Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Mighty THOR!

I saw Thor on monday. I don't know what excited me more the amazing special effects, the story, the mythology, the acting, or Thor's beautiful, godly body, oh yeah. The movie got me thinking that I really should try writing a story about the norse gods. I have done research into them. I had a romance novel about Thor planned once but that probably won't be happening now. It was apart of a 7 novel series I started planning a couple of years ago but never got around to writing. I am still going to do that series but I'm going to trim it down alot. Sadly, that means cutting out my plans for my Thor novel.

My favourite mythologies in the world are Greek, Egypt, Irish, Chinese, Japanese and the Norse. I've done research into all of them and love them to death! They are all very different and full of rich, wonderful characters and magical worlds. Irish mythology is pretty cool. It's all about fairies and gods. I've dabbled in Irish mythology a little over the years. I wrote a short story based on Irish myth once called Fairy Dust.

I think out of all my favourite mythologies the Norse have the most imagination. When I was watching Thor all the research I did years ago came roaring back to me. Odin, Loki, the rainbow bridge, the 9 realms, Asgard, etc. I love how the frost giants were deplicted in the film and the rainbrow bridge was so beautiful. Watching movies like Thor is like feeding me crack. I come out of the cinema giggling and bouncing with excitement. My mind goes into over drive. I get really inspired. I was like that when I saw the Lord of the Rings films for the first time. I was writing medieval fantasy back then so those films were a huge inspiration for me. When I got them on DVD I would sometimes pause them so I could take the time to study the actor's costumes and sets to help me with my writing.

I thought Thor did a great job of bringing to life the majesty, the magic, and the strength of the Norse Gods. There's another God film coming out sometime soon. It's called the Immortals and is about Greek myth. I've seen the teaser trailer and the posters and it looks a bit like 300. I bet it will be awesome.

I've been thinking about what I'm going to do after I finish Deep Embrace. I'm almost 40 thousand words into it now. I'm past the half way point and very close to the end. I should be done before the end of the year but I doubt I will be able to have the whole thing edited and out and about before christmas. I do have that little wedding of mine in november to keep me busy! I also have to start editing Echoes in the Wind in September.

I'm going to do probably another two Greek myth stories after Deep Embrace. I have the outline for one planned already. It is called IN YOUR FOOTSTEPS. Once I am done with that I will probably do an original story about the Greek Goddess Andromeda. She has fascinated me for years. I have no idea what her story will be yet. After I've done that I will either move into Japanese, Norse, or Egyptian myth. We'll see where my muse takes me. It will be nice to move into a totally new area.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Different is sometimes good!

I'm reading LET THE RIGHT ONE IN at the moment. I'm about 20 pages in and I'm enjoying it. It's a real dark book. The characters are fantastically written. They are my favourite type of characters. Morally grey. They are disturbing. Weird. Fucked up. It makes for a great read. The main character, Oskar, wants to be a serial killer!! If that's not disturbing enough, the sub plot about bullying is pretty dark. One thing that has caught my interest about the book is the way the author writes his sentences.

He "tells" instead of "shows" and writes short, choppy sentences, without much structure. For example he will say: Oskar was walking home. That is calling "telling" not "showing" and is a big boo-boo. You are not supposed to SAY what is happening or what a character is thinking or doing. You need to SHOW it in words. For example: Sara whistled as she skipped down the path. It paints a different picture, doesn't it? You get the feeling you are THERE and watching Sara walk home. It makes it seem more real.

The author also writes sentences like "He walked across the path. Left at the brown door. Right at the fountain." etc..etc... I use short, choppy sentences seomtimes. It can work in the right circumstance. Something like: It was second nature. Instinct. She did not have to think about it.

But this guy...he uses these sort of sentences all the time! It doesn't bother me. But it got me thinking that this is another example of an author breaking the "rules" that I have been told by other authors never EVER to break. It just goes to show that you can write crappy sentences and sometimes slip into the wrong tense...but if your STORY and your CHARACTERS are good no one will care.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

One drop at a time

"Writing is easy. Just open a vein." Writing is so hard sometimes. I'm almost at the 35k mark in Deep Embrace. I've had a bit of writer's block this past week. I've probaly done a little over one thousand words. In two weeks. I know some writers who can pump out over 10k in one sitting. Talented bastards. I am a very slow writer. I don't know why. Most of the time it does not bother me. One a good week I can do between 200-500 words a day, sometimes more. On a REALLY good day I can do almost 1000k in a single day. That's a rare event for me. If I can write between a paragraph to half a page day I am usually happy. I would love to be able to write tens of thousands of words in a single setting. I probably could if someone put a drip in my arm and I locked myself in a dark room for 24 hours.

I managed to churn out 200 words today and it was not fun. It was like ripping off my fingernails one by one and giving birth to a watermelon. I am happy that I was able to get SOMETHING down on the page. I made some baby steps towards the end of my chapter. That is the important thing. At the same time though...part of me cannot help but to feel irritated and fed up...I want to be able to write more. I do not want to force it though. I CANNOT force it. I've tried. Believe me. You cannot make your brain be creative. It has to be a natural act. The words have to flow from my fingertips like water. If the flow is not there, if it is nothing but a drip, I could try and torture myself to do more, but if it would be just that. Torture.

Sigh. Hopefully I will be able to do some more tomorrow and maybe finish my chapter. I did not write much today...but damn it I wrote something. That is better then nothing. So positive thoughts. I am 200 words closer to the words THE END.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What the fuck is wrong with character's swearing?

So many writers worry themselves to death about swearing in their books. I've lost count of the number of threads I've seen on message boards from writers asking if it was all right if their characters swore or said a politically incorrect word. I have no problem with characters who swear, fart, drink, or say things that are politically incorrect. I think it makes them more realistic.

Human beings are flawed. We swear, we get angry, we laugh at the wrong moment, we fart in public and try to pretend that it was not us. Characters should do all of these things as well. When I get angry I swear like a sailor. I will scram and tug on my hair and shout naughty words until I'm blue in the face. I actually think it's healthier to scream the dreaded F-word at the top of your lungs then put your fist through a wall or break a window.

I love it when characters swear. A swear word inserted at the right point can make a scene much more emotional and paint a vivid picture of the character and how they tick. I don't get people who don't like swear words. I mean, yeah, they can be offensive, but they are just words. Remember that phrase 'Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me?' the reason I swear so much is because I don't have a problem with it. I accept that other people do though. I try not to swear at work or in front of children. When it comes to adult fiction I do not understand why so many authors get so worried about swear words and wonder if they should censor their characters or if a publisher will have a problem with swear words in their manuscript.

We are all adults, aren't we? Surely people should be able to handle the F-bomb being dropped in a manuscript. One of my favourite lines in the Harry Potter series is when Molly shouts "NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!" Oh my God, what a powerful line. It was so shocking because it was the first swear word in the entire series and came flying out of the blue. No one expect THAT WORD to appear in such a popular kid's series. But there it was. And how awesome did it sound? It was realistic too. It made the scene a litle more shocking, a little more emotional, and very memorable.

I hope they keep it in the movie!! I'll be very annoyed if they cut it out.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Books that end with a cliff hanger

I finished a book recently that ended with a cliff hanger. It was the second book in a very, very successful series. I don't think I have ever read a book that has ended in a cliff hanger before. I always thought it was one of those things that authors should never, ever do. It just goes to show authors do not have to always follow the "rules" of writing set down by their peers.

As I was growing up, I did alot of research about writing on the net and I learnt many things. I was told not to "head hop" between characters (writing from one persective and then changing to someone else) or to start a scene with description, write in first person, to avoid certain words and of course to never, ever end a story with a cliff hanger.

I have followed most of these rules and I have found that my writing has improved. I am so much better now then I was years ago. Some of the rules I think are stupid. For example the do not write in first person one. One of my favourite series is the Stephanie Plum books and they are written in first person.

I love it when writers "break" these rules and chose to be different. I have written books where the author has done the opposite of 'show don't tell' and written pages and pages of backstory or an 'infodump' as writers call it. I have read books that had chapters that were a single line or a paragraph long. I've read stories that were one endless paragraph with no commas or full stops. When authors break the rules they stand the chance of creating a written work that is terrible and difficult to read or something so different, so outrageous, it will become a beloved classic. Maybe one day I will write a book with a cliff hanger and see what happens.

Update on the Trolls

I posted a couple of weeks ago about the big shit storm that erupted after a self published author threw a hissy fit after getting a slightly critical review. I've been keeping tabs on the thing out of interest. This morning I checked her book on Amazon and someone had posted two pictures of big mounds of pooh on her Amazon page next to the front cover of her book. I was disgusted. Yeah, the woman acted like an unprofessional crybaby, but putting pictures of shit on her Amazon page is not only childish but its cyber bullying.

Eventually, all of this will go away, but in the mean time I feel sorry for the author. I thought all of this would have gone away by now. If I was her I would complain to Amazon and get the offensive pictures and "reviews" taken down. Most of the people who posted on her page did not even read her book. Most had read sample pages. From what I could gather very few had actually bought the thing. I have noticed that her book's ranking is getting higher. It's still very, very low, but it has been climbing the scales. Maybe in the end she will have the last laugh.