Thursday, November 25, 2010

snow has fallen

And Victoria grinds to a halt. That was the newspaper headline a day or two ago: Victoria grinds to a halt. I'm sitting in the kitchen sipping on my second cup of tea and watching the snow fall. It would be nice to get the woodstove going, but there's not really enough time before I leave for work. And yes, I'm being a wuss and getting a ride in and out, rather than biking. Which there really is no excuse for, because it's not icy at present, and it's ice that I refuse to bike on, not snow.

I'm working on a writing-related post--or reading-related post--on characters with Destinies and what I think of as 'unearned specialness', but since it's something that annoys me as a reader, I keep wandering off into sidetracks about specific books, and having to delete.
It's an odd thing to be a writer as well as a reader. Suddenly the opinions I have about books and stories become opinions about other people's work, and that dubious ground between creator and creation becomes even boggier. It's as if I've compromised myself.
And yet I've been a reader all my life (even before I could read for myself, my parents read to us and told us stories) and a writer only since, oh, 2004. And a critical reader, too, encouraged to analyse and to put my analysis into words.

Some writers give up reviewing or commenting on what they read, or review only books they loved, because of the discomfort of saying anything negative about the work of someone who is in a sense a colleague, or whom you might meet at a convention or workshop.
I wonder what I'll do?


Terri-Lynne said...

Sticky wickets, there. I do find it hard to write a "bad" review. It's easy to write a review for a book one LOVES. But not ALL books are good, right?

Sigh...then again, I DON'T want bad reviews either!

batgirl said...

Mostly it's a question of 'mixed' reviews. There's usually something worth while in any book one finishes--but since writers, as Neil Gaiman says, want praise delivered in boatloads, I wonder if a 'good stuff bad stuff' review will be seen as a slam by the author.
Maybe I shouldn't worry about overly thin skins, though. It's not as if a review on here is going to have enough influence to blight anyone's chances.

Terri-Lynne said...

I have to admit, I become suspect when I see a bunch of five star ratings on Amazon, or whatnot. It becomes a lovefest rather than a group of reviews people can actually trust.

I haven't gotten a 'bad' review for Finder yet--but so far the reviewers are all people who know me in some capacity. I'll know within the next couple of months what at least two of the big reviewers say. Now THAT is scary!

Sharon Needles said...

I was at a Con recently, where Tanya Huff was the GoH. During an interview with her, the interviewer referred to Huff's latest work as "brilliant" half a dozen times by a conservative estimate. By the end of the interview, even Huff began to look embarrassed. I read the book and enjoyed it enormously, but I hesitate to call it "brilliant."

And by the way, Mistress, I am still waiting for a bad review of my own from your very red pen!

batgirl said...

Ooh, thanks for the reminder! I'll print out the 2d half and go over it on Friday, when I'll be on the Coho and have time to sit & work.
Looking forward to reading it thoroughly, though with a bit of cringe as to the holes characters are digging for themselves. Eep.