I got a little more than halfway through the book yesterday, and I'm starting to see that I wasn't totally off-base when I was afraid that the book was mostly conversations. I'm listing all the scenes and will go back and chart which were conversations and which were action. There are a couple of scenes of very intense, conflict-laden conversations, which is okay, but I don't want too many scenes of people sitting around and talking about things that are happening. I need more scenes of things happening. I suspect a lot of this is plotting on paper, where the conversations about what to do are how I figured out what they should do, and I can now cut the conversation and go straight to what they decided to do.
One thing that is impressing me in rereading this book is the way I'm stringing words together. I have the occasional bit of description that I really like, that gives a perfect mental image and that's true to the way the viewpoint character sees things, so that we also get an insight into that person. I'm having a lot of "wow, I did that?" moments.
Meanwhile, I actually managed to read a book for fun all the way through (something that hasn't happened in a while). Last weekend I read Foxglove Summer, the latest in the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch. I've described this series as kind of a Harry Potter meets CSI thing, or a British Dresden Files. It's about a young London policeman who gets recruited for a special division that's basically their version of the X-files unit, only more about magic than about aliens, and he ends up being trained as an apprentice wizard.
This book is kind of a one-off after the very intense previous book, giving our hero a break after some really nasty stuff happened. A couple of girls have gone missing in a rural area and our hero is sent to interview some known magic-related people in the area just to rule them out. He sticks around to help with the case and comes to find out that there really is something under his jurisdiction going on.
The fun thing about these books is that the narrator is a fairly geeky guy, so the book is just dripping with nerdy pop-culture references. Like many geeks, he speaks in movie and TV quotes and has them for any occasion. It's like a game spotting all the lines that are from some known thing (Aliens seems to have been the movie of choice for this book). He's an apprentice wizard who's read all the Harry Potter books and who's obsessed with Doctor Who, and that makes things even more fun. I feel like this guy would be my friend if I knew him, so I don't really care what adventures he's on as long as I get to spend time with him. In this case, the story fit in with some of the same folklore and fantasy elements I'm currently working with, so I enjoyed it a lot, even though it wasn't really part of the story arc of the series. It also made me want to go walking through the English countryside. And rewatch Aliens because there might be some lines I missed.
And now I have to wait for the next one.
Speaking of waiting for books, two more weeks until Rebel Mechanics comes out!