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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

“What’s a Rounder?” Curiosity and Writing

The old saying says it killed the cat, but I believe besides being a voracious reader curiosity is part of what makes a great writer.

As a writer you not only have to be curious about the little things you see and don’t understand, but the myriad of things you don’t have the answers for. You must be curious about people. Why do they do the things they do? What extra ordinary things do people actually do? What things people do when they think nobody is watching or paying attention?

I find I am constantly asking questions about things. Mostly to myself, jotting them down on notes to investigate and find the answers when I have time. Sometimes asking other people if they know why this is that way? Why does that happen? I wonder how they built that? I wonder why they went to so much trouble to build that in that particular way? A lot of times I am very surprised by my answers.

I mentioned in previous blog posts about how I am signed up at Dictionary dot com and they e-mail me a new word every day for me to try and learn. I don’t commit them all to memory as I get busy like everybody else. I do copy and paste them into a list of vocabulary words to study at another time. I do read through the word and definition and know I have the word saved in case I remember the word and want to look it back up in my list. Even with that occasionally you here a term that is unfamiliar to you.

At my book club the term came up “A rounder.” I had never heard that term. Some of the ladies said it was used by their parents or Grandparents in reference to a woman who “gets around”, or “plays the field”, she would be known as a rounder in the not so distant past. I hadn’t heard that one before. Please understand the comment was made about a fictional character in a book we were reviewing and not in any form of gossip about real people. We are a very respectable book club that wouldn’t behave in such a fashion as to gossip.

I only mention it because I had to ask, “What’s a rounder?”

It’s that incessant curiosity and collecting the mass of what my wife refers to as a wealth of useless knowledge, that when sprinkled with a boring life, mixed with an overactive imagination and you have the makings of an aspiring author. Through the coming months I would like to be able to show and explain aspects and pieces of Story Telling, which is the taking of this useless knowledge from books, movies, television and the radio and spinning it into a plausible tale that is intriguing enough to draw you into and compel you to finish reading it even if you aren’t totaling enjoying the experience. I recently read a book that was solidly depressing. Not heart wrenching, tearing your heart out of your chest depressing like Nicholas Sparks incredibly talented and well written books are, just mildly depressing and sad. Yet the story had that slight strangeness, that something was just slightly off normal that you had to finish the book to find out what in the hell was going on. In turn inadvertently the book sticks with you, because you put it down and picked it back up again repeatedly to force yourself to finish it.

This book broke about every rule in the book, from proper English Style, to writing a book that was disturbing, depressing, sad and dysfunctional on such a level your natural reaction was to put it down, but if you don’t finish it you will not find out what happens. I thought it was an incredibly insightful and enlightened way to write a book. As an aspiring author who hasn’t built his following and is hoping to build a league of addicted adventure junkies, who like military themes, criminals running amuck and enjoy reading my work, I will try to continue writing the hang onto the edge of your seat adventures you can’t put down. It was a very brave book for an author on several accounts. I don’t think there was a single Quotation mark in the entire book! Seriously! Yes, there was dialogue, lots of it!

Leave a comment if you want to know what the book was, or if you think you know what it was!
Until next time. Have a great day, write bunches. Oh, Hell! Slammed Sparks again, and still no apology. If I do happen to run into him, I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t just punch me in the mouth.


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