Lord of Scoundrels

9781482966237I’m currently listening to Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels. I listen to most of my books these days.  I can’t write in the car, so it’s a great way to catch up on my reading.

This book was released a second time, and I’m not surprised.  I’ve been grabbed by the characters depth and the complexity of their problems. Plus, the author’s brilliant use of appropriate language, subtle settings that give you a feel for the era, and essential secondary characters.

So here’s the thing. I’m never going to write like Loretta, (sigh) but I can look at the construction of the story and discover how she handles certain elements. What does she do with misunderstandings? How does she work in characters’ “abilities” before they’re needed? Why would she choose to be in the manservant’s point of view at the start of the first chapter and, Devil take it, why would she start the book with a prologue? Many of these items we are told to avoid when crafting our stories, but what we really need to be asking ourselves is: Why do they work?

The funny thing is, I’m listening to the story with both sides of my brain. One part is caught up in a tale that makes me think about the characters, even when I’m not in the car. The other part is fascinated by how she’s constructed the story to grab my attention, giving me only enough information to move the action forward without overwhelming me with detail.

Some of my best “ah-ha” moments have come from reading books by talented authors. The key is to pay attention. I doubt any of their stories just happened to come out the way they were published. Those authors sat down and made some conscious choices.

I have no idea what’s coming next for Jess and Dain, but I’m looking forward to the journey, and like all the best stories, I don’t really want it to end. Do you have any well-thumbed books that have inspired you and guided you along the writing path? I’d love to hear what they are!


About Dawn Ireland

When I'm not writing historical romance, I'm practicing my harp, gardening, singing, acting, wood carving... Okay, you get the idea, I love to create.
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8 Responses to Lord of Scoundrels

  1. alinakfield says:

    Try Loretta Chase’s Mr. Impossible. Brilliant characters, brilliant use of setting, and lots of humor.

  2. I love to hear about story construction. I’m going to pick up my manuscript from three-years past, and do a major rewrite, hopefully incorporating what I have learned. Audiobooks are the way I get lots of my reading done and yes I enjoy and marvel how it all comes together.

  3. Dawn Ireland says:

    I’m with you, story construction fascinates me. You can have two people who write the same story, with the same turning points, and one will be riveting and the other ho-hum.

    And, I’m very thankful for audio books! I travel 30 min. to work, and now that is “me” time because I can listen to stories.I get a kick out of Audible’s slogan “stories that surround you.” They also had a great set of commercials I listened to on Pandora. My favorite, the woman daydreaming about the Highlander, of course:)

    I hope one day to read my own books. (I have the equipment, but haven’t learned how to use it. Writing has to come first.)

  4. Over many years, I made half-hearted attempts to “write a book” without ever getting anywhere. Thought I should be writing only the most esoteric literary fiction, even though that’s not generally what I enjoy reading. That changed when I read the Prologue to Tom Robbins’ Jitterbug Perfume. Closed the book thinking, “Just once in my life I’d like to write something that well.” Myself answered, “Why don’t you try writing like that?” Never looked back.

  5. Dawn Ireland says:

    The stories you enjoy reading are what you should write, because they are what you find entertaining and first and foremost, we are entertainers!

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