Finished WRITING THE NOVEL: FROM PLOT TO PRINT by Lawrence Block this morning. Some of you may recognize his name, others may not. He's had quite an e...more Finished WRITING THE NOVEL: FROM PLOT TO PRINT by Lawrence Block this morning. Some of you may recognize his name, others may not. He's had quite an extensive publishing career, and as I learned while reading this, Block actually got his start in writing erotic novels since they paid decent.
As with most how to write books, this will not help you get a book deal and it doesn't give you a list that you can easily follow and voila in a year you'll have a complete novel. It just gives you a few different approaches that Block, or his other writing peers have used to help get their ideas out of their heads and onto paper.
I think the parts that I enjoyed most was listening to Block talk about typewriters so frequently. The book was originally published back in 1979, so they are a few dated references, but the main ideas remain intact. I found some of the advice helpful (outlining the plot, character descriptions), but again, to use as a guide, not as a set of rules.
If you're starting to brainstorm for Nanowrimo already, or wanting to write a novel it may be worth giving this a read. I will say that the advice on how to contact a publisher or an agent is more than a bit outdated. Always go to the publisher's or agent's website to find out what their specific submission requirements are before sending something over. (less)
Finished CUT TO THE BONE by Jefferson Bass on Saturday night or Sunday morning, I haven't had to categorize a post midnight finish in quite some time....more Finished CUT TO THE BONE by Jefferson Bass on Saturday night or Sunday morning, I haven't had to categorize a post midnight finish in quite some time.
This was a daily deal impulse buy. The eighth title in A Body Farm series, the story was set up as a prequel the the existing series to explain the creation of the body farm on the University of Tennessee campus. Throughout the story I was slightly annoyed because there is an overwhelming lack of female characters who weren't introduced only to be a murder victim, even the wives or girlfriends of the characters were mainly there to comfort the male leads. While my interest was held the ending is where the novel redeemed itself, with an incredibly explosive last 16% or so. During the last chapters I couldn't put the book down.
I'm also a fan of reading the author notes at the end of books, and I'm glad that I did. Jefferson Bass is actually a writing duo combination of Dr. Bill Bass, the anthropologist who founded the body farm at UT, and Jon Jefferson his writing companion. I did appreciate that they included a note that said they were sorry to kill off so many young women, but that this is the world we live in. I think that note would have meant more if they had some additional ladies not being murdered.
I may pick up another one of these books in the future, but I don't feel compelled to go back and read the series starting from the beginning. (less)
Finished INCARCERON by Catherine Fisher this afternoon. This was another follower recommendation (thank you!). I had never heard of it before then, an...moreFinished INCARCERON by Catherine Fisher this afternoon. This was another follower recommendation (thank you!). I had never heard of it before then, and according to the Google sidebar I missed a movie in 2013 starring Taylor Lautner?
I think this falls into the scifi fantasy realm. Two worlds, one a super secret mystery prison labyrinth, the other a royal kingdom, and perspectives are given from each world. The story is decent, the characters are fine, I just didn't get attached. I had this same issue with another incredibly well liked fantasy ya novel. All of the elements were there, and I can recognize why so many people would enjoy the story, it just didn't click for me.
I would recommend this book if you enjoy multiple character narratives, inventive technology, romance possibilities, royal court scheming, betrothals, and maze like settings. It was a solid story, and I honestly feel a bit guilty for not liking it more. (less)
Finished BAD FEMINIST by Roxane Gay this morning. I've heard of Gay previously mainly due to Tumblr, and thought this would be an informational read....moreFinished BAD FEMINIST by Roxane Gay this morning. I've heard of Gay previously mainly due to Tumblr, and thought this would be an informational read. Boy is that an understatement. What I especially enjoyed was that none of the essays gave the command of "if we all did X, we'd be fine." All of the essays just highlighted how deep the issues of this country run, and if anything why there isn't an easy fix.
Gay uses her own experiences, as well as many familiar news events, films, books, and television programs to provide instances of how prevalent rape culture and the patriarchy is in nearly everything a person consumes in today's world.
I believe nearly everything in this collection was previously published in some form, but this is an incredibly powerful collection. Whether you consider yourself to be a feminist or not, I think most people could learn something from reading this collection of essays. I know I'm sending a copy to my mother and my mother-in-law to read.
Reading this collection has left a significant impression on me. Not only are my eyes more open than previously before, but also some common themes in literature that as a budding writer I will be sure to avoid.(less)
Finished MALLORY'S ORACLE by Carol O'Connell last night. I had never heard of this series before, and I apologize in advance but I cannot remember who...moreFinished MALLORY'S ORACLE by Carol O'Connell last night. I had never heard of this series before, and I apologize in advance but I cannot remember who told me to try this series for a female cop. (Please let me know so I can tag you!)
The book opens immediately with the murder of a cop who happens to be the foster parent of Kathy Mallory, the titular cop the series follows. Mallory's background is slowly revealed throughout the story and at first I really thought I was going to not like her as a character. Mallory is written as a tough-as-nails former thief with a talent for computer hacking. She's frequently described as beautiful with a heart of ice, who never sheds a tear, even after the murder of her foster father.
The ice princess/queen is a role I get tired of only because it's tired and acts like this is the only way women can be excellent cops. Thankfully she definitely has more layers exposed as the story goes on, and I found her to be much more than just a flat character.
It was fun to read about NYC in the 90s which is a very different world than the one I live in now. I don't know if I'll read more of the series, but for the first title in a series, this was a solid murder case with lots of twists that will keep you guessing this the very end. (less)
THE SILKWORM by Robert Galbraith was a great read. Strike and Robin are solving the case with an author as the deceased. It was nice to see their crim...moreTHE SILKWORM by Robert Galbraith was a great read. Strike and Robin are solving the case with an author as the deceased. It was nice to see their crime solving groove develop more. The murder was gory and the details were quite sordid. It didn’t hurt that the main players are writers and publishing professionals to add even more to interest me. Character development is on par for a murder series, giving you a bit more insight into the duo but teasing dark backstory for future novels to reveal. This is a strong follow up. I can’t wait for the next one, I will definitely be on preorder watch. Galbraith also has a lovely note at the end and touches upon the unmasking after the first novel’s publication. (less)
Finished THE CUCKOO'S CALLING by Robert Galbraith last night. I have to say, I may not have gotten to this if it hadn't leaked that JK Rowling was act...moreFinished THE CUCKOO'S CALLING by Robert Galbraith last night. I have to say, I may not have gotten to this if it hadn't leaked that JK Rowling was actually the author. I respect her decision to use a pseudonym, but I really wish she would have used a female name at least.
Cormoran Strike is a solid private investigator. He has a gossip worthy tragic past, a messy love life, and a military background. He's pretty much exactly what I enjoy with my detectives. Robin, Strike's temp assistant, wasn't fully fleshed out in the debut novel but I'm hoping to see her become a fuller character as the series continues.
I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys mystery novels. (less)
Finished SONG OF ACHILLES by Madeline Miller this morning. I was incredibly close to finishing last night, but everyone I cared for was already dead a...moreFinished SONG OF ACHILLES by Madeline Miller this morning. I was incredibly close to finishing last night, but everyone I cared for was already dead and I just didn't want the story to be completely finished yet.
This tells the story of The Iliad from the perspective of Patroclus, Achilles' love and best friend. While the Trojan War is definitely the main plot mover, it read more like the love story between Achilles and Patroclus as they go from children, to young men, to weathered soldiers. The writing was quite beautiful, and I really enjoyed the new perspective Miller provided to such a well known tale.
If you enjoy Greek mythology, or just enjoy a tragic love story between two ill-fated people give this a read. (less)