February 22nd, 2007

ariel happy

2007 Books #11: The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes, by Jack M. Bickham

this was a short one: 38 brief chapters about the mistakes mentioned in the title, with ways to avoid making those mistakes. there were some explanations of creating conflict that clarified things for me, which is a good thing, since i believe that creating fictional conflict is one of my weak areas.

some of the advice in this book directly conflicted with advice on one of the other books i read recently. the other book (Your First Novel) says that it is extremely important to read your fiction out loud to as many people as possible, especially writing groups; this book says that you should never, ever waste your time by reading your work out loud to anyone, and especially not to bother with getting critiques from writing groups. interesting. i'd have to say that, in general, the advice in Your First Novel sounded more helpful to me than the advice in this book did, but i can't throw this book aside, either, because the parts about conflict were so eye-opening (and maybe that's because, being weak in that area, i needed a Really Simple Walk-through of the topic!).

this all reminds me that, although there are some universal guidelines for writing fiction, there are also areas where individual preferences rule.
Steampunk Nayad #1

not so American Idol-y this year

i tried to watch the audition shows and couldn't stand them, so i thought i'd jump in for hollywood week. hollywood, bleah. on to the top 24 shows. i recorded and watched both, with lavish use of the fast-forward features, to hear the singing with as little of the talky-talky as could be arranged. i may gradually get into it as the herd thins, but i'm not watching avidly at this point. it's unlikely that i'll write about what's happening on the show as much this year as i have in previous seasons (to the great relief of humankind, i'm sure!).

i'll give you a prediction right now, though: female winner. i'll even go so far as to predict two girls competing at the end. i noticed that there were twice as many girls as boys in the hollywood round, so it makes sense that the girls' group had singers who did so much better than the boys this week - twice as many candidates were narrowed down to their final twelve, compared to the boys' final twelve. i don't like that artificial balancing of numbers, btw; the only reason to do it is to have an excuse to have two performance shows each week, but hey, it's their show, and they can sell as much advertising as companies will buy!

i'm looking forward to So You Think You Can Dance, though. nigel is da british bomb. ;)