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.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ironic Little Plot Twists

The Read ...
Thought I was tired of Tamora Pierce's coming of age plots until I stumbled over her Trickster's Choice.  [ I was guilted into buying a book when son dragged us around to all the independent local bookstores.]  When it came to the top of the to-read pile, I was glad I bought it.  As you might expect from an expert craftsman, or is that person?, she pulled the rug out from under my expectations.

First, the "trickster theme" took a direction from the launching pad she built in the first pages.  The trickster didn't turn out to be what I first thought, and Pierce turned the twist into a double pronged device to inject semi-unexpected plot developments ...  by that, I mean not the most obvious possibility from the foreshadowing.

More towards the core of the story was the play on parent's telling their almost grown kids:  "Do what I say, not what I do.".  Then, when the kid does what they say, the results are totally unexpected to them and the kid who changes her priorities at the end.

All in all, an engaging tween book of intrigue.  Not exactly a thriller, but filled with plenty of action.  Now the sequel is nagging at the back of my mind.  Only, the copy I saw was a trade back ... and the to-read pile tripled over the holidays.

Web and Other Stuff ...
Roni Loren at *Fiction Groupie* has a blog on backstory and other story congealers: "How to Dish Out Backstory in Digestible Bites".  Since many of my own writing sins fall in this arena, I thought I'd point others in her direction.  If you're revising, she gives you a concise check list of things you should avoid ... plus some possible corrections.

I'm not reading so much on the web at the moment.  My back log of revision is too large, and I've made writing my priority.  [Have you heard that one before?  Bet you've made the same decision yourself.  How long did it take you before you started dawdling on the web again?] 

Progress ...
Yeah, I'm seriously trying to do two things at once:  draft a new WIP [Maren or Hidden in Plain Sight] and revising some of the leftovers from last year.  I got some good editorial input that I should put into revision.  I might actually have some saleable stuff stuck in my computer files.

I'm compiling a list of small and/or e-publishers ... only the focus is on YA/tween.  The Gotham contest where I submitted There Be Demons should be announcing their choices by the end of the month.  [No, I'm not expecting to win any of the critiques or whatever the prize was.]  Then, I'll be submitting the book directly to publishers since I seem to have better luck with them rather than agents.  Agents say, "Not for me.".  Yeah, I've had some acceptances, but I also get personal feedback from publishers.  And yeah, there are some major drawbacks in the pieces they have rejected, but I'm hoping they are repairable drawbacks.

Oh, just wanted to say compiling a list of publishers [and agents] isn't as easy as it sounds.  All aspects of publishing are in a state of flux.  Before I send something out, I always check with AW Water Cooler, Agent Query, and the entity's website.  It's surprising how many times perfectly good publishers end up on the questionable list for contract changes, late payments, or something else.  Personal case in point:  Spectra Magazine which bought my "Night for the Gargoyles" went on hiatus before they published the story.

Trivia ...
Baby it's cold outside, and I have errands I can't put off today.  I'll feel sorry for myself because I can't sit in front of the computer and revise away.  I want another story out on submission.  
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