It’s sooo Lit!!! #atozchallenge2017

***NOTE: As explained in my last post, I was going to finish last year’s A to Z Challenge. Here is my letter “L”.

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Literature. I cannot write about the topic of Writing without writing about literature. That would probably be some form of blasphemy…

What is Literature to you?

When I was young, I used to think that “literature” was exclusively used to refer to stories or novels. I don’t know now how I learned more, but it was probably when I encountered the term “related literature”. I was a bit surprised that anything written (well, at least those with some value) can be considered literature.

According to the Ancient History of Encyclopedia,…

Literature (from the Latin Littera meaning ‘letters’ and referring to an acquaintance with the written word) is the written work of a specific culture, sub-culture, religion, philosophy or the study of such written work which may appear in poetry or in prose.”

Based on this, it is either poetry and prose.

Dictionary.com explains it much clearer in the definitions it has provided. Literature is defined as:

  • written works, especially those considered of superior or lasting artistic merit
  • books and writings published on a particular subject
  • leaflets and other printed matter used to advertise products or give advice

That last part was the kind of information that most surprised me when I learned about it. Leaflets and advertisements were far from my mind. That was mainly because whenever I thought of the word before, I thought of value and merit, especially artistic merit.

“Certain forms of writing, however, are universally regarded as belonging to literature as an art. Individual attempts within these forms are said to succeed if they possess something called artistic merit and to fail if they do not.” (Britannica.com)

That was how most of us were brought up. It was so old-school that even anything that’s not artsy was generally disregarded as literature, no matter how valuable the information it contained.

“Literature is a form of human expression. But not everything expressed in words—even when organized and written down—is counted as literature. Those writings that are primarily informative—technical, scholarly, journalistic—would be excluded from the rank of literature by most, though not all, critics.” (Britannica.com)

Anybody can be a critic, but it does not necessarily make him right. If anything, this kind of thinking was developed during the times when people were concerned more about social strata and social snobbery. We put the word “literature” in a box — No, this is just you, Lit. You can’t be some leaflet or thing that anyone just thought he’d write and call Lit. The nerve!

Today, we have become open to accepting the more modern definition of the word. Still, there are critics that cannot be persuaded. Me? I have broaden my own definition:

Literature is a valuable written work that is artistic and/or informative and has merit to, at least, one individual.”

You say toh-mah-toh, I say toe-may-toe. Basically, it all boils down to the person appreciating it.

How do YOU define literature?

 

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I could have written more about it, but I fought off my tendency to write long posts to keep you interested. I hope you liked it and share your own thoughts in the comments below.

L is for “Literature”

This piece serves as my Letter L post for the A to Z Challenge 2017.

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I’ve missed you, WP and A-Z!

Yep, that’s right. But I’m back! All I can say is every day, I wanted to write here.  My only comfort was I was writing for work and liked seeing my stuff published even without a by-line. I don’t think I’ve ever written as many articles as I have until now. I’m just sorry I can’t link to those pages from my portfolio blog.

My articles list spreadsheet is looking better and better, though. The thing is, I’m not done collating my past works especially those from back in the day (okay, I feel so old now talking like that). So that portfolio blog still seems empty. It isn’t, not really. I will be doing some actual posting there, too, soon.

I did especially feel the pressure to blog last April when I knew other writer-bloggers had been participating in the A to Z Challenge. It was torture.

I knew long before that I couldn’t participate this year. I knew I wouldn’t have much time due to several factors, so I didn’t even try. Too bad ’cause I really enjoyed last year’s A to Z Challenge. My only problem then was Holy Week fell in April. It affected my personal writing schedule. Long story short, I skipped my L and M then was unable to do W to Z.

I came to a decision as early as last February: I am going to complete last year’s A to Z. I could’ve done it last April but thought it would not be fair to those participating this year. Even though I am no power blogger, I felt that that would still be like stealing attention from those who truly deserved it for the hard work they were putting in.

Now that April’s gone, however, May is going to be my writing pal. Next week, I’ll be posting for a week to make up for the missing letters. I think that’s fair enough, right? After all, the point is to write and be productive. Then maybe, I’ll go backwards and complete those I left in the years 2015 and 2014 in the next weeks or months. Nothing definite yet about that second plan.

That’s not my only announcement. I will be bringing back my #MonthlyRecaps. Early last year, I unintentionally suddenly stopped my recaps. That was very foolish. My new idea will take care of that. Each post is going to be like a two-in-one thing. What’s that? You’ll see. Also, I’ll continue my mini-TV reviews like Thrones, Faerie Tales, Serial Killers, Zombies and Science, Space, Elementary, my dear Lizzie. They were supposed to be a quarterly thing, but obviously, I’m way behind.

Frankly, I have various ideas I should get back to. You’ll know them when things actually “restart”. Right now, the other things that keep me interested are, as you probably have already guessed, watching TV series and playing Soda Crush (so sue me).

Just finished the latest seasons of Game of Thrones, The Good Place, and Once Upon A Time. Before that, I finished the first season of Star Trek: Discovery and all the seasons of NCIS that Netflix could offer in the meantime. So I’ll be waiting for quite awhile for all the new episodes to be available. I was watching Sherlock, but my access is temporarily interrupted *sigh*

Also, a few nights ago, I watched the series finale of Lost. I think I’m gonna do a longer review of it and of Dexter, but I’ll do something a bit different than the usual. I am currently only watching Season 2 of Big Bang Theory (serves as my backup show whenever I can’t watch others online) and just started with Grimm the other night. I did get to watch Charmed on iFlix, but they only have the first season and nothing else. Netflix doesn’t have it at all.

So you see, there’s really a lot for me to catch up on. Read me next time, alright? And share YOU, too!

(Not My) Interview with Kathy Reichs #AskWednesday #atozchallenge2017

As I am typing this now, I just clicked on a subscription confirmation link sent to me through email. The link for what? Well, I just signed myself up for inclusion in author Kathy Reichs‘ mailing list, that’s what.

Kathy Reichs is really the reason I restarted my Maya story (although I still have to work more on that). Or maybe the more appropriate word is “cause”, not “reason”. You see, my story had been sitting around for years because several things discouraged me and I did not know how to proceed. I could, but the mere thought that it would probably just look like another Filipino story due to elements very similar to many others’ works discouraged me. I wanted something different.

Then I met BONES. If you’re not familiar with it, it was one of those earlier forensic science TV shows. Kathy created and produced the show. It ran for 12 seasons, but recently ended for good, sadly (yet, who really knows?). Now, I’ve always loved sci-fi and other science-related shows, plus I’m a sucker for adventure and detective stories. So. when those interests collided, BOOM! Bones got me so hooked!

It took me a while to learn that the show was based on a novel written by an author named Kathy Reichs. Google did its thing and I learned that Author Kathy is actually Doctor Kathy, forensic anthropologist extraordinaire. Of course, I was so impressed. I mean, since she knew her stuff, then surely, the science in her book (and the shows) was more real than fictional. And that’s when it hit me. I realized what I wanted for Maya.

It was not going to be just a fantasy-paranormal thing. I was going to add more mystery and throw in forensic science as well! I mean, currently, in the local setting, no one has done anything like that yet. If someone comes up with one in the future, remember, I thought of it first. If it’s very similar to my idea, s/he and I will need to talk.

It’s science-meets-paranormal and they don’t have to overshadow each other. Kathy caused me to do a kind of story overhaul to fit my idea. I was going to make a better version of Maya. I went back to previous drafts, totally changed several parts, and continued. I changed scenes, added characters, improved characterization, began doing research (I need to be credible after all). Well, the story is far from done, but I am working on it. I have Kathy to thank for it…

Now that that little background story is over, I am sharing an early interview with her that I found online. In fact, it’s posted on her own website. It talks about why and how she started writing, her main character Dr. Temperance Brennan, and what she thought of the show.

Kathy Reichs Interview

“I just thought the time was right for a strong female heroine and for forensic science…I started ‘Dejá Dead’ in 1994. I had made full professor at the university so I was free to do whatever I wanted to do and I had just worked on a serial murder case which had some pretty intriguing elements to it, so I thought I would give it a shot. I thought it might bring my science to a wider audience.”

I was part of that wider audience, thankfully. If my request to receive the entire Brennan book series in my Dream Crate isn’t proof enough that I’m a fan, I don’t know how else to show it.

Has any writer/author ever influenced a story you wrote?

 

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This post hits two birds with one stone. It’s a post for #AskWednesday, and it’s a post for the A to Z Challenge. Yes, April is gone, but as promised, I am going to finish the challenge, starting with this letter I skipped:

K is for “Kathy Reichs”

This piece serves as my Letter K post for the A to Z Challenge 2017. I am currently catching up with other A to Z participants. I owe them that, first of all. Second, I do want to connect.

For my previous 2017 challenge-related posts, kindly visit my A to Z Challenge 2017 page.

March 2017 RECAP #MonthlyRecap

I missed doing my March 2017 recap. To be honest, it feels so long ago now that I can’t even remember the stuff I wrote about. My revisiting the posts now will take me back, definitely. From what I know, I was really hyped up for the then-upcoming A to Z Challenge. I hardly really checked out Facebook even.

Here’s a recap of my March 2017:

Blog-wise:

(1) Hash potatoes!!!

#MondayMemoirs (none)

#MondayReviews (none)

#TuesdayTunes (see Wishes and Songs Part 1)

#TVTuesday (none)

#AskWednesday (see “As writers, have you ever had ideas only to find out later that others beat you to them? What were they?”)

#WhatsupWednesday (see The Guy Google)

#ThursdayTips (none)

#FeatureFriday (see The BRF and New Society with its New Technologies)

#FridayFlashdance (none)

#AnythingDay (see JAMIE PART 4: DEAR JAMIEThe A-to-Z Challenge theme Reveal 2017 and JAMIE PART 5: JAMIE AND THE GOSSIP BOYS)  –  Any day could be about anything.

Judging from my results, I was semi-active, which was better than hardly active or, worse, inactive. I was gearing up for April anyway.

(3) My Trending Stories. I still put it off because of certain hindrances, but I decided to finally restart it sometime in May (which is NOW).

(4) A to Z ChallengeWait till I’m done.

Social Media Reach-out:

 

I’m getting followers slowly but steadily, at least. I don’t really expect to get many, I’m just surprised there are those who decide to FOLLOW me on Facebook (even Twitter, which still confuses me at times) when they don’t really know me personally. It’s so nice to get followers who think that what I post are interesting enough.

A few months back, I started sending thank-you messages to FB followers. Unfortunately, it could be so time-consuming that I had to stop. What I normally do when I have the time is to visit bloggers who decide to follow my blog. I get email notifications everytime, so I just filter to see followers and go from there.

I’ve been somehow more active than I’ve ever been on Twitter (just a tad more). And, oh, I should give special shout-outs to both Annette (@YouAreTheExpert) and Debbie (@DebbieDogLady). Whenever I post anything here, it gets posted on their Twitter pages. That’s free promotion for me through RSS Feed-ing. Thank you, ladies 🙂

Fiction/Story- and Poetry-writing:

Restarted being a bit more active. See, I posted two Jamie Tales shorts (see #AnythingDay).

Literature:

No book-reading happened whatsoever. I am so ashamed.

Personal:

  • I have become a Wish 107.5 FM fanatic, ergo, my #TuesdayTunes post. It honestly helped me overcome a sort of tough time then. Music is great therapy.
  • I have become an active Quora adviser, but I am very curious why 98% of questions I am asked has to do with handling relationships. I suddenly feel like a relationship guru. But I suppose, the key is to put myself in their shoes.
  • I declared self-imposed hiatus on Facebook and was away for more than two weeks, I think. It was due to a mix of avoiding things/people that make me feel a bit depressed and trying to write more.

 

Your thoughts? 😉

Vlogging #atozchallenge2017

Vlog is the new blog. Well, at least, an off-shoot. Like it or not, it is most probably here to stay, if not take on a much newer form. After all, there was a time that vlogging was considered almost synonymous to doing podcasts until distinctions were made. YouTube became all the more popular. There are a few other platforms for this purpose, but no one can argue that YouTube takes much of the cake. Just count the people who have become viral and famous.

“Vlogging”, for the still uninitiated, is short for video blogging. Why not? “Blogging” is just short for web logging, so the principle is the same. Actually, if we were to be strict about it, it should be video logging, but probably no one except me cares. Vlogging is basically posting about something through a different medium, through the audio-visual form. Often, it’s a selfie kind of thing. Basically, you vlog/blog to share yourself and things to the world. It could be for fun and expression, for sharing relevant information, and/or for business-related purposes.

Much of the vlogging we see are done impromptu, in real-time. This is not to say, however, that it does not involve any writing. Not really. After all, there are more than one kind of vlogs. Many of them do incorporate writing. Let me mention my own observations.

INTRO/OUTRO

Most YouTube channels I’ve visited have created their own intros and outros. Well, a lot of them are simple–could even be so simple like just the unimaginative “Hi”–but there are those who have taken time to create spiels to use on a regular basis. They create their unique, hopefully recall-worthy introductions and farewell spiels.

As an example, the reactions channel HugKnucklesTV has its own intro and own outro (starts at 17:27)

TOPICS

If there are travel bloggers, food critics, life hack gurus, product reviewers, and others who love to blog, there are also similar people who choose video as their medium or (literally) channel of communication. Therefore, they don’t just pick up a camera and hit on the record button. The better ones plan well what they want to show.

BuzzFeed likes to create different types of videos that inform, entertain or both. This one is a tips video which contents are based on what the adviser says onscreen.

I definitely appreciate that.

One of my fave kinds of vids to watch lately, however, are mukbangs. Believe me, until more than a month ago, I think, I never knew what a mukbang was. It is…

“…a uniquely Korean trend of people getting paid to eat large meals in front of a webcam for a live-streaming broadcast. Mukbang is a portmanteau word that combines the Korean word for ‘eat’ (muok-da) with the word for ‘broadcast’ (bang song).” (QZ.com)

These days, a mukbang means a food review (in line with the reaction videos trend) and does not necessarily mean a reviewer/reactor gets paid for it. Well, usually. I like watching  Maximum Munchies, which reaction video for a fastfood chain I shared in Contents with All the Feels.

One of the best mukbang channels worth watching, though, is The Thien Le Eating Show. Others have said it and I am going to say it: I never thought I’d watch a whole video just to see someone EAT!!! Wow, that guy could really eat for a whole family! Without gaining weight, too, it seems! (He did explain how he stays slim)

It’s not just about the amount of food he consumes in one seating, it’s the way he eats that makes you love him. Oh, how he loves his food. Believe me, you don’t want to be watching him way past midnight with no food around to grab. Avoid the torture.

If you want to see what I mean…

Sometimes, he does a “cookbang”. Which is great because my sister and I used to watch cooking shows when I was a kid. Of course, I love Thien most for featuring Filipino food (I’m biased much!!!). And, of course, here’s a sample of his “cookbang” (just so we all can watch him eat, he he).

SCRIPTED CONTENTS

There are really lots of scripted vlog posts out there. It should not be a surprise. But rather than just go all “gung ho” and shoot, they plan their actual contents. It’s not all-visuals. Sometimes, even much research is done to come up with a credible vlog post.

For instance, here’s a how-to video that still involved writing pre-shoot and behind the scenes, for sure:

Two very good examples of scripted vids are those from the ERB or EpicRapBattles channel of Epic Lloyd and Nice Peter, who are not afraid to spoof themselves, and Whitney Avalon‘s channel that brings the Princess Rap Battles, some parody songs and comedy shorts. I have shared various samples from them before, but who’s counting?

So, for your viewing pleasure…

Artists vs. Turtles! (This would have been really epic if they made it longer and added more raps, but…)

This next one is not a rap battle, but I love that Whitney does original songs (like the Anna Song), she’s got a nice voice, and it’s about comic con!

What amazes me is the amount of time, effort, even ingenuity they bring to create their videos. First, they actually create original rap battles, and I am pretty sure some can take an amount of research as well. Second, the actors are generally actually very capable rap artists. Third, they use elaborate settings and effects for presentations that are often TV- or movie-worthy…Don’t tell me those do not take an awful lot of writing.

When we say script, though, what immediately comes to mind is dialogue. There are really funny “real-life” skits like the next ones (they do have some things to promote at the end, so feel free to ignore). Tripp and Tyler do comedy skits so well. Yes, so well that I couldn’t decide which one of three vids to leave out. So guess what.

 

All these are just a few samples of thousands of videos that make it on our screens. If you have worthy vlogs to share, just let us know 😉

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April is gone and I am obviously not done with my letters. Why is something I’ll reserve in my reflections post. So right now, I’ll concentrate on finishing the challenge.

V is for “Vlogging”

This piece serves as my Letter V post for the A to Z Challenge 2017.

For my previous posts, kindly visit my A to Z Challenge 2017 page.

 

 

Did you hear about the…? #atozchallenge2017

Did you hear about that couple who went to a hotel and slept overnight over a dead girl’s body stuck in the bed’s box spring? How about the funhouse mummy that turned out to be a real corpse that had traveled here and there for decades? Do you know anything about the Red Room? Please don’t even Google it, or else…!!!

Urban Legends. Life just isn’t fun enough for people, right?

An urban legend, being a legend, is a kind of folklore. The difference from the regular legend, though, is it’s based on pop culture. In other words, it’s modern-day folklore. That’s where the “urban” comes from–to differentiate it from the age-old legends, not necessarily to say it just happens in urban places. The term was first recorded in 1968.

It is called by other names: urban myth, popular legend, contemporary legend, urban tale. But to tweak Shakespeare’s words, a legend, by any other name, would still be fiction. Well, mostly.

It is said that while urban legends may be a figment of people’s imagination, some of them are not exactly that totally made-up.  They are based on supposedly real stories, passed on by people to other people until many start to believe them. And many of these urban legends are passed on through writings, including through media. In the age of the millennials, the reach of these tales has widened.

What is the purpose of urban fiction? It is…

a modern story of obscure origin and with little or no supporting evidence that spreads spontaneously in varying forms and often   has elements of humor, moralizing, or horror.” (Dictionary.com)

A scene from the Japanese film Ringu

Often, the idea is to scare people, which Hollywood took advantage of. Films of popular and not-so-popular urban legends have been  made. Films of supposed ones that weren’t really have also been made. Why, even a movie is entitled Urban Legend , leaving no doubt in anyone’s mind that it’s meant to be suspenseful and scary. There was the film The Blair Witch Project that was fiction, inspired by various documentaries on paranormal phenomena. Ringu was specifically based on actual records of actual people also.

Fiction or not, urban legends are here to stay and even multiply. It is up to us to decide which is true, which is not, and if they actually matter.

 

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Any urban legends you can share? The comments section is just below to serve you 🙂

U is for “Urban Legend”

 

This piece serves as my Letter U post for the A to Z Challenge 2017.

Truth? I had a hard time thinking of a topic for the U post that it took me days. I thought I’d just post my missing letters, but no, I wanted to do it forward. Then I encountered a few problems, but those, I will discuss in the reflections post once I am done.

For my previous posts, kindly visit my A to Z Challenge 2017 page.

“TREACHERY” #atozchallenge2017

I realized that though this is Poetry Month, I haven’t really shared any new poem of my own save from the very short ode that wasn’t really an ode. Now this is not exactly new, but I have not yet shared it here. Now a little background…

A lot of my poems have a contemplative feel, but many do have a sad, wounded, if not angry feel to them. That is because they are often unintentionally based on my experiences and on stuff that make me sad. For some reason, I seem to be inspired to write out my feelings more in poetry form when some things bother me. This annoys me a bit, truthfully, but I am what I am.

So with this poem I wrote years ago, you can very much guess what “inspired” me. As for the backstory, it is mine to keep. Let’s just say that much earlier on, I knew already she was not to be trusted: she already betrayed two people and even my confidence once. I just did not see the next time coming. Pathological traitors are like that. She got me into trouble, so to speak, so she could save her own behind.

You know, I’d like to say I have forgiven this person, but I would be lying. I have a long way to go on the path I am trying to take.

TREACHERY

What treachery is this?
A betrayal that has no name.

You speak in riddles
but mostly in silence,
yet speak with praises
and feigned friendship
in the same breath.
Your lies and your secrets
and my seeming ignorance
blend perfectly well
in a murky, filthy brew…

…Or so you think.

I have long-ago recognized the stench
seeping from your very skin.
I have long-ago recognized my anger
and hatred for your deceit.

Do you think I am such a fool
to ever believe you?
Do you think I am so blind
not to see through you?

Ah. Maybe not. Still, you try,
hoping, praying (to what god?).
You may have won the battle,
but I will someday win the war.

What treachery is this?
I ask in anger.
Oh, but betrayal
does have a name—YOU.

Copyright © J.Gi Federizo

 

HAPPY POETRY MONTH STILL!!!

If you want to read more of my poems, you can find them at the POETRY NOOK.

 

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I hope you liked what you read. As said, there are more at the POETRY NOOK.

T is for “Treachery”

This piece serves as my Letter T post for the A to Z Challenge 2017.

Will link to my A to Z Challenge 2017 page soon. 😉

Songs and Short Stories #atozchallenge2017

We all love music. Maybe we differ in preferences, maybe some of us aren’t good singers. Nevertheless, I would like to think that no one purposely hates songs.

Given that the storytelling for the whole Sound of Music (SOM) film is quite accurate, Captain Von Trapp did not want to hear singing in his house until Maria arrived. However, it wasn’t that he hated songs–the widower who wasn’t through grieving just did not want to be reminded of his first wife. I am not really talking about SOM here, though. I’m just saying that no, no one gets away from music.

Songs and short stories, that’s what I’d really like to talk about. Rather, songs that tell stories. These are stuff that have always captured my heart, especially the ones that make me feel things.

I love that aside from enjoying the melodies, I am made to contemplate on the lyrics of the songs. There are many songs that we like to listen to because they sound good, or because we can dance to the tunes. But once in a while, we are given the opportunity to listen to good stories, too. Sure, most songs have stories; not all are written well enough. I’m all for well-written songs.

Please do mind that I have only included those that I have heard myself (in case you’re looking for other samples that you know of), songs that come to mind for now.  They are songs I like for various reasons. They maybe old, ranging from way before I was born to maybe the early 90s. They maybe simple stories, sad ones, maybe kind of autobiographical, many have social relevance. The genres differ also, so if you are not a fan of a genre, do give the song a chance, anyway.

Now, this is not rocket science, so I won’t explain further. If you need to understand more, I’ll let the songs I shared below to explain to you. I honestly have much more in mind, like Killing Me Softly, originally by Lori Lieberman and then by Carole King, and which is about singer Don McLean. Still, ten songs for this post will suffice for now.

They are in alphabetical order, by the way…ENJOY REALLY LISTENING WITH YOUR HEARTS!!!

Adrian by Jewel

American Pie by Don McLean (wow, I never realized this song is more than eight minutes!)

At Seventeen by Janis Ian

Hazard by Richard Marx…So who do you think killed Mary…?)

Don’t Cry, Joni  by Conway Twitty and daughter Joni Lee

How Come, How Long by Babyface and Stevie Wonder

Luka by Suzanne Vega

People Everyday by Arrested Development…A lot of their songs have social relevance, like Mr. Wendal and Tennessee.

Tom’s Diner by Suzanne Vega…Let’s admit it, it’s quite catchy 😉

Waterfalls by TLC…Very relevant song from my fave girl group. Check out Unpretty, also very relevant.

 

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I’m sure you have more to add. Come on, share below and let’s talk!

S is for both “Songs” and “Stories”

This piece serves as my Letter S post for the A to Z Challenge 2017.

I am creating a page for my A to Z Challenge 2017 posts. Wait for it 😉

The Truth in Your Make-believe #atozchallenge2017

Many people, I believe, think that writing fiction is all about the imagination. After all, you cannot write a fictional story without making up something that did not really happen. That’s creative writing, So they’re right, right?

NOT SO MUCH. The fact about creating fiction is you add truth to the make-believe.

Sure, imagination is the major tool to use, but even make-believe needs to be somewhat, well, believable. Say you are working on a science fiction story. Do you simply say the aliens have arrived and then every person or thing on earth starts to float or elevate and you just leave it at that? I think not.

“The world of your story must have its own internal logic, rules and constraints.” (Writers & Artists)

You do not simply assume that readers will assume for themselves that the loss of gravitational pull is mainly due to the alien invasion. Maybe some won’t mind, those who are in it for the sole entertainment. But there are the thinking audience/readers who would mind, whom you could lose as readers because of that. There has to be some kind of scientific way to explain how the aliens do it somehow.

Since we’re on the subject of aliens, anyway, I am reminded of a movie I saw a long time ago, and which book version I got to own and read. It’s called Enemy Mine by Barry B. Longyear.

In it is an alien nicknamed Jerry, who we naturally assume as male based on appearance, voice (in the film), and how the Narrator begins telling the story. Then the earthling (Narrator) Willis Davidge gets a shocking surprise when Jerry announces he/she/it is pregnant. The alien soon gives birth.

Now the writer may have known about asexual reproduction from way back gradeschool, but if he hadn’t, then research certainly helped him use the concept and make the scenario logical enough. If he just left it to readers/viewers to figure out the gender of the alien–and whether hanky-panky between two inter-galactic species was involved–then the readers would most probably be lost. And the writer would have probably lost his patrons.

“Research is the elixir that reinvigorates your storyline, opens your chapters, and liberates you when you’ve written yourself into a suffocating closet. It makes you an expert in things you know diddley about, and elevates you from a wannabee to an author.” (Writers Write)

Ever wondered how Michael Crichton‘s Jurassic Park would have fared if he hadn’t done research to somehow make readers take into consideration the possibility of dinosaurs in the modern world?

It’s good to make your readers think. However, if it involves neglect on your part to provide more details, that’s where you’re doing it wrong. And we are not talking about sci-fi alone.

Historical fiction definitely requires research that maybe incorporated in your story to make it seem more credible and plausible. You cannot write about the early ’40s without mentioning anything about WWII, no matter how brief. Certainly, you cannot write about WWII itself based on assumptions or hearsay only. You need to add a few hard facts.

Detective stories nowadays seem more interesting when writers include what happens in a crime lab, for instance, or how certain test results lead to solving the mystery. Your detective cannot send the skull of a Jane/John Doe’s severed head to the lab and then have him say later, “Oh, s/he’s been identified as this person or that” without explaining how it is possible through examining dental records. Not all readers may get it.

Meanwhile, well-researched information can help explain how the past can lead someone down the psycho-killer path in suspense-thrillers. Even in fantasy, this could come in handy. If you want to write about creatures in the area where your setting is, research won’t hurt unless you are creating a whole new fictional beast.

All I’m saying is, while there is no limit to the imagination, research can help fuel that imagination and make readers believe you or, at least, your capability as a writer.

“Research, factual accuracy, lays the base for plausible fiction, for it actually enables suspension of disbelief in readers by building their trust.” (The Center for Fiction)

I am not talking about bombarding them with facts after facts to the point of information overload. I’m not talking about spoon-feeding your readers, either. They, too, need to make use of their own imagination. In fact, the main reason people read fiction is it allows them to use this often-neglected ability to imagine in the real world.

The main role of the writer is to tell the story and guide the reader.

“Thorough research instills in the writer enough knowledge to give her real confidence in her material—the kind of confidence that releases her from a need to show off or twist her plots, and frees her to finally sit down and write.” (The Center for Fiction)

 

Do not underestimate the power of research. Consider this advice the next time you write your fiction.

 

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What is your opinion on this? Does research matter? Let’s talk!

R is for “Research”

This piece serves as my Letter R post for the A to Z Challenge 2017.

I am creating a page for my A to Z Challenge 2017 posts. Wait for it 😉

Life as They Said It #atozchallenge2017

What makes a written work great is that it gives meaning to the reader. The best books and literary pieces often have us thinking, questioning, wondering, enlightened. Not surprisingly, many of what have been written and said get shared to others countless times. They can be very logical or philosophical, with a lot of wisdom, becoming mantras to many especially during hard times.

It is with pleasure that I share some of the best life quotes from authors, poets and their written works.

ENJOY!!!

From Tao Te Ching. This is a personal fave and my motto in life because it covers everything

Sure does! From Tao Te Ching

From The Art of War

From Letter to My Daughter

I know this, but I am not sure if it’s from a work, an interview, or a conversation she had with someone. Please enlighten me

From Anna Karerina

From The Shawshank Redemption

From Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

From Anne of Green Gables

From Brothers Karamazov. I had always known this as a popular saying. Never knew it was an actual quote…

 

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Sorry, I was late. Excuse not so valid. I do hope you liked today’s (er, supposedly yesterday’s) post. Can you add more to this? Comment below!!!

Q is for “Quotes”

This piece serves as my Letter Q post for the A to Z Challenge 2017.

I am creating a page for my A to Z Challenge 2017 posts. Wait for it 😉