It’s time for a ROAD TRIP AGAIN!! We are heading over to YA Highway for their weekly question!
I don’t usually write about politics (or do I? I am pretty vocal about my feminist, democratic, liberal ways right?), but my love for Martin knows no bounds. A Song of Fire and Ice (Game of Thrones for those who don’t know it as a series of books) is one of my favorite reads. Seeing an author come out fighting for what he believes is pretty great, especially when everyone is so afraid of judgement and crucifixion in the media….
According to the Huffington Post:
“George R.R. Martin, author of “A Game of Thrones”, has slammed “Republicans and their Teabagger allies” in so-called swing states for what he calls “voter suppression.”
In a recent blogpost on Martin’s website, he refers to recent voter purges in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Iowa, saying that “The people behind these efforts at disenfranchising large groups of voters (the young, the old, the black, the brown) are not Republicans, since clearly they have scant regard for our republic or its values. They are oligarchs and racists clad in the skins of dead elephants.”
Martin, an avowed Democrat from Bayonne, N.J. who has described President Obama as “the most intelligent president we’ve had since Jimmy Carter”, doesn’t often write about politics on his blog, but when he does, it is usually to speak about something he feels strongly about, be it TSA screenings or the Affordable Care Act.”
(Via Huffington Post)
I like a man with conviction (stares off into the sunset dreaming of John Snow and Rob Stark). Wait…I also like his fearless women Arya and Dani. This man KNOWS FEARLESS!!!!!!
For those of us who are writers, we are always looking for the secret to the perfect story. Some believe in the idea that there are seven main plots of literature that writers adhere to, others think it is like chasing a whisp. For those of you who have never heard of the seven plots, here you go:
- [wo]man vs. nature
- [wo]man vs. man
- [wo]man vs. the environment
- [wo]man vs. machines/technology
- [wo]man vs. the supernatural
- [wo]man vs. self
- [wo]man vs. god/religion
(Via 7 Plots)
I believe in the validity of the 7 plots, but think it is more complicated to create a story that resonates with readers than to just look at the list above and choose one or a combination of the plots and VOILA! A Novel! My brother emailed me a few days ago an interesting link from Gawker about a Pixar storyboard artist and her experience at the company. She shared what she had learned about storytelling (at the best storytelling company in the world—-I try to forget Cars or Cars 2) in a list of 22 tips for storytellers. I thought I would share the link for the writers out there searching for the elusive golden key (or whisp)!
Here is what she learned at Pixar, according to the article:
#1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.
#2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.
#3: Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.
#4: Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.
#5: Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.
#6: What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?
#7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.
#8: Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.
#9: When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.
#10: Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you’ve got to recognize it before you can use it.
#11: Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.
#12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.
#13: Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.
#14: Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.
#15: If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.
#16: What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.
#17: No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll come back around to be useful later.
#18: You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.
#19: Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.
#20: Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d’you rearrange them into what you DO like?
#21: You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?
#22: What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.
After a hard couple months of medical and rabbitty hole hardship, I’m back! To start off, I give you NPR’s list of the Best 100 Teen Novels. I think some are missing and some are missplaced. Any thoughts? Sound off!
Enjoy some of the highlights and lowlights below and click on the link above to read through the entire list. As always, paint the roses in the comment section!
1. Harry Potter
2. Hunger Games- maybe a bit high there?? I mean–I love the series, but it is not the second best ever. Everyone needs to CALM DOWN.
21. Mortal Instruments Series- Seriously? …………………………………………………………….Seriously? I will leave my ranting out of this. But SERIOUSLY? It beats out Tuck Everlasting?? The Giver? Bridge to Terabithea and A Wrinkle in Time (which were missing)? Ugh.
At least my favorite redhead was represented….
14. Anne of Green Gables