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Sticky! I may not update this as much as I want to, but head over to my tumblr, to see me, my hubby Herr J and Baby Jazz rolling about.

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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.

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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.

Bentley Little

/*Cover images are linked to amazon =) Click em*/

Title; The Store

Author; Bentley Little

Category; horror Horror

Published by; Signet; paperback edition (July 1, 1998)

I rate; knock knock A light read. Don’t buy it, just download it, borrow it, whatever.

A huge ass corporation coming over every little town forcing almost all mom and pop store to close. Think Walmart with brainwashed employees and Nazi zombies as their night managers. I didn’t like the incestuous bit, not only that it was predictable, it was also, boring.

Title; The Academy

Author; Bentley Little

Category; horror Horror

Published by; Signet; First Thus edition (August 5, 2008)

I rate; duh duhduhI read it once, I like it.

I like the multiple point of view approach. It made me concentrate on the book instead of just speed reading it. A public school severing ties with the district to become a charter school. The lunatic principal (I imagined the woman portraying Professor Umbridge as the principal) with her crazy rules and regulations. The Tyler Scout = Hitler Youth. The teachers going nuts and those who opposed the charter disappeared or dropped off like flies.

Title; Dominion

Author; Bentley Little

Category; horror Horror

Published by; Signet (March 1, 1996)

I rate; knock knock A light read. Don’t buy it, just download it, borrow it, whatever.

Daneam? Come on. I felt like he was trying too hard to shock, with all the sex and violence in this book. It read painfully like a B movie. The starting was bizarre enough for my liking, complete with mommy complex syndrome. The characters were so so, I hated Penelope’s crazy bitches. The authorities were useless, I really can’t imagine what I’ll do if this happens in real life. The whole town was crazy after people got themselves possessed after drinking Daneam wine. The Ovidians were horrendously incompetent. The ending was godsend, I really couldn’t read the book any longer. I gave this book a 2 because some people might like it.

Title; The Ignored

Author; Bentley Little

Category; horror Horror

Published by; Signet (June 1, 1997)

I rate; knock knock A light read. Don’t buy it, just download it, borrow it, whatever.

An interesting thought. Herr J even dreamed about this. He dreamed that both of us were ignored or dead since all the people we met were his dead friends. This was because he was trying to get interested in all the books I currently read.

This book started slow, with the main character, Bob who worked in a dead end office job. The first few chapters were boring. He started to notice that whatever shit he does, however outrageously he dressed, no one even acknowledge him. Came one day, somebody did. He finally talked to Bob about who he really was, after Bob killed his boss. The killing was supposed to be an initiation of some sort. Bob was introduced to some other people, they call themselves the terrorist. Plot picked up as the gang did numerous terrorist activities to get themselves noticed, to no avail. Then they found out about a city for the ignored, Thomson. Bob met his ex girlfriend, Jane, there and they got married and had a baby, Phillipe. There was a slight fork in the plot, involving some alternate world and the great god Pan. However, they got through it and lived happily ever after.

Terribly bland book.

Title; The Mailman

Autstihor; Bentley Little

Category; horror Horror

Published by; Headline Book Publishing (February 3, 1994)

I rate; duh duhduhI read it once, I like it.

Now this one really gave me the creeps. So far my favorite Bentley Little book. This book was so creepy it actually reminded me of Stephen King’s work. The mailman was manipulative and for lack of any other word in my ever shrinking vocabulary, MAJOR CREEPO. I’d buy this.

Title; The Burning

Author; Bentley Little

Category; horror Horror

Published by; Signet; First Thus edition (August 1, 2006)

I rate; duh duhduhI read it once, I like it.

Another multiple person point of view approach. I usually like books with historic flashbacks in them but the flashbacks were disjointed few and didn’t really help with the story telling. There was zombiefied Chinese railroad workers wanting revenge, Native Americans getting sucked dry of their life energy (read ‘getting blowjobs’) by ‘shadows’. Infectious mold that made every Caucasian who touched them became racist.
In my humble opinion, Bentley Little is for teenagers as R.L Stine is for kids and Stephen King for adult.

/*Cover images are linked to amazon =) Click it*/

Title; Skin Privilege

Author; Karin Slaughter

Category; horror Crime

Published by; Century; First Edition

I rate; duh duhduhI read it once, I like it.

Okay, I had no presumptions at all when I first read the title of this book because I have never heard of the author. While I’m not a choosy reader, I have read tonnes of disappointing books so I learnt not to have high hopes for unknown writers.

It started smooth, I absolutely loved the first few paragraphs. Then it went steadily downhill. It didn’t crash and burn but by the time I’m done with it, the whole story was a bit bland. The scenes were in the  working class area of 2 small counties. The characters were okay, at least they have more to them than that Twilight abomination.

I lost my notes somewhere so here’s what I remembered. The main guy was a cop, married to a doctor (was then embroiled in a medical scandal or something or other, I forgot) I had no idea who the bad guys in the first scene was until she revealed them at the end. I was lazy and when I read boring books, my brain will cease to function.

I had read so much  since Amy Tan’s but I forgot to review them! Now I have to read them all back to remember interesting stuff because I never write any notes while reading!

/*Cover images are linked to amazon =) Click it*/

Title; The Kitchen God’s Wife

Author; Amy Tan

Category; Novel

Published by; Ivy Books

I rate; nyuuu nyuuunyuuunyuuu I like it enough to read it another thousand times.

Another book by Amy Tan. Same old same old but I still like it. An Americanized daughter’s shaky relationship with her mother who is a strong, misunderstood immigrant from the Mainland and that mother’s tragic life in China. I don’t know what is it with me and this ethnic relationship with sad sad past lives thingy. Unlike The Bonesetter’s daughter, this book is about the mother’s history instead of the grandmother.

Winnie was Pearl’s mother. Pearl was the Americanized daughter who found out she had MS. Auntie Helen was supposed to be Pearl’s SIL but she wasn’t, really. Aunt Helen devised a clever way to get both mother and daughter to bond and spill their guts. So Winnie told pearl about her life before she migrated and of who Auntie Helen really was.

Happy ending. I think.

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