Tuesday, April 05, 2005

On writing and reading

I think I work better when I have only one project to work on, but I'm wondering. Is that right? *Marks of Repentance* should be getting all my attention these days, then. My other novels are waiting patiently in the wings for their turn at revisions. And I simply don't do shorts.

So what have I been doing the past couple of days? Well, I HAVE added nearly 3K to Shann's story, so that's all right. But I've also written half that much in assorted other materials. I guess that's part of the deal of being a moderator over at Forward Motion. When things need doing, we're the front row, and that's as it should be. So not only has Mar roped me into writing website reviews for Vision Ezine for Writers, but I'm writing a class on subplots for the main site. Hey, I've got to put my recent illumination from the movie The Incredibles to good use one way or another! This also gives me a good excuse to watch the movie again soon. All in the name of research of course. :)

I have just finished reading Black by Ted Dekker. There's been a discussion recently at FM about the place of dreams in fiction, and for the most part, it's been agreed that dreams are a Bad Thing. Ted Dekker believes not. I should clarify that by saying that the dreams are not exactly the every-night variety. His main character, Tom Hunter, somehow gets mixed up in a parallel universe. When he falls asleep, he wakes up over there. When he falls asleep over there, he wakes up here. This cycle repeats itself throughout the whole novel (first of a trilogy). You're right, he doesn't get much rest! Critical things are happening in both universes, and he is key to both. What he learns in one is vital to the other, and vice versa. But he goes the longest time trying to figure out which one is real, and which one is the dream. He never figures it out.

As a writer, it seems an odd way to write a book. Dekker is a well-acclaimed author, and this is not his first book, both of which may help. If you've ever read a similar book, I'd be interested to know about it. It's not a technique I see myself using any time in the foreseeable future, but I found it quite interesting all the same.


Katie Hart said...

I was also fascinated by Dekker's dream plot device, but can't think of any books that use it. More does get explained as the books progress, so keep reading!

Valerie Comer said...

Thanks, Katie, I will keep reading. But since I'm relying on inter-library loan to bring them in, and my library can't/won't order them until they're a year old, I have a little waiting ahead of me yet.

Katie Hart said...

Ouch, that's harsh. I heard that the first two books ended on cliffhangers, so I didn't start until I had the whole set. I was able to request review copies of the entire set for a fantasy/SF roundup I was doing - very sweet.