Space Junque by L K Rigel

Space Junque (Apocalypto, #1)         http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0041T59IY

Review:  Space Junque by L K Rigel

I liked this book enough to read it straight through. Though the book is complete in itself, (a wonderful and somewhat rare thing in a series), if you want to truly know what happens later, you must read the sequel. A generous portion of the next book is included at the back and I liked that but I’m  not sure I’ll go looking for the sequel though I will read it if I happen to come across it.

It’s the dystopian sci-fi story of the end of the world as we know it and of the few people who can start anew because they were on one of several space stations when the end came. The plot is a bit more complicated than I prefer but I like straight-as-an-arrow plots that go in a predictable manner from beginning to end. This book’s complex route took a couple twists and turns that I believe would have come off better if they’d been foreshadowed.  If there’s anything truly negative about Space Junque, that lack of foreshadowing when the plot suddenly makes a 190 degree turn is it.

But I liked the story. I like end-of-the-world stories as long as there’s a new future in sight and there is in this book. And I liked the characters, all of whom were the right people in the right place at the right time to do what needed to be done. And I loved that the sex, of which there was a fair amount, was done right. I got the feel for the emotions of the characters without being overwhelmed with details.

So it was a good story and I’m glad I read it. And maybe I will read the next in the series after all. I want to now what new world they can create.

Second Draft

I read somewhere that most novels go through ten re-writes before being published.  When I read that statistic, I almost quit writing for a more lucrative field, like greeting people at Walmart.

Ten re-writes?  Really?  I still think that’s a bit extreme but that number worked its way around my psyche until I figured something out.  If a story might be re-written ten times, more or less, why not use that fact to my advantage?  So I tried something and I’ve been doing it ever since.

I write the story.  The story.  Not the characters, not the background.  Just the story.  Only when I’m done do I consider what kind of story I’m writing.  Romance?  Mystery?  Thriller?  Mainstream?  After remembering what kind of story I started out to write, I re-read the whole thing and insert what’s needed to make it become the kind of story it should be.

If it’s a romance, then every so often I’ll insert a sentence or two to add a bit of romantic interest.  Occasionally that sentence or two becomes a whole new scene.  Sometimes not.  Whatever the result, those re-written sentences add a subtle something that reminds the reader that this is not just a story, it’s a particular kind of story. This becomes especially true if what you are adding doesn’t contribute to the flow of the story.  Sex scenes.  Car chases. Descriptions without action. Soliloquies.  Background information.

I’ve since learned that many writers do this.  And here I thought I was unique!  I’m not, I’m just one of many writers who learned how to write by writing.

The only caveat to doing this is to not let it take over the book.  Remember that you’re fleshing out a situation, not stopping the action completely.  Usually a sentence or two will do the trick.  If you find you are writing an entire scene, then go back later and make sure you didn’t add too much.

And guess what?  Reading the story that third time to make sure your re-writes were appropriate becomes re-write number three.  And so on, until you stop because if you read it one more time you’ll puke.  And you realize that you’ve gone through the whole thing more times than you’d have thought possible when you put that first sentence on the page and ten re-writes begins to look almost normal.

Genre Fiction

I’ve been blogging about the craft of writing fiction for some time now.  I’ve been passing on tips learned from other writers and a few things I figured out on my own.  But I find that now when I sit down to write a post, the ideas no longer crowd each other in their need to be heard and read.  So I’ve decided to widen the scope of my blogs.  But how?  What else to say?

I write genre fiction.  Several genres, actually and often all are in the same book. Romance.  Sci-fi.  Small Town.  Paranormal.  Sweet.  Eco-fiction.  And probably a few more I haven’t heard of.  And I’ve learned that not everyone agrees on what belongs in which genre.  There are some generalities, but once you get beyond those general descriptions, genre fiction seems to be all over the place.

So I’m going to jump in head first and see what happens.  Okay, honesty compels me to admit that anything I jump into will more likely involve a belly-flop than a swan dive.  But you get the idea.

Any thoughts?  What genres do you read?  Which do you write?  Why?  Do you like cross-genre fiction?  What would you like to see done differently in the world of genre fiction?  Which genres would you like to see more of?  Less of?  Let me know and maybe we’ll get something going.

As a former first grade teacher, I know that sometimes when there’s  mud puddle in your path that calls out to you with a mesmerizing siren song, the best thing to do is hold your nose and jump in.  And enjoy the mud.

(Note:  It took me years to develop a tolerance for leeches, and guess where they live?  In the mud.  But that’s another story.)