Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Robert B. Parker—Now and Then (2007)

If you're new to my blog, I don't review as much as I critique—my focus is on learning from the experts. That said, I really enjoy learning from Parker. His crisp, simple dialog is my favorite. His plots are never complicated, which make for a clean story that is enjoyable to read. His characterization is superb, without clumsy descriptions out of a mirror. Best part, he never leaves the central character's mind. And Spenser's mind is fun to be in. Did I mention the scenes with Susan are sexy? I rarely give five stars for anything, but Parker always earns a couple.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Great Quote RE Show

So much of showing is letting the reader observe the scene (through action, dialog or internalization) and letting them figure out the whys by how the characters act.



Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Poll for you Agented Authors

To this aged-IT-guy connected ethereally to the Internet, I've never understood why any agent in this day and time would stick to kill-tree-mail queries.

I figured I didn't want to work with anyone unwilling to accept technology. (Figure they still avoid painless dentistry.)

Further, I figure they only accept snail mail because they really don't want unsolicited queries.

So...I have only queried those embracing this century.

But am I nutz? How many of you snagged your agents via snail-mail. How many via e-mail queries?

Drop me a note, if you don't wish to leave a comment? mac_wheeler@hotmail.com


Perfect gif for a writer

An Un-named Review—I Rant

The rule is, "Never say anything bad about another author," so I won't identify this author or the book. I've read several of her novels, each of which was weak in one area: PLOT. But layers of premise in this novel were so bad I didn't finish the book. (And I'm really cheap. If I spend a buck for a book I'm going to finish it…almost always.)

So my gripe is with reviewers and . . . the system.

Novel X got three stars in Amazon. (I suggest the reviewers were easy on her because of her track record.) Glanced through her other novels: ratings ranged from 2.5 to 4.5 stars. All over the place.

So my contention is: publishers are willing to distribute anything from their cash cows. But where is the quality control? I whine here…because I've got 18 manuscripts and can't catch an agent's eye.

If the agent-publisher hurdle in traditional publishing is to ensure what goes to the presses is the best out there . . . then no wonder the self-e-publishing market is taking off.
Traditional publishing grants an author bona fides.

But publishers weaken the credentials by not being as tough on published authors as they are on aspiring authors.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Ahhh—Telling isn't All Bad

If you've read classic literature, you've observed a lot of telling. If you enjoy classic literature, you must enjoy reading narrative. But today's audience typically wishes to be more in the action, lighter on the description. Some say we don't have the attention span of our forefathers.

Have you ever heard yourself go…bla bla bla? Either that content should have been edited out, or it's probably telling.

I've read a lot of writing rules. Show don't tell is too simplistic. There are of course times to tell, otherwise the journey would wear out your reader. Showing makes the action more immediate. But everything doesn't need to whack your reader aside the head.

The only black and white rule I've found about Show-versus-Tell is: leave it the heck out of your tags.

Otherwise, consider the following guidelines. These aren't original, but sorry I can't annotate their origin. I read and take a lot of notes, but almost always forget where the notes come from.

Regards, Mac