Wednesday, April 27, 2011

risky behavior



I don't know about you, but it's hard for me to think about the makers of the TV show Lost as risk takers. Not because their show wasn't new and different and brave, but because by the time I heard of it, it was already so successful. It's hard to remember that there was ever a point where the people behind thriving creative entities were struggling and scared, just like those of us who are in the pre-pre-pre success phase of the game are.

Reading this interview with Carlton Cuse, one of Lost's executive producer's, reminded me of that point. And it also left me with this great quote to share with y'all:

"...to succeed as an artist or in any creative endeavor you must shed your fear...if you are not prepared to fail you will not create anything of lasting artistic value." Best Blogger Tips

Monday, April 18, 2011

Book review: Reading as a Writer-style

Book Title: The Kitchen God's Wife

Author: Amy Tan

Themes: Mother/Daughter relationships, bad marriages, Chinese/American cultures

Styles worth noting: The point of view shifts--the first and last chapters are told from the daughter's POV, the rest of the book is told from the mother's POV. This is important because the mother's story impacts how the daughter sees her, which the reader can clearly tell from the daughter's chapters. The middle chapters are told as if the mother is talking to the daughter (ie, using second person).

What I learned from the book:
Even though you know the ending from the beginning--that the mother got away from her awful first husband, got to America, and married a nice man--the book still kept you on edge wondering how she got from an awful situation in China to a much better one in America. It's a good example of how you can still have tension and drama even if the reader knows how the story turns out.

The Kitchen God's Wife is also a good example of how using multiple points of view can switch the reader's sympathy--at first, the mom seems annoying and the reader sympathizes with the daughter (at least I did). But then as the mom is telling her story, you switch allegiances and sympathize with the mother.

Tan also makes the most of every detail she mentions--foods, decorations, clothes, etc. It seemed like just about anything she mentioned offhandedly on one page got brought up again later, in a meaningful way.

Have you read anything good lately, so good you learned a lot from it? Best Blogger Tips
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