Monday, April 13, 2015

Collecting a series or serializing a collection?

I've been writing Subtraction, rewriting the middle while editing the beginning and dreaming of the end. It's all coming together, at last. There are pieces of the story that I really love - places where Andrew, seeing ties to the past taken away, sets his sights on something more; places where the mystical cat sets her sights very firmly on Andrew; places where... And yes, there are pieces I still hate, but I'm working on them. I remind myself Divide by Zero and Infinite Sum both needed lots of rewrites before they were done. And to hold myself accountable (to real people as well as to Andrew) I've even joined a small critique group. Part one has already been cleaned and tidied there, with wise suggestions made for the direction (or directions) of part two. And I've offered suggestions and comments to my critique partners about their writing too.

Meanwhile I'm reading (cooking, cleaning, cutting grass, doing laundry and shopping...) and even sometimes venturing into book stores. Our last book store visit resulted in the instant purchase of Jim Butcher's latest paperback. We felt like we'd been waiting forever for it (since we rarely buy hardbacks--they take up too much space). The next review on my to-read list then had to wait while I caught up with Harry Dresden. After all, one has to read for oneself sometimes... And series, like Dresden, can be seriously addictive.

Which leads to my question: Do series have to follow an overarching storyline, as the Dresden Files do? Or can they still be meandering tales of a unified gathering of characters, like, say, my much-loved C.P. Snow collection? There again, did I just define the difference by calling it a "collection" instead of a "series." My Paradise novels will probably end up being a collection too, as tales and cat meander into the lives of different characters. I'm really enjoying writing them; I just hope I'll find some more book-lovers who might enjoy reading them as well.

But perhaps you prefer authors other than myself, in which case, please enjoy my book reviews (with some well-brewed coffee to hand to go with the appropriate coffee-ratings).

I'll start with that Jim Butcher novel, Skin Game, since I've already mentioned it. It's a cool addition to the series, introducing more mystery around those wonderful swords and the hidden purposes of Harry's and his friends' existences. It's got Parkour. And there's a great board-game adventure feel to it. Enjoy with some bold dark intense five-star coffee.

New Year’s Cleave, by Colonel D.R. Acula, is a very short scary story of wild excitement, rising tension, and dark mystery. Another five-start dark intense coffee would go well.

Staying in the realms of the extraordinary, Awesome Jones, by Ashleyrose Sullivan, introduces a world protected by superheroes, where tall buildings might be leveled in a hero-villain fight, and the news is carefully linked with the comic books. It's a cool novel with a cool comic-book feel to its narration. Cleverly enticing, it draws the reader in to investigate just who Awesome is, what awesome means, and who he might prove to be. Enjoy this complex, elegant tale with a four-star complex, elegant cup of coffee.

I guess I ought to post some reviews of real-world books too, but remember that cooking, cleaning, cutting grass, doing laundry, etc bit? It's time to cook dinner. I'll be back.

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