Monday, January 29, 2018

Superhero Research, A Helping Hand, 5 Links, a Mom Moment, and #TheIWSG on Instagram

BTW - I'm sick today, so I may be slow at re-visiting and commenting. I had this post on "auto-schedule" before I realized I was under the weather.

Earlier this month, I realized that The Greenling Chronicles is just one giant mess and I needed to take charge, sort it out, tweak it, and re-plot my course. After reading through all of it, making notes, and creating a new plan, I realized that I'm going to have to throw out half the scenes I wrote last year for book 1 to make everything work the way I really want it to.


I stopped working for a few days a week and thought over that course of action several times. It's the right one. I just don't want to kill those misdirected darlings. But, I have to do it and I know it. Agh.

To find solace and to "plan" better, I "researched" the superhero genre by watching superhero movies and taking notes on them. I liked these movies before I started taking notes, but now, I'm super-impressed by the writing, directing, and editing. Yes, the acting is superb, too, but the way the scenes flow from one to another in Avengers is amazing.

For example: Pepper mentions to Colson that she needs a ride to the airport at the end of one of the beginning scenes,  and this is followed by a scene with a fighter jet rocketing along with Captain America and Colson on board. Every scene change in the movie is preceded by some hint - visual, audible, or dialogue - of what is coming next. It creates a seamless feel for the whole movie, despite jumping between various places and characters.

I am writing a multiple viewpoint book (three main characters), and I definitely want to create a seamless feel between viewpoint and scene jumps. So, I'm studying how this is done and hoping to recreate it in my writing.

How do you handle scene and character transitions? Have you ever researched superheroes or watched movies to help with your storytelling craft?

In the middle of my sulk-fest/solace-after-the-painful-breakthrough, I received an e-mail from a writer I met with a few times during NaNoWriMo. We don't know each other well, but she invited me to come write with her weekly at the library. We'll each be just sitting there writing, like we did during NaNoWriMo, but being asked to write with someone buoyed my spirits. So, I decided to invite another writing friend to join us. Hopefully, our group will grow and continue. For now, I'm just thankful for the helping hand - another author reaching out to invite me to write with her at a scheduled time and place.

Have you ever offered or been offered a helping hand? 

5 Links I Found Helpful Last Week:
Stripping Down My Prose: Risking the Removal of Adjectives 
4 Ways to Launch a Scene 
Power and Responsibility: Doing Philosophy with Superheroes (an Edx course)
5 Incredible Tales of Human Kindness
Everything You Need to Know About E-book Publishing Platforms

Mom Moment: My oldest daughter turned 19 and received a USB grant for her own small experiment within the lab she's been working in as an assistant since last fall. Since I stopped taking science classes so early that even my younger daughter has already surpassed me, I can't really explain the details of my older daughter's experiment even though I proofread the grant proposal. It has to do with bio-cement. Her small experiment comes under the umbrella of research being done in the lab by grad students and she'll still be working as an assistant when she's not working on her own research. She gets to present her research in April at a symposium, but she doesn't want me to make a big deal of it. My response: Are you kidding me, kid? I took hundreds of pictures of you when you slept as a baby and now I'm not supposed to get excited about this? Even the grad students and everyone in the lab applauded you when it was announced. I'm struggling not to shout from the rooftops.

Last ... check out the main plan for #writerwednesdays for #theiwsg on Instagram in February:

Also, we'll be posting some #motivationMonday posts! 


Natalie Aguirre said...

I admire you for recognizing that you need to make such major revisions and doing it.

Congrats to your daughter! That's an awesome accomplishment. My daughter is a chemistry major and loves it. So not me, like you, but I'm glad she found her passion.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations to your daughter! Take a thousand pictures. That's what moms do.
Smart to note that about The Avengers.

Christine Rains said...

Congrats to your daughter! That is fantastic, and says what a terrific job you've done with your kids. :) Good work with your revisions and research. I do like research like studying superhero films!

Nick Wilford said...

That's a good reason to watch superhero movies! Coming to such a realisation can be difficult, but it's good you've worked out what you need to do and can make a plan going forward. Congrats to your daughter. That's very exciting!

Misha Gericke said...

I have watched movies for "research," but mostly it's just my standard watch-for-fun-and-absorb-what-you-think-works-great kind of habit.

Best of luck with your revisions. :-)

Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor said...

Congrats to your daughter - what a wonderful mom moment :-)

Sorry you've been feeling sick. Hope you're on the mend.

All the best for the revisions. It's so hard to throw lots of work away, even when you know it's for the best.

cleemckenzie said...

Great Mom news today. Congratulations on your daughter's wonderful achievement.

I loved "misdirected darlings." I think I have a few of those to deal with, too.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Congrats to your daughter.

I'll try to post something for those Instagram challenges.

Karen Lange said...

Glad you got the boost you needed. :) I have gotten a helping hand, more than once, actually. So thankful for good friends far and wide. Congrats to your daughter. I agree - it is a big deal!

krystal jane said...

Avengers IS amazing! And I've totally taken notes from movies, so it made me happy to read that. ^_^ And it's so great you have someone to sit and write with! I wish I did.

Congratulations to your daughter! I'll cheer for her in silence with you. :) (whispering - so awesome!)

Hope the cold is on it's way out!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tyrean - I hope by now you're feeling easier. Congratulations to your daughter - what excellent news ... so well done to her. Good luck with the rethinks too ... cheers Hilary

Heather R. Holden said...

Hope you've been feeling better since this post!

And ack, I feel your pain when it comes to The Greenling Chronicles. I've had to do revisions that major for some of my own projects over the years, and it never fails to depress me. Those projects were always better off for it, though, so the extra work is definitely worth it. Good luck!