Friday, July 27, 2007

What NOT To Do

I forget where I first saw this, but I just found it again and wanted to share. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Obligatory Deathly Hallows Post

Well, I finished it. I got it from my mom at 8 PM Monday and finished at 1:25 PM Tuesday. (Yes, I did fit eight hours of sleep in there.) I'll be following the (Yay) Spoiler Free mandate, but let me just say, it was amazing. J.K. Rowling really outdid herself. A fitting end to a phenomenon, I think.

That, and it apparently switched on my writer's brain, because I pulled a chapter more or less out of a hat yesterday on my own work-in-progress. It's almost five thousand words and it doesn't make me want to die when I read it, so I'm calling it a success.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Dear ABC: Die, please and thanks.

(Spoiler warning for the season finale of Traveler. I know most people have either seen it or don't care, but it wouldn't be fair to not stick this in.)
Okay, I don't know if anyone but me followed Traveler with an obsession that bordered on scary fangirlism, but if you've seen it, hopefully you agree that it was a fantastic show. The premise is that two guys are framed for a terrorist bombing by their housemate, Will Traveler. Through the eight--just eight--episodes, the two mains, Tyler and Jay, have run all across New England, visiting Tyler's father, evading a number of people (including FBI) who have tried to kill them, and looking for evidence that Will Traveler was really behind it--and, for that matter, exists at all.

The conspiracy behind the bombing runs incredibly deep. Higher-ups in the government are involved. Only one FBI agent, Jan Marlow, seems interested in discovering the truth, and her boss is getting angrier and angrier with her all the time.

Fast forward to the last episode. Kim, Jay's girlfriend, is in FBI custody; Will has met up with Tyler and Jay, helped them out of a tight spot, and kind of gotten them to trust him. We know the head of Homeland Security, Freed, was in on the bombing, that he actually ordered it; we know there are several dangerous members of the gang behind it are on the loose, not the least of whom is Will, but at least he's not interested in terrorism anymore.

This is the last episode. As far as we know, there won't be a season two. This is it.

It ends with Kim in immediate danger, Marlow having just found out her boss ordered her murder, and Will, Tyler, and Jay getting ready to turn in Freed so that they can get their lives back, because they're dangerous fugitives that no one's too fussed about keeping alive.

Freed makes one last plea: set me free and you find out the truth about everything, he says. Make that phone call and the truth stays with me.

They look at each other, tempted, but eventually get out of the car and cross the street for the pay phone.

At which point Freed blows up the car, with him in it. The leads' only chance at a clean record, totally obliterated.

What kind of crap ending is that?!

I hate cliffhangers. Hate them. They're not quite Devices Moste Foul when I know there's a second (or, more commonly, third) book coming, but I still resent the author for pulling them on me. I hated having to read The Lady and the Tiger, and I knew it was coming. In this case, when the series was too short anyway and I was already going to have issues with it ending, when there's no next episode, no next season in sight...I'm sorry, but that's just cheap. Seriously, what does that accomplish? Would someone care to enlighten me on this? What is it? Shock value? Artsy "open-endedness"?

GAH. I want closure!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Back from Down Under

There'll be pictures as soon as I get them--I went without a digital camera and have to wait for mine to be developed, and maybe to beg some off of my fellow travelers. However, in the interest of battling the boredom that seems to settle in around this time of the year, here's an offering of bloopers, graciously lent to me by my good friend Isi over at The Spork Room and which are her intellectual property, etc., though she's more than happy to aid in the cause of spreading hilarity throughout the Wizarding community...I mean, blogosphere. (You know exactly where my mind is at the moment, right?)

So, without further ado, some of the nicest writing mistakes I've seen in quite awhile and their accompanying comments, courtesy of Isi's 2006 NaNo (which should explain a lot). Brought to you by the Foundation for Even if There's Not Somebody Worse Than You, Sometimes It Sure Looks Like It (also known as The Spork Room, come to think of it).

Yes, let us digress to things that may not become important for a number of chapters more. It begins in a different place, and quite a different time. In the past, elsewhere.

Redundant much?

"I appologize for this intrusion, dear lady," he told her. "But I have come to tell you the unfortunate news that you are nothing more than a plot device."

At least he's honest.

Isn't it fun that I'm using really short simple sentences?! The madness!

This book is full of authorial interruptions like that.

He (or she) fought off the immortal mob. It was quite epic, but my writing is not so I can't go into details at the moment.

Yep. Authorial interruptions.

"Do you understand what I say?"
"I understand that you're probably trying to sell me something."

Why does that sound like I stole it from the Princess Bride?

But this is sounding too much like Harry Potter. It is not supposed to be like Harry Potter. Let's see... let's brainstorm ways to make it less like Harry Potter sounding... darn, can't think of anything.

And I still don't know how to fix the resemblance to Harry Potter. ;_;
(I think we've all been there. Especially me. Especially lately. -M)

She tried it again, pushing with one hand and pulling with the other in a clockwise motion, which actually means anti-clockwise to you earth audience, because clocks in this world go in the opposite direction as clocks on earth. Just a random fun fact on the world building.

How would you specify that their clocks go counterclockwise anyway?

Yeah, none of this makes sense to me either, but moving on...

Yes, that is narration.

They were still a ways off, so she continued walking towards them, and this was a complete waste of a sentence. Anything for word count.

No comment.

"Have I told you how awesomely random I thought it was that you were breaking into the calendar mechanics?" he said, sounding suspiciously American.

My characters have a problem with using modern slang when they're not supposed to.

I'd just like to share that I have little idea where I'm going with this. Thank you.

Fourth wall? Where? I don't see anything.

That's the general way of wizards and sorcerers and mancers and alchemists and witches and hedgewizards and magi and the like.

Polysyndeton rules! Can you tell I was behind on my wordcount?
(M: I feel I must interrupt here, as this isn't even quite as bad as one I slipped into my first NaNo in 2005:, area, territory, region, kingdom, nation, empire, or any of assorted other obscure but soldier-ridden landmasses or seas...)

He waited, biding his time in wait, waiting for the right moment to strike.

And then he waited some more!

He swooped in, pricked him with a nifty ninja needle type thing, which is the equivalent of knocking him over the head with less brain damage.

What. The. Spork?

The random large massive object of the reader's choice had not meant to contact anyone's windows when it joyously flew in the air from Fletcher's merry trebuchet, but of course it was a mistake that couldn't be remedied.

That may be the best line ever. Proud member of the Trebuchet Club!

Finishing with what I think is my favorite out of the bunch (though "nifty ninja needle type thing" comes close):
Well, he got shot with anachronism since we don't have guns.
And in icon form, courtesy of Ink Johnson:

Well, hope y'all enjoyed some of those. Kind of puts it in perspective, yes? Isi's a really good writer, but sometimes time pressures and ungodly amounts of caffeine can have devastating effects.

So, can you remember any hilarious bloopers you've made in your rush to get words written?

And, to touch on an earlier comment of mine, what are your plans for the Harry Potter Book 7 release night?