Archive for October, 2016
I really enjoyed Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code when it first came out in 2003. The writing was solid, with interesting characters, an intriguing plot and an excellent mix of intrigue, exposition and action. When the movie adaptation was announced with Ron Howard and Tom Hanks teaming up once again, I was excited to see what the would do with it. Their vision didn’t disappoint, encapsulating everything that made the book enjoyable in two and a half hours. With the combined success of both the book and the film, a prequel (based on Brown’s original Robert Langdon novel, Angels and Demons) was quickly put into production. Since then, Brown has released two additional sequels in the Robert Langdon series, The Lost Symbol and Inferno, which, for some reason, was picked for adaptation before its predecessor. And because I did find Angels and Demons to be a decent thriller, my expectations were high for the third go around into the world of symbologist Robert Langdon. Read Full Review
“Show don’t tell.”
It’s one of the first things fiction authors learn. It essentially means to set every scene with emotion, details and physical action rather than bluntly telling the reader what happened. For example, if a major battle happens, it’s always more satisfying to revel in all of the gory details than to simply say, “Both sides fought an epic war and side A became the victor.” Readers hunger to be part of the action, as if they are standing right alongside each of the characters. They can’t live every moment if they feel like an outside bystander being told the events of a story secondhand. A reader’s investment relies heavily on details, and when their attention wanes, that’s when a book tends to be replaced with another before “The End” is reached.
Author Jenna Whittaker falls into this trap quite often in her novel, Watership. Though I did sluggishly make it to the final page, it was extremely hard to invest any interest in what was happening. Read Full Review
Keeping Up With the Joneses is one of those movies you really, really want to like. It has an enjoyable cast, some promising ideas and a fish-out-of-water premise that when done correctly, is always fun to be a part of. And who doesn’t like Jon Hamm? He may be best known for his turn on the advertising drama, Mad Men, but having shown great comedic chops with his numerous pop-ins on Saturday Night Live, he settles into this story with ease, matching barbs and clever wits with more seasoned comediennes. It seems, though, that this is where the movie sort of rests, meandering through the potential bubble without ever being able to burst through and delight us the way it promises, instead playing it safe and doing just enough to satisfy its target audience without ever truly blowing them away. Read Full Review
It happens quite often. I’ll come upon a post on Facebook or Twitter of an author referencing word counts in some way.
How many words are too many words?
What’s the correct word count for ?
How many words should there be per chapter?
Should I split my book into two to keep the word counts down?
I have to add/shave ‘x’ amount of words to reach my target number.
This ominous pressure to land the perfect word count for a book or genre for the sheer purpose of writing the “perfect” book really ruffles my feathers. There tends to be a big misnomer out there that if a book in a certain genre is too long, no one will read it, or if a book is too short, readers will think they’re getting jipped. Now, I’m sure there are plenty of readers out there who hate books that are longer than a certain number of pages, or won’t fork out $0.99 for a short story, but the majority of readers, I’m sure, care more about reading a good, strong, compelling story as opposed to how long it may or may not be. And though many a teacher may agree and profess that word counts are the end all, be all of writing, I’m from the school that word counts do not matter one iota. And I’ll tell you why. Read Full Article