Monday, July 13, 2015

Before You Write – Research!

"Inside Out (2015 film) poster" by
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If you are writing a book of fiction or non-fiction and have not invested any time in researching your subject, don't write another word until you develop a plan for researching your topic! 

Research is of vital importance to your regardless of the topic of your novel because it can bring substance and depth to your work. Even more, readers enjoy an informative book 

An article by The Guardian on "How to write a book in 30 days," says that "research often unearths important details and facts that can affect your entire story, so it pays to invest the time early on in the process. It's also very hard to write a story with huge holes in your own knowledge; it's like doing the work backwards." 

Your research could include going to the library or bookstores to view books similar to your topic, interviewing experts on your topic, gathering anecdotes to 
liven up your copy as well as reading everything you can get your hands on about your topic. writes that Pete Docter, writer-director of Walt Disney/Pixar's film, Inside Out, conducted research by consulting psychologists during the filmmaking. The filmmakers of this summer's mega-hit also consulted scientists at Columbia University’s Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute

On one level, kids can't help but to enjoy the visually stunning movie, but according to, the movie actually teaches viewers about the science of the mind. 

Viewers are allowed to "see" into the mind of 11-year-old Riley, whose family packs up and moves from their home in Minnesota to California.  Operating inside of Riley's mind are the "emotions" of Joy, Anger, Disgust, Fear and Sadness. Viewers watch how the range of these emotions  affect Riley throughout the movie (Don't worry, in case you have not seen the film, there are no spoilers here!).

MANA Author Marion Cornett embarked on the task of writing about the history of the village in which she lives. Since 1996, Mr. Cornett dedicated herself to studying the history of Fowlerville, a village in Livingston County, Michigan. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

First Chapter of Harper Lee's "Go Set A Watchman" Released

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Social media was abuzz Friday after The Guardian and Wall Street Journal placed the first chapter of Harper Lee's highly anticipated book, Go Set A Watchman, on their websites. The book is set for release on July 14. Go Set A Watchman is a sequel to Ms. Lee's Pulitzer-prize winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, which was published in July 1960.

In the first chapter of Go Set A Watchman, readers find Jean Louise Finch, better known as "Scout," as an adult woman living in New York and traveling to Alabama to visit her attorney-father, Atticus Finch, 20 years after the events that occurred in To Kill A Mockingbird. 

According to Wall Street Journal, Go Set A Watchman is the most pre-ordered book on Amazon since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It comes as no surprise then, that reaction to the first chapter were mixed: 

Bloomberg Business was enthralled with the first line of the book:
"Since Atlanta, she had looked out the dining-car window with a delight almost physical." 

• According to The New York Times' review, the book portrays Atticus Finch, who defended a black man against a trumped-up rape charge in To Kill A Mockingbird, as having a dark side. In fact, the review says the book describes Atticus as a racist who attends a Klan meeting and says not-so-nice things about black people. 

National Public Radio's headline describes the first chapter as swinging from "Homecoming to Heartbreak.

• Mick Brown, writer for The Telegraph, asked whether Harper Lee's  "lost" novel should have been published at all? 

Now, it's your turn to be a reviewer. In case you haven't read it yet, here are links to the first chapter of Go Set A Watchman from The Guardian and Wall Street Journal 

So, tell us what you think of the first chapter ?