Friday, 26 October 2012

The Long & The Short

This idea is a continuation from an older blog but is a nice topic for a bit of chitchat and writing stuff down red-hot is the best way to preserve them so here goes...

I've just been reading The Host and I'm loving it!
After a long spell of self-imposed adult-novel reading, a heart pumping YA novel is just the thing to lift your spirits!
The problem with the novels I call adult novels is not that dont have content...they do. Life of Pi and Lolita all had good, real, genuine stories to tell.
Not that they didn't have romance and passion, far from it, they had all that and more...and being 'adult' books gives them the freedom of including s** scenes, all the more masaledaar for being an adult novel!
Not that the characters aren't relatable to...they are...I liked Pi Patel, Saleem(Midnight's Children) and the rest of them...

Then what is?

I'll try explaining...the thing about YA stories is the delicious dont have to wait forever for the hero and heroine to fall in love and kiss, for the villain to die, for the climax to come and so, for the happily-ever-after ending to come(sometimes not-so- happily-ever-after).
Hey and that doesn't mean I like my books short, no siree, even if I dont reach the climax soon, I at least have something or the other happening in the story(I think thats what makes short stories popular. Less to read and more happening)unlike a typical piece of so-called Great Literary Fiction that tends to dwell for immensely long periods of time on something normally insignificant like a falling leaf...
I'm not saying that books ought to be the type of Tony-is-a-boy-Tony-goes-to-school type of fare meant for toddlers either, all I'm saying is that spending inconsiderate amounts of time on trivial things doesn't mean a book should classified great...that would make Literature the joke that Art had/has become, where a few squiggles made by a toddler is considered great painting.
It simply doesn't work that way...
All I'm saying is the greatness of a work of Writing (or Literature), shouldn't be judged on its grandiose words or length or so called 'intellectual' content (which is just psychological tosh and a posh way of saying boring!), but on its content and ability of drawing you into the story and making you empathize with its characters.
That, for me, is the mark of a great book.

Time for a list!
How I Know When A Book Is A Good Book:
1. When I cry, out of sadness, joy, frustration, empathy, has to be good to make me cry...tears are precious after all!
2. When I laugh...crying is fine (even All the Best (pathetic excuse of a Bollywood movie if you didn't know!) made me cry) but only a truly great book can make you laugh. Laugh at the characters predicaments, thoughts, words, actions, anything!
Think: Roald Dahl...gawsh, he was one terrific author.
3. When I think and sometimes act on what I read. Anne Frank was one such writer. I dont call her my writing-defining author for nothing; her diary was/is one of the most relatable books Ive ever read.
4. When I empathise, sometimes wish I were the character in question. Ok, confession: I'm guilty of having wished I could be Bella and try to undo some of the dumb situations she got herself into (Sorry dear Twilight haters!)
5. When I learn stuff and try doing them for real. This happens with most books whose writers have a better vocabulary than I have but whenever I learn a new word, phrase, or tone of speech or mannerism I like, I usually end up liking that book.

Phrase watch: Laissez faire
Sentence use:
The new presidential nominee should lobby for a laissez faire system of government, but that would be like trying to enforce a utopian world!

Note: I do not know if that sentence is correct!

Till then, Adieu!


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