Friday, June 17, 2005

As a bribe to get me through grading all those student novels and stories, I bought the new Jonathan Kellerman book, "Rage". I do like his characters - the child psychologist, Alex Delaware, and the policeman, Milo. They make a great team, and it's interesting, in this book especially, to look at how so much of the information the reader gets is through their conversations. There is a lot of speculation about who is doing what, providing possible red herrings and clues, and yet I didn't feel cheated. I felt as if I was going on the journey of investigation, one full of interest and people's motivation and psychology. It wasn't madly exciting, rather it was absorbing and fascinating. The villain turned out to be a multiple murderer, but in such a way that it bypassed the serial murder cliches.
I have started the critical read-through of the fantasy novel draft. And will be back to it again today. I know writers who say they love the rewriting process but for me it depends on the book, and maybe on my own frame of mind. I know that after all those student novels, I have come back to my own work with a very critical eye, so much so that I am feeling a bit despondent and thinking this novel is incredibly boring and I'm struggling with it.
The remedy at this point is to ask someone else to read a bit of it, someone who will tell me straight whether it is as awful as I think it is, or if I need to be kinder to myself! Writer friends are so good for this (as long as they are honest with you).
Back on the reading side of things - I also went to the library and got out a pile of books, including "Silent to the Bone" by E.L. Konigsburg. Got home and started reading and realised I had already read it a few months ago. Darn! I hate that. It is a good book but I'm not someone who can read the same book again with the same enjoyment. I'm a "surprise addict" - I read to find out what happens next, and if I already know, it takes half the fun out of it.
And yet I know people who skip ahead and read the ending before they're even past page 30. I couldn't think of anything worse!

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