Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sleeping Beauty

I unlike a lot of friends and family like Sucker Punch, to me it was a comic book-esque, adventure film with layers upon layers of interwoven story plots. To put it simply, it rocked. I enjoyed it and understood the psychological reason's behind the world the protagonist created to escape the reality of her situation. So I'm a Emily Browning fan, hence the reason for my watching the Indie film Sleeping Beauty.

I usually either hate or love Indie films. There usually isn't any middle ground, except with this film. Part of me was horrified by the things these dirty old men did to her, but another part of me felt like I was peaking behind someones curtains. I couldn't stop watching, even as horrified as I was. Here this young woman showed up time after time to be exposed to various forms of non-penetrating rape, and I just couldn't understand why she'd do it. Why? Obviously the money was good, but the curious part of me could never NOT know what was being done to me. Shiver, the film gave me the creeps, but it made me think, made me hate, made me cringe. Those are always good things, even if I wanted to throw up part of the time. I'll always be a lover of Character studies, and this was a strange, twisted, journey into the world of the unknown. Like that old question what would you do for a million dollars, this is a twisted little drama. If you don't know what's done, if you are not actually hurt in any permanent way, well then, what's the harm. I imagine a character such as Lucy would suffer irreparable emotional damage from that unknown. Wondering what someone did to you while you slept unaware of the violence, the injustice, the molestation. It disturbs me, but it makes me think.

I'm not sure if I'd give this a go ahead an watch vote, I'm not quite sure how I feel, it provokes a strange amount of mixed feelings. Curiosity as well as disgust, disturbing, probably more because I'm a woman, and I always put myself into protagonists shoes.

Like a car crash I couldn't look away. That's all I can say really, car crash, disturbing, a peak behind the curtains into a world I'll never ever want to really know.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Update on first reader's collective criticism.

Geez, who says I can't make a whopper of a blog post title.

Now back to the good, that bad, and the ever so ugly. I finally got back all the critiques of my first half of The Wild Hunt. So far, the only really bad thing I've heard is a question about the language.


This just in, yes I am a potty mouth, and I have a big fucking problem!

Now I don't know the steps, and to be honest, unless I'm writing about an addict in the near future, I may never know them. But I do know that admitting you have a problem is somewhere in there. The only problem with my problem is my potty mouth although bad at times, like occasions where swearing is frowned upon IE family functions, church, school meetings etc, is sometimes necessary when writing. . Also I should note that I have learned to control myself in these limited settings, I do not cuss in church God Dammit, :0), at least not loud enough for anyone other than God to hear, and we have an understanding relationship me and him, he understands and excepts me and my bad mouth completely thank you, no judging allowed!) LOL

Back to the point, I had an earlier post where I questioned my bad bad wordiness, and after I wrote I though, okay, well I'm over-reacting (which is normal) so I won't have to edit out all the baddies after all (which I did, the bad ones anyways, say goodbye to f*ck and hello to screw, flip, freak, the dirty deed, bumping uglies, frack, fudge, frumple stilkskins, etc.) I could go on but I won't lucky for you it's just the clean versions!

But mostly I've heard about the language. So bad actually that the whole family thinks I'm a potty mouth now! LOL I actually thought this was funny because you'd think after cussing my brains out for the last 18 years (I imagine I first started at the ripe round age of ten) my whole entire family would already know this. Welp Ashley the jokes on you, they didn't. Which again is fucking funny. I mean, I'm sarcastic, I'm a pessimistic (at times), obnoxious (always!), sailor mouthed, teasing, bear poking, naming calling, bitch with a couple fucking B, and I am so glad everyone else finally knows it! Who knew the big topic at Thanksgiving would be my choice of words, that, is just AWESOME.

At least the topic wasn't hey that Ashley, she's a nut job, and a shitty writer, nope, my handle was, my God that girl likes to cuss!!

It doesn't get any better than that. The book is liked, the storyline sound, and hey that makes me happy. So what if I need to clean up the language at least it's freaking read-able, understand-able, interesting. That's all this girl wants in the world, someone to read her work, and like it. The like it part isn't as important as the reading, but I can't be a writer without hoping that someone out there will end up loving what they read. Because I put my heart into this story, and I hope you see it on the pages, see it in the words, and feel it somewhere inside your own heart.

To potty mouths everywhere!!! Keep on cussing baby, don't let those stiff colorless verbal bastards get you down!

(Also on a side note, my family is neither stiff nor colorless verbal bastards, I love them dearly, and am thankful that I got feedback of such a kind, and wonderful nature. It's good to know the storyline is working, even if it is a little cussy!)

The Plot Thickens......................

The farther I get into my story, the more I question when my character's should start asking questions, and start looking for answers. They can dwindle along for only so long, before it becomes unrealistic. And considering I like to balance realism with myth I'm trying to walk that ever so thin line. Halfway through the story, right when the first big figurative skeleton is about to surface, my protagonist starts to realise that something is a miss. The bodies are starting to surface, her dreams are getting out of hand, and that edge of the rabbits hole is only one tiny step away.

My question is, is this believable?

I've read a lot of books, not as much as I would like, and not nearly enough to call myself an expert but often, when I really pay attention, and sometimes even when I don't, I can see where the story is going. Maybe it's just an uncanny ability to see between the lines, or maybe it's because I've read a lot of the same genre, and it's hard to be surprising all of the time. I'm not blaming the authors or the concept, because a lot of them are fantastic, and twisted, but when does it go from being easy to follow to surprising? Over the last few months, and well years, I've started to realise that writing is this strange balancing act, at least for me. And what I'm trying to do, write a story, create a world, is it possible that the analyst in me, the perfectionist is losing sight of the craft and just thinking about all of it too much.

Maybe that balancing act is supposed to be easier, maybe it's not supposed to be about balance at all. Other authors go through an entire first draft without editing, then when they are done with the story, the last t crossed and i dotted, they start the editing. I've never been able to do that. Every time I sit down at the desk I go over a few parts I've thought about for a couple of days, stewing really while I try to find that hitch in the gears that's keeping me from moving forward, and as soon as those pieces are right I move forward, I move on. But what is it about me as a writer that keeps me juggling all the pieces and thinking about the craft so much instead of just writing. A part of me thinks that I'd be so much better off being one of those writers that can go start to finish. And the other part, well the other part screams about fixing this, and changing that, and always wins out in the end.

Here I was planning on writing a blog about plot, and I start writing about the craft in general. No one ever said I had it all figured out. (insert obnoxious snort) Even after finishing The Wild Hunt, and a dozen more books, I don't think I ever will.

So here's to hoping those plot twists and story lines are enough to keep even the best detective guessing. Because in the end that's really all I'm shooting for, the hope that my story and characters will entertain you.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Plot twists and over-description.

Lately while I've been editing and writing, I can't help but wonder about having too many story strands going at the same time. I know that other authors (JK Rowling for instance) have been able to use many many twists in their stories effectively, and successfully. I just wonder if I'm one of those writers that can pull it off.

See plot twists are like a balancing act you add one in and you have to make sure that its important to the story that it drives it forward, while all of my twists might be necessary, are they needed? To me, everything is needed, but for the reader, for the audience I'm not so sure that's true. Because I'm in the writing process the story can be changed, in fact until its on Amazon for sale the story can be changed, because anything is possible. I've heard writers complain about writers trying to hard to spell it out to readers, and in a way insulting the reader, and I've heard writers say that some stories with too many twists and turns can lose a reader.

So where is that balance, and how do I get it?

Hopefully by the time I have the story finished I'll know. So far, everything works, but like I said before it can always be changed.

Another thing I've come across is description and detail. As an avid reader myself, when a book gets a little too over-descriptive I skip sections, I get bored easily, and find myself searching for the next chunk of action. In my book if you do that, you'll fall behind. I try not to over describe or detail, but am I missing out by not being more descriptive?

Whether it's plot twits or description, being a new writer is nerve racking. Every writer has a different opinion and no two are alike, so finding my way through the thousands of articles, and interviews, to find my own preference is crazy hard. Writing is harder than everything I've ever tried before. I'm not sure if I'll be successful at it, I'm not sure if readers will like what I have to say. But every morning I wake up burning to tell my story, and get it down on paper. I hope it works, I hope its right, and I hope that tomorrow is another good day in this writers struggle to finish her first story.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sweet November

Now that horror of a month October is over (no pun intended, okay maybe a tiny giggle is necessary), life has started to get a little more back to normal. In fact, I have read five or six books in the last week, and I'm LOVING it. Suddenly the mornings are foggy, the air is crisp, and I'm so glad that fall is finally here. November 1st came around and I was thrilled!! Well after getting over my ungodly hangover that is. Ouch!!


Sour Apple Pucker, Buttery nipples (butterscotch schnapps and baileys), and jello shots, not such a great mix............nope. I was dying for two whole days.
On a separate and equally annoying note, hangovers at 28 are not nearly as easy to get over as hangovers at 25, getting older sucks, and come February I'll be 29 holy shit batman, I'm going to be THIRTY soon.........

Besides the utter joy I felt on the passing of my usually favorite month. I'm overcome with the need to Christmas shop, and decorate my house for Christmas, and burn every severed head, and appendage I own. What happened to us Halloween, when did we part on such horrible terms. We use to love each other....................

Again still shocked by my hate of Halloween this year, hoping that this does not become a trend. Loving this month so far. I'm relaxing, I'm reading, and I'm writing again. Not as much as I'd like to of course, but more. And that horrible deadline I've been holding over my own head isn't looming over me and breathing down my neck, no it's quietly waiting in the corner, restless but at peace with the fact that theres no way in HELL I'll ever make it, and I'm okay. I am okay with going a little bit over my deadline. Probably a month, maybe less, who knows but the holidays are here, the leaves are falling, the wood in the fireplace crackling, and for now at least I can take a long easy breath and not want to kill myself!!!!

Overly dramatic, but that's why you love me!!! What fun would life be if we couldn't kick ourselves, and laugh at our own over zealous, crazy, controlling behaviors.

Ahhhh November I heart thee!