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Words of Wisdom: Inspiring Words For Aspiring Writers

I read to live and I live to read. That's my circle of life.

“I read to live and I live to read. That’s my circle of life.”

Greetings Fellow BookNerds!

Writing is one of our oldest, most dynamic and inspiring professions, an art form capable of  bringing to life people, places and the world they exist within, through the use of a limited number of simple markings on a page. The fundamental concept of story writing really hasn’t changed all that much, in the sense that people do it with the intention of creating something based on either fact, fiction or both. The style and methods we use, however, are in a constant state of change, evolving in a way which reflects the very mindset of the society at any given time. What people consider to be a good read changes almost as quickly as fashion cell phone trends. Once day, it’s all about the vampire/human/werewolf love triangle, and the next day you have to be following the fight over the iron throne. The problem is that there is always a new book coming out, and as much as we would like to read them all, there are just not enough hours in a day, days in a week, weeks in a month… well, you get the picture. We basically have to pick and choose what we figure would be worth putting the time in to read, and cross our fingers that we won’t be disappointed.

Going back to the changes in writing styles, what I find to be the most impressive aspect of modern writing is how talented authors have become at creating the kinds of characters that we can’t help but fall head over heels for, to the point where we feel their pains and happiness as our own. That is not an easy thing to do, because you not only have to create a character people would find interesting, but who is also believable in the sense that the things they do and say are realistic, and not like the cheesy overacting you find in soap operas.

It’s a great skill, but that’s not all modern authors are good at. They’re also good at creating characters who may seem like they’ll be around until the end of the series, but then they go ahead and kill them off in a way which breaks our hearts and rips open our tear ducts. I would provide some examples, but I would hate to give away any spoilers. I’m sure that anyone who has seen or read Game of Thrones understands what I’m getting at. Those are the kinds of stories where even if a seemingly insignificant character gets killed off, the impact it has on our emotions is surprisingly powerful.

Before I go on rambling for too long, here is the quote which inspired these thoughts of mine. It’s a quote by the infamous horror writer Stephen King, whose ability to continuously pour stories out on paper no matter how many books he has already written will never cease to astound me.

 “I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose.”

I must confess, I have read very little of the works by King, but I am familiar with his style based on the movie renditions of some of his more famous work. He is definitely one of those authors who can create some of the most memorable characters, and even though some people may not be too happy about it, he won’t hesitate to kill them off, or turn them into something that turned your love for the character into hate and anger. The mark of a good writer is being able to manipulate our emotions; knowing in which direction to take the story in order to evoke a specific thought in the readers mind.

In light of this weeks quote, here is my question for all of you lovely booknerds:

Question: Which author do you feel is the best at this style of story writing? 

Leave your thoughts in the comments below, or on my blogs facebook page, and until next time, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

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Words of Wisdom: Inspiration for Aspiring Writers

I read to live and I live to read. That's my circle of life.

“I read to live and I live to read. That’s my circle of life.”

Greetings Fellow BookNerds!

Looks like Word of the Week isn’t the only thing that’s making a comeback on this blog. For writers, the biggest obstacle is ourselves; our doubts, our second guesses, our writers block and our inability to see the end result of our labours amidst the cutthroat competition and our own self deprecation. I have started and stopped many stories, most of which I was certain would be my greatest masterpiece when the words first began to pour out of the creative recesses of my brain and onto my computer screen. There are many reasons why I haven’t been able to see any of my creations through to the end, but the most prominent of them all is lack of self-motivation as a result of the afore mentioned obstacles. However, this has not stopped me from continuing to pursue my dreams of becoming a writer. Why? Because every time a pick up a new book, it’s impossible to not be inspired. Every single one of those authors had to start somewhere. No one is great at what they do from the very beginning, and in order to become great, you cannot avoid the blood, sweat and tears that comes with the territory.

Todays quote is from one of my all time favourite authors, whose literary prowess and clever wit still have me coming back for more. His style is unique in a way that cannot be described by words… although if I did have to slap a label on it, I would have to say it’s unorthodox, satirical and clever. Who else could I be referring to than the infamous Neil Gaiman. Ever since one of my childhood friends read Good Omens to me during our morning bus rides to school, I have found myself helplessly ensnared by his imagination.

This quote is one that I only stumbled upon recently, but I shall forevermore use these words as my eternal inspiration for everything I do…

“The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before.” 

I’ve always wondered why my heart swelled with happiness whenever I made something with my own two hands. One of my roommates recently taught me how to crochet, and when I held that bright red scarf I made all on my own for the first time, I honestly did feel like the world had become a fraction brighter. It’s a small thing, I know, but not everything we do has to change the world on such a grand scale. If each and every one of us put our dedication into making one thing that wasn’t there before, then the world would be filled with over 7 billion new things. It’s really inspiring when you think of it like that, which is why no matter what, I shall continue to do my best to bring something new into this world.

I don’t usually hear back from you lovely booknerds, but I’ve always gone by the philosophy that it doesn’t hurt to ask. That being said, if there are any quotes that you would like to see shared on my blog, I encourage you to post it in the comments below, or on my World in Writing facebook page. I look forward to reading what motivates you to write, and until next time, happy reading! 

Cheers,

Booknerd

Word of the Week: I’m Bringin’ It Back

I read to live and I live to read. That's my circle of life.

 “I read to live and I live to read. That’s my circle of life.”

Greetings Fellow BookNerds!

When I first started this blog about 4 years ago – I can’t believe it’s already been that long! My how time flies – I had several different themes going at once, mostly because I still wasn’t quite sure what the focus of this blog was going to be. One of them was a weekly theme called ‘Word of the Week’, which those of you who have stuck around for a while might still remember. Basically, every week I would post a new word that I had never heard of before, and which I found to be of great interest based on the complexity of the word, its origin and its meaning. The only reason I stopped this particular segment was because I was trying to narrow the focus of my blog on books alone. But you know what? When it comes to books, there will always be words we don’t recognize, no matter how well we think we know our own language.

I also felt rather motivated after spending a great deal of time with my new roommates, both of whom are foreign exchange students, and both of whom speak at least two different languages outside of English. It’s funny how we have a tendency to become more interested in our own native tongue when learning about that of another. That’s been the case for me, anyway. So, in light of bringing back an old favourite, here is a word that may be frightening to some, assuming you have it.

Kakorrhaphiophobia

Kakorrhaphiophobia

This is one of those words that took me a few tries before I figured out how it was supposed to be pronounced. If the picture wasn’t enough of a hint, kakorrhaphiophobia is the fear of failure. It’s one of those phobias that I figure most of us – if not everyone – experience at least once every day. Of course, not everyone experiences it to the degree where it could be considered a phobia, but the fear of failing at something is not uncommon. For some, this phobia can be crippling, to the point where those affected are incapable of even attempting to do anything where there is the risk of not succeeding. According to a quick internet search, the name of this phobia is a combination of the Greek word ‘kako’ (bad/evil) and of course phobia (fear). Of course, I am not a linguist, so if there is someone out there among my wonderful followers who happens to know a bit more about this phobia, I would love to hear all about it in the comments below.

I am going to try my utmost best to make this a weekly thing. If you have words that you would like to recommend, or are curious to learn a bit more about them, just leave them in the comments below, or visit the World In Writing Facebook page and leave a comment on my page. Until next time, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

Words of Wisdom: Ray Harryhausen

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

Yesterday marked the passing of yet another brilliant mind, whose vision was not limited by the tools and technology available in his time. Ray Harryhausen was first inspired to try his hand at stop-motion animation after seeing the original King Kong. He was captivated by its surrealism, and that captivation eventually lead him to bring creatures to life on screen such as Medusa from Clash of the Titans, and the army of skeletons from Jason and the Argonauts.

Today’s wisdom comes from one of the last words spoken by this man, who took a simple story and made it extraordinary. Hopefully is work and his wisdom will live on through the ages, for he is a pioneer in animation, and we would not have some of today’s greatest films without people who possessed his vision and his passion.

ray harryhausen-medusa

(Ray Harryhausen, 1920 – 2013)

I’m very happy that so many young fans have told me that my films have changed their lives. That’s a great compliment. It means I did more than just make entertaining films. I actually touched people’s lives — and, I hope, changed them for the better.”

I find that this should be the goal of every film; entertainment only lasts but a fleeting moment, but touching someone’s life and inspiring them to achieve greater things can last a lifetime. Harryhausen will be missed, but hopefully his wisdom will live on through the ages, even after we learn how to construct holograms and virtual realities.

That’s all for today. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments, and as always, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

Word of the Week: Earworm … It’s Not What You Think!

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

Once again, I would like to apologize for my blogging absence yesterday. It was my first full day back from school, which I hoped would mean some time to recline and relax, but it ended up being hours of unpacking, cleaning and going to work. Welcome to my summer ^_^

So, there is a very high chance that I will not only neglect to post some days, but they also may come very late in the day, which I suppose isn’t a problem for all of you night owls out there. I’m sure I am not the only one who switches on their reading light once the sun goes down and curls up in bed with a good book.

That said, it’s time to present today’s word of the week, brought to you by Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary.

earworm-300x246

This word was added to the dictionary back in 2012 as an official word. It does not mean what you’re thinking, assuming that you think it’s an actual worm located within your ear. It’s actually a term which is similar to ‘bookworm’, which is someone who devotes themselves to reading. Not everyone is a bookworm, but everyone can develop an earworm. You know that time when you heard this really annoying song that you never wanted to hear again – for me, it was Friday by Rebbecca Black – but not matter what you did the tune would keep playing itself over and over again in your head? That’s would be an earworm for you. To be more specific, it’s a song which plays repeatedly in your mind, as though the song has bored its way into your brain! Sorry for the gruesome imagery, but I think you get the picture 🙂

Even though this term has only recently found its way into Webster’s dictionary, it has been suggested that the word itself has been around for much longer. This is just what I have read other people say, but I lack the proof to state it as a fact … which is where you guys come in! If you have a research fetish, and find the topic of word origins to be of interest, then I would encourage you to see what you can find out about earworms and where they came from. Leave your findings in the comments, and until next time, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

Words of Wisdom: Joss Whedon

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

People have a knack for overlooking the true geniuses of this world, until they either climb their way onto their mainstream channels, or their ideas become so controversial that they can no longer be ignored. In other words, they either ride the popular bandwagon or they become the scapegoats for everything that goes wrong in society. Not that the ideas of a genius have to be of a radical nature with the intention of changing the fundamental values upon which humanity is built. Geniuses come in a wide variety, like Lays chips; there will be some you love, some you hate, and the rest you’re just indifferent to. Hey, the potato chip itself could be considered the creation of a genius, although that may not of been what Mr. George Crum had in mind when trying to satisfy the complaint of one of the customers at his restaurant. This talk of chips is making me hungry, so I digress…

The entertainment world is bursting at the seems with brilliant minds, one of whom is finally being given the attention and respect he deserves. His stories are not only outside the box, but every character, no matter how insignificant their part may seem, is memorable. It’s also best not to get too attached to any of them either, because in his world, no character is safe from the clutches of evil and death. I am, of course, talking about non other than Joss Whedon, the genius behind such stories as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Serenity, and most recently The Avengers. It is his creative genius that has prompted me to choose his words for today’s Words of Wisdom segment…

Joss_Whedon_by_Gage_Skidmore_3

(Joss Whedon, 1964 ~ present)

“I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of. ”

 

We all have our reasons for why we write. I, for instance, have difficulty expressing myself in a verbal manner; my knees still quake at the mere thought of giving a speech in front of more than a few spectators. I still have things I would like to say, though, hence my seeking out other, less spotlit mediums. I also write because, like Mr. Whedon, there are certain things I cannot do in the real world that can be made possible on paper, like soaring through the clouds on the scaly back of a dragon, or facing off against hoards of zombies with nothing more than a crossbow. Even if it can never be, I find comfort in knowing that I can create an entire world where I can be whomever I wish to be, even if it’s only on paper. Call it an escape from reality, if you wish, but some of the books I have read give more insight into reality than most of the people I talk to. Maybe if politicians read more fiction, they could see just what kind of world they’re dealing with, and just how influential and dangerous their actions can be …

That’s all for today. Be sure to share to leave your comments, questions or any other thoughts in the comments, and until next time, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

 

References:

Inventor of Potato Chips

Joss Whedon Biography

Joss Whedon Stories

Reflections: Why Do People Keep Saying That!

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

It goes without saying that I am a big fan of the English language and everything it entails, but that love of words and literary devices comes to a crashing halt when certain phrases reach my ears. My brain can only take so much language abuse before I have to put my foot down, both literally and figuratively. The following is a mere sample of the vat of common sayings which not only means something entirely different than the context people have placed them in, but they also don’t make a lick of sense regardless of their verbal or literary usage.

My Top 5 Most Annoyingly Inaccurate Sayings of the English Language

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#5: I could care less

Okay, my feud with this phrase has more to do with its context than anything else. Whenever people say ‘I could care less’ as a substitution for ‘I don’t care’, the first thought to occur to me is that they are contradicting themselves. When you say ‘I could care less’, what you are really saying is ‘I do care’. What they should really be saying is ‘I couldn’t care less’, which more accurately captures the extent to which they don’t care for something.

#4: Irregardless

This time, it’s grammatical. I’m not sure who decided to place a suffix on this word, but the proper term is ‘regardless’, meaning ‘despite the present circumstances’. Words like ‘irregardless’ tend to pop up when someone gets this idea in their head that it would be cool to squash two words together and see to what extent it would catch on. That is most likely how this one came about, although no one does know for sure.

#3: And he was like…

If you are going to recite a conversation between yourself and someone else, show some certainty in what both you and the other person said. When people say ‘he was like’, I cannot help but feel their certainty in what the other person said is not as rock solid as they would like me to believe. They would have ‘said’ something, and not have ‘like, said’ something. Like is meant to dictate feelings of attraction or preference, in some cases comparing two or more things in terms of certain attributes. I do wish people would refrain from using it as a mere filler word instead of its intended use.

#2: It hurts like Hell!

There is a very simple reason for my displeasure at hearing this phrase: how can you know something hurts like hell when you’ve never been? Perhaps I am looking at it in too much of a literal manner, but it would make more sense to compare it to a past experience that results in the same level of pain than a place that may or may not exist.

#1: ???

I must leave you at a cliffhanger here, for I have not yet decided on the phrase which forces my level of irritation to peek. I would like to hear what my fellow BookNerds think, though. Let me know in the comments which phrases you would like to see fall into disuse, and I promise that by tomorrow, I shall unveil that ultimate, most annoying saying known to human kind. Until then, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd