A writer reading aka their happy place.

IMG_0257I haven’t been reading much this year, just a novel here and there. I know, I know, a writer not reading is like an astronomer not looking at the stars. It’s like a five star chef living off of microwaved burritos. It’s like an artist throwing out their paint brushes. It’s like, well, it’s like a writer not reading.

I’ve just been so busy recently. I have so many side projects, besides work that actually pays the bills, that now I have to schedule everything in. At the end of the day, I just don’t have a schedule block left for reading. I need to get at least six hours of sleep in, or I don’t function well the next day and it ends up throwing off the rest of my schedule.

IMG_0302I miss the days when I was young and resilient. When four hours of sleep was more than enough. Ahh, I was so productive back then! FYI, you know you’re a life-long insomniac when you start remembering fondly about the times when you didn’t sleep.

Anyway, my reading dry spell finally came to an end when I found a copy of Howl’s Moving Castle at my local library. I’m a huge fan of Studio Ghibli and HMC is one of my favorite movies, so I thought it might be fun to read the novel that the movie was based on. I already know that whatever format you first see or hear a story, that’s the format you’re going to like the most. So people that saw the Harry Potter movies first before reading the books almost always liked the movies better, and it’s the other way around for people that read the books first. So I started this novel with the expectation that I just naturally wouldn’t like it as much as the movie.

After the first couple chapters, I was completely surprised. I really loved the story. But I still loved the movie too. Weird, right? The novel was like the Ghibli film, but expanded. It’s just as visual and quirky as the lush animation that Ghibli is known for, but you also get all sorts of extras, like the background story of Howl, and Letty plays a bigger role in the story, and you get a little bit of Markle/Michael’s background story. And so much more! Like have you ever wondered why Sophi was so defeatist in the movie? Well, the book explains that. I really loved this book and it just made me love the movie even more. This is the way book and movie duos should be.

IMG_0383It was really a great read and I highly recommend it to anyone that’s a fan of Ghibli films, fantasy stories, or funky quirky British lit.

 

P.S. I added in these photos because when ever I think of Ghibli’s animation I always think of lush beautiful scenery filled with flowers.

Novel writing and screen writing: there really is a connection!

I found this great blog post, and I totally  thought you all would like to see it too. I’ve always thought that movies and novels were created in a similar fashion, and this interesting post explains how. Enjoy!

IT’S TELEVISION TUESDAY FOLKS! How to Write A 5 Day Novel with Scott King What did you take away from this video? Tell me in the comments!! Benjamin Thomas @thewritingtrain http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

via How to Write A 5 Day Novel with Scott King — The Writing Train: Join the locomotion

Write what you like?

glass colors frame

Everyone’s heard the saying “Write what you know”, but more recently writing teachers and experts have been saying “Write what you like”. For a long while I’ve been taking this to heart and writing the genre of stories I most liked to read. Mostly light comedy love stories with fantasy elements. I liked reading comedy. I liked reading light romance. I liked reading fantasy. So, if I put these three genres together, I should be writing the best stories I could be writing, right?

img_0257Unfortunately, I’ve hit a awful lot of speed bumps along the way. The first one was comedy, I like reading it, but it’s a lot harder to write than it looks. Just because I think it’s funny doesn’t mean everyone else will. Romance was the next problem, my personal experience with romance has been pretty boring. I’ve never been in a relationship where someone vowed undying devotion or gave some grand gesture of affection. My life has been filled with little sparks of gentle warmth, endearing, but note exactly page turner moments. Writing fantasy has been my smallest struggle. My problem with fantasy is that I’m usually trying so hard to be original that my story just becomes kind of weird.

The end result of my writing attempts is usually good, but not as good as I wish it was. Strangely, my horror stories have been widely critiqued as being really good, much better than my fantasy stories. But I don’t really like reading horror that much. In fact, it’s been years since I’ve read a horror book.

IMG_0242So, when should an author consider changing their preferred genre? Should a writer write a certain genre just because they are good at it? Or should an author stay with their favorite genre to read no matter how long it takes them to become good at writing it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please leave a comment below.

 

P.S. I just added the photos because I thought they looked cool, no special meaning.