Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What Term Papers Can Teach us about Novelling--pt. 1

It's almost Thanksgiving!  (In America.  I don't know what the rest of the world looks forward to on November 19th...) 

Which means that Tyler-Rose and I are doing almost nothing but writing term papers and reading things-that-are-not-fun-novels like maniacs.  (Well, Wuthering Heights is a fun novel, in its way.) 

I also made brownies last night.  But that was all a part of revising a paper I'm writing. 

You thought your word processor worked best when you plugged your laptop into the wall.  This is untrue; all versions of Microsoft Word function with 120% more efficiency when the laptop is plugged into a batch of warm brownies. 

Anyway--since what I really care about is writing novels, not academic papers, I tend to notice ways in which writing papers can help me write novels.  Here is one: 

Imagine the counter-argument. 

In order to write a really strong paper, you need to imagine what someone would point out if they were trying to tear your argument apart.  This allows you to pre-emptively answer such questions and find holes in your logic. 

How does this apply to novels?  There are two ways I can think of...

1.  Your theme is an argument.  Hence it will be stronger if you think about the counter-arguments and answer them.  This could also allow you to build thematic dissonance into your novel, which is something Donald Maass talks about in one of his awesome writing books but I can't figure out exactly where it is right now and aaagghhh...I'll come change this when I figure out where he says it. 

2.  Imagine the reviewers.  You don't even have to get all complex with your theme for this to apply.  Just as someone writing an academic paper has to imagine counter-arguments in order to make the strongest argument they can, if you give your story an honest look and say, "What would someone be likely to critique about this?" that's going to strengthen you.  You'll never find a plot hole if you can't put on the persona of someone who is looking for them. 

Well, that's all for now!  I'm going to go work on my papers...and maybe eat some brownies...and...maybe sneak a peek at my WiP so I don't go insane... 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Save-a-Word Saturday and Gifts

 Welcome to the final Save-a-Word Saturday!
Join us as we spread our love of old and unusual words by sharing them with other bloggers and thereby saving them from the oldest, least-visited vaults of the Word Bank.

<a href="http://www.thefeatherandtherose.blogspot.com" target="_self"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-7UO138NOoX4/UItIxhKJwmI/AAAAAAAAArM/LBMYc_tVWdk/s800/sawmeme.jpg" alt="Save-a-Word Saturday" width="251" height="251" /></a>

This week's theme is: finales, farewells, or anything else that strikes your fancy.

Our word is:

Quisby, noun 
a wretch; an idle person. doing quisby: idling, not working.

Our sentences:

     "I'm going away, George," Will said. He looked down and shifted his hat in his hands. "I think . . . for a long time."
     "Did she do that bad for you, my friend?" George asked. Will didn't answer. "If I wasn't such a useless quisby I would almost offer to go with you. As it is, I don't think I could work up the energy for such a venture. Where are you going? Africa?"
     Will shrugged his shoulders. "Maybe. Maybe I'll go to the Continent first. I don't know." He put his hat on and turned towards the door. "I didn't expect you to want to come," Will said. "I only came to say farewell."
     "Farewell, then."
     Will nodded and left.
     George leapt across the room and stopped in the doorway. As he watched his childhood friend disappear down the stairs to God only knew where, George almost wished that he had offered to go and that this need not be the final farewell.



The first prize is this lovely fountain pen set:

And the winner is . . . Tirzah Duncan of The Ink Caster!

Congratulations, Tirzah and thank you so much for participating in Save-a-Word Saturday!

Now, onwards to the special awards for outstandingly awesomeness, brilliant wordiness, and blog friendship.

To Mere Joyce and to Danielle E. Shipley of Ever On Word we would like to extend our special thanks for your continued participation. You guys are word saving heroines of epic proportions, wonderful brilliant people, and excellent blog friends.

We would like to bestow upon each of you this lovely journal:

We selected this particular journal because I think it's gorgeous and am getting one, and Susan already has one, and once each of you have one, the most determined word savers will be united across continents and countries by this magical journal. YAY!

We will contact all three of you with details in the next few days.

Have a lovely and wordy Saturday, my friends!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Festivities and Prizes

As you know, tomorrow is our the last Save-a-Word Saturday.

It has been a truly glorious year of weird words and wonderful witty sentences from everyone and you have our deepest thanks for your enthusiasm.

To show our gratitude tomorrow* we will have some lovely** word-related*** gifts to dispense.

The first prize will be given to someone selected from the list of previous Save-a-Word Saturday participants. HOWEVER, if you are not a blogger and have not been able to participate in the past, but have enjoyed Save-a-Word Saturday and would like a chance to be rewarded for your fidelity and excellent vocabulary, please leave us a sentence in the comments containing as many Save-a-Word Saturday words as you can possibly manage and your name shall be duly entered.

There are also two additional gifts which we will award at our discretion in recognition of outstanding wordiness, enthusiasm, and general awesomeness throughout the year.

Keep your pens ready and your wits sharp, my friends.


Here is a picture of ships because I recently liked Pirate Lovin' Saucy Wench on Facebook and now my Newsfeed is full of moody ships.

With a name like that, I don't know why I was surprised.


* In addition to the usual blessing of our fabulous word.

** It breaks my heart to give them away they are so lovely.

*** Word production related, rather.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What's Up Wednesday

Hosted by the lovely sisters Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk, What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme/blog hop in which writer-bloggers take a brief post to share what's going on in their lives, writing-related and otherwise.  Check it out here or here if you want the details! 


The semester is careening to a close, so class readings are taking over, which means:
Villette by Charlotte Bronte
Dante Alighieri's Paradiso (Dante is flying!!!!) 
and other far more obscure things...

I've eeked out a little bit of leisure reading time, however, since I finished Throne of Glass last week.  I miss it. 


Chugging along on the rewrite of TMC.  I'm doing #NaNoReviseMo with a goal to rewrite one scene a day.  I'm vaguely behind at the moment, but it's working! 


This tea. 

Yes, I initially bought it because there was a dragon with a woman in a pretty dress and a castle in the distance and HOW could I not try it?????? 

It also promised to tame my tension, which is pure gold, as long as it doesn't extend to my writing. 

But it also--I know, it's hard to believe there is an herbal tea so excellent in so many ways--tastes REALLY GOOD. 

It's also caffeine free.  <3 

(I also think it goes well with Buckwheat honey--which may only be of interest to Tyler-Rose, but there it is...) 


I've started giving myself ballet classes again.  It feels really, really good.  Hopefully I can keep this up. 

Also, here at The Feather and the Rose we're wrapping up our year-long arcane-word-saving meme, Save-A-Word Saturday!!!  There will be a finale and prizes, and if you've never participated, this is your last chance.  ;) 

Happy Day of Wednes, everyone... 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Two Announcements & Save-A-Word Saturday

Welcome to Save-a-Word Saturday!
Join us as we spread our love of old and unusual words by sharing them with other bloggers and thereby saving them from the oldest, least-visited vaults of the Word Bank.

Announcement #1:  

Before we start:  We have decided to give Save-A-Word Saturday a definite length, that being one year--and one glorious year of words it has been.  They have been strange and old and magnificent.

Since the one-year anniversary is next Saturday, we have decided to make that the finale. 
The good news:

1.  The word horde will remain (after we spend a day updating it).

2.  And there will be festivities and PRIZES to celebrate this wonderful year of words.  Definitely stay on the look out for that.


Announcement #2.......  It's Tyler-Rose's birthday!!!!!! 

 Wish her a happy one!

And now...to save a very special word.
<a href="http://www.thefeatherandtherose.blogspot.com" target="_self"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-7UO138NOoX4/UItIxhKJwmI/AAAAAAAAArM/LBMYc_tVWdk/s800/sawmeme.jpg" alt="Save-a-Word Saturday" width="251" height="251" /></a>

The rules run thusly:

1. Create a lovely blog post that links back to this one. The easiest way to do that would be to grab the code under our pretty Save-a-Word Saturday button. Just copy and paste it into the HTML part of your blog.

2. Pick an old word you want to save from extinction to feature in your blog post. It really must be an old word, not just a big one. We are trying to save lovely archaisms, not ugly giants (for example, "Dihydrogen Monoxide" is not an acceptable choice). Luciferous Logolepsy is a great database of lovely words if you're having trouble coming up with something on your own.

3. Provide a definition of your word. Use your word in a sentence (or even a short paragraph) vaguely related to the theme we have chosen this week. You may also add visual or musical interpretations of your word or your sentence. In fact, add anything that moves your creative spirit.

4. Add your post to the linky list below (it's down there somewhere). Then hop to as many other blogs as you can in search of as many wonderful words as possible!

5. Be a hero by using the words in your everyday life--that is how they will really be saved!  Do leave us a note or add something to your own post to let us all know what wonderful old word you whipped out to befuddle your friends and relations.

This week's theme is:  journeys.

Our worthy word: 

Donnybrook, noun.
a scene of uproar and disorder; a riotous or uproarious meeting; a heated argument

(Interesting note:  First usage appears to have applied to Irish patriots, who "insist[ed] on having a Donnybrook to themselves"--thank you OED.) 

And our sentences: 

        Her feet were cold, her clothes were soaked, and her pants were falling down.  Never did she wish more that she had been able to do something with that dragon other than strangle it with her belt. 
        She supposed she could have brought the belt with her, but it wasn't exactly certain that she'd killed the thing.  Detecting a dragon's pulse is one of the hardest things to do. 
        After trudging through the twilight with one hand planted firmly on her hip, she reached a pub at the hamlet's edge.  The bright little window she peered through could scarce contain the sound and warmth of the donnybrook  inside.  She found a couple coins in her rain-soaked pocket and smiled.  Sometimes it was good to stop and smell the ale.  Or--alright--more than smell it, especially on your birthday, and especially when you were supposed to be on holiday from dragon-slaying school. 


Happy birthday, my good friend.  May you slay many dragons with much flair. 

Next week's theme:  finale!  You choose a theme!  Or write about finale's, I suppose.  Or words or friendship or dragons.  Dragons are always a plus.