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The Devil is in the Details

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The phrase the devil is in the details refers to the specifics of a plan which, while seeming insignificant, may contain hidden problems that threaten its overall feasibility.

The necessity for specifics is obvious when writing works of non-fiction, but it is also an integral part of fiction, especially for world building.

What does this mean for writers? What does it all come down to?

The need for research, research, and more research.

On the whole, efforts spent researching are a good thing. The only negatives being its effect on time.

Researching, in itself, is a time consuming effort. Once decided upon it has the potential for, the almost inevitable, off-topic traveling. Research can, particularly for the less vigilant like myself, cause the researcher to veer from an intended destination.

This is a list of some of the topics I’ve researched: the Garuda, Esala Perahera, Holi, dragons, dryads, the green man, Herne, spotted eagle rays, sharks, NASCAR, Mushussu, gravitational ripples, Mexican spotted owls, and the list goes on.

All of them led to side trips down narrow alleys of previously unknown topics that, in some way, served the story or my curiosity.

To me, one of the most interesting things about research is coming across the unexpected. The discovery might cause me to revise or alter a premise, in order to make a situation or condition feasible, but that’s what so cool. I love incorporating something new into my overall understanding of the world and those in it. There’s always more to learn.

What have you researched? Where has it led you?

Please share,I’m curious.

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Calling All Readers!

Support authors, illustrators too, they need you.

Just think about it, they’ve poured all of themselves into creating that book you enjoyed. They’ve revised, reworked and fine tuned the words and images you escaped into. They’ve worked hard to get their book(s) published and made available to you.

They deserve a shout out, or a pat on the back, you know they do.

So, that book you’ve just started, or are mid-way through, or are close to finishing? Once you’re finished, use your power as a reader to share your thoughts.

Here are two super easy ways to do just that.

Give it a rating and a review.

It won’t take long. Ratings and reviews can be found on most bookselling sites as well as Goodreads.

You have the power. Books and their creators need your input. It’s a harsh publishing world out there. A little appreciation goes a long way.

Illustrator, Debi Ridpath Ohi says it all!

Your star rating and review can help new readers find and enjoy the book you loved. The more new readers that a book gets, the more likely it is that the writer and illustrator will have opportunities to publish again.

So please, take a few moments to flex your reading power. Help the authors and illustrators you enjoy have the opportunity to create more books. Your imagination will reap the benefits.

The Imaginators by Linda Scott is licensed under CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0

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Feeling the Pull

What is it about the draw of books?

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Not everyone recognizes, or feels it to the extent that some do. But among those who do feel the intense draw of books, it is definitely a shared experience.

Walking into a place where books reside is like walking into a space where magic is at your fingertips. Book stores, libraries, second hand bookshops, anywhere there’s a stacked pile, or a shelf lined with books, spells are waiting to be conjured. Forget about window shopping. Shelf scanning, or stack perusing, is an otherworldly way to spend a morning, an afternoon, or an evening.

First, you might notice the titles on the spines, or the authors’ names. You might pull a book from the shelf just to view the image on the cover and then slip it back in its spot. But, when the cover catches your eye, you, if you’re like me, will read the first paragraph, and then maybe more, most probably more.

Holding the top right edge of the cover of the book between your fingertips, you sense its possibility.

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What world will you enter? Where will you go within that world? With whom, will you travel?

How will your perspective be challenged, or changed?

Will it be challenged? Will it be changed?

There’s a book out there waiting to weave its spell.

It might be among a stack, or wedged between its neighbors.

Find it and invoke its powers. You, and most especially your imagination, will feel all the better for it.

“Many people, myself among them, feel better at the mere sight of a book.” – Jane Smiley

Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Alif, The Unseen, books, Essays, Euphoria, fantasy genre, fiction, G. Willow Wilson, genre, ghazel, Heavy, Kiese Laymon, Lily King, Mary Oliver, memoir, poetry, World of Wonders

Your Reading Path

What do I mean by a reading path? Good question, especially since I just made the phrase up.

What I mean is, how does your present reading inform your future reading? Does it? It’s okay if it doesn’t. Mine does, but I don’t know if it works that way for others, and that’s why I’m asking. For instance, a couple of weeks ago I ready Lily Kings, Writers & Lovers and because of that I borrowed and am at the beginning of her book Euphoria. I also borrowed Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s Oceanic which I was drawn to after reading her book of essays, World of Wonders.

Even a recommendation on a book’s cover can change or further my book path. While reading World of Wonders, I noticed Kiese Laymon’s recommendation for the book. The next time I heard his name was while driving to one of the schools I work at. He was being interviewed on NPR and after he spoke his interviewer mentioned his memoir, Heavy. That book is now in library inter-loan transit soon to be added to my TBR stack. Amazing how one writer can lead you to learn about another.

Within my TBR stack I have a book that I wouldn’t have necessarily looked to find except for the fact I was in the poetry stacks looking for Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s and Padraig O Tuama’s books and found Upstream, Mary Oliver’s book of essays.

My book path is most of the time obvious, but I always like when serendipity shows itself in a selection or a reference to something I’ve just read or learned of. I was listening to a podcast of Poetry Unbound and heard about a form of poetry called a ghazel. That night I was reading the book Alif, The Unseen by G. Willow Wilson and came across the same form of poetry mentioned by a character in the book. Hearing an unfamiliar term twice in one day is amazing. It’s funny how often that type of thing happens.

What’s your book path? Please share, I’d love to hear about it.