Tag Archives: on writing

Meanwhile, in Diagon Alley…

In case you every wondered what writers do all day–well…we write, mostly. Even when there’s boggarts in the closet and nargles in the pub, we still scramble around and find ways to write and edit and do other writerly, blog-type things. To put it another way, the Blogengamot has all found ways of keeping busy while the Pubs been undergoing its exorcisms (if that’s the word I want).

Let me introduce you, if I may, to one of those other projects, a joint venture between Mr Pond (speaking!) and Jenna, as well as remarkable people like Katherine Langrish, friend of the Pub. Revgeorge has also been known to wander in from time to time. It’s a blog and literary journal called Unsettling Wonderdevoted to folklore and fairy tale of all types, but especially the slightly stranger, lesser-known, more unexpected types.

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I Write Like

Saw this story about an interesting website called I Write Like.  Here is the essence of the site quoted from the AP story:  “The recently launched I Write Like has one simple gimmick: You paste a few paragraphs that exemplify your writing, then click “analyze” and — poof! — you get a badge telling you that you write like Stephen King or Ernest Hemingway or Chuck Palahniuk.”

The site was designed by a Russian software engineer.  It is essentially keyword based, that is, it is your choice of words that likely determines to which author you get compared rather than any particular style of writing.  The database of authors for comparison is also limited right now but the designer is working to add more authors and also to add factors to account for style, punctuation, sentence structure, etc.

I tried out the site.  You simply plug in various paragraphs of your writing.  I first tried a few paragraphs of some Harry Potter fan fiction I’ve written, some paragraphs from posts I’ve made on The Hogshead, and some related comments from other places.  Perhaps unsurprisingly the site told me I wrote like J.K. Rowling.  As a second test I plugged in some paragraphs from a science fiction story I’ve worked on, some theological comments I’ve made elsewhere, and a few haiku that I’ve written.  This time it told me I wrote like H.P. Lovecraft.

Check out the site and story on it.  Feel free to share your results here if you decide to give it a try.

They’re Adapting Your Favorite Book or Comic!!

Found this article on The Torch Online.  I post it for two reasons:  One, it’s a nice, thoughtful article on a topic we’ve discussed much here regarding adapting books or comics for the big screen, and Two, it mentions specific books/comics we’ve talked about much here, namely The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and the Watchmen.  Plus, our very own Matthew/Korg is mentioned.  See if you can find where! 😉

Feel free to share your thoughts on the article here.  Enjoy!

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

Good luck and well wishes to any pub patron who might be participating in National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo.

For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo started way back in 1999 as a project designed to simply get people writing creatively.  The goal is to write 50000 words all in the month of November for a novel or a novel to be completed later.  Participants cannot use previously written material or co-author works, although they can do preparatory work like outlines or plot or character ideas.  The focus is simply on writing, quantity before quality.  Editing is encouraged after the contest, not during.

Our own Blogengamot member Library Lily is participating this year.  She blogs about it on her site.

So, here’s a question for you all: Have you participated in NaNoWriMo before?  Ever thought of doing so?  If you write, what sort of writing do you do?  And again good luck to anyone who is now madly writing away for the rest of November!

Stephen King: Lovecraft, Rowling, Meyer and More

Stephen King recently gave an interview to USA Weekend in which he made some interesting comments about Richard Matheson, H.P. Lovecraft, J.K. Rowling, and Stephanie Meyer:

King, whose Stephen King Goes to the Movies collection came out last week, doesn’t know how much of an influence he had on Meyer, but he does know that Rowling read his stuff when she was younger. “I think that has some kind of formative influence the same way reading Richard Matheson had an influence on me,” King explains. “People always say to me, ‘Well, what about H.P. Lovecraft?’ And the thing was, you read Lovecraft when you were a kid but I never felt that he was speaking my language. It was chillier than my heart was, and when Matheson started to write about ordinary people and stuff, that was something that I wanted to do. I said, ‘This is the way to do it. He’s showing the way.’ I think that I serve that purpose for some writers, and that’s a good thing. Both Rowling and Meyer, they’re speaking directly to young people. … The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good.

There’s a lot I’d like to unpack there, but I’m going to leave most of it for the pub’s perceptive patrons.  Just a few notes and questions:

  • I find his description of response to Lovecraft interesting.  Is your response to Lovecraft similar to King’s, or different?
  • Whatever you think of King’s writing (I happen to like it), he’s a guy who’s done a lot of solid thinking … ahem … On Writing. I don’t agree with all of this thoughts on the craft, but on the whole, On Writing is a must-read for aspiring authors.  This, in my mind, lends a bit of credibility to his assessment of Rowling v. Meyer.  Thoughts?
  • Read the rest of the article. What do you think of his other thoughts on the non-threatening, “safe” nature of Meyer’s novels?