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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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Cliches Uber Alles -- But Still, A Hook?

Wasn't I the person who pronounced that she only skimmed books that didn't hook me because they were filled with cliches? Guess what happened on the next book I read.

At the grocery store, I caught a book by Kay Hooper I hadn't seen before: Unmasking Kelsey. The book's a suspense/romance first published in 1988. Yeah, 20 years ago, and how publishing has changed! 

But, if you're a best-selling author, you get you old stuff republished -- even if it doesn't meet today's conventions. While I didn't count or try to estimate the words, I suspect the book qualifies as a short novella made to look like a novel by using double spacing. -- Hey, I looked at the book before I bought it so I knew I was paying $7 bucks up front.

So, the cliches:

What could be more of a cliche than an enigmatic alpha male and a damsel in distress falling in lust/love at first sight? Kelsey is the emotionally suppressed male who gets his chain yanked by said damsel whose sister has been kidnapped by the bad guys. Hooper uses this premise to base a solid puzzle piece using private super-competent agents for law and order. I enjoyed it more because you can see where her Bishop FBI series incubated. 

In short, good ideas trump cliches.   

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Useful Information

Some surprising stuff falls out of my stat listings. [You do look at your blog stats, don't you? What has surprised you when you look at them?] While checking "More" on my stats, I sometimes click on the more unusual urls who checked out the blog. Recently found a blog on some basic boxing moves that can help your/my characters in a street fight: "Three Basic Boxing Combos that You can Use in a Street Fight". It's on a Mixed Martial Arts blog where I couldn't find any name attached.

Also, liked Scott Bury's take on keeping your writing simple -- stupid. Though he doesn't put it that way. Just had to show my age, I guess. Anyway, Scott blogged at "Written Words" about some Writing Tips: Don't try to be a Writer. 

His blog reminded me when I was in college when a couple of friends of mine and I tried to surpass the others in writing term papers in the most ponderous German academic style. Once I wrote a sentence over 100 words long ... and it sort of made sense.
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