Saturday, November 26, 2011

Becca On: Being Brave With Your Writing

Status Update:
My Bookmark's Current Home Nightshade by Andrea Creamer

I'm writing this blog over the duration of Bahamian curise aborad the Norweign Sky. It's been a great curise so far, given me a chance to disconnect from the world and just enjoy myself (and for once my family. I swear, it's like I love them or something. 0_0) It also has no internet. Well, wait, that's not entirly correct. It has internet, but they charge 40 cents a minute to use it. So yeah, basically no internet. So, yeah, I probably won't be able to post this up until after thanksgiving. So I might as well say it now. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! (Free room service though.My sister and I ordered so much that we had to put some of the plates in front of my parents room so that they wouldn't think we were THAT fat.)

I've got to say that the best part of the trip was the shopping I did with my Mom and sis at Freeport and Nassau. Now I'm not one to enjoy shopping, but man do those bahamians bargian. Everywhere I looked it was "Let me come show you this" and "come here pretty girl" that. (Funny story, I was browsing around while my little bro was still hanging around us, and this one street vender kept on telling us to some over to come over to her booth. Mom sis and I kept on walking while my little bro started to walk into the very girly booth that unndoubtedly held nothing of interest for him. We pulled him aside and asked why he did it, and he replied with "I was scared.") And I got a dress all the way down to half off without even making a deal! (Needless to say that my Dad was very proud.) And everywhere we went the street venders kept on calling my sis "sexy lady" and asking for her name. For me, it was quite a fun experience. And, of course, the food was fantasic. I was sad to say goodbye to it all.

Now here we go. Since I live in Chicago and the cuirse set sail in Miami, I had to take a 24 hour car ride there and back. Which gave me plenty of time to write this blog.

Ahem. Onto the topic.

While I'm writing the first scene in a new idea I had when I realized that you have to be absolutely fearless when it comes to writing. Staying in your comfort zone is completely overated. See, how I came to this thought is I was writing about a girl who is basically skinny dipping in the ocean, something totally awkward for me to think about, much less write down on a page. And it's not only that. See, I come from a very christian family, and in my book No Matter What You Do, Stick With The Pack, the main character swears quite alot. Plus, writing in Young Adult Paranormal ficton, you don't get a lot of chances to glorify your faith. Heck, my Grandma (god bless her) got freaked out when I mentioned Demons in Scrapper.

Point in case, you have to be strong.

You have to be even more then brave, you have to be fearless. Your writing might take you to some pretty dark disgusting and even disturbing places, but you have to go through with it. Every word will make you strong, ever scene will take you farther, and every uncomfortable bit of inspiration will plung you deeper into your world of thoughts and dreams, because it's those moments that your trapped in the blunt truth of your story that will transform you into a truer teller of tales.

Yes, people will look at you differently.

After all, the craft of writing is a reflection of your soul. Everything you write comes from you, so when you go to dark places, people will noticed the dangerous words that dance on your page. It will be what they want, but they can't help but think of where this came from. And that is when they turn to you, and scoot away inconspicuously. Because now they've had a glimpse into your head, and they are freaked out by what your imagination can cook up. As well they should be. Imagination can be lethal.

But I urge you, tread with caution.

Another writer friend of mine, also very Christian, asked me about my point of view on swearing and using questionably appropriate scenes in her book. And as much as it might make me a hypocrite, I had to tell her, "If you have to ask, then there is your answer." Because if you can't get there by yourself, if you have to ask someone elses approval, then that means that it's not really coming from you. It's not an experience of YOURS. And you won't be able to do it justice. Now I'm not saying that if you haven't been shot you can't write about someone getting shot, to some extent you need to make it up (if you don't then basically it's non-fiction). I'm just saying if you someone to varify your actions, then don't even bother. Because that means your not ready to go there yet. And that's nothing to be ashamed of, it just means you've hit your limits, and you know yourself better as a writer.

So WOW this was a long post. I hope I didn't bore you to death. Again, Happy Thanksgiving! (Okay Radio, you can now justifiably play Christmas music...)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Status Update

Hi guys! Yes, I am procrastinating again. Really, I just wanted to brag about how great my life is right now. Unfortunately, I couldn't fit all of it on my facebook status without needing to create a note. And come on, who reads those? (Plus, people get pretty freaked out when I don't post 30 Rock quotes)

I'm happy to inform you that even with all my procrastinating, I have been able to keep up with my word count. I'm at 10445 right now (that twenty nine pages in six days people.) It's going great, I'm falling in line with a new plot.

Although I am going through relationship problems with my novel soul mate, Scrapper.

I know I've mentioned Scrapper before in my blog, but never really went into great detail with it. For those of you who don't know, the book I was dating was Scrapper: The Connection Reborn. While I had books before that, I don't know, it always felt different with Scrapper. We got really serious, had a sequel together and were thinking about starting a series together. But there was some drama around the time we start dating with this other book, Firefly. Well, this November Firefly rolls into town and we decided to go out for coffee, you know, reconnect. He shows me his really impressive plot line and outline, he was obviously doing well for himself. I couldn't help but fall for him a little. He says that maybe we should try NaNoWriMo together this year. Scrapper had been getting so dramatic lately, and needy. I was so tired. So we sat down, talked, and decided to take a break. Scrapper doesn't know that I'm doing NaNo with Firefly yet, but I'm terrified for when it happens.

Moving on. 

I spent all weekend at Liberty University in Virgina (13 hours in a car with 9 gassy teenagers, yay.)  I fell in love with the campus, but not with the English program. (It disturbed me that it wasn't even on brochure.) So, I tread on.

K, done. Have a nice day.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Review of Daniel X

Okay, I know I said I would stay away from the internet during November for NaNoWriMo, but I feel I have to give this book a review before I go on into isolation for the next month, just because it struck me so much. (Maybe I'm know what, shut up monkey.)

I just this morning finished a little diddy by the name of The Dangerous Days of Daniel X by James Patterson and Micheal Ledwidge (at the suggestion of my friend Emma), and I have to say, it was very poorly written. (I feel so mean writing this review already,but onward I go.) The story revolves around a fifteen year old named Daniel (he has no last name so he uses X). He's an alien hunter from another planet and he uses a list given to him by his dead parents to identify his next target along with his formidable powers to smoke them, ultimately working towards the goal of killing the alien that murdered his parents. The book centers on his hunt for number 6 on his list, who is running a drug cartel and a intergalactic slave trade on the side.

No obviously, for those of you who have read Maximum Ride, you expect a lot when you see James Patterson's name on something. If you want to keep the same super writer image of him, please, don't read this book. It will only bring you heart break.

There are a lot I could of things I could comment on this book, but I'll try to just stick to the basic things. I'll even be nice and start out with a good point of the book. 

Patterson's plot is sound, make no mistake of that. In theory, you would think that Daniel would be a character with a good amount of character depth, despite the use of the worn out Killed-My-Parents-So-I-Have-To-Avenge-Them bit, with a little I'll-Never-Fit-In-Anywhere on the side.

But Patterson does a very poor job of tapping into that character. I barely knew how he felt about losing his parents, being disconnected from his home planet and feeling like he was lacking in his identity, which in the sparse it shows he clearly does think about those things. Not only that, but Patterson gave him too much power, not enough struggle. Daniel has the power to create things like apartments and animals and even people, and often recreates his parents and his friends, so it's like he didn't lose his family in the first place, which eliminates the incentive to leave home to begin with. And yes, he could have used this as an opportunity to create a conflict of all his loved ones being fake, and he does a little bit towards the end, but not nearly enough to touch my heart. Bottom line, no conflict, no interest.

And let's not forget the over all writing style of the book. At most, a chapter would be five pages, 1.5 spaced and 14 point font. There would be little to no action, description, emotional analysis. Not only that but the dialogue was unrealistic, the characters even more so and he kept on using the same words and phrases over and over again.

After I finished reading this, I felt I had jinxed myself in the face of the up and coming month. Why oh why did I pick up this book and read it when I had such an ginormous and difficult task ahead of me, I don't know. But at least I got my hands on White Cat by Holly Black to quickly remedy the situation.

All the Best, So long for a month!

Becca :3