Going to Hell in a Handbasket

Evening lovely readers 🙂

hell in a handbasketFirst off has anyone else heard the saying in my title? I was always positive it existed but everyone around me looked at me like I’d grown a second head and started breathing purple fire. “What? Never heard of it…” “you must have made it up…” lol. Well now I can officially say that it does exist and it means that circumstances are being led to disaster. Nuh ny nuh to all those doubters lol 🙂 Anyhoo slightly off topic…

This saying does in fact relate, at least partially, to what I am doing now. I have to think of a new title for my novel. I know right? I’d rather rewrite the damn thing than rethink the title solely because my brain seems to have taken on writer’s brain block. Okay, so it’s all not going to disaster but my brain is definitely hurting right now… As some will know my novel is currently called I Cast Magic Into the Darkness. I originally chose this title to show the confusion my protagonist feels at the circumstances she finds herself in. Now I have no idea how to pick one. How the heck do I avoid falling into a stereotypical fantasy trap of a title?

Some of my favourite authors have adopted varied techniques when naming their own works. Christine Feehan opted for the more repetitive option with her Dark Carpathian series as, for example, she starts the series with Dark Prince and each book that follows begins with dark in the title. For the way the series develops this is inspired as it really adds to the effect of the darkness that each protagonist must fight against. In contrast, The Belgariad and The Mallorean series written by the exceptional David Eddings chooses a fantastical title to encompass what happens in the books in general. For example, the first book of the Belgariad series is entitled Pawn of Prophecy which aptly describes what Garion is and what his journey will be through the two series and beyond. It’s with examples like these that I wish I had the the type of genius to come up with equally epic titles.

You see my problem. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Love to you all. Thank you 🙂

Ingeniously Written Series or Gone on Far Too Long??

https://i0.wp.com/images.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/Anita-Blake-Book-Covers-laurell-k-hamilton-530388_303_475.jpg      https://akhinchey.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/0b5a1-deaduntildark.jpg   http://paperlanternlit.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/greenrider.jpg

Just recently I’ve been wondering about some of the series I have come in contact with. I like to think every novel I have read has been well written, entertaining and read because of my love of literature. I have wondered though if some authors have been tied into a contract to produce so many books or whether they are dragging out a series, sacrificing narrative and reader interest, just to make more money.

A few series in particular spring to mind. I want to point out that I am not naming and shaming. I read these books because I am a fan and these series began really well. They were so creative and had established well thought out and in depth Worlds that I was hooked instantly. So many different aspects were introduced that I would never have thought of and reading the books actually brightened my day. Eventually however something, at least to me, was lost along the way and the series became hollow and almost dragging questionable story lines from the depths of Hades just to continue. Some of the series seemed intent on letting their protagonists enjoy every aspect of life where others were intent on torturing their protagonists as much as they could. None of this would seem necessary if the storyline was neatly contained and as imaginative at the end as at the start.

One such series is the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series. I began the traditional way with book number one entitled Guilty Pleasures. It introduced Anita Blake a strong willed female lead who had a secure job as an animator (raising zombies) and a licenced state vampire executioner. Ok, she had some sexual tension and conflict with Jean Claude the Master Vampire of the series but she knew her own mind and where she stood in life. As the books carried on, she grew in power, continued her conflict with Jean Claude and was introduced to her future fiance Richard. I enjoyed these books as they portrayed a strong capable woman taking on the men in the World on an even keel. Not to mention ALL the fantasy 🙂 But eventually something in this series changed; blink and Anita has become a succubus, a master necromancer (that’s the only bit I liked) and a carrier of all forms of lycanthropy (shape changing). Suddenly she is the be all and end all of the universe and she has a lover round every corner. Personally I feel like the integrity of the character has been lost and the focus on the narrative not as important as when Anita’s next shag will be.

Another such series is the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mysteries (True Blood to those who watched the series first.) Now I was a huge fan of this series. They started out so well with a heroine who was tormented but the goodness of her soul radiated from her. She had telepathy but she controlled it well. Perhaps naively she fell in love with Vampire Bill but he was sweet and they seemed perfect together. As the series progressed however she was all of a sudden the be all and end all of her universe and everyone was in love with her and would be in love with her for the rest of their lives, essentially ruining them for other women. She was tormented and tortured and could find no happiness. The last book seemed hollow to me and like an easy fix to the series. It was a bit of an anti climax to be honest. I will however admit that the first four series of True blood reignited my love of the book series but only up until book ten, and although the series has Alexander Skarsgaard in it (yummy) I cannot watch past series four as the show has gone the way of the books.

https://i0.wp.com/novelreaction.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Pawn_of_Prophecy_Cover2.jpgIn contrast I promise that there are series that I love. The Christine Feehan Dark Carpathian series I often rave about is one. Another is actually David Eddings’ The Belgariad and The Mallorean. This is an in depth fantasy world full of magic and old gods. They both follow the story of Garion as he progresses from farmhand to High King and beyond to being the sorcerer Belgarion. The Belgariad details his first adventure to that of High King, The Mallorean is his adventure to rescue his son. I can’t rave enough about this series; it’s original, in depth, fantastic and a must read.

Do you think I’m being too harsh? Is it sometimes reader perspective or do authors sacrifice narrative for numbers? What do you think?

** Please keep in mind these are only my personal opinion. Thank you 🙂 **

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