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Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday Random

Random Thing You Need: A web presence!!! Case in point, scrolling through the blogs this morning I tripped over a post about a book on someone's nightstand: military sci-fi with female lead by Laura Reeve.

And I go... wait... I don't have anyone named Reeve in my collection!

I feel like the mad scientist who realizes her pet mutant has escaped. I horde books, and military sci-fi is one of my favorite sub-genres. I really do aim to have every book in my collection, no matter how much it makes the mover's eyes twitch.

So I Googled, and whadda know! Mz. Reeve popped up with all the information I need to go add her to my shiny collection of happy books where things go boom! In this case, a solar system goes boom! That takes talent.

Random Frustration of the Week: Seeing a good author with a good storyline ruin a book. Dagnabit that's frustrating! I picked up a random book off my shelf for some light reading. The author is one of my fav's for sci-fi-rom. But the book? And then I remembered, yes, it was Book 4 for the author, but it was also a rewrite of an earlier debut novel that sunk.

Great idea, lousy execution. It really does read like a mid-draft of a debut novel: technically correct but lacking depth and detail.

Do yourself (and your readers) a favor. If you are madly in love with your book, take advice from your beta-readers. If they all come back saying the writing needs this or that tweak, believe them. A reader can't read your mind. They don't know how to love your characters if you don't give them the right information.

Mad character love is not pretty.

Random Fun of the Week: Three chapters edited in five days! *does the happy dance*

I'm ignoring all thought of writing three new chapters to bridge a gap I left in the rough draft. It's always so tempting to say, "I can fix it later." Don't.... just write it.

Random Winner Last Week: The Library! The local library is getting a like-new-never-been-read (because I bought the paperback the same week someone gave me the hardcover) copy of Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett.

So.... What's your random?


  1. I imagine you've read the Honor Harrington series by David Weber? How about the Miles Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold? (That's sort of military, but not full on military sf.)

    You might also like John Ringo's books for military sf if you haven't read him yet. His Prince Roger series was really cool, in particular.

    I like military SF, but my favs all have the characters be the biggest draw in the book. I want characters that jump off the page and have conversations with me. Some military SF is too dry for me (John Ringo and Weber can be hit and miss in that regard.)

  2. Liana, What good advice... and so hard for an insecure writer to take. LOL Speaking from experience, my first critique session freaked me out. Shades of childhood criticism all over again. But, ya know what? As I thought about what they had said, they were right, and my writing is the better for it. I won! :-D

  3. My random: I've helped Hershey's by buying quite a bit of their chocolate :) Heehee!

  4. Written- I have Honor, The Ky Vatta series, and every Miles book but Diplomatic Immunity, which I intend to get off the next paycheck. And I'm waiting for the next Lost Fleet book to come out.

    I also have the Kris Longknife and several other random series.

    Frances- critiques are never fun. I'm feeding chapters to beta-readers and I admit, I dread their response. Most of it's very positive, but I'm agonizing over details. But eventually the pain means a manuscript I can query with confidence. I'd rather my beta-readers chew me out for bad pacing than make an agent or editor wince.

    Yuna- Try some Dove while you're here. Tell Sarah you need a Dove ice cream bar. Yum!

  5. Great post today, Liana! I agree about the web presence and following your beta reader's advice. Absolutely. But you have to use your best judgment and common sense, too. Sometimes not all advice is good for the work. I certainly appreciate my wonderful beta readers!!!

    Random today: Teething sucks

  6. Glam- Very true. There's a limit to what beta-readers can do. They can't write your book for you. What makes it unique is your voice, style, and thoughts. But if you're getting consistent advice consider it a serious red flag.

    Like rules that are there to make you think before you break 'em, crits are there to make you give a reason for leaving something in, or out. And "But it's pretty!" is not a good reason.

  7. My random: I've been researching everything from backyard playsets to garbage disposals to futons to indoor dogs. I have the feeling I'm going to be very busy for the next few months...

  8. Glad you found a new author in a genre you really like to read. I always love it when I do that. Then I just glut myself on them and read everything they've written.

  9. Yay for finding new books!

    *throws confetti*

    Yay for edits!

    My random: Spouse Creature surprised me with the collected works of Jane Austen. I have all of her books already, but this one is hard cover. And shiny. It was also fun to point out that buying books is about researching. And you can never research too much! O:)

  10. random: all a-twitter, getting ready for a 4-footed family addition mid june [pups not born yet, latter half of april]... so i go from pillar to post oohing/ahing about what to buy :O lol