I've been doing a lot more reading lately, which is great since I just love reading, but I've been doing so with a writer's eye so that I can try to pick up small hints at bettering my own writing.
The book I am reading right now is Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora. I am enjoying it very much so far (I am about a third of the way through this very hefty tome). Lynch has a way with witty dialogue, interesting world building, and good description.
He breaks some rules (such as using lots of parenthetical remarks, like this) but makes it a part of his voice, so it works.
I don't really wish to sound like I am being nitpicky on a very successful author, but I do so from the point of view of trying to always learn and better myself as a writer. I think that even the best authors make small mistakes and can get better. I've seen only two things that I would do differently if I were writing this book, and they are relatively minor, which means that Lynch is really very good (and definitely worth reading!).
One is that he has every character that I have met so far have the same witty dialogue. Even in a world where citizens all pride themselves on witty repartee not everyone would be good at it.
The second one is certainly very nitpicky, but no less true. The city where this story takes place is a lot like Venice, with lots of islands. Lynch put a bunch of ancient bridges and buildings from some vanished race all over the islands. This is a cool idea, but the problem is that islands are not set in stone. Tides change along with ocean levels (and with three moons this would be even more true than on Earth), so all these bridges and catwalks would not necessarily still be in the correct places after so many centuries. See, I told you it was nitpicky, but it was something that I noticed as a reader. I try to avoid such inaccuracies in my own writing, though I imagine someone will point out something to me eventually!
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