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.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Gods as Characters

The Read ...
Can you tell I'm thinking a lot about characters and how to depict them?  [ Look at the title of my last blog. ]  

Read Tamora Pierce's Tricker's Queen.  Review:  It's a well-written, suspenseful book which gives the reader a few twists along the way.  More important, she got me thinking about gods (okay, and goddesses) as characters.

A given -- for both believers and non-believers -- is that gods like to meddle in human business.  The "least devout" might say that gods are human excuses for human failures.  The devout might think: if something goes wrong, someone must have something "agin' yah", like as not some persnickety god or the witch down the road.

Pierce makes her meddling gods ... delightfully human.  More.  She has taken bits of the Greek/Roman/pan-European pantheon and added Coyote to create a trickster god.  [At least, it felt that way when I read the book.]  Coyote isn't per se really a god, but he can create havoc with the best of them.  The manipulating god in the Trickster series creates lots of consternation for people ... but all's well in the end since Aly, the main character, grows up as she faces the challenges thrown her way.

What does all that mean for writers staring at a work-in-progress?  Well, you can study the various pantheons and mix-and-match traits to create your own meddling god ... or you can apply the traits to a human character.  Since actual plot lines repeat themselves, you can even retell a god's story within a human setting.

Web Promotion and Other Stuff ...
Have you noticed I'm twisting in the wind here?  Mostly, about what to do about the time social media takes.  Granted I had an enormous learning curve to climb ... but I still feel like I'm talking to myself.  Yeah, I know I have some loyal readers ... and I never expected to have a "popular" blog.  Still.  There are time constraints to blogging.  I'm still posting "Lessons" once a week, but I'm aiming for Wednesdays now.

That preface leads up to a thanks to Patti Struble who pointed me in the direction of Celery Tree, a gathering place for authors.  They have an immensely helpful article on getting the most out of the time you spend social networking.  Reading the Top Ten Rules of Social Media is well worth your time ... even if you're in a hurry.  --  Oh, Patti's worth reading too.  She's been giving useful craft info that every writer should practice.

Okay.  I'm a slow learner.  Just discovered the #marketing listing at Twitter.  You might find some useful info there.  Another free marketing resource can by found at AW Water Cooler.  They have a forum where writer's discuss marketing e-publications.  ...  If I ever get my act together, I plan to actually study some of the info I've just scanned.

Progress ...
The snail needs to get some giddity-up-and-go.  2-300 words a day isn't going to cut it no matter what else I'm cleaning up. Next big project?  

I need to double proof-read my website.  Why?  I going to take my pride in hand and submit it to 1st Turning Point for a critique.  Plan?  To correct what "mistakes" I can before "Taking Vengeance" is published. 

Trivia ...
The cat has been ignoring my lap in favor of watching the birds.  I've been enjoying how the chickadees sneak into the feeder and rush out before the finches realize they are there too.


Bryce Ellicott said...

I'm also learning the nature of how to use social media to the best advantage. Right now I'm focusing on connecting with other writers and readers, finding new friends and colleagues, and identifying new places to learn. I'm just hoping Twitter does not become a necessity, since I don't think I'd get any writing done if I started that :) One Writer's Mind

Kay Theodoratus said...

I'm still kicking and screaming, but I don't think my temper tantrum is going to stop my blogging.

I find it helps me organize my thoughts.

One thing about Twitter. I chose to use it to discuss my writing more than Facebook (family and people I really know). One way to shorten your time on Twitter is to set up a list of people you want to concentrate on. Send your thoughts into the universe ... and talk to people you "know".

Ugh. Now you've got me thinking. My brain's going to get overworked.

Margo Berendsen said...

Hey, thanks for the tip about #marketing. I am still figuring out this twitter thing, but so far I like it. It's efficient. Will definitely chcek out those social media links.

I hear so much about Tamora pierce. Must definitely read something of hers soon. Too many books, too little time.

Now that I finally discovered that I'm a weekend writer, my social life has diminished but my word count has improved. 4k so far this weekend. New book is 90% done. Now for the hardest part -the ending. Tricky buggers, those endings.

Kay Theodoratus said...

Hey I just found the #marketing on Twitter and I've been playing there over almost a year.

If you try something of Tamora Pierce, I'd start with the Allana, the Bekka or the Trickster series. You should be able to find them in a used bookstore.

E.J. Wesley said...

Kay, "Lessons" is absolutely one of my favorite regular blog features from anyone. (And I read 100s of these damned things a week!) You have a wonderful talent for getting a point across.

I really enjoyed the way Rick Riordan pulled off the gods/character thing in the Percy Jackson books. They always felt supremely powerful while still feeling flawed.

I'll check out the #marketing thing as well. I've really enjoyed Twitter so far, but it's so much deeper than I ever imagined.


Kay Theodoratus said...

Why thank you kind, sir.

I think Riordan and other writers need to thank the Greeks for making their gods so human. I'm really looking forward to the series where the Greeks and the Romans gods are forced to work together. [I least I think that's were the new Camp Halfblood books are taking us.]

FantasticFiction said...

Thanks for the tips!

Kay Theodoratus said...

Hope you find them as useful as I am.