Sunday, December 6, 2009

Lips Touch by Laini Taylor



I have been liking the short form lately and there are three novellas here. Very different worlds. And I thought really well formed. I especially loved the set up of the first story, Goblin Fruit. That character was so perfect and her temptation so compelling. Very rich in a small space.

And the last story, The Changling, dark painful, mysterious, epic storyline. Here there are some similar paranormal elements to Meyer’s vampires. Beauty, coldness, living a long time, no sparkling as far as I can tell. Her deamons do have speed and shapeshifting. In this story I loved how Laini Taylor used structure to build tension, each character's story out of chonological order, the flashback interrupting the present narration.

Also the set of illustrations by Jim Di Bartolo before each novella built tension as well. Sensual and dark.

I love how Laini Taylor is so generous with her writing advice. Now that I have read her lovely prose, I want to go back and reread how she comes up with those worlds of hers.

As I am trying to build my own, I want to know what comes first, situation, world or character. Here is what Suzanne Collins says: I’ve learned it helps me to work out the key structural points before I begin a story. The inciting incident, acts, breaks, mid-story reversal, crisis, climax, those sorts of things. I’ll know a lot of what fills the spaces between them as well, but I leave some uncharted room for the characters to develop. And if a door opens along the way, and I’m intrigued by where it leads, I’ll definitely go through it. The end of my book kind of came together the way she describes. I kne what was going to happen and what came in between, but I left room also to follow my fancy. And I would like my experience writing the end of that book to influence the writing of the next. Post first book (no mistakes, I'm not done with it yet, it just that now it is what it wants to be. Perhaps I can still fiddle with it and make it work better, but short of totally rewriting it--I've rewritten it several times already--it is what it is) my instinct is to approach it as Scott describes at The Literary Lab, quoting John Gardner's explanation. His post struck a chord with me, both as a reader and a writer. It is a elusive feeling, that writer's dream state. First relying on my imagination to get the world right, and then experiencing that world in my head, and returning to it each time I face the words. But I'm no good at transitions, I fear them and yet isn't that the writers life? Shifting from one world to the next and then having to go back again.

As Always(I have been practicing daydreams. Now if only I could remember my night dreams.),
Tina