believe it or not, I do occasionally think about post length.
I admire my professors who worked to whittle my words down to 500-or-less, 300-or-less, a paragraph. Diction becomes more of an issue, concisely stated sentences, and attention-span. The thrust of a short well-crafted shot can be effective.
I have luxuriated in the abandonment of slaving over Response Papers and Journal Entries. Thank you for indulging me.
I doubt that I will go far in shortening my “reviews” for a while, but I am considering ways in which I might.
a—workable definition of Review.
b—if I went completely, dependably, spoiler-free. maybe.
c—monitor the word count; which means publish at least a 3rd draft.
d—I could have Notes and Reviews leaving Notes to the meatier reads, or ones ubiquitously well-reviewed elsewhere.
e—apply a defined structure to a Review Format. Some blogs do this rather nicely. I always know which parts to skip aren’t applicable to me.
f—what assumptions can I make about my audience (who I’ve felt, until more recently, was only myself, the husband, and a personal friend or two).
I am of two minds about Book Reviews. Jekyll: I like the two-to-three paragraph summary of the plot, one paragraph commentary on the characters/themes, and concluding paragraph on personal response. Hyde: I dislike the summarizations, the singular paragraph on the writing, and the oft tepid and recyclable reactions that in the end come off as obligatory.
I follow many excellent book blogs. They vary in style and genre and intent. In most all cases, I couldn’t do a Review better. A post on a book I’ve read could easily be a list of links with an accompanying sentence each pointing out a particular aspect that caught my attention.
With so many excellent options and bloggers who’ve the greater ability to create synopses, I feel I should find another form. I am contemplating what sort of lovechild my Notes and Reviews might create.
I am ever evaluating my intent, my motive.
omphaloskepsis. navel-gazing. preoccupation with self-interests (?). I am reading and writing (and watching), and writing about what I am reading (and now watching).
This blog is primarily a matter of self interest. It is a place to collect my thoughts on the books I am reading. A place to work on coherence and articulation; which is a work in progress.
Yet. I am conscientious of conversing with someone other than myself—at the very least provoking thought–possibly boring, annoying, or amusing. Admittedly, I would like to put great books into readers’ hands.
More than finding a niche, I’m looking for a toe-hold. Insecurity of voice—could I be more cliché?
My amusement is taking on an edge of seriousness. When I write about a book, I am not intentionally careless. Critical reading and (re)viewing does not equate with carelessness or insensitivity. I Love Books and Writers. The belated edge of seriousness to which I refer has to do with taking my skill/my self seriously on this blog.
I realize that my thinking I am not serious enough may not come across to many, as I often seem entirely too serious. More specifically I suppose I am referring to my lack of discipline. While I concede that I may have created a voice on omphaloskepsis, I am hardly anticipatory in other ways.
Such are the things I have been thinking about; spurred of late by a few of the Writing jobs I have found listed.
The post on Marcelo in the Real World is coming. (I stepped away from the notes a few days and then my mind has been elsewhere.) I really want to share that read.
Yesterday, Sean had a great post on this couple he admires who sold everything and took to the road on the bicycles touring the U.S. and its bike culture. Check it out.
Also, remember that Carl V. has the Sci Fi Experience going on. Check out the links to the various posts collected from around the blogosphere and add your own. Sean and I made a list of films to watch last night, after which we viewed Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element (1997). I plan to read some Sci Fi, too. I spent some of the afternoon into evening flipping through Cinema Studies textbooks/guides for references/sections on Science Fiction in Film, hope to incorporate some of those findings into the Film Responses.