Because the fireplace is completely compelling and whispers to fall asleep in front of it after a long day at my paying job, I didn’t complete my actual post for tonight, which is currently sitting in a word doc on my laptop. Yes, yes. I know, never show the machinations but honesty, no matter its faults, has always worked best for me. Or, I suppose, not actually addressing the answer to the question.
These circumstances, which aren’t precisely uncommon during the winter months, lead me to attempt something new. One of my annual goals, is to read 52 books in 52 weeks. I’ve succeeded maybe twice, since 2009, when I first concocted this scheme. I have a friend who reads 70+ books a year. Last year, I only read about 20, not counting short stories. That’s not horrible. It’s about 1.6 books a month.
Nothing like a needlessly long intro. All of this is to say that the book I’m currently reading, which I have been looking forward to ever since I uncovered its existence while studying query letters, is Truthwitch by Susan Dennard.
The initial reason for my interest was the plot synopsis, which I stumbled across by happenstance at 2AM. It features a fantastical world filled with civilizations and terminology that I’d never heard before. All of which sounds fairly standardized for a fantasy novel. Except, I was studying query letters. Which means I needed to see what a successful, completely original world of fantasy might look like when pitched to an average person. By completely original I mean not based in our world or even a future version of our world; a world where nothing grounds the reader in the familiar. Truthwitch has this.
So, I mean to sit down with it tonight and pick apart it’s opening pages. How does the story open? Has the inciting incident already happened? How much of this alien world am I, as the new reader, expected to just pick up on? How much is explained? Every book doesn’t have to be a learning experience. But, I want this one to be. And I hope it’s a good teacher.