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.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Make Your Characters Worth their Weight in Complications

My Writerly Fantasy Review:
Laurell K. Hamilton writes well-drawn, multi-dimensional characters, and her new mass paperback, Bullet, doesn't disappoint with its action packed "A day in the life of Anita Blake".   Just reading it makes you ready for about five naps.  I can't imagine her writing the book without an outline.

The book begins will with two contentious secondary characters becoming less so ... for maybe about a fourth of the book.  Even Blake, herself, shows some willingness to take directions -- maybe, make that suggestions -- from her fellows.  Hey, the characters are changing here, guys, right before our eyes.  How often do series characters do that?

Then, everything explodes when Blake's "menagerie" is attacked by Mammy Noir and her European vampire minions.  The vampires of St. Louis scrabble to build their barricades and alliances to defend themselves.  The process is great fast-moving fun.  The characters don't appear on cue either, but each appearance contributes unique complications to Blake's day.  -- Hamilton has the ability to write detailed action without bogging down the story line, a talent shared by Lee Child.

The pre-release blurbs give this book the feel of a trilogy within a series.  Maybe the end of the Anita Blake series once she defeats Mammy Noir ... or will Mammy Noir continue to lurk in the shadows, lusting after Blake's body and supernatural powers so she can rule the world again?  Guess I might just have to go to Hamilton's website and find out if there're any hints.  [More social networking?  Maybe I could call it research?]

Web Stuff:
My reading's really been cut off at the knees with all the bother of getting my free short story [Cavern Between Worlds] up on Smashwords and Kindle [not quite, yet].  Even with help. I also have some major critiques to get done now that the multiple funerals are over.  Believe me, it would have been lovely to have a publisher do all that.  They'd be done by now.  Again, I can't thank Tiger Author Services enough.  [I paid them too.]

I never even thought of doing an email campaign to publicize my little e-books.  Mostly because I cheer whenever something gets caught in my spam filter.  If you are thinking about using an email marketing firm, you might look at this Writer Beware blog.  When you know which book marketing efforts don't work, you can save a lot of money.

Writing Progress:
Am in the process of shifting gears ... yet again.  Have my vowel controlled pre-primers ready for revision.  Yeah, hard to think that a less-than-four-page script needs revision, but it does.  At the moment, the script sounds like the text.  Not good.  Still, don't know if the publisher is still interested.  Am waiting for them to finish with the book before me before they turn their attention towards me ... if they're still interested.  [Nothing like positive thinking.]

Wondering.  How often do you grind your teeth when you get to a stage where a publisher is interested in one of your manuscripts?

Other than that, I'm revising ... revising ... and revising.  Yeah, three different things. Oh, I had a flash fiction piece rejected ... so I have to resubmit that.

Trivia ...
While I'm tired of funerals, I think my local friends are too.  A group of us are getting together for lunch ... even if all of us are "too busy".


Conor said...

Kay, Bullet sounds like a good read. I'll have to check it out. Sorry to hear that you're having trouble getting your stories up on e-formats. Hope they get up as soon as possible.

Unknown said...

Conor, welcome. If you aren't familiar with the Anita Blake series and like to read in sequence, you might try reading Flirt first. It begins Blake's attitudinal change.

Oh, Cavern is up on Smashwords complete with the cover. It's Kindle that's in process. Me, the computer klutz, is going to try to upload for PubIt if I don't have to get an ISBN.