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text 2018-10-03 11:37
Activity Your Ideas Into Books

Maybe you’re one of those lucky writers whose head is bursting with ideas. Or perhaps you have one idea that’s been nagging you for weeks, always at the edge of your thoughts. Either artifact, you’re itching to begin writing. That’s good. But before you rush headlong into your account, act and ask yourself one question: Is this just an idea, or is it a book?

Ideas, of course, are the seeds of any activity of fiction or nonfiction. But until an idea is fully developed, until you can envision its beginning, middle and end, that one idea might not be enough. The experience of writing for pages about an idea and finally getting nowhere (or getting a pile of rejections) has taught many writers to outline their books before they begin. Many writers also write college essays and then start writing own books. If you need some college essay writing go there to buy. But if the cerebration of an outline sends shivers up your spine, at least cerebration your idea finished and making careful it merits months of writing can economise you future frustration.

Ideas for Fiction

A lot of writers, especially when they’re beginners, get ideas for fiction from their own lives. This can be functional for various reasons: you’re emotionally invested in the issue, you can relate directly to the main character, and if the situation actually happened to you, you’re less likely to be unconsciously basing the account on a book you’ve read. But remember, just because you find this abstraction that happened to you or your child fascinating, it doesn’t mean it will be fascinating to thousands of potential readers. Real often, a real-life event is just that–an event. It’s a vivid environment you recall with pleasure, or a family joke that’s repeated over and over. It evokes alcoholic emotions when you remember it, perhaps you even look back on an event as a corner in your life. But only rarely does reality provide a plot.

When writers adhere also closely to what really happened they fail to develop the elements necessary for a good account: a believable main character who is faced with a problem or conflict, mounting tension as that character tries to solve her problem and experiences setbacks, and a tension- filled climax followed by a resolution that’s solid to the character and the reader. If your main character is really your son, you might not deprivation to get him in ail or communicate rocks in his path. But you have to. It’s the only artifact you’ll create a account that will keep readers hooked and inquisitive how it will end.

Address of endings, if the resolution of your account comes also easily, it’s probably obvious and predictable. Attempt mixing up real life and have the situation evolve in a different direction. Attack yourself, and you’ll attack an editor.

However you get your idea, focus first on whether it’s a plot or a theme. Many times, an initial idea is really the implicit meaning of the account, what the author wants to convey to the reader. Themes should be coupling in their appeal– much as friendship, appreciating one’s own strengths, not judging others also quickly. So play around with the film of events until you develop a plot (what actually happens in the book) that makes this theme clear to the reader. And remember; if you’re exploitation a childhood incident as the foundation of your account, tell it from your childhood stand, not how it feels to you now as an adult.

Ideas for Nonfiction

Your nonfiction book should be based on something you’re truly interested in and passionate about. After all, you’ll be living with this idea for many months. The key to booming nonfiction is to accept your idea and approach it in a artifact that no one else has ever done before. This means doing most of your research before you begin to compose. Don’t bench for the most easily-found information on your topic–your readers have probably read the same information. Keep digging until you find an aspect to your case that strikes you as single. So examine finished the library and book stores to make careful no one else has already beat you thereto.

For a nonfiction idea to become a book, you need enough information to fill the number of pages necessary, depending on the age group for which you plan to compose. Younger children need a foundation of basic facts, but you can also get fairly detailed inside the scope of the approach you’ve chosen as long as you explain concepts in a simple and direct manner (how animals hibernate, why insects are different colors). Older readers can draw on a broader foundation of knowledge, and infer connections between your issue and related subjects. A detailed outline of any nonfiction book is essential to help you accompany if your idea has enough capital and originality, or if you need further research before you begin writing.

Whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, your idea should mean something to you, but also have the potential to mean a lot to your readers. Believe it finished, add thereto, accept the nonessential elements away, and make careful it has a beginning, middle and end. Only so will your “idea” activity into “an idea for a book.”

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review 2018-09-30 19:15
Not That Bad
Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture - Roxane Gay

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

This collection of essays is a very enlightening one: about people who were raped and/or sexually assaulted, about those who work with them, about the rape culture that permeates so many places and societies.

The latter especially is worth mentioning, because little gestures, little ‘jokes’, everyday sexism and attitudes and ‘if you wear those clothes then You’re Asking For It’ sayings are the foundations of something deeper, something that leads to rape, and make it so that no matter what, the victims are still the ones who have to justify themselves. Justify the amount of times they said ‘no’; or whether they said it clearly enough (apparently, for many people, a woman who says no actually means yes… and they never question it, and therefore make a decision based on what they want to hear). Justify and quantify their pain: if it was ‘so bad’, shouldn’t they be dead? And, since they aren't, shouldn’t they be grateful that ‘at least they’re not dead’ (as if that could erase and negate what was done to them)? As if this was but a trifle, something that you just can, and have to, get over with, because mentioning it will Make Other People Uncomfortable.

I guess I should be grateful that the ‘only’ aggression I had to go through dealt with random guys deciding that fondling my thigh in the train was something they had a God-given right to do. Or grateful that they ‘only’ flashed their dick in front of my face. It wasn’t ‘that bad’, right? Well, screw that. At the root of it, our stupid, crappy society is still stuck on Man Sees, Man Takes (sometimes women do that, too, but it’s nevertheless much more often the other way ‘round, because Boys Will Be Boys, and all that rubbish we dump into boys’ heads when they’re still so little). And as long as we don’t wake up and grow up for a change, this won’t go away.

The styles are varied, by various authors (female, male, trans), including even an essay in comics format, while being close enough to clearly resonate as a whole. They read quickly and easily in terms of grammar/vocabulary, and yet remain powerful and hard to stomach as well, due to the theme they explore and the pain they deal with, whether they are actually depressing or carrying some form of hope.

These essays are definitely worth reading: as an eye opener for some, as a reminder in general of what is at stake, of the day to day attitudes towards sexual harassment, of all the tiny ways well-meaning people can and will say/do the wrong things.

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review 2018-08-16 09:01
Strategy Strikes Back
Strategy Strikes Back: How Star Wars Explains Modern Military Conflict - Max Brooks

[I received a copy of this book through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.]

A collection of essays relating real-world strategies to examples from the ‘Star Wars’ franchise. As usual with this kind of book, some were good, and some not so good, and there were a few that didn’t do much for me, and/or seemed to repeat themselves (as well as be repeats of others). Still, I found it interesting, and a good starting point for more reading, since many of the essays don’t only rely on Star Wars, but also on actual strategy theories (Clausewitz, modern strategy-related articles, and so on).

Having only watched the movies, and not the animated Clone Wars series (and not having laid my hands on more than a couple of books from the former SW extended universe), I can’t speak for the accuracy (or not) of the essays discussing, well, other aspects of SW. From what I know, though, these essays are fairly accurate in their interpretation and depiction of the chosen excerpts from the movies.

Rating: 3.5 stars. Apart from the couple of points I made above (mostly the redundancy), I think it’s more interesting in terms of Star Wars than in-depth military strategy, and I’d have appreciated seeing more examples of real-world situations contrasted with the SW ones.

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review 2018-08-13 21:55
Witty and Warm
Look Alive Out There: Essays - Sloane Crosley

Sloane Crosley’s latest collection of essays, Look Alive Out There, combines comical anecdotes with some more heartfelt and personal stories.  Crosley uses her sharp wit in describing her adventures as a typical New Yorker dealing with neighbor issues, a journalist stretched beyond her comfort zone in exotic locales, a guest on a popular television show, and a woman reckoning with fertility concerns. Some of the essays are funnier than others, but all might strike a chord of familiarity in those who use humor to cope with insecurity and life’s uncertainties.

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review 2018-07-10 21:40
Bitch Doctrine
Bitch Doctrine - Laurie Penny

[I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.]

Hm, OK, this is a little difficult to review, because… I pretty much agree with Laurie Penny in general in this series of essays (I can’t tell about their other writrings, as I haven’t read them at present). Most of what I’ve just read here, are things I was already thinking on my own anyway.

Maybe I also feel this hits closer to home because of Laurie’s gender identity. I, too, was born sexually female, but I don’t identify as a woman (nor as a man)… yet society insists on treating me like a woman nonetheless, so no matter what, whatever women in general have to face, I have to face it, too, with the ‘bonus’ of not even fitting in properly.

Political essays notwithstanding, Laurie makes fair points about quite a few things that may not be so apparent at first, but do make sense. For instance, the fact that Siri & al. are given female voices, making them closer to the stereotypical ‘female customer service rep (preferably with low wages, yes I’ve worked that job, too, can you tell?’). I don’t recall ever having heard a male voice used in that context. Except on my GPS. But then, I’ve uploaded Darth Vader’s voice to my GPS for the lulz.

While I usually tend to be moderate, or try to be, all the more on internet where just about anything can degenerate into flame wars… Well, I do understand anger. I do understand calling a spade a spade, because subtlety can only take you so far. Subtlety is also the perfect excuse we can serve to people who don’t want to acknowledge what we have to say, and can then easily pretend that they didn’t get the point, that we weren’t ‘clear enough’, that we ‘can’t express ourselves.’
(Note: I mean ‘we’ as in ‘people’, not necessarily women.)

So, at times, enough with subtlety. Enough with double standards and with a good deal of human beings having to shut up because otherwise they’d be threatening the ‘current order’. If people behave like turds and then feel offended to be called up on that, maybe they shouldn’t behave like turds for starters.

Perhaps it’s even more valid now, being angry and refusing to shut up: because we’re in 2018, and perhaps feeling that our Western societies have progressed much (I can’t speak for other societies, I’ve only lived in Western Europe so far). And there comes the false, lulling sense of safety: ‘surely things have changed by now?’ Yes, they’ve changed, but they could revert back insidiously if enough people start shutting up and be content with the status quo, which in itself is not equal (I completely agree that, once you’ve scratched the layer of varnish, it’s still about white men, most often older men, who keep hoarding power).

The essays here aren’t perfect; they won’t bring you that many new things if you’ve already read a lot on the topics they deal with; and sometimes, I felt like they were dragging in circles. Nevertheless, Laurie’s writing is powerful, and deserves to be read.

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