NOT ALL TEENAGE GIRLS SWEAR LIKE SAILORS

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If you read lots of YA you will notice that many of the female protagonists have drinking issues and sound like the cast of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. And they also have perfect SATs and have been accepted by Yale, Harvard or Stanford.

The wealthy teenage characters have the intellect and depth of Kim Kardashian and are about as lovable as Regina George in Mean Girls. And they also have perfect SATs and have been accepted by Yale, Harvard or Stanford.

FORMULAIC BOOK PART 2

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So, I decided to finish the not unreadable, but very formulaic book mentioned a few posts ago, and I am almost through. Here is my main observation. The male author has no clear understanding of how females actually talk and act, thus has unwittingly made one of his protagonists psychotic.

AMOS OZ ON WRITING

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This is possibly one of the best descriptions ever of the process of writing a novel. It’s from Roger Cohen’s interview with Amos Oz (today’s NYT).

“It is like reconstructing the whole of Paris from Lego bricks. It’s about three-quarters-of-a-million small decisions. It’s not about who will live and who will die and who will go to bed with whom. Those are the easy ones. It’s about choosing adjectives and adverbs and punctuation. These are molecular decisions that you have to take and nobody will appreciate, for the same reason that nobody ever pays attention to a single note in a symphony in a concert hall, except when the note is false. So you have to work very hard in order for your readers not to note a single false note. That is the business of three-quarters-of-a-million decisions.”

READING A VERY FORMULAIC BOOK

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Another fifty pages and finished experience. The author has carefully chosen one each Jewish and smart, Black and smart, gay and smart and Asian and smart protagonists, who immediately tell you that they are Jewish, Black, gay and Asian (individually, natch) and what it’s like to be a member of his/her minority, plus everything else personal you need to know about them, short of the boxers vs. briefs type info. Maybe something fascinating will happen on page 51. Won’t be finding out. Life is too short.