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.
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