Books, writing

I write like who?

I’ve written before* about the unreliability of this test, but this time, however unreliable the results probably are, I’m delighted with the results.

I write like
Jane Austen
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

I put this post into the analyzer.Oddly enough, it wasn’t Jane Austen I was aiming at, it was the feel of the reviews here. (It’s not plagiarism to imitate a style, right? Unless you imitate particular peculiarities… try saying that three times fast. Anyway, I’m happy to admit that I greatly admire Decent Films, because reading it introduced me to film criticism and it is unlikely I would have the ability to criticize as I did in that piece if I had never read him. Anyway, I just looked at the review again and  it’s not much  like his writing, so never mind.) If I’ve really absorbed Jane Austen’s lovely, long, complex sentences, I’m very happy.

*Note: since writing that post almost two years ago, my opinion of H P. Lovecraft has improved.  This  is partly a result of exploring the Catholic sci-fi blogging subculture [!]. Jimmy Akin, for example (admittedly not really in the sci-fi blogging subculture, though definitely in the Catholic apologetics blogging subculture) admires him a lot. I’m not linking to the other ones I have in mind because I’m not sure they’re quite reader-friendly. I actually link rarely, because I don’t know the age and maturity of most of my readers, and don’t wish to scandalize them by linking to a website, even a Catholic one, which might cause them to blush. That’s also why I recommend books, movies, and TV shows infrequently. I may be over-scrupulous in that matter, but better safe than sorry. In real life, I bestow my praise much more freely.


Writing in November

I am NOT doing NaNoWriMo this November. I would rather like to, but I’m not doing it. On the other hand, I AM doing a writing challenge. I am going to write for two hours, minimally, every day this month. I didn’t manage it yesterday, but I will do it, even if it kills me.

If anyone else would like to do this with me, go ahead and let me know – perhaps I can make a blog button or something. 

Humour, Poetry, writing


I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

Of course, this analysis is notoriously unreliable; I’ve gotten H. P. Lovecraft, Dan Brown, and and James Joyce before, depending on what pieces I put in. However, I just got Shakespeare twice in a row! Surely I must be improving, says I, with tongue firmly in cheek.
The first piece I put in was a fragment of a story which will not be seeing the light of day any time soon, but I’ll vouchsafe the first couple stanzas of the second piece (a poem I wrote a few months ago). I suspect that the faintly archaic language, thee’s and thou’s, and the “alas” near the end of the poem were what did me in.

The sound of silk, a rustling tread,
The rising moon shone golden-red,
The darkness shivered round the tree,

While wind blew in the lea.

“O Lady, Lady,” called the thrush,
His bright voice broke the weary hush,
“O why do you walk alone at dusk,
When wind blows sweet the musk?”

“O Lady, Lady,” sang the lark,
His song made bright and warm the dark,
“O why do you walk alone at night,
As wind blows like a wight?”
Books, Tolkien, writing

Rereading LOTR…

I love The Lord of the Rings. (Of course if you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably guessed that already… note the blog’s title). And a few weeks ago, I began rereading it all the way through. All I can say is that it’s a worthwhile experience. Right now I’m around Chapter IV of The Two Towers.
I reread books all the time. A lot. But I rarely reread them starting at the beginning and working my way through solidly.

My father read the entirety of LOTR to me when I was eight years old. “But wouldn’t that go over her head?” you ask. Well, yes. A lot of it did. But I loved that book, and I love it even more now. I think that reading LOTR aloud to children at a young age is a good thing. The small child’s appreciation for the book does not diminish, and with successive rereadings you are astounded again at the richness and beauty of Tolkien’s sub-creation. Every time I read it I am astonished at the richness of this book; at the delicious contrast between the comfortable, homely hobbits, the bittersweet loveliness of the elves, the wisdom of Gandalf… and so much more; the stubborn and delightful Gimli, the nobility and strength of Aragorn… I say no more.

Interestingly, at this reading I am increasingly struck by the descriptions and by the conversations. Tolkien was excellent at describing a piece of land in words that really make it possible to envision it; not merely emotional words like “dark, dismal, gloomy” or “bright, cheerful, colorful”, but words that give you a real idea of the lie of the land, in my opinion. My geography is pitiful; I have never done a formal geography course, but as far as I can tell, Tolkien was quite good at things like this. I must say, though, that the maps are extremely helpful.

Incidentally, you may have noticed that I haven’t been talking about NaNoWriMo much on here. Well, I quit. I got to nearly 30,000 before I gave up. Oh well. There’s always next year.

Books, C. S. Lewis, Tolkien, writing

The Inklings–in a novel?

The following is the book trailer for a new book that came out recently from Ignatius Press; “Looking for the King” by David C. Downing. It includes Arthurian myth, historical fiction, and Tolkien and Lewis as characters. I’m extremely picky about Tolkien/Lewis scholarship–having read almost everything published by C. S. Lewis (with the exception of a few literary works, though I’ve read most of them, some of his poetry, and his first and third volumes of collected letters) and having read The Lord of the Rings and other works of Tolkien multiple times.

According to an interview, the author did extensive research on Lewis and Tolkien. Let’s hope that he did!
NaNo, writing

excerpt from my NaNo novel

I know it’s awful…. 😛 “A poor thing, but mine own.” Sorry for the goofy formatting. I’m not sure why that’s happening.
When reading this, it might be well to note that elves were usually things of terror to the medievals. Even though this is a fantasy, I’ve chosen not to have Tolkienian elves in it. If it does end up having elves in it, they’ll be a little different.

A week or two later, Aldric was riding one day in the woods alone, except for Sir Ricwulf. It was the same where he had first been found by Lady Eadwyn. It was as beautiful as it had been the first time he had been in it. It was a fairly large wood, part of a great line of forests that stretched for many miles. In the cold winter, it was, of course, very different; the white trees held out naked branches, almost as if in supplication to the spring. A cold wind fluttered indecisively in the twigs and fallen dead leaves. The few birds that remained were drab, uncolored things.

“This is a strange place,” said Ricwulf. “I have never been inside this wood during winter before, and it is far stranger when the trees are bared and the birds are gone.”
“I see your meaning, Ricwulf,” answered Aldric, “but this forest has ever been strange, and not less so in summer. I have been in this forest, and sometimes have bethought myself to have seen one of the elvish folk, or perhaps a unicorn.”
“If such things be, then they would be here.”