“This book gives me more information about penguins than I care to have.”
In 1944 a children’s book club sent a volume about penguins to a 10-year-old girl, enclosing a card seeking her opinion.
She wrote, “This book gives me more information about penguins than I care to have.”
American diplomat Hugh Gibson called it the finest piece of literary criticism he had ever read.
god just like. the sheer irony of the fact that mary shelley wrote frankenstein when she was still a teenager. a teenage girl. founder of modern sci fi story telling. and yet now teenage girls are sneered at when they show an interest in ~nerd culture~ and sci fi. i just. man.
YOU OWE YOUR FANDOM TO A TEENAGE GIRL DON’T YOU DARE COME AT ME WITH THAT “FAKE NERD GIRL” BULLSHIT OKAY
1. rolling them at people wearing Native American costumes
I told Miyazaki I love the “gratuitous motion” in his films; instead of every movement being dictated by the story, sometimes people will just sit for a moment, or they will sigh, or look in a running stream, or do something extra, not to advance the story but only to give the sense of time and place and who they are.
"We have a word for that in Japanese," he said. "It’s called ma. Emptiness. It’s there intentionally.”
Is that like the “pillow words” that separate phrases in Japanese poetry?
"I don’t think it’s like the pillow word." He clapped his hands three or four times. "The time in between my clapping is ma. If you just have non-stop action with no breathing space at all, it’s just busyness. But if you take a moment, then the tension building in the film can grow into a wider dimension. If you just have constant tension at 80 degrees all the time you just get numb.”
Rogert Ebert, on Hayao Miyazaki (via pseudolirium)
And this is why I often gravitate to works that have this even if “nothing happens” a lot of the time.
Nick Hornby, A Long Way Down
my conscience versus my heart
HEY TEEN READERS HEY HEY
BENEDICT IS INTERESTED AND YOU SHOULD BE TOO
I’m a young adult author (my book isn’t out for a million years so don’t worry about that) who knows a lot of other young adult authors, and I have a blog and stuff. (Other than this blog. This is my fun blog.)
I want to do a blog series specifically on what teen readers want to read, and what makes them happy, and what makes them vomit all over the book they’re reading.
Like, I want to know if you hate love triangles (actually I’m pretty sure everyone hates love triangles) or if you have a personality that is rarely reflected in the books you read (what is it?) or if there’s something you want to see in a book that you’ve never seen before.
tbh, I feel like sometimes authors focus so much on what we think publishers want that we forget that the whole point is to write what YOU guys want.
Anyway, every so often I’ll think of a question aimed at figuring out what you guys want, and I’ll see if I can find 10-15 teen readers to answer it (the answers can be as short or as long as you please) and then I’ll post the answers on my official fancy writer blog. And this blog too, probably. I can post your answer anonymously or not anonymously, whatever you want.
So, to save me a whole lot of time of stalking people on the divergent tag or whatever, I’d REALLY REALLY appreciate it if you’d like or reblog this post, if you’re a teen reader who wouldn’t mind answering a quick question about what you want to read. That way, I’ll know who to contact with questions.
I’ll follow everybody who likes or reblogs this post, just because I want to follow more teen readers anyway. #youguysareawesome
And hopefully this will eventually result in somebody writing the type of book you want to read!
Winners all around.
(And, I mean, if you’re in your early twenties or whatever, that’s fine. I’m 21 and still feel like I just got used to being 17, so.)
I've been writing the same book for a long time but I'm really unmotivated and unexcited by it. Do you have any tips on how I can feel a great amount of love for my story again?
Awwww, I know that feeling - and it sucks! It’s so disheartening to find that you’ve seemingly fallen out of love with a story that was once very close to your heart.
Writing a book is kind of like getting into a relationship with someone, and once you hit that “we never really talk anymore/I’m not excited by ‘us’/when was the last time we had sex” stage, there’s a few options:
1. Give your book space. You’ve been so close to your book for so long that you feel like you know everything about it. Put simply, your book has become boring. The best way to make something feel new is to take yourself away from it for a while - maybe date other books, maybe give yourself some ‘me’ time. When you come back to it, be it in a month or a year, you’ll have grown a little and you’ll be returning with a new perspective. Besides, some time apart might be just the thing to remember why you loved that book so much in the first place.
2. Reinvent your book. One reason you might feel disillusioned with your book is because it’s simply not working. You’ve been writing it in a specific way for so long that you haven’t realized, or you were too young to realize, that it wasn’t quite the best way for that story to be told. Try throwing everything out the window in a brainstorm session and write down any idea, even crazy ones - starting over with nothing but your characters, rewriting it from a different perspective, making a good character into the bad guy - and maybe one of them will excite you.
3. Break up. It hurts, it really does, but it’s something every writer has to go through. It’s something I went through. You start out with the one book that you really think will be THE book, and you put years into the the book, before you realize it’s not THE book - it’s ‘a’ book. Probably your first book. And while your first book will teach you a lot, in all likelihood, you’ll outgrow it. There are hundreds of possible books waiting to be written by you, and maybe there’s one of them that fits your natural abilities better than the book you’re working on right now. From a personal perspective, the best thing that ever happened to me writing-wise was dropping that first book I’d been working on and reworking for years. And hey, maybe someday, when you’ve written other books and grown so much, you’ll meet that first book in a cafe again.
Good luck and hugs to you - this stuff is hard.
How often should you use the character's names in a story? In contrast, is there a limit on how many times you can replace a name with he/she, if you're not talking about a wide range of characters?
Ooh, this is tricky! Using first-person is a way to somewhat escape this issue, as your MC becomes the easily-identifiable “I” and you only have to worry about the names of your secondary characters.
BUT if we’re talking third person (and I think we are) it can be difficult to strike the balance between A. sounding awkward by using a character’s name too often and B. confusing the reader by not using the name enough, especially if you have a scene with multiple characters of the same gender.
This is one of those little worries that, I feel, can really drag you down when you’re writing. It’s easy to lose the flow of it when you’re preoccupied every single time you use a name or a pronoun.
My suggestion is not to obsess over it WHILE you’re writing, but to do one of two things:
1. If you’re writing in third-person, read a few pages of a book written in third-person before you start writing. (Same goes for first-person.) Pay attention to how often the author uses names versus pronouns, and if they’re successful in making it work. In general, reading some of a book written in a style similar to the one you want to achieve is a good way to remember what you’re aiming for with your writing. Hopefully, it’ll influence the way you right.
2. Ask your beta reader about it. Once you’re done with the draft and you’re handing it off to beta readers, let them know that you’re worried specifically about names versus pronouns. That way they can tell you if it’s a problem with your prose, and where specifically you need to even it out.
I hope that helps!