PDA

View Full Version : describe a book using an adjective (not genre)



catian
02-27-2012, 02:48 PM
To Moderators: I hope this is the right forum to discuss this thread.
If it is not then apologies and if it could be moved somewhere where it would be more adequate.
Thank you in advance.


I was just thinking about all the adjectives that could apply to describe a story a book and I thought that if a descriptive word exists then it should adequatly apply to describe a book like you would describe a person.
words are because we humans needed to express an idea or a feeling.

so, would I get away with saying:

This is a loud book.

what does it evoke when you hear it?

Stacia Kane
02-27-2012, 05:51 PM
I'm going to move this to Roundtable, Catian. I think it'll get more views/replies there. :)

quicklime
02-27-2012, 06:09 PM
it evokes very little because my opinions may vary from yours and there are likely other attributes as well. You may mean it is loud because everything takes place in crowded places, you may mean the writing is given to ridiculous amounts of hyperbole, you may mean it is just very direct.....this is sort of like a single pinpoint on a length of string. Several more adjectives, and we can see the line take form, but from the single datapoint, it doesn't mean much at all.


playing along, and realizing again the single word means very little:

Anything by Dan Brown: Painful. (although again, what does this mean? In my case, I mean the writing is painful enough I get yanked from the story to groan, mumble "what the fuck?," re-read the passage out loud to make sure I'M not missing something, etc.....but someone else might describe Sparks as "painful" because all his love stories seem to end badly for the protagonist...)

elindsen
02-27-2012, 07:50 PM
The book I'm read now is Iris Johansen's BONNIE. I would say OMG

Jamesaritchie
02-27-2012, 08:30 PM
This is a loud book.

what does it evoke when you hear it?

An audio book being listened to by the hard of hearing?

catian
02-27-2012, 08:54 PM
I'm going to move this to Roundtable, Catian. I think it'll get more views/replies there. :)
Thank you Stacia. It is very much appreciated.:)

catian
02-27-2012, 08:57 PM
it evokes very little because my opinions may vary from yours and there are likely other attributes as well. You may mean it is loud because everything takes place in crowded places, you may mean the writing is given to ridiculous amounts of hyperbole, you may mean it is just very direct.....this is sort of like a single pinpoint on a length of string. Several more adjectives, and we can see the line take form, but from the single datapoint, it doesn't mean much at all.


playing along, and realizing again the single word means very little:

Anything by Dan Brown: Painful. (although again, what does this mean? In my case, I mean the writing is painful enough I get yanked from the story to groan, mumble "what the fuck?," re-read the passage out loud to make sure I'M not missing something, etc.....but someone else might describe Sparks as "painful" because all his love stories seem to end badly for the protagonist...)
Painful is a strong word.
Did you read still read him albeit it painful?

catian
02-27-2012, 08:59 PM
An audio book being listened to by the hard of hearing?
I see.
You associate loud with sounds which interesting.:)
How about content wise what would you say a loud book is about?

catian
02-27-2012, 09:00 PM
The book I'm read now is Iris Johansen's BONNIE. I would say OMG
OMG for me represent a screamish sound of astonishement but not sure wether it is good or bad or both.

Drachen Jager
02-27-2012, 09:18 PM
To me, if you describe a book as loud, it doesn't really tell me anything about the book. All it does is make me wonder if it's extremely loud.

There are just certain adjectives that do not fit with some nouns. You've picked one of those.

Aside from all that, you're not supposed to describe your book. You're supposed to SHOW what's in your book, not tell.

quicklime
02-27-2012, 09:20 PM
Painful is a strong word.
Did you read still read him albeit it painful?


half.

it takes a lot of bad book for me to go "Oh, Jesus Christ, I'm just done." and quit, but Dan rose to the challenge admirably.

Jamesaritchie
02-27-2012, 09:26 PM
I see.
You associate loud with sounds which interesting.:)
How about content wise what would you say a loud book is about?

Well, there are books, I think, that try to shout some message or another. I tend to leave such books unfinished, but I think "loud" would apply.

Cyia
02-27-2012, 09:27 PM
If you say a book's loud, then I'm GOING TO ASSUME IT'S WRITTEN LIKE THIS.

HoneyBadger
02-27-2012, 09:41 PM
If you say a book's loud, then I'm GOING TO ASSUME IT'S WRITTEN LIKE THIS.

Now it's not only incredibly loud, but extremely close.

Drachen Jager
02-27-2012, 09:48 PM
Now it's not only incredibly loud, but extremely close.

Doesn't it just appear closer? I took out a tape measure and checked, my head is as close to the monitor as it usually is.

The pink is incredibly loud, I have to give you that.

HoneyBadger
02-27-2012, 09:50 PM
I am not above playing the If It Doesn't Make Sense It's The Reader's Fault card.

Cyia
02-27-2012, 09:58 PM
Now it's not only incredibly loud, but extremely close.

And full of wall-to-wall purple prose :D

Phaeal
02-27-2012, 11:25 PM
As a sort of synaesthetic exercise, I would like to apply colors to books. Never Let Me Go is slate blue, definitely. The Lord of the Rings is all sorts of greens and golds. The DaVinci Code is neon yellow. Moby Dick is not white but teal, while The Scarlet Letter is an infinite wash of gray. The Color Purple is umber. Red Dragon actually is red. Go figure.

catian
02-27-2012, 11:51 PM
To me, if you describe a book as loud, it doesn't really tell me anything about the book. All it does is make me wonder if it's extremely loud.

There are just certain adjectives that do not fit with some nouns. You've picked one of those.

Aside from all that, you're not supposed to describe your book. You're supposed to SHOW what's in your book, not tell.
who says you cannot describe your book?
One has to describe it if one has to talk about it with others.

quicklime
02-28-2012, 12:17 AM
who says you cannot describe your book?
One has to describe it if one has to talk about it with others.


I think what others are saying (and I would certainly agree) is two-fold:

1. I cannot describe my book (or anyone else's) in a single word. Not in any meaningful, realistic way.

2. the choice you made, "loud", does not work as a descriptor anyway.....because it isn't clear if that is the tone, the over-use of hyperbole or message, or what exactly you mean by "loud".

swvaughn
02-28-2012, 12:33 AM
My book is BAMF (yo).

Cyia
02-28-2012, 01:12 AM
My book is BAMF (yo).

Every time someone uses that acronym, I expect to see Nightcrawler pop out somewhere :tongue

Drachen Jager
02-28-2012, 01:12 AM
who says you cannot describe your book?
One has to describe it if one has to talk about it with others.

You can describe it, certainly. But it's far more effective to show people why it's a good book than it is to use a bunch of semi-meaningless descriptors about the book.

"It's a great book, people are glued to the pages, you know, on the edges of their seats. There are twists and turns and dreams that might be real, but might not. It'll have you questioning reality, sort of like the Matrix, but not really. It's sad and sweet, there's some mystery, suspense and loads of drama."

"It's about this detective who is in a horrific car accident. When he wakes up he finds his wife is dead, but his son lived. At the end of the day he's exhausted, but instead of falling asleep, he wakes up in the hospital and his wife is alive, but his son is dead. Every time he falls asleep he switches realities, never knowing which (if either) is real." (not mine, describing an upcoming show)

I've over-simplified the example for effect, but I think you get the idea. One is telling about the book, one is showing about the book. Which one would you rather read?

Cyia
02-28-2012, 01:19 AM
If you have to tell me your book is funny, it's not.
If you have to tell me your book is suspenseful, it's not.
If you have to tell me your book is exciting, it's not.

HoneyBadger
02-28-2012, 01:26 AM
Cyia- my book is terrible!

swvaughn
02-28-2012, 01:34 AM
Every time someone uses that acronym, I expect to see Nightcrawler pop out somewhere :tongue

I never thought of that... but that IS an excellent Nightcrawler sound effect!

Coincidentally, Nightcrawler is also BAMF. :D

bearilou
02-28-2012, 01:39 AM
Cyia- my book is terrible!

:Clap:

And to catian, I dunno. I have to disagree with most everyone here. If someone says a book is loud, I would tend to think it may be one of those books that read with sharp prose and evoke grating images. The action may be very intense but not in an understated way. Perhaps more over the top in action and imagery.

It's not just the use of language but the plot itself. It's more than economy of vocabulary but maybe even sort of 'in your face' prose.

That's me. :Shrug:

Drachen Jager
02-28-2012, 02:48 AM
I never thought of that... but that IS an excellent Nightcrawler sound effect!

Coincidentally, Nightcrawler is also BAMF. :D

No, that's THE Nightcrawler sound effect. In all the X-Men comics that's the sound he makes when he appears in a puff of smoke.

jjdebenedictis
02-28-2012, 03:21 AM
I like to think that when the mods move a thread, it makes a *BAMF* sound.

"I am a BAMF mod and..." **BAMF** "...now you're in the AW Roundtable forum, OP."

Ketzel
02-28-2012, 03:38 AM
Cyia- my book is terrible!

Yes, but you didn't have to tell her that. :-)

kuwisdelu
02-28-2012, 04:06 AM
Defenestrated.

kuwisdelu
02-28-2012, 04:07 AM
Onanistic.

kuwisdelu
02-28-2012, 04:08 AM
Platitudinous.

kuwisdelu
02-28-2012, 04:10 AM
The books are Eragon, Twilight, and Finnegans Wake, not necessarily in that order.

Your job is to match them.

Go!

HoneyBadger
02-28-2012, 04:16 AM
Oh, easy. Eragon, Finnegans Wake, Twilight.

jjdebenedictis
02-28-2012, 04:55 AM
Onanistic has to be Twilight. It was all a fap dream, wasn't it?

Defenestrate: to throw out a window. Hmm, would that be Eragon? I've heard it affects some people like that.

Which means platitudinous is Finnegan's Wake, a book I haven't read but which I have heard is difficult to read. If it's platitudinous, that may be why.

HoneyBadger
02-28-2012, 05:26 AM
Waaaaaait a second.

That was a trick question.

jjdebenedictis
02-28-2012, 06:48 AM
Okay, this is a fun game.

Patchy
Dense
Oppressive

Match to:

The Exorcist, by William Peter Blatty
Perfume, by Patrick Suskind
Moby Dick, by Herman Melville

WordCount
02-28-2012, 07:00 AM
^ooo. That's tough.

I've never read Perfume or the Exorcist, so I won't even try them

Moby Dick's main character is a hard-headed, straight-minded, sailor.
Moby Dick=Dense

Go ahead and start laughing. That was a tough stretch.

catian
02-28-2012, 12:27 PM
My book is BAMF (yo).
Let me guess.
Blunt Amasing Mind Fuming?

catian
02-28-2012, 12:38 PM
@quicklime

2 . the choice you made, "loud", does not work as a descriptor anyway.....because it isn't clear if that is the tone, the over-use of hyperbole or message, or what exactly you mean by "loud".

I understand.
It is obvious that 'loud' has an unsettling reaction because one tends to associate it with noise.
I said 'loud' and I meant that the content of the book or the story is contreversial and may result in a lot of 'noise' or 'fracas' made by the press/newspapers/people in general.
Or a book that did not go unoticed if you like.
I am now thinking of the opposite

A 'quiet' book would not really go either with 'book' although one might say it still to express the idea of 'boring', 'uninteresting' I guess.

Marya
02-28-2012, 12:41 PM
Not easy at all because Melville had a vast and surprising vocab.

Just hazarding a guess

Let's take the nez in Patrick Suskind talking about a dense perfume, the heavy base notes of a fragrance.

Melville as using oppressive, as in oppressive skies or weather rather than the political usage.

And patchy for The Exorcist, just because --

Patchy
Dense
Oppressive

Match to:

The Exorcist, by William Peter Blatty
Perfume, by Patrick Suskind
Moby Dick, by Herman Melville

catian
02-28-2012, 12:47 PM
If you have to tell me your book is funny, it's not.
If you have to tell me your book is suspenseful, it's not.
If you have to tell me your book is exciting, it's not.
How about my book is swing betweem real and surreal...oh god not again"!!:tongue

Funny how there is not a middle word for real and surreal.
As a linguistic I tend to discover little things that frustrates me.
In the same way that there is not a gende pronoun for both He and She. I find it frustrating for now because the limit one language can set can be infuriating.

catian
02-28-2012, 12:48 PM
Here is another descripton

this book is gender friendly. Meaning it is neither he or she,it is for both.

jjdebenedictis
02-28-2012, 06:32 PM
Wordcount: An unfortunate miss! Try again? :)
Marya: One of those is correct! But which one? Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Try again? :)

catian
02-28-2012, 06:56 PM
As a sort of synaesthetic exercise, I would like to apply colors to books. Never Let Me Go is slate blue, definitely. The Lord of the Rings is all sorts of greens and golds. The DaVinci Code is neon yellow. Moby Dick is not white but teal, while The Scarlet Letter is an infinite wash of gray. The Color Purple is umber. Red Dragon actually is red. Go figure.
wow this reminds me of a someone I know who says that he sees his characters as colours which I found quite unusual.
Colours to books in a new idea to me.
I prefer to use words because I associate colours with nature.:)

Marya
02-28-2012, 07:04 PM
Right. Let's try patchy with perhaps associations of patchouli for Perfume?

Melville using dense?

When I wake at 3am wondering why my novella is stuck, I can distract, myself by thinking about why oppressive might fit with The Exorcist.The demon found the incense oppressive?

Caitian, no, no, no, 'gender friendly' is a nonsensical Edward Lear term you have just invented. [bangs head on wall and returns to partially edited manuscript]

jjdebenedictis
02-29-2012, 01:24 AM
Marya: Sorry, still no match, but thanks for playing!

Dense: Perfume, but it's dense in a good way. Dense with interesting occurrences; dense with all those descriptions of smells.

Oppressive: The Exorcist, because I don't read much horror and there's a reason. I just don't like feeling scared. That means the better the horror book, the more I don't like it--and that's a problem when it's a complete page-turner that you can't put down...

Patchy: Moby Dick because I found the vast majority of its bulk utterly dull--but the last ten chapters or so were kick-ass! Basically, as soon as Ahab starts talking to the ball lightning, the story gets really good.

HoneyBadger
02-29-2012, 02:22 AM
wow this reminds me of a someone I know who says that he sees his characters as colours which I found quite unusual.
Colours to books in a new idea to me.
I prefer to use words because I associate colours with nature.:)

I bet you'd LOVE to read up on synesthesia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia)- a neruological quirk that makes a person hear colors and taste written words.

WordCount
02-29-2012, 04:47 AM
Marya: Sorry, still no match, but thanks for playing!

Dense: Perfume, but it's dense in a good way. Dense with interesting occurrences; dense with all those descriptions of smells.

Oppressive: The Exorcist, because I don't read much horror and there's a reason. I just don't like feeling scared. That means the better the horror book, the more I don't like it--and that's a problem when it's a complete page-turner that you can't put down...

Patchy: Moby Dick because I found the vast majority of its bulk utterly dull--but the last ten chapters or so were kick-ass! Basically, as soon as Ahab starts talking to the ball lightning, the story gets really good.


Makes sense. Normally, when people say dense, they don't mean it in a good way. It has one of those pesky connotations.(They're vermin I tell you, VERMIN!)

Marya
02-29-2012, 09:36 AM
Dense: Perfume, but it's dense in a good way. Dense with interesting occurrences; dense with all those descriptions of smells.

Oppressive: The Exorcist, because I don't read much horror and there's a reason. I just don't like feeling scared. That means the better the horror book, the more I don't like it--and that's a problem when it's a complete page-turner that you can't put down...

Patchy: Moby Dick because I found the vast majority of its bulk utterly dull--but the last ten chapters or so were kick-ass! Basically, as soon as Ahab starts talking to the ball lightning, the story gets really good.

There you go!

Agree with you on Moby Dick although there are passages that I love throughout the book.

Words.Worth
02-29-2012, 12:06 PM
-- describe a book using an adjective (not genre) --


This is not a loud book.

What does that evoke ?

catian
02-29-2012, 12:07 PM
I bet you'd LOVE to read up on synesthesia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia)- a neruological quirk that makes a person hear colors and taste written words.
Wee..I have never heard of such.
It is sounds rather mind boggling.
Thanks for the link.:)
There is someone I know who would find this useful.
He sees all characters are colours.
A different world indeed.

catian
02-29-2012, 12:13 PM
-- describe a book using an adjective (not genre) --


This is not a loud book.

What does that evoke ?

Ok. First can I ask:
Do you have an answer ready before I answer?

Anyway would it be the same as saying

This book is quiet/peaceful/boring/inactive/unimpressive/unassuming?

Words.Worth
02-29-2012, 12:19 PM
Ok. First can I ask:
Do you have an answer ready before I answer?


No I haven't got the answer. I've just read your first post and thought to meself waht an interesting idea.




Anyway would it be the same as saying

This book is quiet/peaceful/boring/inactive/unimpressive/unassuming?
Hmmmm......No

catian
02-29-2012, 01:38 PM
No I haven't got the answer. I've just read your first post and thought to meself waht an interesting idea.



Hmmmm......No
Oh thanks!
Ok This is not a loud book

might mean this is a book without sounds meaning much ado about nothing so to speak?

catian
02-29-2012, 01:42 PM
Makes sense. Normally, when people say dense, they don't mean it in a good way. It has one of those pesky connotations.(They're vermin I tell you, VERMIN!)
Hi WordCount
Your quote
('They're vermin I tell you, VERMIN!')
reminded me of the quote in Sense and Senbility
'They are nothing but VULTURES'
by Mrs Dashwoord.

I am still trying to find it online to see which chapter it is in..not getting anywhere:(

Words.Worth
02-29-2012, 02:10 PM
Oh thanks!
Ok This is not a loud book

might mean this is a book without sounds meaning much ado about nothing so to speak?


It could be that, actually I like that ( a nice way of reasoning)

or

it could be "This is not a loud book this is the extremely loud book"

:)

catian
02-29-2012, 02:21 PM
It could be that, actually I like that ( a nice way of reasoning)

or

it could be "This is not a loud book this is the extremely loud book"

:)
Ah. Haha...it is getting all twisted now.
How about this

This is a musical book.

Words.Worth
02-29-2012, 02:46 PM
Ah. Haha...it is getting all twisted now.
How about this

This is a musical book.


You are an inspiration to me and I mean it. A musical book? Ingenious!

This is getting better and better but all nice things come to an end and I gotta go.

I hope you will remember me

catian
02-29-2012, 03:04 PM
You are an inspiration to me and I mean it. A musical book? Ingenious!

This is getting better and better but all nice things come to an end and I gotta go.

I hope you will remember me
Hey Words.Worth of course I will remember you!
Do come back when you can:)

Jamesaritchie
03-01-2012, 12:53 AM
Patchy: Moby Dick because I found the vast majority of its bulk utterly dull--but the last ten chapters or so were kick-ass! Basically, as soon as Ahab starts talking to the ball lightning, the story gets really good.

I loved all of Moby Dick, but I had an English Lit. professor who said much the same thing you just did. He said Moby Dick had the best first page, and some of the best final chapters, in all of fiction, along with a middle guaranteed to put anyone to sleep. He said it would have made a wonderful novella, but at the size it is, he found it almost unreadable.

catian
03-02-2012, 12:44 PM
This came up today as a description I am putting down for a story line

a somber book

as oppose to

a light book

WordCount
03-02-2012, 04:19 PM
A creative book. (Slight stretch)

Frankenstein
Dracula
The Red Girl
Carrie
Misery
The Dark Half

Midian
03-02-2012, 09:07 PM
Every time someone uses that acronym, I expect to see Nightcrawler pop out somewhere :tongue

OMG. This!

I thought I was the only one...

kuwisdelu
03-02-2012, 11:19 PM
Unloud.

The Lonely One
03-02-2012, 11:30 PM
I loved all of Moby Dick, but I had an English Lit. professor who said much the same thing you just did. He said Moby Dick had the best first page, and some of the best final chapters, in all of fiction, along with a middle guaranteed to put anyone to sleep. He said it would have made a wonderful novella, but at the size it is, he found it almost unreadable.

I've never read it but I truly disliked Melville's sketches on England/America class disparities. Made the plights of 19c women factory workers boring to me.

My word is boring.

catian
03-04-2012, 01:37 PM
a thoughful book.

catian
03-04-2012, 01:38 PM
Unloud.
could be similar to 'unpretentious'?

Soccer Mom
03-05-2012, 03:00 AM
I'm locking this little exercise now.