Exterminate! Exterminate!

I have an Amazon Prime membership and decided to take advantage of the free streaming and watch Doctor Who season one. Why yes it did take me this long to jump on that wagon.

As of now I’m on the third episode of season two and still enjoying the show. I tried not to get too used to Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor since I already knew in advance he was only going to around for that first season. Even so, he was a good Doc. 🙁

But I think what I love best is the Dalek voice acting. And finally getting all those Doctor Who jokes. But the Daleks! Oh my god, that voice gets me every time.

I still have that Torchwood disc Payal sent me ages ago that I never got around to watching. All of sudden I am feeling a lot more motivated to do so! I’m just not sure if I should dig it up now or wait until I finish my Doctor Who streaming. It might not matter in the big scheme of things but I like to plan out my procrastination. Makes me feel like I’m doing something.

I finally finished Robin Hobb’s “Fool’s Fate”

It took me over two months to prowl through it. I cannot recall the last time a book took me that long to finish. The Farseer trilogy is truly a wonderful collection of books, and I am glad I took their recommendation to heart. The same cannot be said of the Tawny Man trilogy.

The first two books were a bit slow and showed some of the cracks in Hobb’s approach to the story: because we only see things through Fitz’s eyes, she had to contrive a bunch of opportunities for him to be spying or hear second-hand info. Fact is, most of the action and plot politics don’t really involve him; he’s just a spectator. The biggest issue for me, however, is that what we know, Fitz knows. Therefore if I can figure out what the undercurrent is in regards to Prince Dutiful’s engagement and why the Fool desires to preserve the dragons in the world, why can’t Fitz?

It isn’t until the fifty percent mark in “Fool’s Fate” that Fitz or Chade finally get a clue. It should not have taken that long. It should not have taken that long for the concluding book to start moving towards a climax. The first half is spent in drudgery of watching Thick complain about sea sickness and Fitz moan about his lot in life. The man is almost forty: what one could excuse in a twenty year old is just plain annoying in a man whose children are on the verge of becoming parents themselves.

Powerful moments are ruined by the ending. Burrich’s saving of his son Swift was wonderfully written, but his sacrifice seemed only needed so that Fitz could finally get his Molly. Who, almost twenty years later, he still thinks of as “Molly with her red skirts”. My god, man, get over it! They didn’t even have a real relationship.

Oh yes and the Fool’s fate. Fitz reverses it, nullifying any impact it originally had on the reader, and ultimately his true fate is never known because Fitz is too concerned, once again, with Molly.

If Hobb had had the courage to actually make the Fool female, now that would have been a nice twist. If one could call it a twist with all the hints she dropped. But it felt like in the end she didn’t want to do anything to shake Fitz’s world too much. So make the Fool disappear, give him Molly back (but with Burrich out of the picture), and everyone live happily ever after. Except the Fool. Oh and Kettricken.

I find it a bit of double standard that Kettricken, whose six month marriage was arranged, and didn’t really have a true love with her husband until near the end, remains a devoted widow until the end of her days. But Molly, who was with her husband for sixteen years and raised seven (!) children with him is able to move on within a short frame of time. It’s actually quite disgusting how eager Fitz was when Burrich died.

Frankly, it was one of the most disappointing books (and by extension trilogies) I’ve ever read.

So about my writing

Since Niklas asked I suppose I can just go ahead and give a public update. Basically I have come to the realization that what I am currently writing is not so much a novel or even a story but a very wordy outline/brainstorming session. I haven’t exactly pinned down the main plot so I’m kind of winging it.

The issue comes down to moving the setting back to Earth. This was the correct thing to do, it really was, but as a result the previous plot I had etched out doesn’t fly anymore. I have very vague ideas of what is going on and what will happen but so far I’m just rambling. 😀

There is a character named Laura Salkin although that might change. She’ll probably kill someone named Payal for revenge.

A character I thought I was going to kill off might actually survive until the end. We’ll see.

I am having issues tackling the issue of magic use, specifically how to describe it. During the course of writing any scene involving it I became painfully aware of my Wheel of Time obsession and lack of any other fantasy reading aside from Song of Ice and Fire in recent years. I grapple with how to write about someone using air to pin someone down without sounding like bad Aes Sedai fanfiction.

There are a lot of points where logic just plains fails, but thankfully I recognize that and can fix in revision.

Having said all that, when I do finish this strange outline Nik and Kate will suffer and read it, I’ll edit, then Laura and Jan will get the actual official first draft. One could argue I might love one set of friends more than other based on this division. I’ll let you come to your own conclusions regarding that.

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