Friday, 30 March 2012

A Big Imagination

I’ve always had a big imagination. I still do. Just the other day my parents received something in a handwritten envelope. No return address. I puzzled over what it could be, and who could have sent it. The envelope seemed too small for a letter, and no one had birthdays coming up.

Then my imagination decided it was probably a letter bomb. Or worse, someone had put deadly germs inside it (like biological warfare agent thingys). Whoever opened it would die, either from an explosion or some deadly disease. Were my parents the target on an assassination?

My dad went to open it… I watched on, forgetting to breathe… I was in the vicinity. Was I about to be collateral damage?

My dad opened the letter… and sneezed.

I nearly had a heart attack.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The Hunger Games

I finally* saw The Hunger Games a few nights ago. Simply put: I loved it.

I’m proud to say that I’m a “real” Hunger Games fan: I read the book before it was cool way back in 2010**. I loved the book too. I couldn’t put it down. I mean, I read it in less than two days. Two days! Back in 2010 I was reading books in about a week, but even to this day, a book in two days is pretty good for me.

Yet, as much as I loved The Hunger Games, I never did get around to reading Catching Fire and Mockingjay. They’ve been on my To Read list for years, but they’ve never progressed to my TBR pile. That said, once I’ve finished reading a series I’m in the middle of, the entire Hunger Games trilogy will cut to the front of the line and I’ll finally be able to find out what happens once Katniss screws the Capitol. *excited*

The only faults I could find with the movie were the portrayals of Peeta and Gale. In my head, Peeta was a bit… I dunno, chubbier, I guess? I always imagined him with a dopey expression as well. And I always pictured Gale to be skinnier. Leaner, I guess is a better word. In the movies they were pretty muscular. But as I said, it’s been a while since I’ve read the book, so maybe my memory’s distorted the image I had for the two guys.

Two final thoughts: Primrose was a massive whiner/cry baby and I couldn’t stand her. Surely she wasn't that much of a whinger in the books? And finally, am I the only one who thought Effie Trinket was like a cross between Professor Umbridge and the Mad Hatter (portrayed by Jonny Depp)?

So, tell me your thoughts. Have you seen The Hunger Games yet? If you have, did you love it? If you haven’t seen it yet… why not? Let me know in the comments!

* Isn’t it weird how I said “finally”, when the movie only came out a week ago. I saw it four days after its release, but in the writing world I was one of the last…

** Many writers and readers had probably already read the book by then, but everyone else probably only started reading the books earlier this year.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy

Just a quick post to let y’all know I’ve been super busy for the past few weeks, which sucks. I’ve had three exams last week, and I have two assignments due in the next few days. Needless to say, my social life has taken a massive hit, both real and virtual. And writing… let’s not go there.

But once my two assignments are submitted I’m free up until after the Easter break! So I should definitely be back to blogging regularly next week!

What about you guys? Are you buckling under the pressures of study, or are you managing to study, write, AND have a social life? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Thrillers v. Fantasy

With my Untitled YA Fantasy Idea slowly taking shape, I’m realising that there’s a lot of things that I need to do, but I’ve never done before. For example, map making. With my previous novels all being thrillers/mysteries set in the real world, if I’ve ever needed a map I’ve typed Google Maps into the URL and hey presto! A map!

With my previous novels, my pre-writing stages have pretty much been limited to a few basic steps. Take EXCALIBUR, my editing project:

1. Research to get a broad overview on the topic.
2. Perform more in-depth research on:
          a. Excalibur
          b. King Arthur
          c. King Arthur’s knights
          d. The 10th Century time period
          e. Other topics which I’m sure I’ve missed
3. Character outlines
4. Write plot outlines

So it was pretty simple, really. Research and outline.

But with UYAFI, I’m finding there’s so much more to the pre-writing stage. I’ve got character and plot outlines, but then there are all the world building components: maps, calendars, history, politics… I can’t even think of any more!

I guess what I’m trying to say is that each genre has different challenges and requirements. I think I’m also trying to say the fantasy genre isn’t as easy to write as I initially thought… and I’m probably in awe a little bit of fantasy writers*.

For the comments, have you ever written in a different genre before? Did you encounter anything you didn’t expect? What barriers did you have to overcome? And fantasy writers: do you have any other pre-writing steps I might have missed? Let me know!

* There, said it. You guys are amazing. But don’t get too big for your boots :P

Monday, 12 March 2012

The Squiggly Red Lines are Strong with This One

I love it when people give me blog post ideas blog awards!

Amanda over at Truth, Justice, and Other Stuff awarded me the Kreativ Blogger award! Thanks Amanda!

This Kreativ Blogger award really has my facial muscles twitching. I mean, “Kreativ”? Who chose that name? The word’s putting squiggly red lines all across the screen. Not cool. The Grammar Nazi in me is not happy.

The Kreativ Blogger award does kinda remind me of Star Wars, particularly that scene where someone says to someone else “the force is strong with this one…”. I think it happened in Star Wars I?

As Yoda would say…

"Everywhere, the squiggly red lines are..."

Anyway, moving on…

For this blog award, I have to provide ten facts about myself. I also have to pass this blog award on to several people, but I really hate that. I never know who to pick. So let’s just pretend I didn’t see that instruction…

1. I’m a writer. Okay, that’s an obvious one, but if I ever have to give a fact about myself, that’s what I start with… okay, actually if I’m ever asked I get a mega-mind-blank… But if I could remember, that’s what I’d start with.

2. I hate the cold. Hate hate the cold. It’s only just Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere and I’m already wearing jeans. This is Australia I’m talking about, not some icy wasteland near the Antarctic.

3. I’d never actually watched an entire episode of Star Wars until after the final movie (Revenge of the Sith) was released. I’d watched snippets of episodes, but never an entire movie. Attack of the Clones was the first one I watched.

4. While I’m thinking of AotC, Star Wars II is my favourite of the franchise. I really love the clones. They’re the best bit.

5. I collect money. I particularly love international currency. I mean, who isn’t fascinated by the different designs countries put on their money? Every time a friend goes overseas, I bully them into bringing me back some coins.

6. Okay, this is getting really hard now. Why did it have to be ten facts? Why not five? Do people think I’m interesting? I’m really not. Ooh, that can be a fact! I’m not interesting. (Yep. I’m clutching at straws now…)

7.  My favourite number is 7. Well, usually it is. Right now, 10 is the number I love the most. Must make it to number 10…

8. My favourite colour is blue, my favourite food is chocolate (*drool*), and my favourite soft drink is Pepsi. (…wait, should this be three facts?)

9. I live in constant fear of someone being able to read minds. I have some really random thoughts. They’d think I were crazy!

10. I hate insects, but not things that could actually kill me. Like snakes, crocodiles, and sharks. I’d probably want to get closer…

 At last, I’ve made it! I think this took me about an hour to do. #anotherwinforprocrastination. I swear that if anyone else ever asks me for ten facts I’ll shoot them (or direct them to this post).