Friday, June 26, 2009

The Art of Science - Book Review

Book Review for Barnes & Noble:
The Art of Science is a good book to read that fits well within its age range. Adults can enjoy the book as well because they can connect to the main characters through their personal past experiences. The book follows Janie Hunter, a seventh grade student trying to find her place in school while dealing with the dramas of friends and family. Janies experiences show that there isn't always an easy solution. The best part of this book is the characters that are introduced. Each character stands out in its own way and gives the reader another connection. It's a good read and a great gift for anyone.
Now for my entire opinion on the book.
This was a different read for me. It's one of the first books where I have known the author, even though I've never met Ransom in person. She runs a writing meeting that I take part in. I sent her clothing and bibs for her baby. Winning the book from her blog tour was super exciting.
The genre is one that I don't read in, anymore. I used to read teen/ya when I was in that range but by the end of high school I was in the genre sections of fantasy and such that is geared towards adults and all ages in general. But my favorite books of all time include several teen books.
During reading, I noticed that I had the more critical reading outlook that I usually have towards her writing because I do most my reading for the critique group. Like most of her writing it was well written with only a couple of minor errors. Which, considering some published books can be marked to death with a red pen due to all their errors, it is a good thing to have so few.
I liked the main character. Even though I sometimes couldn't relate as I was the fat, lonely girl in junior high. For the most part I could really relate to different levels that the main character had to deal with. The side characters added well to the story. Each had a good role that they played well.
Coming soon will be an interview with the author. Looking forward to that.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My really, tenderly, quietly opinion on adverbs

When it comes to critique groups, I have been in part of a couple online. When it is my turn to state my notes on the person's chapter section or short story, there is one that I tend to say very often. I always seem to be the one to point out the amount of adverbs people use in their writing.

A few people don't get why I even mention it. I had one in particular answer that he didn't see the problem at all.

I don't mind adverbs. They have their purpose in writing. My point is not to get rid of all adverbs in stories, but to limit them. When a paragraph has 4 or more that might be two many. Two or three in a row in one sentence is overkill. There are better ways to put together the sentence compared to having a bunch of adverbs.

There is a time and place for an adverb in writing. I like to use them, just like I use a little bit of passive voice, -ing words, "he said", and many other of the writing rules.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Another look at first person.

This is a topic I have already covered but I found the word that I was looking for.

First Person = Experiential

What I like about first person is that it can make the reader feel like they are the protagonist, they are experiencing the story. It does have many limits, but as a way to write a novel it also has many positive aspects.

Something I found interesting was the reactions that children have when reading a first person story.  I used to work at an elementary school as a reading tutor. My students were from first grade up through third. I even had a first grader who tested into his grading level, which made me feel so proud. During tests they would have to read a story, timed, and then tell me what they read in order to test how much they retain. 

What I found very surprising is the gender of the main character that the students would guess. I would have thought that they would guess their own gender, but the truth is it varies with each story. There was no noticeable pattern to their versions of the story.

I think that it's great to have such openness when reading a story.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Such an evil part of the writing process. In general, criticism is tough to handle but it is nothing compared to rejection.

I have started trying to write articles for the freelance projects that I am a part of. I submitted two different articles and then when asked to edit them I did. However, after the edit I got an email that both were rejected. One of them I understood, still getting used to the new requirements compared to when I worked at the newspaper. But the other was rejected based on one sentence that I apparently hadn't edited enough. One sentence. 

I'll admit - I was really disappointed when I got those rejections. It is frustrating to do work, spend the time and then have nothing to show for it but the experience.

Rejection is a common factor when submitting writing. It takes lots of no's to get that one yes... But knowing this doesn't make it much easier to take.

Even so, time to work on another article to submit. I will get one through; I will.