Thursday 30 December 2010

The Birth of an Idea

Finding ideas can sometimes be entirely hopeless. Usually, when you have one idea, many more seem to pile up, but when you don't have a single idea, there is just... air. Fluff. Nothing. So, how does one get at an idea when one is in dire need of one? Well, the first and most important rule of idea-gathering is always to have a notebook and a pen or pencil nearby. I have notebook strategically placed around my apartment, and I go nowhere without at least a scrap of paper to scribble on. If you cannot write your ideas down you might as well give up immediately. You'll just forget them before you can develop them into something more substantial anyway.

Saturday 25 December 2010

Word of the Week #21

Butterfingers (noun)
Someone who is clumsy and drops things, e.g. someone who cannot catch a ball.


Wednesday 22 December 2010

Christmas and Things Like That

Since it's Christmas (yay!) I won't be posting anything this week (I'm too busy cleaning, baking and cooking). I'll be back next week though, and until then: Happy Holidays!

Saturday 18 December 2010

Word of the Week #20

Fop (noun)
A very vain man, very concerned with how he dresses and looks. E.g. "He's such a fop he had to drive all the way into town just to get his hair cut."


Tuesday 14 December 2010

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Perhaps you've seen the movie by Miyasaki. If you have, will you believe me if I say that the novel is even better? That's no small feat either, since Howl's Moving Castle is my absolute favourite Miyasaki movie. If you have seen the movie you will notice many similarities when reading the book. However, there are some points that I feel clarifies the story somewhat, and others that simply help make the story reach even higher levels of awesomeness (yes, it's a word).

The protagonist, Sophie, is a shy, oldest sister of three who knows that she is destined for misfortune in life. She hides in a back room of her father's hat shop, making the most beautiful hats that her stephmother sells. One day, the Witch of the Waste wants to buy a hat, and Sophie fails miserably at her job. The Witch turns her into an old woman, and

Saturday 11 December 2010

Word of the Week #19

Coxcomb (noun)
Someone (usually a man) who is very vain and conceited. Someone pretentious and foolish. E.g. "He's such a coxcomb, I cannot stand him!"


Thursday 9 December 2010

Taking Out the Trash! - On Editing a Novel

I'm about to start the editing work on one of my three finished novels (the non-NaNo novel). This is the first time I've ever edited a novel and I'm quite scared at the very idea to have to revisit something that I know is written terribly badly. However, editing is a necessary process in the work of a writer - how else do great novels get written? Someone once said that even Lord Byron edited his work, so never be ashamed that you have to, or think that you don't. In order to calm my nerves before this work I decided to look up what I could find on the editing process itself, and I thought I would share it with you. So, let's get to work! (If you don't feel like reading the entire post you can just skip to the summary at the end.)

Saturday 4 December 2010

Word of the Week #18

Parsimonious (adj)
Someone very frugal or stingy (and if you read the WotW last week you'll know what 'stingy' is), very unwilling to spend money.


Wednesday 1 December 2010

The Beginning

The very first sentence of you story is the most important of all. It's the sentence that has to take a hold of the reader; it has to be interesting enough to make the reader want to continue. It has to hint about the story, but obviously not give too much away. I find the beginning to be very difficult, simply because there are so many different ways you can begin a story. How to possible choose the very best way to start? It's not like someone is going to hand you a cookie when you find the perfect sentence (unfortunately). So I thought I would share a few sentences from books I like, in order to see how those authors chose to start their novels. I'm going to begin with perhaps the most famous first sentence, and then just randomly choose some of the books from my bookcase. Hopefully you can find something to inspire you, or maybe even something to avoid (who knows?). Hope it helps!

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." (Could there be a better way to start a novel?!)