Friday, April 24, 2009

Effortless takes a lot of work...

As Molly mentioned, I am taking a break from paranormals, which after reading too many in a row, have now all started to blend together, and become boring.

So, I'm reading historicals and putting a list of contemps together to buy. The latest historical I've read is the Elizabeth Hoyt, To Seduce a Sinner.. and while this isn't the best of her books, I practically devoured it, read it in two days, front to back and really enjoyed it.
So much I'm buying the next one, which just came out and looks amazing.

But what struck me about the book was how effortlessly it read. Smooth, scenes flowing well into each other and there seemed to be a real sense of confidence on the page, as if she knew she could take her time with the small scenes, because they'd be fascinating regardless.
A different experience from the paranormals I've read recently, which have felt anything but effortless, where I could almost see the author behind the scenes, working on their plot points, trying to add suspense and surprise, and adding new elements to make their books different from the other paranormals on the market. Molly covered this in her post.

And I know that the effortless book takes a stupid amount of work, polishing, removing repetition, ensuring the characters are always moving forward, and when it works, it really works. And right now, I'm seeing the effortless most in historicals, where the authors have had to step up to be noticed in what has been a declining, but just mostly overcrowded, field.

I still don't know where the effortless happens. Is it in author confidence, the fifth edit, the first draft, I just know when I read it. It's the next puzzle I'm trying to figure out.


Maureen McGowan said...

When I first started writing I read a quote by someone... Judith Krantz? Who said a book that's easy to read is very, very hard to write.

And I believe that.

Important to remember that most romance readers love the genre because they want to be entertained, not challenged.

I'm hoping my Lover Avenged arrives today. :-) Also really wanting to read Victoria Dahl's new contemp. Have heard great things.

Eileen said...

The best easy-to-read writing I've done has come from that magic place where the words just flow. I wish I knew how to get there everyday. That said, the work to make the other writing seem like the flowing kind is occasionally daunting.

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