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Litopia Room 101

#1
As per the old BBC show fronted by Paul Merton (I have no idea if it's still going), which three things would you present for banishment to room 101?

Personally, mine would be:

1) Plot synopses. I hate writing them, I can't write them effectively, I've never encountered anyone who does enjoy writing them and I hate writing them (which I might have mentioned).

2) Mushrooms. Insidious grey death matter, capable of infiltrating otherwise delicious meals.

3) Work-place team-bonding exercises. I had to go to a place called "kidzania" last year for one of these. The sense of mandatory "fun" essentially prompted me to quit my job! I was actually made to participate in a group dance.

Obviously as the thread creator all of mine are automatically sent to Room 101. And the world is already a much happier place.
 

Carol Rose

Guardian
Staff member
Ambassador
#2
I don't know the Room 101 reference, but I have no issues with writing a synopsis. My feeling is since I'm the one who wrote the book, if I can't summarize it, something went wrong in the writing process. :)

Perhaps a different approach to writing them than the one you currently use would help? I don't know what that approach is, obviously, so I hope these links prove useful. :)

Another Article On How To Write A Synopsis

https://colony.litopia.com/index.php?threads/fantastic-synopsis-writing-guide.2512/

https://colony.litopia.com/index.php?threads/the-synopsis-thing-again-info-worth-reading.2548/
 
#3
Thanks Carol, that's actually really useful! It may just jolt me out of what I was worrying had become a permanent state of procrastination brought on by synopsis dread!

Room 101 was only on British TV I think. It is apparently still running. This BBC description conveys the concept quite nicely:

Fast-moving game show meets talk show, which sees Frank Skinner refereeing three celebrities each week as they compete to banish their top peeve or worst nightmare to the depths of Room 101.
 
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#5
Rats!

Seriously though -

1. Massive dumps of exposition
2. Overuse of alternatives to 'said' or 'asked' eg guffawed, grunted, sneered, bellowed etc
3. Unsympathetic characters with no redeeming qualities. (Actually I can think of a few of these in real life - mainly politicians!)
 

Barbara

Guardian
Benefactor
#6
I don't know the Room 101 reference, but I have no issues with writing a synopsis. My feeling is since I'm the one who wrote the book, if I can't summarize it, something went wrong in the writing process. :)

Perhaps a different approach to writing them than the one you currently use would help? I don't know what that approach is, obviously, so I hope these links prove useful. :)

Another Article On How To Write A Synopsis

https://colony.litopia.com/index.php?threads/fantastic-synopsis-writing-guide.2512/

https://colony.litopia.com/index.php?threads/the-synopsis-thing-again-info-worth-reading.2548/
@Carol Rose. Thanks for this. How well-timed of you. Just what I need this Friday afternoon.:)
 
#7
George Orwell's Room 101 was where you were confronted with the worst possible thing you could think of. That would not, I assume, make great prime time tv entertainment, so it became the place to put things you don't like. Under the amazingly witty Frank Skinner it is still thriving.
 

Carol Rose

Guardian
Staff member
Ambassador
#8
George Orwell's Room 101 was where you were confronted with the worst possible thing you could think of. That would not, I assume, make great prime time tv entertainment, so it became the place to put things you don't like. Under the amazingly witty Frank Skinner it is still thriving.
Ah! Of course. :) Silly me. I didn't make the connection until now! Thank you. :)
 

Amber

Benefactor
#10
Oh goodie! This should be fun.

  • Blowhardy fuckwits who enjoy swinging their dinky dongs around and who always, always, end up being wrong.
  • That American fighting spirit which often results in blowhardy fuckwits swinging their dinky dongs about despite the fact that they're usually ignorant or at least head blind.
  • That Brash American confidence which Americans are so proud and which many believe is a virtue unto itself, needing no factual support, no rational support, and which, similar to an ouroborus, feeds on itself, goes nowhere, produces nothing of value (not even excrement), and is essentially the greatest illusion of all time.
  • Capitalism as a moral imperative and a watchdog and/or guardian of well-being. Capitalism has no interest in the well-being of human beings. None. Zero. Capitalism's interest is in profit. That's all. Not in healthcare or research or education or the environment or families -- not in any of the things which ultimately make life worth living.
  • Twitter. (You're going to have to give me this one)

Oh yeah -- P.S. I'm an American.
 

Amber

Benefactor
#11
As per the old BBC show fronted by Paul Merton (I have no idea if it's still going), which three things would you present for banishment to room 101?

Personally, mine would be:

1) Plot synopses. I hate writing them, I can't write them effectively, I've never encountered anyone who does enjoy writing them and I hate writing them (which I might have mentioned).

2) Mushrooms. Insidious grey death matter, capable of infiltrating otherwise delicious meals.

3) Work-place team-bonding exercises. I had to go to a place called "kidzania" last year for one of these. The sense of mandatory "fun" essentially prompted me to quit my job! I was actually made to participate in a group dance.

Obviously as the thread creator all of mine are automatically sent to Room 101. And the world is already a much happier place.
Mushrooms are delish.
 
#12
Oh goodie! This should be fun.

  • Blowhardy fuckwits who enjoy swinging their dinky dongs around and who always, always, end up being wrong.
  • That American fighting spirit which often results in blowhardy fuckwits swinging their dinky dongs about despite the fact that they're usually ignorant or at least head blind.
  • That Brash American confidence which Americans are so proud and which many believe is a virtue unto itself, needing no factual support, no rational support, and which, similar to an ouroborus, feeds on itself, goes nowhere, produces nothing of value (not even excrement), and is essentially the greatest illusion of all time.
  • Capitalism as a moral imperative and a watchdog and/or guardian of well-being. Capitalism has no interest in the well-being of human beings. None. Zero. Capitalism's interest is in profit. That's all. Not in healthcare or research or education or the environment or families -- not in any of the things which ultimately make life worth living.
  • Twitter. (You're going to have to give me this one)

Oh yeah -- P.S. I'm an American.
Free market capitalists are cowards and hypocrites unless they argue for child labour laws to be repealed.
 
#14
George Orwell's Room 101 was where you were confronted with the worst possible thing you could think of. That would not, I assume, make great prime time tv entertainment, so it became the place to put things you don't like. Under the amazingly witty Frank Skinner it is still thriving.
Didn't Orwell write something about being homeless? Do you remember what it was called?

Was 101 in 1984? It's been a long time since I read it. I should read it again.
 
#15
1. Studio Execs who try to manipulate a director's artistic integrity.
2. Troutpout, Duckface and selfies that are begging for attention.
3. Daniel Radcliffe.
 
#17
Bad smells- poo-eee. I do not have this schnozz for nothing. I WILL smell a gas leak and I will be right.
Fundamentalism. Any kind. You are the enemy of the pick and mix, flea market spirit of that contradictory questing homebody, Mankind.
Things being where I can't reach them. Gahhh. The truth of wheelchairs. I spend many brain calories in solving or forestalling associated problems.
Dog shit where it didn't oughta be. Pig shit is worse and human shit, but they're not so often seen on pavements.
People with faces like plates. That might include Daniel Radcliffe.
Jobsworths and gate-keepers. You know when you're dealing with one. In you go, you petty, humourless asshole.
Eating octopi. They are our intellectual superiors. Well, they're mine, anyway. And probably cows are too, but the octopi are just summat else. Wow.
Cruelty to lobsters. They might not be cuddly but they are our cousins. Kill them to eat. Well, OK. They are hunters too, but don't torture them.

And in writing, the word 'grinned.' Why must they always grin in novels? And stop telling me the colour of people's eyes all the time. Jeez.

Whoops. More than 3. Mrs Angry got carried away.
 
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#18
Bad smells- poo-eee. I do not have this schnozz for nothing. I WILL smell a gas leak and I will be right.
Fundamentalism. Any kind. You are the enemy of the pick and mix, flea market spirit of that contradictory questing homebody, Mankind.
Things being where I can't reach them. Gahhh. The truth of wheelchairs. I spend many brain calories in solving or forestalling associated problems.
Dog shit where it didn't oughta be. Pig shit is worse and human shit, but they're not so often seen on pavements.
People with faces like plates. That might include Daniel Radcliffe.
Jobsworths and gate-keepers. You know when you're dealing with one. In you go, you petty, humourless asshole.
Eating octopi. They are our intellectual superiors. Well, they're mine, anyway. And probably cows are too, but the octopi are just summat else. Wow.
Cruelty to lobsters. They might not be cuddly but they are our cousins. Kill them to eat. Well, OK. They are hunters too, but don't torture them.
The word 'grinned.' Why must they always grin in novels?
Is there something I ought to know about crustacean intelligence? As a pescatarian, lobster is my biggest (occasional) vice. In my defence, I only go for lobsters that have been crustastunned.
 
#19
In the book world, my three pet peeves are:

* Inaccuracies in novels, where the writer simply didn't check their facts. I'm scrupulous in making sure that I've got stuff right, especially things that I'm sure I know, so it drives me nuts to read a crime story where a gun has the wrong calibre ammunition or where a motorcycle is kick-started, even though that model only ever had an electric start. As Frederic Raphael said:

Truth may be stranger than fiction, but fiction is truer.

* Celebrity Authors! You know what I mean—some annoying twerp who's already got a high profile in the media and an existing fortune, chooses to write a book (or hire a ghostwriter)—meaning, they immediately get a publishing contract, trampling unknown authors underfoot.

A prime example of this is British comedian David Walliams who decided to write children's books. He's already the highest-selling author of books for young readers, with 12.5 million sales.

Even more annoying :mad: is when the world's first billionaire author, J.K. Rowling, in an attempt to be taken seriously by literary critics, moved from children's books into the genre that I write—crime stories. I'm surprised that you didn't all see the fluorescent blue cloud of swear words that issued from my mouth to cover Cornwall, when I read that she was really Robert Galbraith, author of The Cuckoo's Calling.

* Formulaic writing that's phenomenally successful is depressing to me. As unknown authors, one of the things that we're encouraged to do is to think about marketing our books, by creating an image of us as people and of our titles fitting the expected requirements of the genre—but, with a twist that makes our writing unique. If successful, our stories become a brand, in much the same way as a soft drink or a can of baked beans: readers know what they're getting.

If you become a best-selling author, perhaps the money quashes any ambition you once had to be taken seriously as a literary force. Writers like Lee Child, Agatha Christie and James Patterson churn out the same basic premise time after time. Patterson is particularly annoying, as his way of writing includes 'collaborations' in which he provides the basic framework of a story, getting hired guns to write the bulk of it; it's been estimated that he contributes as little as 20% of the writing.

He's the proprietor of a writing factory: he's not an author!
 
#20
Is there something I ought to know about crustacean intelligence? As a pescatarian, lobster is my biggest (occasional) vice. In my defence, I only go for lobsters that have been crustastunned.
Eating them is OK. They'd eat you too if they could. Son in law's a chef, thinks it's funny how they try and fight going into the pot. NO!!!

Intelligent. Yes they are. Highly. You bet! And you only have to go back 340 million years for our common ancestor.
 

Amber

Benefactor
#21
In the book world, my three pet peeves are:

* Inaccuracies in novels, where the writer simply didn't check their facts. I'm scrupulous in making sure that I've got stuff right, especially things that I'm sure I know, so it drives me nuts to read a crime story where a gun has the wrong calibre ammunition or where a motorcycle is kick-started, even though that model only ever had an electric start. As Frederic Raphael said:

Truth may be stranger than fiction, but fiction is truer.

* Celebrity Authors! You know what I mean—some annoying twerp who's already got a high profile in the media and an existing fortune, chooses to write a book (or hire a ghostwriter)—meaning, they immediately get a publishing contract, trampling unknown authors underfoot.

A prime example of this is British comedianDavid Walliams who decided to write children's books. He's already the highest-selling author of books for young readers, with 12.5 million sales.

Even more annoying :mad: is when the world's first billionaire author, J.K. Rowling, in an attempt to be taken seriously by literary critics, moved from children's books into the genre that I write—crime stories. I'm surprised that you didn't all see the fluorescent blue cloud of swear words that issued from my mouth to cover Cornwall, when I read that she was really Robert Galbraith, author of The Cuckoo's Calling.

* Formulaic writing that's phenomenally successful is depressing to me. As unknown authors, one of the things that we're encouraged to do is to think about marketing our books, by creating an image of us as people and of our titles fitting the expected requirements of the genre—but, with a twist that makes our writing unique. If successful, our stories become a brand, in much the same way as a soft drink or a can of baked beans: readers know what they're getting.

If you become a best-selling author, perhaps the money quashes any ambition you once had to be taken seriously as a literary force. Writers like Lee Child, Agatha Christie and James Patterson churn out the same basic premise time after time. Patterson is particularly annoying, as his way of writing includes'collaborations'in which he provides the basic framework of a story, getting hired guns to write the bulk of it; it's been estimated that he contributes as little as 20% of the writing.

He's the proprietor of a writing factory: he's not an author!
I'll give you Patterson because what he does is dishonest and I suspect, exploitative.

But what do you care if other writers have success with writing that isn't great? Or, if JK Rowling tries her hand at writing crime? Or general fiction? Let the woman be for gods sakes.

Also, I invite you to look at this quote another way:

Truth may be stranger than fiction, but fiction is truer.


Fiction isn't truer because we get the facts right. It's truer because facts don't have as much to do with truth as we'd like to think. Fiction is more 'true' because of it's emotional accuracy, not because we've gotten the caliber of a gun's ammunition correct. Although, of course, it's very conscientious and smart and perhaps even right to get the facts straight, I don't think it's what the truth of a novel hinges on.
 
#22
You mentioned Patterson's sausage factory. I'm with you on that one brother. There are a few others.

Christie's Marple. Aren't the books supposed to be better than the movies. "shots fired". I read every book she wrote and almost every movie adaptation. You only do that if you like them. Kindly sheath the long knives.

To the point of this thread. Mine is too many he said. It pulls me out of a book. Its like a dripping faucet. Drip, drip, drip...he said, he said, he said. It's mesmerizing in a bad way. After a while, the only thing I see, is he said.
 
#23
P.S. Getting the facts right. You're both right. You've heard "tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth". The writers guide rule is "tell the truth, NOT the whole truth but nothing but the truth". You don't have to tell the reader how to put gas in the car but if you do don't put it in the radiator.
 
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