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Category Archives: Ponderings

I may have been mistaken

I will admit, that there are certain things in life about which I can be a little bit of a snob.  Although I am sure that Mrs. Seven would disagree with me.  She would raise her eyebrow and say “little bit?”

I drink filter coffee and espresso brew rather than cheap coffee.  (And I judge people who call it expresso.)
I turn up my nose, and say “No, but I read the book,” whenever asked about a film adaptation.
And I believe that Kindles and E-Book readers are not the same as real books, and will never replace them.

kindle

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Posted by on June 4, 2014 in Ponderings

 

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Never touch a writer’s pen…

I do not know if it is just me, or if it is a writer thing, but I really love pens. 

And journals. 

And notepads.

And paper.

And…

Yeah…. so stationery is my friend.  What can I say?

pen

So it was a really great Birthday present my wife gave me this year: A custom made pen made from Wild Olive Wood and 12C gold. 

I know for most people this is probably really boring; a pen.  But I really love me a pen I do.  And the fact that this is one-of-a-kind custom-made item is really cool. 

 

Yeah, I am easily amused. 

And the fact that it is engraved, means I can find it easily….7c016dfbea34d9853d3493f94f4ecb1f

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2014 in For the readers, Ponderings

 

Better or worse?

I am a hopeless romantic.  I love Romantic Comedies, provided they are not too silly.  And some of my favourite books have always been the Jane Austen and Bronte Novels.  Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre are two of my favourite books, and I own DVD movies and miniseries for most of them.

Except that most of my life I have been a thwarted romantic.  Until three years ago, when I met the love of my life, and convinced her to become my wife.

630717_1275255086748.95res_300_300About two years ago, my wife bought me an entire set of Jane Austen Novels, plus a few other classic romances.  And I realised the other day that I have not read any of them since I got married.  In fact… I have never even finished Persuasion, which is the book I was reading when we met. 

And it got me to thinking about how women often complain that Jane Austen gave them unrealistic expectations of men. The theory seeming to be that Jane Austen men are too good to be true, whereas I was reading not to find someone, but to find out who I needed to be to find someone.  In essence I guess I was trying to learn how to be the perfect man.

I was also losing myself in the fantasy world of being able to be somebody’s Mr Darcy, or Henry Tinley.  (Who is much cooler in my opinion.)

So now that I am married, and have found my romantic heroine, and have spent over three years learning about what true/real love is, and how it works in the real world, I wonder if I will find the novels better (because I can read from experience) or worse (because I have the real thing, and don’t need the fantasy.)

With that question in mind, I am going to re-read all the books the next two months.  Including finally getting through Persuasion

What do you think?  Does romantic fiction teach us about how good love can be?  Or give us unrealistic expectations?

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2014 in books, Ponderings

 

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If only the Internet had captcha like this…

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Posted by on January 21, 2014 in Ponderings

 

Things I think about #3 : What did it do?

This is another instalment in the Things I think about when I write series.  I can’t recall where I read/heard this advice, but it goes something like this…

Whenever I write a scene, it needs to do one of two things: (1) Advance the plot or (2) Develop a character.

So after each scene I write, I ask myself whether it did either of those things.  And if not, then what did I hope to achieve with that scene.

Of course, there might be other purposes.  What do you ask your writing to do?

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2013 in Ponderings

 

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Things I think about #2 : Senses

Something else that I started doing when I wrote Romance Fiction for the first time, but have found myself doing all the time now, is asking…

“What sense is being used in this scene?”

Sure my Main Character can walk into a room, and tell us what he sees.  But to make us truly feel what he feels in the room, maybe he can smell something.  Maybe the doorknob was rough when he opened the door.  Did it squeak when he pushed it?

He may have walked out of the room quickly, but maybe we only know that because of the feel of the wind on his face.

And just what does an oyster taste like?

I try to make sure that on each page, I am describing the scene with a different sense.  It is not necessary to use all 5 at once, or to use them in order like a rotation.  But I try to make sure I am not neglecting any of them in the long term story.

Sometimes I go back over the manuscript and mark each paragraph in a different colour depending on the sense being used to describe it.  And if there is too much green, and not enough blue, then I need to think about that one.

Do you think about this?

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2013 in Ponderings

 

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Things I think about #1 : Things I (don’t) like.

I think that this idea came from Chris Baty in No Plot No Problem

Take a sheet of paper or an index card or something.  And write LIKE at the top.
No, really.  Do it now.  I’ll wait.

Now write a list of all the things you like when reading a novel.

Eg.

  • Strong Female lead
  • Humour
  • Werewolves.  (Don’t be shy, this is your list)
  • Happy endings
  • People named Tim.  (There are not stupid answers.)

Done?  Good.

Now get a fresh piece of paper,and do a list of things you don’t like.  Call this UNLIKE or BAD or DON’T or whatever you want.

Eg.

  • Annoying female love interest who act like spoiled brats
  • Angst
  • Plot twists for no reason
  • Moralising
  • Twisting the plot to make a political statement
  • Animals dying.
  • etc.

Now take a look at your novel you are planning to write, and ask yourself a simple question:

“Which list describes my novel?”

I am not saying you need to include werewolves into your romance novel, but if you like werewolves and don’t like novels with heavy angst… then why are you writing a story about a doomed love affair between two people who will never get together because the ditzy girl will never understand the dark hero who sits and broods about politics and his own despair-filled past.

Would you read that?  No?  Not even if it had someone named Tim in it?

Then why are you writing it?

Go introduce a werewolf named Tim, let him kill the annoying characters, and make sure there is no moral.

Now start again.

And have fun,

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2013 in Ponderings