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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Welcome to Monsters University!

Earlier this week I went to see Monsters University. I have to admit I was pretty excited about seeing this movie but also quite a bit worried about it. It’s just that making a prequel is not the same as making a sequel.

In a sequel, things move forward, so almost any action can be justified, since the future has not been determined. It can be a disaster, and fans can be disappointed, but there’s more freedom in them. In a prequel, things need to move toward an established truth. The characters already exist and act a certain way, and the prequel must show the characters as they were but also be true to who they are now. Prequels don’t leave much room to play with the ending, which usually pleases the fans more than sequels, but it also creates a lot of expectations in fans, and when expectations are not met, things can get complicated.

I was relieved when I saw that MU was not at all what I had expected. It was so much better! I was happy with the choices made for how the characters met and how they were in the past, as much as what led them to choose the path they did later in life and how much college life influenced them later on. I was happy to see that Mike and Sulley were not best friends from the start, and that Randy was so insecure. It showed how little experiences and how you deal with them have a huge influence in who you’ll become.

“Just wait, hot-shot. I’m going to scare circles around you this year.” ~ Mike Wazowski

Oh, and before the movie, as it happens with all Pixar movies, there was a short animation film, The Blue Umbrella, which was adorable! I loved it! Here’s a clip of it. I’ll post the full version when available.

 

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And then I saw Despicable Me 2

I somehow got tickets to go see this early screening of Despicable Me 2. How? I’m still trying to understand that part myself. The best part is: I saw it! And I loved it! And I want to see it again!

Gru as a father is adorable. He’s so dedicated and overprotective it’s adorable. The girls are still funny. I kept hoping Agnes would say “It’s so fluffy!!” at some point, even though I highly doubted it would happen. She does say something else with the same passion, but I won’t mention here as not to spoil for those of you who haven’t seen the movie.

I loved that the minions appeared more (or so it seemed to me) in this one. I also loved Lucy and her weirdness. The way she says “Yay” is funny.

And after watching the movie three things were on my mind: I wanted some guacamole, a stuffed minion, and to watch the movie again. Loved it.

 

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What’s my motivation?

Lately I haven’t had much time to read all the blogs I follow. Part of it is because I follow several blogs and there’s not enough free time on my days to allow me to read them all. But most of it is because I’m trying to focus my energy on my own writing. So what I usually do is pick a few of them to read each time.

Today I stumbled upon a blog post on Legends Undying called What’s My Motivation? It talks about plot, which is something I talked about a couple of days ago. It talks about a book I have not read yet, but it got me interested in it.

Anyway, here’s a little story by @VeryShortStory to start your week with the right foot:

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Have a great week!

 

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The Plot Whisperer

ImageAs you (probably) already know, I’m a writer. No, I haven’t published anything yet, but that will change pretty soon. But I am, nonetheless, a writer. And in my pursuit of more knowledge on the subject, I read The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master, by Martha Alderson. Now, you have to understand I’m not the kind of writer who sits down and plots her whole story. I usually have an idea I want to write about and I just sit down and write. After I’m done, then I’ll structure it for the editing process. I found that to be helpful. It helps me see the story as a whole, without limiting me to follow a structure before even starting. That’s because I don’t really know all that’s going to happen in my stories. I see plotting as creating expectations for a story, and not following the plot would seem disappointing to me. That’s why I only plot after finishing my first draft.

But what does the book has to do with it? Well, I read the book in the hopes it would help me understand plot a little more and maybe help me improve as a writer. I was, however, a bit skeptic over the whole idea, since I don’t plot before writing the story, but I found out The Plot Whisperer was a great help. It’s not a book only for those who plot beforehand, and it has helpful tips for all kinds of writers. It talks about “the universal story,” the plot planner, the scene tracker, the barriers we find along the way, and much more. It also has exercises here and there that can help you with your writing.

Anyway, I found the book very helpful, and if you’re a writer (beginner or not) I certainly think you should take a look at this book. Then come back and tell me what you think.

 

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Learning the craft

2756494307_4018808b1b_oI’ve been taking creative writing classes and enrolling in creative writing workshops for the past two years and I can say they have changed me. One professor in particular has been a huge part of it. Before taking his workshop I could read all kinds of books and I was fine. Now I feel like my way of looking into things has changed. Every book I open, every story I read, is different. I see things I had never noticed before. I see little flaws in technique that I wouldn’t be able to identify before. I see what could be done to improve the flow of a story and what is stalling it. And although I might not always agree with his point of view, I am thankful for all he has taught me.

I’ve recently read 1Q84 and my reaction to it was not what I expected. Thank you to my professor I paid attention to details in this book I wouldn’t have otherwise. I’ll talk more about it later, in a separate post, but all I say is that my opinion is influenced by all I’ve learned in the past few years.

Learning about writing has changed me. It has made me aware of how to approach it and what I need to do to improve my own writing. It has made me a better writer. And I can’t wait to learn even more.

Photo credit: Nic McPhee

 

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Are You Up For the Challenge?

Long time no see (or is it read?).
 
Hopefully you’re not like me; breaking promises to yourself about writing more because you’re:
A.)   Reading five books at once, but still not working on your own.
B.)   Working more hours since you’re not in school.
C.)   Promising yourself for the thousandth time that tomorrow you’ll write.
D.)   Catching up on television series.
E.)   None of the above.
F.)   Other: _____________ (please place your excuse in the space provided)
 
Well, the answer to your muses’ prayers have been answered. There are two more weeks until the next writer’s challenge from Nanowrimo begins. This is their summer event, titled Camp Nanowrimo. The challenge is to write 50,000 words in the month of July. Unlike the November event, you won’t get anything for reaching said goal other than the satisfaction of doing it.
 
Buuuuuut…
 
Finishing a rough draft that long that fast is really a reward within itself (and you can always take part in November’s Nanowrimo as well). After that, perhaps the fact that nearly every movie in the past two or three years has been from a comic book, novel, or revamp should spur you on to refine your story and turn it into the diamond you already know it is.
 
You owe it to yourself and your characters to complete their stories and make it the best that you can, but no one can sit you down with a pen/pencil/tablet/laptop/other device for writing. It has to be you, wordsmith.
Best of luck and as always, happy writing!

(Found using CC Search)

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Bad Habits

I just got back yesterday from another amazing SBL weekend in Madison, and I couldn’t be happier. It was great! Better than great, it was amazing! Not only because of the music and of meeting again with old friends, but also because of the news one I met.

Coming back was the hardest part. Saying ‘goodbye’ is too hard, so we just say ‘see you soon’ and pray that ‘soon’ won’t take too long.

Then on my way back home from the airport I started listening to Johnson‘s album Bad Habits and I just couldn’t stop smiling. Anyway, here’s one of my favorites. But I do recommend you go check out his website and full album–you can get it from either Amazon or iTunes, although Amazon is cheaper.

Enjoy!

 

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