Friday, August 24, 2007

Plan a-thread

Sorry about the delays in updating. Unfortunately, I am back to my real job now, meaning that my 1-2 posts a day is probably going to transform into 3-4 a week. However, I have every intention of not letting the quality slip.

I finished Thirteen, and learned something about the downside of having too many plot threads. The book was a real pulse-pounder up until the last fifty pages or so, of which the first thirty were infodump tying up all the plot threads that had come before. Three or four different people ended up either under the gun or dying or both, with each one delivering five or more pages of dialogue untwisting a complex conspiracy.

At the very end the book went back to an action-packed shootout, but a lot of energy had been lost. Richard Morgan is a good author, and his author bio says he's sold movie options on two of his books. If those books are anything like this one, though, they're going to have to chop the hell out of them.

Short lesson: every door you open as an author you're going to have to close. You really need to think about how you're going to do that. If you don't it may not be the difference between a bad book and a good one, but it will certainly be the difference between a good book and a great one.

1 comment:

Penelope said...

Dude, Karen (the human who lives with me) is a teacher. She went back to work last week, so I haven't seen her much. This is both good and bad. It is good because she isn't home and I get to use the computer. It is bad because if crazy Sadie decides to go on an eating bindge, I'm out of luck until she returns home.

Anyway, hope your kids are good and you have an excellent school year.

-- P