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Today I continue my discussion of the relationship between the writer and the reader at Magical Words with my post, "A Creative Covenant:  The Writer and the Reader, Part II."  The site, which I maintain with fellow fantasy writers Faith Hunter, Misty Massey and C.E. Murphy, can be found here.  So please visit and enjoy the post.

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
hedwig_snowy
Jun. 15th, 2009 03:47 pm (UTC)
Nice post. I have to say that I'm in full support of #4! :) A pet peeve is when an author (or their acountant) decides that they just need one more book so a trilogy becomes four books...and then there's that summer house that's a must-have and four books become five...and so on. Ok, might be unfair to link it to money, but it is annoying when an author says it will be 3 books and then it becomes ten...

#5: The "Empire Strikes Back" strikes back. Yes, there certainly are plenty of threads left open and maybe a cliffhanger could work, but it would have to be written very well to give a sense of satisfaction that a book in the middle part of a series was worth reading. i.e. If nothing is really resolved in book two of a trilogy, why not just read books 1 & 3? :)

#5 also brings up the concept of information from past events. This is a good thing because of the time frame of book releases, but it is also true that some authors not only restate past events at the beginning of the next book (maybe a review chapter or an overview in the first chapter to set up where the characters are) but then continue to harp on past events throughout that aren't really necessary to fill-in the reader. I could see it if it was necessary to move some of this information to later in the book, but it should be as short as possible. (Think you've mentioned that before. Some sort of "review paragraph" idea rather than continually repeating the same info throughout).

Section 2, #3: I tell people about your books often. :)

Thanks for the post.
davidbcoe
Jun. 15th, 2009 04:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the comments. Point by point: #4 -- Yeah, it's not always money. The Winds books were originally intended as 4 books but wound up as 5 because of production issues at Tor. It happens sometimes. But I always had an ending in sight and didn't start the books with it open ended.

#5 -- Notice I didn't say that a book (or movie) had to resolve everything at the end, but merely that the reader should feel that that the plot has been furthered, and that there is some sense of resolution at the end. The Empire Strikes Back is, imo, far and away the best movie of the first trilogy, and I think you could argue that it meets the criteria I set out. As for past information, that is hard to do -- a constant challenge for a writer. I haven't always done it well, but I think there is a balance to be found.

And #3.2 Thank you! I appreciate that!
hedwig_snowy
Jun. 15th, 2009 05:21 pm (UTC)
Ah, so think you're big enough to debate Star Wars with me eh??? ;)

Yeah, in the context of your post, ESB does have somewhat of a resolution, but, while it was a well-done piece I can't say it's my favorite - probably more for the overall depressing tone than the ending. Where's the hall scene at the end with Chewbacca calling the troops to order? Where are the dancing Ewoks!?!?!? ;)
davidbcoe
Jun. 15th, 2009 05:27 pm (UTC)
Ummm...On the Editing Room floor, where they belong?

Oh, snap!

:P
hedwig_snowy
Jun. 15th, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC)
Oh no he didn'a! (The ewoks were dancing in SW6 and Chewwie did howl the troops to order in SW4. They leave those out in your copies???) ;)

Yeah, didn't quite get the Ewoks either. But they probably sold a million of them...Lucas may only be an average story teller, but he knows collectibles!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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