Saturday, December 4, 2010

Insanity Has Resulted In Success!

Note: This is a very random, thought-jumpy post. XD Because I needed a post and wanted to update people on how NaNo went.

Four days after NaNoWriMo, 2010 has ended… People thought it couldn’t – shouldn’t – be done. They were half right. I did it… But it probably wasn’t a smart thing to do.\

Novel number 1 is 50,283 words right now, and I just need to do some wrapping up… Okay, that’s an understatement. They’re just meeting the people from the Nation to the North. They still need to join up, help the people of the Tip to defeat the pirates, and then go home. But bottom line is, I’m definitely more than… eh… two-thirds of the way done with it?

Novel number 2 ended the month just a little more than 50,000 words long. It’s, in a word, awful. But it’s a NaNoWriMo novel. So that’s okay. Honestly, it’s so bad that I’m not sure I’ll ever dare to go back and salvage it… But who knows?

Altogether, I ended at 100,304 words. ^^ I don’t think I’ll ever write two NaNo novels at once again, though. XD It’s possible, but not really advisable.
Number 1 actually isn’t so bad. It’s definitely rough, but no worse than the novel that I’ll be attempting to revise just as soon as I finish Number 1’s ending. My “REVISE IT NAO! >8O” urges have dwindled a bit into a more manageable “Let’s get this done. >:)” kind of feeling. I’ve been making notes like crazy, and I feel like this time around I’m going to have a much better sense of what I’m doing and what my characters are thinking…

You know what amuses me? I was at the library today, and I saw a book where the premise was that two kids living in England find out they’re related to Sherlock Holmes and then they… I guess they solve mysteries or something?

But that’s impossible. Because Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character. XD It’s probably a perfectly lovely book, but after I saw that I just kind of smiled and put it back on the shelf.

Which was good because I already had three other books I was checking out. Among them, Mockingjay! Finally going to read it. ^^

I was looking at the cover of Mockingjay and noticed something… While the other birds on the covers had been in circles, this one had little fragments around it, like it was breaking free. I took a closer look, and realized for the first time what epic covers they are (I wanted to find a pic of all three covers lined up next to each other, but my computer apparently doesn’t want to let me do that. T-T).

The cover of the first book shows the mockingjay pin. The second shows a bird kind of in shadow, with a sort of glow around it as things begin to heat up. For the first time I noticed that the circle it was in wasn’t just a cool design thing… It was like a scope of a gun. And then, in the third book, the bird’s come to life, and it’s breaking free…

Maybe I’m just the last person to notice these things, but I think it’s really cool. :)

I love sequential covers like that… It’s my hope that the cover art for my books is as good. ^^

And yeah. That’s about it for this entry.
I really do want another screen name. Comments, please! Do y’all think ‘Silent Pages’ would be fine – at least for now? *glares at that awful title – the writer.* It’s a good title, but not a good username. Advice, por favor!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Two-thirds Done - NaNoWriMo 2010

Well, I feel ashamed. I thought about doing weekly updates during November, to keep all three of my followers (Love ya, guys!) up to date on my word count in my quest to reach 100,000 words in a month.

As you may have figured out, this did not happen.

Instead, I waited until Day 20, two-thirds of the way through to even begin writing a blog post.

I’m sure you’ve been waiting on the edge of your seats all this time (Unless you’re on some other site that I’m on and have seen me posting hourly excited updates) so here it is: 69,0479.

That’s right. I didn’t even post on this blog after I reached the magical 50,000 words on Day 14. *sigh* I fail.

Actually, I don’t, because I’m right on track for getting to my goal. After today, I’m even a few thousand words ahead in one novel. Which rocks.

But somehow, some way, I’ve been Week Two’d in Week Three. Maybe it has something to do with the sheer volume of words I’m writing – I don’t know – but basically I’m conscious that what I’m writing is pretty much complete and total crap. And I’m okay with that, to a certain extent, but only because I don’t plan on revising either NaNo novel anytime soon (if/when I do try to edit them, I will probably die a horrid, painful, typo-filled death).

Why don’t I plan on revising them any time soon? Because right in the middle (*cough* Two-thirds of the way through *cough*) of NaNo, I came up with the mother of all wonderfully complicated, convoluted ideas for a sci-fi novel.

It involves amnesia. On a global scale. Every. Single. Night.


And I really like this idea, and I think it’s worth trying to write sometime when NaNo isn’t ruling my life.


I’ve also been whacked upside the head (AKA taken by surprise) by two rough drafts of novels that I wrote last year/last summer. Completely unrelated stories, both the first books in four-plus book series(es)…

One of them I wrote in two and a half months, essentially writing as if it were NaNoWriMo and winning two and a half times consecutively. As such, it is basically NaNo-worthy crap, which needs to be majorly re-written. But the characters in that story (one epic character in particular. She’s half spider-person! >.<) insist that this isn’t a big deal, and promise to behave if I start to make them better.

The other one I actually really like, thought it does need quite a bit of editing, and I actually have a pretty good idea of what needs to be cut, elaborated on, tightened up, etc. And the equally epic characters in that story are tempting me with their awesome-sauce-ness.

I am not often in a revising mood, people. And I feel as if I should take advantage of this feeling while its here.

But it’s NaNo. So right now I’m hoping that the desire to revise (Desise? Revire?) lasts until after November, at which time I will plunge into the depths of one or the other of the stories and work like a mad woman in the hopes that somehow I’ll come out with something that actually has the potential to be good enough to start querying around.

Because I like the idea of getting a book published. I like it a lot.

Also, I need a new name to be known by on this blog. The Writer not only seems unoriginal and blah, but also vaguely conceited. I am not the only writer on the internet, and I feel like a narcissist or something.

And I have too low self-esteem to be a narcissist.

So… Suggestions? Right now I’m thinking maybe just the username I have on Young Writers Society, which is silentpages. But that doesn’t really fit me either, because… I’m not silent.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

NaNoWriMo, Nerdfighters, and other Randomness

As I type these words, according to the NaNoWriMo countdown timer at, National Novel Writing Month will begin in one day, one hour, and thirty-seven minutes. That means that one hour and thirty-seven minutes after I post this, er, post... There will only be one day left until NaNoWriMo begins. This both excites and terrifies me (with the reason for my terror being elaborated on more fully in my last post).

I am prepared and unprepared in equal measure. A year or two ago I probably would've called myself a pantser, if I had learned the meaning of the term at that time. Now, I'd almost say that I lean more towards being a planner... I'm somewhere in the middle. Often I start with no idea what I'm writing, and then five pages later have the next three books in the series all figured out - at least in general idea form.

For this year's NaNo-Novel(s) I have my basic plan worked out. One moreso than the other. Ice Ambassadors is pretty much planned, and I'm rather excited about it, while Inherited Destiny is sort of... Half-planned. With LOTS of empty space in the middle. But hopefully I can work with that. In any case, I'm calling Inherited Destiny my SECOND novel (as opposed to my first) which means that - while I'd be extremely psyched if I COULD make the full 50,000 words on it - it won't be the end of the world if it dies mid-month. I  have a significant number of pages of world info. I have Word documents with my essential plot points (as well as pictures stolen, I mean, borrowed from DA, Google, and Getty images. I've made an image on GIMP for Ice Ambassadors, and have a half-done one for Inherited Destiny (which suck, but I'm still proud of them). I have a flash drive prepared for novel-holding (so I can work on it from any computer in my home) and I have blatantly bragged about what I'm going to be attempting to everyone around me, whether they care or not. I have also intimidated my mother (who I'll be competing against) with talk of my obvious superiority, reminding her that I've won the 1/2 pound candy bar wager every year we've done it.

However, there are still things I SHOULD be doing, which I MIGHT do tomorrow, if I have time/motivation. I should be preparing a spreadsheet to keep track of word counts, goals, and green/red surplus/missing word calculations. I should be organizing playlists so that I don't have to stop writing to switch forward to a good song. I should be reminding a classmate of mine who supposedly writes but hasn't managed to finish a single chapter that this is his opportunity to get motivated! He's less than excited.

So how did I spend the day? I finished a Nancy Drew computer game (Trail of the Twister! Can't wait to do Shadow at Water's Edge - JAPANESE STUFF FTW - but sadly, I shall have to. Just until after NaNo). I watched some of the shows that our DVR taped for me on Friday while I was at a Relient K concert (Generator Rex - Love it. Ben Ten, Ultimate Alien - Have a few problems with the plot/dialogue sometimes, but it's a'ight. Symbionic Titan - Love the story - and Lance - though it can be awkward in some places and the art's alternately amazing and... Different. Quirky). I finished a book. I'm trying to excuse this by telling myself that I'm savoring my last few bits of time wasting before two NaNo novels eat me during November.

The book I finished was The Girl Who Could Fly, by Victoria Forester. I bought it a while back, but haven't had time to read it since I've been distracted by library books. This happens a lot with things I own. Anyway, I made the decision to read books I own during November so I won't have to worry about finishing them and getting them back to the library on time. But, wouldn't ya' know it, I finished this one in two days.

Mostly attracted by the cover art, I expected it to be cute, but a little lame, and written for a much lower age group. And it was cute. And it was written for younger people. But it was SO not lame, and I think people of all ages could enjoy it. It's about a girl named Piper McCloud, who lives on a farm in the middle of nowhere, where her neighbors and family don't seem to appreciate the fact that she can fly. She's taken to a facility filled with exceptional kids like her - kids with telekinesis, and X-ray vision, and superspeed - but soon finds out that the facility isn't as wonderful as it first appears.

The writing was actually really great, filled with the kind of humor I love. The plot was amazing, and it kept me wondering even though there were a few things I did successfully predict. There are still some questions left unanswered at the end, so I'm assuming there will be a sequel sometime(?). Hope so. I'd definitely reccomend this book...

Even if Stephanie Meyer was the one quoted on the cover. XP

Let's see... NaNo, books... What else was there... Ah, yes. Nerdfighters.

The other day a friend of mine posted a link to the NaNoWriMo song.

Clicking NaNo-related videos once that AWESOME video was over (the song's been stuck in my head ever since I watched it. I've been singing it in public), I discovered the Vlog Brothers. John and Hank Green, two brothers (obviously) who send each other videos back and forth in lieu of texting each other. To quote one of them very roughly, pulling from my faulty memory, "A lot of people seem to find it funny." With good reason. These guys are so awesome.

Nerdy. Funny. Very little swearing (though some awkwardness is occasionally present. If this scares you, DO NOT watch the giraffe love video). Contains some deep content, some eco-geeking, and a whole lot of awesome. I'm currently watching their videos in reverse order.

Oh, look! Another way to put off NaNo prep!

Their YouTube channel:
Their website:

I recommend the "Making Adorable Music" video.

ALSO, don't tell anyone, but on my username is horse_chic11. Keep an eye on my wordcount. ;)

P.S. Counting The Girl Who Could Fly, I just realized that I own five books related to flying children. XD I should find a way to organize my bookshelf accordingly.

One day, fifty-one minutes! *squeals*

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

“I Don’t Suffer From Insanity...”

I enjoy every minute of it.
Except for about right now, when NaNoWriMo is (*goes to check timer on*) as I write this, four days, seven hours, three minutes away and I’m just starting to comprehend how utterly impossible it’s going to be for me to meet my goal.
Because a few months ago, I decided I wasn’t going to be satisfied with the usual 50,000 words in thirty days.
“I wrote 76,817 words last year!” I thought. “I got to 50,000 words in fifteen days… Why not try for 100,000 words?!”
Poor, poor, silly little girl.

To make matters worse, I’m not just writing a 100,000 word novel. That would be too easy. Oh, no… I’m writing TWO novels, 50,000 words each.
And I’m not just writing one 50,000 word novel and then the other one. That would be boring… I – being the egotistical young fool that I am – am going to write them simultaneously. 1,667 words in a novel one day, and then switching over to the other document and writing another 1,667 words.
It seemed like a good idea at the time.
But now I’ve barely had time to breathe lately, balancing homework, play practice, family outings, etc. etc. etc. I don’t know how I’m going to survive in November. November 5 is my play, so that will be over soon, but mid-month Speech starts, and since I’m trying out for that this year… T-T

And even with all this going on… I’ve started working a little on a comic I may possibly upload online if I can find time to work on it. Yeah. That’ll probably die once NaNo starts.
I’m hoping that once National Novel Writing Month actually starts, I’ll be pleasantly surprised by the accumulation of scraps of free time I can scrounge up. But at this point, that’s just a hope.
What about you? Are you doing NaNo? Have you done it before? What are your goals for this year’s NaNoWriMo? Are you suffering from anxiety/insanity?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Why I Like, But Fear My Latest Short Story

About a week ago, I wrote a short story about a kleptomaniac watching stars die.

You should be able to read it here:

[url redacted, because I've begun to submit this to contests, etc.]

Because I feel guilty for not writing blog posts more regularly, and because I think whoever’s reading this blog should probably have some idea of my writing style, and because I want free publicity, I thought I’d write about this short story, for lack of anything else to talk about. Think of this as a kind of self-review/critique.

I like this short story. I’m rather proud of how it turned out, to be honest. I feel like I described the setting well. I introduced my main character as well as anyone can be introduced when they don’t have a name – through showing instead of telling. Instead of saying that the narrator was a kleptomaniac who comes from a poor family and resents the rich and doesn’t fit in at school, I presented her as a girl sitting by herself in a field, apart from her classmates, plucking at threads on her hole-filled jeans and fingers twitching as she looks at a man’s nice, expensive watch… Sometimes I have problems with show versus tell, so I think it actually turned out pretty well.

I liked the science-fictioney premise I based the story on, I liked the characters, and I even managed to slip in a few profound musings that I thought were also good…

I am pleased.

But I am also afraid.

Because up until relatively recently, I hardly ever wrote short stories. And the short stories I did write ended up being 15,000 words long. Now, since finishing the rough draft of a novel, I’ve barely written anything in novel form, and have instead written a bunch of (still admittedly long) short stories.

What if I’ve devolved into someone who can only write short stories? What if I’m never able to write a full-length novel ever again?

What if my goal of two 50,000 word novels this November is completely unattainable?

I supposed I’ll just have to trust for now… In God, in myself, and in my technology…

Oh, dear. A bad omen for that last one: my phone just broke and I’m no longer receiving any texts. O.o

Wish me luck, and check out my short story if you’d like… Opinions welcome.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

How Heroes Are Made

Gah. I've had this post ready for nine days, and I'm just now getting around to posting it. T-T I fail.
Anyway... Here it is:

Part two of my ‘Musings from the School bus’ burst of inspiration. ;)

Alternatively titled: ‘The Writer’ thinks about Heroes. A lot.

Heroes are brave, and strong, and sure of themselves. Very rarely do they start out that way, though. The few that do are mostly stupid, and get themselves killed before they can do anything really impressive. Real heroes start out like everyone else: as screaming, squirming babies. And you can take that figuratively, OR literally! It works either way! :D

Often they’re small, and soft, and scared.

Or selfish, and mean, and refuse to help anyone but themselves.

They go quietly about their lives, caring for things and getting hurt by things, over and over again, their experiences laying down foundations for greatness. Dead/killed family, insults that can’t be overlooked, consequences for hasty actions… All of these things – and more – are triggers. All of our hero’s experiences up to the current point decide how he’ll react to something.

They are what decide whether a girl standing in front of a burning orphanage – the remnants of the best home she’s ever known – takes charge and leads the other survivors through bandit-infested hills to the safety of a city she’s never been to… Or if she breaks down and cries, and lets the girl standing next to her rise to the occasion instead.

Everything brings her to this point. EVERYTHING points her toward her transformation from a mousy, bullied girl into a leader. The string of rotten homes that made her so grateful to the orphanage for taking her in… The cruel sneers on the arsonists’ faces as they set her home ablaze – so similar to the cruel sneer on her step-brother’s face when he left her for dead on the side of a road. The kindness and gentleness of the nuns who sacrificed their own lives getting the children out of the fire. All of it spurs her on towards action.

Not just one event. ALL the events. Even the ones we never saw. They’re different than the events that turned the strong, bullying girl into a mouse in the face of danger (her parents killed by bandits, she herself caught in a forest fire she barely survived when she was young).

Hints of the mousy girl are still present in our hero, but out of necessity they get pushed to the side and the hero ignores them. Ignores everything that tells her, “YOU CAN’T DO THIS.”

The hero grows throughout the story, settling into the new skin they’ve been forced to take on. Slowly they become more confident, growing used to the new bravery, and the defiance, and the responsibility for the ones they care about.

As readers, we love to see our heroes grow into stronger people. We love to pick out the events that caused them to behave in such a way. The REASONS for what they do. The things that make their story one that can be told only by them, and them alone. The things that make them the single person in the entire world that’s fit for the job.

Unimpressive people don’t sit at the breakfast table and decide out of the blue that they’re going to save the world, any more than you could decide, spur of the moment, for no reason at all, to go out and track down a missing little girl and her kidnapper. You might do such a thing, but you would need something to spark the decision. Maybe the little girl was a close relative. Maybe your own child/sibling/friend was kidnapped once and found later, dead, and you don’t want anyone else to go through that. Maybe you see the girl, and she’s within your reach, if you just TRY to save her.

Maybe there’s a million dollar reward.

Why do people decide to be cops? Or firefighters? Or – in the case of a villain, which follows a similar pattern – a suicide bomber?

There are REASONS for these things. What are the reasons behind YOUR main character’s actions?

"Heroes are people who rise to the occasion and slip quietly away."

-- Tom Brokaw

^^ A site I stumbled across looking for the exact wording of my quote, full of good, heroic quotes.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Absolutely NO Absolutes

First, we’ll just get this out of the way.

“OMG, I haven’t posted in SO long, cause I’ve, like, been busy with my flourishing social life, school starting, and blabbidy, blabbidy, blah.”

Now, on to the post!

I do a lot of musing on the school bus. About myself, my writing, and all of the things I’m doing wrong (with BOTH those subjects). As long as I’ve got my MP3 player blasting in my ears, it’s a surprisingly good place to think, while staring out the window and watching the corn go past. I’ve had a lot of story breakthroughs on the bus – and also a lot of random, semi-profound thoughts that pop up out of nowhere. It’s like the bumps and jolts in my areas horrible, horrible roads shake ideas loose. The only problem? How to write them down in legible writing so you can make sense of them later.

Today, I had two random writing-related thoughts. But since I can’t remember the first (NOTE: ‘Today’ was September 7, and as I type this out, it’s the 9th. Since writing this post, I remembered the other thing, and will be posting it next. ^^), I’ll focus on the second: There are no absolutes.

This realization was somehow related to my previous, promptly-forgotten thoughts, but I recall it really was kind of out of nowhere. I’ve probably actually heard it somewhere before, but whatever the case, it’s interesting enough to think about.

Supposedly we have all these ‘opposites’ that are completely different and never, ever mix. Happy and sad. Light and dark. Love and hate.

But what about when happiness is tainted by regrets, or grief, over how much happier we COULD have been if we’d done something different, or if it’s a different happiness than the kind you were expecting? What about when we NEED to feel sad for a while to be happy? Personally, I love melancholy, bittersweet blends… And I know I’m not alone. Why else would we watch soppy, sad movies (which make us happy) or sulk and mope about for so long when something happens that we don’t like?

What about in the morning, when light and dark mix? When the sun’s just beyond the curve of the world, lighting up the sky even though the ground and everything on it is still in shadow?

Do I even NEED to come up with spiffy examples for the love-hate relationships that pop up all over in television and literature?

Things are never as clear-cut as they’re supposed to be.

How does this apply to writing?

Villains are almost never completely evil; they think they’re in the right. To roughly quote an idea put forth in the bonus features of the Pixar movie, ‘Up’, “They don’t wake up thinking, ‘What insidious thing can I do to wreck the world today? Mwahaha!’” (A VERY rough quote, since I can’t find it online. But the idea is the same).

Likewise, heroes struggle with right and wrong just as much as villains do. Some choose wrongly – though that usually doesn’t stop us from loving them. Who doesn’t enjoy a good, dark antihero?

Having saintly, good characters who are never tempted and never screw up is boring and unrealistic. Hideously evil villains who massacre entire cities and bathe in blood just because they felt like it is… Less boring, and a little more realistic (if they’re insane, anyway), but still. We like to understand WHY they do the things they do. Is it just because they’re insane? Or is it the aftereffects of a tortured past full of abuse and mistreatment? Or is it a bad role model? Or is it an act of desperation, or do they really think they’re doing good?

A thought’s been running through my mind lately. I’ve been getting this urge to take a look at my antagonists and treat them like a hero. Try it! How could you reverse the story and turn them into the good guy?

Example: That evil, aggressive nation that’s been attacking your main character’s homeland’s ships and killing soldiers? If the story were told from the POV of someone from that nation, we might find that those ships were invading trade routes that nation depended upon for survival, trying to take over, and those soldiers were really the cruel ones, corrupt and distinctly jerk-ish, picking on poor, defenseless citizens.

Yes, villains/antagonists need to have strong negative connotations associated with them so that readers will sympathize with the hero, but having some middle ground isn’t a bad thing. It can even add valuable tension to the story as your main character wrestles with inner conflicts and wonders, ‘Am I doing the right thing? Am I on the right side of this battle?’

At least think about what’s really motivating your characters, good or bad, even if it is just insanity. Give them inner conflicts to work through, and every once in a while shake up their certainty that everything they do is right. You might even want to make them do the wrong thing once in a while.

Your characters will be more complex for the extra effort.

A warning, though: I – for one – do this entirely too much. My characters are always struggling with some inner battle, to the point where they become fickle and flip-floppy, changing their minds with every turn of the page. T-T (<- This is an exaggeration… I hope).

A humorous typo: Maybe it’s just because I’m in a weird mood, but this made me giggle. Typing ‘turn’ in the previous sentence, I accidentally wrote ‘tern’. Which, as we all know, is actually a type of bird. Ha. Ha ha.

A not so humorous not-typo: At one point while writing this, I accidentally lost everything from the ‘Up’ quote down. Still don’t know what happened. Had to retype it. I love my dad’s laptop, and yet I hate it. XP

Monday, August 16, 2010

Research, Rambling, and Katsa beating up Edward Cullen...

I’ll give you this link first, so that you can see the awesomeness that is this website before reading about my latest thoughts about research and nonfiction! (Gasp! Sounds exciting, right?)

Muchas gracias to Kristin Cashore (amazing author of Graceling and Fire) for posting the link on You rock!

Now, on to the research-related rambling.

Lately, I’ve hit a stall in my actual writing. Not sure exactly why… I’m in that awkward place stuck between a rough draft I should be editing, a half-done novel I really want to work on but haven’t touched in months (T-T) and various short stories I allowed myself to put out, thus wasting some of my motivation/inspiration/time-ation – and before you say anything, yes I know time-ation isn’t a word. I added the suffix for the sake of symmetry.

I also blame my stall on the fact that I’ve been reading the numerous 30-60 year-old short story anthologies I snagged from my school when they were weeding out all the boring books no one wanted to read. At the time, I figured, “Hey! Free books!” Little did I realize many of them completely ignored all the tips and advice I’ve been reading on writers’ blogs lately.

Not to put down the good old classics – it worked for them! But that was a different era of writing, I think, and all their dead dialogue, info-dumping, and pages of condensed boredom are making it hard for me to get into my own groove. :(

Luckily, I’ve found a way to stay productive during this awkward phase of my work! Among those 30-60 year old books I found some non-fictioney ones that address pretty interesting topics I may or may not use in my own writing.

So I read a book on split personalities, not even skimming at all except for the places that were pure statistics and psychology babble you’d have to be a psychologist in order to even understand! It was interesting, and gave me quite a bit to think about on that topic…

Then I actually managed to start a short piece I need to do for a writer’s group, based on some birdy beings who live in canyons. I tried to do an illustration, and the results of that led me to think about gargoyles… Which led to a possible story inkling. So I looked them up on Wikipedia (forgive my sources XD) and was further interested. Did you know gargoyles are technically in architecture carvings/whatever with waterspouts in them to direct water away from a building so the mortar between the blocks won’t erode? The ‘gargoyles’ that are just for decoration are actually known as ‘grotesques’. :D

Now I’m part of the way through another old book about the Bermuda Triangle…

And I finished watching the third episode of ‘The Colony’, a ‘bold new series’ on the Discovery Channel about an experiment to see if seven strangers could rebuild society after a virus wipes out 90% (or something like that) of the Earth’s population. It’s like hard-core survivor with no prize money at the end and no official ‘challenges’. It’s really interesting, I’ve already learned a lot, and I’d highly recommend it to anyone interested in writing post-apocalyptic fiction. :) I’m gonna tape it to DVD! >.< New episode tonight ~ <3

(After looking for a proper Colony picture on the Discovery channel website): Aw, FAIL! T-T I just realized I'm watching the SECOND season! Where was the first? Me wants to see it! :'(
Oh, and a couple weeks ago I watched a documentary on giant rats… But that’s just for my novel rough draft, so maybe you aren’t interested on that. XD

Usually I’m not very into research/nonfiction, so this is an interesting stage I’m going though. Who said you couldn’t learn something during the summer? ^^ School starts tomorrow for me though, so maybe I’ll go back to writing once I’m already learning more stuff than I want to there. T-T

Still. I’ve been surprised by how interesting research can be, if it’s something you’re interesting in. I’ve been keeping notes on some things (the Colony, especially >.<) and I know I’ll probably be going back to look at them later. :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Catching Fire -- Review/Musings/Contemplation

NOTE: Some vague-ish spoilers... If you haven't read the book yet and plan to... I leave it up to you.

Recently, I read “Catching Fire” – the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy - by Suzanne Collins. It’s one of those books that make me want to pick up a pen and work on my own novel. It has a lot of the things I love in a book: corrupt government, rebellion, uncertainty (in choosing sides of a battle AND in choosing a love…) and filled me with an irrepressible urge to squeal like an idiot at the end of each chapter.

That said, there were a few things I wasn’t… ‘ecstatic’ about. Things that made me remember other things I’d forgotten from the first book (which I also immensely enjoyed… Or I think I did. It’s been a while).

Mainly, I think, it’s Katniss. Although there may be a few other things I can’t really put a name to… She’s a strong character, she’s committed to her loved ones… And her witty sarcasm made me grin. But I kept hitting a snag; a burr in her character that made me, at least, cringe a bit.

Every so often, I couldn’t help but think to myself that Katniss seems kind of self-centered, selfish, etc. Using Peeta, wanting to keep Peeta but still wanting Gale, hurting both of them and others, making fun of her prep crew, and other things like that I can’t think of right now.

Not to mention that trait of hers where she takes the uncertainty I love and overdoes it like a Twilight Fan on premiere night of the newest movie.

Rebellion’s bad. She’ll help stop it. Rebellion’s good! She wants it to happen! She doesn’t want to help; she’ll run away. She’ll take Gale! She’ll leave Gale. She’ll stay, she’ll help rebellion. She’ll be with Gale forever and ever! She’ll marry Peeta, and be with him forever. Trust victors, don’t trust them, trust them again! This inner conflict is okay up to a certain extent, but I like the characters I read about to have some convictions, and Katniss was starting to come across as fickle and/or a push over, doing whatever she was told to.

Yet, she actually acknowledges most of these things. More than once, she expresses regrets about the way she treats people, thinks of herself as selfish and cruel, and in other ways bemoans what an awful person she is. I’m not sure if that makes her a stronger character, or a weaker one. :/

I’m rather indecisive about Katniss… Maybe I just feel like she’s annoying and selfish in comparison to the selfless, oft-strong characters around her. Haymitch, who’s a million times more deep and caring than you’d first guess. Cinna, who makes her shine and is so much more epic than the rest of her silly prep team. Peeta… Well, Peeta’s not my favorite character, either, with that tendency of his to drop bombshells unexpectedly. But he’s always so devoted to her… Gale, her mother and Prim, Madge, and all these other characters who surround her, try to keep her safe, help her… Everything seems to center around Katniss… And honestly I’m not sure she deserves it yet.

Well… Even with my misgivings about Katniss… I love the books so far. They inspire me, and captivate me, and perhaps Katniss can redeem herself in my eyes in Mockingjay, when it comes out.

For now… I should probably be focusing more on my own characters. T-T

What do you think of the book? Of Katniss? Of the other characters? Is it just me who thinks the two main characters are actually some of my least favorite ones? :(

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Page One - 'An Introduction'

Welcome. If you’re reading this, then my blog has already surpassed all expectations I had for it.

One reader down, many more to go…

This is an introduction of sorts. Sorry if I do all the talking; I find it unbearable to sit by a keyboard without touching it.

For the purposes of this blog, I shall be known only as ‘The Writer’ (I know, how positively boring and unoriginal. T-T) since I haven’t yet decided on a pen name, and my real name is both private, and bleh.

There are a few things you should know about me… First, and most importantly (aside from my being a Christian, of course <3) I am a writer. That fact overshadows almost anything else you could know about me.

Yes, I am a writer. You know what this means. My hands are perpetually ink-stained - If they aren’t, it means I’m either procrastinating or using a keyboard - and there’s a bump on my right middle finger from where I hold my pen. I carry around a ridiculous amount of books, notebooks, and sketchbooks due to an overwhelming but undiagnosed case of thaasophobia (fear of boredom).

I have too many people in my head, which the people outside my head don’t always understand. I have a tendency to daydream, carrying myself off to worlds of the future and worlds of my own imagination, where characters struggle, and I struggle to write down the accounts of their magnificent fights.

Certain things keep showing up in my stories, again and again, no matter what fantasy or sci-fi plot I’m working on. Government, kings, and queens (both corrupt and stable, but mostly the former). Secrets, lies, misconceptions. War, legends, heroes… And tunnels. All of these are relatively normal things to keep showing up in books, except for maybe the last one. I’m not exactly sure why, but for some reason my characters just always end up sneaking around in underground tunnels, caves, and caverns…

My mind can spark at just about anything. And a lot of these sparks fly off and flame up into stories.

I don’t have anything published yet, sad to say… But it’s always been part of the plan. The main obstacle in this plan is me. However, after years of failed attempts and long ‘breaks’, I’m finally starting to overcome that obstacle! I’m actually begun to finish significantly long and planned out novels!

Edit them? Not so much.

Right now I have many plots, many half-finished novels, a few finished rough drafts I’m rather excited about… I just need to sit down and edit, and prepare to actually try to get my stuff out there.

I feel like I’m closer than I’ve ever been. Closer to actually trying to act on doing the things I’ve always talked about.

Closer to my dreams, my schemes, and hopefully my career.

I am a writer. But the main part of my writing has yet to begin.

This is the prologue of my story. Stick around for the rest.

-The Writer