Thursday, June 21, 2007

How do authors change their series over time?

Five months ago, I asked how series characters change over time. This time I'll focus on their creators. Recently I've noted that Andrea Camilleri and his Inspector Salvo Montalbano have become more sympathetic and tender as they've grown older. Earlier, I discovered Colin Watson's delightful tendency to apply slightly spicier touches of naughty words as his Flaxborough Chronicles series progressed.

Those are two of the more creative ways I've seen of changing a series just enough to keep it interesting while retaining the features that made it distinctive in the first place. How do your favorite crime-fiction authors do it?

© Peter Rozovsky 2007

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2 Comments:

Blogger Declan Burke said...

I think Elmore Leonard's later novels will probably be more highly regarded than his early- to mid-period stuff. I know his later novels have been panned a little for being less dramatic than before but I think his characters have become far more rounded and satisfying, that they leave a more lasting impression. Delsa, from Mr Paradise, has stayed with me for a few months now.

Declan

June 22, 2007  
Blogger Peter said...

Your comment could open a new area of research and reading for me.

A wise colleague of mine made an interesting double-edged remark last night about Elmore Leonard. He said reading Leonard could be like reading poetry -- his dialogue is so delicious it can obviate the need for reading the rest of the story. That tallies with my experience.

With respect to his early stuff, I am about to rent the movie version of Hombre. How would that be for the subject of an off-beat comment on this blog?

June 22, 2007  

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