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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Strategy applied to the reading list (sort of...)

I’m one of those people who has always loved tactics more than brute force. I think that strategy is more effective, efficient, and, well, cooler. If you’re not one of those people you need to stop reading right now. 

Not really. Brute force people have an incredibly good sense of humor that the world would be most sad to lose. Well at least I would....Besides, who’s going to beat up the bad guys?? Part of strategy is deploying those most suited to handle a situation…which means we need brute force people! :)

Back to the point: I love strategy and I’ve decided to apply it to my book list.

Why? Because there’s a ton of books on that list and a ton that should be, and I don't want to read a slew of books that are useful but not enjoyable, or enjoyable, but not useful, in a row.

My plan is to try and read books that are on the list that are enjoyable AND useful in between reading books that are likely to be only one of the two. 

Popular fiction, for example, is useful because it demonstrates what sells…but may not be enjoyable for that same reason. (No offense, but I’m not going to be reading Fifty Shades just because it’s popular when it has a content label like ‘erotic fiction’. *shakes head*)

And maybe it’s just what I’ve picked in the past, but the pop fic I’ve encountered tends to be weighed down with clichés (an example of what NOT to do, as in ever), or has terrible imagery, or has atrocious dialogue tags, or lacks genuine character development. 

It is especially important that I don’t read too many bad ones in a row because I END UP THINKING LIKE THE AUTHORS OF THE BOOKS THAT I READ. I will start assimilating those dialogue tags. o_o *shudder*

I think that plot is one of the main driving forces behind sales of pop fic…so right now I am analyzing plot structure in ratio to book length and chapters. I'll let you know what I find when I'm finished!

Publishers want the full ms when it comes to fiction, especially if it is a first time novelist…however, before an editor requests the full ms, you query with a summary/synopsis, bio, and a few chapters to see if their interested and if the book is saleable. 

I never paid much attention to it, but I wasn’t trying to complete an 8-book series then. Now I am, and I am trying to structure character introductions accordingly (those few chapters tend to introduce all of the main characters).

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