Nan had a duh moment and didn't get her post done today (ask her why--it's entertaining) so we switched days. She'll be here Friday! - Liz
Once More from the Top because of the backstory it contained. She bled for years, I think, even though it was a very good book even without those pieces of her heart in it.
But here's the thing. I like backstory. I don't mean just mine, although of course I'm very fond of it because I lived every minute of it as I wrote it. I like it in books that I read. I want to know where the protagonists' scars come from. In detail. I want to know how they felt that day, what the weather was like, and if they had a box of tissues handy or had to sob into a paper towel like the rest of us. What were they wearing? Did they burn it or do they still wear it because it's a reminder of how they kept on going after the backstory that changed their life. Who else was there?
I guess I am a recalcitrant reader. Although I'm not a fan of head-hopping, I can usually keep up and--if it's a good story--it doesn't take me out of it. I like having lots of characters in stories because I think they make things more interesting. I like writing voices to be distinct instead of "classic," which means (to me) that if you're 70 years old and you write like you're 30, you're stuffing 40 years of your writing experience into the closet with your bell-bottoms and the dress you wore to the prom.
But what I said there, if it's a good story, that's what makes all the difference, isn't it? Except that a good story isn't enough. And sometimes that's a shame.
My goodness, I do go on, don't I? Thanks for listening to me complain. Now, to get back to something happy, head on down to Last Chance Beach. It's Summer's End and there are 14 of those good stories I was talking about just waiting for you.
And, while you're shopping, Jar of Dreams, a favorite from my backlist, is 99 cents right now.