Sunday, June 03, 2007

I'm supposed to be writing

I was going to do a month long script-writing thing but some friends (my teen daughter's girl scout troops and related adult persons) are doing a month novel thing. So...

I'm supposed to be writing.

Instead I've been reading. Went to the library and grabbed a bunch of paperbacks. I was looking at them and putting them back and suddenly realized that was silly. I wasn't spending money if I picked up a book I didn't like, I wouldn't be forced to read any all the way through, and it didn't matter if I brought them back again without reading them at all... so I just picked some.

I joke about how reading bad books inspires me to write.

I'm not certain anymore that it's a joke.

The first thin little category romance had a nice little mystery plot. The heroine even had a nice little "finding herself" progression... but oh how I wanted to take those things and write the book over with a heroine who wasn't a moron and a hero who didn't think like a woman!

The second, slightly thicker, category romance was actually half-way decent.

The third was funny and had some really nice stuff but the "cop work" was thin and the heroine suddenly developed a debilitating self-hatred that kept her from the wonderful hero. Stupidity is stupid! How hard can it be for authors to figure this out?

So I'm moving up in thickness... oh, this one is a "two in one" reprint of a relatively famous author's favorite books. Ought to be good. *Ought* to be. I'm saying right now, I'm not finishing this one. It's the same sub-genre as Suzanne Brockmann (who is *fabulous*) but it's simply horrible. There is a kidnapping and "mercenaries" who have to rescue the kidnapees from a drug lord. And sexy Recon Marines and brave, powerful, women. Who are stupid.

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

Firstly, no one can go on the mission because they are all from previous books and newly married or close to it and their wives would fuss. Then the Marine shows up and he's a bombastic jerk and everyone is like, sure, we trust you to go rescue them and the only person we can find to go with you is a woman. And she's great, of course. And the Marine is bombastic jerk. And the first thing the woman does is accuse him of being PC and diplomatic.

And the worst thing about writing this down is that I'm developing a masochistic urge to read farther and see if it keeps on just as bad.

Or maybe I should just open my word processor and write because, dangit, I can do better than this. I really can.


Blogger Ymarsakar said...

So do you like clever heroes and heroines that outsmarts everybody with their cunning and wisdom?

4:07 PM  
Blogger Synova said...


Though I don't insist on it. I'd just like to be able to identify with the main characters without feelings of revulsion.

Mostly, though, the characters have to behave in a way that makes sense to me.

5:17 PM  
Blogger Ymarsakar said...

While I was reading my Ode to Joy post/farewell to Tarrin Kael's life and times, I was reminded of those subjects, Synova.

I like to be surprised by the characters I love and the villains I hate, about as much as anyone else that reads science fiction, the military and historical brand. But I also prefer that actions in their world make sense in the context of their world. Juuni Koki is a good example. Their world is made up of the Twelve Kingdoms, and each Kingdom has an immortal Emperor that the Tenki (Heaven) selects to be the rulers on that world. If the Emperor is a good one, his land prospers, he lives for centuries, and with each century his nation becomes stronger and his people more prosperous. Evil and Abusive Emperors are eventually abandoned by Heaven, a new ruler chosen, and thus begins civil war, famine, attacks by demons, and so forth. Steven Den Beste said this as well, and I agree with him, that the actions of the characters in that universe make perfect sense. In the context of their situation and the rules that govern their world.

The people of the Twelve Kingdoms are utterly dependent upon their Emperor or Empress to protect them from famine, other kingdoms, and demon attacks because the Emperors have martial abilities as well. Because of this dependence, you will see many people wish for a good Emperor and many that suffer under a bad one. Their actions, their loyalty or disloyalty to their Emperor then makes perfect sense.

The old argument was simple. The Emperor is bad, but if we kill him, then the nation goes into the tubes, the Heavens withdraw their support of the land, and everyone gets attacked by demons. Better to have a stable and bad leader than total destruction. But then eventually, as we know, the Emperor since he is so abusive and evil, eventually loses his Heavenly approval and becomes mortal, and same thing happens to the land eventually.

Just like our world, people have to make hard decisions with what they have. They simply cannot wish things to be the way they want it to be. The Left cannot simply wish compassion and peace on people, and it will occur. Though they try and try.

To make a long story short, Tarrin Kael of the Firestaff days had the same kind of superior storyline consistency. Story and character. Jason the main character of Subjugation had the same deus ex machina abilities of Tinker. Except on superspeed. Jason would pull out all kinds of tricks and cunning plans on his enemies and opponents. He would literally sit down, crank out some invention, and then go to fight with it.

I think a good title for him would be, Knight-Philosopher-Warrior-King.

Each time I would be surprised by his inventions, then I would check with the story physics and explanations, and it would make sense. Plasma Physics that makes sense? Impossible you might think. But it did.

3:37 PM  

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