#writinglessons Game of Thrones Season 7

I’m re-watching season 7 of Game of thrones and it’s been interesting to analyze the story as a writer instead of as the average consumer enjoying some great content.

Warning, if you are yet right watch this particular season, please don’t let me spoil it for you. Come back and read this once you’ve indulged. Continue reading “#writinglessons Game of Thrones Season 7”

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#writinglessons What To Do When You Don’t Know How Your Story Ends

I’m working on two books at the moment but one of them has been giving me a hard time. ISSUE: I have no clue how the book will end! Continue reading “#writinglessons What To Do When You Don’t Know How Your Story Ends”

#writinglessons Um, Transformers The Last Knight

The weeks before Avengers Infinity War came out, my sons and I watched most of the movies in the Marvel Universe. Thor, Spiderman, Iron Man, Captain America, Black Panther. We were ready when we finally got to the Avengers flick.

After all that ‘studying’, I wanted some more action. Some more…franchise. And so, I opted for a goody I was familiar with–Transformers. Right now, I’m humming the theme song to the cartoon from the 80s, loll!

From the very start, it was clear the movie had an insane budget, I mean the opening sequence was nothing but a huge fighting scene from Arthurian times. Then, we were introduced to Merlin and things went left. Why? Merlin was trying to be funny. He really wasn’t funny and from that point, the more it went downhill.

As a writer, I’m always trying to learn from more experienced content creators out there. Hollywood movies are a goldmine to tap from and so despite my reservations, I chose to continue watching. I quickly realized that the movie had way too many ‘comedians’. There were all the transformer bots with their ‘witty ‘ commentary. Then there was the MC played by Mark Wahlberg, who always had something snappy to say. The little girl, who he called mini J-Lo, she’s apparently Latina and so must be saucy and comparable to Jennifer Lopez, I guess (my point being nothing other than the comment wasn’t funny). Oh, I better not forget the black guy who wasn’t funny either or the apparently Native American ‘Chief’ who came out of nowhere but played no role and didn’t need to be there.

Gosh, I started off talking about having too many comedians and have delved into having too many characters it seems. And in this case, both issues are connected in the movie. There were more characters talking and playing semi-important roles than necessary and I took that as a lesson to not repeat in my future books. Limit your story to essential characters. Remove those who add nothing to the plot.

As for the comedians, the lesson there was clear–unless your story is a comedy, rely on fewer funny characters. And actually make them funny. Too many cooks in the kitchen and all that. I don’t hold the Fast and the Furious franchise as an example of movie distinction but there’s a reason why the last movie did so well. (I watched that one again as well). The Tyrese character added a little bit of humor by being silly as did the character played by Ludacris. That was it. Light banter and chemistry, no full on jokes. Their story was cohesive and not disjointed with a bunch of irrelevant characters trying to outspoken each other.

Oh well, maybe I just miss the Transformer cartoons of my youth. They were straightforward — bad bots got crushed. That’s why I invested in the movie franchise, frankly. The Witwickis need to come back in the next installment. Now that was a funny family. That and Megan Fox.  Her replacement in the last movie was just fine but it would be nice to see the old gang back.

Gosh, I got distracted again.

I’ll end by saying my boys (both on 15) enjoyed all the explosions. Sadly, the story seemed disjointed and disconnected to me. I know the creative process is far from easy (boy, do I ever), and one additional lesson I’ve learned from this flick is you can’t distract consumers from the flaws in a story with…well, explosions.

#Writinglessons: Emotion Amplifiers

As I noted in a previous post, I’m doing less writing and more reading nowadays.

I’ve got to say, I love it! It took a while for me to accept that this was to be a period of learning and not one of creation. Still, I’m enjoying the focus on craft and have pinned several relevant writing tips at my Writing Tips board on Pinterest as well as shared several links to important writing advice on Twitter.

In my quest to become a better writer, I downloaded Emotion Amplifiers from Amazon when it was available for free. Written by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, the book provides writers with tips on how to strengthen the emotional tone of a scene. The authors highlight that doing so can enhance a reader’s emotional investment in the story and it’s characters, as well as assist with the pace of the story.

Image result for emotion amplifiers

As a writer whose editor kindly noted a need for such in my WIP, I definitely found Emotion Amplifiers to be useful and recommend it to any writers who need it.One of my goals as a writer is to keep my readers engaged from beginning to end. I want 1o eliminate any skipped pages or paragraphs and encourage my readers to love (or hate) my characters enough to want to see what happens to them. I think this book will help me achieve my objective.

If you don’t have the Emotion Amplifiers book, get your copy at the following online outlets

KOBO

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

Kindle

As of 10/12/16, the ebook is free on Amazon!

What books have you read recently that you find useful, be it for writing or something else? Do share! I’m currently reading Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey (pen name for 2 dope science fiction creators) and will soon read Let’s Get Digital by David Gaughran to learn more about the self-publishing business.

#writinglessons: Aftermath Season 1 Episode 1

I confess – I watch entirely too much tv. Yes, fine, I’ve said it. *covers face in shame*

To justify the amount of tv I consume, I try my best to learn what I can from shows and figure out how those lessons can be applied to my writing in a positive way.

Does that make any sense? Or am I just trying to make excuses to watch more tv?

Uh … yeah.

So, I watched the first episode (pilot) of Aftermath from Syfy and it left me … wondering.

Image result for aftermath show

Continue reading “#writinglessons: Aftermath Season 1 Episode 1”

#writinglessons from Independence Day Resurgence

I tried y’all.

I really tried.

But.

Independence Day Resurgence was super hard to watch and put me to sleep (granted, I have a lot going on and have been underslept as of late).

Source: meowgifs.com

I don’t think I got halfway through this flick but in an attempt to stay awake, I pulled out my phone and started taking notes.

Continue reading “#writinglessons from Independence Day Resurgence”

Picking an editor for my WIP

My current work in progress, The Pursual, is the first story I plan to publish as a novel. As such, I think developmental editing will be essential to creating the best possible product.

But now, a problem presents itself. One I hope is not unique to me.

How do I pick the right editor for me?

Continue reading “Picking an editor for my WIP”

#WritingLessons from George R.R. Martin

I recently read an article which reviewed a talk George R.R. Martin , author of the Game of Thrones books, gave in Australia.

As a fan of the television series and a writer aspiring to create worlds that readers can get lost in, it’s no surprise that I paid close attention to what he had to say.

Here are a few of the tips I took away from the article:

  1. don’t let characters wallow in despair for too long;
  2. avoid cliches;
  3. show violence truthfully but also show its after-effects; and
  4. use grey characters (i.e. not all good, not all bad).

He had a lot more to say but those four tips spoke loudly to me.

(I’m sorry that I don’t have a link to the original article. Please don’t shoot me.)

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#WritingLessons from #GOT S6 E10

I just got to watch Game of Thrones because, I hardly get to watch my preferred tv shows live.

 

It is what it is, but my life doesn’t always permit me to watch much live tv but the news.

Anyway, this season finale episode was … PURE FYAH!!!!

Yes, I loved almost every second of it and I managed to walk away with a few #writinglessons. Please be aware that spoilers lie ahead.
  1. Shock the hell out of everyone. As a writer, I know the importance of shocking my readers.  It is always important to give them something they don’t expect. Like, I didn’t expect Tommen to off himself the way he did. I also didn’t expect Cersei to off everyone in the septum the way she did. As in, damn, Cersei is a cold-blooded BAWSE.
  2. REALLY shock the hell out of everyone. I’m certain I wasn’t the only one surprised that Cersei and Qyburn would use children as assassins. Like DAMN. But it’s those sorts of surprises that make for a good story. Oh, and the irony of the young destroying the old was a great image and I wonder if that will be a theme in the future.
  3. Allow your characters to be their true self. Eventually. Cersei – the black queen has come into her own, forced there by a series of events.  Daenerys – the dragon queen has relinquished love, with no emotions, in order to gain the seven kingdoms (is she going to be just like her mad father?). John Snow – the bastard Targaryen has become the king of the north (but trouble lies ahead what with the secrets between himself and Sansa). Arya Stark. Need I say more? These essential characters have come into their own and I like it. Ooh and I can’t forget Granny Olenna Tyrell. She cut those Sand sisters at their knees in her typical quick tongue and she’s about to be that granny out for revenge. Long story short – be true to your character’s character.

And now, I’m off to see how I can apply these few tips to my story, THE PURSUAL. It goes to the editor later today and I’m so nervous.

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#WritingLessons from Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens

I love science fiction and watch it religiously.  Luckily, there are quite a few sci fi franchise options to indulge in, one of which is Star Wars.

Recently, I was on an American Airlines flight and got to watch Star Wars VII for a second time. The first time I watched it, the movie was boring to me. I watched it as a regular consumer of creative content but didn’t feel any attachment to the characters or the story.

So, given that experience, I wasn’t interested in a second viewing, but I am so glad I did it because I learned a lot about storytelling from watching the movie again.  And as a novice writer, I’m happy to take good tips from almost anywhere. (I lie. I’ll take ’em from anywhere.)

Continue reading “#WritingLessons from Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens”