It’s been a while since I’ve given an update about my original work, so this post will have some of that as well as some musing about a behaviour I’ve noticed myself exhibiting for a while now (which, as you can tell by the title, has something to do with time management.)
But first up, what have I been up to? I swear, I’ve actually been hard at work. In the middle of January, I decided to use the last half of the month to try and finish off the second draft of my original story. I managed to get through a week or so of something like a self-imposed NaNoWriMo, writing 1,667 words each day. I got to a certain point, where I just thought: “Man, if I keep going with the way I planned this story, I’m going to end up with something really messy. Still.” I say “still,” because if you’ve been following my blog you know that I’ve done nothing in the past year but revise outlines and drafts to pluck out elements and streamline my story. The last time I wrote about my original project, I talked about eliminating one of the main characters and his arc entirely. And as I tried to move forward with that in mind, I still found myself stumbling over multiple other elements.Read More »
One of my resolutions this year is to finish all the books I’ve already bought before buying new ones. I might allow myself to borrow a book from the library if I really can’t help it, but I’ll try my best to get through the ones I own and haven’t read yet.
The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
I am becoming a pretty solid fan of Frances Hardinge. The very first book I read from her, Fly By Night, failed to make a strong impression, but the next book I read, The Lost Conspiracy moved me to tears. I had a rocky start with A Face like Glass, but by the end, I know that I would read almost every single book Hardinge writes thereafter. When I picked up The Lie Tree, I was wondering if it would be hard to get into it like A Face like Glass, but not at all! From the beginning, we are given a premise so compelling for the main character that I was motivated to keep turning the page. This is one of those books I read well into the night because I couldn’t put it down. Good thing I was on vacation at the time!
What I love about Hardinge’s books is that they tackle really complicated subjects without being verbose about it. She also writes loneliness and ostracization really well. Sometimes when a protagonist is dealing with all kinds of crap, which they do very often, it can come off as a “woe is me” kind of situation. With Hardinge’s books, I’ve never felt that.
Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers
The Peter Wimsey mysteries is one of those highly-recommended books over at Sounis, so I bought the entire collection as a bundle. The first book is Whose Body? I have to say, I’m not jumping up and down about it. I thought the mystery was well constructed, but it was difficult to get into Sayers’ writing. Most of the plot was advanced through dialogue. Everyone was just talking all the time in big chunky paragraphs. I’m not saying it’s terrible — just that I’m not used to it. There also wasn’t much characterization until near the end when we witness Peter’s trauma from the war. I’ll still read the other books in the series, simply because I already have them at hand.
I have written a lot on this blog about how I would like to see realistic elements in fantasy, particularly when it comes to politics. Inevitably, I receive comments indicating that readers are upset that I apparently don’t understand that fantasy is, well, fantasy. But I have never criticized fantasy for containing dragons or ogres […]