|J.D. Robb's Brotherhood in Death
I am hooked on J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts)and her In Death series. She is the one author I pre-order all her books and read them over and over again. Yes, I've read the whole In Death series three times, plus listened to the audiobooks once. I'm currently on a 2nd go round of listening to them in the car while going to and fro. I learn something new with each read or listen. I still consider myself a newbie writer since I discovered the joy about 10 years ago. Around the same time, a friend suggested I read one of Nora's books from her McGregor series and I've been hooked ever since. I studied how she handled all the elements from the dialogue to point of view to description. And that's how I feel in love with Eve and Roark and the whole cast of characters from In Death. No she doesn't hit it out of the ballpark with every story, but that doesn't stop me from reading every single one.
Yes, she breaks some rules with point of view, sliding in a thought here and there from other characters, but it works very well. Didn't realize it was 'against the rules' until another writer friend provided me feedback on a couple chapters and took me to task for differing points of view. Rules are made to be broken and according to Alice LaPlant in The Making of a Story, the rules are more guidelines than anything else. * grin * I had more fun completing all the exercises in TMoaS when I did a study with a group at WVU, ..which is a story for another day.
She rarely uses dialogue tags choosing instead to use movement beats and momentum of the scene so you always know who is speaking. It's sort of rubbed off on my own writing as you can tell from the last post with the discussion between Ashley and Greg. I've listened to other authors who use a lot of he said, she said and when read aloud, becomes really distracting. Robyn Carr's Virgin River for instance. I love reading the series but couldn't stand listening to the first book. Which is why I appreciate J.D. Robb's style so much.