So far, I’m about a quarter of a way through The Green Rider and I’m liking it. It isn’t a favorite like the work of Brandon Sanderson, Tad Williams or Elizabeth Moon (my current favorite go-to authors), but it isn’t as bad as I remember it. I think that I was wanting it (based on the reviews and the way people were talking about it) to be amazing and while it is a good, solid fantasy, it isn’t, for me, amazing.
I suppose I could look it up to see if this is Kristen Britain’s first novel (my computer isn’t actually connected to the internet as I’m typing this so as not to get distracted), even if it isn’t, it seems to have many of the first novel issues. Just in the first third of the novel, there are pacing issues. We get introduced to the “big bad” (who apparently is under an even “bigger bad.” We get a world that is both incredibly airy and light intermixed with one that is incredibly savage. The main character seems quite unprepared for both–the savagery of the world where she has to fight for her life and the rustic, almost idyllic world of the sisters who offer her respite.
I think this is one of the reasons why it is so hard for me personally to commit myself to writing novels (even though that is what I really want to do as a writer). I find myself doing exactly the same thing–too many storylines and plot lines when what I want is a coherent whole that doesn’t meander, that doesn’t wander, but tells a compelling story from start to end about a character who starts out one way, but learns about himself/herself on the journey of the novel. I’m sure that I can learn and master this form as it is the primary form that I read and enjoy, but when I sit down to write it, I find myself doing exactly what is occurring in The Green Rider where I am going down diverse tangents and the story doesn’t seem to have the linearity that I’m looking for and I end up abandoning the project. Perhaps the lesson The Green Rider can teach me is to finish a rough draft for the project. Write the whole thing for start to finish and then try to find ways/techniques to revise the story on the paper/page into the one that resides inside my head (& heart).