Friday, September 26, 2008

Tricksy Hobbitses

Currently on my iTunes: "Sober" by Kelly Clarkson

1. I'm having a hard time believing that it's already Friday.

2. Actually, I'm having a hard time believing the date on the calendar. Where does the time go?

3. I've been silent on my progress in Shadowing Fate here but there's a good reason.

4. I was SO CLOSE to finishing when I realized I had an incredible idea to deepen the plot, make the villain so much scarier, and thoroughly mess with my reader's heads because they won't be able to see how Alexa can avoid the fate the villain has chosen for her.

5. This is doing incredible things to my plot and my characters, but it also asks for a very intensive rewrite of the middle of the book. Last night I rewrote a chapter and kept ONE SENTENCE from the original version.

6. But, what a sentence. :D

7. So, I'm pushing hard this weekend to get through that re-write so I can deliver my Holy Crap ending and get this into the hands of the four agents waiting for it.

8. I've watched Fringe for three weeks now and a post is on its way on what is truly great about this show and what is totally holding it back from being on the same level as Alias.

9. My neighbor and I went to the movies Tuesday night. We used the excuse that we had to go after her parent-teacher conferences to see the only movie offered after 7:30 pm: The Dark Knight.

10. She accused me of being in love with the Joker.

11. She's right.

12. Nothing about his performance dims over time. I can't wait to own this film so I can rewind scenes and watch them again to soak up the nuances of his character.

13. The previews before the movie, however, leave serious doubt about the future of movies for the next 6 weeks. I think the only one that looked really good opens today: Eagle Eye.

14. Everything else looked like an incredible waste of time.

15. In our after-dinner conversation this past Monday, I asked, as I always do, each boy to tell us something interesting about their day.

16. No one will be surprised that Daredevil announced he'd become Emperor. And Pope. And President.

17. I asked him who that put him in charge of and he looked at me and said "You."

18. Keep dreaming, kiddo.

19. Next week I'll be featuring an interview with a fellow Pixie whose debut novel comes out today on the Wild Rose Press. It's a light paranormal with historical elements and a dash of suspense. Sound fun? Stay tuned!

20. Reader Question: What makes you stop reading a book and move on to something else instead?


  1. 1. It grosses me out. Scatologically normally lmao.

    2. It's just so damned boring that I can't get past the first chapter. That really is a deciding factor for me, If I can't get past chapter 1, I'm not reading it.

    3. Verbose descriptions that are pointless, serve no purpose and aren't well written.

  2. Let's see, what's been sitting around with a bookmark in it for months?

    Exhibit A. Page 1: Hero knocks on door. Page 12: The door is opened. The filling: A whole lotta oh-who-gives-a-crap interior monologue while he stands on the stoop. *snore*

    Exhibit B. Teenage vampire public oral sex. It's a YA book, which means it's being read by tweens, so that makes me a little uncomfortable, but I think I'm more annoyed by the "heroine is pure/mean girl is a whore" characterization device.

    Exhibit C. Good grief, why haven't I gotten this out of the house yet? This is a HUGE peeve of mine---dialogue that reads like it was written by one of those people who's so proud not to own a TV. It's authentic dialogue, like the mundane, meandering, pointless talk you'd hear if you eavesdropped on real-life people having a mundane, meandering, pointless conversation. I think of dialogue as being synonymous with momentum, but I swear dinosaurs died slow, agonizing deaths in this stuff.

    Basically, anything that makes reading feel like a chore is going to be gathering dust around here until it goes in the donation box.

  3. ND:

    1. Hm. Yes. That would do it.

    2. I'm with you there.

    3. Which usually lends itself to me not getting past chapter 1, lol.


    1. Sheesh. It's like a manual on How Not To Write.

    2. Squick.

    3. This is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves. Dialogue is momentum. It advances conflict, creates characterization, and develops emotional arcs.

    Anything that doesn't do those three things shouldn't be in the book.

  4. Anything that doesn't do those three things shouldn't be in the book.

    So They tell us, but I have a giveaway box full of bound printed material that proves They lie.

    It's a conspiracy, I tell ya.

  5. When I find myself thinking of other things while reading... cleaning out the cat box, or laundry.

    Yeah, it's time to put the book down and do something else. :D


  6. Kerry - We'll be Conspiracy Busters. Or something like that.

    Paul - Lol. That's the way it works with writing. Revise, revise, revise until it's as close to perfect as I'm capable of writing. You'll get the revisions soon. :)

    Katy - Yes. If a book can't hold my attention, I don't bother with it.

  7. I tell ya, it happens VERY rarely that I give up on a book before reaching the end. Must be the actor in me; I can't bear to walk out on someone's production at intermission...
    HOWEVER... anything that takes 50 pages to describe a blade of grass, anything with poorly drawn female characters, anything that mixes up "its" and "it's" may find me doing the equivalent of softly shutting the lobby door somewhere in Act 2.

  8. 1. I lose the book somewhere in the trash heap that is my house.

    2. The cat barfs on it/toddler rips it to pieces. And I realize I don't care.

    3. Characterization that isn't to my liking. (The heroine is totally TSTL or the hero is an asshat.)

  9. I'll overlook quite a bit to get to the HEA of a romance. When I see ho-hum dialogue, excessive description or grammatical errors galore, I think, "If this got published, then, boy, oh, boy, I'm gonna make it because at least I don't do that."

    One thing that stops me cold, though, and has led me not to finish a book I paid good money for is historical inaccuracy. Since that's the category I read most often and the one in which I've written, I expect the facts to be checked before they go in the story.

    Case in point from a team with many books in print: historic town in the wrong place. I live seven miles from Coloma. Any fourth grader in California should be able to tell you that's where James Marshall found the gold nugget at Sutter's Mill and forever changed the course of history. I live forty-two miles from Sutter's Fort, which is in Sacramento, as those same students know. When I read a book that had Sutter's Mill right beside Sutter's Fort, I knew the author hadn't done even the most basic research and wasn't to be trusted. I didn't donate the book to the library. I pitched it.

  10. DM- You have more patience than I do! Readiing is a passion of mine that has taken a backseat to my passion for writing so when I do get time to read, I don't waste my time with something that can't hold my attention. :) (Plus, I love to really soak up someone else's incredible talent and learn.)

    Writer (and Your Royal Felineness) - Does your cat do that to your books too? I thought only my furry muse pulled stunts like that.

    Keli - Yeah, I can see you pitching something with historical inaccuracy. You do have the patience of a saint with everything else, though. :) I should know.

  11. Honestly? Poor writing. I don't care how good the story is, if the writing isn't up to par I'm moving on. (you, my dear, have nothing to fear in that area!)

  12. Rapunzel,

    You are soooo right. CJ's voice is over-the-top amazing. I marvel at what flows from her fingertips. She makes it look so easy.

    Wanders off muttering, "Thou shalt not covet."


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