Monday, December 05, 2005

The Writing Track

I haven't been keeping up on reading my authors' blogs, and I probably should. Reading about other writer's progress makes me all frantic to keep up, and spurs me to write more. ^_^
I should probably think about setting up a list of all the links to the author's blogs I visit, because most are quite fun to read. Some, true, aren't really by authors, but by people connected one way or the other to books and writing. Those would be Ms Snark, Literary Agent ( a very helpful agent from New York who answers dozens of questions on her blog every day - to the extent where many doubt her claim that she actually is a literary agent, seeing as she spends so much time answering writer's questions. Bollocks! If she wasn't an agent, then her answers wouldn't nearly be so well-informed as they obviously are.
The second exception would be Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Novels (, written by women who are unabashedly devoted to the Romance novel industry, but not afraid to call them on their shit, when they see fit to produce shit.

Still, moving on - I've been riding along with a fairly even pace through George R. R. Martin's Clash of Kings. A Feast For Crows appeared in the mail a few days ago, and I'm in a rush to catch up so I can start reading the new book.
I've noticed something about novels and writing style - depending on the style, I read books slower or faster. I use the metaphor of a track - reading George R R Martin and JK Rowling is like riding a rollercoaster on a neverending slope downward - I'm drawn in and in and keep reading faster and faster until I reach the end. They're that good. Other authors have a style that's read more awkardly - Ian. R. MacLeod, for instance. Reading Breathmoss and Other Exhalations was like driving a rickety stationwagon over an unpaved dirt path littered with giant rocks and gaping potholes. Bounce, bounce, jolt, bounce - very rough, very meandering, very slow to get through.
My style, well, I enjoy it, the way a child might enjoy a jostling cartride along a flowering forest path - it goes all over the place, and it's hardly smooth, but I have a sentimental attachment to it. I think it all goes back to adjectives. Speech tags, upon closer examination, don't really grab my attention unless they're grossly misused. Adjectives, though, and the tongue-twisting names and new concepts often introduced in science fiction and fantasy, can provide obstacles in a writer's style, a rock on the path, if you will. A good fantasy writer, something I'm desperately striving to be, should learn how to add all those touches in such a way so that the passage of reading is smooth and uninterrupted by confusion.
So, I'm trying to do that for The Boy Who Would Be Queen. It's working, but mostly because I tend to unwittingly copy style from the author I'm currently reading - George R R Martin. I'll have to polish it more into my own style (presuming I even have one yet...^_^;;) during re-writes and revision.
Now, I'm back to school and waiting at the mailbox - I'm expecting the last of my Christmas presents (I'm done all my shopping!), a rejection/acceptance letter from CICADA Magazine, books from Green Man Review, and Locus, the December issue with an interview with Robin Hobb!


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