After Melissa MacNeal posted her blog here yesterday about caffeine and sugar, I started to think about my own addictions. Here's my secret vice, the one I wish I could kick. I love reading romance blogs. SmartBitches and DearAuthor kick off my day, and I generally look at them two or three times during the day. And I hate myself for it.
Yesterday Sarah at Smartbitches wrote a short piece pleading with authors to not use tortured children as cheap ploys in romance books. Yesterday Jia at DearAuthor hammered Marjorie Liu for choppy prose at the beginning of her new book, the IRON HUNT.
I hate reading these things as an author. Not that I want to use tortured children in my books, but I have used children. (Gage in Moonshadow saved a street urchin from orcs, for instance.) Not that I want to use choppy prose, but Jia stated that Liu might have been aiming for something artistic.
The next time I'm considering artistic in a novel, I might think twice. In fact, I can promise I'll think twice. And the next time I have a kid in a book I'll think twice. And that's just from reading yesterday's blog! If I go back through the years I've been reading these blogs, the list of things I should avoid as an author grows like the ants in my kitchen. And like the ants, it doesn't stop. A quick scan of this morning's DearAuthor tells me there are 10 things authors shouldn't do at Amazon. I don't want to read it. I sincerely hope they're 10 things I don't already do at Amazon. (I suspect that the advice will be 10 ways not to abuse your readers, which means I'm safe.)
But I will read SmartBitches and DearAuthor two or three times today and tomorrow and the next day. I can't help myself. That's the mad genius of these sites. It's like the mad genius or Red Bull and real coffee with real cream and real sugar, and breaking the addiction is just as hard. Sometimes it hurts, but the sweet parts are oh so sweet. Like did you see the contest to win a copy of Ann Aguirre's WANDERLUST at SmartBitches? Can you say madgenius? And did you see that review of VICTORY OF EAGLES over at DearAuthor? I'd never have picked that book up, but I will now. It sounds fantastic. Congrats Naomi Novik.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting that SmartBitches or DearAuthor change anything about what they do. In shrink speak, I know this is my issue and not theirs. I'll simply keep reading the sites and making mental notes of what not to do and what not to write... and then try to forget them when I sit down to work on my next book. Bring on the children and the artistic prose! (And hopefully my cp will catch the most egregious offenses and bring me to my senses.)
And speaking of my next book... Kensington gives me lots of copies of books to give away, and my stacks of SHE and EROS ISLAND are filling up my office. If you'd like to win a copy, leave a comment. Two random comments will win a book.
Posted by Lucinda Betts ::
9:19 AM ::