Posts Tagged ‘Mozart’s Blood’

My Top 5 Reads of 2010 and their Engines

I failed miserably this year to keep up with all the good fiction reads coming out. I was distracted by research reading, my son’s wedding and the urge to be outside in the (short) summer. As a result I missed many good books, alas. The pile of books by my bed is undiminished.

Here are some novels that vastly entertained, intrigued, or in the case of a couple of them, gave me a kick like a mule. The last two are older books. In no particular order:

The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi. Science Fiction.

This wonderful story gives a one-two punch: brilliant milieu combined with taut narration, sharp dialogue and intriguing indirection. Here is Bangkok in a post-oil future, a deliciously intelligent extrapolation. The engine of this story for me is the premise of how genetic disaster and manipulation drive the characters to desperate acts.

The Girl Who Played with Fire, Stieg Larsson. Thriller. Read More…

Connecting Characters

You’ve got your novel’s cast of characters, let’s say. You’ve carefully considered the central conflict between two characters.You’ve thought through who else hinders–and helps–your protagonist. Some of these may feature prominently, heading up subplots.

If you’re inspired by Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey, you may have discovered a character or two with dramatic archetype functions such as the mentor, threshold guardian, or herald. Fun stuff.

More work lies ahead. Read More…