Sunday, December 30, 2012

I'll start tomorrow, I promise...

I read a few books while I was away on holiday. Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher which I loved and City of Bones by Cassandra Clare which mostly annoyed me. There are few things as satisfying when reading a book as figuring out the subtext and feeling clever because you have done so. I realise now how important 'voice' is to me - Ketchup Clouds has a strong voice. Its a common quality in my favourite reads. I know books are such a subjective art form. Enough readers have loved the (best selling) Mortal instrument series by Clare to inspire a major studio to make it into a movie. Don't get me wrong - there were things I liked about the City of Bones book, but ultimately the annoying things outweighed them. Things like repeating the same description for the same character, often on the same page, or contradicting a description with a second description soon after the first. There was a lot of 'telling' and info dumping. World building for alternate or new worlds should feel natural (think Lord of the Rings or Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials Trilogy or Holly Black's Curse Worker books- as complex as these were I didn't struggle to recall details or connections between them with those books) but I didn't enjoy having to remember all the elements required in City of Bones. And what does 'green-scented' mean???? I liked the three main protagonists and consequently found the relationship twist at the end of this first book a little repugnant. I didn't really enjoy the writer's style and I respect that this is a taste thing. But having recently picked up another best seller which I quickly put down again because the writing was so unsubtle (I hate it when I can see the author trying so hard) and the plot so, so ... clunky ..... I am a tad grumpy. It probably didn't help that I came home from the holiday and went to see The Hobbit and wasn't entirely happy about what Mr Jackson had done with it. Much respect to Andy Serkis, Martin Freeman and James Nesbitt (in that order) however. And I am now reading Ian Rankin's Standing in Another Man's Grave and am happy to report, so far, so good. If nothing else, all this serves to remind me I must try harder when writing my own books and find a hobbit hole to hide in if anyone ever makes one into a movie.

I must admit it's been hard to get back in to writing mode after being away. I'm still feeling quite holidayish...

We waved goodbye to the Sydney Opera House on Dec 12th

and tried picking coconuts on Lifou on Dec 16th

and went rock climbing while at sea
played table tennis
and mini golf

and went swimming at tropical locations

I am not waiting three years for my next holiday. And I promise, tomorrow I start writing again...

1 comment:

Old Kitty said...

I'm to see the Hobbit this weekend and am dreading it already! LOL!!!

I'm still reeling at how annoying a read Girl with the dragon tattoo trilogy were with the baaaaaad outweighing the good bits but then the world and his brother seems to disagree and on and on the franchise rolls...

Anyway!! I'm wishing you and your wonderful family a most fabulous New Year!! And I hope you never ever get to wait so long for a well deserved break!!! Yay! Take care