paper computers and tiiiiiiiiny chameleons

Yep, I focus on the cool things today. It’s a bit of link-soup:

 

First, laptops made of paper. Yes please.

 

And the world’s smallest chameleons found in Madagascar. Yay, Madagascar, we knew you were good for more than just the setting for a dumb movie!

 

 

Also, a cool post about writing dirty books for teenagers, by Mike Mullin, author of Ashfall.

 

I also read this tor.com post with interest, about bad books you love. Well, this one was specifically about a Heinlein book, but anyway. It got me thinking – firstly about what makes a book fail? The thing most people were going on about there in the comments was plot, and how it fell apart, or had none.

 

Aaaand…I don’t know if this is a valid criticism. I’ve read and loved books that are probably considered plotless. My thing is character – It’s what I remember and hang on to – these amazing people who are not real, but almost. They’re real in my head, and that’s the most important thing for me as a reader – a character I can believe in. Believe in. I don’t even have to like them very much. *cough*bateman*cough

 

I noticed a couple of commentators talking about how characters are just games pieces for plot, and that’s all they should be, and I shuddered. That would be my worst reader experience ever – it’s the kind of book that makes my teeth hurt just thinking about it. I’m pretty sure said commentators are not my ideal reader and would hurl my book across the room with force.

 

We write the books we love to read (probably, unless you’re gifted with the ability to churn out books you can’t stand in a genre you hate, and still not gas yourself). And sometimes the books we love are considered bad. (I’ve talked about this before with my love of The Tombs of Atuan. )

 

What’s interesting to me is what those worst books are – the ones we hate, but still slip into our writing? While I won’t say TToA is the worst* book I love, I know it’s definitely influenced me.

 

What about you?

 

*Only because I refuse to believe it’s a bad book. Hah.


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4 Thoughts on “paper computers and tiiiiiiiiny chameleons

  1. Hmm, plotless books… I have enjoyed a few, but I recently read one that failed as well. I think all the components of a book work together to make it what it is, and without a plot then the other things – like characters, writing, insights – have to be really amazing, especially since the plot is what most people find compelling.

    • You’re right.

      I should probably have pointed out that what I meant by plotless is something other people call plotless. Ie – meandering and more about character growth than Save the Princess, Kill the Bad Guy.

  2. Paper laptops and tiny chameleons = yes! Plotless novels with wooden characters = the one thing that would make me throw a book.

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