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, January 7, 2011

Adding Texture with Sub-Plots

The Read ...
Sank into Julia Spencer-Fleming's cozy mystery I Shall Not Want, and discovered a number of sub-plots involving various characters, in addition to the "forbidden" romance complication between an Episcopalian minister and the local chief of police.  I love sub-plots involving the secondary characters in a cozy mystery.  ...  They add texture and depth to the puzzle of solving the mystery beyond just unraveling the complications tying the plot in knots. 

I had read several previous books in the series and discussed them with a friend ... and she sent to book to me for Christmas.  The book was a satisfying read ... when I wasn't watching Castle episodes.  Surprisingly, the book and TV show both use secondary character subplots to create texture beyond the mere solving of a crime.

Fleming has a mildly snarky tone I enjoy.  One example from the minister's observations of one of the plot complications flirting with a male member of the vestry:  "They had discovered they shared similar tastes in buildings (historic), liturgy (formal), and literature (nothing written before 1890).  Clare wasn't sure if Elizabeth [a subordinate priest] knew she and Summer also shared the same tastes in men."

Web and Other Stuff ...
E-Readers are the big thing at the moment, but I think the technology is a long ways from finding a set pattern.  Writer Beware posted a link of a blog by TeleRead about the various types of tablets (aka e-readers) that turned up at a trade show.  80.  You might want to read the article and follow the links and comments. 

I think this shows just how far the e-reader technology has to go.  Maybe there are that many different models of televisions.  But, they all receive the same signal. ... Even if you still have an analog television set, the converter box or cable takes care of the signal for you.

Progress ...
Yeah, I've started working on Maren, now called "Hidden in Plain Sight" for the moment.  The opening sentence features overheard curses, and then, launches into the chronic unwanted suitor cliche.

I'm still cleaning up loose ends.  Did put up a free Half-Elven Renna tale on Wattpad to test the promotional waters.  This is a display site, and I know the consensus is that they are somewhat useless.  Still, I'm trying to find a simple, non-time-slurping way to use social media  [ aka re-inventing the wheel ].

Have read several of the posted stories on Wattpad.  My opinion?  The stories, while showing some interesting ideas, needed both critiquing and editing.

The level of my own writing?  Well, here's from an editor at Samhain who rejected Dark Solstice ( the Half-Elven book I'm marketing):  "While I did think the writing was very good, unfortunately the romantic elements aren't strong enough for our particular readership."  The letter went on to say they don't give personal criticisms.  I gather from what I've read elsewhere that personal comments have exploded in the editor's faces too many times.  --  Oh well, someday I'll find an editor who likes the stuff I write.  I'll be continuing the quest after I finish this blog.

Trivia ...
My evil twin is wondering whether the old man really needs implants to anchor his lower partial ... when she wants to go to the worldcon in Reno.  I could go, complete with a trip over the divide to visit my brother, for a whole lot less money than the implants.  ...  Then, there's the matter of a laptop.


Anonymous said...

I haven't heard of Wattpad before; might have to do some exploring...

You're right about eReaders. I'm happy with my new Kindle, but it's not perfect. Close, though. I'll always be a fan of paper and glue.

Kay Theodoratus said...

One of the threads on AW Water Cooler mentioned Wattpad, and it sounded better than most display sites. For one, they have a larger audience. Still, there's a strong rah-rah cheerleaders aspect.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I'm also a Fleming Fan, Kay. I'm a bit behind on her series (like I'm behind on everything), but hope to catch up one of these days.

Since I've been pretty busy entertaining the new kitten, I haven't had a chance to use my new Kindle much. Are you sure we can't buy more hours for our days somewhere?

Kay Theodoratus said...

The only solution I've found for more time? Speed up, with caffeine if necessary.

E.J. Wesley said...

You got my geek antenna up when you mentioned tablets/eReaders! :)

I agree about the staggering number of reading devices hitting the market. However, most of those things can 'read' most of the different formats (particularly on the tablets via all the little apps you can download). So folks who want to buy from Barnes & Noble can read their stuff on the iPad, etc. The only exception to that is what Amazon is doing; they are encrypting their newer eBooks in a way that will only allow them to be read on Kindle. Sort of like what Apple/iTunes does with music purchased from their store (you can only listen to it on an iProduct... unless you convert it somehow).

The variance comes down to your personal preference as a reader. Do you like a color screen or is black & white easier on your eyes? How large of a screen do you want? Do you want something that will do other things besides just allow you to read books? etc.

There'll never be a standard reading device (which is a good thing), but I'd like to see a standard file type used across all devices. If they all used .epub or .pdf then I wouldn't have to worry if the book I just purchased will work on my gadget. Sadly, that'll probably never happen either.

Kay Theodoratus said...

On e-readers. I think I'm waiting for more publishers to decide which way they're going to jump. While I don't exactly thing things will fall out like the TV distribution bit, I do think the delivery of "platforms" (?) will change.

Now, I feel like e-readers are like the break up of long distance services in the 1980s.