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Showing posts from June, 2012

Hooray for Hearing Aids

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It’s day 3 of my life with hearing aids. So far, it’s like having my own SFX streamed into my ears, similar to sitting in the dark and hearing the crystal clear soundtrack of a movie.
Except that I’m sitting on my terrace, writing by hand – a power cut has stopped me vacuuming, an Essential Energy cherry-picker truck and crew are out front replacing the cable between my house and the power supply.
I don’t mind. I will enjoy the sound scape. It is Friday, AM, a busy day. Before, I’d hear an undifferentiated cacophony of industrial noise emanating from Tyres and Batteries in the second yard from mine.
Now I can hear every wrench clattering to the concrete floor. The compressor chugs non-stop. The continual hiss-and-clack of the compressor-powered tool to loosen nuts and tighten them after the wheel is replaced. Air released from a tyre hisses out on a descending scale. The jack-on-a-trolley is dragged from one car to the next. There’s hammering on the wheel rims. The finished wheel-and-…

Salting in the Detail

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As well as 'seeding' plot starters for the eventual working out of larger ideas, a story teller needs to 'salt' the text with information necessary to a reader's understanding of the world that the story is set in.

I was struck by the following example of salting in George R R Martin's A Storm of Swords (Book Three of A Song of Ice and Fire Series).

In one of Arya's sections, starting with 'She was grubbing for vegetables in a dead man's garden when she heard the ... ' comes the line, "Two miles upstream," said Tom. "A league at the most."

Yes! I knew a league was two miles. Or rather, I used to know and had temporarily forgotten. There is a lot to know in the world. I was glad to learn it again, because my idea of the distances in the story were getting a little screwed up.

In amongst the mainly non fiction research reading that I am doing at the moment, I am still reading the Song of Ice and Fire. Not just because there ar…