Checking in

meparks at meparks at
Thu Jan 22 13:05:02 EST 2004

Quoting "Ian W. Riddell" <iwriddell at>:

> Just checking in that I've not been bumped off the list. We've been 
> awfully quiet. I know I've been swamped with work.

It has been. . . which is sort of nice, as I've still got a thousand back 
emails to go through from the past few months ;)
> It's amazing, you know, how reading something out loud can show up it 
> strengths and weaknesses. I'm reading the Harry Potter books to my 
> partner (this after reading Lord of the Rings and then Pullman's His 
> Dark Materials trilogy) and we're enjoying them immensely (he for the 
> first time, me for the fourth I think).

The example of this in my life that immediately springs to mind is the time I 
listened to part of a friend's uncut tape of a Laurel Hamilton book (not one of 
the Anita Blake series--the one that's got more sex).  It exposed every flaw in 
her writing (and her strength is _not_ in her technical skills).
> But I'm noticing some patterns in Rowling's writing that I don't like. 
> Most specifically, she commits the "sin" of using the same word too 
> often, too close together. I don't have a specific example, but it 
> would look something like: "Harry pulled out his wand. He touched his 
> wand to his nose." That's a bad example and doesn't really get at the 
> heart of the problem. Just some infelicitous prose. I'll note down the 
> next one I come across.

Rowling, too, is not strongest as a technically perfect writer (though she's 
not nearly as bad as Hamilton).  I know exactly what you're talking about 
here ;).  I hope that your partner is enjoying them anyway!

> I'm also re-reading George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire books in 

That's the second time in three days I've heard good things about those books; 
I think I might have to try one.  The first time was in conjunction with an 
online nerd test: if you 
want to have a go.


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