Archive for March, 2011

Ode to Libraries

I currently have ten books out from the library.  I have read, oh, two and a half and they are due on Thursday, alas.  But that’s not the point.

Is there anything better than libraries?  I think not. 

I read a ridiculous amount, usually 50+ books a year, though it depends on a number of factors.  Mostly fantasy, mysteries, science fiction, the odd romance, classic, nonfiction, etc, but my point is that I read much more than I could ever hope to buy in a year.  Plus I’m not spending money on books that I may not like or ever want to read again.  I can experiment with genres I’m unfamiliar with and check out recommendations from friends or books I need for book clubs.  IT IS BRILLIANT.

Besides, even in this era of Google, sometimes it’s easier and/or faster to do research at the library, and they offer a quiet place to work and free internet on which to do said work.

Libraries, what can’t they do?  Highly landsquid recommended.

And onto the actual ode:

I like libraries
They are sublime
As long as you
Return books on time

EDIT: If you’d like to help keep libraries open and available, please visit Save the Libraries.

Friday Round-up

Science/Space
Pictures of Discovery Approaching the ISS
Henry Morgan’s Cannons Found in Panama (Yay, pirates!)
Picture of Discovery docking with the ISS taken from Earth!

Scifi/Fantasy
2010 Stoker Nominees
Review of Elizabeth Bear’s Grail
Review of The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Vol 5
Excerpt from M.M. Buckner’s The Gravity Pilot
Massive book giveaway
Release Date for New George R. R. Martin Book
Creepy Apollo 18 Poster
Star Wars Fans Trying to Save Lars Homestead

Misc Books
Mystery Novelist telling Story Page by Page on Lamp Post
Kindle Gives Thriller Writer a Plot for Success

Writing
Get Wired In (Not writing specific, but helpful for focusing)
Revisiting the Fantasy Hero

On We Blindly Stumble
Cats with Thumbs
Alice, the Saddest Whale in the Ocean

Collaborative Writing – Characters

It’s been very interesting working on a collaborative novel.  One of the most interesting things I’ve found, though, is how characters have worked.

We each have a viewpoint character.  I think a lot of collaborative novels work this way, at least all the ones I can think of off the top of my head do – Good Omens, Dogs and Goddesses, Sorcery and Cecilia, Agnes and the Hitman, etc.  In our case, these are established characters; they each have at least a previous novel under their belts, which was kind of nice, because we were already familiar with their characterizations and personalities before we started.

So you have your own character, and then you have your partner’s character whom you don’t know as well and have to try not to mess up.  When we started, a lot of times after we’d finished a scene, the other person would have to go through and fix dialogue and motivations or things we’d forgotten.  (I think we both managed to forget that my character wears glasses for the entire middle of the book.)

But, as the story went on, less corrections were needed.  Eventually we got to the point where, if any fixes were needed at all, it was a tweak here or there or something plot-related and not character-related at all.  I’m not sure if we just picked up the other person’s character well enough over time or if the characters evolved to fit the story.  It is a mystery.

When we’re done with this, I’d like to try another story, with new characters, and see if it works the same way or if it’s easier/harder from the beginning.

Any experience with collaborative stories?  How’d you find the characterization worked?