It has been on my list for ages, but I haven’t had the time, and on top of that the wait list at the library was, I kid you not, twenty people long. That’s twenty people who are in line to read it before me, and even if each of them only kept it until it expired and didn’t renew it, that would still be about a year before I’d even get to it. I tried borrowing it from the library’s electronic library, but it expired before I finished, and then next time I tried it made me download a whole different ereader to read it with, and I had all kinds of trouble with that software, like it losing my bookmarks, not being able to search, cutting off the end of chapters so I missed the last couple lines, and so on.
Finally, I happened to mention it to my church home group and someone had the first for books which he promptly loaned me. Now I’m almost done with the first one.
I spent most of yesterday reading. Partially because I was exhausted from a busy couple of days leading up to that, and partially because I was actually nice and sucked in to the story. It’s especially hard to really get involved in a story as a writer, and even more so when I’ve been reading critically for Havok and for judging contests. As you know from this post I wrote awhile back, I don’t have a lot of patience for books that are poorly written, have unrealistic characters, or don’t have a propelling plot. Couple that with the fact that I have enough real life going on that I almost never get to just sit and enjoy a book, and it takes me ages and ages to get through a book most of the time.
So, of course, as all writers do, I have to wonder what the magic formula is. It’s not just good writing, although certainly Game of Thrones has that. It’s not just interesting characters, although it has that, too. It’s not just intrigue or fast-paced plot or witty dialogue. There are a lot of books that have those things that still aren’t compelling enough to keep me turning pages long after I should’ve gotten off my couch and accomplished something productive.
I’ve been over my manuscript a thousand times, at least. I have good writing. I have interesting characters. I have intrigue and a fast-paced plot. At least some of my dialogue is interesting. But do I have that magic formula? That thing that keeps people turning pages? That element that makes it memorable and drives people to keep coming back?
I don’t know. And I don’t know how to know.
I guess I’ll find out when it’s published. (And no, I don’t have a timeline on that. Still waiting.)