Library@Kendriya Vidyalaya Pattom

Where Minds meet and Ideas pop up !

Quiz Time

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Questions

1. Name the Asian country with the capital Bandar Seri Begawan celebrating its National Day on this date i.e. February 23.

2. Which famous Italian composer wrote the popular ‘Le quattro stagioni’?

3. Which Oscar-winning classic is based on The Seven Pillars of Wisdom?

4. Which omnivore is usually used to find truffles, a fungal fruiting body, that is a prized cuisine delicacy?

5. After whom is India’s first dedicated meteorological satellite named?

6. What famous discovery did the British Egyptologist Howard Carter make in February 1923?

7. The Chinese New Year which began on February 14 is the Year of the…?

8. In the story ‘Jack and the beanstalk’, which musical instrument did Jack steal from the giant?

9. Two of the greatest Indians, ‘Chacha’ and ‘Bapu’, were trained to practise a profession. What is it?

10. Which king was responsible for building the imposing ‘Vijay Stambha’ in Chittorgarh?

11. ‘Sayaun Thunga Phool Ka’ (Made of Hundreds of Flowers) is the National Anthem of…?

12. Which is the only planet in our Solar System that is less dense than water?

13. Which of these States has less than two MPs in the present Lok Sabha: Tripura, Meghalaya or Mizoram?

14. Name the village which is the origin of Lord Voldemort’s maternal and paternal ancestors and where he was restored to bodily form in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

15. In ice hockey, how many players from each side are allowed on the ice at any one time?

Answers

1. State of Brunei Darussalam
2. Antonio Vivaldi. ‘Le quattro stagioni’ means ‘The four seasons’
3. ‘Lawrence of Arabia’
4. Pigs.
5. Kalpana Chawla
6. The sarcophagus of Tutankhamun
7. Tiger
8. Harp
9. Law
10. Rana Kumbha of Mewar
11. Nepal
12. Saturn
13. Mizoram
14. Little Hangleton
15. Six

Courtesy: V V Ramanan, The Hindu

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Filed under: Young World Quiz

Communicative English Class IX: New text books

Formative Assessment – English Course (Communicative Language & Literature) Class IX Initial PagesCommunicativeLiteratureFA-BeehiveFA-Moments


Interact In English – Main Course Book : A Textbook for English Course (Communicative) Class-IX Initial PagesUnit-1Unit-2Unit-3Unit-4Unit-5Unit-6Unit-7Annexures


Interact In English – LITERATURE READER : A Textbook for English Course (Communicative) Class-IX Initial PagesUnit-1Unit-2Unit-3Unit-4Unit-5Unit-6Unit-7Unit-8Unit-9Unit-10Unit-11Unit-12Unit-13Unit-14Annexure


Interact In English – Work Book : A Textbook for English Communicative Class-IX Initial PagesUnit-1Unit-2Unit-3Unit-4Unit-5Unit-6Unit-7Unit-8Sample Question Paper

Courtesy: http://cbse.nic.in/welcome.htm

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National Science Day 2010

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National Science Day is celebrated in India on 28 February every year to mark the discovery of Raman effect by C.V. Raman.

In India every year 28th February is celebrated as National Science Day: “National Science Day” is commemorated in the honour of Sir C.V.Raman for his legacy, who discovered Raman effect on 28th Feb. 1928.

Importance of the day: It was on 28th February 1928 the great Indian Physicist Sir C.V. Raman discovered Raman Effect while working in the laboratory of the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Kolkata. It was a great achievement and for that he received Nobel Prize which was the first Nobel Prize for India. Hence the day is of great importance for Indian science and scientific community.

HISTORY : In 1986, NTSC took initiative to get the Government of India to designate February 28 as the National Science Day (NSD) which is now celebrated all over the country in schools, colleges, universities and other academic, scientific, technical, medical and research institutions. On the occasion of the first NSD (28 February 1987) NCSTC announced institution of the National Science Popularization awards for recognizing outstanding efforts in the area of science communication and popularization, which have been given annually since 1988.

Objectives and Events: Besides commemorating the event, National Science day (NSD) have several objectives. Here are a few of them:

  • NSD gives an opportunity to bring issues of science on to center stage
  • It highlights the contributions of science to human kind in the domains of disease eradication, energy production, space exploration, environmental issues, information technology etc.
  • It emphasizes biotechnology’s impact on agriculture, environment, health, industry and pharmaceuticals.
  • It gives the space for exchange of thoughts on the gospel of reason and experimental observation that helps scientist to acquire mental and intellectual excellence.
  • It provides the information on application of science in the daily life.
  • It motivates to inculcate scientific temper among the school children.
  • It lists the initiative steps taken by the scientific community to disseminate the knowledge to the future generations.

Events: Several programs are organized focusing on the above objective. Prominent institutes come forward for the celebrations with remarkable programs. Eminent scientists of the present day give seminars on the most happening subjects of the science. Science exhibitions are conducted by the students in schools.

Courtesy: Wikipedia

An exhibition of Books on the theme going on in the library from 22-28, February 2010. Visit the library.

Filed under: Article of the Week, , ,

Encompass: The global Book Club

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EnCompassCulture is a worldwide reading group, the place to find your next book and talk about books with other readers from around the world. It has full details of over 10,000 books for all age ranges and is full of useful features.

Filed under: Website of the week,

The making of Imran Khan

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IMRAN KHAN — The Cricketer, The Celebrity, The Politician:

by Christopher Sandford

(Visit the Library to read the Book)

 

Reviewed by S. RAM MAHESH , The Hindu

Imran Khan is among the most captivating men cricket has known. Remote, forceful, mysterious; born to lead but in essence an introvert; and a man who relentlessly courted greatness, Imran demands a richly researched treatment if one is to appreciate his proclivities, his humour. Christopher Sandford meets this challenge in this nuanced biography. Having written on Roman Polanski, Mick Jagger, Kurt Cobain, Paul McCartney, and Godfrey Evans, among others, he understands the complexities that tincture icons; more to the point, he understands how to evoke them.

“By the time Imran was old enough to take an interest in his surroundings, the struggle for the character and soul of Pakistan was well under way,” writes Sandford. The sights, sounds, and smells of Lahore during Imran’s childhood are reconstructed — neither a happy nor an unhappy childhood, as Imran describes it, but a secure, serious one. Sandford writes evocatively, exploring his lineage (“he clearly inherited qualities from both sides of the clan, the spiritual instinct and sporting prowess of the Burkhis and the dour application of the Niazis”) and elaborating on the capers of his childhood. “As a six- or seven-year-old, Imran had regularly run for more than three kilometres from one end of Zaman Park to the other, a contraption [kite] painted like the Pakistani national flag fluttering above him …[he] enjoyed his food, particularly the heavily spiced curries … and was known to attend extended performances of Qawwalis.”

As a fast bowler

Sandford traces the onset of Imran’s patriotism, the creation of his celebrity, and the maturation of his leadership. But it is the study of his evolution as a fast bowler that provides the book its je ne sais quoi. “Imran was not only an accomplished bowler, but a visually thrilling one,” he writes. “From a low, crouching start he accelerated with a sprinter’s poise and balance in his approach to the wicket, which culminated in a last-second propulsive leap and a virile, full-stretch whip of the body.” Each of these aspects is examined. This makes for instructive reading, for Imran transformed himself from a bowler of moderate speed to one of searing pace.

The temperament came naturally to him, who rebelled against bowling “line-and-length stuff.” The propulsive leap was suggested by a young New Zealand batsman at Birmingham’s indoor nets, and the run-up was streamlined after watching Dennis Lillee and Michael Holding from close quarters during the World Series. As Imran reveals, he was always after penetrative pace; what’s remarkable, though, is how he put them together, experimenting so successfully that only Jeff Thomson, among his contemporaries, was significantly faster.

Episodes

The book is full of interesting episodes. A young Imran refuses to make Sadiq Mohammad a cup of tea, and calmly watches the senior player’s bemusement at not being obeyed. Two decades later, when Mushtaq Ahmed attempts to lift Imran’s bags, the captain says ‘thank you’ and insists on carrying his bags himself. He asks Abdul Qadir to cultivate a “pointed French-style beard” because it both unsettles the batsmen and works with the women. During a night out, Garth le Roux, his Sussex team-mate, asks him to come, meet some women, and Imran, with a glass of milk in hand (he is a teetotaller), says if girls want to meet him, “they can bloody well come over here.”

Sandford also looks at Imran’s batting and his sense of humour. Beautifully orthodox and capable of “full-bodied” stroke-play, he was nevertheless curiously diffident about his abilities. It was not until his innate competitiveness was triggered (and he was forced by injury to play as a pure batsman for a while) that he displayed his batting ability, averaging 50 in the last ten years of his Test career. As for his humour, the accounts are conflicting.

The book has much to commend itself. The blurb describes Imran as being “equally at home in London nightspots like Annabel’s and Tramp and campaigning among the slums of Lahore,” and Sandford develops this theme masterfully, his intent to inquire into, not judge, this apparent incongruity.

The writer also succeeds in capturing the magnitude of his achievements as Pakistan’s captain. There are a few quibbles — surely Imran’s defining international performances deserve a greater play, as does India’s perception of him — but they do not detract from what is a rewarding work.

Filed under: Book of the week,

Start Science Sooner

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Excellence in science education must begin in kindergarten

By The Editors

From the March 2010 Scientific American Magazine

 

Good science education at the earliest grades is supremely important, but in most classrooms it gets short shrift. Studies have found that children in kindergarten are already forming negative views about science that could cast a shadow across their entire educational careers. When researchers interviewed kindergartners from typical classrooms, barely a third of the children showed any knowledge of science, whether from school or other sources. Many children said that science was for older kids and adults, not kindergartners like them. They talked of science being about magic potions or dangerous chemicals; they said science is hard, science is not interesting, and “I am not good at science.” Ask a room of five-year-olds to draw a scientist, and you will likely get lots of pictures of white-coated men in laboratories. Furthermore, even before first grade, fewer girls than boys say they like science.

It is perilous to generalize about anything in the U.S. education system—quality varies enormously from classroom to classroom—but science has long been a poor stepchild to mathematics and reading. One report noted that science instruction in the early grades “occurs sporadically and rarely engages children in practices that encourage rigorous and reflective science learning.” Science is high on the list of subjects that early-grade teachers feel ill prepared to teach. A 2009 study found that Head Start children in Florida ended their pre-K year with significantly lower readiness scores in science than in any other domain.

Of course, teachers need to make difficult trade-offs in the classroom, where many worthy subjects compete for precious little time. If more science is to be taught in kindergarten, what should be removed to make way for it?

Maybe nothing. Educational psychology researchers at Purdue University have developed an approach for teaching science in kindergarten that integrates it with language. The combination not only makes science instruction more appealing to teachers who are very mindful of language arts core curriculum requirements. It also enhances language learning by providing situations in which written language is used for a genuine purpose—recording and reporting predictions and observations—instead of a task devoid of any real context. And the kindergartners delight in learning words they would usually never encounter in kindergarten lessons, such as “excrete” (even if they cannot always spell them correctly).

The Purdue approach, the Scientific Literacy Project (www.purduescientificliteracyproject.org), introduces children to the most fundamental idea—that science is about carefully conducted inquiry to learn about the world—and shows them that everyone can do science. The lessons do not depend on expensive equipment or the latest in animations and computer games. Low-tech methods suffice, including experiments as simple as seeing if salt will dissolve, reading well-chosen nonfiction books—which many adults mistakenly imagine to be inappropriate or uninteresting to such young children—and maintaining individual science journals.

The researchers found that students participating in their project showed significant gains relative to those taking traditional classes. The kindergartners readily developed skills related to asking questions, conducting observations and experiments, drawing conclusions and sharing their findings—and had tremendous fun along the way. The project showed its worth for children of diverse ethnic and social backgrounds, and, most interestingly, it eliminated the gender gap in attitudes. A group at the University of Illinois at Chicago developed a similar project—Integrated Science-Literacy Enactments (www.uic.edu/educ/ISLE/)—for grades 1 through 3.

An emphasis on “inquiry science” has long been advocated by the National Research Council, whose national science education standards stress science as inquiry and grasp of a few fundamental concepts, ahead of the more traditional focus on a wide smattering of content knowledge (see tinyurl.com/inquirysci). The approach does, however, depend on the instructors understanding how to carry out inquiry-based lessons effectively. The teachers need training in how to teach science. It is not enough to give them courses to bolster their science content knowledge—or to fast-track science graduates into teaching with insufficient schooling in the science of how children learn.

Children are natural scientists: not only are they inquisitive and energetic, but they have an instinct for controlled experimentation. The goal of science education at the earliest levels should be to encourage and refine children’s innate love of exploring the world around them and to help that enthusiastic behavior grow into true scientific literacy.

 

Courtesy: http://www.scientificamerican.com

Filed under: Article of the Week,

Clear your doubts on CBSE exams

Is grading system done subject-wise or for all subjects as a whole? If it is done as a whole, how can I know my marks in individual subjects? Is preparation based on the NCERT books sufficient for scoring outstanding marks. Can deleted portions for maths, science and social be intimated? How to score high marks?

Ramesh

The students will be awarded subject-wise grades. Marks will not be mentioned in this year’s Class-X examination result sheet.

The Board recommends textbooks published by NCERT. A student may refer to Board’s syllabus for different subjects in Secondary School Curriculum Volume-I 2010.

Thorough study with understanding of the included concepts will certainly help a student perform better in examination.

Board exams were definitely a burden until CCE started but now I feel CCE is overburdening than the board exams. I would like to point out the problems that affect the students:

True talent is not identified. A student studying hard for getting 99 per cent is the same as the person who is going to get 90 per cent. So students may stop aiming high.

Although everyone knows that the summative exams are important, students start concentrating on the projects, which are given to us instead of coping up with the portions that are taken in the class.

Students are graded for everything they do and as a result feel the teachers are spying them. Thus they may start acting, and a student’s true character cannot be identified.

Students won’t have any experience about how a board exam will be. They take more tension as they straightaway take the Class XII board exam. This might affect their marks and college admission.

Vasanthi S.P. ,Velachery, Chennai

Students are advised to put in their best efforts for maximum learning instead of focusing on only marks or grades.

The projects and other active learning experiences are also aimed at enhancement of learning and better understanding of subjects. Schools are being advised to organise additional learning experiences in such a manner that the students are not put to any stress or pressure.

You are advised to be your natural self in different settings in order to get true assessment as feedback for further improvement.

If a student studies regularly and sincerely during all the years, there is no reason why Class-XII Board examination should create any pressure.

Please understand that the new scheme aims at providing holistic education without compromising on excellence in academics.

I am studying in Class XII (Science group). Is studying from the NCERT textbooks fetch us marks in the board exams? What points do we need to concentrate for Organic Chemistry?

Karteek Ponnuru, Visakhapatnam

The textbook published by NCERT is recommended for preparation for the Board examination. However, standard reference material in the subject also needs to be consulted for greater and in-depth understanding of the concepts included in different content areas. A student is required to give more attention to the understanding of concepts related to organic reactions, reasoning, mechanism, etc., from this section.

I am in Class X. Will the pre board examination marks be considered in the Board examinations? If so, how?

Harsha Suri

No, the marks obtained in the pre-board examination are not added or included in the Board examination marks.

I am in Class X. I would like to know whether the lesson ‘Electric Motors and Electric Generators in the Magnetic Effect of Current’ will be considered for evaluation in the Board examination. Is the schematic diagram of domestic circuit included in the syllabus for the Board examination?

Aparna

No, the diagrams and the detailed working of electric motor and electric generator are not included in the syllabus for the examination purpose. A student is required to know only the principle on which these machines work.

Yes, the schematic diagram of domestic electrical circuit is included in the syllabus for the Board examination.

Are we required to produce the same diagrams or experiments as given in the NCERT textbook for the board examination?

Will marks be deducted if we exceed the given word limit?

Will marks be deducted if extra information (Other than given in textbook) is written?

Is it necessary to write speech/article only from the Main Course Book (MCB) in English? Can we completely write them in our own ideas?

Ravi Kishore

Any alternative scientifically correct diagram or experiment is considered equally good for the examination purpose.

No. Marks are not deducted for exceeding the word limit. However, it is better to write to the point and exact answers in order to save time.

It is always better to write the desired answer as per the requirements of statement of the question.

Unnecessary information in the answer does not get any additional credit.

A speech or an article is based on the topics and themes discussed in the Main Course Book. Students are expected to be well versed with the themes mentioned in the MCB.

However, the questions are so framed that students are encouraged to answer the questions on the basis of their reading of the MCB and also use their own ideas based on their understanding, experiences and reading of material from other sources.

I am in Class X. What is the word limit to be followed for the 10-mark question in section B (writing) in English Communicative. Should we strictly follow the word limit or is it ok to exceed it by about 10 words? How many points are we supposed to include in the answer?

Manjula.S K.V.No.1, Tirupati

No. Marks are not deducted for exceeding the word limit. However, it is better to write to the point and exact answers in order to save time.

On what basis will the school provide a stream of subjects?

Jwalant bodi

A stream of combination of subjects in Class XI is commonly allotted on the basis of marks or grades obtained by the students in the corresponding subjects in the Class X examination.

If a student gets E grade, that is less than 33 marks, can he join Plus One in State board?

Can CBSE students join ITI, and polytechnics in Tamil Nadu, with the grades they acquire?

N. Balamurugan. Teacher, Sister Alphonsa School, Kudha, Nilgiris

Any student who fails to get a qualifying grade D in any subject is required to improve the grade in subsequent attempts for admission to higher class.

Yes, the grades obtained in the CBSE examination will be equally valid and hold good for getting admission in ITI, polytechnics, etc.

What is the syllabus for social science? Will individual questions be asked without the information from source boxes in history? Why did painter Julius Huibner depict Germania as fallen women? What is the symbolic meaning of the painting?

Jomy Joshua

For social Science syllabus, please refer to the CBSE publications, Secondary School Curriculum volume I, 2010 Main subjects. The syllabus is also given at the Board’s website http://www.cbse.nic.in

Questions will be asked from the material given in source boxes in the prescribed

History textbook of Class X as well as from related content given in the textbook. Please read the content given in the prescribed Social Science textbooks.

 

Courtesy: The Hindu

Filed under: Ask the CBSE, ,

How to Organize Your Story Ideas

by  N.M. Kelby

The best ideas can start out running wild—but you’ll need to train them onto the page if you want to write that novel you have inside of you. Here’s how.

After Truman Capote nearly destroyed himself writing his groundbreaking bestseller In Cold Blood in 1965, he was quoted as saying that his next book, a novel tentatively titled Answered Prayers, would be easy by comparison. “It’s all in my head!”
And that was the problem. Capote was a perfectionist, and the novel in his head was an untamed beast. His standards were so impossibly high that when he died in 1984, he’d spent the better part of 19 years writing, rewriting, missing deadlines, publishing excerpts, drinking himself into a frenzy—and never finishing the work.
What writer hasn’t had a difficult time putting an idea into words—especially an idea for something as complex as a novel? I often have a million ideas bouncing around in my head like puppies at the pound. I want to write about themes of love, usually reckless love, and mystery. I want to be profound and funny, too. I want to take readers to places they’ve never imagined and make them feel things they haven’t felt before. And, to top it all off, I want to make the words themselves do extraordinary things—to, for instance, evoke the precise sound of an ancient jazz quartet playing a Sunday brunch in the wrong end of the French Quarter.
Of course, I also want the resulting work to be a bestseller.
Sound familiar?
The desire to write The Great American Novel is like an overactive beast that needs obedience school. If you’ve ever had a dog, you know what I mean. Dogs are pack animals. You’re supposed to be the leader. You’re supposed to be in charge. If you’re not, you’re in trouble. Dogs will run wild unless you focus them with a calm, centered mind, an assertive hand and a strong sense of purpose.
The same is true with your novel. Ideas often start with boundless energy, vying for your attention. But when you get them on the page, they don’t always live up to how you thought they would be. A plot line feels contrived. An emotion falls flat. When this happens, you can easily feel defeated. You work and rework a paragraph or chapter, and it just doesn’t feel like it’s doing all the things you need it to do. When your ideas run wild, it’s too easy for them to frustrate and eventually overwhelm you. And this is where many writers give up. But you shouldn’t.
You just need to learn how to tame your beast.
ESTABLISH A CALM, CENTERED MIND.
The television is blaring. Your loved one has no idea where the car keys are. Your neighbor is giving salsa lessons in his backyard. You live in a swirl of noise and confusion, so how are you supposed to be focused enough to cultivate a quiet place within you to write? Easy. Take out a rolled-up newspaper and whack your world on its hindquarters—not hard, but just enough to get everyone’s attention, including your own. Nonexistent boundaries, unfocused expectations and lack of routine are the writer’s downfall. You need to be your own pack leader.
Make your workspace your sanctuary. Keep office hours. Close the door if you can. If you can’t, put on earphones and listen to music. Writing is a meditation on life. You need to feel alone in the world so that you can be objective about it.
Don’t ever panic. Keep in mind that even great writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway needed editing. You can always go back and fix what doesn’t work. Nothing is perfect the first time out.
Don’t despair. Some writing days are better than others. If you feel stuck, move on or just take a break and come back to it tomorrow. A night’s sleep often makes a world of difference.
Don’t place yourself in competitive situations while you’re working on a book. Losing a “first-chapter” contest or workshopping a book-in-progress can lead to second-guessing. It’s best to finish your draft before you ask for any critical evaluation. Sometimes when you’re trying to progress through the early stages of a novel, writing groups can be like the blind leading the potentially sighted.
While working on your draft, don’t buy the latest bestseller and try to figure out what it has that your book is missing. The best way to write a bestselling book is to write a book that you could give to anyone, including your mother-in-law and that salsa-dancing neighbor. Novels that really work are books that people can see their own hearts in. They’re books that make people feel that you’re writing about them. The best way to write such a genuine work is to write from an authentic part of yourself, rather than being distracted by what’s selling and why.
Think of yourself as an athlete. Exercise. Eat right. If you’re driving yourself crazy with work, stop and invite a friend to meet for coffee. Balance is key.
Don’t be afraid to set your own pace and create your own work in a way that makes the most sense for you. Yes, your favorite author puts out a book a year, but you don’t need to. You need to create a process that works for you and write your own work in your own time frame.
STUDY YOUR BREED.
Just as you can’t easily train a Chihuahua to retrieve ducks—it’s just not in its nature¬—you can’t write a book without thinking about what the reader demands from the genre. Every book, just like every breed, brings with it a certain set of natural expectations. Historical romance must address history. Mysteries must have some level of, well, mystery. Literary books are usually not plot-focused.
Understanding the “breed” of your book is the first step in bringing your novel to the page. Once you create a clearly defined set of expectations, you can train yourself to stay within them—and soon you’ll be able to sit, roll over and fetch with the best of them.
When Nancy Horan wrote the bestseller Loving Frank, a historically imagined novel about the tragic love affair of Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Borthwick Cheney, she chose a task with a rather large laundry list of expectations. She had to, first and foremost, create characters based on real people. In the case of Mamah, not much had been written about her, and only a few documents had been left behind. What was widely known was that Mamah was a great beauty who had left her young children and perfectly respectable husband for Frank—and who had done so in an era when those choices were especially taboo. Horan’s challenge, then, was to make the woman sympathetic, while imagining the great pain and suffering Mamah’s decision must have caused both herself and those around her. Horan’s Mamah also had to have intellect and spirit so that she didn’t seem like a mindless follower of the architect.
In effect, Horan had to crawl into Mamah’s psyche and make it her own.
Of course, Frank also had to be handled with care. History has not always been kind to him. Biographers have depicted him as arrogant, vain, unreliable and largely unschooled (because of his lack of structural training, many of his buildings are beautiful but flawed); he was not an easy subject to endear to modern readers. But Horan’s instinct as a writer told her that the reader needed to see Wright as a man Mamah could fall in love with, needed to understand why she would leave her seemingly perfect life for a troubled (and married) man.
Then there were the historical considerations Horan had to take into account. She had to stay true to the era in every detail possible. In the early 20th century, not only were affairs conducted via telegram rather than text message, but adultery was seen as a crime. What’s more, Horan had to explain Wright’s architecture and his aesthetic viewpoint in a way that was intelligent, fresh, simple and yet not so simple as to bore those already knowledgeable about Wright’s work.
All of these expectations for Horan’s historical novel could have been outlined even before she wrote a word, showing her a clear path from idea to page.
So, you see, readers’ expectations for your genre are a good place to start, and a general guideline that will help you throw out ideas that won’t fit.
Once you’ve established your readers’ expectations as a framework, you need to decide how to tell your story.
Consider The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. Both books are set in the same world. L. Frank Baum’s hero in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is Dorothy. Gregory Maguire’s Wicked includes Dorothy’s falling house as an unfortunate incident, but his hero is the witch. The book is sympathetic to her plight—and that changes everything.
While Baum’s message is simple—“There’s no place like home”—Maguire creates a complex tale with a complex message about the nature of good and evil. The two books couldn’t be more different. And both have been wildly successful.
There’s a myriad of ways to tell each and every tale; don’t be afraid to make your story your own.
TRAIN YOUR FOCUS.
Once you have your framework in place, you’ll need to be ruthless. Everything in a story must work to tell the tale. Think of your novel like a television news story. If the story is about a murder, you’ll usually see a shot of where the murder took place or where the body was found, a photo of the victim, an interview with a witness who heard something or knew the victim, and a sound bite from the police officers investigating the story. The fact that the victim liked dogs wouldn’t usually be included unless the barking of his dog alerted the neighbors, who then found the body. Every element works to tell the tale, and that should also be true for your novel.
You’ll probably start out pursuing more ideas than you have room for in your story, but when it comes time to write, it’s important to remember that you can’t try to stuff things in just because you like them. For example, if you originally wanted to write about a chef, and you’ve spent three months researching culinary school, but suddenly this character no longer seems to fit into the framework of your sci-fi thriller, you’re going to have to cut him. It’s painful, but it must be done.
Of course, if you did spend three months researching something, it’s very difficult to toss that work away—so don’t. Maybe you’ll write half of your book and discover that it really does fit, but you just couldn’t see it at first. Or maybe you’ll discover that you’d really rather write about a chef, and so you create a new framework. Never throw anything away. I like to keep all my research in Moleskine notebooks that I carry around. I also glue postcards and business cards onto the pages. If I see a name that strikes my fancy, I’ll jot it down. Sometimes photographs go in, too. When I’m finished, the notebook is crammed full of ideas—just like my head used to be. Some I can use now, some I save for later.
WALK YOUR INNER DOG.
A calm, centered mind, “breed” wisdom and the discipline to shape your focus—let’s look at how this model works in the real world. Say you’ve just read an article about a 16-year-old boy who lived in a lifeboat in shark-infested waters for 227 days before he was rescued.
As soon as you read the story, you can imagine yourself living it. You can feel this boy’s fear and begin to understand what it would take to survive all those days in open water. Perhaps you decide the idea has a Robinson Crusoe feeling to it. Like Daniel Defoe’s book, it’s an adventure—and so this becomes your model. You now know what “breed” of story you’re working with.
Next you have to consider what the reader expects from an adventure story and what the facts of the situation are. Given the reality of a boy living at sea in a lifeboat, the novel, like Crusoe, must deal with overcoming great obstacles through hard work and patience. It also could be imagined that a boy adrift on a raft would begin to wonder about the nature of God, as he is certainly at odds with the whims of nature.
So when you sit down to write this story you could think of it as a reinvented version of Crusoe—unless you throw a 450-pound Bengal tiger in the mix. With a dangerous and hungry cat on board, you now have Life of Pi, Yann Martel’s rumination on the nature of adventure, survival, faith and truth. Martel took this simple story and added his unique take on it based on subjects he’s interested in, such as faith and zoology. By being true to himself and his own vision of the world, he boldly created a fable that became an international bestseller.
While you write a book, it’s art. When you’re finished, it’s business. Never confuse the two. Art encourages you to take risks, recreate reality, embrace adventure and break all the rules—it makes you want to soar. Business is about sales, sales and sales—and it makes you jumpy. You’ll never tame your beast if you write while wondering how many books you can sell.
Don’t worry about failing. Be fearless about taming your best ideas, and about tossing out those that don’t fit your model. Choose paths that illuminate your own unique take on the world. Once you’re in the habit of walking your inner dog, you never know where it might lead you. 

This article appeared in the January 2010 issue of Writer’s Digest

Courtecy: http://writersdigest.com/article/organize-your-story-ideas/

Filed under: Article of the Week,

E-Quiz

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Questions

1. What has been dubbed ‘Operation Aurora’?

2. In the world of mobile telephony, why would February 4, 2010 go down in history?

3. Nobuyuki Oneda is the CFO of which electronics giant?

4. What is Project Needlemouse?

5. Who has bought Yahoo’s HotJobs for $225 million?

6. What is Lostpedia and who operates it?

7. Name the CEO of Mozilla Corporation.

8. Name the company, on whom Google has trained its sights, that makes the codecs TrueMotion S, VP4, VP5, etc.

9. How did the Firefox add-ons Sothink Web Video Downloader 4.0 and Master Filer make news for the wrong reasons recently?

10. Name the two entities behind Robonaut 2, a humanoid robot.

 

Answers

1. The recent China-based cyber attacks on 30 leading companies including Google and Symantec.

2. The Symbian Foundation completed the open source release of the source code for the world’s most widely-used smartphone platform.

3. Sony

4. Sega’s codename for its new game, ‘Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1′, which comes after a long time.

5. Monster

6. It is a ‘Lost’ fan encyclopaedia hosted and operated by Wikia.

7. John Lilly.

8. On2 Technologies.

9. They were pulled out by Mozilla as they were found to contain Trojan horse code aimed at Windows users.

10. GM and NASA.

Courtesy: V V Ramanan, Business Line

Filed under: YW-Cyber Quiz

Quiz

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Questions

1. Name the European country, with Vilnius as its capital, which declared its independence on this date in 1918.

2. Name the precious mineral that is mined by the humans on Pandora in the film “Avatar”.

3. Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport serves which Indian city?

4. According to a monitoring exercise by Wildlife Institute of India in association with NTCA in 2008, how many tigers in the country are left now

5. In which famous war did the Battle of Bunker Hill and Lexington take place?

6. In filmmaking, one sees in the credits the term ‘gaffer’. Who is a ‘gaffer’?

7. From which country did Angola get independence in the mid 1970s?

8. What is the nationality of the tennis star Marin Cilic?

9. The five basic types of which class of musical instrument are bows, harps, lutes, lyres, and zithers?

10. The name for which type of church is derived from the Greek for a tribunal chamber of a king?

11. What two words are used for the championship game of the National Football League, the premier association of professional American football?

12. Which popular band debuted with the album ‘Hybrid Theory’?

13. How many milligrams make a carat (as used to measure gemstones)?

14. Which famous Indian king had the birth name Farid-ud-din Abul Muzaffar?

15. Saltpetre is the common name for which chemical compound?

 

Answers

1. Lithuania;

2. Unobtanium;

3. Indore;

4. 1411;

5. American War of Independence;

6. The head of the electrical department;

7. Portugal;

8. He is a Croatian;

9. Chordophones;

10. Basilica;

11. Super Bowl;

12. Linkin Park;

13. 200;

14. Sher Shah Suri;

15. Potassium nitrate.

 

Courtesy: V V Ramanan, The Hindu

Filed under: Young World Quiz

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