Thursday, May 7, 2015

Writing, Men in Kilts, and an open letter to Diana Gabaldon.

I'd like to start off this post with a short (it got longer than I intended) open letter to Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander book series (now also a tv series!)

Sexy men in kilts can make me sweat, no
matter how cold it is out, and I live in MN
Dear Ms. Gabaldon,

First let me say, I really enjoy your books. I am currently on book 8 of the Outlander Series, Written in My Own Heart's Blood. I really appreciate all the diligence you put into researching both the historical and medical aspects of your books. It's a rare treat to get to read a book that teaches me so many interesting facts, while also getting the pleasure of imaging Jamie's hot nakedness. So it's with great respect that I offer the following criticism:

Please, for the love of all things holy, stop with the "she shivered despite the heat" or "he began to sweat despite the cold" schtick. If there were a drinking game for an over used cliché in your writing, this would be it, one hundred times over. Please believe that people can understand from context that when you mention the somebody gets goose prickles due to a scary/creepy/eery/etc event that we understand that they are not simply cold. I am at the point where every time these phrases crop up I end up yelling out loud at the book. This can be quite embarrassing when I'm reading in a public space, and has even scared the dog on occasion.

So please, for all our sakes, enough with the temperature to physical reaction disclaimers. And do keep writing your vastly entertaining books. They are quite fabulous after all.

Alison

Ah, it feels good to get that off my chest finally. I love reading, and I really love settling into the rhythm and feel of an author's writing style. This is one reason I love reading many things by a single author, and also why I almost never read collaborative works (for example, I love, love, love Larry Niven's earlier books, but now all he does is collaborations so I don't even bother). But it also means starting to notice little things that can pull me out of the story (like mentioned above). It also can have an impact on my own writing style, which can be good or bad, depending on how... unique the style is.

And now that summer break is coming up and more people will have time to start reading, let me close by recommending the Outlander series for some fun summer reading. And if you like audio books, the narration by Davina Porter is fantastic. (She is second only to Song of Ice and Fire narrator Roy Dotrice in the portion of my heart reserved for great narrators.) Also, if you're hot for men in kilts, then Outlander is certainly for you. Mmmm.... I suddenly feel a chill, yet it's so warm in here. ;)

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