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Old Oct 29 2011, 06:44 AM   #8
Tower Prime
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Proud Mom!
Gender: F
Fan of: Afra Lyon
Now Reading: Faye Upton: Dragonchoice 3
Default Re: The Writer's Toolbox

What aspects of a writer's skill set are most important to you as a reader?

The ability to create interesting and believable, internally reasonably consistent worlds and characters that go with them.

What do you think Anne does best? Worst?

Anne's great at initial world building and making the reader want to know more about what happens to her characters. She also has the ability to paint with pictures. When I read her books, I usually see a movie of the events in front of my eyes (this could be a problem if a movie ever gets made, it would have a hard time standing up to my expectations).

Many of her characters are engaging in spite of being clichéd. In first books of a series it isn't usually a problem, but Anne's inability to seriously harm favorite characters makes for less interesting books than might otherwise be the case. Another annoyance is her inability to keep track of chronology, people's ages don't match from book to book, and there's even a case of a dead character being resurrected. Names sometimes change inexplicably (most annoyingly Admiral Tohl Mekturian turned into Admiral Mekturian Tohl in the middle of TTatH).

What style of novel do you prefer - plot or character driven?

A compromise of both is best. I don't like seeing characters do things that seem out of character just because the plot requires it, but a book with a great plot and flat characters leaves me cold.

How important are realistic characters to you? Can they throw off your enjoyment of a story if the author writes one too out of date with modern sensibilities?

Not really, if it fits within the context of the story. My least favorite AMC Pern book is MHoP, because it doesn't match the society described in the original trilogies at all.

What about plot? How well do you think Anne's plots have stood the test of time?

Most have stood the test of time fairly well, although I'm always thrown off by the Goosegg in the early Talent books, where it's a mechanical stylus on a roll of paper. Not to mention the huge overcrowding caused by a population explosion which thankfully hasn't materialized as feared in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

How do you think Todd compares to Anne as a writer? Is the overlap in their skills (or lack of overlap) seamless or not? Does it make a difference to your enjoyment of their respective books?

Haven't read Todd's books yet so I can't say. Judging by online discussions I'm not sure I'll bother to read them either.
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