Writing/Reading Resource

So I stumbled across this great new place, and I thought I’d mention it. They have all kinds of books, computers for research, and they segregate the kids from the adults so the place stays really quiet.

It’s called a Library.

For some reason, I seem to have forgotten that they existed until about six months ago when I decided that reading two books a year is not acceptable (I blame the usual suspects – my children, my husband, yard work, laundry, etc.). I also decided that $4 per used book on Amazon was a fortune I wasn’t willing to spend.

What to do? What to do? If only a place existed where people shared books for free. Where joining the club simply involved flashing your driver’s license and where the employees catered to your every reading whim by emailing you when your book arrived and having it waiting for you the moment you entered the building. Ahhhh. The stuff of dreams.

My mother and sister will be ashamed of me when they read this. They’re both Librarians.

Oh, well, I deserve it. But maybe I can help out some poor soul who, like me, has forgotten about the wonderful, magical library. I have good news for you! They still exist. They still have so much to offer. They still have books for free. Happy days are here again!

Do As They Say

I can’t take it.  I just cannot take it!

Why does every critically acclaimed book that I read start with backstory?  Pages and pages of backstory!

I’m finally reading Gone Girl and the first four pages have been spent reminiscing and setting up the characters.  I recently read The Tiger’s Wife, and the beginning (like most of the book) focused on the past.

Don’t misunderstand me.  I loved The Tiger’s Wife.  I’m enjoying Gone Girl.  I have no problem with well-done backstory.  I’d be glad to follow suit and include some in my opening scenes, except that writers are told to avoid doing so at all costs.

So why do Gillian Flynn and Tea Obreht get to?

I’m sure there are several answers.  First, there is a fine line between well-done and over-done backstory, and I bet that most authors have no idea where that line is.  Second is that phenomenon where well-published authors can do whatever the heck they want while the rest of us have to play by the rules.

But for the love of God, help us out, Gillian Flynn!  Lend a hand, Tea Obreht – and all of you other rule-breaking golden children.  Will someone high up please stop it with the backstory and give us newbies examples that we’re actually allowed to follow?