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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Monday, February 6, 2012

Avoiding Pitfalls: Stuff Writers Should Know

Let's talk about some pit falls of writing.

Since I'm dyslexic as a coot, I often get thrown by book cover typefaces ... most often at Smashwords where there are a lot of self-publishers. Bottom line: I can't read the type. The author loses since I don't pick up the book of the shelf or click the link unless the cover art is super-stunning. If you want to be sure your book cover is readable check out what Joel Friedlander has to say in his blog: 5 Great Fonts for Book Covers.  

 Once you have any sort of web presence, you should check what's appearing under your name -- regularly. If you come up with the shock of someone else using your name or tagging your name, you need to protect it. You do have resources. The Guns, Gams, and Gumshoes blog did a bit recently on removing internet tags from your name. Maybe a good thing to bookmark it. I did.

In my last blog, I mentioned that the Regency was one of my favorite time periods. My least favorite, though I've read and enjoyed many books set there, the Victorian period both early and late, is my least favorite. The hypocrisy sticks in my craw. Why? The Victorianst gives a good example why in a posting of a polemic ranting against a man marrying an irreligious woman from the period. Which makes me wonder if a writer can write in a period where they are uncomfortable.

Even though I don't particularly like the period, mystery writer Anne Perry has drawn me back again and again to her world set in the Victorian period with her Monk and Pitt series. But then, one of the main themes of those books is a strong woman fighting against convention. Of course, Perry writes great mysteries wrapped up in lush historical detail.

Perry writes in series, which is sort of a norm for mystery writers, and now, other genres seem to have followed the pattern, especially the paranormal. This makes sense to me because you have most of your characters set up before you start writing. You just have to make them grow.

Seems to me that for a character to grow, s/her must be solidly visualized. Gail Carriger posted a series of pictures on her blog of the queen of her Westminster vampire hive. Check out the Countess of Nadasdy and see if you can visualize your characters so vividly. Tumblr might help.

Can't believe I came up with another justification for spending less time with my own writing.


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