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Doing Something Right
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4209
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't totally remember No Safe Place, dick, so it probably wasn't one of her best (but it could have been--damn this memory!). However, I can tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed Blaze. There were other earlier ones that involved family more and I liked them also--Far Harbor and Homeplace. All her titles are running together for me just now as I look at the list and it's difficult to conjure up negative or positive reactions to them. If you can get Blaze from the library, that would be wonderful. The story and characters are good, even though the personal relationship between the h/h is a little quick and hot (and that's not always the way she works it).

As an extra note to you, while perusing all her book titles on Amazon, I was surprised by the amount that registered just mediocre on my scale. But when I hear her name, it is still synonymous with good reads for me. Now, how much sense did this last paragraph really make?
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dick wrote:
to schola re Laurens' style: Oh, the perils of contradictions.
You're right. Laurens' style can be seen as over-written at times, but its not usually "dull" nor "stodgy," although at times it can get a bit breathless. I like Laurens despite that, primarily because I enjoy the fictional world she has created, where already known characters move in and out of nearly the same milieu.


Yeah, she's not stodgy. Smile I was rereading parts of A Rake's Vow last night, though, and while it wasn't as packed with "doubles" as I remembered, it made me roll my eyes several times whenever Vane and Patience kissed and became all about "gold" and "silver" or a bright "sun" moving towards her and crashing around her. Laughing

dick wrote:
I don't see much wrong with the Rubicon metaphor, by the way, thinking she used it to mean the character has chosen his fate. Isn't that the usual metaphorical application?


It just came so late in the novel, when he had, at least in my opinion, already crossed his Rubicon and marched on Rome. At that point, it was only Patience who had to choose her fate to be with him.
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"To be in a romance is to be in uncongenial surroundings. To be born into this earth is to be born into uncongenial surroundings, hence to be born into a romance." (G.K. Chesterton)
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2475

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

schola wrote: Yeah, she's not stodgy. I was rereading parts of A Rake's Vow last night, though, and while it wasn't as packed with "doubles" as I remembered, it made me roll my eyes several times whenever Vane and Patience kissed and became all about "gold" and "silver" or a bright "sun" moving towards her and crashing around her.

In my observation, all romance fiction diction (that has a nice roll to it, doesn't it?) is hyper-excessive. "Ecstasy" and "rapture" are more common choices than "delight" and "happiness"; the "soul" is "ensnared" not "captured" just as or more often than the "heart"; kisses are "cataclysmic" rather than "exciting."
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dick wrote:
schola wrote: Yeah, she's not stodgy. I was rereading parts of A Rake's Vow last night, though, and while it wasn't as packed with "doubles" as I remembered, it made me roll my eyes several times whenever Vane and Patience kissed and became all about "gold" and "silver" or a bright "sun" moving towards her and crashing around her.

In my observation, all romance fiction diction (that has a nice roll to it, doesn't it?) is hyper-excessive. "Ecstasy" and "rapture" are more common choices than "delight" and "happiness"; the "soul" is "ensnared" not "captured" just as or more often than the "heart"; kisses are "cataclysmic" rather than "exciting."


That's true, but there's something excessively excessive about Laurens! Laughing (Now I'm reminded of Vane observing that Patience is sleeping blissfully. Most other writers might have settled for peacefully or deeply. With Laurens, however, even sleep has to sound like one of Emily Bronte's emotions on hyperdrive. Laughing )
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"To be in a romance is to be in uncongenial surroundings. To be born into this earth is to be born into uncongenial surroundings, hence to be born into a romance." (G.K. Chesterton)
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veasleyd1



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 2064

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dick wrote:
schola wrote: Yeah, she's not stodgy. I was rereading parts of A Rake's Vow last night, though, and while it wasn't as packed with "doubles" as I remembered, it made me roll my eyes several times whenever Vane and Patience kissed and became all about "gold" and "silver" or a bright "sun" moving towards her and crashing around her.

In my observation, all romance fiction diction (that has a nice roll to it, doesn't it?) is hyper-excessive. "Ecstasy" and "rapture" are more common choices than "delight" and "happiness"; the "soul" is "ensnared" not "captured" just as or more often than the "heart"; kisses are "cataclysmic" rather than "exciting."


Hey, somebody has to author the original purple prose that the parodies so successfully parody Smile
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Elizabeth Rolls



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 1066
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
As you see from how long it has taken to reply, Elizabeth, I've mulled your answer over for a while.

I definitely see how it applies to characters, so I give grudging kudos to Guhrke there. Confused

What about other elements of a novel, though? I remember that another novel which inspired a discussion thread many pages long, most of those pages because of a single scene. I mean Jo Goodman's If His Kiss Is Wicked and the infamous hairbrush scene! (Does anyone else remember that thread?)

In that case, I was one of those defending the scene and saying it belonged perfectly where it was. Others seemed to be saying, if I remember correctly, that the hero became less heroic in their eyes because of it. That kind of reaction is similar to what The Marriage Bed made me feel towards its own hero.

Do you think it's possible to acknowledge a character for being well drawn or a sex scene for being powerfully written, while simultaneously saying that their inclusion in a book is actually a disadvantage?


Like you I've been thinking about this, Schola. Sorry about the lag and I haven't read the Goodman book so can't comment on that one specifically. I think theoretically the answer has to be yes. However I can't think of any examples right now. If the scene or character, no matter how well written, has no purpose in the plot, doesn't act as a force for change or illumination, then you could argue that it has to go. Some people would argue that a lot of sex scenes fall into this category. The Australian HPresents author Emma Darcy used to advise that you only let them have sex if it's going to cause trouble! I think you can go with "if it's going to cause and/or chart change" to make a sex scene work. With my last ms I deliberately wrote a series of love scenes with an increasing level of physical and emotional intimacy as the hero and heroine's relationship deepened. Part of the reason was that I just couldn't see their first time together in a forced marriage of convenience being all whizz bang and wonderful when both of them were holding back emotionally. Not secrets or anything, just trying to keep it all polite and well-bred. So I knew I needed at least one more so they could get it right. Once I realised that I needed to show their progression in that way that bit of the book fell into place.

There may of course be any number of readers who don't enjoy reading love scenes who will feel that I've got the balance totally wrong. (Lots of people don't think sex has any place within several decades of a Regency set story.) And others who disagree with them. Who is right? Me because I wrote it? My editor because she bought it? The reviewer who loves/hates it? A great deal of it is down to personal taste. In the end as a writer you have to write what you want to write and as a reader you have to read what you want to read. Everyone's mileage is different.

Elizabeth
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2475

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

to E. Rolls & schola: I agree that one scene or one characterization should not throw a book out of a particular genre. I think I agree with Pope when he commented on the dome: It's not one particular thing; it's the full result of all. Still, a particular thing contributes to the all and may turn out to be the most decisive factor, tipping the all in one direction or the other.
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