Today I thought I'd try this out, potentially to become a regular feature. I'm going to go through my Pinterest feed and give you a sample of what's on Pinterest now. This way I can show you some posts beyond (as well as in) humor, for your enjoyment and edification. So here you go! I'll be posting the last ten things I pinned, in reverse order. (Click on captioned images for the source and full size.)
Hello, dear readers! Today I thought I'd share some thoughts on point of view and how it affects the way that readers/viewers look at the characters in a story.
If any of you have taken advanced English classes of some kind, you might know a little about how readers can be deceived by an "unreliable narrator," as they're called: someone who's suffering from a mental illness, has a highly skewed perspective, or has other reasons to be lying to themselves and to the reader. Advanced readers know that you can't take everything that any POV narrator of a story says at face-value. Even plain ordinary people aren't aware of all the depths and intricacies of themselves and their situations.
This exemplifies how point-of-view can strongly affect the way you look at the characters in a story. If you're in the perspective of a character who hates another character, the odds are high you as the reader will also hate that other character. Same with the narrator's friends, family, etc. With POV, you're looking at the world from the eyes of another person, and that person has opinions.
As you may be aware of, recently I've been very engaged in analyzing TV and movies for their writing, structure, and tropes. One thing I began thinking about is POV and the way it affects the audience in light of the BBC show Sherlock.
You see, I was editing WHAT IT TAKES TO DEAL, and my critique partner Julia warned me to be careful about the way my narrator speaks. Suzanne has a lot of attitude, and when Julia pointed it out, I realized that sometimes she did actually come across as cruel and unrelatable. I hadn't even noticed when I was writing. Struggling, though, to figure out the line between being interestingly attitude-y and being standoffish, I said to Julia, somewhat in jest, "But Sherlock's a complete jerk, and we love that show!"
A while back, I wrote a post about creating challenges for myself when I write. That got me thinking about how else I challenge myself in life, which got me thinking about what I do on my summer vacations. So today I thought I'd tell you guys a little bit about how I challenge myself every summer.
My summer challenges started somewhat on accident. It's not until recently that I realized there was a pattern. They're generally cultural challenges, expanding my knowledge to get me into the world a little more. It began, I think, in middle school.
When I was in elementary school, I was very uncultured. I never watched TV or movies. The only music I listened to was Enya, Vivaldi, and Tchaikovsky. I spent a lot of time reading, obviously. However, I was very resistant to anything popular in the literary world, which I talked about a bit in an earlier post on book snobbery. I spent a lot of time crafting and cooking and baking, and I even knew how to crochet. (I've since lost interest in all of these things.) I probably would have been in love with the crafty side of Pinterest, except I didn't believe in the Internet either. I lived in a sort of old-timey historical kind of world, culture-wise. I was probably one of the only ten year olds who regularly read the paper.
I already knew that I wanted to be a writer, though, so by the time I graduated elementary school, I'd already completed two novels, and, thanks to a school project for the GATE program, I knew a lot about publishing. Not nearly as much as I know now, not hardly, but enough that I decided, during the summer before middle school, to send out my second novel to publishers. That was going to be my summer project, and that is the first one I recall doing as such.
So that was my Challenge of Summer 2006: Begin sending out to publishers.
So, today I thought I'd branch out a bit and give some thoughts on a topic I actually don't know a whole lot about: horror-writing. Since I started college, the topic of horror has been on my mind a lot. I'm really not sure why. I'm a sensitive person, emotionally, so I've never been able to stomach horror.
But during college my first year, I made friends who actually watched horror stuff. It started with us going to see a completely innocuous movie that had a commercial for the horror movie Mama. I couldn't even watch the trailer, I was so freaked out, but they all got excited, and after that went on a horror movie marathon.
It got me thinking about why horror is so powerful and about what it is that scares us the most. This thought continued as I began watching Doctor Who, which has some pretty intense horror-inspired episodes throughout, and then on as I began to read some horror novels for the heck of it. Recently, I got into the TV show Supernatural, which is a horror-type show. (I think my opinion on horror may be changing--or at least my tolerance of it.)
In the midst of all this, I had one unifying thought--some of the most powerful horror stories involve children. (Obviously, not all of them. Horror also commonly revolves around shocks, death, and blood and gore. However, it is a common motif.)
Hello all, and welcome to another "on this day in my history!" Let us go back in time, through my plenteous diaries, and see what happened to me throughout my life on the Ides of March, starting in 2006.
March 15th, 2006, 6th Grade
The majority of this entry was about music class, where we were prepping for this musical about ancient history. We also did some debate in GATE class, found out one of the teachers was pregnant, and everything else went normally.
No March 15th entry in 2007.
In writing this title, I discovered that "quandrum" is a slang word, and not actual English. It's apparently a combination of "quandary" and "conundrum," which I did not know. So that's cool, but I'm gonna use quandrum anyway, because it's cool.
So. Today I wanted to discuss the "likability" quotient in characters and how it effects your publishability (which is also not a word), readership, and everything else. There's a bit of controversy over this, and I wanted to throw my thoughts into the mix.
Commonly, books are rejected because the main character does not possess this quality of "likability." Readers also will look down on characters who don't possess "likability." But there's a few important questions to ask here: a) what is "likability" exactly? b) is it really necessary for a good character? c) is there a component of sexism to this?
What Is Likability?
Naturally, "likability" is somewhat subjective. Do you relate to the character? Do you think they're a good, morally sound person? That's going to depend on your own preferences and life experience. A character someone else really likes might be a character you hate, or only tolerate. You might consider there to be multiple kinds of "likability," different traits and different actions that can be accepted or appreciated.
For those of you who don't know, Tumblr is a social media site very famous for its fandom-ing. Lots of fans of TV shows and movies and books on there. It basically works as a picture/gif/text sharing site, and your personal page is called a "blog". Some people blog exclusively on Tumblr.
Now, I had a Tumblr for a while, but I became intimidated by the culture there, so I switched to Pinterest. However, there are some Tumblr blogs that I really like, and I still check them out. So today I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite blogs on Tumblr! Enjoy.
*For the 5/27/15 update on this post, click here.*
Dating Tips from the Doctor and Friendship Tips from Sherlock
If you're looking for a good, fun fandom blog for either Doctor Who or Sherlock, these are the way to go. Run by the same person, these two Tumblrs take fan suggestions and create "tips" from these two protagonists on the two subjects they're probably worst at: for the Doctor, romance, and for Sherlock, friendship. Occasionally, as well, people will ask for specific advice then "answered" by one of the characters. This makes for some fantastic hilarity, naturally.
Today, because one of my readers asked, I'm sharing what motivates me as a writer. They say that writers, the best of them, write because there is something indefinable inside of them, something that makes them write. We write because we must. While this is commonly true, there are many successful writers out there who consider writing a side project rather than a need, and even born writers struggle oftentimes with motivation. Writing is an extremely difficult career, as are all the arts.
So here's a list of a few things that keep me going when I'm down in the dumps or just generally not feeling it.
Great Artwork of All Kinds
Because writing is a form of art, a creative expression by which you reveal something to the world, it is often inspired by the other art that can be found all around us. Pinterest has actually been a great piece to help me with my motivation. I have boards where I can pin quotes and artwork of all kinds, relating to other stories I greatly admire, to my own works, or to nothing in particular.
Similarly, great music (I work well with movie scores) can help you gain inspiration and motivation. If it connects with you, there's something there to feed off of. Use it!
Of course, most of all, other stories give you a bouncing point from which to work, not only teaching you how to refine your craft in innumerable ways, but also giving you bits of inspiration and a greater understanding of what speaks to you. Movies, television, and especially books are great inspiration pieces and incredible motivators. Make use of them!
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