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, March 16, 2015

Add Spice to Your Writing -- Move Storylines to a Different Country

The Edge of Nowhere (Edge of Nowhere Series #1)   While browsing in a different part of the bookstore, I stumbled across the first book in a new series by mystery writer, Elizabeth George, The Edge of Nowhere. Since we've traveled through Whidbey Island, where the book is set, many times, I picked it up even though trade paperbacks hurt my thumbs when I read. Yeah, George has branched on from her Inspector Lynley series to a new one featuring Becca King, a teen who hears other people's thoughts as whispers.

  Don't worry George's abilities to weave a tangled mystery plot didn't get  totally lost in her foray into the supernatural. The mystery is alive and well in The Edge of Nowhere.

  I did find a couple of road bumps that almost stopped my reading, though. I found the premise that an abandoned teen wouldn't get picked up by the local cops and taken to protective services in such a small place, especially if she landed there without an adult in hand, hard to believe -- even on an island with huge amounts of tourist traffic passing through. Also thought George tended to talk down to the kids, like thinking two syllables in stead of four. If it wasn't for the ages of the characters, I would have called this a tween or upper middle grade book, even if it's over 400 pages.

  With that said, I must say that the last couple of YA novels that have come my way were even more simplistic than George's ... and they were published in hard back by major traditional publishers. *My-hands-are-up- in-the-air* For the record, I didn't think much of the editing for The Edge of Nowhere.

  Characterization felt a little flat here. Still, the characters had just enough quirks to keep them from being predictable. For me the storyline left too many dangling threads at the end, even for the first book in a trilogy.

  But the settings. Oh, the setting. I could taste Whidbey Island and feel the ocean against my skin. Her descriptions evoked the misty closeness of walking through huge, thick growing trees which complemented the mystery well by making it feel spookier.

   Recommended with reservations. It kept me reading.  As a fan of the more intricate Lynley books, I found the book an enjoyable read, but felt it didn't have enough salt and pepper in the mix. As a fantasy reader, I didn't think George developed the paranormal angle enough.

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  Did a little bit of this, and a little bit of that last week. Proofing my author website  continues, usually in the wee hours when I normally read. Main achievement? I'm getting an intimate understanding why the gurus say not to proof your own stuff. On the other hand, I need to get it up without embarrassing me too much so I can get it analyzed. *Snarl*

  Biggest accomplishment. I got almost 3,000 words written on Cassy Mae's new story. Have almost 10,000 words down, the beginning of the beginning and the beginning of the middle. Seems I started the story in the middle.

   Have tried something different in my writing this time around. Just wrote scenes one after another without trying to construct them into chapters. When it got near time to submit to my critique group, I went back and revised, but didn't break the piece in two and add a chapter hook. The results wasn't too bad. Can't wait until we get together to discuss the holes in the story lines. I'm deliberately not
spending time on revising this time around. So far, it looks like I'm getting more production out of my writing time.

  I'll end by mentioning my review promo for The Ghostcrow continues on Smashwords if you use the code: RP68A. As a reader of my blog, I don't really expect a review ... but it would be nice. Yeah, I'm shameless.

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