A Quote I Like from Fight Club

‘Why should I believe any of this?’

It happens that fast..

I say, because I think I like you.

Marla says, ‘Not love?’

This is a cheesy enough moment, I say. Don’t push it.

Chuck Palahniuk does a great job of writing about subject matter in a way that remains interesting, and never gets too sappy. Some might argue he occasionally goes too far in the other direction (I do not agree with this assessment, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion).

I just finished Fight Club, including the Afterword in my version, and find it interesting that the author considers this book a love story. There are many elements to Fight Club, but if I had to write a paper about themes/meanings/etc. of the novel afterward, I never would have thought to write that it is a romance. Actually, I still wouldn’t, even now that I know it is his intention.

He also mentions that he essentially considers Fight Club a re-write of The Great Gatsby. Also interesting, because I don’t know that I would classify The Great Gatsby as primarily a love story, either.

Thoughts? What do you think of this quote? What do you think of Fight Club (book or movie)?

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The Blank Paper is Winning

fuck the paper

Day 12 of NaNo, and I have an embarrassingly small # of words. Which is actually fine – I’m really busy, and if I failed my tax quiz so that I could achieve a specific, round # of words by the end of the month, that would be horrible (and I would lose the job offer I recently accepted and would have to spend another winter in Michigan, which would probably literally kill me, to be honest).

Still, I hate to fail, even at arbitrary tasks that I have assigned to myself.

I really want to get to a point where I can at least see where this story is going. I kind of know where I want it to go, but it’s also taking me to unexpected places – which is awesome, because that’s exactly what you want it to do, both for you and your reader.

Anyway, I’m going to keep working. There were also a few days when I didn’t write anything, which for some reason, has failed to increase my word count (sarcasm intended). BUT I am writing more than I would otherwise, which is good. Because school is very busy, and I could literally divide all of my time between school, work, and housework – but that would make me a very dull girl. And we all know what happened to Jack (unless you both read the book & watched the Kubrick movie, in which case, what happened to Jack is very debatable).

How is everyone else’s project going?

Because the goo…

Because the good news is that we learn just as much about writing from awful books as we do from top-notch books. That’s why we’re encouraged to read everything. So with that spirit in mind, I’d like to look at some of the glaring mistakes of No Name Book that no author should make and no self-respecting author should allow to be published with their name on it.

First, my personal pet-peeve, copious backstory dump. For those unfamiliar with the term, backstory dump is when the author packs the first couple of pages—or first couple of chapters in this case—full of block paragraphs of exposition. Not just any exposition, the life-story of the main characters including all of the important bits of their pasts that will play a role in the current story. No! There are so many ways you can convey that sort of information without dumping it all out in explanatory paragraphs at the beginning! Let it unfold gradually, through dialog and action, and as part of the natural arc of the story!

This quote is from Merry Farmer’s blog, which deals a lot with reading and writing and is often pretty entertaining at the same time. Some of her blogs are romance-specific, and I’m not generally a romance fan, but I still highly recommend reading her blogs – especially since she writes much historical romance, and so a lot of her posts are about “what the hell were these people thinking when –“

But on to my perspective. First of all, reading her blog post, I completely agree with her opinion of the copious backstory dump. Exposition tends to be boring. BUT while reading this particular blog post, I began to wonder – does it have to be boring?

There has to be a way to make even large chunks of information highly entertaining.

One of my favorite novels, ever, is Northanger Abbey. NA begins with a lot of exposition, but all of that exposition is also a parody of gothic novel beginnings. The author (Jane Austen) covers a great deal of time (birth to marriageable age) in a few pages, and writes clever, pithy lines that always make me giggle.

Is that the trick, then? Humor? If you make me laugh while reading, I don’t tend to notice the format of the reading – I just let the ab workout take over and gleefully turn the pages.

What are your thoughts? I feel like this topic is pretty relevant since many people are beginning novels today (NaNo for the win! I’m not doing it this year, but I will cheer for you).

Repost: Writing & Setting Goals

This is a great post that details the importance of setting goals, as well as providing the opportunity to show initiative by joining a goal-setting group this month! (Also, it’s well-written, researched, & funny.)

Day 1: Three Things to Know About Setting Writing Goals.

I won’t be participating this year, but I love the idea. I strongly believe in setting goals, though I am unable to focus on writing, at the moment. Please let me know if you’re setting any writing goals in the comments!

And remember:

goal v. dream