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Writing a complete unedited book in 75 minutes?

I don’t know what’s keeping me. I can’t function.

Did technology kill the book or give it new life?

I agree with the article. I am a traditionalist. I love the feel of books and the smell of paper (no, not the recycled ones, no) heavenly. Growing up I didn’t have access to a lot of books, they cost a bomb and the library was far. But I love reading.

I got into university in 2003, when everything was just started to get digitalized. I devoured ebooks, I had over 2000 ebooks in my favorite genres, I read them all in my laptop. In 2008 I got a pink PSP (whom I christened Blair) as a birthday present and I love it, it’s portable and hold tonnes of my ebooks at one go. I fell asleep every night, reading. Back then getting a hold of a Kindle was hard, Amazon doesn’t ship them here and it felt like the ultimate gadget to have for me.

I got a Kindle last year for my birthday, I love it. The battery lasts forever, it can read a lot of extensions without me having to convert them. The only downside is mine doesn’t have a backlight. So I can’t read it to sleep. I now read random articles on my phone to sleep. I know I can install an ebook reader in my phone but I feel like I need to read the news too, instead of hanging around my own bizarre world all the time. So I persisted and deleted my ebook reader from my phone after I got my Kindle (whose name is Terry Pratchett by the way). I also can afford books now that they have an annual sale but by last year the titles gotten so worse I felt like the reason the hold the sale was to unburden themselves of awful books instead of spreading the joy of reading.

Technology gives books a new life, and to budding writers endless ways to get published. I love technology and I love books.

Still not letting go

Is the Colour of Magic a good introduction for Terry Pratchett?

I say yes. It was the first Discworld book that I read, it got me hooked.

I was never a sci-fi fan, so I only finished the book on second try and berated myself for not finishing it earlier. I read the other books according to the reading order and championed Terry Pratchett as my favorite author since then (before, it was Stephen King alongside Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle).

Discworld got better and better after ‘The Colour of Magic’. I love most of them and the characters are so lovable, Sir Terry Pratchett made everyone seemed tolerable, although he kept quoting ‘Hell is other people’.

I’ll always love Discworld, I’ll never get tired of rereading it (This from the one who doesn’t like rereading a book or rewatching a movie, is something, right?) So if you haven’t read Discworld, please do so, read ALL of them. Here’s the reading order.

Continue Reading »

From theguardian

Using adverbs is a mortal sin

1 Never open a book with weather. If it’s only to create atmosphere, and not a charac­ter’s reaction to the weather, you don’t want to go on too long. The reader is apt to leaf ahead look­ing for people. There are exceptions. If you happen to be Barry Lopez, who has more ways than an Eskimo to describe ice and snow in his book Arctic Dreams, you can do all the weather reporting you want.

2 Avoid prologues: they can be ­annoying, especially a prologue ­following an introduction that comes after a foreword. But these are ordinarily found in non-fiction. A prologue in a novel is backstory, and you can drop it in anywhere you want. There is a prologue in John Steinbeck’s Sweet Thursday, but it’s OK because a character in the book makes the point of what my rules are all about. He says: “I like a lot of talk in a book and I don’t like to have nobody tell me what the guy that’s talking looks like. I want to figure out what he looks like from the way he talks.”

3 Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue. The line of dialogue belongs to the character; the verb is the writer sticking his nose in. But “said” is far less intrusive than “grumbled”, “gasped”, “cautioned”, “lied”. I once noticed Mary McCarthy ending a line of dialogue with “she asseverated” and had to stop reading and go to the dictionary.

4 Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said” . . . he admonished gravely. To use an adverb this way (or almost any way) is a mortal sin. The writer is now exposing himself in earnest, using a word that distracts and can interrupt the rhythm of the exchange. I have a character in one of my books tell how she used to write historical romances “full of rape and adverbs”.

5 Keep your exclamation points ­under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose. If you have the knack of playing with exclaimers the way Tom Wolfe does, you can throw them in by the handful.

6 Never use the words “suddenly” or “all hell broke loose”. This rule doesn’t require an explanation. I have noticed that writers who use “suddenly” tend to exercise less control in the application of exclamation points.

7 Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly. Once you start spelling words in dialogue phonetically and loading the page with apos­trophes, you won’t be able to stop. Notice the way Annie Proulx captures the flavour of Wyoming voices in her book of short stories Close Range.


8 Avoid detailed descriptions of characters, which Steinbeck covered. In Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants”, what do the “Ameri­can and the girl with him” look like? “She had taken off her hat and put it on the table.” That’s the only reference to a physical description in the story.

9 Don’t go into great detail describing places and things, unless you’re ­Margaret Atwood and can paint scenes with language. You don’t want descriptions that bring the action, the flow of the story, to a standstill.

10 Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip. Think of what you skip reading a novel: thick paragraphs of prose you can see have too many words in them.

My most important rule is one that sums up the 10: if it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.

Seasons & walls

I was riffling through my bookmark manager and came upon my Deletables folder. Filled with old links that I should’ve posted in one of all my blogs. The thing is I get bored easily, I have my seasons. For a couple of months I’d be obsessed with one thing, be it a website or a game, then a wall will come out all of a sudden and smack me in the face. Then I’ll never even click the link for months. Some how I’ve lost interest in it. Repeat repeat repeat.

So this is one of the link that I should’ve posted years ago but didn’t because of that goddamn ADD wall.

Best opening lines ; An article about best opening lines in literature.

Others were Guardian’s top 10 list that’s more irrelevant than this one.


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