Book Reviews by Today, I Read…

A Continuous Book Review and Vocabulary Assignment

November 26

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Page 56, Sentence 5

by Ann-Katrina

What better way to get back into the blogging spirit than with a game of tag? Jace from Jace Scribbles has been tagged to participate in a highly interesting meme. (At least, highly interesting for avid readers.) Here’s the gist:

  1. Open the closest book to you, not your favorite or most intellectual book, but the book closest to you at the moment, and turn to page 56.
  2. Write out the fifth sentence, along with the following two to five sentences.
  3. Pass this along to five blog friends. (What kind of meme would this be if you didn’t require the (un)willing participation of others?)


Self Editing for Fiction Writers Book Cover At this time, there are approximately 18 books within arm’s reach (yes, literally), but the absolute closest book to me at the moment is Self Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King.

Opening the book…turning to page 56…aha…here we are…(I’m going to count from the first complete sentence, just so we’re clear)

Well, not often, since at the very least it risks literary transparency. (sentence 5)

If you have an overriding dramatic mood for the scene that doesn’t really belong to any of your characters, then you might want to try this approach. The key element in Hoffman’s scene is the way the two sisters’ lives collide at this moment, and for that to work, Hoffman needs to create a genuine sense of what each sister’s life is truly like. She can’t do this from a single point of view, since at this stage in the story each sister seriously misunderstands the other. She can’t write brief, separate scenes from the two points of view, since that wouldn’t let her build to the climax of Jimmy’s body. She has to jump from head to head. (sentences 6-10)

By the way, if you are a NaNoWriMo participant and you intend to continue working on your novel, then I highly recommend Self Editing for Fiction Writers as a companion to No Plot? No Problem! (read review)–it picks up right where that book leaves off. And while I’m on the topic of shamelessly recommending books for NaNo participants, grab a copy of James Scott Bell’s Plot & Structure, which will help you flesh out your novel’s arc and transform a languid plot into an enthralling one.

Now it’s time to recruit some participants. I think I’m going to play it safe like Jace, while also subscribing to the spirit by tagging a few people and hoping they do it.

  • Ms. Bookish, I’m positive you probably have some tantalizing piece of literature sitting right next to you at the moment.
  • Brie, I’m equally positive that you have something just as tantalizing sitting by you at the moment. (By the way, love the new design.)
  • Jackie, if not for tantalizing reading, then surely there is something interesting in all the word’s various definitions.

And anyone else who wishes to participate. It’s a party and everyone’s invited. Feel free to leave a comment to get some link love.

Comments on Page 56, Sentence 5

  1. # Ms. Bookish wrote on November 26, 2008 at 1:04 pm:

    I think I’ll have to find my measuring tape and try and figure out which book at the top of which pile is technically closest to me … ;)

  2. # Ann-Kat wrote on November 26, 2008 at 1:16 pm:

    LOL…glad to know I’m not the only one who surrounds herself with books. (As an aside, Self Editing only won by about 3 millimeters. :D )

  3. # Jace wrote on November 26, 2008 at 1:55 pm:

    Hey, so glad to see you’re back! :-D Thanks for participating and recruiting the (un)willing participants. :-D

    Did you see the blog post that I dedicated entirely to you? ;-) Did you? LOL

    I’m going to try posting the live link here (hope you allow html codes here!).

    Ode To Ann-Kat

  4. # Ann-Kat wrote on November 26, 2008 at 2:01 pm:

    Oh my goodness, you dedicated an entire blog post to me? *blush* Oh my, I have no idea what to say. I’m beaming. You have made my day about 10 times brighter!

    Now I need to finish going through my feeds to see all the other wonderful goodies I’ve been missing while I was camped out in that hole.

    And you’re totally right, I need to hurry up and fix that ‘About’ page (I’ve just been lazy). Gonna write it up tonight before I go to bed. :D

  5. # Jace wrote on November 26, 2008 at 2:32 pm:

    I was happy to help bring a little attention to your wonderful site. :-) Keep on writing and we’ll keep on reading. ;-)

  6. # Brie wrote on November 26, 2008 at 3:22 pm:

    Hi Ann! I’m glad to see you back. Thanks for tagging me, I’ll get to it right now.

    How is NaNo going? I’m finding the last stretch the hardest.

  7. # Ann-Kat wrote on November 26, 2008 at 3:41 pm:

    Thanks for the warm welcome back, Brie.

    NaNo is going well…you’re right, though, the last stretch seems to be the most difficult. I have about 11,000 words left to write, but I’m trying to take it all in stride and I’m reminding myself that my novel doesn’t need to end at 50,000 words. :D

    You, on the other, look as though you’re doing quite well. You’ve already broken the 40,000 word barrier; you’re in the home stretch now…Go you!

  8. # Jace wrote on November 27, 2008 at 2:28 am:

    Happy Thanksgiving and binge on all the goodies. :-D

  9. # Ann-Kat wrote on November 27, 2008 at 10:07 am:

    Thanks Jace! I hope you have a wonderful happy and filled with thanks Thanksgiving, too. (And yes, please don’t hold back on the binging!)

  10. # Jackie (Literary Escapism) wrote on November 27, 2008 at 11:53 am:

    I wouldn’t call the book closest to me all that tantalizing. It’s Googlies Wacky Wild Animals. :) It’s actually my son’s book, so there’s not a lot of content on the pages. :P

    Wait until I get home on my own computer, then I’ll share a tantalizing piece from my latest read – The Devil’s Due by Jenna Black

  11. # Pg 56 Line 5 | Literary Escapism wrote on November 27, 2008 at 9:03 pm:

    [...] got tagged by Today I Read for one of those fun memes involving that pesky book that is silently glaring at you to pick it [...]

  12. # Page 56, Sentence 5 - Tagged! - Ms. Bookish wrote on November 29, 2008 at 12:38 pm:

    [...] been tagged by my friend Ann-Kat over at Today I Read (who has just about the most beautiful blog I’ve ever [...]

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