Tags Galore

Quotes From Here And There

Albert Einstein
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction.
Dylan Thomas
I fell in love – that is the only expression I can think of – at once, and am still at the mercy of words, though sometimes now, knowing a little of their behavior very well, I think I can influence them slightly and have even learned to beat them now and then, which they appear to enjoy.
Eddie Cantor
It takes twenty years to become an overnight success.
Edward Abbey
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.
e e cummings
To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best night and day to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle any human being can fight and never stop fighting.
Eyler Coates
We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually produce a masterpiece. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.
Friedrich Nietzsche
Without music, life would be a mistake.
Gustave Flaubert
The one way of tolerating existence is to lose oneself in literature as in a perpetual orgy.
Going to the Opera is like making love; we get bored but we come back.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
If I love you, what business is it of yours?
John Steinbeck
Only through imitation do we develop toward originality.
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
There is no remedy so easy as books, which if they do not give cheerfulness, at least restore quiet to the most troubled mind.
Leonard Cohen
Ring the bells that still can ring;
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything;
That's how the light gets in.
The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
Paul Sweeney
You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.
Peter Altenberg
I never dreamed of being Shakespeare or Goethe, and I never expected to hold the great mirror of truth up before the world; I dreamed only of being a little pocket mirror, the sort that a woman can carry in her purse; one that reflects small blemishes, and some great beauties, when held close enough to the heart.
Robert Frost
In three words, I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.
There's no money in poetry, but then there's no poetry in money.
Satchel Paige
Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching.
Thomas Mann
A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
V S Naipaul
The writer has only to listen very carefully and with a clear heart to what people say to him, and ask the next question, and the next.

My Personal Library

A Post About Plots And Stuff

TSA Writing Tips - Twenty Basic Plots - Copyright 2002 TSA


After you come up with your own system for generating ideas, the next step is to put them in some recognizable story form (the basic plot idea), build your central conflict (the story premise sheet), then build your character and underlying themes (the thematic premise sheet).

#1 QUEST - the plot involves the Protagonist's search for a person, place or thing, tangible or intangible (but must be quantifiable, so think of this as a noun; i.e., immortality).

#2 ADVENTURE - this plot involves the Protagonist going in search of their fortune, and since fortune is never found at home, the Protagonist goes to search for it somewhere over the rainbow.

#3 PURSUIT - this plot literally involves hide-and-seek, one person chasing another.

#4 RESCUE - this plot involves the Protagonist searching for someone or something, usually consisting of three main characters - the Protagonist, the Victim & the Antagonist.

#5 ESCAPE - plot involves a Protagonist confined against their will who wants to escape (does not include some one trying to escape their personal demons).

#6 REVENGE - retaliation by Protagonist or Antagonist against the other for real or imagined injury.

#7 THE RIDDLE - plot involves the Protagonist's search for clues to find the hidden meaning of something in question that is deliberately enigmatic or ambiguous.

#8 RIVALRY - plot involves Protagonist competing for same object or goal as another person (their rival).

#9 UNDERDOG - plot involves a Protagonist competing for an object or goal that is at a great disadvantage and is faced with overwhelming odds.

#10 TEMPTATION - plot involves a Protagonist that for one reason or another is induced or persuaded to do something that is unwise, wrong or immoral.

#11 METAMORPHOSIS - this plot involves the physical characteristics of the Protagonist actually changing from one form to another (reflecting their inner psychological identity).

#12 TRANSFORMATION - plot involves the process of change in the Protagonist as they journey through a stage of life that moves them from one significant character state to another.

#13 MATURATION - plot involves the Protagonist facing a problem that is part of growing up, and from dealing with it, emerging into a state of adulthood (going from innocence to experience).

#14 LOVE - plot involves the Protagonist overcoming the obstacles to love that keeps them from consummating (engaging in) true love.

#15 FORBIDDEN LOVE - plot involves Protagonist(s) overcoming obstacles created by social mores and taboos to consummate their relationship (and sometimes finding it at too high a price to live with).

#16 SACRIFICE - plot involves the Protagonist taking action(s) that is motivated by a higher purpose (concept) such as love, honor, charity or for the sake of humanity.

#17 DISCOVERY - plot that is the most character-centered of all, involves the Protagonist having to overcome an upheavel(s) in their life, and thereby discovering something important (and buried) within them a better understanding of life (i.e., better appreciation of their life, a clearer purpose in their life, etc.)

#18 WRETCHED EXCESS - plot involves a Protagonist who, either by choice or by accident, pushes the limits of acceptable behavior to the extreme and is forced to deal with the consequences (generally deals with the psychological decline of the character).

#19 ASCENSION - rags-to-riches plot deals with the rise (success) of Protagonist due to a dominating character trait that helps them to succeed.

#20 DECISION - riches-to-rags plot deals with the fall (destruction) of Protagonist due to dominating character trait that eventually destroys their success.

(Note: Sometimes #19 & #20 are combined into rags-to-riches-to-rags (or vice versa) of a Protagonist who does (or doesn't) learn to deal with their dominating character trait.)

Of Tagore, Kafka, Lessing, Dasgupta, Wodehouse, Ray and Iyer

Another year has passed by... Today is Tagore's birthday. Cheers to a blessed day!

In the past few months, cut off for most part from the Internet, I've been reading voraciously, devouring all sorts of books that I could lay my hands on. I'm in the habit of reading many books simultaneously. During this period, the thought of this humble blog crossed my mind only sporadically and fleetingly, as did the thought of reviewing all the books I was reading. Time to make amends...

I've in my possession The Complete Novels - Kafka, which I'm currently reading. If we all live in a Kafka book, then my world is quite complete. ;-) The most surreal turn of events populate this man's writing, and though he seems fatalistic, I feel there's much more to it than that. He seems to write naturally, more naturally than even Chekhov (though comparisons are uncalled for). And he should be required reading...

I'm currently also wading through Lessing's The Golden Notebook, a book that might take me my longest time to finish a book. Her scholarship, instinct and almost insistent prose peels away many layers to expose the truth of the narrative. The structure of the novel is unique amongst all that I've read, and she has so many themes that it is quite a task reading the intensely analytical narrative. I was at one time thinking of giving up finishing the book. However, the vignettes the book conjures and passes to the reader are so unique that I stayed the course. Given the highly analytical treatment, I was surprised to have myself thinking of The Golden Notebook as a intensely visual novel. But I think that readers who've known the book for sometime will agree with me. To sum it up, a book one can turn to again and again and come away with something different each time.

I'm whizzing past Dasgupta's Tokyo Cancelled, and perhaps the best thing I can say about the book is that at one point, I almost forgot that it was Dasgupta and blessed Rushdie for turning out such a fine book. However, I must say that Indian literature (what little I know of it) seems to be full with story-telling. The cult of magical realism has become so hackneyed that I was quick to place Tokyo Cancelled in that realm. In spite of all the innovation, the works make one think of a practiced flair. There is hardly any trespassing of boundaries, any major flouting of rules, ruffling of feathers that may be remebered in the long run - something that one almost expects of say Lessing or Murakami. And the philosophical streak of novel writing is hardly to be seen in Indian English literature, the quality that makes one set down a book to do some clear thinking to make meaning out of what the writer is trying to say and to identify the various themes laid out in the matter of a fictional narrative. Our literature seems to be made more for downright consumption rather than any philosophical rumination.

I've read two Wodehouses in the recent past - Big Money and Ring For Jeeves. And what can I say, that man blows me over! Capital!!!

I also have in my possession The Complete Feluda Stories of Satyajit Ray, arranged in two volumes in chronological order. The mysteries make for wonderful light reading, and I wonder why Feluda is not as popular in India as Sherlo9ck Holmes...

Finally, I must highly recommend Pallavi Iyer's Smoke and Mirrors, non-fiction writings from her stay in China. Naipaul is my ultimate man for non-fiction, and though Iyer is not as passionately inquisitive as Naipaul, she writes naturally and truthfully and throws up many gems. The book taught me many things about China, but most importantly the extent of my ignorance and prejudice about China. I respect China much more now!

That's it for the time being. Au Revoir!

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