Recommended Reads: SONG OF SCARABAEUS by Sara Creasy

It’s really hard to find the blend I like in fiction: just enough action, just enough sci-fi/fantasy, just enough of a love story.

SONG OF SCARABAEUS is one of the few novels I’ve found with that perfect blend. Toss in a captivating plot, great characterization, realistic dialogue, and several fresh story ideas that I wake up in the morning pondering, and I’m disappointed I can’t erase my memory of this book just so I can read it again. Maybe slower this time, so it can sink in more.

One of my favorite elements was the masterful male/female interaction. One example–the hero’s trigger finger is a bit eager even though the gunshots seem to do nothing to scare off a threat. The heroine says, “Save the bullets, Finn. There are hundreds of tons of biomass up there. Clearly it doesn’t want to have a hole carved through it.”

And at the end of Chapter 28? I actually put down the book and said aloud, “Oh my god. Awesome.”

I can’t wait to read the sequel.

SONG OF SCARABAEUS by Sara Creasy
Amazon | Goodreads | Sara Creasy’s website

Anti-Heros, Torture

Two quick things.

First, I want to share something I read in Orson Scott Card’s Elements of Fiction Writing – Characters & Viewpoint. This goes back to my obsession with the anti-hero. Oh how I love the anti-hero.

Card has a very simple explanation for how to write an unlikable character who appeals to the reader and gains the reader’s sympathy. Give this character several unlikable traits. Keep those traits prominent from page one to the end. Now, along the way, weave in many other subtle traits and actions to create sympathy for this character. Keep these minor. Don’t play them up. The reader will focus on the obvious nasty behavior while slowly gaining sympathy due to the subtle goodness.

Second, Liz over in Purgatory linked to a site that sucked me in. I found this great quote about torturing your protagonist.

The writer is both a sadist and a masochist. We create people we love, and then we torture them. The more we love them, and the more cleverly we torture them along the lines of their greatest vulnerability and fear, the better the story. Sometimes we try to protect them from getting booboos that are too big. Don’t. This is your protagonist, not your kid.

–Janet Fitch

And for my third book, I am on it.