Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Due to Technical Difficulties . . .

. . . this will be a different post from the one I'd planned. With a little good luck, the one I intended will be in this spot next Wednesday.

So moving right along, as I'm rarely without something to yammer about, I thought I'd chat about the book I'm reading. A generic discussion.

It's by one of my favorite authors and is, so far, one of her better books. And I'm surprised to say that because on page one there's a major stumbling block for me.

The author is asking me to accept something that doesn't ring true to me at all. After I read the opening chapter last Friday, I sat the book aside for the weekend. I was too busy to have much reading time anyway, so while it dozed on my desk, I tried at times to figure out how the premise presented on the first page could have occurred.

The book isn't science fiction, fantasy, or horror, where you know things will be different. It's suspense, and the premise is something rooted in the everyday.

When I picked up the book Monday, I'd decided to just accept that it had occurred by whatever reason - a fluke, a string of good luck, exceptional attention to detail, total lack of skill, whatever.

So as I sighed and turned to the second chapter, I was transported into another character's point of view. And I've stayed there. I'm now at the halfway point.

It's a page-turner for me. The character's voice, her predicament, the pacing - it's all there.

I know there's a connection between events happening to the protagonist and the characters in the first chapter, but I don't know what it is or how it's going to resolve.

The almost outlandish premise presented by this author is one thing. She's somewhat well-known with a large enough following, I'm sure. If anyone else questioned this [or maybe it's just me] they took a leap of faith. As I did.

I don't think newer authors should try this at home if they want to be read beyond the first page. Not in today's tough market.

But this time, I'm glad I trusted the author enough to turn the page.

10 comments:

Mason Canyon said...

Okay, you've got me hook. Who's the author and what is the book?

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I'm curious, too. Whatever it was, I'm surprised her editor let her get away with it...

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

Terry Odell said...

I'm curious as well. It sounds like chapter one could almost be a prologue, especially if they haven't come back to it.

Helen Ginger said...

It is definitely true that established authors can try things new authors cannot get away with. It'll be interesting to hear how this author ties it all together and if you are satisfied with it.

Helen
Straight From Hel

cassandrajade said...

I think we all want to know what the book is now. Thanks for the advice though. Though even in fantasy you have to provide some logical reason for things to occur - even if the explanation comes later.

Galen Kindley--Author said...

Yep, good advice. I read in one of my many how to books that as a new author, don't try to get to cute. Stay close to the basics, otherwise, you may not have the success you hoped for.

Best Regards, Galen

Imagineering Fiction Blog

Carol Kilgore said...

The reason I chose a generic discussion is because I wanted to talk about the problem and not say something negative about a fellow author who I'm sure works just as hard as the rest of us on producing her work.

To me it's the kind of thing to say in a critique or an edit, not blasted about on blogs after the book's published.

Besides, I'm not a reviewer in any form.

I will describe the problem I had. While it was for sure a problem for me, it might not be for anyone else.

In the story, one of the men in the first chapter is a highly placed Federal law enforcement official who's been married for many years to a woman who isn't quite mentally stable and who's had a major drug problem since before their marriage. She still has all her demons. And no one outside her family, and I guess her supplier(s), is aware.

That's the premise that almost made me miss this so-far-wonderful read.

Carol Kilgore said...

Oh, and Terry - Yes, that opening chapter has functioned exactly as a prologue except it wasn't called one. I will say that the following chapter was every bit as exciting as the first one. Maybe more so. With nothing that made go "Huh?"

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I think prologues are out of fashion so now they're just called Chapter 1. I'll be interested to see what you think once you get to the end of the book - if everything is tied together or not.

Carol Kilgore said...

I'm interested in finding that out, too, Jane. I hope I'm not disappointed.