Monthly Archives: June 2013

Constantinople vs. Istanbul

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I’ve been researching the Orient Express and its routes in the 1930s. I found this cute song about the name change of the Turkish city. I love it.

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Word Wednesday

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It’s that time again. Time for the word of the week. AVARICE is the word of the week. It means miserly or meanness. Not mean as in a person who is cruel but mean as in a person who is cheap and a penny-pincher. Kind of like old Scrooge in the Charles Dickens novel.

Three Coins in a Fountain

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I love the movie Three Coins in a Fountain. It’s the story of three American ladies in Italy. Two of them throw coins in the Trevi Fountain which is supposed to be lucky for a return to Rome. I’ve been to Rome twice and threw in coins each time. There’s a lot of wonderful moments in the film as well as some great scenery. It also has Louis Jourdan in it. He’s a wonderful actor. Frank Sinatra sang the theme song for the film and it’s beautiful. Give it a listen.

Another Post about Editors and Things They Miss

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Last week, I blogged about a book I read where the editor didn’t catch that the author used a phrase 25 times in 200 pages. This week, I read another book that annoyed me. It had the potential to be a great story but was ruined (in my opinion) by the way the editor let certain facets of the writer’s research overwhelm the tale.

I’m all for doing research about the era I write in. I’m a real stickler for good research so I’m always glad to see that an author has done his/her due diligence in that regard. What I don’t like is for the story to be bogged down by unnecessary details. I have been guilty of this myself but thank God I had a great editor who pointed out to me that the discussion I had in my book between the hero and heroine about the Elgin Marbles sounded more like a lesson from school than real dialogue. I cut that whole section out on her advice.

Sadly, the editor in the book I read this week didn’t rein in his author when she wanted to go into major details on everything she researched. The long expositions on certain things really threw me out of the story and annoyed me. Throwing in one tidbit would’ve been great but going on for pages about something peripherally related was really tedious. It’s important to throw that stuff in for authenticity but when the story begins to read like a history lesson, someone needs to put a stop to it.

The other thing is that the writer has to trust the reader to know things. In this story I read, the writer referenced a pop culture television show and then went on to explain what the show was. Really? That was totally unnecessary. It got under my skin and again, threw me right out of the tale.

We need good editors to keep us from showing off our research skills! LOL!

Word Wednesday

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This week’s word is OMMATIDIUM.

It means one of the facets of an insect’s eye. Insects like dragonflies and moths have these and they can have many of them. Each sends a message to the insect’s brain and they work together for the vision of the creature, making images for it. They are hexagons and are longer than they are wide.

Dilemma

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It’s a dilemma when you read a book by someone you like and want to do a review for but there was actually more you didn’t like in the story than you did. I’ve recently had this experience again and I did leave the review but it’s very short and incomplete since i didn’t want to hurt this person’s feelings. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know that not all books will appeal to every person and I also know that there are probably some of my stories that people don’t like but I still don’t want to say things that would cause someone angst about their work.

This book I read had a great story premise but I didn’t like the heroine. She was one of those that did some really dumb things and seemed weak. I have a real hang-up about heroines like that. I actually think it’s because I’m strong myself and have zero patience for reading about someone who isn’t.

One of the other issues with the story, I blame on the editor. One of the big reasons for editors is for them to find repetitive words and/or phrases that the writer uses. I always, always have what I call a crutch word in each of my stories (and they are usually different for each one). I try to catch them myself but sometimes I don’t. This book I just read had a crutch phrase and it was used 25 times in a story that was less than 200 pages long. It started to feel like I was being bopped in the head with it. I even at one time said out loud, “Okay, I get it.”

So, what do you do if asked to do a review and there’s not much to say?