Telling a Story vs. Writing a Story – The Killing Floor

Killing Floor” by Lee Child is my first book by this author. I wanted to read this book to understand Jack Reacher. Half way through the book, I realized that the book was an education. It made me ask a very important question and discover its rather delightful answer.

The question was:

Why Killing Floor remains such a readable book despite breaking two basic rules of good writing?

  1. The sentences are clipped incredibly short. So short, that sometimes they are just about two or three words long. They dwindle into phrases, snatched and thrown at the reader – like the writer is in a tearing hurry to tell his story and begone.

Here’s a sample page:

killing-floor-jack-reacher-lee-child-magic-of-short-sentences

2. Most of the times, the writer doesn’t bother himself with finding the right verb to convey the feeling or the emotion. He just uses whatever he can find – mostly, “said,” and “ask.” Continue reading “Telling a Story vs. Writing a Story – The Killing Floor”

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Necrophilia in Ancient Egypt

Possibly the only thing that has remained unchanged throughout our history is human nature. The dark recesses of the human brain have continually goaded a few to seek goals that repulse most of us. Time and again a few who walk and breathe among us have allowed their perversion to reach beyond the grave and indulged in necrophilia.

Instances of necrophilia abound in the modern world, and while most cases aren’t discussed openly, a few have made the world sit up and take notice. The possible desecration of Eva Peron’s corpse by one or more officers who were supposed to guard her embalmed body, had attracted the attention of the whole world to the case. Thirty-two-year old Eva Peron was the wife of Argentina’s then President Juan Peron, when she had died of cervical cancer in 1952, and was embalmed on the request of her husband.

Lesser known Instances of Necrophilia  can be found in the historical records from the nineteenth century, where some men of noble birth were found to be necrophiles. Evidence of Necrophilia has been found around the world and throughout history, including in Ancient Egypt.

And yet, what makes Ancient Egypt different is the way not only necrophilia but rape and incest too is Continue reading “Necrophilia in Ancient Egypt”

Be Careful What you Wish For – Cumaean Sibyl & Apollo – A Short Story

The boy was here again and today he had brought his friends along.

“Wait,” he held out a hand to stop his friends from rushing in and spoiling his show. The other kids stopped. They were agog with curiosity.

She knew why. They were here to witness the empty basket speak. It was a game that had gone on for almost three hundred years, and she, who knew everything, didn’t know when it would end. Oh…the games they played with her…they ravaged whatever remained of her pride. Her pride? Oh, how she hated her pride, for it was her pride that had brought her to this.

The boy approached the basket gingerly, ready to pull back if the basket sprung to life and pounced upon him. After all, If it could talk, it could attack too.

“What do you want?” he asked, like he expected the basket to answer. But he was right. Sibyl was bound to answer every question she was asked, and she was bound to answer it truthfully. So was her destiny for she was the prophetess and the seer. She was Sibyl.

“Death,” she croaked. Her voice was the only part of her that hadn’t aged. It still was the smooth, sweet voice of a seventeen-year-old. Continue reading “Be Careful What you Wish For – Cumaean Sibyl & Apollo – A Short Story”

Why Adults Read Fantasy?

What exactly is fantasy?

The unreal, the abstract, a flight of imagination, the attempt of a writer to stretch the limits of human potential and create beings similar to humans but who have super-strengths and places, the kind that don’t physically exist in this world…

And what does it inspire in its readers?

A dream, a hope, a possibility however improbable, that for a while they could exist in a different world and experience feelings that they don’t get to experience in this world.

When we pick up a fantasy novel/novella through which we consciously step into a world that is different enough to be safe, yet similar enough to hold up the suspension-of-disbelief, we enjoy it – for through its characters we experience a whole range of the experiences – most which fall out of our normal everyday range. Continue reading “Why Adults Read Fantasy?”

Toggled – A Dark Psychological Thriller

TOGGLED is a dark psychological thriller that makes you ask, “who lives in my neighborhood?”

A young girl’s one-sided infatuation for her mysterious neighbor, grows stronger than it should.
A handsome young inventor’s feelings for his mother turn into a passion that burns whiter than it should.
A young single mother battles the ghosts of her past as her love for her son runs deeper than it should.

Leah’s dangerous infatuation with her mysterious neighbor, Brice’s acute possessiveness for his mother, and Rachel’s career in forensic psychology, come together to weave a story that Continue reading “Toggled – A Dark Psychological Thriller”

The Siren & the Banshee – A Short Story

“You can’t,” said the hag.

She wore a dirty green robe with a hood that obscured her forehead and eyes. Her hooked nose with its bulbous tip overhung her cavernous mouth, shivering ever so slightly when she spoke.

banshee

“I can,” replied the young woman who unlike the hag wore nothing. Her skin glistened reflecting the golden rays of the evening sun. Her hair that shimmered with a light of its own, shed an ethereal glow upon her face, lighting up her sea green eyes and making the tint of her soft lush lips look richer. Her body was cast in alabaster and molded to perfection, but it moved with the fluidity of music, of water, of air… Continue reading “The Siren & the Banshee – A Short Story”

Good people of Dundee – be what you want to be!

“Good people of Dundee, your voices raise,
And to Miss Baxter give great praise;
Rejoice and sing and dance with glee,
Because she has founded a college in Bonnie Dundee” – William McGonagall

I must be brave to reprint those lines on my blog, for they were spouted by the gentleman who is considered to be the worst poet in history.

Statements with such strong absolutes make me shudder. They also make me think about how the whole self-publishing thing would work, if critics and not readers were opining and deciding whether an author’s work was sold. Continue reading “Good people of Dundee – be what you want to be!”

Inheritance of Criminality & Genetic Purging of the Human Race.

As scientists break new grounds in the study of criminality, fiction writers of today break their keyboards attempting to find every loose thread in the theory and spin it into a yarn.

When The New York Times reports that a STUDY SAYS CRIMINAL TENDENCIES MAY BE INHERITED, we sit up and take note.

We’ve known through multiple observations made by many different people that children take after their parents, and while nurture has a part to play in how we shape up, our nature or our genetic makeup often defines the impact of nurture on us. So a child with aggressive, short-tempered biological parents may become more subdued if brought up in a more even-tempered family, and yet growing up in its own family, the child’s genetic traits could worsen. (Thus, a hot-headed but non-criminal parental pair, may produce and “nurture” a child whose natural genetic traits would be further emboldened by its experiences.)

Unfortunately, given the growing intolerance (or thinning of skins,) the only place to discuss inherited criminality remains fiction, because fiction automatically enables us to present different opinions without getting judgmental. Continue reading “Inheritance of Criminality & Genetic Purging of the Human Race.”

Saturated eBook Markets and Desaturated Writers

I happened to read a post that made me feel terrible, both as a reader and as a writer.

The gist of the post made by a writer is that her books aren’t selling because there is a glut of writers in the eBook space as every one who can write, is writing and publishing.

According to this writer,

the only writers selling their books are those who can afford the time and money to promote and advertise their books

OR

those who turn lucky and succeed for an unknown reason (and definitely not for any talent they might have.)

Continue reading “Saturated eBook Markets and Desaturated Writers”

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