Month: May 2010

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Posted May 29, 2010 by Michael Kitto in Classic / 0 Comments

Animal Farm by George OrwellTitle: Animal Farm (Goodreads)
Author: George Orwell
Published: Penguin, 1945
Pages: 112
Genres: Classic
My Copy: Personal Copy

Buy: Amazon
(or visit your local Indie bookstore)

‘Animal Farm’ is truly an interesting story; we all know what the story represents but George Orwell portrayed communists Russia in World War II really well. The book was short and I was able to read it in one day, almost in one sitting. I think we could spend a long time discussing which animal represents which Russian and working out which battle was The Battle of the Cowshed or The Battle of the Windmill. I did especially enjoy the flag (The Horn and Hoof Flag reminiscent of the hammer and sickle), Squealer (propaganda pig) and Moses the Raven (the Russian Orthodox Church). It is definitely one of those books you need to read at least once in your lifetime. I think I enjoyed it more than ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’.


Spirituality and The Arts

Posted May 21, 2010 by Michael Kitto in Culture / 0 Comments

I just read an article from Time-Online called ‘The Spiritual History of English’, which talks about a book by Andrew Thornton-Norris of the same name. The book bases its arguments on the T.S Eliot’s premise that “culture of a people as an incarnation of its religion”. According to Thornton-Norris, literature is the result of liberalism in politics. He also claimed that previously “tradition prevented art or the individual – and relativism in belief” and as for modern art “Now almost every word that is written is a manifesto, a statement, a theology or anti-theology, rather than an unselfconscious work of art, a contribution to the tradition or communal enterprise, as it was in the Latin Classical tradition.”

I know spirituality has played a huge part in the Arts (eg. Caravaggio or any painter back then, John Milton’s Paradise Lost and Dante’s Divine Comedy) in the past but does it play much of a part now?


Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco

Posted May 10, 2010 by Michael Kitto in Historical Fiction, Speculative Fiction / 0 Comments

Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto EcoTitle: Foucault's Pendulum (Goodreads)
Author: Umberto Eco
Translator: William Weaver
Published: Vintage, 1989
Pages: 623
Genres: Historical Fiction, Speculative Fiction
My Copy: Personal Copy

Buy: Amazon
(or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Foucault’s Pendulum may not be for everyone and I will try not to give away any of the story. Personally, I really enjoyed the way it was written.  I went into the book knowing it was about Secret Societies and conspiracy theories, but as I kept reading the book, I started to think it was real. I had to snap myself out of this thought process. The story follows a group of publishers who started deconstructing and analysing what they knew about the Templers, eventually they were drawing connections to other secret societies like the Rosicrucians, the Freemasons & the Jesuits. I don’t know how much of the information was real, but this book was written in such a way that you may get sucked in. It defiantly isn’t a book for everyone, it is very content heavy, but well worth the read if you have any interest in the topic.

If you want to know more about this book, check out my previous post about Foucault’s Pendulum.


What I Learnt From Script Frenzy

Posted May 6, 2010 by Michael Kitto in Writing / 0 Comments

Now that my first attempt at Script Frenzy is over, I want to share what I learnt from the experience. For those who don’t know what script frenzy is; during the month of April people join the challenge of writing a 100 page screen play over the span of the month. Similar to NaNoWriMo, it was an enjoyable experience and I want to share a few things that I learnt from it .

  • Screenplays require so much more planning. Unlike a story you need to know in advance what you want to happen, what the characters are going to do and where it will be set. I liked NaNoWriMo for the simple fact that I didn’t have to plan; I could write and see where it will take me and what will happen.
  • Screenplays and I don’t mix. I’ve discovered that I like my protagonist to have more of an inner monologue which just doesn’t work too well in a script.
  • There are plenty of great and free screenwriting tools out there; for planning and writing scripts (eg. Celtex and Scripped)
  • I’m not nearly as discipled in my writing as I would like to be

Script Frenzy was an enjoyable experience but possibly not one I would do again. Screenwriting is very detailed and require more planning. For me; I think my writing style and brain don’t work too well in this style.


The Buddy System

Posted May 4, 2010 by Michael Kitto in Writing / 0 Comments

Have you got yourself a writing or blogging buddy? What are the benefits of a buddy? This is something I’ve personally been thinking a lot about lately and I’ve thought of 5 major reasons to get yourself a buddy;

  1. Motivation/Accountability – I’m often procrastinating and sometimes I need that little push to actually get off my ass and back writing. I’m lucky to have people that often ask about my blog and if I’ve updated, not so much when it comes to writing, simply because my blog is my primary focus.
  2. Proofreading – I’m really bad at proof reading so it’s nice to have someone who will find any spelling or grammar mistakes that you may have missed
  3. Constructive Criticism – while your buddy is checking for spelling mistakes it’s also handy for them to point out sections that didn’t flow right or even didn’t full explain what was going on.
  4. Collaboration – especially in blogging it’s nice to be able to have someone write a guest post and offer a new perspective for your readers. Also it’s nice to be able to play around with a story with your buddy and see where it takes you.
  5. Strategy – you often need someone to bounce ideas and vent to; often a buddy would be the perfect person to go to when you’ve hit a wall and need help getting around it.

What to look for in a writing buddy?

Obviously you want to find a writing buddy that you can trust and rely on, I’m lucky I’ve got my wife who is always one of my biggest critics and knows what I’m trying to write (most of the time). Thought she doesn’t write much, I think she covers all the relevant requirements in a writing buddy.

Even if you don’t have a writing buddy, your blog community is another amazing source. They may not cover every aspect of a writing buddy but they do become a reliable source for feedback and growth. I personally feel like I gain very valuable insight form my readers.

All in all there, it’s important as a writer to know how to take criticism and how to apply it. As a writer or a blogger, it’s important to grow and evolve into the best you can be; and a writing buddy is the perfect companion on your writing journey.

What are your opinions on Writing Buddies?