Friday, January 15, 2010

Fire By Kristin Cashore

I just finished Fire.

My biggest criticism of Graceling(as in Cashore's first book) was at one point toward the end of the story I felt it slowed down. But I gave Cashore a pass on that, because it is pretty amazing to write such a readable first book. As I recall her whole road to publication was amazing, not that I could tell you what it was right now. Fire is a companion to Graceling, so only one of the characters overlap. Fire takes place in a neighboring land divided from the world of Graceling by mountains that are almost impassable. So as an entirely new world, it has entirely new magic. Instead of Gracelings, there are Monsters. The premise of the book is that these monsters, animals identical to regular animals except for their amazing color, have ability to mesmerize onlookers and then prey on them. There is only one remaining human monster(Fire, our protag). I was worried the book would be a little too Rainbow Brite for me. (I’m a little more dystopian than fantasy world, but I got over it and read it all the way to the end.) It had a lot of depth. I think Cashore really plumbed the psychology of this dangerous beauty.  That Kristin Cashore has an imagination on her.

Here’s what I learned from the book:  A writing tip I once came across advised every time you introduce a new character, that character making an entrance. As in a play, lingered on for a moment, give him or her some stage time. It’s been a helpful tip to me and I want to thank whomever is responsible for it (I have no idea). But Cashore made me think of expanding that tip to new ideas and concepts. This is probably really simple and you all knew this already. But this has been a hard one for me. As I go through my beginning yet another time, I have been imagining I’m setting a stage, and each time something new comes in, I need to make sure it gets some face time.

As Always (I bet Kristin Cashore remembers her dreams!),