Monday, February 18, 2013

The Beauty of Storytelling: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

So, something that I've just mildly obsessed with lately is the Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

If you've heard of them, yay! If you haven't, go watch them right now!! They are so amazing and as happens with lots of amazing things I like, all I want to do is share them so that other people can fall in love with them too.

I started watching the Lizzie Bennet Diaries with hesitancy, but not too long after I started I fell in love, because the LBD had everything I loved in books. (By the way, the LBD is a youtube web series that is a modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice). That is, amazing characters, amazing writing, and a beautiful story that makes you think about the world and people in general.

One genre I'm not too fond of is historical fiction. But I was so fascinated with the LBD that I read Pride and Prejudice. It still isn't my favourite, but I have much more appreciation for it and its core message thanks to the LBD.

Since mostly writers read this blog, I'd really encourage you to watch the LBD if you haven't. There are so many things you can learn about writing and storytelling from this little web series. There is so much stuff that happens beyond what the characters are actually saying. You would think in a vlog-style web series, where the characters are talking directly to the camera, it would be hard to do the "show don't tell" bit of storytelling. But the LBD team does it amazingly.

So, I guess I would just say watch it and learn about writing from it, because I certainly have. :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Formula for Inspiration

A few days ago we were coming home from somewhere, driving along this road that runs right next to a large valley. Most of what I could see on this drive were trees, but I got a five-second glimpse of the roofs of a village of squatter homes. I only saw about fifty makeshift roofs, but I know that the squatter area there fills that valley. (Squatters are really, really poor Filipinos who make their homes anywhere they can, with anything they can because they can't afford to do anything else).

After that five-second glimpse of that squatter area, my thoughts wandered. I thought about what it might be like to live like that, and how I can never ever fully comprehend it, and other things as well. I don't know why, but for some reason that overwhelming urge to create something meaningful overcame me at that moment.

That afternoon after I got home, I sat down and wrote for about two hours. Somehow, for some indeterminable reason, that glimpse of those squatter homes inspired me to write.

I feel like I talk a lot about inspiration, but I think I do that because it's always different. There is no formula for inspiration, and I think it's sometimes easy to forget that. I know that I've definitely read posts about how to get inspiration, or people have inspiration-themed prompts. "Music inspiration for you", "want inspiration? go for a walk outside", etcetera.

But really, inspiration comes, at least for me, in the most unexpected moments, through the most unexpected circumstances and glimpses of images. I don't have a formula for what inspires me, and I never will, no matter how much I might analyze the things that have inspired me and motivated me to write in the past.

What random things have inspired you?

Monday, February 4, 2013

My Work In Progress

Well, this post has been sitting in my drafts since December 19. That is evidence that talking about my personal writing does not come naturally to me... but I did make a goal to talk more about it once I started these weekly posts, so that is what I'm going to do!

I was tagged in this questionnaire (awhile ago) but I'm finally going to complete it!

The book I'm talking about is the book that I'm currently outlining, which I talked about in my last post.

What is the name of your book?

The working title is "I Am Terrible At Coming Up With Titles". See this post.

(Actually the working title is "Percy", which really isn't much better in my opinion).

Where did the idea for your book come from?

I'm not sure. I think I was just walking home from school one day in the winter a few years ago, and I had this idea to write a story about an invisible girl, and the story starts where some guy tells her she's invisible (because he is too). I've since changed the POV from the girl's perspective to the guy's.

In what genre would you classify your book?

YA dystopian? Maybe? It kind of has that flavour, I think.

If you had to pick actors to play your characters in a movie rendition, who would you choose?

I have no idea, although the actors on The Lizzie Bennet Diaries are pretty amazing.

Give us a one-sentence synopsis of your book.

17-year-old Percy Collins used to be invisible, part of the world of invisible people called Unseens, until he was injected with the legendary antidote to invisibility and for the first time in history, it worked on him, thus making him a very valuable person in the Unseen world. (Trouble ensues).

(Forgive me for that summary... it was the best I could come up with on short notice).
Is your book already published?


How long did it take you to write your book?

It took me 2 years to complete it ("it" being the first draft - I've a long way to go before it's FINISHED finished) once I'd started. But the thing is, I hardly worked on it nonstop. So I don't think the length of time it takes to write a book is equal to the amount of work or effort you put into it. (In my opinion). If I would've worked on it nonstop, I probably could've finished in a few months at least. But life happens.

What other books within your genre would you compare it to? Or, readers of which books would enjoy yours?

Hmm... well I suppose I would link it to the obvious dystopians The Hunger Games and Divergent, although my book is quite different from both of them. The ways they are similar are: 1. Focus on the relationships between characters and a lot of character and character relationship development and 2. The focus on the fight to create the best world they can from the circumstances. I think these are the main similarities.

What authors inspired you to write this book?

John Green and Suzanne Collins both inspired me by creating an overwhelming desire in me to create something both meaningful and potentially world-changing, or at least worldview-changing. I want to make people think. What I learned in history in grade 11 and 12 (the 2 years I wrote it) also influenced my writing. We were learning about single-party states and Castro and Stalin, so I thought a lot about them and how they came to power and their influences as I wrote.

Tell us anything that might pique our interest in your book.

There are lots of good characters, and the MC grows as a character, and in my opinion this is the best thing I've ever written and therefore my favourite thing that I've ever written. I love the characters and I definitely think that it would be easy for others to fall in love with them as well.

I suppose now I should tag people - let's just say whoever reads this, do it, and then post a link or tweet me or something (or just write about your book in the comments). I want to know what you're writing about. :)


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