Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Note To Jane

I just finished reading Persuasion, by Jane Austin. First time reading this, though I've read a couple of other Austin books. I have to say, I liked it. It has the classic twists and unexpected turns of an Austin book, the proper and likable characters as well as the socially awkward characters and embarrassing relations that remind me all too much of people I know. It has a nice happy ending. It was a good read. But I do have a few comments for Jane:


1) When you're writing a book of a fictional nature, feel free to choose from a wide variety of available names. You're not limited to using only one or two names for all the males in the story. In fact, it can be kind of confusing to have not two, but THREE characters in the story with the same first name. I know Charles is a nice name, but expand your repertoire just a bit.

2) Spellcheck, Honey! "Viranda," "pannel," "teaze," and "crape?" Come on. EVERYONE knows how to spell those words!

3) If you're going to spend pages talking about obsolete modes of transportation like barouches, curricles, chairs, chaises, gigs, and coaches, please have the courtesy to include pictures! Jeez.

4) You should probably not make up words. Unexeptionable? Michealmas? (Everyone knows it CHRISTmas!) Grappler? Worsting? Blains? I know you're trying to show how creative you are. But please, just use REAL words.

I did learn a few useful things though. For example:

A) "Underhung": having a projecting lower jaw. I am SO going to implement that in my vocabulary. I know a lot of people I could describe with this handy new word!

B) "Brawn": Don't confuse this with having muscle or with the paper towel brand. No, this is a tasty dish made from minced and molded meat from a pig's head. YUM! I know what's for dinner tonight!

C) "The gapes" : Fits of yawning. I'm totally going to get this phrase reintroduced into the common vernacular. I could have used it 5 or 6 times at church last Sunday alone!

So, Jane, there you go. A few bits of constructive criticism and a few complements just to keep you from getting too depressed and overanalizing your writing style. But I do hope you'll implement some of these things in your next book. Good luck!






Please know that I actually love Jane Austen. This post was totally written tongue-in-cheek. I swear if I get any comments informing me that blains is really a word, I will flip.

10 comments:

Chelsea said...

To me, critiquing Jane Austen is akin to questioning the Bible. Blasphemy!

:D

jennie w. said...

I'm guessing that she wrote it at the time she a crush on someone named Charles. That makes sense to me.

I really love Persuasion. It's such a good love story. Not that eye-rolling crap like "Romeo and Juliet".

CaraDee said...

Speaking of which, Pearl is "underhung". It's wonderful.

Christie said...

I never got into Jane Austin either. Great post.

veronica said...

I was a little bit scared of what "underhung" was going to mean. Thanks for clearing that up.

Melissa said...

LOVE your post, HATE Austen!

J.J. said...

...a little sad that disclaimers have to be written on posts like that- hilarious!

Judi said...

Please, please, Please explain this book to me...I am supposed to have it read for book club next week and can't get into it!
I found a movie of it and thought I was saved...I gave up on the movie at the same spot I gave up on the book!!!
I just don't get it...do tell, do tell...

tiburon said...

I have never read a Jane Austen book and I must admit this post isn't exactly selling me on the idea...

André said...

Is overanalyzing really a word? Now you're making up stuff. Note to anyone writing for grades, don't make up words either because you're not allowed to do it until you're an accomplished writer. What a rip-off!