Finished Dangerous Women, the one edited by George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois. Pretty neat stuff, so I wrote up a quick review. Will put this down the bottom of ze post.
My own story is going great guns. I’m thinking about how to polish it up…
I like the cover art that I’ve done, but I wondered if it don’t have enough spunk to it, not enough action, no fiesty characters to grab the reader by the chops and say “Read the damn book, ye scurvy dog! Yaaaar!”
Well, I found a guy who does neato artwork, so might be commissioning something from them. Fingers crossed.
Final bit I’ve been figuring out is what questions to hit up my beta-readers with… I’m sure you’ve all got lists of questions you’d ask (or you’d just leave them to be completely free with their comments, I guess that could be better, in a way), but here’s mine.
- Your favourite character…
- Your least favourite character…
- Please give your opinion on the female characters in general:
- Did they act believably?
- Were they compelling?
- Would you be happy being them / having them as family?
- First chapter – Page-turner, Struggle, or In-Between?
- In the story as a whole…
- What worked?
- What didn’t?
- Were any parts…
- Did you feel that anything in particular wasn’t concluded satisfyingly?
- Did any part of the story make you feel uncomfortable (make you want to stop reading)?
- Did you love the book, like it, or does it have a fair bit of Room-For-Improvement?
RFI – continue to 10, Like – please skip to question 12, Love – please skip to question 14
10. Is it… (multiple choice)
a) A big hot mess
b) Good-story potential, but a lot of work TBD
c) Nearly there
11. What is holding the story back?
12. Was this different from the kind of thing you like to read?
13. What could have made it better?
14. Would you say this book is (almost) ready to be published as it stands?
15. How do the writing, character, & plot rate when compared to professional authors that you read regularly? (multiple choice)
a) This is slightly better (Yeah right)
b) About on par
c) Lagging just behind
d) A fair way off
e) Not even the same ball park
And that’s about it. What questions do you guys normally ask, or do you leave it all to them?
Hokay, time for that review…
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Quite a few good stories in this compilation, but keep in mind that the definition is Dangerous Women, not Butt-kicking Babes. There are a few tales of physically strong, violent women (Jim Butcher’s “Bombshells”, Joe Abercrombie’s “Some Desperado”, & Caroline Spector’s “Lies My Mother Told Me” all do this brilliantly) but most are more about women using their heads and their wills, sometimes for good and others for ill. They usually have agency, but don’t always have stage time. Some are two dimensional. Some sit back-seat to male leads, despite the name of the volume.
The George R.R. Martin novella at the end is told as a historical account, so don’t even bother unless you’re an avid fan of the Song of Ice and Fire series. I personally liked it, but it felt like an amazing story outline rather than a story on its own.
All in all, worth the read, and I’m going to look into reading more Diana Gabaldon, Caroline Spector, & Melinda Snodgrass.
Okay, that’s it from me.