reading · science fiction

Surprising Tid-Bit In Apprentice in Death

I finished the latest In Death book, Apprentice in Death. It is the 43rd book in the series and that is pretty cool. I hope they finish the movie soon. Who knows what is going on with it?

There is a high school named after Hillary Rodham Clinton. 

I don’t think she has any high schools named after her in the present, but it’s interesting that she does in the future this book lives in. I mean, lots of famous people have schools named after them. But it gave me quite the jolt to see it in this book.

She may have schools named after her, no matter how this election goes. But I suppose it is more likely if she wins.

It is still sort of surprising to see it there in Apprentice in Death, mentioned all causal-like.

 

 

fantasy · reading

Teaser Tuesday: Dancer’s Lament

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat.

 

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! 

They began their dance. Each spun like a top, gathering speed. The blades began to flex, arcing round the women like whips indeed. Even as they spun, the dancers curled round each other, seeking openings. Now and then, utterly without hint or warning, their blades lashed out, snapping and whistling.

– Dancer’s Lament by Ian C. Esslemont

 

Really enjoying this so far!!!

General · Writing

What is a writing beat?

I mean, in writing a short story or a novel. What is a beat? I first heard the phrase on Writing Excuses, and I have since heard it in a few other places.  untitled-1

Even though Writing Excuses was where I first heard this term, I don’t think they actually define it in any podcast. Anyway, I haven’t found a podcast dedicated to the concept of writing beats. (I would like to hear one, if you are reading, Writing Excuses.)

According to dictionary.com, it can be:

36. Music.
a. the audible, visual, or mental marking of the metrical divisions of music.
b. a stroke of the hand, baton, etc., marking the time division or an accent for music during performance.

37. Theater. a momentary time unit imagined by an actor in timing actions: Wait four beats and then pick up the phone.

And other Katherine Cowley on her site (http://www.katherinecowley.com/blog/10-keys-to-writing-story-beats-in-novels-with-exercises/) defines it as:

The definition: A beat is the smallest story unit in fiction. Individual words are like atoms. Story beats are the molecules, the real building blocks of the story world. There are different categories or types of story beats including a line of dialogue, a moment of action, a moment of reaction, a moment of inaction, a visual image, an emotion, a setting, a theme, or an instance of meta-storytelling.

So having googled writing beat, I still don’t really understand it. How do I identify the beats in a book?

I am pretty sure there are different types of beats. Story, character, plot, emotional, action and so on and so forth. But I don’t think I can tell one beat from another or even identify a single one in a scene. It is quite confusing.

In this first chapter – which is mostly dialog, just one setting, one scene – from Pride & Prejudice, what are the beats?

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1342/1342-h/1342-h.htm

I suppose they must include the last line? Which is the aim of her life? But . . . is that a story beat, a character beat, a plot beat, an emotional beat? One or more of the above? Story, yes; plot, probably; character, probably; emotional; maybe; action; no?

And what is the difference between story and plot beat? I don’t know. I am confused.

A part of me wants to forget this whole notion of writing beats.

General

On Genre and Shelving

This week I went to a library that did not have a separate science fiction shelf. (Or a 657ipiseparate mystery shelf.)  Instead the library put science fiction sticker on the spine and shelved the books in alphabetical order by last name.

I was displeased by this arrangement. I wanted all the science fiction books in one place so I could look at them all at once. I didn’t want to wander through half the library looking for science fiction/fantasy books.

I suppose if I had time to look through all the shelves and was willing to be distracted by interesting covers, it would have been excellent arrangement. But I didn’t have much time, I just wanted a quick look at their science fiction/fantasy selection and see if something looked good.

I may go back if I have a few hours to spare. And can I say how odd it was to see literary classics and science fiction books on the same shelf. Which may have been the point.