marycatelli: (Reading Desk)
Rudyard Kipling was born 150 years ago today.

"The three-volume novel is extinct."

Full thirty foot she towered from waterline to rail.
It cost a watch to steer her, and a week to shorten sail;
But, spite all modern notions, I found her first and best--
The only certain packet for the Islands of the Blest.
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marycatelli: (Reading Desk)
And he read Principles of Accounting all morning, but just to make it interesting, he put lots of dragons in it.

Terry Pratchett
marycatelli: (Reading Desk)
Takes on Alice's Adventures In Wonderland.
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marycatelli: (East of the Sun)
Had a bit of a cold, needed a break, and so for the last days amused myself much of the time with Fairy Tale Art.

Easily obtained by getting out a pile of fairy tale picture books from the library.

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marycatelli: (Golden Hair)
Ran across a comment recently wherein someone said that he stuck to read SF because that was what he was writing.

This is imprudent.

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marycatelli: (Golden Hair)
Of all the fictional libraries I've read of, I would most like to visit the one in Robin McKinley's Beauty.  It doesn't have much competition.

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marycatelli: (A Birthday)
Some natter about what the classics are, but as one panelist pointed out, if they polled the room, there would probably be some fair consensus.
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marycatelli: (A Birthday)
For people who've gotten beyond "Don't quit the day job."

The irony is that one piece of advice that was cited as basic was "Read widely," but two panelists had a long session of discussing how many aspiring writers need to read widely,  Read outside the genre you want to get more ideas and notions.
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marycatelli: (A Birthday)
C. J. Cherryh has a rule for writers:  Never follow any rule off a cliff.

This is about reading for what your writer was up to and following that off a cliff.
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marycatelli: (Default)
Having told you how you should do it, I will now tell you why I recommend that all aspiring writers read a lot of primary sources, from as many eras and places as they can pull off.  0:)

It's not for research purposes.  It may prove useful for that in the long run, but the recommendation includes eras and places that you have no interest in writing in.  Indeed there's enough primary source floating about that it would be a trick and half to sample a lot of it and manage to use it all as research.  That's not its primary benefit.
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marycatelli: (Default)
Primary source is great -- primary source is wonderful -- anyone who wants to world-build should go and read as much primary source as he can, from as many times and places as he can. 

However, there is a gentle art to reading primary source effectively.
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marycatelli: (East of the Sun)
Some aspects of writing deserve a warning label.

For instance, if you start to write, you will also start to revise.  Which means eying your work with a critical eye for flaws.  And if you are prudent, you read other works to see how they do (or fail to do so), in order to improve your own bag of tricks.  Do that for long, and you discover you have summoned an imp.  He will sit on your shoulder and treat any work of art before him as a sample for analysis.  And you can't dismiss him.

I've watched Tangled recently.  (Which is a great movie and you should probably watch it before my unsystematic but spoilerific comments.)

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marycatelli: (East of the Sun)
There is one subtle aspect of fairy tales -- which, to be sure, the massive sort of reading I recommended would help with, but not so much as in the adaption side of things. . . .

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marycatelli: (East of the Sun)
Having pontificated about proverbs, and started a variant of the Golden Bird, I wish to observe that stealing a fairy tale is much easier.

Though it does involve a pile of reading.

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marycatelli: (Default)
Inspired by a LJ post I read a while back about tie-ins and whether you read them and what you think of them. . . .

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marycatelli: (Golden Hair)
The Quiet Center:  Women Reflecting On Life's Passages from the pages of Victoria Magazine, editted by Katherine Ball Ross

A collection of essays on various topics by various authors.  They have in common a certain mediative tone, of things pondered deeply.  A convincing tone.

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marycatelli: (Golden Hair)
Some interesting criteria.  One panelist chose Patricia McKillip on the grounds she would read a new work by her sight unseen.  Another chose James Blish because unlike, say, Ursula K. LeGuin, if he had heard that a nearby university had acquired an unpublished work or even letters by Blish, he would immediately make time to go to the university to read.

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marycatelli: (Golden Hair)
Some books got mentioned.  China Mieville came up quite a bit.  Also mentioned House of Leaves, and Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.

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marycatelli: (East of the Sun)
A rambling sort of panel.  We circled round topics and repeated ourselves for new audience members.  This post will be more focused on topics than it was, no doubt. . . .

I was on this one.  Indeed, I came prepared.  I was wearing this T-shirt as a prop.


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