Sunday, October 4, 2020

NaNoPrepMo 4/31: Synopsis

What ever you call them, synopsis, summary, blurb, logline, one-sentence pitch... I want you to know your story so well that you can write all and any of these quickly and easily, that you have this clear for you. Use this day to play with this. Google "how to write..." all of these, and test the advice.

The 20 word synopsis from the Snowflake method
The full paragraph synopsis from the Snowflake method
You write the book synopsis these links are talking about.

"A 500-word long spoiler for your entire novel. Every major plot twist. Every major character. Any big turning point. Your big climactic scenes. They’re all there, briefly, succinctly and (yes) a little drily narrated."

Synopsis and Book blurb - what's the difference and how to write them

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Top 5... fave characters P–T

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme that explores different topics.
Originally created by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm, it is now hosted by Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.
For a list of September topics you can click here.
To participate, link your post back to Meeghan's blog or leave a comment on her weekly post.

So... my favorite characters from P to T

P - Pippi Longstockings by Astrid Lindgren, Lord Peter Wimsey by Dorothy L. Sayers, Polly from Old-fashioned Girl by Louisa M. Alcott, Phileas Fogg from Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
Q -
R - Dame Ragnelle from Arthur's Saga, Roxelane from Roxelane by Johannes Tralow
S - Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, Sorensen "Sorry" Carlisle from The Changeover by Margaret Mahy, Shuri by Nnedi Okorafor, Samwise Gamgee from Lord of the Rings by J.R.R.Tolkien, Snusmumrik (Snuffkin) from the Moomin books by Tove Jansson, Saphira the dragon from Eragon by Christopher Paolini
T - Tané from The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, Temeraire from Temeraire by Naomi Novik, Tom from Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce

I'm sure there are others, but I'll be adding them as I remember them :-)

Come back in a week to see my favorite character from U to Z :-)

Thursday, September 17, 2020

"Finally Autumn" book tag

The original video used to be here. Like, two or more years ago... Well, book tags never die, and I'm doing this now. Inspired by paperbackdreams. And, like her, I'll use the books I've read this year. As much as I can.

1. In fall, the air is crisp and clear: name a book with a vivid setting!

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton made me feel the landscape. If it was vivid... I don't know.
I think "vivid" would be A Blade so Black by L.L.McKinney, but... it wasn't quite as effective as Edith Wharton's setting.

2. Nature is beautiful… but also dying: name a book that is beautifully written, but also deals with a heavy topic like loss or grief.

The Deep by Rivers Solomon
The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman

3. Fall is back to school season: share a non-fiction book that taught you something new.

Charlie Chan by Yunte Huang
Let the People Pick the President by Jesse Wegman

4. In order to keep warm, it’s good to spend some time with the people we love: name a fictional family/household/friend-group that you’d like to be a part of.

Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson :-D

5. The colourful leaves are piling up on the ground: show us a pile of fall-colored spines!

Books on the shelf:
Deepak Chopra; The Return of Merlin (haven't red)
Brian Jacques; Redwall - Mattimeo - The Bellmaker (have read, some even this year :-D)
Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Anne Scarborough; Catacombs (have read, a couple of years ago.)
H.C.Andersen's fairytales part I (leatherbound in Danish) (have read)
Kathryn Lasky; Guardians of Ga'Hoole boxed set, books 1-4; The Capture, The Journey, The Rescue and The Siege (haven't read)
Naomi Novik; His Majesty's Dragon (have read, this year)
Aesop's And Other Fables, introduction by Ernest Rhys (a lovely little book from Everyman's Library 1957) (have read)
Ellen Datlow; Snow White, Blood Red (have read, many years ago)
Susanna Clarke; Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (have read)
Conn Iggulden; War of the Roses, Stormbird (started reading, extremely boring, DNF)
Stephen King; Night Shift (I think I have read it, but I'm not sure...)

6. Fall is the perfect time for some storytelling by the fireside: share a book wherein somebody is telling a story.

The Man Who Would Be King by Rudyard Kipling is basically a book of someone telling a story

I am a Cat by Natsume Soseki has a couple of people who tell stories

7. The nights are getting darker: share a dark, creepy read.

I don't tend to read dark, creepy reads, but here's the darkest, creepiest I've read this year:

The Twenty Days of Turin by Giorgio de Maria
Le Horla by Guy de Maupassant
Vampyre by John William Polidori
The Invisible Man by H.G.Wells
Casting the Runes by M.R.James

8. The days are getting colder: name a short, heartwarming read that could warm up somebody’s cold and rainy day.

I haven't read anything such... the closest I get is Starless Sea, but that's not short.
I suppose I need to read something like that...
But - I recommend The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows I read last year.

9. Fall (luckily, it’s my favourite season) returns every year: name an old favourite that you’d like to return to soon.

Lucy Maud Montgomery's and Louisa M. Alcott's books. (If you want recommendations, I say Blue Castle and Old-Fashioned Girl)
Terry Pratchett. (I suggest Johnny and the Dead for Autumn, suitable for Halloween and so. :-D Goes well with Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.)

10. Fall is the perfect time for cozy reading nights: share your favourite cozy reading “accessories”!

 Cat, blanket, cup of tea :-D

That is, not me, but it's absolutely perfect; comfy blankie, cats, cuppa and book... and lovely autumn colors.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Top 5... fave characters K–O

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme that explores different topics.
Originally created by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm, it is now hosted by Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.
For a list of September topics you can click here.
To participate, link your post back to Meeghan's blog or leave a comment on her weekly post.

So... my favorite characters from K to O

K -Kate from The Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare, Kiki the parrot by Enid Blyton
L - Lemony Snicket in All the Wrong Questions by Lemony Snicket, Lyra Bellacqua from The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (but only from that book), Louhi from Kalevala
M - Mary Poppins by P.L.Travers, The Marquis de Carabas from Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, Mara from The Empire Trilogy by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurt, Morozko from the Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arde, Momo by Michael End, Baron Munchausen by Rudolf Erich Raspe
N -Nynaeve from Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan, Nimue from Arthur, Nayimathun from Priory of the Orange Tree
O - Oswald Hendryks Cornelius by Roald Dahl, Oswald Bastable by Edith Nesbit, Oberon the dog by Kevin Hearne

I'm sure there are others, but I'll be adding them as I remember them :-)

Come back in a week to see my favorite character from P to T :-)

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Pulp Speed

Pulp Speed - as far as I know - is a term coined by Dean Wesley Smith.

Pulp Speed One: 1.000.000 original words in a year. 2740 words a day every day
Pulp Speed Two: 1.200.000 original words in a year. 3288 words a day every day
Pulp Speed Three: 1.400.000 original words in a year. 3836 words a day every day
Pulp Speed Four: 1.600.000 original words in a year. 4384 words a day every day
Pulp Speed Five: 1.800.000 original words in a year. 4932 words a day every day
Pulp Speed Six: 2.000.000 original words in a year. 5450 words a day every day

Let's say you write 1000 words in an hour, and have ordinary working weeks, that's five eight hours days, you'll produce 40.000 words in a week. If you work 50 weeks in a year, that's 2.000.000 words in a year. Pulp Speed Six.

Ok... so... my typewriting speed is about 70 words a minute. If I could keep the speed up for an hour, and if I managed to keep telling the story for an hour, I would produce 4200 words per hour. Now, I can't, and I don't think anyone can. But it would be interesting to find out for how long I could keep it up, and how much a good outline would help... I mean, if I could keep the speed up for 15 minutes, I would write the 1000 words in 15 minutes, and then I could take 5 minutes pause, and come back and write another 15 minutes and another 1000 words... If I can write 2000 words in an hour instead of 1000 words, then I could work with brainstorming, planning, outlining, and thinking about the story the other 4 hours of the day, which would make it possible to just "stream of consciousness" for fifteen minutes twice in an hour... that would make active writing time 2 hours in stead of 4 hours, and it's quite possible to think about your story when you do other things like household chores, exercise, etc.

How I write 10,000 Words in a Day, and You Can Too

Thursday, September 10, 2020

You're all wrong! Nah, just kidding. I fully agree.

So - the 10 lowest rated (selected) novels on my GoodReads shelf:
(How the selection was made? I didn't take on the books with less than 100 reviews, nor the books I can't remember at all.)

After Alice by Gregory Maguire, 2.79

A story about a girl who follows Alice to Wonderland and about Alice's sister, who apparently was a conceited, mean, badly behaving little monkey. Hated it.

"It's as if he writes a sentence, flips through his thesaurus, and then substitutes every word he can with something bigger and, in his humble opinion, better. He's trying to sound intelligent, but it comes across as pompous and boring."

The Phantom Of Manhattan by Frederick Forsyth, 2.98

The Phantom of the opera moves to New York, and meets Christine again, and her child... he's a toymaker now and works on . Not even Phantom of the Opera was good. This one just tries too much.

"With the high expectations the author demands from the book in mind, one marvels at how mediocre the story is, how ignorant, crude, and beyond salvation the characterization is; and how forced, clumsy, and tasteless the historical allusions are. It is my belief that just because a story is written doesn't mean it should ever be published, and this is a perfect example." 
Tirant lo Blanc by Joanot Martorell 3.07

Come on, it was written 500 years ago! You can't review a book that old by modern standards!
"Even by "medieval novel read in translation" standards, Tirant Lo Blanc drags. Every decision is predicated by four or five chapters of not very interesting speeches, some of which I think the author would have blessed the invention of copy-paste for because it must have been at least as tedious to write them as to read them."

Nectar by Lily Prior 3.15

A story about an albino girl who smells aphrodisiac for as long as she's a virgin. Then she gets pregnant and repugnant and her daughter inherits the smell.Better than the following books. Well... maybe P.D.James is better, but... *sigh*

"What starts as an erotic fairy-tale filled with magical realism quickly turns into a self-absorbed tale about Ramona and…that's about it."

The Third Book of the Dun Cow: Peace at the Last by Walter Wangerin Jr. 3.23

How the animals walk to heaven and meet all their loved ones. Too little, too late, Walter. Burn in hell.

"This book seemed thrown together just to end the trilogy. The story line isn't compelling."

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James 3.27

Nice try, but not about Elizabeth and Darcy.

"A hideous, plodding, ungraceful piece of mawkish fanfiction that succeeds neither as a mystery or as a pastiche of Austen's most beloved novel. Oy."

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith, 3.30 

"Balls, hurrhurrhurr". *sigh* Take a classic and add zombies to it, and your own commentary trying to be funny. 3.30 is too much. The hype was too much. Yes, I read it because of the hype. I still regret it.

"I recommend the movie, because it is hilarious, but this book has no purpose other than to add slightly gross comments to an otherwise wonderful classic story."

Vampyre by John William Polidori, 3.31

This is a short gothic story written at the same time as Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein. It's pretty clever and I like the fact that the vampire in that story is evil and charming.

"Polidori was a physician who WANTED to be a writer, but clearly lacked the… everything. The Vampyre is so amateurishly bad, I really don't know if it's hilarious or sad."

The Discovery of Chocolate by James  Runcie, 3.32 

This is a story of a Spanish man who falls in love with a Native American woman, who gives her magical chocolate so that he lives for hundreds of years until he finds her again. Pretty stupid.

"It read like an 8th grade writing assignment. Waaaaay to coincidental and actually kind of lame."

The Mister by E.L.James, 3.32

*sigh* An Albanian brilliant savant woman who is amazing at everything she does except speaking English even though she was studying in University to become an English teacher, has an English grandmother who send her children's books in English, and has been listening to English radio and watching English television her whole life gets sex trafficked in England, finds a rich handsome man, gets married and lives happily ever after. The author makes a point about all the research she did, which makes me so confused, because she it doesn't show at all in the final product. She still gets everything wrong. Next time, Erika, just skip the research, it's obviously just waste of time.

" I am sorry to inform that this I-am-just-a-poor-innocent-blushing-serving-doormat-who-is not-worthy-of-You-a-rich-whoring-fucked-up-British-Adonis doesn’t work for me anymore in any shape or form."

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Top 5... fave characters F-J

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme that explores different topics.
Originally created by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm, it is now hosted by Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.
For a list of September topics you can click here.
To participate, link your post back to Meeghan's blog or leave a comment on her weekly post.

So... my favorite characters from F to J

F - Faramir from Lord of the Rings by J.R.R.Tolkien, Flora Poste from Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons, Fuchur (Falcor) from The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
G - Gandalf and Galadriel from Lord of the Rings by J.R.R.Tolkien
H - Havelock Vetinari, the Lord Patrician from Terry Pratchett's Discworld
I - Iorek Byrnison
J - Jadis from Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis, Jane Eyre from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

I'm sure there are others, but I'll be adding them as I remember them :-)

Come back in a week to see my favorite character from K to O :-)