[personal profile] rj_anderson
Image representing Zemanta as depicted in Crun...Image by Zemanta via CrunchBaseSo I've found this nifty little utility called Zemanta that auto-suggests content (links, creative commons photos, etc.) when you're writing a blog post. The only downside is that you then have to compose your posts using the Blogger (or WordPress) dashboard, but I'd been thinking about doing that anyway, since I fail at inserting images into LJ.

I wonder if this will make me blog more regularly?

In general update news, I'm still slogging away on Wayfarer to the tune of 1500-2000 new words a day, although today was in the negatives because I had to delete about 1200 words I'd just written when I could see the chapter was veering off in the wrong direction. Generally, though, I'm quite pleased with the way the draft is shaping up. The meat of the book will need revising for sure, but the bones are good.

I'm also reading Kenneth Oppel's new YA alt-historical fantasy Starclimber to my eight-year-old son (who was a massive fan of the first two books in the series, and nearly died of happiness when he discovered the third had just come out). Anyway, early in the book there is a scene taking place in a park in Paris, involving a particularly absurd bit of Parisian bureaucracy which I can only think Oppel must have thrown into the book on a dare. Anyway, it was definitely not meant to be read out loud to an eight-year-old while trying to do a French accent, and I would have sharp words for Mr. Oppel if I hadn't been falling all over the sofa laughing until I could hardly breathe.

For my own reading pleasure, I've just finished The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, which is every bit as brilliant and devastating as I'd been led to believe. I actually had to put the book down in the middle to sob and wipe my eyes, which almost never happens when I'm reading anything. And here I'd thought I wasn't that heavily invested in the story...

Next up is Graceling by Kristin Cashore, another book that's been getting rave reviews. I've only read half a chapter so far so I really can't tell how much I'm going to like it, but it looks promising.
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Date: 2008-10-06 04:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] imaginarycircus.livejournal.com
I was actually tiny bit disappointed in The Hunger Games. I thought it was very good, sure. It did make me cry, but everything does. I think I just dislike first person POV more and more all the time unless the voice is so amazing it makes me not care.

Is this the first draft of the second book you are working on?

Date: 2008-10-06 12:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
I think first person is overrated and sometimes overused, yes. It seems to me that it's become a shortcut to making you identify with the character, and that identification isn't always earned.

I think the best time to use first person is when the person's perspective is really unusual or interesting -- that's why I'm using it in my YA SF novel, because the narrator has a unique way of looking at the world that simply wouldn't come across the same in third person. But for general adventure-type narrative, I think third can be even stronger than first person.

I could see The Hunger Games in third working just as well -- but on the other hand, I thought the choice of first wasn't actually a bad one. It just seems to be the way of the YA world right now. I remember editor Andrew Karre remarking on a session about YA as a Genre that "if it's YA and the book isn't in first person, I want to know why." I think a lot of editors share that sentiment these days.

And yes, it's the first draft of Book II that's in the pipe at the moment.

Date: 2008-10-06 04:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] drmm.livejournal.com
Starclimber must be out earlier in Canada than the U.S. (or you have an ARC). Amazon doesn't list it out here until Feb.

I am jealous.

Date: 2008-10-06 12:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
Yep! We get it long before anybody else because We. Are. Canadian. :D

Date: 2008-10-07 06:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] erinbow.livejournal.com
Yup! It's gotta pay off once in a while, dontcha know?

We just finished STARCLIMBER at our house. Mixed bag -- but "poo poo the chit"!!!!! was hilarious.

Date: 2008-10-07 06:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
"I do," insisted Kate. "I do pooh-pooh."

Ended my life.

Date: 2008-10-06 04:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] olmue.livejournal.com
Oh, I've been watching just as eagerly for Starclimber, but haven't seen it come up yet in Germany or the US. It must come out earlier where you are!

Off to add it to my to-read list...

Date: 2008-10-06 12:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
I think there's something like a six-month difference, in fact! Though if you're really desperate, there's always amazon.ca. :)

Date: 2008-10-06 05:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tartanshell.livejournal.com
In general update news, I'm still slogging away on Wayfarer to the tune of 1500-2000 new words a day

Oh, yay! *hugs* That's wonderful! I'm glad you're making such good progress. (And it's so much better to cut 1200 words today and see a mistake in the making than it would be to go off down a wrong path and have to figure out how to fix it later.)

I was just thinking about Knife the other day--missing Paul, of course--and I can't wait to read Wayfarer! I'm free as a bird after the 13th if you want a cheerleader. *bats eyelashes, pretends this is not as selfishly-motivated as it is* ;)

Btw, if you want something new to read, after the 13th, I might have something to send you... *cough* (I'd love your opinion! And Finn misses you.)

Congrats again on the progress on Wayfarer. You'll be done in no time!

Date: 2008-10-06 12:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
Thanks. *hugs you back*

I would totally love to read your something new! I miss Finn too. And I would love to have you read mine, although we'll have to see how close I actually end up to my deadline before it's finished. I'd like the chance to revise it at least a little before I release it into the wild. :)

Date: 2008-10-06 03:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] robinellen.livejournal.com
I just finished Graceling (very good) and am starting Hunger Games -- how funny :)

zemanta on lj

Date: 2008-10-14 09:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zemanta.livejournal.com
If you use Zemanta on Firefox, then we sometime also wok on LiveJournal. Alternative is to use Windows Live Writer and install Zemanta plugin to use it from there.

Good luck with your writing :)

Jure Cuhalev, Zemanta
jure@zemanta.com

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