A to Z Challenge 2013

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday Wramblings

The title for this post have you wondering what the heck I'm up to today (no comments about the spelling either). I suppose Wednesdays should be WiP Wednesdays. I'll explain why this isn't so. Monday I was going to put up a post called Monday Muse, and it was going to be a free writing exercise. Do you think my muse wanted to talk? Heck no. Tuesday was to become Tuesday Teaser, with pretty much the same intention. Suffice it to say that I have kicked the muse out of the room and I'm just going to shotgun it.

I've started book two of the Twilight series, because I promised my son I would read through them all, no matter how painful the experience. The first book was pure torture. The writing was inane, the storyline predictable, and overall it was just a terrible read. I am trying to go into book two with a positive attitude, but it's been really difficult to maintain. For those of you who love the books, you'll probably want to skip this section of the post.

For starters, the vampires are repeatedly described as cold and hard (not very well, I might add). Okay, I get that. What makes the author think I need to be reminded once more that Edward Cullen's skin is like ice, that he's a stone statue, that Bella will freeze to death if she sits next to him too long? You've made it clear that he's cold. Check. You've made it clear that his body is like hard stone. Check Check. No need to press the concepts, they're not difficult to understand. The fact that the MC constantly thinks about these aspects of the man she loves makes me question her sanity and intelligence. Get past it already.

I'm not going to rip the book through and through, but I will say that this is going to be a long painful trip. Maybe I can claim a sprained eyeball? Le Sigh (as Elana is so fond of saying).

What can we learn from this poor writing? When we're describing our characters, we need to do what we can to avoid repetition. We have to assume that the reader will remember the fact that our fair lady has long blonde tresses, that she uses a red hair tie because red reminds her of the bloody roses growing near her dead lover's grave (this is an example, not an excerpt from Twilight). Once we've put this description out there, we should feel confident that the image has been burned into their minds and doesn't need repeating unless the situation really warrants it. Subtle reminders of a MC's physical characteristics are okay, but we don't want to bash the reader over the head with it repeatedly.

I got an email from NaNoWriMo yesterday, and it struck a chord. I was wavering on the edge for this one, but I've concretely decided to make it a goal. I will be participating this November, and come the 30th, I will have a 50K+ MS drafted. It's pretty daunting to me, considering the fact that I will need to write over 1600 words per day. But I'm going to jump in with both feet and give it a shot.

Lastly, I want to pose a challenge to you all. I received an blogger award on Monday, and although the award was really awesome, the listing of my seven favorite things was really the reward. That might sound a bit odd, but as I worked through the list, I found myself celebrating my life. It was really fun, especially as I reflected on what that said about me (thanks to Galen). My challenge to you all is this - List your seven favorite things (either in a post or here in comments). You may surprise yourself (and the rest of us) with what makes the list.

I was surprised to find that one of the items involved my writing. A year ago, that wouldn't have been anywhere in my mind. Ain't it funny where life takes us?


Weronika said...

Eric, this post has made my day!

In regards to Twilight, I agree with you. The writing isn't great and, in that regard, I don't understand why some of my "smart" friends enjoy the books so much. I do think, though, that there are particular ingredients to the series that make them appeal to readers--but maybe, possibly, that makes a statement about the readers, too? It's an interesting phenomenon.

As for doing a post on my favorite seven things, I'll have to ponder that one -- I feel guilty narrowing down all the things I love. :)

Thanks for this post, and I hope you're having a great week! Keep up the writing.

Icy Roses said...

I agree with you on Twilight too. The repetition is annoying. I enjoyed the books the first time around, but even I won't claim they are some pieces of literary genius.

I can't criticize, however, seeing as Stephenie Meyer is five books + millions of dollars ahead of me. She wins.

WindyA said...

Every time you've posted about Twilight I always get a kick out of it.

I think people enjoy Twilight because it is writing at its most basic. There isn't exactly a whole lot of thinking or (as you pointed out) even remembering required, as readers are continually reminded of different little things throughout the novels. But sometimes that is what people want: to not have to think about anything when they're reading.

Lady Glamis said...

Hah about Twilight! I hate to knock anything too badly. I did enjoy the books and read all of them, but at times I wanted to throw them against the wall. I think the worst thing is that, for me, they have so much potential but they were published in a "first draft" state. Hence the repetition. I'd like to count up how many times Bella shudders in the books, and how many times the characters use the word "ugh" but that means I'd have to read them again.

Galen Kindley--Author said...

Wow. I made mention in your Blog. What an honor. Thanks. How nice is that? Well, that comment was true. Glad it resonated with you. I’ll do my list of Seven as you asked, but, for now, just on a very private 3X5 card. I don’t have your grit.

Per Twilight. Never read the book(s). Never wanted to see the movie, but was sorta arm twisted into it by step-daughter, who, if I recall correctly, said the movie…and maybe the book…was a life changing event for her. Sigh.

On the good side, it encouraged her to write a novel! Very cool. So, I bought her some writer’s software to encourage and help out (Mynovel) and off she went. Been working at it pretty steadily. Doesn’t matter what becomes of her book, the effort and experience are what count.

Thanks for a great post, as usual, Eric.

Best Regards, Galen
Imagineering Fiction Blog

T. Anne said...

LOL about reading the Twilight series. I did the same although I just wanted to see what the hype was about. Perhaps if I was twelve it would have struck me different but I sort of share your sentiments.

Lost Wanderer said...

I have signed up for my first NaNo challenge too, so looking forward to sharing that experience with you. Pushing and prodding, we will get by :)

The Screaming Guppy said...

Hah! You too, huh? I'm all over that party wagon. NaNoWriMo, wooo! :D I'll be expecting your reports in November, sir, and I shall do same. /salute.

And really, it's not that hard. I kept that pace, ended with like 65k on Hound by the Nov 30th, and finished by the New Year.

Cake, I say. Having a deadline does wonders.

Jamie D. said...

Hooray - more NaNoers (or Wrimos, whichever)!! It's a totally crazy month - you'll love it. :-)

Anna C. Morrison said...

Congratulations on the award! I just might post the seven favorite things, and then I just might post that for one of my characters, as well. Hm... Good luck for NaNoWriMo. I'm a wuss. I'll just clap for you instead of doing it myself.

Shigune Matsui said...

Why...you read Twilight? So do i!! I've read them all and you should too! They are all full of surprises and such, you may not like the characters (I don't like some of them, really), but you will like the moral overall. I am also looking for follwers of my blog. Could you please visit and comment on some of my posts at http://inkladendiary.blogspot.com/ ? Thanks. I'm a writer too, so I'm trying to get my voice heard. Please follow if you like!