Thursday, January 31, 2013

Random Thoughts as I Read

  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is a far better book than Blade Runner is a movie.
  • I tend to skim fight scenes in books. I'm not sure why, considering I should be more interested in those parts, but even while reading the Mistborn trilogy, I couldn't get into them.
  • Choosing to read through all the Nebula and Hugo Award winners for best novel is going to slow my reading down a lot. Most were on my radar, but a bunch are new and part of long series. Time to start reading the Earthsea novels...
  • If I could win any award, it would be the Hugo Award. Talk about walking among giants.
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a fun story but a boring read. I'm not sure when I'm going to finish it.
  • John Scalzi might be popular, but he's not very good. He's got the ability to write, he can be funny when he's not trying to hard, but he has nothing to say. He's kind of the Bret Ratner of science-fiction. That might get me in trouble...
  • Right now, according to my Goodreads, my fantasy intake is Mistborn, Wheel of Time and the Clan Wars series. I just keep switching between those series without any new additions. Another reason to check out Earthsea.
  • I miss Michael Crichton a lot today.
  • After working through the last Mistborn novel, I'm taking a break with smaller books. If I can read a bunch of shorter books, I think it will be the break I need for something bigger. Of Mice and Men and A Wizard of Earthsea are on the table now.
  • I'm not really someone who can do audio books as a prime source of entertainment. I can read faster than they do in an audio reading. I'll listen when I have an eight hour car ride, but no on a regular basis.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The New Star Wars Director

I'm not happy with news of J. J. Abrams directing the next Star Wars movie.

When the Star Trek reboot came out, I loved it. I wanted the sequel to begin as soon as the first film's credits ended. So I know I can like an Abrams movie. I didn't like Super 8, but still.

But Star Wars too? Considering that the people in charge looked to Star Wars for ideas when rebooting Star Trek, it seems like a bad idea. Both of these are the biggest science fiction franchise alive and I would think the creators would want to keep them as different from each other as possible. Giving Star Wars the Star Trek director doesn't seem wise for either series.

I was excited when Lucas sold Star Wars. I thought it would give the franchise a chance to grow again, to feel new again. Now it's going to feel like Star Trek. It's such a bad idea I can't believe the producers have done it. It's crazy.

You wouldn't have Joss Whedon direct Justice League just because he did Avengers. You wouldn't have Peter Jackson direct a Wheel of Time movie just because he directed The Lord of the Rings.

The producers should have been looking for someone who has made similar work, but not that similar! What about the up and coming directors who have done smaller science fiction work but could use the boost? Get the guy who did District 9 or the kid who made Chronicle. What about people who have been showing style as of late? Mathew Vaughn brought the X-Men series back to a gold standard and Rupert Wyatt made the Planet of the Apes a place I wanted to go back to! Heck, if you're going for big names, Joss Whedon should have been the go-to guy. Not the guy who invented LOST and then made his fans angry.

Oh, maybe that's a little like Lucas after all.

To express some other issues and concerns I have, check out this video over at the Escapist. MovieBob makes some great points.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Back at the Keyboard Again

I'm about 35,000 words into my novel and I'm more encouraged then I've been before.

I used to write all the time as a kid. That was my thing. I wrote, every day. I was the kid who walked around with a notebook and pencil at all times, constantly scribbling like a manic. I came up with new stories every week and would write pages until I got bored. Or, I would sit and come up with all the characters and outline the whole thing, moving on to my next project before I wrote a single thing in my current work. A few times, I even finished my book. And then I would try to rewrite the whole thing.

In eight grade, I wrote the last story I would write for years. I don't know what happened. As soon as I entered high school (and dropped out soon after), I put down my pencil. I tried a few times, but I could never get back into the swing of things. Maybe, it was the depression that followed dropping out of school. Maybe, it was all the time I devoted to video games. Whatever it was, I just stopped writing.

When I started listening to Writing Excuses, something began beating again. As I listened, my heart seemed to recall the dream I had as a child, to publish a book and see it on the bookshelves of America. I had forgotten about that dream for so long, it took time to come back. With plans to take writing courses and the encouragement of the podcast, I started working on my epic once more.

Luckily, I've quit trying to write that story for now. It's only ever gotten in my way of writing. Instead, I'm working on a new book and I'm making major progress compared to my past attempts. This story has a full outline, with detailed plot changes, but enough is left unwritten that I'm excited to finish. Not only that, but the more I write this book, the more ideas I get for the next ones, something I used to have no problem figuring out when I was younger.

Whatever comes of this book, I'll just be happy when it's done and I can say I finished something. That's the goal. Will I send it in to a publisher? Maybe, but after many rewrites and alpha readers. I'm just excited to be writing and that's something the child in me can applaud.