Thursday, August 21, 2008


The City is doing periodic street maintenance by applying a smelly, black, asphalt slurry to the surface. Today was our turn. Until the goop sets, there is no driving on it. So if you don't move your car beyond the barricades, you're trapped. I did park down the street but since we couldn't pull into the driveway to unload we had to postpone a needed trip to Costco.

So what does an author-to-be do when trapped at home? WRITE.

I made good progress today on "Water Tribute" with my one-step-back project, and I've almost caught up to where I was when I decided I needed to make a few changes before continuing.

Still feeling good about my work. Sure it will need a lot of revision, but I think I've got a good project.


Those in the know advise writers to read, read, read in the genre of their choice. Since I'm focusing on Young Adult fantasy/adventure, that's what I've been reading. I take notes of my observations as I read, and jot down ideas inspired by my reading.

I just started "The Sword of Shannara" by Terry Brooks. I have to admit that I bought TSoS years ago and couldn't get past the first page. Modeled after "The Lord of the Rings" -- I found the opening to be corny and not up to the quality of TLoR. Well, as part of my YA research project I'm revisiting it. I've got to say, within the first couple of chapters Brooks has done several things that agents and editors warn us against at the writers conferences. Like the dreaded "info dump" and the notorious "as you may already know...." Maybe we're all a little more sophisticated than we were in 1977 when TSoS first appeared. Since I'm only on chapter 3, I can't really judge the book and minor problems may be over-shadowed by an exciting plot and action.

Then again, what do I know? Brooks is published many times over and his Shannara books are very popular. Since I'm just beginning to explore the world he created, it may well be that he evolved as a writer and improved with each book. That's my goal. So I may as well see how he did it.

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