What Your Favourite Book Genre Says About Your Personality

genre favourite

Take a look at your bookshelf, and you’ll probably have no problem determining your favourite genre. The rows of multiple Harry Potter books (all different editions, of course) and the collection of A Song Of Ice and Fire probably means you’re a big fan of fantasy. Or, when you visit your local bookstore, do you find yourself roaming toward the sci-fi section? Perhaps you drift toward the middle where the literary classics are. Wherever you find yourself, take pride: Your favourite genre is awesome, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

The book genre you love most definitely says a lot about who you are as a person. Books can shape you, so it’s only natural that you learned from the characters within, whether they were fairies, aliens, or your average human. So, grab your most treasured books, figure out your favourite genre of novels, and get ready to find out what it means for you. Better than your zodiac sign, your most loved book genre will reveal your truest self:

Classics

You have and will reread just about every classic there is. Jane Austen and Sylvia Plath, Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck — this is the crew that will always be your favourite writers. You were the kid in high school who actually read all of the mandatory books and enjoyed them. You prefer getting to know one person deeply, rather than knowing a couple people on the surface. You tend to cherish the simplicities in everyday life more than anything else.

Fantasy

You prefer to read about huge and complex worlds where your imagination can roam as it pleases. Ever since you were a child, you’ve been more interested in mythology than anything else. You’re a daydreamer, and often zone out while at school or work thinking of the next great adventure you’ll go on. When it comes to your friends, you’ve got some of the best, and you’ll never treat them wrong because you know how valuable true friendship is after reading The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.

Historical Fiction

You love fiction — but you also love facts. You like knowing what’s going to happen, and aren’t a big fan of surprises. You have a very detailed planner on you at all times, but every so often aren’t afraid to indulge in a few spontaneous activities, as long as they are on the pre-approved list. You have a sharp eye for detail and are sometimes (more like always) called a perfectionist in your work. You’re a people-watcher, and enjoy listening to your friends and family tell you stories of their past.

Horror

Like Stephen King, you believe everyone should read more horror books. You aren’t scared easily, and the feeling of adrenaline rising in you is almost addicting. You’re the risk-taker in your friend group, and when you go to an amusement park, you’re the first one in line for the wildest rides. You’re one heck of a storyteller, and your friends know that when you pull out the flashlight at a bonfire, they’re in for a story that’ll haunt them for the rest of the week.

Literary Fiction

You prefer reading about common life problems and troubles that are relatable to just about everyone. You love to learn about people, and the ones you don’t know you make up life stories for as you pass by them on the streets or on your morning commute. You’re a deep thinker, and when it comes to problem solving, you’re probably a pro. You like to look at your life as if it were a movie and are always wondering when the next complicated situation will unfold.

Mystery/Thrillers

After reading Gone Girl, you couldn’t stop thinking about it for weeks. You’re exceptionally talented at picking up on foreshadowing and clues, so your friends tend to stay away from you when Game of Thrones is on to avoid spoilers. You look at life as a mystery itself, and are always searching for the bigger meaning in things. You’re a little quieter than the rest, but that’s only because you genuinely enjoy being a mystery yourself.

Nonfiction

You always have the newest memoir or autobiography in-hand before anyone else does. You’re a great listener and enjoy getting to know someone by their odd quirks and anecdotes. You are often looking for new ways to improve yourself and the lives around you. You love making big gestures because you desire to live a great life worth telling to lots of people someday.

Romance

For you, no book is a great book without a powerful love story included. Your tastes range from Gone with the Wind to Fifty Shades of Gray, and everything in between. You’re a passionate person at heart, and always go the extra mile to satisfy someone you love. You always manage to keep a positive outlook on life, even if you’ve hit rock bottom. You have high expectations when you go on dates, but you’re also pretty talented at wooing just about anyone that glances in your direction, because you never know who might turn out to be the one that sweeps you off your feet.

Science Fiction

You love reading about intergalactic adventures and futuristic events that could one day happen. When you were a kid, you didn’t always fit in because you were thinking about new worlds and characters bigger than the boring middle school you were stuck in. You often have really great ideas but are sometimes afraid to speak up. With your smart wits, you and everyone around you knows you’d be the one to live through any apocalyptic event. You’re a little bit geeky and you don’t care who knows it.

Young Adult

You’re often found in the YA section of Barnes & Noble, scanning for new releases and recommendations. You’re young at heart, and that only makes you more curious and willing to learn new things in life. You’re in tune with your emotions, and are almost always the one your friends go to when they need solid advice. More than anything, you’re independent and take pride in both your successes and failures. You know it’s all part of the process.

***

Via: https://www.bustle.com/articles/109117-what-your-favourite-book-genre-says-about-your-personality

Stephen King: The Writers Voice 

Across a long and prolific career, Stephen King’s works can be shown to evolve alongside the author. This special feature discusses how a writer’s voice in their work is tied to the writer’s personal experience and explores the risk of literary influence by examining specific entries in King’s canon… 

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Stephen King’s personal experience and views on writing have defined his works of fiction. His works, and his writing practices and methods, are reactionary to both the changing landscape of the literary field around the length of his career and also a tumultuous personal life, saddled with substance addiction and, later in life, a near fatal accident. As a burgeoning writer, King’s early works can be examined as works of creative expression, Carrie and Salem’s Lot are unrestrained and evidence of a writer merely wanting to tell a good story. As his fame rose, subsequent novels such as The ShiningMisery, and The Tommyknockers were written under the influence of alcohol and cocaine addiction – to the point where their content reflects and begins to speak out against King’s personal demons. After he became sober, King’s newest novels such as Doctor Sleep and the forthcoming Revival, reflect on addiction from the perspective of a recovering alcoholic, while other works, such as Duma Key, run parallel with his recovery from a near fatal car accident.

King takes large writing risks, with works written under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, and his genre-less collection Different Seasons, showing a writer trying to play with his own public perception by attempting to create works that operate outside of the literary influence attached to his brand. Through these pseudonym authored books, the importance of voice is amplified, and we can also examine the reader’s connection with his works – that a reader can feel they are reading a Stephen King book, despite it not being “written” by Stephen King. As society evolves, King’s works also exist in the contemporary moment, to the point where he renounces particular works as dangerous in light of a rise in school shootings in the early 2000’s. Finally, King’s cultural influence and work as a writer can be seen as he rose in fame and has morphed from a genre pulp fiction writer to be, sometimes grudgingly, accepted by the literary elite. The esteem also affects how his works are both written and received by the public.

Stephen-King

Stephen King was born in 1947 in Portland Maine.[1] His father left the family in 1949, leaving King to be raised in borderline poverty by his mother. He wrote short stories and a satirical newspaper while attending high school, and graduated with a B.A. in English in 1970 from University of Maine. In 1971 he began teaching high school English while he attempted to carve out a career as a writer. His first fiction sale came in 1967, and was a story called The Glass Floor which he sold to Startling Mystery Stories.[2] While he worked on his novels and taught classes, he sold pulp stories to Men’s magazines such as Hustler and Playboy. In 1973 his first novel, Carrie was sold to Doubleday for publication in 1974 with a pittance of an advance. In 1974, Signet bought the paperback rights to Carrie for $400,000 and King’s writing career was born.[3] Now, Stephen King is simultaneously one of America’s most popular and acclaimed writers. He has published 55 novels since 1973 – including novels written under a synonym, non-fiction, and short story collections – and sold over 350 million books.[4]

With such a long career and a consistent output of new novels, King’s writing process is important to define and understand how and why he works. King advocates a dedicated and structured writing process, whether or not he is stung by creativity or not, he forces himself to write every single day.

I like to get ten pages a day, which amounts to about 2,000 words. That’s 180,000 words over a three month span, a good length for a book. … On some days those 10 pages come easily; I’m up and out and doing errands by eleven-thirty in the morning … Sometimes, when the word’s come hard, I’m still fiddling around at tea-time.”[5]

This kind of strict regime goes some way to explaining his massive output over the years. He expects that a first draft of a novel should take him no more than 3 months or the characters and the situation begin to go stale. King is a writer of routine; every day he wakes up, goes for a three and a half mile walk to clear his head, rereads the last page he worked on to enter back into the world he’s writing in, and then reaches his 2,000 word target for the day. The afternoons he reserves for editing, instead of writing fresh copy.[6]While he admits to writing slower in his old age, lamenting that he used to write more and faster, it is the routine he clings to that is as close as he gets to acknowledging the secret to his success.

By putting himself in same writing mindset every day, King believes he opens himself up to creativity, “Don’t wait for the muse,” King says in his memoir, “Your job is to make sure the muse knows where you’re going be every day from nine ‘til noon. … If he does know, I assure you that sooner or later he’ll start showing up.”[7] Writing to King is a craft over an art[8], and while he does advocate some degree of natural talent to be a great writer, his overwhelming attitude is that creativity and writing talent is a muscle to be honed and refined by learning and discipline. How King writes will be further examined in the context of both a drug addiction and his slow recovery from a near fatal road accident in 1999, as his methods were forced to change. In the midst of his large body of work, it is evident that society and circumstance has shaped his work.

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King’s first novels, Carrie – about a young girl with murderous telekinetic powers, and Salem’s Lot – which focuses on a vampire coven preying on a small town, are spawned from his love of old pulp novels, including H.P. Lovecraft, that he found in his father’s things. As well as 40 cent paperbacks and horror films that he would see at the cinema with his brothers.[9] King admits that as a child, he just liked to be scared, citing these influences as heavily shaping the early works in his oeuvre.[10] This contemporary moment of his childhood still pervades his work, with hard crime novels, The Colorado Kid (2005) and Joyland (2013), intentional throwbacks to the pulp pot-boiler detective mysteries of his childhood, published by an independent paperback press (outside of his regular publishers, Bantam Books or Hodder and Stoughton) with 1950’s cover art to match.[11] He has absorbed and is re-expressing his childhood culture through both of these novels.

But King’s environment and personal place really began to bleed into his work when he struggled with substance addiction in the late 70’s and 1980’s. At first it was a struggle with alcohol. Once his success had started to flow, alcohol was an indulgence that he discovered himself reaching to every night. He defines the moment he thought he was an alcoholic, realising after he’d finished it that his third novel, The Shining – about an alcoholic writer who loses his mind and attempts to murder his family – was actually about himself[12]. It’s not uncommon or particularly hidden that King inserts himself into his novels – the protagonists in The Shining, It, Misery, Bag Of Bones, Secret Window, 1408, Lisey’s Story, Salem’s Lot, and The Dark Half, are all novelists – but The Shining is more direct than that, it’s an effort by King to serve as an exorcism through print of his own demons with alcohol.

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But King further degenerated into addiction, by the mid 80’s he had added cocaine to his long list of addictions. He managed to finally kick the drugs after an intervention in the late 1980’s, but again the seeds of his addiction while he was both high and drunk found their way into his writing. In many cases, King acknowledges that he is unaware how serious his problem was, and that it began to manifest itself into his books,

Yet the part of me that writes the stories, the deep part that knew I was an alcoholic as early as 1975 … began to scream for help in the only way it knew how, through my fiction and through my monsters.”[13]

To further his point, The Tommyknockers concerns aliens who grant people superb clarity and energy at the cost of their soul, much like the drug cocaine. Cujo is the story of a big black dog torturing a mother and child trapped in a car, a surrogate for King’s own addiction and its growing impact on his family. Misery is about a nurse (Annie Wilkes) who kidnaps a writer and forces him to write for her. King acknowledges that novel as the turning point in both his writing and addiction, acknowledging that his own writing was a slave to a similar master.

Misery is a book about cocaine. Annie Wilkes is cocaine. She was my number one fan.”[14]

King has been sober from drugs and alcohol since Misery was published in 1987, his characters started to take on a more reflective quality. King’s more recent fiction deals with the long road to recovery he endured, the primary characters in two of his latest novels – Doctor Sleep, and Revival – are recovering addicts. In Doctor Sleep the protagonist is a recovering alcoholic, while Revival chronicles a chronic heroin user. It is clear that King’s writing is influenced by the context and experience of his life, either recalling the passion and literature of his voice, struggling in the throes of addiction, or looking back on his road to recovery. King’s fiction deals with devils and demons, both in the supernatural horrors that stalk his books, and the demons that pervade his own life.

The societal influence and impact of King’s work is not a one way street. While King expresses his own experiences and demons within his work, his work is also worked and shaped by the culture in which it is read. As society evolves, King’s works also exist in the contemporary moment. They are well known for being laden with pop culture references. With regards to his international readership, King “is synonymous… with what they know of America and the extent to which they can identify with it.”[15] That is, when reading King’s work the reader gets a cross-section of “King’s America”. He is credited with understanding and expressing the people that populate contemporary America, Walter Mosely praising him when awarding the National Book Award in 2003 as having an “almost instinctual understanding of the fears that form the psyche of America’s working class.”[16] Magistrale writes:

Supernatural vampires and monsters may be the great popular attractions long associated with King’s art, but at the heart of his best work is a deep-seated awareness of the very real anxieties about how Americans live and where we are going.”[17]

It’s incredible that a writer who specialises in filling his pages with monsters, magic, and aliens, is so frequently praised for his realism, and it demonstrates that “King’s America” is so rich that many of these mythical creatures bring out and demonstrate a cultural relevance for a reader. This is because King’s supernatural world exists within a painstakingly crafted portrait of suburban America over the past 50 years. But King also branches away from himself, pushing the boundaries of his own genre by writing under pseudonyms, to escape the preconceptions a book with Stephen King on its cover brings with it.

King’s volume of work is so large that his works interact with each other in many ways. The Dark Tower fantasy series dips in and out of much of his genre oeuvre, featuring characters and events from other novels – and even features third person appearances by the author himself, and much of King’s genre fiction is set in the fictional area around Derry, Maine. This ties all of King’s work together along a familiar seam, bringing his novels together as a life’s work, despite significant differences between the novels.

The most interesting are the books that King deliberately chooses to isolate from his canon, by writing them as Richard Bachman. Richard Bachman was the pseudonym King used to write five novels – Rage (1977), The Long Walk (1979), Roadwork (1981), The Running Man (1982) and, Thinner (1984) – with King finally announcing that Bachman had died of “cancer of the pseudonym” in 1985.[18] While the jaded and prevailing reason touted by critics for Bachman’s existence is that King was over publishing the market with his own name, King himself gives several reasons for writing under a pseudonym in the introduction to The Bachman Books. He suggests that the fame of his early novels was impeding his creativity and voice, and that “I feel like Mickey Mouse in Fantasia. I knew enough to get the brooms started, but once they start to march, things are never the same.”[19]

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He reflects upon his own publishing success as a great amount of luck or an accident, so he began to doubt his own writing in the books he was publishing as Stephen King. He stated: “maybe you try to find out if you could do it again. Or in my case, if Bachman could do it again.”[20] King was countering his own doubts in his oeuvre by using Bachman to validate himself. Further to validating himself, King used Bachman to step outside of his genre and find a new voice. Only Thinner is a serious horror novel in the brand of King – it is no coincidence that it is the novel that exposed the ruse – while the rest are attempts to prove that King could write serious fiction novels. In this way he rebels against his own catalogue of writing.

I think I did it to turn down the heat a little bit; to do something as someone other than Stephen King.”[21]

After Bachman was exposed was not the last time King consciously reacted to his status as a commercial horror writer – his 1982 collection Different Seasons was a collection of novellas which had a high focus on dramatic plots instead of King’s standard monsters and mayhem formula. In the introduction, King discusses talking to his publisher about wanting to do a serious collection and his publisher attempting to talk him out of it. A deal was struck that he could put together the book if he included one story with horror elements. Again, King rebels against his own writing, over time continually pushing himself to redefine his writing as having a value outside of the commercial horror novels he was known for.[22]

King also brings a high level of self awareness to his work, able to look back on works in his own oeuvre with a critical eye and, often, lament. This also demonstrates the life experience that King was pouring into his books, with his view on his work often complementing his state of mind at the time. He says of the books he wrote while he was high that he doesn’t remember writing Cujo[23], and that his least favourite book is The Tommyknockers which he acknowledges as “an awful book… there’s a really good book in there, underneath all the cocaine.”[24]

After he was involved in a serious car accident he was doped up on Oxycontin to deal with the pain. This impacted his writing of Dreamcatcher, and he rebukes that as “another book that shows the drugs at work.”[25] In an open source interview he laments the books he wrote before he quit drugs and alcohol, “As far as dope and booze goes, I’d like to have some of those early books back.”[26] But he also acknowledges the contemporary place that his literature has in both his own canon and the world around.

One of his Bachman novels, Rage, centres on a teenage boy taking a school classroom hostage with a semi-automatic pistol. He shoots two teachers dead throughout the course of the novel, and threatens to kill many of his classmates for various reasons – a major theme is the girls who refuse to date him. Rage was linked to 4 real life school shooting incidents between 1988 and 1997, where the shooter either admitted to being inspired by Rage, or a copy of the novel was found in their possessions.[27] King decided to remove the book from print and from bookstores entirely – including subsequent editions of omnibus collections. “I pulled it because in my judgement it might be hurting people, and that made it the responsible thing to do,”[28] says King. Rage reflects the contemporary moment of modern America and King, over time, became uncomfortable with his work’s cultural impact and so removed it from the shelves. In this way, King is able to look back upon and redefine his own oeuvre over time.

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King’s work not only interacts with his own oeuvre, but also with other works of contemporary fiction in the literary sphere. King’s place in literary culture and history is an interesting one, seeing him morph from a pulp writer into a respected elite literary figure. Partly this is due to the fact that those that grew up reading him “under the covers with a flashlight at summer camp,”[29] are now editors, writers, and judges on awards panels. King has slowly been turning around his presence as a genre writer in the eyes of his peers, getting sick of being asked at dinner parties by the literati, “so when are you going to write something serious?”[30] This is in part due to his attempts at serious fiction collections – such as the previously discussed Richard Bachman novels, or Different Seasons, but also more recent efforts that have tended towards literary – such as Lisey’s Story or Hearts in Atlantis.

The New Yorker, writing in 2014, states, “here’s an interesting fact about King: he’s not really, or exclusively, a horror writer.”[31] And King was rewarded the respect of his peers and the industry in 2003 when he received a Medal for Distinguished Contribution to Letters from the National Book Association. There was much dissent over the giving of the award to King, and King himself has often and audibly rebelled against his most outspoken critics – in one novel, It, the main character is chastised for writing a horror story, when he storms out his class saying “Why does a story have to be socio-anything… Can’t you guys just let a story be a story?”[32]. Kings mocks such literary criticism in his memoir,

Even if a writer rises in the estimation of an influential critic or two, he/she always carries his/her early reputation along, like a respectable married woman who was a wild child as a teenager… A good deal of literary criticism serves only to reinforce a caste system which is as old as the intellectual snobbery that nurtured it.”[33]

Receiving an award from the National Book Association was a major moment in King’s career, especially among his peers and being placed among other works deemed “important” in the literary sphere. King himself saw it as an extremely positive omen, allowing him to rebel against the caste system that he believes literary criticism enforces.

Giving an award like this to a guy like me suggests that in the future things don’t have to be the way they’ve always been. Bridges can be built between the so-called popular fiction and the so-called literary fiction,”[34] said King in his acceptance speech.

Here he identifies what makes his place among his peers so valuable, that he bridges the gap between the high literary elite and the popular authors, and, slowly, through a lifetime’s work, he is deconstructing that barrier. Meanwhile, respected critics like Harold Bloom were extremely outspoken at King’s award, calling King “an immensely inadequate writer on a sentence-by-sentence, paragraph-by-paragraph, book-by-book basis,”[35] of which King says:

Bloom pissed me off because there are critics out there, and he’s one of them, who take their ignorance of popular as a badge of intellectual prowess… It was the assumption that if fiction was selling a lot of copies, it was bad. … That’s elitist. I don’t buy it.”

The argument rages on even now on either side of the literary sphere, but it’s undeniable that the role his novels play in gaining respect for other contemporary writers who may be dismissed as “rich hacks”[36] such as Michael Crichton, John Grisham, or Tom Clancy is an important one. King’s placement in the literary sphere as a bridge between popular and literary works, and the acknowledgement of his contribution to American literature is “a step in the right direction,”[37] and a major driving force behind much of his later works.

King’s influence as a brand, instead of just a writer, is a strong one. Many of his critics use this to influence their judgement of him as still being a pulp novelist, pointing out the many unsuccessful adaptations of his work as an example, or criticising that his writing pace – one or two books a year – must be evidence of lacking quality. While it’s true that schlocky or inadequate films or television series of King’s work serve to expose flaws in his storytelling and dilute the brand of his name, King sees it differently, preferring to sell the rights and allow the filmmakers to have their own interpretation of the story. He distances himself from both the successful and the unsuccessful adaptations:

The movies have never been a big deal to me,” says King, “The movies are the movies. They just make them. If they’re good, they’re terrific. If they’re not, they’re not.”[38]

Stephen King’s work as a writer exerts a major cultural influence over the last forty years of literature. He demonstrates strong discipline and application to the way he approaches his writing, sticking to a schedule and forcing himself to write every day, thereby maintaining a prolific publication rate. His novels reflect parts of who he is, and through different eras represent him as a new writer dedicating tributes to the novels of his youth, to a cocaine and alcohol addict, to a recovering alcoholic and injured writer. His works also examine contemporary American society, absorbing and revealing a true realism underneath the supernatural forces in his works.

His work as a writer with respect to his own oeuvre is a dedicated one – he has sought to push himself out of the boundaries of a genre writer by operating under a pseudonym and publishing bold creative choices, while he also acknowledges the outside social influence of his novels and their interaction with culture, to the point of renouncing novels that he sees as dangerous. He also publicly decries the books he wrote while under the severe influence of drugs. King’s work interacts with the literary sphere as a bridge between elitist literary circles and popular genre fiction. It’s a battle he has not won, but he exerts a significant literary influence that is beginning to develop a grudging respect on both sides.

A lot of readers say they read to escape themselves, while this may be true for King’s avid fans, it is just as true of the author. King writes to set himself free. For King, the work writing of novels is not the challenging part of his job, “Not writing is the real work.”[39]

***

For all references follow this link: https://writersedit.com/4750/authors/stephen-king-writers-voice/

10 Weird Habits Of Book-Lovers That Non-Readers Don’t Understand

weird habits of readers

We all have unique hobbies that come with their own set of quirks, but sometimes it seems that book lovers have some weird habits. Admit it: If you love to read, you have a long list of little things you do because of this hobby, and your friends who don’t share a love of books just don’t get it. You’ve tried to explain, but for some reason, non-readers sometimes just can’t relate to your bookish struggles. While they’re busy with their own hobbies, they’re staring at you wondering what in the world you’re doing.

Simultaneously, your fellow book lovers are staring at you because they’ve definitely been in your shoes before. I always feel an affinity with fellow readers, because I can’t help thinking that they understand a very important part of me, and I understand an important part of them. Which means we both understand the weirdness that comes with the territory.

Whether you love to read literary fiction, YA, nonfiction, or any other number of genres, just being a book lover puts you in a very special group of people. So never fear. We literature aficionados can completely understand all those weird habits that you have… even if non-readers don’t.

1. Leaving Books In Random Places

You have a bookshelf, but you’ve also left books in other (admittedly weird) places. It’s not unusual for you to wake up, roll over, and disturb a pile of novels you left amidst the covers. And pretty much every nook and cranny of your living space is full of books, because who can fit everything on a bookshelf??

2. Completely Missing A Conversation Because You’re Reading

Some people need peace and quiet to read, but you could lose yourself in a book and miss an entire conversation. Your friend could be abducted by an alien and return… and you’d still be reading when they got back.

3. Being Really Frugal… Except When It Comes To Books

You’re SO good with your money… until you walk into a bookstore. Suddenly, you’re just throwing stacks of bills at the cashier so you can get that beautiful copy of Pride and Prejudice that you NEED. Never mind the fact that you still have a TBR pile to rival the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

4. Spending Hours In A Bookstore Or Library

Speaking of bookstores, you could spend a lot of time in one. And libraries are basically black holes to you, because when you walk in, it’s the morning, and when you walk out, it’s dark outside. Still, you have no better happy place than a room full of books.

5. Talking For A Weirdly Long Time About The Smell Of Books

Every book lover has waxed poetic at one point or another about the smell of books. And when you pick up a new book in the bookstore, the first thing you do is give it a sniff. Ah, l’amour!

6. Talking About Fictional Characters As If They’re Real

You’ve had long, drawn-out conversations with fellow book lovers about fictional characters, as if they’re real people. Because in a way, they are real to you. And when non-readers ask who you’re talking about and you try to explain, they’re completely mystified by your intense dedication to the personal life of someone who exists only on the page. It’s fine; let them be confused. You know how much it matters.

7. Being Very Particular About How You Arrange Your Bookshelf

Maybe you arrange your bookshelf alphabetically, or by colour, or by a complicated system based on your current favourites. Whatever the system, you hate to have it disrupted, and you are very particular about the overall aesthetic of your bookshelf.

8. Getting Into Heated Arguments About Literature

If someone doesn’t like your favourite book, that is complete justification for an all-out argument. In fact, few things get you more heated than arguing about books. You can tolerate most things, but if your partner/friend doesn’t feel the same as you do, that’s grounds for divorce.

9. Having Strong Feelings About Book-To-Movie Adaptations

Speaking of book-related arguments, you’ve had a couple about book-to-movie adaptations. Whether you loved or hated the movie version, if your favourite book was turned into a movie, you probably have very strong feelings about it. (Also, you’re still upset that you weren’t asked to star in it.) You know exactly which bits they cut, and whether the dialogue was used word-for-word.

10. Packing A Suitcase Full Of Books

Yes, it is necessary to have two suitcases: one for clothes, and one for books. Because even if non-readers don’t understand, you know how important it is to always be prepared. And being prepared means having plenty of reading material at the ready.

Via: https://www.bustle.com/articles/172166-10-weird-habits-of-book-lovers-that-non-readers-dont-understand

A Word Factory Masterclass with Louise Doughty | Words Away

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Today on Writer’s Blog, I want to share a fantastic article from Words Away on what she learnt at a Word Factory event. I found the whole thing really informative and valuable for my writing, and I hope you will too.

Enjoy! x

How do you work out if your idea is a short story or a novel? You begin writing in one form only to discover that your work has mutated into something else entirely. I attended an excellent masterclass recently, Where The Narrative Leads, with Louise Doughty, run by the Word Factory. Who better to help you work out if your idea can go the distance or is destined to crystallise into a short story than with an award-winning novelist, screenwriter and short story writer? Tucked away in the basement of Waterstones Piccadilly, Louise chatted about her writing process, touching on the main aspects of plot and narrative structure. There was lots of opportunity to ask questions and do some exercises to apply to our own writing.

Who knows where the origin of a story comes from – something grabs the imagination and grows. Two of Louise’s novels, Apple Tree Yard and Black Water, were each inspired by an image of a single character in a situation and started as short story ideas. So why did those short stories turn into a novel? According to Louise there are two elements at work, the first being your character; Look at their biography. If, as Paul Klee suggested, ‘drawing is taking a line for a walk’ why not take your character for a walk. Ask questions of your character; what age are they? What year is the scene set? Interrogate history and events. Play around with what you find. When something starts bothering you – that could be your idea. Anything that feels ‘noteworthy’, find a way to get it in to your story. Join the dots and make connections. Secondly, scrutinise the world in which the character finds themselves; While on a visit to Bali and gripped by jet lag, Louise was seized by an image of a man mortally afraid and lying awake in a hut, listening to rain on the roof. She didn’t know anything about Indonesia or it’s history but set about finding out. Your own ignorance can be a driver more than the stuff you know about. Don’t be stymied by research; if it interests you it will interest the reader. Go and visit your novel – if possible. Walk it out. There’s no substitute for going on location. A pragmatic decision can become a thematic one. Find your way around the limits of your knowledge.

One of the most interesting parts of the evening was looking at the formal principals behind narrative structure. According to the filmmaker, Jean-Luc Godard, ‘All stories should have a beginning, middle, and an end, but not necessarily in that order.’ Referring to the Screenwriter’s Workbook by Syd Field, Louise suggested adapting a few screenwriters tricks to help structure your novel. There was a hand out with a diagram dividing the story into quarters, with a set-up, a mid point and a resolution. Three ‘plot points’ divided the narrative. A plot point takes the course of the narrative, turns it around and spins it in another direction. There’s no going back from this experience. A plot point is not an event that happens but rather when something has impacted on the character’s life to cause irrevocable change. It does not have to be large or dramatic. The point is change.

I loved hearing about Louise’s intuitive approach to writing which she described as a chaotic ‘jigsaw method’ and heartened to learn she writes without worrying too much about outcome. Inspired by an image or a subject she gets up and writes whatever comes into her head that day. Herein lies the joy! Researching along the way, she writes scenes, generates loads of material and leaves gaps as she writes. She’ll go back and fill those in later. She described the physical process of printing out the scenes, then laying it all out on the kitchen table or floor. She looks for her corner scenes, picks out the edges and what might be the beginning or end. She maps it all out into piles of three or four and from this she has a working draft. If overwhelmed she simplifies the story, cutting scenes ruthlessly.

If you’ve never been to a Word factory event, I urge you to go. The guest authors are brilliant if not legendary and, whether you’re a beginner or seasoned scribe, the atmosphere is welcoming and writer friendly. If you’d like a flavour of previous masterclasses click here to read about a couple with Neil Gaiman and Tessa Hadley. It was a great evening with thanks to Louise Doughty, Cathy Galvin and the Word Factory team. I’ve scarpered back to my writing cave to see if I can put some of what I’ve learned into my own writing. Let’s see what the summer brings.

Kellie

PS: With Louise Doughty’s masterclass in mind, YA author Non Pratt has blogged brilliantly about her approach to writing and revising a novel. And thinking about ‘plot points’ and change, I love editor and writing mentor Andrew Wille’s blog highlighting the wisdom of Ursula Le Guin in Steering The Craft:

Conflict is one kind of behaviour. There are others, equally important in any human life, such as relating, finding, losing, bearing, discovering, parting, changing. Change is the universal aspect of all these sources of story. Story is something moving, something happening, something or somebody changing.

Links: The Word FactoryLouise DoughtyPaul KleeJean-Luc GodardThe Screenwriter’s Workbook by Syd Field,

Via: http://www.wordsaway.info/a-word-factory-master-class-with-louise-doughty

15 Things Book-Lovers Do Better Than Anyone Else

book lovers

In some ways, book-lovers are just like ordinary people. We do things like talk and walk around and eat bread. But hang around a true book-lover for long enough, and you’ll start to notice a few key differences. For example, where a normal pedestrian might spend their money on rent or food, a book-lover prefers to live in a large cardboard box surround entirely by hardcovers. Book-lovers will frequently claim to be “bummed” that they can’t make it to your boyfriend’s cover band competition, when in fact they are quite content to stay home and read. There are also a few hidden talents that all book-lovers possess, so here are several things that book-lovers do better than anyone else.

Of course, book-lovers tend to keep their secret superpowers pretty quiet most of the time. We’re not going around bragging about our ability to find 99p paperbacks within a five mile radius of any given location. We’re not trying to make other people feel bad, just because we’re better at eating spaghetti while reading without getting sauce on the pages. And we’d definitely never let anyone know how good we at rereading the same book over and over again without ever getting bored.

But just in case you need a reminder, here are a few things that book-lovers do better:

1. Notice every change between book and movie

Even if we like the film adaptation, most book-lovers take intense mental (or literal) notes on every scene, character, and line of dialogue that’s different. We might forget birthdays and keys, but we remember every Ron line that was inexplicably given to Hermione in the movie. Same goes for TV shows. Don’t watch Game of Thrones with me unless you want to hear my lengthy feelings about the changes to the Dorne plot line.

2. Pull all-nighters

If the book is good enough, book-lovers have the ability to go for long periods of time without food, sleep, or social interaction. All we need is a flashlight and a novel, and we’re happy until dawn. We might not be great at showing up to work on time the next morning, but we don’t let a little thing like sleep deprivation get in the way of reading.

3. Concentrate while on the train/bus/airplane

So what if we miss a stop every once in a while? Book-lovers are excellent at shutting out the so-called “real world.” We might prefer peace and quiet, but in a pinch we can read just about anywhere (which also makes us excellent at avoiding eye contact with strangers).

4. Keep a well-loved book together by sheer force of willpower

What some people consider a loose pile of pages, we consider a beloved member of the family. Some book-lovers are more precious with their books than others, but all book-lovers are naturally gifted at nursing damaged and “well-loved” books through multiple re-reads. Tape is a book-lover’s best friend.

5. Daydream

Even when book-lovers aren’t actively reading, we have some pretty finely-tuned imaginations. It’s hard to read a lot without becoming a thoughtful, creative person in the process. Especially for fiction junkies, all that literature gives your mind the fuel it needs to stare dreamily out the window on a rainy day, or to spend a calculus lecture thinking deeply about being married to Mr. Darcy.

6. Follow two (or five) plots at once

Some book-lovers are strictly one-book-at-a-time readers… but most of us have developed a talent for jumping from plot to plot without skipping a beat. We’ve go our ongoing re-reads, our book club reads, our new releases in hardcover, and our pocket sized paperbacks, for when you don’t want to carry a big bag. And we can tell you exactly what’s going on in all of them.

7. Balance books in weird positions

Of course, book-lovers prefer to read in a cozy chair or on a picturesque park bench under a cherry tree. But we make do. We’re all excellent at balancing books while eating, cooking, exercising, brushing our teeth, and doing all those other inconvenient things we frequently have to do when we’re right in the middle of a great chapter.

8. Apply literature to life

Sometimes it’s frustrating to be a book-lover. You just want to explain how Shakespeare, or George R.R. Martin, or Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie perfectly encapsulates all of your feelings about a particular political issue, but other people don’t seem to get it. That’s OK, book-lovers. Your ability to see how literature reflects real life and visa versa is actually a skill, and you’re not nuts to think that books might help you better understand the real world. Fiction does make you more empathetic, after all.

9. Find the perfect reading spot

Readers just have sixth sense for finding cozy reading spots. Everywhere we go, we’re low-key checking out coffee shops, parks, and window seats for maximum reading coziness. Add a cup of tea and a purring cat, and we have engineered peak reading comfort.

10. Walk and read

Walking and reading is an activity that should only be attempted by veteran book-lovers. But for those elite few, walking and reading is as natural as walking and talking. Just make sure you look both ways at the crossroad, if you’re planning to try this one at home.

11. Write

Not every book-lover has to be an aspiring author themselves. But most readers just tend to be better writers: whether it’s writing a story, a blog, or a text message, readers have an innate sense of language, imagery, and where to put commas.

12. Fall madly in love with fictional characters

OK, so this one may not be a talent per say… but book-lovers most certainly do it better than anyone else. Literary crushes are intoxicating, because the reader has total control over imagining what their dream date looks like, how they wear their hair, how they smell, and so on. Step aside, people crushing on TV characters.

13. Budget for maximum book purchasing

Look, we go to the library. We borrow books from our friends. We prowl the used bookstore. But sometimes you just need to shell out for a new release, and that’s where book-lovers become budgeting experts. We’ll gladly sacrifice eating out, fancy cocktails, and possibly electricity if we can get our hands on that shiny new hardcover.

14. Find creative book storage solutions

Those shelves fill up quickly, man. And then we’ve got to get creative. Any book-lover knows the struggle of trying to fit an infinite number of books into a finite amount of space. Luckily, most of us are brilliant when it comes to stashing books under the bed, in the unused oven, and behind the books that are already on the shelf (double-shelving, anyone?).

15. Read

Well, duh. But some book-lovers don’t realize just how good they are at reading. Reading is a skill. Understanding what you read, rather than just skimming, is an art. Not everyone is good at translating squiggles on a page into thrilling adventures and sweeping romance. A book is really only as good as the reader’s imagination, and book-lovers are pretty great when it comes to imagining.

Via: https://www.bustle.com/p/15-things-book-lovers-do-better-than-anyone-else

Misprint Legends: Famous Typos from James Joyce to JK Rowling

Typos

Today on Writer’s Blog, an article from the Guardian that proves typos can be worth their weight in gold – as long as your famous, that is!

Proofreaders may be worth their weight in gold to authors, but their oversights have proved lucrative for some lucky readers of JK Rowling. On Thursday, an uncorrected proof of her debut novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, with the writer’s name was misspelled as “JA Rowling”, became the latest muddled copy to fetch four figures at auction.

It sold for just under £10,000, which means it is not the most valuable mistake in the boy wizard’s canon. That honour goes to a rare first edition with the word “philosopher” misspelled on the back cover, which was snapped up in 2016 by a London-based businessman for £43,750.

Mistakes in early editions may add value to Rowling’s work, but they rarely do more than make the reader laugh, which is the true value of a well-placed typo.

One of the best literary malapropisms in print appears in Theodore Dreiser’s 1925 classic An American Tragedy. In a passage of which Bad Sex award-winner Morrissey would be proud, two characters dance “harmoniously abandoning themselves to the rhythm of the music – like two small chips being tossed about on a rough but friendly sea”. Dreiser omits whether those chips were served with curry sauce.

The American novelist is not the only literary heavyweight to litter his work with errors. The most shocking thing about Henry Miller’s tale of sex and seduction in Paris, Tropic of Cancer, was the number of mistakes to be found in the 1961 first edition. In first editions of The Road, Cormac McCarthy offers this inexplicable image: “A moment of panic before he saw him walking along the bench downshore with the pistol hanging in his hand, his head down.” For “bench” read “beach”.

Some apparent typos are deliberate – though it can be hard to tell. Given that much of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake makes little sense anyway, it is hard to spot an error by Joyce’s friend Samuel Beckett, to whom he dictated the novel. During one of their dictation sessions, Joyce answered a knock at the door with “Come in” – which Beckett promptly wrote down. Despite making even less sense than much that had gone before, Joyce liked the error and left it in the final version.

Whether by gods of literature or the God of the Bible, mistakes have a habit of appearing in books like molehills in a lawn. The most notorious one in the Good Book appeared in a 1631 edition, known since as the Wicked Bible because the typesetters failed to add the word “not” to the 10 Commandments, leaving the pious free to steal, murder and commit adultery.

But the king of all typo-riddled books is Jonathan Franzen’s 2010 novel Freedom. HarperCollins wound up pulping the entire first print run of 80,000 copies after it emerged that an early version of the book was sent to the printers by mistake. As a result, the book teemed with hundreds of mistakes in grammar, spelling and even characterisation.

The Corrections author discovered the catastrophe surrounding his eagerly anticipated book in a brutally public way. Recording a reading for the BBC current affairs show Newsnight, Franzen came to an abrupt halt and said: “Sorry, I’m realising to my horror that there’s a mistake here that was corrected early in the galleys and it’s still in the fucking hard cover of the book.”

Anyone who held on to that edition of the book would have been better exchanging it. As rare book dealer Rick Gekoski predicted in the Guardian at the time the big print run meant that the mistakes had “zero premium … I wouldn’t give you 50p extra”, he said. Seven years on, he has been proved right: the most valuable first editions of Freedom that appear on Abebooks are copies published as the author intended.

Via: https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2017/misprint-the-legends-famous-typos-from-james-joyce-to-jk-rowling

What Your Reading Style Says About Your Personality

reading style

If you’ve ever encountered a fellow reader in a classroom or a book club or living in the walls of an independent bookshop, then you probably know that there are many different types of readers. And I don’t just mean that different readers favour different book genres — people can enjoy the same book in very different ways. You might be a highly organized, one chapter per night kind of reader, or you might be the kind of person who picks up a novel and doesn’t put it down until you’ve reached the last page, dehydrated and sobbing. The good news is that there’s no one right way to be a book-lover, so here’s what your reading style says about you.

Of course, most of us dabble in multiple reading styles. When I’m reading a biography, for example, I’ll read a chapter or two during my commute and spend a lot of time thinking quietly about the impact of one individual on the grand course of history. But if I’m reading the latest bestselling fiction thriller novel, I’ll hole up in my room until I’m finished, and then spend a lot of time discussing it with everyone I know until they stop taking my calls.

So check out your these different reading styles, and what they say about you:

1. The Cozy Reader

You don’t even think about cracking open that book until you’ve got your slippers, sweatpants, blankets, and warm drink of choice firmly in place. You like your reading time to be quiet and solitary (unless you have a best friend or significant other willing to cuddle in silence). You’re religious about taking off your pants and/or bra as soon as you get home, your bed is the most comfortable place in the world, you prefer cats to dogs, and you check “interested” instead of “going” on all Facebook invites, just in case you’d rather stay home.

2. The Commuter

You have to take the train/bus/ferry everyday anyway. Why not put that time to good use? You’re a pro at blocking out all sights and smells while you read, and you can balance a book, a bagel, and a cup of coffee while holding onto a pole, wedged between two business bros. You’re not afraid to be judged for the books you read in public, and you’re excellent at making the most of your time.

3. The Speed Reader

You devour books whole. You were always getting in trouble as a kid for reading at the table, or under your desk during class, but all that youthful reading gave you the ability to rip through paragraphs in record time. You feel like you’ve wasted a week if you weren’t able to make it through a single book, and no matter how fast you read it always seems like your TBR list is getting longer. At least once, you’ve started a “new” book, only to realise that you’ve read it before (it’s hard to keep track!).

4. The Book Clubber

When you finish a book, you want to talk about it. You need to talk about it, preferably over wine with people you like. It doesn’t matter if you loved or hated the book, you have opinions to share! If you read a book outside of book club, you might even venture online just to discuss it with someone. You also enjoy bite-sized finger foods, starting debates, and throwing themed birthday parties for your friends/pets.

5. The Digital Reader

You’re all about Kindles and E-readers of every kind. You like having all your books in one place, especially when you travel. You never type when you can speak into your phone, you own real headphones, not earbuds, and you have a strong opinion about the proper pronunciation of “gif.”

6. The Series Junkie

Sure, you’ll read the occasional stand alone book, but deep down you’re a die-hard series junkie. Nothing gets your heart racing like seeing “Book One” on the cover of that new novel you just purchased. You’re enthusiastic and deeply protective of the books and people that you love. You may or may not own several mugs/key chains/candles based on your favourite series, you’ve read at least one piece of fanfiction, and you always display your books in order on the shelf.

7. The Re-Reader

Your favourite books are held together with tape and sheer willpower. You could probably recite Harry Potter from memory. You know that re-reading isn’t for everyone, but you secretly believe that you haven’t really read a book until you’ve read it at least twice. You’re big on posting Throwback Thursday pics, and you’re not afraid to get a little nostalgic about everything from The Baby-sitters’ Club to Furbies.

8. The Slow & Steady Reader

Reading isn’t all about speed. You don’t race to the last page, but you still enjoy a good book. You might leisurely work your way through an 800 page novel over the course of the year, and that’s still quite an accomplishment. You choose your words carefully, but when you speak, people listen (your friends won’t let you pick the restaurant anymore, though, because no one has that kind of time).

9. The Scribbler

Some people call it desecrating a book, but you call it taking notes! When you read, you simply have to underline and highlight and comment on every sentence that strikes you. You’re all about writing in the margins (what else are the margins for?) and collecting quotes. You’ve caught multiple typos before. You jiggle your foot a lot when you try to sit still, you were always the first to raise your hand in English class, and you have extensive thoughts about why that pivotal scene got cut out of the HBO adaptation of your favourite book.

10. The Audio Addict

You have no time for those people who don’t think that audiobooks “count” as “real books.” If you’re walking or cleaning or driving, you better believe that you’re listening to an audiobook. You can read so many more books this way! You have a very active imagination, and you sometimes find yourself daydreaming in your favourite book narrator’s voice.

11. The Book Juggler

Why read one book at once when you could read five? You’re constantly starting new books, and you’re pretty adept at holding multiple plots in your brain at once. You’re a habitual multi-tasker, you bounce between multiple social groups, and your plans are sometimes just a tad more ambitious than you have the time for.

12. The Night Owl

You don’t necessarily plan to stay up all night reading…but here you are at four in the morning, still flipping pages. You’ll go days without picking up a single book, and then read two in one night. You’ll try to stick to one chapter before bed, and wind up reading ten. Something about nighttime just makes it easier to get sucked in! You have a similar problem with binge watching TV shows and eating all the Girl Scout cookies in one sitting, but you’re also a lot of fun when it comes to spontaneous road trips and late night heart to hearts.

***

Via: https://www.bustle.com/p/what-your-reading-style-says-about-your-personality