Category Archives: Blog

Pros and Cons of Audiobooks

Audio books

Audiobooks are becoming more and more popular by the day, but there’s still some argument about whether or not they are inferior to actual reading. I don’t claim to be the best judge in this competition. I enjoy both audiobooks and actual reading immensely. What it really comes down to when deciding whether to purchase the audiobook or the hard copy is personal choice. Mostly your lifestyle.

Dan Wells’ Seven-Point Story Structure

sevenpoint story

Because we’re talking about Dan Wells’s Partials this week, I thought it would be the perfect time to introduce you to one of the BEST story analysis tools EVER! This story analysis tool wasn’t exactly created by Dan, but he did make it his own and popularized it through a lecture you can watch here. (I do recommend watching his lecture, just keep in mind it’s an hour long.)

This tool is great because it helps you find a good skeleton of a story. It fits in perfectly with the most common story creation/analysis tool, The Three Act Structure (which will be covered in an upcoming post), and is a great framework to keep in mind when reading a book.

Just a note, the way Dan uses this structure to create a story is by working backwards. Keep in mind that he is teaching this method to writers, not to readers (although, they’re often one-in-the-same). (I won’t be running through it backwards, like him.)

According to Dan, every story must have at least these seven elements at its core:

5 Reasons Fiction is Important

books1edited

1) Escapism

Statistics say 80% of people are unhappy with their jobs. Unhappiness in your workplace or home can do a lot to decrease your outlook on life. Especially for knowledge workers, juggling so many things in their brains all day can be tiring and often times, the job doesn’t feel worth it. That’s where a book comes in.

Character Foils

Character Foils

What They Are and Why They Matter

A foil is a character who plays off another in order to highlight certain strengths or weaknesses. Think of a comedy team: One person is the Straight Man (think of him as your protagonist), while the other is the Wise Guy. The Straight Man sets up jokes and the Wise Guy rolls off a punchline. They are two people with opposite characteristics who share a similar bond (they have to work together to deliver a joke), playing off each others strengths and weaknesses.

Foils pop up EVERYWHERE in fiction. And they can serve a multitude of purposes. A foil might be present to highlight a particular aspect of another character’s personality that is important. Perhaps they’re there for comic relief. Often times a character foil serves to bring in another perspective on a situation or cause conflict. You can’t have a good story without good conflict. Sometimes authors include a character foil simply because opposites attract. I’ve never met a pair of best friends or a romantic couple who thought and behaved exactly the same as each other.

The 2014 Reading Challenge

2014 book

24 Books in one year. That’s two books a month.

Is this aggressive? Eh. For me, working full time, attending college full time, and managing two blogs, it’s pretty aggressive. Maybe even excessive. But there are so many good books out there that I know I will die with my Goodreads “To-read” shelf still ascending into the millions. Might as well get started now!

ThinkyRead is more than a way for me to stay accountable to my goal. ThinkyRead is a place where people can come and discuss literature and have a good time doing it. Every week on Monday will be that week’s book for discussion. Given that I’m only reading two books a month, every other post will be something I’ve already read and am discussing from a brief review or, when time is short, from memory.

My goal is not for this to become a one-woman show, but to found a community of nerdy bookworms who like to discuss awesome books. Go ahead and subscribe to join me on this awesome wordy journey of 2014!

(Props to Geoff Whaley for the awesome image)

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