brother's mysterious suicide that I thought she was worth buying a trade paperback for ... the first in the series.  Then, I read the first chapter and wondered if I'd lost my mind.

Oh, the book started great.  Opening sentence:  "That Thursday morning had been going so well until I found the local handyman dead on my workroom floor."  

A wonderfully simple opening line that'd warm the cockles of any critics heart.  But, the character turned out to be something of a dip.  In the first chapter, she committed two stupidities the likes of which'd get any teen in a horror movie killed ... or at least, lose a finger when she put it in an unknown substance by a dead body.

Since McRae didn't strike out with a third goof-up ... and then, used the protagonist's bad decisions as a point of humor in the book ... I kept reading and was rewarded with a neat, intricate plot that illustrated that having a family can be dangerous to your health.

Web and Other Stuff ...
Tamela Burhke at the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer's asks a question I often ask myself:  basically Why blog?One of the first things she mentions is what a time-sink it is.  Many of her comments seem to apply to non-fiction writers more than fiction ones.  Still, you should make note of her comments.  Oh, I've followed the blog too so I can read the next installment in the discussion.

Overwhelmed by all the tweets on Twitter?  Roni Lauren over at *Fiction Groupie* has a simple way to organize your Twitter "follows"?  -- "Authors on Twitter".  You might go over and take a look.

Did you catch the Thursday (12/9) front page article on e-books in the New York Times?  Romance readers seem to be buying the most e-books.  (Link courtesy of the AW Water Cooler.)   Seems like they don't have the courage to show the semi-salacious print covers in public.  ...  Don't quite understand it, but then, I've always thought Favio something of a turn-off.  Maybe shy away for displaying erotica?

One more media networking thing.  David Wisehart is doing a promotion experiment on Twitter -- #Sample Sunday.  Visit his blog, Kindle Author, to get the details.  Published, work-in-progress, short stories -- the categories are open.  This is listed as an experiment on AW Water Cooler.

Progress ...
If cleaning is progress, I'm making it.  So far, it's only manuscripts ... but I have loads of paper piling up again that needs to be sorted and filed and recycled in the printer.  Now ... if only some of the places where I have long standing submissions would start cleaning up their files.

Guess, I just as soon have a rejection after three months as let a submission continue to hang in the nether regions.

Trivia ...
The rest of the house needs sorting and dumping and cleaning too.  Part of it gets done today and tomorrow.  A friend who's allergic to cats is coming to visit.
 
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