All posts filed under: Writing 101: Class of 2014

Thank gosh I found Book?

Found Books

Last week, we talked about Lost Books, the first of a three-installment series. Writing 101 now tells us to talk about the second installment: On day four, you wrote a post about losing something. Today, write about finding something. Today’s twist: if you wrote day four’s post as the first in a series, use this one as the second installment — loosely defined. That pretty much explains today’s post. At least I wouldn’t have to not follow the prompt as it is because I don’t want to think of a twist to the twist. I’m tired as of this moment. I haven’t had dinner and I’m too lazy and I just want to sleep but I’m not sleepy and I want to do this challenge and read a book after and you don’t really need to know about these. A few months ago, I went home from a book club meeting with a stash of borrowed books. I acknowledge my book hoarding issues but let me assure you that I’m a responsible book borrower and it’s …

The Fault in Our Stars, from 20th Century Fox

An erratic moviegoer catches the last full show of TFiOS tonight

Today, we immediately bring you Writing 101’s challenge: Write a post inspired by a real-world conversation. Today’s twist: include an element of foreshadowing in the beginning of your post. This is really hard because first, I don’t get to listen to real world conversation. My earphones are stuck to my ears when I commute from home to the office and vice-versa, and I am simply hard of hearing. But today, something happened. I got off work early to catch the possibly last screening of The Fault in Our Stars, based on the novel by John Green. I cannot risk watching it tomorrow because there’s a bunch of new movies premiering. So I got my ticket, sat on the first row (the first row after that space behind the first five or so rows), and started munching on my poorly prepared popcorn (80% of the powder flavoring was at the bottom of the popcorn bag). There’s a couple of gay guys, possibly not a couple, who can’t decide where to sit. The audience must be composed …

The Loneliest Book Shelf in the World

My Twelve-Year-Old Library

It is non-existent. It only has a few fairy tales bought from the supermarket’s school supplies section that could pass as books. Let me race through my dimming memory to fetch all the titles: Aladdin (comics) Bambi (hardbound) Beauty and the Beast (comics) Dinosaurs (not a fairy tale but an informative book about the title, hardbound) Dumbo (hardbound) Oxford World Atlas (hardbound) X-Men Adventures, Volumes 1-3 (comics) There are other fairy tales but I couldn’t remember them. Seriously, I think I have written a lot about this topic already. I’ve written about it in the past years and in the recent past. If I’m boring you, I’ll just go ahead, stop twisting the Writing 101 challenges, and answer it. It wouldn’t be too personal, I promise. Tell us about the home where you lived when you were twelve. Which town, city, or country? Was it a house or an apartment? A boarding school or foster home? An airstream or an RV? Who lived there with you? Today’s twist: pay attention to your sentence lengths and use short, …

Home Page of Nat Geo's Atlas Shop

My Favorite Childhood Book

The world atlas. When I was a eight or nine, I asked my grandmother to buy me a globe. When they went home for a vacation (they lived in Florida), the first thing that she told me was that she bought me one. She pointed at a box and asked my grandfather to slit one of its corners. She told me to take care of it because it cost a lot. My grandfather said the price as if he were cursing something. I’m not sure if I heard him right (it was USD 300.00) because I was just trying to get a glimpse of the globe under weak light (we were inside a van). I was forcing my fingers inside its box and I could feel the bumps on it (the mountain ranges). My grandfather told me that there was a big book with it. My grandmother was just looking at me. I couldn’t care less about the book at that moment. I just wanted to see the globe. I gave up. I tidied up the …

Halfway through Attachments

Short Assessments of the First Half of Attachments from Random Points of View

Writing 101 is specific today, but I am going to get away with this. A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene. Today’s twist: write the scene from three different points of view: from the perspective of the man, then the woman, and finally the old woman. This is exercise is about POVs, so instead of writing that scene, why not write about the book I’m currently reading? Why not imagine how different readers would perceive it? From the POV of a reader who imagines vivid settings: Two of the characters are in a newsroom. I’ve never seen a newsroom. What’s it like? Computers and cubicles and dirty keyboards? So it’s like our office then? Nothing special in it? And the male protagonist is stuck inside the paper’s IT room. He’s alone most of the time. Is it like a prison cell? That’s the vibe that I get. …

My YA collection.

I am ashamed that adults are still fighting over young adult fiction

Today’s Writing 101 challenge tells me to go somewhere out of my house. Go to a local café, park, or public place and report on what you see. Get detailed: leave no nuance behind. Thoughtful writers create meaning by choosing precise words to create vivid pictures in the reader’s mind. As you strive to create strong imagery, show your readers what’s going on; avoid telling them. Today’s twist: write an adverb-free post. If you’d rather not write a new post, revisit and edit a previous one: excise your adverbs and replace them with strong, precise verbs. I am not inclined to go outside (it’s 2 AM) and I am not a foe of adverbs. I love adverbs! And we cannot propose the death of adverbs because how are we going to describe verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs? Okay, if the challenge is to eliminate adverbs of manner (there are adverbs of place, time, frequency, etc.), I’ll give the twist a go. But I am still not going anywhere. I’ll just go to a world where …

Modernist novels that I love and hate

A Conversation Between Two Modernists

I’ve been reading a handful of modernist novels lately. In fact, I picked this as the theme for the book discussion that I hosted for our book club last month. Currently, I’m reading some palate cleansers to resume my modernist streak. But I want to go back soon. It’s evident with my choice of topic for today’s Writing 101 challenge. Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else. Bringing together two different things — from the abstract and the inanimate to the living and breathing — creates a natural source of tension, and conflict drives writing forward. It makes your reader want to continue to the next sentence, to the next page. So, focus on your two starkly different siblings, or your competing love for tacos and macarons, or whether thoughts are more powerful than words, or…you get the idea. Today’s twist: write your post in the form of a dialogue. You can create a strong opposition between the two speakers — a lovers’ quarrel or a …