marycrawford: iroh looks at his teacup, hot leaf juice (iroh hot leaf juice)
Every now and then, I make an attempt to find an author who writes historical romance as entertainingly as Georgette Heyer. So far I haven't had much luck.

Right now, I'm reading a novel that won the 1997 RITA award for best Regency romance, Lady's Companion by Carla Kelly, and the heroine has just told her wastrel aristocratic father to 'get a job'.

Not seek employment, or find work: get a job.

And then, when the heroine considers talking to a nursemaid about her personal concerns, she thinks that the nursemaid 'would only wonder what planet I had dropped down from'.

I quite like the story so far, but I think I'm going to pretend the heroine is a time traveller who doesn't quite have the vocabulary down yet.

(That would make for an entertaining plot, too, come to think of it. Is there such a genre as timetravel romance?)


Jul. 21st, 2006 09:21 pm
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (fingerpointing)
Regular reader and reviewer of PODs (printed-on-demand books, often self-published) answers the question: how can you tell from the first sentence that a book is bad?

Like this.

I particularly like the one that uses ten exclamation marks in one sentence.
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (nudeherc)
Sometimes I haunt the old Hercules sites, just to see if maybe someone has happened to write a fantastic new story, full of action and h/c and sexy bickering, and posted it there. Hey. It could happen!

And then, for my sins, I get this:

"Iolaus coated both hands with the slick stuff and began messaging the god's ass."

[ profile] flambeau: BWA
[ profile] flambeau: wouldn't he drop the phone?

marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (quoi?)
[ profile] ahary has translated my Hercules story Five Things That Never Happened to Iolaus of Thebes, and it's now available in Russian on the Iolausian Corner. I've had some bad experiences with translations that I hadn't even been approached about, but this is different, and a strange and flattering thing - to read your own story in another language, transformed with great skill and sensitivity. I particularly like what she did with Charon, who uses some fantastic expressions that my dictionary doesn't even list.

In talking to Ahary, I was struck by her comment:
Sex scenes and fighting scenes are the hardest for me. We don`t distinguish the same body parts, and even if we do, they often don`t move the same way as in English. I translated a book once where the hero`s stabbed toe was an important part of the plot and I was stuck with "палец на ноге" for hundred plus pages and author didn`t even specify which toe it was. *g*
The word for 'toe' and 'finger' is the same in Russian. So is the word for 'arm' and 'hand', and the word for 'leg' and 'foot'. And this seems perfectly natural when reading Russian novels, but imagine having to translate an English one. Or even a slash story.
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (gay pants by tzikeh)
Oh dear. I've been reading War For The Oaks, an urban fantasy novel by Emma Bull that I generally enjoyed, but at certain points I kept thinking, This book was clearly written in the '80s.

And it was, of course. But the reason I was so aware of it is that people's clothes were described in detail, frex, the heroine wears a beaded sweater with shoulder pads, or a violet shirt over green leggings. I think the intent was to show that the heroine and her friends wear pretty, somewhat bohemian things, since they are musicians and everything, but I kept visualizing those outfits and making faces. Worst of all, one of the male love interests, a gorgeous man who is really a phouka, is described as wearing nothing but a pair of tight paisley jeans.

Paisley jeans. Gah. So much for sexiness.

Of course, in another decade or three, this effect will probably fade, and the clothes of the previous century will just look quaint and interesting again. I hope.
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (iolaus arms)
I'm not a fan of story warnings in general, but sometimes they just save so much time. Here are some newly discovered favourites. Feel free to add yours. *eg*

"MAJOR Warning!! This story has Lesbian themes and deals in detail with feelings of that type, if you are in anyway offended by this idea or by how I portray it… (I am Heterosexual so I really apologize to anyone I may have offended if I wrote it wrong! It wasn’t intentional, I swear!) Then please leave now."

"Warnings: Once again, jammies."

"TISSUE WARNING: You might want to have a box of tissues handy before reading this story."

"Warnings: Yes, it’s a het fic. Don’t all die of shock, it’s merely a plot device for the J/D sequel to follow later."

"Warnings: Torture/abuse, H/C, surgical removal of one damaged testicle."


Jun. 17th, 2005 06:45 pm
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (serenade)
This comment by [ profile] bunny in Fandom Wank made my day. Especially the bit about Dante.
"If people like Lee and Claire and myself are wrong - then why is there not ONE full-time writer who also engages in fanfic?" - Paul Guyot.

Hm, let me introduce:

W. Shakespeare - Never thought up an original story on his own and his OCs were limited to supporting players. Also very prolific RPFer.

J. Milton - The original Bible ficcer.

Dante A. - RPFer who went to Hell and back for his art.

G.B. Shaw - Greek myths ficcer. His work has been labelled AU.

C.S. Lewis - decided to tell Apuleius' Cupid and Psyche from the point of view of the evil sister.

C. Marlowe and J.W. Goethe - competing writers in the Doctor Faustus fandom. Marlowe's version is a bit lame, but Goethe's sequel totally sucked.

Brothers Grimm - worse plagiarisers than Cassie Claire. But even more famous than her.


Feb. 19th, 2005 02:52 pm
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (iolausfire)
I've already asked questions of [ profile] ltlj and [ profile] flambeau. This is a fun meme, so here goes:

Ask me one question - any one - about my writing, then, if you wish, post this in your LJ so I can satisfy my curiosity about yours.

I'm slowly getting back to my normal self after the Martian Death Flu, and trying to remember how to do this writing and vidding thing. Still waiting for the H:tLJ season 5 dvds. I perk up at every little red mail truck that goes by, and since we have a post office around the corner, there are many such trucks either zooming past or stopping at the Turkish bakery. Nothing is as disappointing as seeing a mail truck come to a stop nearby, only to realize that the driver is bent on Turkish pizza, not delivering packages.


Jan. 19th, 2005 08:16 pm
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (badfanfic)
It's a writer's worst nightmare: a Hollywood agent with a blog.

It's called Query Letters I Love and it is hysterical. I live for this stuff.
Yes, she and the other survivors realized, this was the apocalypse, and they were going to be eaten by the swarm of lawyer zombies driven by their bloodlust to eat live flesh and reorganize files.
She's a math genius, cheerleading failure and Satan's first ever replacement.
It’s up to Steve Miller, an engineer at Titan, and his buddies, who play for Titan’s basketball team to stop the evil midgets.
The year is 3126 and a cataclysm three centuries ago had caused a dark age. Whether this is good or bad is open to opinion.
The protagonist's challenges throughout the story are:
1) A seagull attack gave him Seagull Herpes, an incurable disease that will soon kill him.
2) The seagull attack also tore a bone within his calf in two. His best medicines are herbs and acupuncture, so the bone never fully heals, and it causes internal bleeding for him to walk. The story involves him running a lot.
3) He has to save his continent from a thing that is destroying it.
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (badfanfic)
I think you need to be in a certain frame of mind to find this funny. Luckily, I am.

Deep Fanfic Thoughts, by Jack Handey:

If they had fanfic back in the Dark Ages, I bet the most common question readers would ask is, "Can't you put a catapult in this story?" No, I'm sorry. That would violate canon.

If I ever write a rapefic, I hope I am able to bring a certain lightheartedness to the subject, in a way that tells the reader we are going to have fun with this thing.

Sometimes I think the world would be better off if I never wrote another word. No, wait, not me, you.

I think there should be something in fanfic called the "reindeer effect." I don't know what it would be, but when you give feedback on someone's story you could really impress everyone by saying, "You know, this fic could have been really great if it wasn't for the whole reindeer effect."

I can picture in my mind a list where everyone engages in fascinating, incisive debates on important ideas, where creativity is nurtured and all opinions are equally respected. And I can picture trolling that list into oblivion, because they'd never see it coming.

marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (jimblairdbw)
My allegiances have shifted slightly; though my head's still full of Iolaus and Hercules bickering their way through Greece, I've started reading Sentinel fic again. (Appropriate icon courtesy of [ profile] dbw).

The blame for this I throw entirely upon the heads of Martha ([ profile] soulcake) and Dasha. Martha is writing a slash sequel to her Sentinel/Stargate crossover (which is excellent reading even if you've never watched Stargate, like, oh, me) and thanks to her recommendation I've just discovered Dasha, who writes gloriously long and involved slash and gen stories, full of all my favorite things - the guys building a house together, angst without sappiness, ruthless characterization, emotional intimacy, snappy original characters - which I devoured during my flu. But more detailed recommendations must come later, because right now I want to witter on about serials.

How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love WIPs )
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (Default)
[ profile] ltlj said interesting things in email about familiar characters migrating from one story into another, and how they can easily change into brand-new characters by acquiring a new world to live in and new problems to solve.

About writing, Mrs. Norris and freedom )
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (Default)
Really, I am the Queen of Clue. Guess what I just found out, gnawing away slooowly at my H:tLJ story?

Writing sex scenes is hard. Writing anything else is tough, too, but sex scenes - man.

For one, the guys don't want to get going. Because they're busy fighting, or in a hurry, or one of them's hurting, or they're separated or just not in the mood or...

For another, I have typed and then deleted phrases like 'his molten gaze' and 'displayed himself wantonly' because while I love reading stuff like this when it's done well, I can't write it without embarrassing myself. Another discovery: writing sex scenes is harder (and stop with the giggling already) when you take away the purple prose.

And even then I'm afraid it will turn cheesy, or silly, or out of character, or with so many hands and body parts involved that it's like an orgy of acrobats.

Anyway. Randi DuMois just posted the The Right Path over at the Less than Legendary Journeys, and I read it and went, this is what I'm aiming for.

Love the snark:
"What?" Iolaus demanded angrily. "If you're just going to criticize, give me my leg back."

Hercules eyed him a moment, one brow lifted in a particularly annoying way. "Okay."

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