Lost in Translation

Books to Movies...

It's a huge deal to cross that line. I mean, authors dream of having their stories published. And maybe going from published to the screen isn't a goal, it's still a boon. I mean...hello! Who wouldn't want that? 

Yet at the same time, there is some thing lost that makes me think... "no. I wouldn't want that for my stories."

You know I love a good Nora Roberts book, but somehow...the movies just don't accurately translate. I watched Northern Lights recently. I couldn't help but feel we were missing out ALOT on the characterization. The plot points were well done. And you can't beat Eddie Cibrian. I mean, really. I loved when he joined CSI: Miami. They could have kept him around, no problem. But the romance was rushed and there was a serious lack of time... as if everything in the story had lasted a week, when really, I do believe the story is supposed to span a good season or two. 

Anyhoo... that's my thought for the day. Books are better. :D

The Witness

I read two books this week. I know! Two! crazy!! Actually, that's stretching the truth. I started two books. Both called The Witness. One by Dee Henderson. The other by Nora Roberts.

The story lines were similar, as you might expect from a romance story called the witness. Heroine sees a crime, goes into hiding, and eventually must come out of hiding.

I wanted to write about this, not to go on and on about what I didn't like in Henderson's book... she is highly acclaimed. People love her books. They say her writing is grittier, edgy. [than most Christian Fiction] I suppose that's true. It's definitely true! Unfortunately, I did get bored. I started skimming, then skipping. Until finally I stopped. And in that time...about through chapter five, I was never once in the heroine's POV. It also bugged me that the hero, the Police Guy, never once suspected the heroine. Didn't even for one instance think to detain her at the crime scene. His assumption that she was the damsel in distress... eh. Why did it bug me? I'm not sure I can say. Maybe it was because I hadn't been in her POV. I would think a story like this would need to start in her POV. She has the most at stake. As writers, that's the question we ask when we are comtemplating, Whose point of view should I be in during this scene? The answer is always, who has the most to lose? Who is risking the most? Who has the most at stake? In any case, now I am going on about it. Over all, though, the story didn't capture me. It fell flat as I struggled to feel as if I knew anyone.   There was a distance in the writing of the characters. I didn't not feel connected to them. And I'm a Christian! I want to feel connected to people in Christian books! But, I don't... it's like Christian writers are too worried about how their characters will come across, how they'll be perceived. The writing is stilted instead of filled with life. It's...what's the word, formulated...planned...something.

Which brings me around to Roberts' book, The Witness. Right away I'm thrust into the life of a young lady, a girl. I feel for her. The more I get to know her, the more I love her and want the best for her. I feel sorry for her and indignant and even scared. I can't put the book down. It's her story...the story of THE WITNESS. As far as technique goes, NR hit this one on the head. Over the last several releases, I would have admitted that it seemed Nora had been influenced by publishing house rules... no POV changes midscene. Her writing had become somewhat predictable, perhaps a little flat. But this book proved that she is still going strong. Her POV switches, even midscene, were done to perfection. The book actually reminded me of her book Public Secrets, which, btw, is my all time favorite book EVER.

Lesson learned this week.
Keep the writing real. Draw your readers in with your characters. I'm convinced that story line comes in second place to well-written characters. This is the perfect example of that... two books, same title, similar [sort of] story lines, night and day on the characters. :D

BTW, this is NOT a review. :D
Have a wonderful Thursday,

Thursday Threesome

Featuring Nora Roberts -- who holds the award for My Favorite Book--a book not for the faint of heart.

Nora Roberts has twenty-three trilogy and series books. OMG, twenty-three!!! I'm skimming her booklist, contemplating what makes a series so compelling.[and wondering which one I should reread next] I think I figured it out.


I'm a strong believer in human nature. Needing companionship, needing acceptance, needing unconditional Love. Connections. It's not always the individual character that I remember from a book, but the familial bond that made me want to be part of that book. Nora's books, especially, portray a bond that is close to becoming extinct. Tightly knit families, living close to each other and sharing the daily grind.

One Trilogy I most recently read is her Dreams Trilogy.

Three women connected by a shared childhood. A gorgeous display of characterization that carried from one book to the next. Each book had a happy ending, yet left me with an amazing hook for the coming story. By the time the third book rolled around, I was dying for Laura to have her happy ending. In movies, I can usually take or leave a sequel. Not so much if I'm reading a Nora Roberts trilogy. They are just too darn interesting!

I think for my next reread, I'll pick up her Loving Jack trilogy...or maybe her Irish Trilogy. :D I love to go back to the early books. Harlequin doesn't bother me so much if I'm reading a Nora Roberts.


I'm just going to stop apologizing for now.
as I don't have a fan base...
no marketing strategist to prod me into selling myself...
Just me, at the computer, using my time wisely. <--most of the time...

I picked up another Nora Roberts book. A reread, the Lovers and Dreamers Trilogy. I finished the second book this evening. While reading, over the past couple of days, i figured out why I wanted to be just like Nora. I can read her books and not once think of the craft of writing. I'm submerged in the story so completely, i don't notice anything else.

It's not the writing of a novel that sells...
It's the telling of the story.

I'm trying to keep that in mind. I think it's working, but i'll keep practicing until my CP, my friends and I aren't the only one who think it. LOL. That is also key... So, keep your hats on fellow writers, friends, and family. It's coming... I swear it! :D

Just Another Manic Monday

I did a review on Nora Robert's Blood Brothers [cover in sidebar].

I'm a HUGE Nora fan. I've read every book she's written under that name except The Circle Trilogy. When those came out, I wasn't really reading paranormal much and I was kind of tired of the witch theme. I may go back and read them...

I've been doing a lot of paranormal reading in the last month or so.

Anyway, my point is...

Nora Roberts' style has changed. Her writing is different.

Her creation of the story is still above par, if you ask me. There is no contest there.

But if you've been reading NR like I have, you would note the differences. Her dialogue is short and choppy. In my opinion, too short and choppy. I've also noted the obvious stages of plotting in her books. Does this mean I don't like her books? NO! I mean, come on! The hero's journey is a strong plotting device that LOTS of authors use. HEll, I've used it more than a few times. You can catch one of my comparisons HERE.

I read Blood Brothers in a day. Does that sound like someone who didn't like the story? No. That sounds like someone who appreciates a good story in spite of imperfections. Hmm. A lot like being married I think. :)

You can read my review HERE.

September 20, 2007 - Spoiler Alert for Nora Roberts readers, High Noon

Thirteen parallels between Nora Roberts’ High Noon and Blue Smoke

I’d like to preface this almost-flaming sounding BLOG with my personal thoughts on Nora Roberts’ work. I love her stories. She is the author of my all-time, favorite book, Public Secrets. She has so many novels to her name I am hardly worthy, as an amateur writer, to even speak her name much less possibly say things that aren’t uplifting. I suppose as a reader I’m allowed my opinions, though… and I wonder how often an author needs a break. Do the facts that I’m about to display prove that Roberts is off her game?

What do you think?

1. Phoebe and Reena – their mannerisms, their speech patterns… oh, and they both had a traumatic experience as a young girl of 12. They’re both cops.

2. I’d like to mention the short, choppy dialogue here – Blue Smoke had it as the heroine’s trait with minor crossover to the hero. In High Noon, everyone has it. Except for, perhaps, Ma Bee [mentioned later in this blog], it’s like fragment heaven. When Nora looked at her finished product on Word, she must have seen green squiggly lines EVERYWHERE. I just think there has to be some moderation. I got tired of the cadence.

3. Annoying insistence for hero to leave – I didn’t know how to title this, but in both books [more so in High Noon], the heroine appeals for people to leave. Get out while you can type of proposal. It was tolerable in Blue Smoke. In High Noon, after the third time, I wanted to hit a wall. Really. I was a little po-ed. Some themes should die early deaths. It showed not a lack of trust, which Duncan suggested, but a lack of respect. No means no. This bit leads to the Angry Moments… both heroes get an angry moment, which of course leads to, uh, other more passionate things. *cough* They’re mad at the heroine for her thoughtlessness, as they should be, even if it is because they care… I mean, I understand the heroine’s position, I’m just helping you to see the similarities in the story line.

4. Bowen Goodnight and Duncan Swift – despite the lottery winnings in High Noon, they are both self made men without a strong, traditional family base.

5. Family is a HUGE theme for Nora Roberts and I love her for it. There is one bit near the end when the family holes up at one member’s house…for protection, in both books. In honor of T13, I’ll mention it as a parallel but it’s not necessarily a negative one.

6. John Minger and David McVee – the older man who made a difference at a very traumatic event in a young girl’s life. Changed the course of history, so to speak. They both get it by the bad guy…I think, you can comment if I’m wrong. Didn’t Minger get beat up at some point? Hmmm. I think he did while in NY.

7. Ma Bee and Mrs. M – mother figure to hero who wants him hitched. A mentor of sorts.

8. Phineas and Brad– the best friend of hero, will see you through anything, buddy ol’ pal, like brothers and side business associates

9. Loo and Mandy – secondary, secondary female character that the hero feels great affection for but no chemistry. Coupled with the best friend character mentioned above. I mean, really…

10. Sykes/Liz and O’Donell – partner/coworker, the combo here might not be as strong but the link is still there. A good guy who’s got her back.

11. Duncan’s mother and Bowen’s Uncle – greedy bastard of a family member who’s looking to get rich. No love lost. High Noon is backstory whereas Blue Smoke dealt with it in the present. And maybe it was his Dad, dad or uncle… it’s been a while since I’ve read it.

12. Jerrald Walken and Joey Pastorelli – The villains. They have the same motivating factor—a woman who screwed up his life. I liked Joey better. He was way more intense and killed way more people.

13. Michael Vince and Tony Whathisface – the former friend of the villain. Both have families now. And two quotes to finish this up because I read High Noon and KNEW while I was reading this paragraph that I’d already read the same thing somewhere else… in a slightly different word order.

“Lieutenant, if he did what you’re saying, he’s got to be out of his mind. I’ve got a wife and a baby. You can believe me when I say, I hear from Jerry, you’ll hear from me. I won’t take chances with my family.”
--Michael Vince, High Noon

“Things are different now. I’ve got a family. If he’s done murder, I don’t want him coming around my family” *** “…I want you to know, you’ve got my word, if he gets in touch with me again, I won’t tell him you’re looking for him. And I’ll call you first thing.”
--Tony, Blue Smoke

So, do I recommend this book? I do. The characters are just as intriguing as they were the first time around…

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