Sunday, 29 March 2009
Having written the last chapter of Catch a Falling Star (must find a new title, damn it) I am busy tweaking it while waiting for the last of my kind readers to report back. I have also, with a reluctance that only my fellow writers will understand, begun to write the synopsis.
The problem is that a synopsis is, essentially, one's novel with all the good bits stripped out - the humour, the dialogue, the surprises - and one's characters reduced to stereotypes. What you are left with is a bare plot outline, without any of the detail that makes it worth reading. One is also obliged to reveal whodunit, and I can't believe it helps an agent to appreciate a book if she knows before she hits chapter one who the killer is.
I must try harder. I read somewhere that you should imagine you've just seen the film of your book, and you are telling a friend the plot in a pub afterwards. Maybe that would perk it up.
Sunday, 22 March 2009
Saturday, 14 March 2009
Sunday, 8 March 2009
In my occasional series on punctuation, I have reached the semicolon.
Sunday, 1 March 2009
But I've only recently noticed the animus against brackets. I use them myself to denote an aside, something away from the main thread of the discourse, and think them quite handy. After several people had advised me to remove them, I started a thread on the Authonomy forum asking why. The reasons given were:
- They look ugly
- There are better ways to punctuate a sentence
- They disrupt the flow of a sentence
- They show laziness
I'm not convinced. Challenged to nominate the prettiest punctuation, if brackets were the ugliest, someone suggested the tilde (pronounced tild-uh, for those as ignorant as me). It's this one: ~ I made up a rhyme about it as follows:
There once was a writer called Hilda,
Who favoured a dash called a tilde,
She maintained that a bracket,
Could simply not hack it,
So the brackets surrounded (and killed) her.