The How Not to Write a Novel Quiz

Featured image: “Magical Girl Art” by Chrysolith.

I recently stumbled upon this, a quiz designed, supposedly, to see if you have any clue how to write a novel. It was designed by the writers of How Not to Write a Novel, which I have not had the pleasure of reading, but which purports to show by example how to avoid the mistakes of book-writing.

I got a perfect score, I guess. If I may say so, the score doesn’t surprise me: I have no pretensions of being the next Shakespeare, but I can at least turn out a workmanlike product when I’m halfway sober. However, I think a few of the questions are unfair.

For example, when asking what is a good sentence, it first gives the final line from The Great Gatsby as the “correct” answer, and then gives sentences with obvious typos, and then gives this:

Ever back, to the chthonic quagmire of yesterdays that ate yesterdays in monarchic succession, like crocodiles held vassal to a Pharaoh of loss.

That’s purple, but not horrific. I would accept it, depending on the context. It would be at home in a story by Lovecraft. After all, not everything is The Great Gatsby, nor should it be.

JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Chapter 19 to Appear Monday

Featured image: “Star Guardian Lux and Magical Girl Quinn” by Hichiyan.

… and I’ll see if I can get chapter 20 of Jake and the Dynamo out the week after that.

This thing’s been on hiatus because everything’s hit me at once over here. Life intervened, etc., etc.  But I’m going to push to get chapter 19 shipshape by Monday one way or the other.

My editor, who’s been very enthusiastic about the project, was “meh” about the rough of chapter 19, which is why I wanted to put it away for a while and then come at it fresh. But I think it’s been long enough. He was also initially kind of “meh” about Chai Square, and I don’t know about anyone else, but I, at least, am happy about how that part ultimately turned out.

Brace yourselves.

J&tD Delayed

And just for a quick update, I am currently working a night shift, and next week I’ll be moving and preparing to start school. Chapter 19 of Jake and the Dynamo is drafted, but my writers’ group informs me that it’s not ready to go. As you could likely guess from the end of chapter 18, it’s mostly an action sequence (like about every other chapter, by design).

The action sequences take me longer to get ship-shape than the other parts, so I’ll probably let it percolate for at least a week while I work on chapter 20. As mentioned before, I’d like to work on getting my buffer back, so even though I managed to race out chapter 18 last week, I’m going to put this officially on hiatus. For real this time.

How to Shave Like a Real Man

In Jake and the Dynamo, I have a scene in which Jake performs a lengthy and elaborate ritual to shave his face in the morning. I thought it was funny to depict a fourteen-year-old going through so much trouble just to scrape away his peach fuzz, but aside from his abuse of aftershave, his morning ritual is pretty much the same as mine.

I did this in part because I wanted to hearken back to the days when shaving was a tad more difficult and therefore more of a rite of passage for the adolescent male.

This is called “wet shaving.” I first discovered it while perusing The Art of Manliness, where I came upon the article, “How to Shave Like Your Grandpa,” and upon reading, immediately realized I would not be happy until I gave up my ridiculous, modern ways of scraping hair from my face and instead found joy and solace in beautiful anachronism. There’s a tight-knit internet community dedicated to wet shaving, because there’s an internet community dedicated to everything, but it’s enjoyed a resurgence in popularity recently mostly because wet shavers tout it as considerably cheaper than shaving with the disposable cartridge-head razors. Continue reading “How to Shave Like a Real Man”

The Rebel

I break the rules.

All right, chapter 18 of Jake and the Dynamo is drafted, but I’m not going to post until it’s been through my writer’s group.  Things have been hectic for me for the last month, so I’ve burned through my buffer and I want to get it back. Thus, the novel’s on hiatus.

My situation is calming down, at least in some ways, so I’ll be able to post more regularly.  We’re going to move more into reviews and articles for a while as I work on getting some more chapters put together on the novel.

A JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Public Service Announcement

As our regular readers have likely guessed, the next chapter of Jake and the Dynamo, to appear at midnight tomorrow, will deal with more serious subject matter than the chapters previous.

In keeping with the increasingly serious content of this serious story, the next chapter contains coarse and vulgar language of the sort that is only appropriate for serious works.

Also, it contains dinosaurs.

In fact, the chapter is so serious that it even presents a single instance in which our protagonist, Jake, utters the so-called “c-word.”

However, in order to protect the sensibilities of the more sensitive members of our readership, we have elected to print the word as “cr_d.” This is to avoid giving excessive offense.

Thank you for giving your attention to this delicate matter.

The Jake and the Dynamo Messenger Code

… I don’t even know what that is.  But it kind of looks cool:

I like the circly thingy.
I like the circle thingy.

This is in some mysterious fashion linked with the new Facebook page for Jake and the Dynamo. I think you can scan it with your phone using the Messenger app. You might have to print it first.

Back in my day, things you scan with your phone were square and looked like mazes. You kids these days have it easy, what with your pictures and circle thingies.

As an added note, Chapter 2, of Jake and the Dynamo, “Enter the Dynamo,” will appear this coming Monday, just in time for Mother’s Day … at least if you like to get your mom things like free ebook chapters because you’re some kind of cheapskate tightwad who doesn’t appreciate his parents.

Chocolate and flowers, dammit. That’s what your mother wants, not magical girl ebook chapters! Believe me, I know this.

Because she told me last night.

Zing.

Oh, by the way, like our Facebook page. I promise not to talk about your mom.