Milkshake Butterfly (milkshake_b) wrote,
Milkshake Butterfly

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Presently reading Changes, the new Dresden Files

I would like to ask how it is possible that a book with the spoiler list I read could be boring me this hard in its opening... Oh god I'm at twenty chapters now. Twenty chapters and having to push past mental yawns. Seriously, I was prepared to be disgusted. I was prepared to roll my eyes hard enough at places to sprain them. (Well, okay, I have done that a few times.) I was expecting to be turning pages rapidly to find out what over-the-top thing he was going to do next. What I was not expecting was to be slogging. My god, the Merry Gentry books are faster reads than this. What the hell happened? Slow reads are not on his previous list of writerly sins.

Actually, I think I know what happened. This couldn't have been edited for more than the basics. He contradicts himself with disturbing frequency, the prose often puddles instead of flowing, people keep using physical and verbal tics that scream "this is characterization yes it is" while his character voices are blown halfway to hell and back, the chapters are positively weird as far as length goes, and the whole thing feels really flat. This needed someone with a loving chainsaw to go through it, badly. Also, he's hit the wall with a lot of things--his story formula and his first-person POV, just to name the two biggest ones--but won't let them go. As odditycollector put it, you get one scene per book where the character is stunned or otherwise rendered out of the action so he can't affect it but the writer can still tell us things that are happening. At twenty chapters in I've counted three, and she reliably tells me I've got a fourth coming.

Given that he's said he wants to make this a twenty-four or twenty-five book series (I don't even know what to say to that) and he's having this much trouble now, you kind of have to wonder what book, say, twenty will look like. Maybe Harry will gain the Doctor's weird Omniscient Near-Death Vision.

ETA: So for about a page the characters discuss mortgages, which is probably Jim Butcher's way of saying he needs us to help him pay his. In any case, one of the characters started complaining they were bored and that was it. I'm out for the day, and I haven't even gotten to the Part Where Jim Butcher Pushes One of My Personal Buttons.
Tags: dresden files, rants
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