I've been trying to read more. For a while there I was only writing or doing manuscript evaluations, and that's not exactly refilling the creative well. I mean, we generally decide we want to be writers based on our love of reading. And yet reading is one of the first things that gets crossed off the list once one becomes a successful writer and has less and less free time.
So we've started a monthly reading challenge over at my Goodreads group. First up, it's Rowan Speedwell's Finding Zach. I read that today -- I was supposed to be writing, working on Mummy Dearest, which has a bit of fleshing in to do, but...that's kind of the cool thing about this new schedule. A work day can be anything from all the promo blogs I have due for next months' releases, or it could be working on a book trailer, or it could be writing. It just depends because all these things need to happen this month.
Anyway, I read Finding Zach and now I'm reading GhosTV, which is the latest in Jordan's PsyCop series.
To start with, I love the little graphic on the contents page. But that's neither here nor there.
Story begins deep in POV, clean, tight writing and...we're in. I'm hooked. Jordan knows how to write and she knows how to tell a story. Not always the same thing, but when those two synchronize, it's such a pleasure to be a reader.
I've been thinking a lot about dialog lately and how many m/m writers settle for cliches instead of genuine, interesting dialog that establishes character or moves the plot along or simply amuses and entertains. It's got to be one of the hardest things to do well. I hear so many writers talking about how they love writing dialog and then they offer some bits of their own as proof and usually the dialog is just...not very good. The fact is, most writers aren't very good at dialog. Most writers write place-keeping dialog and that's pretty much it. Truly good dialog is so easy to take for granted. It's one of those things you only notice by its absence. Anyway, Jordan does dialog very well. All the dialog. Not just the dialog between Vic and Jacob, but the dialog between all the characters. It's not filler. It's not cliche or someone's painful idea of how men talk to each other (apparently forgetting years of listening to men -- and other people -- talking to each other).
I think the key is to allow characters to have interesting conversations about stuff other than Our Relationship. And of course that's one of the big advantages of writing mystery or crime or adventure. It gives the characters something interesting to talk about.
And Jordan has plot. I do so dearly love it when someone can write an actual plot that has more than two guys waltzing around each other.
She's funny when she intends to be, and her sex scenes are hot, and...it's just a relief to read her work.
And this is only page 16. :-D