Finishing a Series

I just finished reading the Harry Potter series.  It was an interesting experience, because I hadn’t read them all back-to-back before.  It was also fun because I knew what was going to happen, and as an author it was intriguing to watch Rowling set things up from the beginning.

Series are interesting animals.  For authors who write the long, epic fantasy series, they must know where they’re going before they start.  Robert Jordan died before he finished The Wheel of Time, but he made sure that someone knew how it was supposed to end.

This is different from an episodic series, like The Boxcar Children.  (I loved the original series as a child.)  You could read book four, and while you wouldn’t know all of the back story, you’d still be able to follow the plot of the book you were reading.  These series show up in lots of different genres, while the 12-book, linked saga is more common in fantasy and science fiction.

So far my stories are one-book, or at the very least trilogy, ideas.; perhaps some day I’ll come up with a concept for a giant series, but for now I’m happy to write my stand alone novels.

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Drama

If someone is holding a weapon at you and you have information that can save your life, what would you do?

That’s right, shout it.  Scream it, whisper if you had to, but you’d *tell* them.

At least, I hope you would.  I hope you wouldn’t say things like, “Just let me tell you what happened” or “Please listen” and hang your life on the chance that they gave you permission to talk.

What has inspired this little tirade, you ask?  Drama in the book I’m reading, the third in the series about the wizard with the lightning-bolt scar.  I would give you a spoiler alert, but really, if you haven’t read it yet then you are either not going to read it or should have read it already.

I’m just past the scene with Harry threatening to kill Black in the Shrieking Shack.  Several times (at least three!) Black has a chance to say “But it was really Peter Pettigrew” but he doesn’t say it.  I mean, really!  I understand the concept of drama, and suspense, and if I hadn’t read it before I’d probably be shouting “Kill him already!” instead.  But I find myself shouting, “Just tell him, you idiot!” several times, and it’s just a bit much.

Okay, I feel better.  Tirade complete, now back to the book.  I’m ready for Harry to learn the truth (clearly) and it won’t happen with the cover closed.

A Growing Reading List

I’ve gotten a bit obsessed since fiction has re-entered my life.

Today a friend and I were talking about what we’re reading, and what we have planned to read.  My list grew as the conversation went on.  Here’s what I have on tap:

All of the books about a certain wizard with a lightning-bolt scar.  (If I list the actual name, I’ll get spam comments like crazy.)  I’m currently on the third one, which I should finish tomorrow.

All of Christopher Paolini’s Eragon series.  I just got Inheritance, the fourth book of the trilogy (I know, right?), and I’m planning to re-read the first three before I break into it.

And, in no particular order:

The Hunger Games series
The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo and its companions
All of The Wheel of Time series

There are others that I’m not thinking of, I’m sure.  For now, I’m working on H.P.  and then the dragon books – we’ll see how long the reading binge continues… 🙂

Chocolate Pie

I would really like to start reading the Harry Potter books.

Enough with the shocked silence, I’ve read them before.  In fact, I own them.  What I should have said is start reading them again.

So, if I own them and I want to read them, what’s the problem?  At this point the books are kind of like the piece of chocolate pie that is currently lurking in my fridge.  I definitely should not partake.  (In the case of the pie, I shouldn’t even possess it.  That’s surprisingly Harry Potter-related, too, the results of an outing with friends to see the movie.)

I shouldn’t eat the pie because I am trying to eat healthy and lose some weight.  I was less than succesful at the healthy food thing this weekend.  One piece of pie won’t kill me, but it certainly won’t make it any easier to get back into a good eating habit.  The same holds true for Harry Potter; reading them won’t help me get back into my writing habit.

So, Harry Potter will be postponed for the time being, until I can get my writing going again.  And I’m going to at least eat something healthy for dinner before I inhale the pie.  🙂

Going to the Movies

I have mentioned in a previous post that I don’t watch movies based on books that I like, although I didn’t explain the reason for the rule.  At this point, with all my complaints about consistency, it may already be clear.  Here’s the story. 

My friends all wanted to see Jurassic Park when it came out – I was in junior high.  My mom was searching for a way to get me interested in adult fiction, so she seized on this opportunity.  I had to read the book before I could see the movie.  It was quite a successful venture: I ended up falling in love with Michael Crichton’s work and spent the summer checking out every book he ever wrote.  (I played that game again later – in high school – when I discovered Mercedes Lackey.) 

This did, however, lead to the rule.  I saw the movie.  I would have liked the movie had I seen it out of the context of the book.  However, I spent most of the movie saying things like “the girl is the one who likes dinosaurs, not the boy” and “What?  That’s not how they figured out the dinosaurs are breeding!”  Needless to say, I was disappointed in the movie and the lack of cinsistency with the book.

Thus the rule was born.  It started as “no movies based on Michael Crichton books” and then grew from there.  (I enjoyed the Lord of the Rings movies, but I also didn’t finish those books and it was years between reading and watching.)  I did make one exception: I saw the first Harry Potter movie when it came out.  Guess what?  Disappointment again, this time based on the things that had to be omitted, so the rule was reinforced.  This has led to  more than a few arguments, with friends, family, and significant others who really wanted to see movies that I refused to see.   My apologies, but you knew my rule when you started.  🙂

I have since seen all of the Harry Potter movies, most of them on DVD.  I found that distance from when I read them (as in Lord of the Rings) makes it much easier to enjoy the films.  I went to see the most recent one last night; now I am impatient for the last one.  Of course, I am also impatient because I want to re-read the books, and I can’t do that until I have seen the last movie.