Diana Pharaoh Francis | Diana P. Francis | Diana Francis


Saturday, January 4th, 2014
back and forward and reading and writing

The boy went to the gastro yesterday and there are tests underway. One of which requires collecting a stool sample, and so we are waiting for that to, ahem, arrive. But he started barfing even more, despite increasing the dosage of the anti-vomit medicine. I think there’s an acid issue at work here, but the root cause is the question. The doc left it kind of up to us if we wanted him scoped or not. I was outvoted, but now am thinking scoping is necessary. Looking into it.

I’m reading these UF books by Shannon Mayer. The first is Priceless and now I’m on the second, Immune. Have you read these? Want to read these? I ask because of a writerly question. On a readerly level, they are huge fun. I have a couple of little issues with them, but there’s good action, interesting magic, interesting worldbuilding, and some romantic tension that is very nice. The main characters are definitely flawed and while sometimes you want to slap the shit out of them, it’s all within character.

The writerly question is this. Mayer does these really abrupt action/scene shifts. She pushes a boundary that I didn’t realize I had. I always do more of a gentle shift or a significant stop action or slowing of action before moving onto the next. But she doesn’t. I find it startling, though I’m intrigued. I *think* it works pretty well, but it startles me because I don’t do it that way, and so I’m not sure if I’m noticing it because somehow it doesn’t work, or because it’s so very different. That’s why I’m wondering if anyone has read her or wants to and give me your thoughts.

I’ve not made much writing progress the past few days. Largely because I’ve been doing boy stuff, but also because I’m trying to force a shape on the story that isn’t right. So now I’ve got to back off and just see how it unfolds. I do not like this way of writing. I want to plot things out. I at least want some sense of ending. But I”m not getting either with this and it’s killing me. Why is it my writing brain wants me to write this way now? I didn’t used to. What the heck happened?????

3 comments to “back and forward and reading and writing”

  1. Adrianne
    Comment
    1
     · January 5th, 2014 at 8:02 am · Link

    I’m sorry your son is having such a hard time. I hope you get it figured out soon.

    I tried reading the third Mayer book, and bounced. I enjoyed the humor, but the fragmented writing style jerked me out of the story one too many times. So I put down the book and moved on. I’m drowning in books, and don’t have time to waste on things that don’t hold my attention.

    I want characters that drive the plot. I want characters that change and grow. I need a good solid setting and decent writing.

    Humorous books rarely have characters that grow. Ditto guy-action stories. There are a lot of books and movies out there that are like roller coaster rides – tons of excitement and action, but nothing really changes. Indiana Jones movies fall into that category for me. Indy never changes, he just moves on to the next roller coaster. And while I find the occasional roller coaster fun, it’s not the kind of story I want to read often.

    I’m also getting extremely impatient with characters that do stupid things. The classic example is Sigourney Weaver in Alien walking through the ship calling the ship’s cat. The tension in that scene was unbearable – which made it memorable. And Weaver’s character was well motivated – which was excellent writing. But it was still a stupid thing to do. Way too many books do that kind of thing to keep the tension up and I’m getting impatient with that kind of stupidity.



  2. Adrianne
    Comment
    2
     · January 5th, 2014 at 8:12 am · Link

    Has your son been tested for celiac?

    I don’t know if I have celiac – I’ve never been tested. But I react to all glutenous grains, and I get the most awful stomach aches and vomiting when I eat wheat.



    • Di Francis
      Comment
      2.1
       · January 5th, 2014 at 8:41 pm · Link

      They ran a test on Friday. But gluten doesn’t seem to be a trigger at all. I’m beginning to think it might be some sort of ulcer. I just don’t know. Scoping will be the real answer I think.



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