Monday, June 14, 2010

Niggling Self Doubt

I just finished Reading Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding, which, I must say, is an excellently fun book. Steampunk pirates, what more could you want? Well there's also some good characterization and lots of humor, if you want to be greedy. (I'm always jealous of funny authors. I'm not funny. I try and all I get are weird looks.)I haven't so thoroughly enjoyed reading a book in ages. Granted there are flaws in it, but they are easily over shadowed by everything that is right with it.

And it has made me realize something. That which I enjoyed so much, may just be lacking in my own writing. Now, I've always been a pretty words sort of girl rather than one of swashbuckling derring-do (or drunken-do as the case most often is in Retribution. Seriously, you should read that book. It's great.) and I'm fine with that. The interesting, fast plot and the well-drawn, vivid characters - each of which had doses of both the despicable and the grand swirling about in them - all swept together with a sort of freeness in the writing itself has made me take a good hard look at my own efforts toward story telling. 

As I said, anything I came up with would be much, much different from Retribution. But there are certain skills, certain elements that are universal. My favorite books have them in spades. Question is, do I? Does my story?

Now, I love Lauryn (my protagonist) but she's not terribly charming. Nor is she terribly fun. And while I am thoroughly entertained by my cast of characters, would anyone else be? Am I capable of creating fully realized characters, not just paper-thin puppets manipulated for my own amusement? 

1 comment:

  1. LOL. I think we all wrestle with our own fears. I realized this when, after reading Patricia Briggs' "Dragonbones," I read something in which she stated that relationships were hard for her to write. This has stayed with me, because I always thought her romances were quite well crafted, be it Dragonbones, Hobbes' Bargain, or others. And now? The mercy series? I think the romance/relationship between Mercy and Adam is definitely one of my favorite aspects of the series. (Got a ton of other things I love about it, too to :P )

    That said, I think I admire in the stories I read the stuff I find hardest to do myself. Now whether it's because I'm harder on myself than I should be or not... I don't know. But that's how we learn to write better, yes? And it is a quest that never ends. If it did, I'm not sure the adventure I'm embarking on would be worth it :( I hope I can never write perfectly--and honestly, I don't think "perfection" is possible. I'll enjoy the journey though :D