Slow progress

As far as rewriting goes, I’ve really been slacking lately, but now I’m making progress again – if slowly. I started the rewrite of Three the other day, realizing that most of what I’ve written so far as well as what’s still to come, are basically entirely new chapters. Sure, I’m working with scenes and ideas from the first draft, but as far as the first half of that is concerned, I’m doing a complete rollover, especially since I added Damian as a second main character.

So far, I’ve really been enjoying it though, because I’ve had the opportunity to add an entire new plotline to the main story, opening new ways to work with the overall plot, filling some holes, dropping more hints etc. Yay for the second draft so far, even though there are still parts which I’m not absolutely happy with, but at least it’s readable now and I’m comfortable having other people read it and give me feedback.

As far as my overall writing goes, I can safely say that I’m writing in spurts. After finishing the first draft, writing almost 30,000 words in about two weeks, I just needed some time to recuperate and get my thoughts in line for the editing process. That and writing down more and more ideas for book 2, Clairvoyance have kept me busy, but I also have been reading tons.

Somehow I’m going through books like candy lately, reading 4-5 books a week and finally making good progress on my to be read pile, while constantly adding more to it (what can I say? I’m a hopeless case :p ) The more I’m reading and writing, the more critical I tend to get though. Honestly, it’s not a bad thing. Lately I tend to focus much more on the style, prose, structure and general logic and motifs that authors use and even though it inspires the occasional rant, I feel that it helps me as a writer to focus on my own style, trying to avoid making the same mistakes etc.

It really made me laugh when someone at my writing group said in reference to plagiarism that he just doesn’t read other authors’ fiction. I dearly hope he was merely joking, because honestly, I couldn’t imagine myself being a writers, much less a good one, without reading much and extensively. I mean, wouldn’t that be the ultimate paradox? How could you be a writer without being a reader? Doesn’t make sense to me.

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Help! I’m drowning under my TBR pile!

Most of you who know me also know that I almost always do have a couple of yet unread books on my bookshelf – my dearly beloved To Be Read pile. I love to pick up books at random, knowing that I definitely want to read them, but sometimes the mood for them has to strike me, otherwise they’ll sit there for a while (like Steven Erikson and David Eddings – I’m just not into epic fantasy right now so those will have to wait).

But looking at it right now, there’s a whole bunch of books waiting to be read finally and as work and writing and social life (yes I do have a social life ;)) take over, my reading is slowing down again.

So here’s what I got sitting on my shelf:

Kim Harrison – The Hollows Series 1-5 (I’m almost done with book 1 now and will at least read book 2 before switching to another series)

Jeff Somers – The Digital Plague (Well technically I’ll only get that one on Monday but it’s still next on the list of what I want to read after The Good, the Bad and the Undead by Harrison)

Jim Butcher – The Dresden Files 1-10 – Holy huge fantasy series Batman! That one’s going to keep me busy for a little while, but the books themselves aren’t the thickest so I should go through them in 2-3 days each.

Matthew Woodring Stover – Heroes Die (here’s you another urban fantasy one that’ll definitely get read soon!)

Lynn Flewelling – Luck in the Shadows (more traditional fantasy with a LGBT take, it’s on the list ;))

Anne Bishop – Daughter of the Blood (after Jen raving to me about those books I finally picked up Anne Bishop, even though Sebastian landed in my “couldn’t get into it” pile next to Ted Williams and uh…Frank Herbert, though I may give both another try)

Richard Morgan – Broken Angels (which reminds me that I still need to post the Altered Carbon review *makes mental note*)

Stephen R. Donaldson – The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant 1-3 (back to the classics ;))

Neil Gaiman – American Gods (STILL haven’t read that one *gasp!*), Anansi Boys, Neverwhere

Steven Erikson – Gardens of the Moon (I’ll pick it up eventually – promise!)

David Eddings – The Belgariad (another one for the classics that will probably sit there for a while longer)

Tad Williams – Otherland book 1 (like I said, after “The Dragonbone Chair” and parts of “The War of the Flowers” Williams just isn’t doing it for me, but maybe his urban fantasy stuff is better? Hm.)

Khalad Hosseini – Tausend Strahlende Sonnen (that one was given to my by my mom and yes it’s in German and yes I’ll read it ASAP. It’s fiction about two women in Afghanistan and sounds very intriguing :))

So that’s 30 (THIRTY!!!) books in total with probably more to come. Let’s just say my used bookstore and the Barnes&Noble Giftcard that I got are too tempting…gah!

Gotta love having your own little library 😉

Reading long series…

Well actually this one isn’t even that long, but I just finished book 3 last night and definitely want to read more of it. Which probably means I’ll end up going to Barnes&Noble or my favorite used bookstore today and get close to broke again. Man.

Well at least money will be spent for a good cause. Yeah, right 😉

Some more ranting to come…

No, browsing amazone.com today really didn’t make me happy at all. Sure, a great thing was finding out that George R. R. Martin’s A Dance With Dragons will apparently be released this year -finally- in September.  But what definitely disappointed me was that Scott Lynch’s Republic of Thieves has been delayed from August 2007 to February 24th 2009. So nope, not happy about that. After all it’s been the book I’ve been looking forward to most for this year.

So here’s an updated list on my personal top 7 books that I’ve been waiting for to be published in 2008 only to realize that 2 of them have been delayed into 2009:

Last Argument of Kings  by Joe Abercrombie – March 20th 2008 – already came out, but already out of stock at amazon.com, though only temporary. Let’s hope for them or Barnes&Noble getting it back soon

The Digital Plague by Jeff Somers – May 12th 2008 – his second book and sequel to The Electric Church, awesome Noir!

Kushiel’s Mercy by Jacqueline Carey – June 12 2008 – the final book in the Imriel triology and one that definitely promises some more of Carey’s awesome plotting combined with great characters and a certain kink 😉

The Steel Remains by Richard Morgan – August 21 2008 – Richard Morgan’s first take on pointedly “different” fantasy

A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin – September 30th 2008 – the eagerly awaited 5th book in Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire saga

Republic of Thieves  by Scott Lynch – February 24th 2009 – third volume of the Gentlemen Bastards sequence

The Bastards and the Knives by Scott Lynch – May 15th 2009 – a collection of Gentlemen Bastards short stories and novellas

Now there’s you another promising read…

…and one that definitely resides in the top ranks of my “Must Read” list for 2008 (frankly, this year is going to be great in new releases, even though I’m already grumpy because I’ll still have to wait to lay my hands on this year’s most wanted releases *substracts 50 Brownie points for living in the US of A now and thus not being favored with UK publishing dates*)

Anyway, after reading about it on Westeros and being linked to a rather intriguing post on Joe Abercrombie’s blog I’m pretty hot on getting my hands on Richard Morgan’s upcoming book The Steel Remains.

Browsing amazon was rather disappointing though, well not really, but you might share my impatience about having to wait till August 21st when it’s supposed to be published (which by the way, is almost at the same time when Scott Lynch’s Republic of Thieves is to come out and the Gods know I can’t wait for that one and August is waaaaaaayyyy far off…)

Ah well, rant done. Just check it out 🙂 *concludes another “Nym pimps a book”-post*