Friday, June 29, 2007
But within that bigger story, what's the little story -- what's going on with the rower in the red shirt … that's gotten him or her out of sync with the other rowers?
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
It was winter of the year 1853. A large man stepped out of a doorway.
Henry J. Warburton had never much cared for snowstorms.
Henry hated snowstorms.
God how he hated these damn snowstorms.
Snow. Under your collar, down inside your shoes, freezing and plugging up your miserable soul.
[From John Gardner’s "The Art of Fiction."]
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
I'm working my way through a physics series on DVD, where the professor talks from a classroom set that includes a podium and the ubiquitous image of an atom with its circulating particles. It's a fine little set, quite non-distracting -- except when the professor stands in a certain spot relative to the atom.
I finally couldn't resist snapping a picture of my TV screen.
For more about distractions, see Jerry Weinberg's post about how writers break the reader's trance.
Monday, June 25, 2007
This quote is actually excerpted from a little card that hospitals now give to patients after a test or exam that involves the administration of a nuclear medicine -- for the patients to keep handy in case they accidentally set off an alarm while trying to board certain types of public transportation in the subsequent couple of days.
But taken out of this context, the quote prompts story ideas more along the lines of a thriller ...
Friday, June 15, 2007
That’s me -- a hardened non-fan of shows like “American Idol” -- now sitting agape at the performance of Paul Potts … a cell-phone salesman by day and interpreter of Puccini by night in the current season of Britain’s Got Talent.
Finals are Sunday, June 17.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Mr. Fix-It's suggestions were along the lines of mechanical (plumbing or heating lines) and canine (a Golden Retriever's thumpy wagging tail).
What suggestions might a novelist offer?
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
In mine, smugglers have cut out interior sections from loaves of bread, creating pockets in which to hide their loot.
Then they scattered the removed bread for the birds and squirrels to eat.
Friday, June 1, 2007
Most of the answers to “Where Not?” involved predictable matters of practicality and individual preference: not at work, not while riding in a car/train/plane, not in direct sunshine. But while some readers don’t read in those places, other readers do. A decade ago (even a year ago), I’d have uttered “Duh!” at someone’s answer of “not while driving.” But I’ve recently seen it happen … and not just at a stop light, but at both full speed and in stop-and-go traffic.
So, practicality and preferences aside, imagine some characters who do read in these other, less-likely places:
At the family dinner table
While grocery shopping
In the dentist’s chair
In the shower
In a movie theater
At a birthday party
While walking the dog
At a funeral/ wedding/ in church
While sleeping (great sci-fi potential here!)