Saturday, May 21, 2011

So you think you know books? Try this quiz about literature

  1. Who wrote The Raven?
  2. What was the name of the real-life sailor whose story influenced the writing of Robinson Crusoe?
  3. How many books did author J.R.R. Tolkien originally envision The Lord of the Rings to entail?
  4. What was the title of Ayn Rand's first novel?
  5. In what year did the murders in Truman Capote's In Cold Blood take place?
  6. Name one historical figure, who is also a well-known literary figure, who was a friend of Cyrano de Bergerac?
  7. What is the name of Leonato's daughter in Much Ado About Nothing?
  8. What famed city is the location of most of the events in The Iliad?
  9. Which writer has a character who said, "M-O-O-N spells moon?"
  10. What is the name of the largest rabbit in the main group of rabbits in Watership Down?
  11. What is the name of the son of Alexandre Dumas?
  12. What was the title of Jane Austen's first published novel?
  13. What name does Dr. Frankenstein give his monster?
  14. What is the title of the sequel to Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea?
  15. The first book published in the Lonesome Dove series is titled what?
  16. Who wrote The Road?
  17. What is the name of the main character in Franz Kafka's The Trial?
  18. What is Lady Chatterley's name before she marries Clifford Chatterley?
  19. One Hundred Years of Solitude is a critical, literary outline of the history of what country?
  20. What are the first three words in Moby Dick?
  21. What is the name of the street where sits the house in The House of the Seven Gables?
  22. During what war does For Whom the Bell Tolls take place?
  23. Who is the main character in Gone with the Wind?
  24. Don Quixote was originally written in what language?
  25. Who wrote The Time Machine?
  26. Who does Satan try to tempt in Paradise Regained?
  27. To where are the pilgrims traveling in The Canterbury Tales?
  28. In how many novels does Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer character appear?
  29. James Joyce is from what nation?
  30. Beowulf is a hero of what northern Germanic tribe?
  31. Who is the narrator of The Great Gatsby?
  32. John Gardner wrote an existentialist novel about a famed monster. What is the monster's name?
  33. The word "grok" comes from what famed science fiction novel?
  34. In what country do the majority of events in War and Peace occur?
  35. In Great Expectations, Pip discovers the escaped convict on what holiday?
  36. What is the name of the Russian ship that runs aground in England in the novel Dracula?
  37. Who is the lord of the castle in The Castle of Otranto?
  38. Who is considered the author of The Republic?
  39. Who wrote The Prince?
  40. What is the name of the school from where Holden Caulfield is expelled?
  41. In what U.S. city do the events of A Confederacy of Dunces take place?
  42. Who is on trial in To Kill a Mockingbird?
  43. How many chapters does Candide contain?
  44. The Red Bade of Courage takes place during what war?
  45. Who is the main character of All Quiet on the Western Front?
  46. What is the name of the wastelands where McTeague concludes?
  47. In what super-state/nation/continent do the events of Nineteen Eighty-Four take place?
  48. What is the name of the only published novel by Oscar Wilde?
  49. What is the name of Beauty's mother in Black Beauty?
  50. In John Steinbeck's The Pearl, what item is discovered that leads to so much misery?

For the answers to this quiz, go here

Self-publishing writers still need good editors

Let's say you've written a book.

Then you edited it. Maybe even did some major re-writing, moving around chapters and retyping whole sections fresh. You've straightened out the characters, tweaked your dialogue, all the stuff you think needs being done so that you have a professional quality book ready for readers.

Perhaps you've even designed your own cover artwork, and maybe you've even written your own blurbs for the back cover of the book.

A few years ago all this would have been frowned upon, but today more and more book writers are going the self-publishing route.

But why until recently has self-publishing been frowned upon so, and continues to be in some circles?

For one simple reason.

The truth: Most self-published books are garbage.

Yes, it can hurt to hear this. After all the months and years and hard work you've put into your book, it still might not be very good. It's your baby. You love that book. It has to be good.

But what you consider good might not be what a majority of readers will consider good. And unless you've only got one book in you, which is rare for most writers, you will want readers to come back and read other books, articles or stories you might write in the future.

So, you need your material to be top notch.

What to do?

Get an editor.

That might seem like a difficult task, but it's not. With economic and technological changes in the print industry, more and more editors are going freelance. Sometimes these editors used to work at a publishing house or a were literary agents. Sometimes the editors are new, or have been freelancing for years. There are plenty of editors out there. Just do a little searching on the Web.

Then you start to think about how much it might cost to hire an editor. Here, again, you are worrying way too much. Many editors will edit an average novel-length project for $500 or less, which really isn't that much money considering your book is your baby, right? Still, if you can't afford that price range, there are other options. If you have some editing skill, find someone else who needs a book edited and offer to swap with them, you edit their book and they edit yours. You could also check at a local college in your area, and perhaps you will find a student with an appropriate degree who will be willing to edit your book for a lesser price. Remember to think outside of the box. There are options.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Answers to literary quiz

For the quiz itself, go to this link.
  1. Edgar Alan Poe
  2. Alexander Selkirk
  3. One
  4. We the Living
  5. 1959
  6. D'Artagnon, though Cyrano also knew of Richelieu and likely the rest of the famed musketeers
  7. Hero
  8. Troy
  9. Stephen King
  10. Bigwig
  11. Alexandre Dumas
  12. Sense and Sensibility
  13. He does not name the monster
  14. The Mysterious Island
  15. Lonesome Dove
  16. Cormac McCarthy
  17. Josef K, or simply “K”
  18. Constance Reid
  19. Colombia
  20. “Call me Ishmael.”
  21. Pyncheon Street
  22. Spanish Civil War
  23. Scarlett O'Hara
  24. Spanish
  25. H.G. Wells
  26. Jesus
  27. Canterbury, more specifically the Shrine of Saint Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral
  28. four: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer Abroad, and Tom Sawyer, Detective
  29. Ireland
  30. The Geats
  31. Nick Carraway
  32. Grendel
  33. Stranger in a Strange Land
  34. Russia
  35. Christmas Eve
  36. Demeter
  37. Manfred
  38. Plato
  39. Niccolo Machiavelli
  40. Pencey Prep
  41. New Orleans
  42. Tom Robinson
  43. Thirty
  44. U.S. Civil War
  45. Paul Baumer
  46. Death Valley
  47. Oceania
  48. The Picture of Dorian Gray
  49. Duchess
  50. A pearl