Saturday, November 21, 2009

I love it when this happens

Yes, I will get down to working on NaNo soon. It's been a busy week, and though I haven't written as much as I should, I have written, which is good. Yay, me!

So, I picked up a YA book at the library this week. I'd read the author's previous book- a retelling of a fairy tale I adore- and hadn't been entirely pleased with it. She had re-imagined it beautifully, bringing out so many wonderful aspects of the story. She added a culture and history and way cool stuff. (Note my precise language, there.)

But the tone was wonky- to me, at least. The dialog seemed modern, the cadence of the narration choppy.

I was not happy.

Now, don't get me wrong. I never threw the book down and wondered why it got published when I here I was with a fairy tale novel that was half re-written, with it's own blotchy tone, and a still-to-be-resolved plot line... hey, wait.... I mean, brilliant book of my own.

I was disappointed, though. Her re-imagining had captured me, and I was peeved that the tone (in my opinion) didn't serve that re-imagining.

But her new book? The book about another one of my favorite fairy tales? Lovely! It read like a fairy tale. A few rough patches, but still great.

I was so jazzed for her. Can't wait to read the next one.

Now since I'm hijacking the blog to write about improving authors (when I should share conference notes- just remembered that), please join me. I'd rather not feel alone and self conscious. Are there any authors that you've seen grow? Or any that- like Athena springing fully grown from Zeus' head- seem marvelous from the very begining?

I'd love to know.


Amy Tate said...

You know, not really! My experience has been more like yours. Except for Kate Dicamillo. I've never read one of hers that I didn't like.

Sarah said...

Amy, I love Kate DiCamillo. I haven't read all her books, but the ones I have are just marvelous.

It's really encouraging to me to see writers grow. Gives me hope for myself.

I'm a huge Terry Pratchett fan. The first Diskworld book I read was well into the series. I was- and still am- so impressed with his writing! When I later read The Colour of Magic (the first Diskworld, I think) I was able to see how far he had come. TCOM was good but, to me, not like his later books. That was so eye-opening for me.

Lisa said...

I remember reading a lot of John Irving in college and really loving his books. Then I read (or started reading...can't remember if I actually finished) one of his early works about a guy trying to finish his dissertation while his skier girlfriend walked around with her big gnarly feet. I was surprised to find the book, well, boring.

I remember thinking, "Wow, good thing he worked out that whole plot thing for his later books."

I agree Sarah--it's heartening to see a published author grow.

And congrats on passing the NaNo halfway mark!!!!

Sarah said...

Thanks, Lisa. I've been getting to the fun part now, and it's been easier to just get the words out and down.

Of course, having lots of time yesterday to write didn't hurt, either.