If you’ve read the entirety (yes, I mean the entirety) of Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles, then this post is for you.
I have a project in mind for this summer, or however long it actually takes me: I would like to re-read the Lymond Chronicles.
But, you say, doesn’t that usually sink you into a slough of despond where you think your own writing sucks? And don’t you have a novel to write this summer?
Yes, generally, and yes, I do. But while Dunnett may make me feel bad about my writing, I don’t think she actually makes my writing bad (except, y’know, by comparison), so as long as I sit my ass down in the chair anyway, I should be okay. And — more to the point — that’s kind of why I’m doing this. You see, I don’t just intend to re-read them. I intend to do a close re-reading of a craft-focused sort, looking for the kinds of things I’ve talked to some of you about, like how she manipulates point of view, or describes certain things but not others, or makes that one duel the awesomest duel ever seen on the page. (In other words, I’m trying to get over my inferiority complex by anatomizing it.) And I’ll answer a whole lot of niggling questions I need to re-read for, like which characters call him by his given name and when they start (or stop) doing so, how old he is when certain events happen, and just when we start seeing signs of [spoiler] or first get told [spoiler] but don’t realize what it means.
I could do this without other people, but it wouldn’t be half so fun. So the purpose of this post is to say, I will be blogging my progress through the books, bringing out interesting tidbits or answers to niggling questions, and inviting discussion in the comments. But this will involve spoilers like whoa, so I’ll be doing so behind a specially-constructed filter. If you’ve read all the books, and are interested in joining the party, please comment here and I’ll add you. If you have read some of the books, I’m sorry, but you really don’t want to be a part of this yet; one of the things I intend to track as I read is the growth of a plot from book six that I know starts in book one, and I don’t want to ruin that for you. But I’m more than happy to add people later, if they happen to finish the series and want to see what we’ve been up to.
Or, to put all this in other terms, I want to partially re-create the fun of the interactive “Let’s watch khet_tcheba read the books for the first time” circus of myself and kurayami_hime, via Khet’s locked posts on the subject. It will lack the tasty, tasty irony of seeing her make comments about ongoing plots when we, but not she, knew where they were going, but it should be fun regardless.
Edited to add: special brownie points for anybody who comes up with a good icon for me to use on such posts.