Showing posts from October, 2011

And Then Anton Chekhov Said . . .

In his advice to playwrights, Anton Chekhov suggested that “Declarations of love, the infidelity of husbands and wives; widows, orphans and all other tears, have long since been written up. The subject ought to be new, but there need be no ‘fable.’ And the main thing is - father and mother must eat. (Therefore) Write. Flies purify the air, and plays - the morals.”

Important Writing Principle #17: Precision

To be precise in writing doesn’t mean that you simply use your Thesaurus. Precision paints a sharper picture in the mind’s eye of the reader. Authors visualize the scene they are writing down to the last detail. Unfortunately, this picture doesn’t always transmit to the reader. The author assumes the reader will see the details, when in reality, it is the reverse. Some authors try to make their writing more precise by making it wordier. This usually doesn’t work, and the writing becomes heavy, stagnant - without movement. There is a trick that I use that will help you to be more precise in what you want to say. I call it the Triangle of Precision. Imagine a triangle, sitting with the point up. The point represents a scene with the least amount of detail, i.e. “She took me home in her vehicle.” Vehicle is the word at the apex of the triangle. As we fill in information about the vehicle, we begin to descend the triangle, filling in larger areas. Vehicle becomes car. Car becomes an Audi. A…

The Movie "The Trip" (2010)

In the movie, “The Trip,” Michael Winterbottom’s 2010 comedy, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon advance the ‘Buddie Trip’ to a whole new intellectual and philosophical level. At the start, Steven, an actor, accepts the job of reviewing up-scale restaurants in Northern England. He accepts this assignment, thinking it would be a great way for him and his girlfriend to enjoy a romantic getaway. However, girlee can’t make it because she’s gone to the U.S. hunting for a job and presumably to sort out her relationship with Stevie, so Steven calls on his ‘sort of’ buddy Rob to accompany him. Between dueling impersonations, mindless eating and the obvious failings of a middle-aged celebrity ‘wannabe,’ “The Trip” contains an important underlying message. Hey, don’t expect me to reveal it; watch the movie. Besides, I’m too busy practicing my Michael Caine impersonation. The acting is superb, the scenery is marvelous and the score fits in perfectly. My rating: B+ Have you seen this movie? What do you th…

Important Principle of Writing #12: The Definition of Writing

Understanding What Writing Is: This is the first step towards writing well. What is writing? Definition: Writing is words in relationship.
Examples: A word in relation to nothing. (Help); A word in relation to itself (reflective) (to wash, to wake, to stop); A word in relation to a word next to it ( I awoke.) or (She smiled.); A word in relation to other words in a sentence, a paragraph, a chapter, a story, or a novel. Understanding this concept, you will begin to understand the power of words and the importance of the choice of words to use. There are many young writers who believe that more words equals better writing. This is not the case. It is the relationship of each word to other words that gives writing its importance. As an exercise, fiction writer should write poetry. This will help to understand the importance of choosing the right word to express thought with economy.

Who is Your Favorite Author?

We all have our favorite authors. Do you know where your fav lies on the all time “Author Best Seller List?” You may be surprised who is on top, just under the Bible and Willie Shakespeare. If you guessed it was Agatha Christie, you’d be right. 4 BILLION books sold. Yikes!
Here’s the list:


Speaking about dogs: did I tell you that I am working on a top secret book project that's all about dogs? No? Well now you know. More news to follow.

Maine Lobster – Do you know . . .

Maine is the lobster capital of the world. Here, we have the sweetest, juiciest and finest lobsters anywhere. Mainers are proud of this fact and take lobster fishing very seriously. The most recent figures published indicate that in 2009 there were over 72 million pounds of lobster caught off the Maine coast, valued at over 297 million dollars.
Even though Maine lobsters are consumed by millions of people all over the world, little is know about our Homarus americanus (American lobster.) Let me share a few little-known lobster facts that you can ponder the next time you dig into these succulent crustaceans.
Lobsters love the colder waters you find around the Maine coast. However, I have witnessed them hanging out in some of the bars in the Old Port in Portland, too. They molt 2-3 times a year while juvenile, but only once a year when fully mature (about 4 to 7 years old.) In the first two weeks after molting, lobsters are very vulnerable because their new shells are so soft they can’t m…

Caché; The Film That Hides the Truth!

Caché (Hidden) is Michael Haneke’s 2005 fascinating, award-winning film in which the director builds up electrifying tension through heightened contrast coupled with the fear of the unknown. The serene Parisian family life of Georges (Daniel Auteuil), his wife Anne (Juliette Binoche), and their twelve year-old son Pierrot is contrasted by the turmoil stemming from the arrival of a haunting videocassette recording of the family’s comings and goings. The cassette mysteriously showed up on the family’s doorstep. More arrive at different times. At first, the recordings appear to be a harmless prank, but when the cassettes are accompanied by strange drawings of mutilated animals and stick figures with blood pouring from them, the family begins to worry. As the film continues we learn that along with this horror the family is, in many ways, dysfunctional. The husband does not communicate with his wife, nor share his feelings with her. Ann has her own secrets. There are hints throughout the mo…