Friday, March 11, 2011

Annoying Quirks

I just recently read on another writer's blog in a poll taken that the thing that irked readers the most was the fact that a writer would use one particular adjective or verb and use it often without realizing it. After seeing this, of course, I immediately switched into my Writer's Brain to think if I do that in my book. I suddenly realized that I do get into a rut with certain verbs synonymous with "look," "walk," and "said." I tend to use "gaze," when refering to someone looking at something. I tend to say they "sauntered" or simply "walked." But the worst of all is trying to find ways to express the way someone says something after a quote with a verb that gives breadth and depth to the meaning behind the words.

Having been in Mrs. McVay's English class, I have no excuse whatsoever to say that I don't know how to find good verbs. I specifically remember an instance where we were instructed to write out a list of adjectives for a cloud, and we were not to use "fluffly," "white," or anything remotely relating to "cotton." I remember people coming up with creative combinations such as "peaches and cream" to describe a sunset... Come to think of it, I could use "dream-cicle" as an adjective.... *back to the main thought*.... Anyway, I own a thesaurus. It is my hero... well.... my writing hero. When in doubt, look it up! Who would know all the different ways you could say "princess?" Just think of all the different cultures, and you've got about thirty-thousand different ways to say "princess."

Where am I going with this? I need to get out my own cliches! However, I'm having difficulty coming up with truly interesting verbs. Does anyone know of a site I can go to or a book on really interesting verbs??? My thesaurus is awesome, but it just doesn't have the quantity desired to write a novel =P And as I don't want to copy ideas off of anyone, I'd prefer not ask for ideas of verb usage. So please! Let me know if you have any ideas of such places I could go for help!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Titles, Once Again....

What is an eye catcher? Is there a specific genre of words (such as adjectives, verbs, or nouns) that attract more attention than others in a title? What works today? I've still been struggling with what to name my book! And unfortunately, the fight has not gotten any easier! I've decided that I'm just going to name this book whatever I want and worry about the other titles later =D

But what makes a good title? I know that a good title grabs a passer-by out of the blue and sinks them into the book before they can think. I know that a good title provokes curiosity, intrigue, and exhilaration. However, WHAT IS IT???? Is it several words? A small sentence? A single word? My mother said that lately she's noticed that a lot of famous movies and books have only one word: Twilight (forgive me, anti-Twilight fans), CSI, Psych, Tron, and Sabrina, to name a few. However, these are not just titles. These are insights into what the movie, book, tv show, etc. is about. Psych refers to not only Shawn Spencer's alleged "psychic" ability, but the fact that his keen sense of observation psyches people out (dont' quote me on that, it's just my own observation). Tron is just a cool name. Honestly, I have no idea why the creator of the story picked it except that it sounds really cool (I have a few other theories, but I don't want to say them unless you've already seen the movie. I don't want to spoil it for you!). Sabrina is obvious: it is the name of the main character.

Me.... what do I have????...... A few scribbled ideas on paper.... And quite honestly I'm beginning to lose confidence in my titling ability (Although, I must say that I dubbed my new car quite accurately =D). I could refer to negative attribute my main character learns how to counteract, Conceit, which is my best bet so far. I could pick some random name and just go with it: Secret. Or I could do the name of my main character: Diana. But seriously..... Do any of those catch your attention??? Conceit, I feel, is my closest bet.

Then again, does my title have to be only one word? There are plenty examples of titles that take up two or more words: Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Mansfield Park, Anne of Green Gables, Chronicles of Narnia, and In Search of Eden are only a few of a plethora of examples. Are these stories any less interesting because their titles have more than one words? They still trill off the tongue and ring memorable! But are they as catchy? I mean, those are all pretty much classics, and I don't have the benefit of being a well-known authoress, so it's not like people will remember my books unless I have a truly memorable title! *sigh* What to do?

So here is what I need from you: What sort of title do you prefer? Do you think that one-word titles are more memorable and catchy, or would you pick a book off the shelf that has a longer name? What do you think of Conceit for my book title? Does it stick? Does it intrigue? Are you curious now? As you can see, I'm in a frazzled state, trying to decide on this. So please let me know what you think! Does anybody have any ideas?????