Thursday, April 23, 2015

In Which Elizabeth Cannot Decide On A Title

     Well, this was supposed to be the Camp NaNo Chronicles: Day 23, but...


     Can you keep a secret? Just between me and the hundreds of you on the internet.


      *whispers* I haven't written in several days.

      I hope to rectify this, however, by taking the esteemed Mr. Schwabauer's excellent advice and doing something completely unexpected, otherwise known as dropping a body out of the ceiling or making the house explode. As this is a mystery/adventure novel, either of those options could work (in theory). Though the minor character doomed to a tragic fate can't die quite yet...

      One of the downsides (or benefits, perhaps) of being a writer is how we come across to other people. If you've been reading the chronicles of the Wandering Typewriter or know me in real life, then you probably know that I often talk about killing characters. This often causes problems. For instance, I think I legitimately scared one of my classmates yesterday when I said that I knew quite a few ways to kill people. (It didn't help that I was wearing my "I'M PLOTTING AGAINST YOU. (I'm a writer. It's what I do." shirt.) Google searches can get interesting, too. ("What does getting stabbed feel like?") Nearly every modern-day writer has had to explain (or yell) to a concerned friend or acquaintance,"I promise I'm a writer; please don't think I'm a psychopath."

     Well, that was rather morbid. To end on a more cheerful note, happy Impossible Astronaut Day to my fellow Whovians! Actually...Impossible Astronaut Day is almost as morbid as the previous two paragraphs. It's the day after...well, to avoid spoilers, it's the day after something very very bad happened to the Doctor. Or almost happened. Fixed points in time are tricky things.

    Shall I attempt to explain Doctor Who?'s a British Sci-fi TV show, for starters, that's over fifty years old. But perhaps the best explanation comes from the Tenth Doctor himself:

"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually, from a non-linear, non-subjective point of view, it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey...stuff."

      Impossible Astronaut Day is when Whovians draw tally marks to act like we're counting Si--wait...what where we talking about again?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Beyond the Mask

     Finally. A independent film that has the qualities of being well-written, excellent acting, believable sets and costumes, and being a Christian film. Incidentally, it broke the record for the most tickets sold for a premiere of an on-demand movie. And also, it included Gimli in a powdered wig.

     I'm talking, of course, about Beyond the Mask.

     In my opinion, this independent film was better than many multi-million dollar ones *coughtheHobbitcough*. Independent and/or Christian films are often looked down upon for their poor storytelling, bad acting, and/or cheesy scripts. This film had neither. (Well, there were some cheesy moments (they're hard to avoid), but on the whole there weren't.)

     Warning: Spoilers to follow. (I would insert a gif of River Song saying "Spoilers", but don't want to break copyright laws. It's bad enough to make my characters mad at me without worrying about the law.) So if you haven't seen the movie yet, go see it and then come back and read this. Shoo.

     The main character (or hero, as I shall refer to him) is Will Reynolds, an mercenary for the East India Company. We aren't given much of his backstory, but we are given enough to pity the man, murderer though he is. The assassin character is often overdone, but in this case it was given an odd twist: an assassin who is giving it all up and beginning a new life.

     His previous boss isn't too happy about this, however. What happens, besides being spoilers, is an excellent sequence of events in story terms, if not for Will.
     After a tense and exciting series of events, Will finds himself the pastor of a small church and meets the charming Charlotte Holloway. I'm not here to summarize the movie (other internet sites have already done that), but to write a review, so let me talk about her for a moment.

     Charlotte is Will's love interest. I was pleasantly surprised by how strong of a character she is. Many female love interests are weak, flat characters that seem to have no other purpose than to look adoringly at the hero and scream at inconvenient moments, and are useless in general. Charlotte isn't a damsel in distress, but neither is she a very masculine, independent woman (like Tauriel). One of her defining traits is her faith, which isn't slapped on ostentatiously but is woven throughout the story. Also, her and Will are SO. ADORABLE. together. *cheesy smile*

     I am an exception to a general rule, I think, in the fact that I usually don't enjoy romance stories. There are a few exceptions to my dislike: John J. Horn's The Boy Colonel and the romantic subplot in Wayne Thomas Batson's The Sword in the Stars, for example. However, I find most of them cheesy or just plain unrealistic. It's rare that I find a believable, creative romance story or subplot. Beyond the Mask is yet another exception to my dislike. The romance story between Charlotte and Will is believable and very creative. An assassin and an English aristocrat; how complicated could that get? Then comes the scene where he proposes to her--in the rain. In the middle of the night. Right after burying someone. Way to go, Will.

     Another thing I really enjoyed was how intertwined the themes and the story were. Will seeks first revenge, then redemption. Charlotte's faith is so much a part of her that she would be a very flat character without it.

    And the villain...oh the villain. He had motivation. He had other goals besides destroying Will. He was kind at times, which contrasted with his cruelty. Will might have been the one wearing the physical mask, but it was the villain who truly wore one.

     Truth and lies. Redemption and revenge. The themes were there without being forced. In my opinion, Beyond the Mask is one of the best movies of the year. Take notes, other Christian filmmakers.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

In Which A Distracted Person Should Not Be Given Italian Food

     (Sequel to this post. )

     We all have different talents and abilities. Some people are skilled musicians, others are talented dancers, and some have personalities which facilitate those "necessary" communications in life. I have talents, too: I pop up in unexpected places, cry over my own stories, and have the makings of a creepy stalker. But today I realized that I had a previously undiscovered talent:

...I can microwave things beautifully. The microwave is above the stove, you see. I took out a plate of leftovers and spilled all but a few mouthfuls. *deep sigh*


Monday, April 13, 2015

The Camp NaNo Chronicles: Day 13

     Well. Almost halfway my shame, I reduced my goal from 30,000 to 22,000 words. Maybe if I get my act together I'll be able to increase it to my original goal., especially since I have some eager potential readers. But the good news is that I've found my plastic Narnia dagger as well as two training samurai swords (the former to throw at the computer and/or my stubborn characters, and the latter to discourage stubborn interruptions.)

     I really don't have much else to say, as I don't want to begin rambling about my characters. Though I do believe Warren shall visit tomorrow... Please feel free to ask him questions; it will do him good. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Character Takeover: Anastasia Forsyth

     I talked with my author, and I really don’t see how I can get out of this. I agreed to do it only because I thought it was to be a strictly factual exchange between me and one other person. She didn’t tell me that I’d be submitting to anarchy. Goodness, she has a lot of readers. Stop staring, would you?

     I suppose I should introduce myself. Warren calls me Holmes, and that’s what I prefer when meeting strictly for business purposes. Master Williams has already explained how this “takeover” thing works, I see; I pity you for having to listen to his post. He considers a “takeover” anarchy; I like to think of it as putting the power into more capable hands. (I would say my hands, but that’s a bit too egotistic for my tastes.)

     Oh dear…I slipped up a bit. Master Williams and I aren’t even in the same story, much less country. I would hate to be in a novel set in America; London can be bad enough, sometimes. My author is attempting (and failing rather miserably) to write my story for…what’s it called? Camp NaNoWriMo. She’s already dumped a ten year old on me and kidnapped my sister; I’m afraid to think about what might happen next.

     I shan’t end by begging for food like Master Williams, but I will ask for some tea. Oh wait…my author is an American, and so (I assume) are most of you. You drink your tea cold. Disgusting.

     If you have no tea forthcoming, I shall fetch my hat and go my way. Do tell me if the odd kidnapping or homicide turns up; I’m rather desperate for business. (Don’t create business for me by committing a crime, however.) With all the mystery novels set in London, one would think it would be easier to find work. Truth is often harsher than fiction. Emphasis on often.

     Well, I have a cat and a sidekick to attend to. I doubt we’ll meet again, but it was a pleasure. I apologize for my rather rude introduction, but I’m trying to solve a case. My…acquaintances…know not to bother me when that happens. Farewell.

Monday, April 6, 2015

On Siblings

I know for a fact that some of my followers know at least this one (rather odd) fact about me: I am the oldest of my siblings: three brothers. What does that entail, you might ask?

Well, this is how my youngest brother (Thomas) greeted our guitar teacher. I could go on, but as I think I shall keep the more amusing anecdotes for future blackmail. *innocent smile*

Needless to say, life would be incredibly boring, though perhaps a bit less chaotic, without younger brothers.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Camp NaNo Chronicles: Day 4

     Day four. 2,727 words. 27,273 words remaining until I reach my goal of 30,000. I did it once; surely I can do it again. Hopefully.

     Day one kicked off to a rocky start. I didn't begin writing until late in the evening, and didn't meet my daily goal. Day two was little better; the novel seemed to be fighting me every word of the way. (Or perhaps it was the characters trying to fight back before I did nasty things to them.) Day three, things finally began coming together like they ought to. Now, day four...I haven't written a word besides this blog post. If all goes as planned, I'll reach 4,000 words by tonight.
     I suppose some of you are curious. What goes into the making of a "great" novel? (I say great, but as we all know, first drafts are terrible. That's why they're called first drafts.) Again, a pictur  e says a thousand words:

     From left to right: A purple minion with a Sherlock hat (to remind myself of my genre, and also to represent the crazed state of the creative part of my brain), my notebook of character profiles, tea, and a warning not to annoy me. Not pictured: a pitchfork and a plastic dagger. 

     Well, I should probably get back to writing. Anastasia might turn up sometime today to say hello. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Camp NaNo Chronicles: Day 2

     (I would have written this yesterday if I had been a bit ahead of the game, but sadly I was not.)
     Ah yes. The beginning of NaNoWriMo usually fills us writers with hope and inspiration; bright dreams for the future, and few qualms about the quality of our writing. How did I spend the second day of this epic challenge?

     They say a picture says a thousand words, so I can safely say that my wordcount has been met today. 

...NaNo is hard on all of us.