I’ve spent the past few weeks pondering the nature of blogging, as well as my unfortunate habit of acquiring books and then forgetting to blog for several months. I can’t really apologize, because, well, I’ve read 30 books in the past 3 months, and some of them were decidedly excellent page-turners that kept me up way past my bedtime. Only one of them was actually Bad, as in “the kind of bad that you read only to try to understand how this shit got published, ever”, and even then I came away from the experience wiser.
I have discovered that, yes, you DO have to build the characters up for the readers BEFORE you put them into emotional situations. If you don’t, well, the readers simply won’t care. You can’t tell your readers that your character is a good person worth caring about. They won’t just buy it. Especially if you show the characters acting like total jerks and/or idiots and still tell us they’re great. Mostly it will get your book tossed across the room, or, even worse, you’ll have a page on Goodreads with NO comments or juicy forum posts.
The things that make for juicy forums and busy Goodreads pages– details left unresolved, hints and clues, ambiguity, and characters with muti-layered personalities, as well as dense plotting.
Those things are hard to create, especially when one has been plowing through novels at a headlong pace. So, no, I have not been writing lately. I have been gorging on spy novels and crime television, glutting myself on the Big Fat Fantasy greats, and wading through schlocky romance books in search of something to replace several good series that have ended (alas, I still haven’t found a GOOD romance/family intrigue/dramatic series. Most of that stuff is phoned-in instead of actually written.)
Someday, I will write again. But, well, Game of Thrones is going into Season 3 soon . . . and in May, AMC will be playing Season 3 of The Killing. . . and, well, I used my birthday money from my dad to finance my space opera habit to the tune of several Iain M. Banks and Alastair Reynolds novels, as well as the game “Fallout: New Vegas” which I will undoubtedly sink 60-80 hours into.
So, will I ever write?
I think so . . . I feel ideas budding inside my head, but they’re just not ripe yet. The idea of fusing genres is tickling at my nose, leading me through old spy novels from the Cold War and histories of WWII. There’s something there, something that’s going to be important in my next novel, but I have to finish digging it out. I know it will make for a much richer and more layered story than I’ve done so far. So I have to chase these ideas down for a while.
And then, I’ll write.