Yesterday, since I was home and largely immobile, I picked up Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin, a book that I pounced upon when it came out, then let sit in my bookcase, unread, for three years.
Margaret's a great writer. She packs her sentences so full of imagery, and her metaphors are dead-on. I generally prefer her short work to her novels, but I guess this book was a stiff dose of what I needed. It was a relief to be reading again. I guess I haven't totally lost the ability, after all. It seems more likely that I have simply been bored with what I was trying to make myself read. Still, it's a very lit'ry novel (take that, PNH) and I find myself skimming at times, wanting to get on with the story, already.
Also yesterday, I wrote a 4400 word crit on a 10 thousand word story. I was both general and specific, critical and constructive. Joy wrote me back a nice, polite thank you note. I can't imagine that she loved and agreed with every line of my crit, but I know it's nice to have someone lavish that much attention on your work. She's got a decent concept, I think: a cyberpunk, post-apocalyptic Little Red Riding Hood.
I keep getting crits on Galatea, too. I think I'm up to ten, now, which is respectable, considering how long that story is. So far, I have been told:
- Master Tan's broken English is great, very authentic/is stereotypical and inconsistent
- The conflict between Justin and Quinn is great, well done/there is no discernible conflict in the story
- The development of Quinn's character is moving and believable/she's a horrible, unsympathetic person
- She's a rip-off of Supergirl/Dark Angel/Kill Bill/Le Femme Nikita
- It's a strong, character-driven story/nobody's motivations make any sense.
But I sha'n't worry myself about whether people like Quinn or not. Love her or hate her, but you can't ignore her.