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.


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

What Problems CanYou Solve When You Raise the Dead?

Rin Chupeco's The Bone Witch gave my linear, little mind a workout. Was kind of nice. Just when everything around me seems to be sinking to lowest common denominator, someone like Chepeco comes along. Nothing like flash backs and flash forwards, different cultural perspectives, and multiple viewpoints set in different time periods to keep the reader's brain cells bouncing.

Think I would have put down the book during the first chapter except for the opening statement from the protagonist's point of veiw. Have you ever seen a better hook than: "Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise.” 

Oh oh, the main character can raise the dead. Necromancy usually leads to no good, but the character was depicted positively. Obviously, a puzzle waits for the reader.

At first, the book seems like just another magical apprentice in training after Tea, the protagonist of the book, is discovered by a more experienced bone witch or necromancer. Chupeco quickly forcesTea to make life or death decisions each time she uses her magic. 

Descriptions are often lovely in this book. How many scenes have described magic being worked? Here's Chupeco's take: "With shaking hands, I drew the Heartsruin in the space between us. The red flowed from my finger and followed the path my hand took, staining the breeze with every movement, so that when I was done, the symbol stood before me, written in my own blood. I felt that welcome rush of relief and elation as the magic filled me up, infused itself into the rune."

Simple English sentence structure the above isn't. But it throbs with imagery and emotion.

Descriptions are especially important when world building. Chupeco's magic system is both simple and complicated as it is concentrated in the heartstones all adults in her world seem to wear. Her magic organized and easy to understand in spite of the twists as Tea delves deeper into her powers. Chupeco even makes the strength of Tea's magic one of her weaknesses.

If you want to sample the richly rewarding book, you can go to
Amazon        Barnes & Nobel/Nook        Rakuten/kobo      

Other Interesting Reading

Have you heard of "cockygate"? A romance writer trademarked the word "cocky" and sent letters to other other writers to change their titles and asked Amazon to take down listings that didn't. Yes, there is a brouhaha. Here's a link to the Passive Guy's link and the Writers Beware blog.


Janet Reid, my dream agent if I were a successful traditionally published writer, had an interest discuss of characters and character flaws. She even sounded neutral about Dath Vader. Take a look here.

My Writing Rut

Rendezvous with Demons. Just when I thought my writing might turn productive [a 1000 words a day], I hit another boggle. Not write's block per se, but a mess of dialog that had no anchor. Oh, there was a little bit of setting...but my go to search engines seems to be overrun with ads from sites wanting to sell me stuff related to my search. Though California
was specifically written in the search parameters, I got results from places like New Mexico and South Africa and points in between. Am willing to make a "donation" if I can find the data I want, but think the commercialization of the web is going too far.

Oh. How do I get the best of "writer's block"? I write dialog for a pertinent scene. Before I get 500 words written, I'm going back to insert pertinent facts...description and narration and characters' reactions...as is appropriate for close third person viewpoint. I also use a lot of internal dialog to sum up loads of narative. Sounds good, but I'm still slow as molasses.

Still setting up Britt, as an adult, getting ready to fight the demons at Dockets Diggings with Gillen and Cahal with the Crossings Freemages. So far, after his dripping blood, first appearance, Gillen's been sleeping a lot in shrunken form. Cassy Mae and her grandmother are long gone. [If you are curious about their encounter with demons, you can visit Amazon, B&N/Nook, and Rakuten/kobo. It's free in the US and the equivalent of a buck in other countries. If you live in another country you might try Smashwords and see if you can download it free there.]

On the Run is progressing. I have the copyedits. All I have to do is transfer them. Guess I won't be marketing much.

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