General · reading · Writing

Shapes of Stories Infographic

Just saw this breakdown of the different types of stories by Kurt Vonnegut. Someone called Maya Eilam actually created. I’ve never read any of his stories, but it’s interesting. I am trying to decide which shape my WiP fits. Man in Hole? Boy Meets Girl? Boy Meets Girl doesn’t have to romance, I don’t think. I am tempted to graphic it. LOL

In any case, I am going to go look for his rejected thesis. It’s an interesting idea.

reading

Does knowing the ending ruin a story?

I am reading a story and these two guys are out on a date and they are arguing about   whether or not knowing the ending ruins a story.

I am reading this and thinking: not! But, maybe yes.

Then I ask myself: when was the last time knowing the ending put me off a story?

Answer: pretty much never.

I mean, when I don’t like the ending, that’s different. Sometimes I don’t want to finish (reading the book, watching the TV show/movie). But that doesn’t happen a lot.

I rarely go looking for the ending, but I usually don’t put any effort into avoiding finding out what the ending is either. Other people do. They’ll ask me not to tell them the ending of the next movie they haven’t seen. Or, when I ask, they’ll stop at a certain point because they don’t want to ruin the ending for me. Which is nice, except knowing rarely ruins anything for me.

Maybe I am odd that way. Maybe I am not. If I am odd this way, why do television studios play reruns of the same show over and over and over again. And then when the show is canceled, it goes to a different station.  If people didn’t watch the reruns, why air them at all? So I am thinking enough people must watch again to make it worth their while.

And I reread books a lot too so . . . okay so a lot of people don’t reread books, so maybe I am odd.

The ending is only one part of a story. The other parts are just as nice and worth revisiting. More people ought to get that.

 

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday: The Road

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

Still reading The Road. It’s good, but it’s taking longer than I thought.

Inside the barn three bodies hanging from the rafters, dried and dusty among the wan slats of light. There could be something here, the boy said. There could be some corn or something.

– The Road by Cormac McCarthy

 

General · Writing

How I Use My Tablet To Write

I recently got a Nexus 10. I had reasons to get the Nexus 10, but other blogs discuss the merits of the Nexus 10 in far greater detail than I want to.

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One of the things I use the Nexus is for writing. I think I am probably more productive with it than without it.

There are two or three reasons why.

1) Google drive
2) Keyboard
3) Tablet size. Not sure this counts as this is a given.

Google drive makes syncing between my computer and the tablet easy. You could use Dropbox, too, but I like Google drive. I am signed in to Google pretty much all the time so it’s easy. Plus, I used to have issues with Dropbox.

But what makes writing on the tablet so good is the keyboard. I love love love the gesture typing. IMO, gesture typing combines the best of typing and writing by hand.

Mostly I prefer to type a story into the computer, but sometimes you just have to handwrite something. Sometimes nothing else works. That’s why I, and pretty much every other writer keep a notebook on hand.

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Gesture typing is, IMO, a pretty good replacement for handwriting because you have to move your fingers over the screen like moving a pencil across the page. It’s so much more hands-on than typing. You’re still using a real keyboard, the text doesn’t have to be transcribed later on. (I detest transcribing.)

It’s just moving a finger over the screen and writing a word without leaving the screen. (Except for capitals in the middle of the sentence.) I love it.

I wrote my last Friday flash on this and it was as fast as writing on the computer. I’ve written flash on my phone before and it’s much slower.

The 10 inch size of the tablet probably helps a lot. 🙂  It’s almost the size of a normal notebook. The other reason is that I can hold it like I would hold a real notebook. I don’t have to sit hunched over a computer.

So I can write from places where writing was difficult before. Just have to make sure the Google drive document is available off-line, in case there is no WiFi.

I use the standard keyboard that came with the tablet. I’ve heard others are better, but I haven’t experimented with any.

flash friday · General

Friday Flash: Reborn

This flash was inspired from an image on 500px. I cannot find it now, but it was gorgeous. It has 312 words.

A handful of children gathered around the storyteller. The children were sleepy from a rich dinner and the warmth of the fire, but still they clamored for one more story.

“Hush,” she said. “Very well. One last story.” And she began to speak.

Blood seeped across the sky like slow-moving clouds.

She watched and feared.

Around her the villagers paused to watch for only a few wing-beats before hurrying to their homes. They knew what it meant, too. They wanted to be gone before the thrice-cursed priests arrived.

She ignored the pitying glances. Ignored, too, the icy cold and red pellets that fell from the sky and froze in her hair.

She knew her beloved would come back to her; he had promised and he never broke a promise. No matter that the foreign priests turned him and the host he commanded into so much red mist.

The priests, grim in their bright red trousers and robes, did not see her. Fools. Perhaps they thought her a statue.

One pushed past her to the village square she guarded. But the moment his sleeve brushed her arm, he turned to ice. The other priests, seeing this, charged her with knives and scimitars. All of them disintegrated into the cold night.

“And that is why none dare attack us even today,” concluded the storyteller. She smiled and shook her head at the shouts for more. “Off to bed with you now. Go.”

When they were all safely asleep and the room rang with silence, she rose and went to look out the window. There, the same bit of land she had defended so many centuries before. Others had built a white marble statue of her there, but glorified the details of her face.

Still her beloved had not come. But she would abide until he was reborn as the man he was meant to be.

reading · Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday: The Road

It’s National Novel Reading Month. Time to read that classic novel you put off reading.

Last year I read The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This year, I am reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy.  

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With the first gray light he rose and left the boy sleeping and walked out to the road and squatted and studied the country to the south. Barren, silent, godless. He thought the month was October but he wasn’t sure. He hadn’t kept a calendar for years. They were moving south. There’d be no surviving another winter here.

– The Road by Cormac McCarthy

work in progress · Writing

Difficult POV

So I was writing something with multiple point of view characters. One main POV, one secondary POV, one main character. I meant it to be a short story, but it got long. (10,000+ words is a short story, yes?)

Anyway. I am rereading it now and I realize it is utter crap. And not just in the way all-first-drafts-are-crap. No. It really sucks. The POV transitions are not smooth, the voices aren’t distinct and they should be. And I am thinking there are some structure problems too. I feel scraping it and starting over.

A large part of the problem is probably that the last time I wrote a multiple POV story was in highschool. It was a sword & sorcery novel and I didn’t finish it. (It sucked, too.) Everything ever since have been single POV, where the main character is the POV character.

I meant this long story to test the multiple POV waters. I wanted to know what kind of problems I was looking at.  I am seriously considering a novel like that. Very seriously problems, I now realize.

It’ll be challenge and I don’t know if I’m up to it. Maybe I should do some more prep work first, work with both characters separately and than do something with them together. I don’t know.

In the mean time, I am writing something else. Something short and simple. 🙂