October 23, 2017, 10:43:13 AM

Author Topic: Miscellaneous Musings about Books  (Read 140744 times)

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« Reply #1215 on: October 09, 2017, 05:23:26 PM »
I'm sure you know him, everybody's been talking about Senlin ascends: ring any bells?

And well, I assumed he kept one copy for himself, but he didn't have a spare one to sell to me...
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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« Reply #1216 on: October 11, 2017, 08:56:30 AM »
So I'm reading The Core now, and this is a general comment:

Authors, after over 2 years, readers don't remember everything! And we can't all just re-read the previous book!
I bet you have a set of notes, which you refer to when you're writing, so why can't you allow the same benefit to the readers?

A quick recap of what happened in the last few chapters of the last book, plus just copying the characters list, would be perfect.

Thank you :)
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Offline Rostum

Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« Reply #1217 on: October 11, 2017, 04:59:35 PM »
The Copy you were given was quite a gift. They are rare and sought after due to renewed interest in the books. If you find a copy expect the price to be eye watering.

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« Reply #1218 on: October 11, 2017, 05:00:49 PM »
The Copy you were given was quite a gift. They are rare and sought after due to renewed interest in the books. If you find a copy expect the price to be eye watering.
Yeah, but I thought that only applied to book 1 :)
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Offline tebakutis

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Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« Reply #1219 on: October 11, 2017, 08:39:08 PM »
So I'm reading The Core now, and this is a general comment:

Authors, after over 2 years, readers don't remember everything! And we can't all just re-read the previous book!
I bet you have a set of notes, which you refer to when you're writing, so why can't you allow the same benefit to the readers?

A quick recap of what happened in the last few chapters of the last book, plus just copying the characters list, would be perfect.

Thank you :)

Ha, it's funny you say that! That's one of the struggles I've always had with my sequels - trying to get in enough information to remind you what happened in the last book (which you read a year ago) without boring those who just read it (like a day ago). I think it comes down to providing a single line or two (at most) that conjures the IDEA of what happened. Like, not a line-by-line summary, but at least a nod at reminding the reader about the event that informed this new event. It's tough to get right on the first time - my writer's groups are very good at helping me balance that.

Though I've never seen this approach elsewhere, Tom Doyle (the guy who wrote the American Craftsmen series) actually has a full synopsis of the prior book at the start of every new book. In his case, he wrote is a fictional mission report written by one of his "spooks" for the government. Summarizing the prior book in a "fictionalized" synopsis is something I'd never seen done before, but I thought it was clever.

Either way, I think finding the balance between reminding you what happened in the prior book(s) and not slowing the current one down with infodumps is a place where all writers struggle to find balance.
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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« Reply #1220 on: October 11, 2017, 09:52:49 PM »
Mark Lawrence and Tom Lloyd do a short summary at the beginning, that people who read the previous book a day ago can just skip over :)

Tom Doyle's approach sounds quite cool too!
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Offline Lady Ty

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Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« Reply #1221 on: October 11, 2017, 11:47:15 PM »

The Copy you were given was quite a gift. They are rare and sought after due to renewed interest in the books. If you find a copy expect the price to be eye watering.
Yeah, but I thought that only applied to book 1 :)

You are lucky you have the first one, SB. I have paperback reprints on pre-order for both books. Senlin Ascends  is due out on 16 January 2018, and Arm of the Sphinx on 3 April 2018. They are both available for AU$13,59.  The unabridged audio book of SA is also available then at AU$126.96 so that was not an option. ;D
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Offline Peat

Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« Reply #1222 on: October 12, 2017, 12:37:16 AM »
So I'm reading The Core now, and this is a general comment:

Authors, after over 2 years, readers don't remember everything! And we can't all just re-read the previous book!
I bet you have a set of notes, which you refer to when you're writing, so why can't you allow the same benefit to the readers?

A quick recap of what happened in the last few chapters of the last book, plus just copying the characters list, would be perfect.

Thank you :)

Ha, it's funny you say that! That's one of the struggles I've always had with my sequels - trying to get in enough information to remind you what happened in the last book (which you read a year ago) without boring those who just read it (like a day ago). I think it comes down to providing a single line or two (at most) that conjures the IDEA of what happened. Like, not a line-by-line summary, but at least a nod at reminding the reader about the event that informed this new event. It's tough to get right on the first time - my writer's groups are very good at helping me balance that.

Though I've never seen this approach elsewhere, Tom Doyle (the guy who wrote the American Craftsmen series) actually has a full synopsis of the prior book at the start of every new book. In his case, he wrote is a fictional mission report written by one of his "spooks" for the government. Summarizing the prior book in a "fictionalized" synopsis is something I'd never seen done before, but I thought it was clever.

Either way, I think finding the balance between reminding you what happened in the prior book(s) and not slowing the current one down with infodumps is a place where all writers struggle to find balance.

Since this has come up, what is Tom Doyle's 1st book and why isn't it obvious from his Amazon page/website? Why is it all "A Novel of the Craft Series" rather than "Book 1, Book 2" etc.etc. This is the sort of small annoying lack of clarity that leads me to simply forget authors ever existed. This is the most irrationally annoyed an author's made me since I discovered Aliette de Bodard's glossary at the back.
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Offline tebakutis

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Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« Reply #1223 on: October 12, 2017, 06:59:59 PM »
Since this has come up, what is Tom Doyle's 1st book and why isn't it obvious from his Amazon page/website? Why is it all "A Novel of the Craft Series" rather than "Book 1, Book 2" etc.etc. This is the sort of small annoying lack of clarity that leads me to simply forget authors ever existed. This is the most irrationally annoyed an author's made me since I discovered Aliette de Bodard's glossary at the back.

That's odd! I had thought they were clearly labeled as Books 1, 2, and 3.

Yup, just checked and I see the confusion. The books are clearly labeled on the pages themselves (American Craftsman is listed as book 1 of 3 in American Craft series) but the order of the books is only listed if you click on the book itself, or on the series. If you just search "Tom Doyle" it doesn't list it on the search results. Odd that it's missing in that one location.

Comparing it to my own trilogy, it seems like it's just the publisher's choice in how to title it. I titled my books (Book X in the X Series) in the actual title, so you see it on the search page as well as if you click the book or series link.

In Tom's case, it looks like Tor DIDN'T include the book number in the actual TITLE (which is all that shows up in the initial search) which leads to the confusion and the necessity to actually click on the book or series to see which one is first. I'll mention that to him next time I see him. Maybe Tor can fix it.
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Offline Peat

Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« Reply #1224 on: October 12, 2017, 07:29:18 PM »
Merci m'sieu. I'll grab an Amazon sample off of the first book.
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Offline RobertS

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Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« Reply #1225 on: October 13, 2017, 02:27:20 AM »
2. Usually worlds with 'nobles' and 'peasants' end up having the nobles ruling the peasants. Is there a book that turns this upside down, peasants ruling the nobles? Or are the words almost a prison, in that they imply the usual order?
In some of the OZ books, it was clear that the good rulers served the populace. In one case, the ruler was setup to have less income than anyone else. This ended up being fixed, but only to the point where the ruler had as much as the poorest subject.

There is a thread in history that says that a good king protects the populace from the nobles. There is evidence that King John was foolish enough to actually try it. Vlad the Impaler evidently felt that nobles had a duty to take care of serfs and maintain justice between the classes. He went down in history as a monster while Christopher Columbus became a hero. Vlad was a gentle sweetheart in comparison to Columbus.

There were feast days were the order of things were inverted and there is some indication that the Druids may have had a practice of sacrificing rulers. Especially rulers that failed to maintain the health of the nation. 
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Offline Elfy

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Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« Reply #1226 on: October 13, 2017, 07:23:53 AM »
So I'm reading The Core now, and this is a general comment:

Authors, after over 2 years, readers don't remember everything! And we can't all just re-read the previous book!
I bet you have a set of notes, which you refer to when you're writing, so why can't you allow the same benefit to the readers?

A quick recap of what happened in the last few chapters of the last book, plus just copying the characters list, would be perfect.

Thank you :)
Books used to do this. I'm rereading The Saga of the Exiles (published in the '80's) and book 2 has a synopsis of what happened in book 1 for all those who couldn't remember and didn't want to reread the first book.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline Jmack

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Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« Reply #1227 on: October 13, 2017, 11:14:27 AM »
So I'm reading The Core now, and this is a general comment:

Authors, after over 2 years, readers don't remember everything! And we can't all just re-read the previous book!
I bet you have a set of notes, which you refer to when you're writing, so why can't you allow the same benefit to the readers?

A quick recap of what happened in the last few chapters of the last book, plus just copying the characters list, would be perfect.

Thank you :)
Books used to do this. I'm rereading The Saga of the Exiles (published in the '80's) and book 2 has a synopsis of what happened in book 1 for all those who couldn't remember and didn't want to reread the first book.

These days, maybe that’s called Wikipedia  8)  ;D
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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« Reply #1228 on: October 13, 2017, 12:11:31 PM »
 :P
Another case of leaving responsibility to others? ::)

(I get you, though)
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Offline Jmack

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Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« Reply #1229 on: October 13, 2017, 01:52:50 PM »
:P
Another case of leaving responsibility to others? ::)

(I get you, though)

Oh, I’m a fan of authors adding the “previously on GoT” preface, but at least there’s wiki
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