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Welcome. Whether you read, write, or both, you'll find something here. Free reads, book reviews, writing contest details and links, and much about the writing process. By all means comment; I'm always interested in the views of readers and writers. Follow the blog and connect with me on social networks; the more, the merrier.
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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Ruled by Intellect or Emotion? Tips on Word Choice #24

"[The] Giant Skrymir and Thor, by Louis Huard
"[The] Giant Skrymir and Thor, by Louis Huard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Certain words/phrases can induce fairly specific responses in readers. As writers, we all know this, but do we use the power of emotion in our work?

For these few weeks, I’m looking at something subjective: how to choose between emotional and intellectual words for effect. You won’t always agree with me, of course; you’re writers. But, hopefully, my suggestions will get the thought processes going.

In this series I’m looking at the difference between words that seem intellectual as opposed to those that evoke a more emotional response. How you use them is obviously up to you. The point is that the alternatives have the same, or very similar, meanings, but their effect upon the reader can be markedly different. I’ve made some suggestions here, but I’m sure you can think of others.

Intellectual: Huge
Emotional: Giant

‘Huge variances in voter response ensure that predicting the outcome of the election is, at best, an exercise in clairvoyance.’

‘With the giant shifts in public opinion, there’s no way anyone can guess the outcome of the election.’

Intellectual: Notion
Emotional: Idea

‘The underlying problem stems from the public’s notion that they are better informed and more suited to judging the reality of the situation, which we in power know to be a fundamental flaw in their thinking.’

‘The very idea that the plebs have a clue about what’s really going on is just bollocks.’

Intellectual: Utilise     
Emotional: Use

‘We will be able to utilise the ignorance and indifference of the electorate to impose our own will on the people, the way we always have.’

‘We can use the ignorance and stupidity of most voters to get our way, just like we always have.’


A piece of information: I intend to finish this series, which will take one more post, and I shall then cease to use this blog. From that point, all my posts will be restricted to my new, developing, website at http://stuartaken.net/  Please do join me there.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Running and Writing for ME/CFS No.21

Some of you will know that I'm in the process of migrating from this site to a better website, where I can run a blog and a website over which I have more control.

All posts, other than the final 2 in the Word Choice series, will now appear only on the new site. You can reach it with this link: Running and Writing for ME/CFS No.21 

I want to make it clear I'm not moving because of any deficiencies of the blogger site. It's simply that the Wordpress site, which I am self-hosting, is not a free site and I therefore have more control over what I can do on there. Mind you, it's taking a while to get used to the different method of posting and applying information. But I'm getting there!

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Ruled by Intellect or Emotion? Tips on Word Choice #23

just before the one mile marker
just before the one mile marker (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Certain words/phrases can induce fairly specific responses in readers. As writers, we all know this, but do we use the power of emotion in our work?

For these few weeks, I’m looking at something subjective: how to choose between emotional and intellectual words for effect. You won’t always agree with me, of course; you’re writers. But, hopefully, my suggestions will get the thought processes going.

In this series I’m looking at the difference between words that seem intellectual as opposed to those that evoke a more emotional response. How you use them is obviously up to you. The point is that the alternatives have the same, or very similar, meanings, but their effect upon the reader can be markedly different. I’ve made some suggestions here, but I’m sure you can think of others.

Intellectual: Donate
Emotional: Give

‘There is an opportunity to donate funds to a worthwhile cause on my blog. Please consider making a donation to support my half marathon and raise money for ME/CFS through this link. Thank you.’

‘Go on, give us some dosh for Action For M.E. It’s a good cause, mate. Just text MESA76 to give £5 by text to 70070. Ta, ever so.’

Intellectual: Fortunate
Emotional: Lucky

‘I have reason to believe I have been very fortunate in recovering from ME/CFS after suffering the condition for nearly ten years.’

‘Talk about lucky: fancy getting over chronic fatigue after ten years, eh?’

Intellectual: Must
Emotional: Has To

‘In putting myself forward to run the half marathon at the Great North Run, I have placed myself in a position where I must train seriously if I am to satisfy the wishes of my sponsors.’

‘Anyone daft enough to run a half marathon for charity just has to do the training; it’d be madness not to, wouldn’t it?

My almost apologies for playing this card in this post, but I’ve allowed emotion to overcome intellect in this case. The cause is dear to my heart and I feel I must use every opportunity to raise both awareness and some funds for a cause that helped me in a time of need.


And a piece of information: I intend to finish this series, which will take another 2 posts, and I shall then probably cease to use this blog. From that point, all my posts will be restricted to my new, developing, website at http://stuartaken.net/  Please do join me there.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Ruled by Intellect or Emotion? Tips on Word Choice #22

English: Terrorist Banker - PortoCartoon 2009,...
English: Terrorist Banker - PortoCartoon 2009, - Jup (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Certain words/phrases can induce fairly specific responses in readers. As writers, we all know this, but do we use the power of emotion in our work?

For these few weeks, I’m looking at something subjective: how to choose between emotional and intellectual words for effect. You won’t always agree with me, of course; you’re writers. But, hopefully, my suggestions will get the thought processes going.

In this series I’m looking at the difference between words that seem intellectual as opposed to those that evoke a more emotional response. How you use them is obviously up to you. The point is that the alternatives have the same, or very similar, meanings, but their effect upon the reader can be markedly different. I’ve made some suggestions here, but I’m sure you can think of others.

Intellectual: Haste, Hasten
Emotional: Hurry

‘You must hasten toward a solution of the problem before the public recognise the issue for what it truly has become.’

‘If you don’t hurry up and get this sorted, even the idiots will soon know the truth.’

Intellectual: Jesting
Emotional: Kidding

‘Cameron is jesting when he suggests that we are all in this together, of course.’

‘You’re kidding: how can a millionaire ever know what it’s really like to be poor?’

Intellectual: Tidings
Emotional: News

‘We’ve received glad tidings concerning the suppression of information relating to our bankers’ bonuses.’


‘Great news that we bankers can have our great big bonuses without letting on, eh?’

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Running and Writing for ME/CFS #19

Running:
And, again, at last! My first run since the move that I’ve managed to complete outside. Running around the house is okay for those days when the weather is too cold to bear outside, and the stairs make the whole exercise a little more ‘real’ than it would otherwise be. But there’s no substitute for running outdoors.
This morning, I ran from the front door, down part of the road that slopes toward the main road and then branched off up a narrow and fairly steep public footpath and into the forest. The track took me along a slow rise to the old railway bridge, where I turned and then came back the same way; downhill for most of the way, until I reached the road and had to climb back to the house.
I slightly mistimed the run, turning slightly before I needed, as I’d not really been aware of the upward slope on the outward leg. But the route back took me down and I therefore covered the distance more quickly and ended up doing only 13 minutes and 42 seconds instead of the advised fifteen minutes. Still, a good and testing run. Next one will be Wednesday.
So, this week, I’ve completed 3 runs, of ten, fifteen, and nearly fifteen minutes.
This afternoon, Valerie and I took a walk along the same route but then continued our saunter under the bridge and back down to the road via a different route. I used the opportunity to take the picture that accompanies this post. It shows the turning point in the forest, an old bridge that once carried a small railway along the valley side.

Writing:

At last! I’ve started the actual writing of the book. 2,000 words so far, which constitutes the opening chapter. Of course, the way I write means I’ll have to edit when I’ve finished the whole book, but that’s all part of my creative process. I’m aiming to have the book finished and ready to publish in Spring.