On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Sunday, July 17, 2005

Harry Potter -NO SPOILERS -- Motivation

Yes, like many people. I spent yesterday reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to the detriment of my writing. Normally, I WON'T critique books here. I do that with my friends, but I don't do it in a public forum like this and I will never "review" books on any site where you have to assign points -- stars, hearts, arrows, angels, crystal balls **shudder*.

But I'm pretty sure that J.K. Rowling will never see this. She is so HUGE and British and confident and involved in her family and writing that I don't get the idea that she surfs.

I thought the minor plot thread about who was the half-blood prince interesting. I guessed right, then followed a couple of red herrings she ran and guessed wrong, and she is EXCELLENT in setting up her red herrings.

I liked the romances. I thought they proceeded as they should. I liked the quiddich matches. I liked Harry, Hermione, Ron and liked/disliked other characters as Rowling would have wanted me to.

But, as far as I'm concerned the motivation of one of her characters was not well done. I didn't believe it and, worse, I didn't get it. When you have to go back and re-read passages because the motivation isn't clear, the author hasn't done their job. I was left with a big "DUH?" And until this book has been out for some time, I won't discuss this. But, for me, she failed in her motivation, unless there is something more than I saw in this book.

She left dangling threads, and since that's what this series is all about, I accept it. One was very delicious.

But, all in all, I was disappointed because I didn't get WHY, and, again, if you don't leave your readers satisfied you can lose them. Not Rowling, but definitely Owens. So I'd better go write. I will say she's a wonderful storyteller and I envy that her plots come to her so easily and smoothly and intricately.



Blogger sex scenes at starbucks said...

agreed on all points, and I haven't read the book yet.

motivation can be tough. some characters are just tetchy that way. I've got one and I've no idea what keeps her ticking.

7:58 AM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

LOL Sex, if you don't want to fill out a character sheet or interview her, just keep writing and see how she reacts to other characters. Sooner or later they'll be pushing her buttons and you'll find out more about her...


12:15 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:15 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

Robin, I'm not sure what you meant about a character's motivations, since you don't mention which character, but I loved the book, and I'm saddened and frightened about what may occur in the final book of the series. Can J.K. Rowling pull it off?

8:33 AM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

All right, through six books we wonder why Dumbledore trusts Snape. When Rowling revealed the reason I didn't get it. After I did, it didn't seem sensible to me. D. was very canny with regard to Tom Riddle -- always -- yet not with Snape.


8:40 PM  

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