J.K. Rowling’s new book comes out Thursday – an adult novel about a social concern

J.K. Rowling’s new book, The Casual Vacancy, comes out this Thursday – September 27, 2012 – and there’s not a spell in it. The adult novel focuses on small-town politics and poverty in southwestern England. A topic so far from her regular work that her publisher has skipped the publicity campaign. They’re just going to release it, pray to god, and see what happens.

Still, Barnes & Noble expects it to be a top seller. Her name may sell millions by itself, but one wonders how the fans will react. And that has been on Rowling’s mind too, from USA Today:

Rowling says she understands and accepts that many readers would rather she just keep writing about the boy wizard.

“Yes, I understand that point of view. If you love something — and there are things that I love — you do want more and more and more of it, but that’s not the way to produce good work. So as an author I need to write what I need to write. And I needed to write this book.”

I guess that dream of seven more high-quality Harry Potter books is done, and Rowling has loudly proclaimed it so “never, never, never.” Her encore will be adult novels – with a social cause – and, possibly, a children’s book. Maybe that will have some wizards in it?

Even through all this, there is some excitement for the book. Fans know she created amazing characters in Harry Potter and may do the same in The Casual Vacancy. Perhaps, it will be a Dickens-like classic that inspires even as it tells a sad story.

Learn more about the plot and the characters in the USA Today exclusive interview with J.K. Rowling.

 

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Twitter will soon release a way to retrieve your old tweets

Trying to remember that pithy, brilliantly composed tweet about the latest Wes Anderson movie that you fired off a few months ago? You’re out of luck: Twitter gives users access only to the last few thousand posts made to the site.

But Dick Costolo, Twitter’s chief executive, promises that this will eventually change.

“We’re working on a tool to let users export all of their tweets,” Mr. Costolo said in a meeting with reporters and editors at The New York Times on Monday. “You’ll be able to download a file of them.”

Other social media services, most notably Facebook, already allow users to download a file with all their data. Twitter has been slower to roll out a similar service, although a number of third-party services and developers have cobbled together ways to let people sift through portions of Twitter’s vast collection of messages. One recently released site, called oldtweets, lets people root through some of the first messages ever sent through Twitter’s servers.

 

Source: N.Y. Times – Twitter Is Working on a Way to Retrieve Your Old Tweets

 

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Netflix – Just for Kids – continues to roll-out to all devices

Netflix continued the roll-out of its Just for Kids UI to a number of connected devices this week.

Upon launch, the app prompts viewers to either access the regular Netflix experience or Just for Kids. The kids section adds TV show characters as categories and allows children to find episodes of a show without relying on text. Check out a few snapshots of Just for Kids on the Boxee Box below.

Kids content is undeniably one of Netflix’s key strengths, and the company has been adding numerous kids TV shows from PBS, Nickelodeon and others to its catalog. In fact, Netflix has been so successful with the youngsters that some blame it for Nickelodeon’s recent double-digits ratings drop.

 

ViaNetflix Just for Kids UI lands on Boxee Box & WD TV

 

Images:

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22 rules of storytelling – according to Pixar’s Emma Coats

On Twitter, Pixar storyboard artist Emma Coats has compiled nuggets of narrative wisdom she’s received working for the animation studio over the years. It’s some sage stuff, although there’s nothing here about defending yourself from your childhood toys when they inevitably come to life with murder in their hearts. A truly glaring omission.

 

#7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.

#13: Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.

#14: Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.

#16: What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.

 

Read the rest of themThe 22 rules of storytelling, according to Pixar

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Hobbit Production Video #7 – behind the scenes at the studio

Peter Jackson has released his newest high definition HD Hobbit movie video blog from New Zealand. This time the video features Jackson at the studio and introduces many popular Hobbit characters. Enjoy!

Thoughts on writing from John Steinbeck

“Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.”

“If there is a magic in story writing, and I am convinced there is, no one has ever been able to reduce it to a recipe that can be passed from one person to another. The formula seems to lie solely in the aching urge of the writer to convey something he feels important to the reader. If the writer has that urge, he may sometimes, but by no means always, find the way to do it. You must perceive the excellence that makes a good story good or the errors that makes a bad story. For a bad story is only an ineffective story.”

via Brain Pickings