Some Axel, Some Writing and Some Frosty!

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Today I have a couple things for you.

First off this picture of Axel, he is such a monster.

Second a fun little exercise to get that pen moving!

In stories, many characters have something very particular about them, a signifier. It’s something that reminds the reader who they are or what they do. As I was reading some Stephen King I realized how often he uses these signifiers as character names. “The Yellow Card Man” from
11/22/63 never had a name, he was just always the yellow card man because of the yellow card on his hat. By naming him only with his signifier King accomplishes several things; the reader never has to try to remember who the yellow card man is, the reader gains a very distinct image of the character by one phrase and the author cuts out a lot of descriptive language otherwise used to tell the reader more about the character.

I’m not sure whether it’s the choice of names or the contents of the books, but I always get the “vibe” of the character, and usually it is not nice, but really adds a richness to the text. So, for tonight choose a character and replace their name with a solid signifier.

In my book right now I use the name “red hard hat” for a fireman. The character who sees him is a little boy and he does not initially realize that it is a fireman. Giving the term I add some liveliness to the word choice and still tell the reader what is going on in the story.

I’m excited to use this method as a way to continue bringing life to the characters without paragraphs of detail that would otherwise be lost within words.

Lastly, a tiny rant for the day!

I have yet to use a very awesome free Wendy’s frosty card! Glad it’s free frosties for a year and its only February!

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Bringing Up Books: Needful Things

Needful Things by Stephen KingNeedful Things

Regrettably, my weekend was spent attending my sick puppy, so that long weekend I had planned on dedicating to knockout a book from the poll I posted on Friday (if the choice was other, which it was) was not quite as free as I had planned. So, I will be posting a review shortly for The Prophecy of the Sisters. I am excited to read and review this book as it has been suggested to me several times and the concept seems interesting. For this week, I settled on the runner up, Needful Things. A book I read for the first time only weeks ago, although it has been on my shelf for years.

Another Stephen King novel, but this one is much more synonymous with the assumptions you may attach to what King will bring forth. Needful Things centers on the famous town of Castle Rock, it’s new inhabitant, Leland Gaunt with his new shop, Needful Things. The shop owner is a man of mystery. He sells people items they “need,” but he does not barter for money. Instead, he deals in deeds. A favor for the item, but he does not tell them initially what the favor is or when he needs it done. With numerous characters and a large set up, this book takes off when the deeds start piling up and the blood begins to pour out of the pages. Gaunt sets out to pit the towns people against each other and then light them all up.

It’s hard to really choose a favorite King novel, but I have to go with this one, maybe it’s just the freshness, but I don’t think so. It’s evil and gripping and will keep you reading and wanting more. Yet I found that I was satisfied by the end. I think it is rare to find a book that you really love and connect to the characters and yet by the end feel complete.