Bodleian Treasures on the Last Day Before Reading Week

Cat chasing its own tail...

Well, not quite. But I am scrambling to print out Ayten's story for future editing, clear emails, reply to all lovely commenters, organize the piles of paper I've accumulated in the past month or so, and arrange the To Be Read stacks.

Reading Week starts tomorrow. Mmm, blankets and cocoa and books...

Part of the piles of paper involves random writing tips that I collect, including this, from an older Nathan Bransford post on John Green's Looking for Alaska:

"Every single interaction between Pudge and Alaska advances their relationship in a series of incremental steps that swing between positive and negative emotion, with each interaction more intense than the last. ... The variance between up and down moments creates suspense as the reader wonders which way it's going to end up going, and since we feel each up and down more acutely than the last, the reader becomes increasingly invested in the relationship. Each time the line swings up to a positive experience it feels earned because Pudge had to suffer through the last negative one.

Too often when aspiring writers try to craft jousting or intense relationships between characters, the relationships will feel one-note because the characters have roughly the same level of interactions over the course of the book with, say, a positive spike at the end if the they get together. They may well be interesting characters, but when every interaction between them ends in the same mixed place, there isn't the same feeling of investment and suspense. If the relationship doesn't grow in intensity or change dynamics, the reader will very quickly decide they know what they need to know about the relationship and won't be that interested in where it ends up.

On the other hand, when the relationship-o-meter swings between positive and negative poles it feels more true to life. Add increasing intensity and the reader won't be able to turn the page fast enough to see what happens."

Reason 76498953 for why I wish I lived in the UK (part two) - treasures from the Bodleian! Luckily, many of these are available online, including these:

Notebook of poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins:

The first ten Penguin books (I've only read Sayers and Christie):

Wilfrid Owen's Anthem for Doomed Youth:

J. R. R. Tolkien's Conversation with Smaug:


Anonymous said…
I love that last one especially. Did you see the first trailer for THE HOBBIT came out yesterday?
Anne Gallagher said…
Looks like an impressive list. Yay for cocoa.

Have a great and relaxing holiday break!
Glynis said…
I'm glad I am not the only one who jots down random notes.

Enjoy your reading break.

Have a good Christmas and New Year, Deniz.
J.L. Murphey said…
Nothing better on a cold winter night than hot chocolate, a good book, and a cozy fire...preferably in a fireplace.
Zan Marie said…
Hot chocolate and my honey...that's all I need. Have a wonderful break, Deniz. ; )
Carol Riggs said…
I haven't read LOOKING FOR ALASKA. Sounds like you have plenty to do!! Clearing emails in itself is a mammoth chore (at least in my Inbox and Sent box). Your Reading Week sounds LOVELY! (blankets and cocoa and books, oh my!!) Enjoy. :)
nutschell said…
I wish I had time to check out the Bodleian library when I went to the UK. IT really is a treasure trove for readers and writers!
Have the Happiest of Holidays!

Li said…
Wow, what treasures. Love the Wilfred Owen page! Sorry I haven't been by for a bit - been having Blogger issues, feed issues, computer issues...asked Santa for a new laptop to replace my craptop!! :-)
Anonymous said…
I liked that part about character interaction and changes in relationships.

Oooh, Penguin books.
Deniz Bevan said…
I did Joshua! I'm really happy they included the dwarves' song.

Thank you Anne! Hope you have a good holiday too.

Happy Christmas and New Year, Glynis!

Aww, I wish we had a fireplace Jo. But hey, my in-laws do!

Sounds lovely Zan Marie - and we have cats too :-)

I can't wait Carol! And yea, clearing emails never ends...

Happy Holidays nutschell!

Hope Santa brings you that laptop Li!

That was my reaction too, Medeia. I'll have to seek them out in secondhand shops...
Misha Gericke said…
I'd love to read Conversation with Smaug.

Another book to add to my TBR list. :-)
Misha Gericke said…
I'd love to read Conversation with Smaug.

Another book to add to my TBR list. :-)
Hey Deniz, just a hurried trip over. I missed the 3 scoops of vanilla ice cream from the Toblerone Cocktail recipe. If you try it let me know what you think!

Rek said…
Happy reading and happy interesting collection of books.
Deniz Bevan said…
You might already have done so, Misha! That's a scene from Tolkien's The Hobbit :-)

Ooh, thanks Denise. Still haven't tried the Toblerone yet. But I did make eggnog from scratch!

Thanks Rek. Happy new year!

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