Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Writing Wednesday: I Could Liken You to a Shark, the Way You Bit Off My Head

Cue intros are for people with time. Let's do this!

What I'm Reading

Image from Goodreads
I just finished Nnedi Okorafor's Lagoon not too long ago. Now I'm listening to the audiobook for Star Wars: Aftermath by Chuck Wendig. Unsurprisingly, it's great so far. Surprisingly (to me at least) it's also one of the most well-produced audiobooks I've ever heard. The Star Wars theme played as the narrator read the credits. There's sound effects and mood music throughout the book--dramatic John
Williams high-brass during battles, lower, quiet score during dramatic scenes. Blaster sounds, bleeps and bloops of droids and space tech. I saw a few reviews that didn't like that, but it feels almost like listening to a radio play to me, except it has the full narration of the book. It's great. I definitely recommend picking up the audiobook if you like what I just said.

If you don't, or don't like audiobooks in general, I still recommend picking it up, as the story is very good so far, and it's nice to listen to a story that actually deals with the immediate aftermath of blowing up the second Death Star and what that means for the people of the galaxy.

And the MRAs and homophobes hate it. Which, while not the ONLY reason to support a product, certainly helps, ya know?

What I'm Writing

Still plugging away at Werewolf Bar Mitzvah: SPOOKY! SCARY! Remember when I said that I was pushing ahead in spite of recognizing the massive work that needed to be done with the beginning? Well...I couldn't stop myself. I didn't go back and rewrite the whole beginning because I don't hate myself, but I did go back and re-outline the A plot. Now there's drama, it's messy, there's conflict and more than just two characters and a handful of NPCs expositing at them. And I can continue to write now with these changes in mind so I have less I need to work on later on my redraft...theoretically. We'll see how that plays out.

When I actually get this draft done, I think I'm going to write a post about what my process was for this first novel. For my own records at the very least.

That said, I still haven't topped 30k because I haven't written like I've been meaning to. Part of this can be chalked up to a rough bit of time at work lately, and part of it can be chalked up to me being a lazy sonuvabitch. I mean, I'm trying to be all forgiving about missing days of writing if I don't get around to it as long as I'm making some progress--and I am making SOME progress, even if it's not on word count--but at the same time, I didn't write last night because I was going through my Amazon wishlists and removing stuff I don't really care about anymore and moving items around. Then I watched some Dragon Ball Z: Abridged. See? Lazy.

What Works for Me

Outlines. I didn't realize how much I lock up when I don't know where the story is going, but I move so much faster and feels so much more comfortable when I'm not wasting my time writing stuff I know is junk--describing scenery in every minute detail--until I get an idea of what I'm wanting to say. I get there eventually, but with my limited amount of time writing in the evenings (and mornings sometimes) I don't have the luxury of meandering here and there. By the time I find my thread and run with it, it's already time to go to bed. So: outlines, because without them I basically sit on the ground with my hands held aloft going, "What do now? WHAT DO NOW???"

What Else I've Been Up To

We went to the drive-in last weekend to catch a "horror" movie double-feature. It was M. Night Shyamalan's The Visit and then Joel Edgerton's The Gift.

Image from Wikipedia
The Visit was awful. It felt incredibly lazy at every step. And it featured a white teenage boy freestyle rapping in the way that you would imagine white, middle-class teenage boy's would rap.

The Gift was an absolutely fantastic movie, right up until the last 20 minutes or so where a plot twist/big reveal was so horrible, manipulative, and disgusting that, for me personally, it ruined the movie. My wife ended up liking the movie way more than I did. As much as I loved the first 2/3rd to 3/4s of the movie, that last bit ruined everything else for me.

Part of my issue--not all, but part--is that about halfway through the movie, the woman that the movie is focusing on stops being the main character. It's really similar to Hitchcock's Rebecca, you can almost feel when the camera detaches from her and starts focusing on her husband. But where Rebecca is really good, The Gift tries to make me feel sympathy for horrible, horrible people that I did not give a shit about by the end.

Anyway, sorry to get negative there.

On the positive front, I'm eagerly looking forward to watching The Final Girls, which it looks like is going to be On Demand this weekend, so we'll probably give that a watch at some point.