Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What Makes It a Keeper?

Thinking is the activity I love best and writing to me is simply thinking through my fingers. ~ Isaac Asimov

I'm excited: "Savor the Moment" by Nora Roberts comes out today. YAY. I've read mixed reviews about this series of hers, but for me? It scores 100 -- every one of the books has made me get weepy at the end, a sure sign I'm attached to the characters. So, yeah, I'll be at the store getting my copy today.

I've been re-reading some warm and fuzzy keepers lately and thinking about writing in concert with that. I've tried to figure out what makes that book a keeper when this book is a wall-banger (aside from poor writing, grammar and editing which makes me CRAZY).

I think it's two-fold for me.

I have to connect to the characters, and pretty quickly. I'm not one who will give a nasty, snarky heroine who will grow and change and develop a heart of gold (and manners) very much time. Snark is fine (Oh, how I loved Cranky Agnes in "Agnes and the Hitman"), but sheer nastiness loses me every time.

I've also discovered that I love a good sub-plot. As time goes by, I find that a simple romance, where ONLY the romance is happening, bores me. It's probably why I've found myself gravitating toward the paranormal or suspense romances, because there is always something else going on. I find this last part amusing because I usually just write ONLY romance. But it's given me pause for thought... and I'm considering whether I want to add some significant sub-plots to my work.

What about you? What draws YOU to a book? Makes it a keeper for you?


So yesterday was *mostly* a success. We went to the mall, where I spent my Macys gift card from Christmas. I'd forgotten there was a Macys in there (it used to be something else... like eight years ago -- yeah, I don't get out much), so DD and I ended up with five shirts (three for me, two for her). I splurged and bought some smelly lotion at Bath & Body Works (I prefer Body Shop, but the sales help is VERY heavy-handed there and it makes me uncomfortable -- if I have a question, I'm not too shy to ask, but otherwise...GO AWAY). Then it was off to Toys R Us and her pogo stick only.. they were sold out. But, they did have refill foam arrows for her bow, so I got her a big pack of those.

But, no pogo stick.


Then to the library, where we got so wrapped up in getting books that we forgot to get a movie. I realized halfway to the restaurant.

DD said, "Great. The whole day is ruined."

I said, "Yeah, cuz new clothes, new lotion, refill arrows and a yummy seafood lunch pales in comparison to watching a movie YOU'VE ALREADY SEEN."

Ah, the drama of the tween years.

But, movie aside, we had a good day. She even came up to me at bed time and said she'd had a great day and gave me a big hug.

So, yay.


Your Name is Gray

Your name tells people that you are calm and level headed. Your name makes you seem honest and fair.

You are able to look at things clearly and without emotion. You tend to remain neutral in most disputes.

People see you as reliable and trustworthy. You treat everyone equally, and you don't tend to have any prejudices.

You are naturally calculating and even a bit cunning. You don't like to show your cards too early in the game.

That's mostly right on...



Dru said...

That's why I love books that are both mysteries and romances, because I know there will be more than on plot going on.

I finished reading a book and immediately knew that I had to get this book for my "keeper" shelf. When I become emotionally invested in the book in the first chapter and read that book non-stop forsaking chores and work, then that book definitely becomes a keeper.

Will DD still get her pogo stick?

Your Name is White

Your name tells people that you have good intentions and a pure heart. You try to always speak the truth.

You are happy to step back and let other people shine. You don't seek attention or acclaim.

People see you as someone who is generous and ethical. You can be counted on to do the right thing.

You are bright and clear headed. You can offer a fresh perspective, especially when other people are in a rut.

It's scary that taking these quizzes can be accurate.

Have a good Tuesday.

Maria Zannini said...

Ref: "Great. The whole day is ruined."

LOL! That is hilarious! You need to remember that line the next time you write a youthful character.

Marianne Arkins said...

Dru, we're still planning on getting the pogo stick. I'm looking online.

Maria, she cracked me up. But then, all I have to do is go back and read my journals (I started keeping them when I was ten y.o.) and have plenty of fodder...

Brandy said...

OOh, just wait. Tween morphs into Teen before you know it. *g* I hope you're able to find her pogo stick!
Glad y'all had a good day.

Your Name is Red
Your name tells people that you are powerful and intense. Your name makes people take you seriously.
You stand out in a crowd and command attention. You can't blend in - and you would never try to or want to.
People see you as a bit of a wild card. You're well known for being passionate, and you can be a bit dangerous at times.
You inspire strong feelings in others. People either totally love you or totally despise you. There usually isn't much in between.

Egads! I sincerely hope I'm not like this! As for demanding attention? HAHAHAHAHA! I'm usually the one behind my husband or in a corner. *G*

I hope you have a terrific day!

Melissa McClone said...

I really want to read that series by Nora!