Showing posts from July, 2010

In Which the Author Is Asked a Steamy Question

How do you write scenes that contain physical intimacy? Do you have any advice?

I'm willing to share some thoughts on this, but with the caveat that this is a subjective matter, and another writer with another writing style could give opposite advice that's just as valid and that you'll like better. Okay? There are many ways to, um, get the job done. And the job you do is not going to please everyone. :)

Also, where this post contains spoilers for my books, I will do my best to be as warny as possible. READ THE RED PRINT, which announces the beginning and end of spoiler sections. (If you have read both Graceling and Fire, then you don't need to worry about the spoiler warnings.)

So, how do I write scenes about physical intimacy?
With extreme, persnickety, finicky care. When writing scenes of any kind, you want to try to avoid too many clichés, right? The trouble is that the language of sex and intimacy is SUPER-clichéd -- just imagine a parody of a sex scene in a romance n…

An Extra Post This Week...

...because this xkcd is too funny not to share.

In Which the Author Is Tired

I like this post called Stop Telling People to Love Their Bodies, and some of the comments, too. H/t, R.

Also, I'm totally enjoying the Buffy Fashion Roulette over at The Bitter Buffalo.

On August 5, there'll be an all-day reading of To Kill a Mockingbird at the main branch of the Cambridge Public Library, from 9am to 9pm, to celebrate the book's 50th birthday. I'll be one of the many readers. I'll post more info about this once I know more -- but isn't this cool?!

Feel like going to Vail in October to talk about women in fantasy novels? This year's Sirens conference is from October 7 - 10 and registration is open. The guests of honor are Holly Black, Marie Brennan, and Terri Windling, and the presenters include Sarah Rees Brennan, Ellen Kushner, Malinda Lo, Cindy Pon, Delia Sherman, Sherwood Smith, and Janni Lee Simner. I was at Sirens last year -- it's a good conference. Have fun, everyone!

So. Remember last week, when I said I hoped to post some writing …

Frankie, Alpha, Matthew, Names, Power, and Squee

December 14, 2007

To: Headmaster Richmond and the Board of Directors, Alabaster Preparatory Academy

I, Frankie Landau-Banks, hereby confess that I was the sole mastermind behind the mal-doings of the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds.
So opens one of my favorite books of all time, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, by E. Lockhart.

Recently I mentioned Marie Rutkoski's super fun post about good book boyfriends, bad book boyfriends, and what you can tell about a potential book boyfriend from his name. Marie and I got into a conversation over there about our favorite male character names and what they mean -- which, of course, devolved eventually to Spike, Angel, Jayne, and Mal, but anyway -- then, this past week, I reread The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. I can't BELIEVE that I forgot about Alpha and Matthew when I was e-chatting with Marie! Talk about two larger-than-life boyfriends with names that matter.

This is the place in the post where I pause …

A Writing Lesson about the Trees

But first: News goes behind the News link, but some news is worthy of an announcement. Fire has won the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award. This award, presented annually by ALAN, honors a book that possesses literary merit, widespread appeal to teens, and a positive approach to life. I'm touched that the ALAN Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Committee saw the hope in my grim tale. Thank you so much to the committee for this fabulous honor!! :D

On to our writing lesson.

Here's the thing: recently, while I was reading Sandra McDonald's Diana Comet and Other Improbable Stories (highly recommended, BTW), I read a wonderful line that, very suddenly, taught me an important writing lesson. Unfortunately, being out of post-it flags, I didn't mark the section, and now I can't find it again to share with you. Curses! But, here's what I wrote in my calendar, presumably because my calendar was the closest thing nearby for writing in: "If you're describing a place or …

A Voice Recognition Software Demonstration

Note to those who are reading this post in an e-mail, or anywhere other than my blog actual: if you don't see the short video immediately below, this post isn't going to make a whole lot of sense to you. You might want to read this one on my actual blog, which is here.

Press play!

Note: When the VRS recognizes a word that I do not say, that word is shown in red font. The correct word, if there is one, follows in brackets, in green font. Similarly, when I say a word that the VRS misses entirely, that word is shown in brackets, in green font. (My apologies to any readers who are color blind!)

Hello everybody! This is your friendly author Krif[s]tin here, and I’m going to give you a little demonstration of my voice recognition software. Below this video, I will post the uncorrected text of this dictation. Read along, and see for yourself how well it works.

Stopover to become really like that [Here's how well the software works if you talk really really fast] about the[trains an…

Some Nights Stay Up Till Dawn

Sometimes, my writing does disruptive things to my daily schedule and I end up staying up until 4 or 5am, for days on end. That's been happening a lot in the last few weeks. It can make life kind of messy, but I just try to go with it and be grateful for a job that allows me to live in all parts of the day. I always think of this gorgeous poem, ganked from the blog of my friend and fellow writer, Sarah Miller:

Some nights stay up till dawn,
as the moon sometimes does for the sun.
Be a full bucket pulled up the dark way
of a well, then lifted out into the light.

Speaking of delightful things: this evening, as I walked the footbridge over the Charles River, a man wearing swimming trunks and a Spanish flag as a cape climbed up onto the edge, yelled "For España!," and jumped into the river. :0) Congratulations to Spain, and I hope people aren't too sad in the Netherlands. It was impossible for me to decide which team to support, because I love people in both places.

A Long Blather About Intertextuality, Actors, and the Movie Heat

Warning: this got rambly! Don't stress out: it is not assigned reading and there will not be a quiz.

Okay. About a year ago, I blogged about intertextuality in books and music. I.e., the way we bring every book we've read to every new book we read, and make connections; the way our enjoyment and appreciation of Jane Eyre is liable to affect our reading of any book about a lonely person going to live and work in a remote and mysterious house, for example. Or the way, if you've listened to a lot of Dvorak, some parts of John Williams's movie scores are going to sound pretty durn familiar. (There's probably some other word for "intertextuality" when it relates to music, but I don't know what that word would be.)

Well, this week I've been thinking about intertextuality in TV shows and movies. (Again, maybe there's a better word for it in this context?) There's an aspect of intertextuality that comes into play in movies and TV constantly: the a…

Randutiae, Get Your Randutiae Here

Cover of Fire, U.K. large print edition, published by Clipper Large Print --->

So. Randomness today. Read what interests you, skip what doesn't.
Book Boyfriend Names. I got a kick out of Marie Rutkoski's short post about literary boyfriends and their names. Do you even have to read the L'Engle books to know that Adam Eddington is solid and reliable, while Zachary Gray is a bad boy? I have a lot of fun choosing names for my male leads. Poor Po is the butt of Germany, but I hope I've done well by my other boys :)
Airbrushing is Creepy. The other day, after I posted the poor rhino who's trying to slim down to a unicorn, my sister, secret codename: Apocalyptica, sent me the homepage of a famous airbrushing company. I took a look and was subsequently creeped out. First, click on any of the bottom four categories: Beauty/Hair, Correction, Shaping, or Manipulation. Then, watch original images morph into the final cuts by clicking on an image, then dragging the litt…

In Which I ♥ My Field (and My Friends)

1. The following is an email exchange between Becca, Amanda, Jess, and me.
Me: Guys! I sprained my ass on the flying trapeze. Now I'm sitting on a cold compress.
Becca: I read "cold compress" as "golden compass" and was considerably puzzled.Golden compass explanation.

2. The following is an email exchange between Mike and me.
Me: I love Peeta like crazy, but I have to be honest: I don't love his name. Especially since he's the baker's son.
Mike: I agree. It's a little like naming your kid Phlatbred.
Peeta Mellark introduction.
3. The following is (another) email exchange between Becca, Amanda, Jess, and me.
Becca: I saw a bunny in my parking lot yesterday.
Me: A bunny! You remind me that I saw three bunnies in the business school the other day.
Becca: I wonder what business they plan to go into when they graduate.
Me: Garden vegetable retrieval?
Me: There was also this guy walking along, and a bunny crossed his path, and he barely even glanced at it. The…