Books and Bookesses

I do wish I had a dime for every email I get that says, "Please put a non-girly cover on your book so I can read it. - signed, A Guy"

— maureenjohnson (@maureenjohnson) May 6, 2013

With this tweet, Maureen Johnson started the big Coverflip of last week and it kind of makes you think, doesn't it? Well, it made me, at least, think about books and their "female equivalent" (bookesses?) and how pitifully underrated the empathetic abilities of men are.

What's in a Book?

That which we call Effie Briest by any other name would be as boring.
Reading House of Leaves I've stumbled over the majestic triad which is book, text and story. It's rather obvious what the words signify, isn't it? (Hint: It isn't.) So let's try to wrap our minds around these three magnificent pieces of vocabulary and answer the question: What is an ebook?



House of Leaves

It starts in Courier. It starts as story. And if there hadn't been the 700-page-promis of a formal mindfuck without compare, this beginning would not necessarily have convinced me to keep reading.
But the text breaks out of both mode an content: Times. Academic film analysis. I notice my reading behaviour change. For years of cultural studies slow down my gaze, make it wander more carefully over the words and cling to terms and definitions.

I'm far from finished, but this book demands an exploration in advance.

Buchrücken: das Haus


Writing as a P2P-Process?

Do you know Owesys? No.
You probably don't.
How do I know? Well, fist of all, the site is in German and as you, dear reader, are currently looking at the crappily translated English version of my blog. I assume you don't speak German. Also, we are only three people there. So probably, no. You have not heard of Owesys.
Owesys is a pilot project trying to build a diegesis for writers and other artists to populate with stories. Sounds crazy? Maybe. But it poses an important question: Is writing compatible with peer-to-peer-praxis?

The Impotence of Being German

Some dude who lived hundreds of years ago decided to call us the People of Poets and Thinkers (das Volk der Dichter und Denker). Nowadays it's more like the People of risk-averse translations of English and American work. You know me. I love English. I don't have a problem with English. But I do have a problem with German publishers not publishing German authors, especially when it comes to light fiction.

Peter V. Brett - The Warded/Painted Man

Good God, guys, can't you decide on one English title? Well, at least, there is an opportunity to explain the nebulous "notes"-category of my blog: As someone who dissects stories on a daily basis, I take a lot of mental notes while reading books, playing games and watching films. And here I'll try to regurgitate them into cohesive reviews. So, without any more ado: Let's dissect The Painted Man. I mean The Warded Man! God!

Context is King

Or: What Video Games Taught Me About Storytelling.

Action is everything.
Exposition? Needs more action.
Dialogue? Needs more action!
Action, action, action!
Action is the holy grail of light fiction. Action also is a fancy word for „stuff happens“. And we all know stuff. It's not necessarily exciting. That's why action can't be everything. The magic word is context.

Syuzhet & Fabula

Oh theoretical terms, you well-defined yet completely nebulous pain in the neck. Couldn't you at least be loaned from a language I understand, like French or English? But don't worry, this article isn't a lesson in Russian Formalism.

Instead, it is more of a reminder for anyone who considers themselves a weaver of the fine fabric called stories. The whole planning thing? That part of the process which isn't euphorically slamming your heart against your keyboard? Yeah. There's more to it than one might think.