bits, bobs & real books

I have to say, a daily word goal of 1500 words until the book is done is a whole lot less stressful than trying to write 3 or 5K or whatever a day in an attempt to get it done Faster. It’s possible I should consider that in the grand scheme of my career….

I don’t know if it’s the low-key wordcount goal or if it’s that I’m Very Determined to finish reading this series, but I’ve been reading Michelle West’s Sun Sword books. I read the first three a few years ago and then when I eventually picked up the fourth I had no idea who anybody was, so I went back to the beginning in December and started reading them again. (It turned out that the fourth book starts with characters we have either not seen at all before, or have barely seen, so no wonder I didn’t recognize any of them. Still, they’re a Cast Of Thousands books, and I have a much clearer idea of who everybody is upon re-reading. I don’t know if that’s because I’m reading more slowly this time or if it’s just that the re-read allowed them to dig deeper grooves in my brain.) Anyway, normally I have a very difficult time reading while I’m writing, but I’m managing to divorce myself enough from the writing process to be able to read these, and they’re not light reading, so I’m pretty happy about that.

Someone asked a good question in comments the other day, about the difficulties of picking up writing the next day, and I thought it merited of a blog post of its own over at Magical Words.

I thought the punchline to this Questionable Content comic was laugh-out-loud funny. :) (Although I thought Dora was Raven for three days, and that she’d just changed the color of her hair from pink to blond. Very confusing.)

I got a lovely email from a fellow writer (David B. Coe of Magical Words, in fact) about THE QUEEN’S BASTARD, in which he said Let me say that I really enjoyed URBAN SHAMAN. It was a fun read, and I loved Joanne. But TQB, in my opinion, is on another level entirely. It’s brilliant, not to mention sexy as hell and edge-of-your-seat exciting. I can see why it’s doing so incredibly well for you. Congrats on a truly fine book. Since David writes Big Fat Fantasy himself, that was especially nice.

But it also made me laugh. I sort of think–with no offense meant to my other books–of TQB as a ‘real’ book. It’s not that the others aren’t real, obviously, it’s just that TQB is a completely different animal, with a whole new set of craft techniques to make it work. That was really my same reaction to the first of Jim‘s Codex Alera books. I love the Dresden Files, and heaven forbid I should claim they’re not ‘real’ books, but when I read FURIES OF CALDERON I was all like “ZOMG! Jim wrote a REAL BOOK! And it’s really GOOD!” (I suspect I will feel just that way when I read Laura Anne‘s Vineart War novels, which are a departure from her urban fantasy series and which I am looking forward to with *great* anticipation. It’s not that urban fantasies aren’t real books. It’s just…just…*flails incoherently* REAL BOOKS! :))

Which reminds me, I have an Amazon gift certificate and no copy of PRINCEPS’ FURY….

miles to Dunharrow: 127.1
ytd wordcount: 11,300


  1. I vaguely recall once reading one of Lawrence Block’s books on novel writing where he asserted that he tries to get in 5 new pages a day, which sounds about like what you’ve hit on there.

    He also commented that one page a day isn’t bad, and that if people would just do that, they’d write a novel draft in a year. I have clearly ignored that observation.

  2. I read the Sun Sword series awhile back and truly enjoyed it! It’s relatively hard for me to keep track of Michelle West’s books because she writes under several different names. I recently picked up a new series (I think it started with Cast in Shadow?) only to find that the writing style was familiar – they were hers! I definitely reccomend the Cast in (?) series. It’s written under Michelle Sagara. Anywho … enjoy your reading!

  3. I’ve read all the CAST books, yeah, and love them. And I stayed up too late reading the last Sun Sword book last night, and finally had to drag myself to bed even though AUGH I want to see what happens!

  4. I felt exactly the same way about Alera vs Dresdan. It was similar for me to the way I felt after reading Ender’s Game for the first time.

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