Tuesday, April 27, 2010


It's one of the things that I love about writing. Your life can be a total mess. You could have kids catching your house on fire and your work blowing up all around you and yet the moment you sit down to write, those worries can disappear for just a little while. Ok, maybe not for extreme cases like those examples but you get the point. I always wonder what I'd do if I didn't have some kind of a outlet. Paint sure... but it's writing where I can get out frustrations. Writing where I can get knee deep in situations I wouldn't usually.

If you didn't write, what would you do?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Writing emotions...

I've been watching a lot of movies lately. Today, I watched My Sister's Keeper. Although I didn't necessary like it (I knew going in it wasn't going to be a happily ever after), I did get something out of it. The movie is a heart wrenching tale of a young girl who wants to be medically emancipated from her parents. You see, her sister got leukemia at a very young age. Since neither her parents nor brother was a donor match, the parents did something-- they genetically ensured a baby would be born with the right genetic material that would ensure a match.

Anna Fitzgerald was used to donating for her sister, whether it was blood cells, marrow or whatever. But it isn't until her sister relapses that Anna makes the decision (at age 11) to sue her parents for medical emancipation. One thing about this movie, despite me definitely NOT liking the mother and the way she handled everything, was that it knew how to pull on a person's emotions.

It didn't just explode at the black moment, but was there in the beginning. Every scene, every new character arch that was revealed, the emotion was there, raw and in your face. And it was there until the end.

Would I watch it again? No. The mother really really was not a sympathetic character. I wanted to smack her, to demand that she pay more attention to her youngest daughter, to listen to what she and the others were saying instead of having everything be about her. Most of all, I wanted the sister to live. Realistic? No, but Denial might as well be my middle name.

What I did get out of the movie, was how to build up that emotion instead of suffocating the audience with it. For that, I do think if you're wanting to write a heart-wrenching story like that, My Sister's Keeper would be a good movie to watch. No matter what the outcome was.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pushing the envelope on satisfying endings-- Lovely Bones *Spoilers for those who haven't watched*

I don't always need a happily ever after.

I DO prefer them, but I don't NEED them. However, I do need a satisfying ending. It doesn't matter whether it is in a book or movie (disclaimer: the book might have been better, more satisfying, but this is from the movie's point of view), when the story is something so emotional as having to do with finding a murder suspect, I WANT/NEED justice to be fully served.

This comes after having watched Lovely Bones yesterday. For a movie that is driven by a desperate father (played by Mark Walhberg) trying to figure out his daughter's murder, I needed more. More than the bad guy being killed by karma. I wanted that final confrontation. There was none. The emotion role of the parents seemed to drift off the map the moment they're reunited.

Yes, it did show the cops showing up at baddie's house, but he was already gone. He was already dumping the body. And that's another point I didn't like. I wanted the body to be found. For the family to finally be at peace. Yes, they know she's dead and there's nothing that can be done about that, but there's more to it... I wanted closure. Instead the dead heroine got the one thing she always wanted -- a kiss from her crush-- while her body was disposed of.

There was a play up of one girl, a young teen who sees ghosts. She makes friends with the crush. I wanted there to be more with her. She was brought in, made out to be someone important and in the end, all she was there for was to help the young girl kiss the boy she wanted. Talk about introducing a character who isn't needed. Extra padding. That random tangent threw me. I wanted her (because she SAW the baddie pushing the safe where the body was) to run out and stop him. I wanted her to do SOMETHING for that body to be found.

But no.

And in the end, I was left feeling cheated and sickened. The concept was there for it to be a good heart wrenching, emotional story. I WANTED it to be. But the plot holes ate up the story faster than the hole ate up the safe.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Contest: Romance Yardsale

Bria Quinlan and MG Buehrlen are two YA writers attempting to get to Nationals this year. To help them, they've created the Romance Yardsale for the writer. There's more than tshirts but notebooks and mugs designed by these two talented writers. You should check it out! They're awesome!

At Romance Yardsale they are having a contest. Enter by doing one of the following items by April 23rd. Check it out!

To earn entries for the drawing:

1) Pick your favorite Romance Yardsale item.
2) Post a link to that item on your blog and tell us why you like it = 1 entry
3) OR Post a photo + link to that item on your blog and tell us why you like it = 2 entries
4) Tweet a link to your fave item saying, “This is the coolest t-shirt/mug/(whatever your item is) ever!” (make sure to mention @briaquinlan OR @mgbuehrlen) = 1 entry
5) Comment on the RY blog = 1 entry

Friday, April 16, 2010

Double Standards, this is Alexia calling...

I've been thinking a lot about tear jerkers. I'm not a fan of them. I don't like that they pull on your emotions. I'm not a puppet to have its strings pulled but sometimes, I will admit I don't mind it. The difference is very clear however usually. There's a line that for me you just don't cross.

Times when tear jerkers are okay:
- the birth of a baby when everything is all super charged with energy
- moments like in the Blindside when you just FEEL for the characters and want to cheer them on and see them succeed
- when a char fights so hard against something and then succeeds against all odds

When it isn't okay:
- the main char dies
- anything by Nicholas Sparks

Okay that's pretty much the line for me. I hate it when main chars die, whether it's in a movie or a book. I feel like it was wasted paper and I could have spent my time doing something else that would have been more gratifying.

However, and the reason I've thought about this lately, is because... I was doing my middle stance plotting (let's be honest, it isn't plotting but for me... it's something more than half-assing my writing), and well... I need to do something I vowed I wouldn't. I have to kill someone off. I hate it. Hate the thought of it. But... for it to be more realistic, I need to. This is a double standard I'm just going to have to write out.

I am... a hypocrite but, at the same time, it's all part of a writer's journey. Right? Maybe if I say that enough I'll actually believe it one day.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Author trading cards?

I came across these today and LOVED them. I mean why shouldn't romance writing have trading cards? This is absolutely genius and the creator of them... I give her mad props. How fun are these? Check them out here for more detail: