Posts Tagged With: humor

Readability

I’m learning a lot more about what makes a book “readable” or not. This is completely unrelated to the plot, characters, and themes. You can excel in all of these things and still not have a readable book. What makes a book “readable” for you?

Here is what turns a book from a “nice read” to a “fantastic read”, for me:

  • The book begins by developing an emotional attachment in me to the character. Ways to do this: sympathy, mystery, thrills, a problem
  • The book stays on the story path of the main character and side characters without too many switch-offs and rabbit trails. Some are interesting, but too many are confusing.
  • There is balance between the time spent describing the inner emotions of the character and time spend on their actions. If the balance is off, you get cold, unlovable characters or you get sappy characters and a lagging story line.
  • There is mystery/suspense in the plot, but I am clued in subtly throughout. It is a tough balance between excitement and confusion, understanding and over-explanation.
  • The writing is done in uncomplicated style, but using correct grammar, punctuation, and word usage. It isn’t as vital in character dialogue, but in the story body it is absolutely necessary. The wrong use of a word or an awkward sentence snags my whole attention and I lose track of all the nougat-y goodness of the book.
  • There is a definite conflict going on that unfolds throughout the story. A simple series of events can occasionally draw me in but it takes some pretty fantastic writing for that to happen. Excitement generated by love, danger, rivalry, and/or tragedy helps draw me through the story.
  • Humor doesn’t work in every story, but when it does, it really enhances my enjoyment. I really enjoy “serious humor” in a story that might not have room for outright silliness. I define “serious humor” as passive humor that results from character circumstances that would otherwise not contain humor.

 

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

New Review: Three Girls and a Wedding by Rachel Schurig

Three Girls and a Wedding

by Rachel Schurig

Genre: humor, romance

Jen Campbell loves weddings. In fact, she loves them so much that she became an event planner in the hopes that she would one day get the chance to help women create the fairy tale day of their dreams…Unfortunately, the only thing Jen has been allowed to plan so far are boring restaurant openings and children’s birthday parties.

When Jen’s big break finally comes, she realizes that wedding planning is a heck of a lot more complicated than picking out the perfect flowers and cake.

Add to the chaos a pair of fighting friends, a totally pressuring mother, and a ridiculously gorgeous (but moody) best man, and Jen has her work cut out for her.

In THREE GIRLS AND A WEDDING, Jen Campbell will try to plan the perfect wedding and maybe—just maybe—create her very own happily-ever-after.

Read my review at http://katepolicanisreviews.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/three-girls-and-a-wedding-by-rachel-schurig/

or just buy it now for kindle

or nook

For more information about the author: http://rachelschurig.com/

Categories: Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quotes From Books

While reading, sometimes I just have to write down something so I can see it often.

Here are some I’ve saved:

“I tucked his words away like a piece of candy into my pocket, to take out later and savor.”

~Hourglass by Myra McEntire

 

“They held hands, soaking wet, wearing inflated innertubes around their waists like misplaced halos, leaving water droplets in their wake.”

~Skinny by Diana Spelcher

 

‘”Of course you may say a few words. My colleagues would be honored. I am naturally too important to feel honored, but I would be mildly amused.”‘

~And Another Thing... by Eoin Colfer

 

“I am in my own world of misreading people, reaching out to them in an awkward, overplanned way that blows up big-time, then retreating back into my just-me existence, while they go around telling anyone who will listen what a tard I am.”

~The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To by D.C. Pierson

 

“You know that expression, “It hit me like a ton of bricks”? It’s true. Guys don’t talk about stuff like that. We just lie under the pile of bricks.”

~Looking For Alaska by John Green

 

“Horror Movies never tell you that–about how most of the time when you’re faced with the unspeakable, the biggest thing you take away from the experience is the need to find some indoor plumbing.”

~Betrayals byLili St. Crow

 

I think those were in kind of a reverse order of when I read them. Do you have any fun book quotes you had to keep?

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to write a “Vampire Chick” novel/series (based on the ones I’ve read):

Create a character who is in her late 20’s to mid-thirties who is or becomes a vampire, never voluntarily. She doesn’t want to be a vampire or hates herself since she became one. She has to be “nice” and hates sucking blood. She has to be either unnaturally innocent or a world-weary bad girl grown up. Both innocence and past pain are hooks for us to care about her.

Start her out being a “normal girl” with flaws like bad hair or clumsiness, but reveal her to be secretly superhot or become so as the book goes on. She also has to be special in some random way; she reads minds, sees ghosts, has visions, knows jujitsu etc.

She either has to be a fashionista or despise/not care about clothing. Have the love interest be frustrated by this–he is a high-class man or he is a no-nonsense guy–inverse to the character’s value of looks and dress.

If she becomes a vampire in the book she has to be unusually sane during her “newborn vampire” stage or not go through it at all. Accept or reject any piece of vampire lore as fits your story. Use the explanation of “what vampires are really like” to add word count to your story.

You must create one gay character to show how non-homophobic you are. There are extra tolerance points if the person is the main character’s best friend.

There must be a best friend for her to protect or to protect her. Other’s love for her shows she is lovable and her love for them makes her lovable. Have the best friend encourage her in the opposite of the desires of the love interest to add drama.

Every man has to be sinfully handsome, whether he’s the love interest or the bad guy. Even though the main character is portrayed as a shlub at first, she must be irresistable to all the male characters (except the gay bff and even that is open to interpretation).

One of the hot guys must be a vampire hunter with a love/hate relationship. He can hate her at first and then fall in love. He can protect her until she becomes a vampire and then turn on her. You get the idea.

The love interest can be any hot guy from the ancient vampire to the vampire hunter, or even another supernatural being. It doesn’t matter. He is a decoration for the main character. Spend a lot of time describing how attracted the main character is to the love interest. Slather it on and make it really embarassing. Bonus sexy points if she can’t control herself around him and vice-versa.

There is no other woman in the love interest’s eyes but the main character, though he has to have had scads of women before her. A beautiful, intimidating, evil ex can be the best bad guy or assistant-to-the-bad-guy.

Any other mythical race can be real or a myth based on how many super characters you want. If they usually hate vampires, your character has to be the exception unless the bad guy is non-vampire or non-human. Describe how the mythical races work for word count.

Somehow your character must always be the key to saving the city/country/world from super-evil forces. Danger and magnitude must grow throughout the novel/series with a maximum of one week in-between threats.

Many terrible injuries must occur to your main character so we can feel bad for her. If she isn’t yet a vampire, they never require physical therapy, ruin her looks, or permanently disable her. If she is a vampire, they heal quickly with no scars, but you can make her drink the love-interest’s blood to cure her and that’s sexy.

Sex scenes should come at inappropriate moments with no privacy, no time, terrible locations, and no warning if you like. Even if the main character jumps right in the sack with the love interest, she isn’t a slut. Every character accepts this. No disease or unwanted pregnancy ever results from sex in “Vampire Chick” novels.

There is no need to complete the story or even the plot within any given book. Readers love it when you make them wait for the next book to see if the world was saved. Chop it off wherever you like. Who cares!

And that is the “formula” for the “Vampire Chick” novel! Go for it! (Wow! That was practically one all by itself!)

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.