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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

Things I internalized about writing today:

It's not just in dialogue that implication is often stronger than statement, on-the-nose weaker than subtext.

It works in narrative, too.

A crude example: "He stared for a moment before he looked away" vs. "He wrenched his eyes away." Second only implies the staring part.

Exposition can lie in the adjectives and the verbs as easily as the nouns.

I finished The Fall of the Kings.

I feel much more confident about the smut content of The Stratford Man now.

I might quibble a bit with the ending: I wanted something a little less open, and perhaps the protagonists rendered slightly less disreputable and distanced--although I think I understand the authors' choices in that regard--and I felt the characterization of one of the major characters was extremely inconsistent. But that was one gorgeously crafted chunk of book. Now I have to reread Swordspoint, which I recall not overly liking my first time out of the box.


I found myself gnawing my knuckles in envy over some of the business with the silver chocolate service. I was so damn pleased with myself for a toasting-fork that made its appearance in one of my pieces -- and then I saw the chocolate set. Ouch. Oh. I will NEVER be that good.

The open-endedness of the last few pages led me to reread them, which I rarely do upon finishing. I liked the book as a whole better after doing so because it gave meaning to the almost too-clever hairpin turns of plot and grounded the academic ambiguities (which I loved) by choosing a reality.

Was Jessica's characterization the one that bothered you?


I thought Jessica was set up to be much nastier than she turned out--even in her own POV, which is cheating a lot--and the... hmm. How do I not spoiler this? the "non-influenced" Theron ranged in age from an apparent fourteen to an apparent thirty or so. That was the one that bugged me the most: that I had to keep being reminded that he was a kid because he acted so grownup, and then he acted very much younger than late teens.

When he was having emotional issues, I didn't mind his inconsistencies, because he deserved them then.

Part of the problem may be that I do prefer fairly tight plots with a strong emotional resolution, and while I didn't mind the external resolution being so open, I felt cheated by the climax of the book.

If that makes any sense at all.

Still. Gorgeous book.

Re: Spoilers!

Hmm. I recall her as a loose cannon with her own agenda who turned out to be nastier, or at least more deeply creepy, than she was set up to be. :) Maybe I'm misremembering something.

Agreed on Theron's variability.

Still. Gorgeous book.

Very nice example.