Lessons from My Reading

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.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Long Books, Short Books

Kay's Book Review:
What's the proper length of a book? The question comes up regularly in writers' forums, and someone retells the conventions for the various genres. Never thought much about the length of the books I read, though I did notice that they tend to be in the 300 pages range. Mostly because the manuscripts I write tend to be shorter. -- Yeah, the old doubt: Am I doing it right? [I'm beginning not to care.]

Lately, however, the books in the grocery store book section seem to have gotten thicker, maybe a result of G. R. R. Martin's increasing popularity.  Peter V. Brett's The Warded Man is a good example. In a world caught in a war between demons of the night and humans, Brett follows his three survivors as they grow into into the stuff of heroes, perhaps saviors.  The book's rather episodic and skates along the edges of being back story, but the action and the good transitions keep the book tied together.

The three dimensional characters carry the story from they beginning attack to saving a village with newly found weapons. Brett even gives his secondary characters a in depth motivations which give them three dimensionality too.  I had high hopes for an almost perfect book ... until the last pages.  The story dribbled into two dimensionality when it tried to set up for the second volumne.  --  Did I sense the hand of the marketing department, perhaps?

Grumbling About My Lessons:
If your writing area is like mine, it's piled higher and deeper with paper.  Oh, I have managed to keep one card table free as a desk area.  Even managed to do the final edit of Cavern Between Worlds before I uploaded it to Amazon. It even survived my revision of the outline of my new story. -- Everything's going so smoothly I may break my arm patting myself on the back.

Then, I read Shelley Hitz's 26 Free Author Tools, and rediscovered how much I don't know and how unorganized I really am.  Take a look at her sources/tips.  You'll find suggestions about  everything from self-publishing a print book at Createspace to some sources to print-on-demand products to use promoting your book. 

Hitz's website is crammed full of self-publishing tips and tools.  You might even find some of her suggestions useful if you have a traditional publisher.  --  Me?  I printed off a copy and am underlining the things I should already know. My card table desk is no longer neat and tidy.

Now, I'm grumbling because I have another bunch of information to study.

Bad Haiku:

Desperation
10

Ships line island shores,
The anvils ring bright death’s knell.
The battle prep starts.

False king’s court dances,
Pretends all’s well in the land.
Servants drift away.

King seeks new allies.
Demons demand greatest price,
His young daughter’s life

Trivia:
How many times to blog? Some say once a week. Some say three times a week.
I'm going to try blogging once a week towards the weekend.
Why? Came to the conclusion that I mainly blog now to update my website the easy way.
I'd rather read blogs than write blog.

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