Sunday was a day of distractions. I did get some good editing done, but then had to update a book report for a sci-fi book club. Then went for a coffee then spent a couple of hours discussing the book then hurried home. Well, hurried towards home - weather had turned too chilly for my shorts so ended up stopping midway at my local pub. Was worried about hypothermia. Live music and some Harp Ale. Not too busy, so also marked some scholarship applications submitted to a group I'm in. Good intentions after a late supper for all the ROW80 things, but was distracted by some episodes of Sherlock Holmes my son lent me. Distracted until 2:30am I think.
Sorry submitting you to that ramble - my the topic was captive audience, wasn't it?
We saw ourselves being used - or mis-used - as a captive audience in sci-fi the book we reviewed, Stories of Your Life, by Ted Chiang. It's a collection of eight short stories, looking at a variety of what-if's. His topics include climb the Tower of Babylon into heaven, look at brain augmentation, follow a mathematician's collapse after she disproves much of basic math, and see how golems are related to the human race. All fascinating, all well researched, but we all felt there was too much background. The details left no room for character development, they just served to bulk up the stories. Once he had us hooked into the story, as a captive audience, he then used us to dump all his research on. Felt like "look at me, aren't I smart, didn't I do a great job of researching to the depths of this?"
Not the first time I've seen this, where the author suddenly launches into paragraphs, even pages, of his own pet theories, be they on religion, economics, politics. Extraneous to the story really, better to cut them out and if you must note them in the back of the book. I've done it myself, a character brought up graffiti and murals and youth and I couldn't get some of my characters to shut up about it. Because it's a favorite topic of mine, and I CAN go on quite passionately for pages on it. But, not in my little crime nover - not really relevant. Bottom line - slash and take a hit in the word count and a boost in the interesting index.
Before I forget - ROW80 status
- WIP editing - actually going quite well, finally focusing better on the editing process. Still don't love it, but hate it less. The process I mean - still love the book, Only 60 pages done so far, but will keep at it I'm sure.
- flash fiction - have two due later on this week. Moving along well, I have ideas for them both, have the bare bones, next step is to fill in some meat. Will re-use some characters from others I did, see how I can develop them further.
- blogs - still reading back on the 14th - pitter patter lets get at 'er. Not sure where I heard that.
- reading - fiction - that was the sci-fi re-read and report, so done. Non-fiction - had good intentions with Guns, Germs and Steel - not a light read but it is important for an idea I have for a novel.
- etc - I had more objectives, maybe I need to re-focus here.