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Beguilement (The Sharing Knife, Book 1)

I spent the day yesterday reading book one of the Sharing Knife by Bujold. It was wonderful, so wonderful that ending it primarily filled me with a sense of frustration. Because it is book one, in a four book series, and while the ending wrapped up nicely for the first book in a series, it is not really a stand alone book. So now I am both craving and dreading the next book. Because it won't end the story either, and as it turns out I really value the ending part of my HEA when I'm reading a romance. I'd rather read one book about a couple, and then move on to the next, and if the author wants the earlier couple to make a cameo or something in a later book that's fine, but I really don't need a whole 'nother book (let alone three more books) about their relationship struggles, or even their struggles outside of their relationship. Once they find true love and get married, I'm pretty much done, and I want to be done in one book, not two or three or four. It's not realistic, of course, because relationships continue to grow and change along with the people in them, but it's what I want from my romance novels. It's just frustrating to find a book that is so good, so well written and compelling and full of win, and have it fall just short of my ideal.

In one of the bios for a romance author, I can't remember which one, Christina Dodd maybe, there was a line, “she couldn't find the kind of book she wanted to read, so she decided to write it,” which is pretty much my inspiration as well. But it is a lot harder to write a book than to read one, and it's a different experience reading a book I've written than one off the shelf by another author. These days I can't completely turn off my internal editor even when reading for fun, and her voice gets a lot louder when I'm reading my own works. Maybe it would be different reading my books in published form, where correcting a problem is no longer an option. All I know is that I crave to read what Bujold almost wrote, and that almost is the hardest bit to bear. Of course, Bujold is also a master of the craft, and so while I can write a book with a more satisfying structure, I'm not at all convinced I can write a better book. All I can do is gnash my teeth and try.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
dancingsinging
Mar. 18th, 2009 04:47 am (UTC)
Hey, at least you're inspired-frustrated, and not book-burning-frustrated. :)
janellelohr
Mar. 19th, 2009 05:09 am (UTC)
True, though being inspired by a *good* book often leads to a mixed bag productivity wise, since my internal editor usually starts yapping about how what I'm writing is miles away from being as good as that other book, and it takes me a bit to wrestle the first draft muzzle back on her.
dancingsinging
Mar. 19th, 2009 05:12 am (UTC)
I have that, too. One thing that's been encouraging to me lately is that I can read a really, really awesome short, and still see that it's imperfect. It's strangely encouraging to me to se that stories can have faults and still be wonderful (and published :).
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )