Friday, July 29, 2011

Review - "Divergent" by Veronica Roth

This was one of my birthday present this year and I'm excited that my friends picked it up for me. I thought that the characters were completely awesome, even the bad ones. I really liked the pacing and felt that the present tense of the story helped add to the characters feelings of being different in a place that is completely like how she grew up.

I finished the book in a week which is about average, but wished that I could have spent more time in the world. I did read that there is a sequel in the works, which is awesome and I can't wait.

Since this is one of the most popular books going on right now, I think I read it was number 7 on the NYT Bestseller list, what did you think of it?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Football's back

For those of you that have been following me since last year, you understand how much I love the game of football. Now that it's back with a shortened offseason, my heads on a swivel looking for all the news that I cna find. So I have been busy trying to keep track of my team.

All I can hope for is that my Carolina Panthers can do a lot better than last year. Sorry, but I'm excited for this and I know that this isn't writing related. I'm just excited.

Monday, July 25, 2011

"Captain America" - Review

My wife and I wanted to complete the Avenger stories before the next movie comes out next year and saw the last of the origin stories, "Captain America" this weekend.

Now this movie is a bit different from the others as it is set in the 40's during World War 2, which makes Captain America the oldest hero in the Avengers. This movie didn't take itself too seriously, and I think that worked in its behalf. The characters were well done, especially the never give up attitude of Captain America.

The special effects of the movie were good, especially how they made the actor Chris Evans, who played the Captain, puny in size before his transformation. It was well done and I wouldn't have known anything if I didn't hear how they did it before the movie.

Now the plot was a bit up and down in terms of how things flowed. I didn't really care for his little show stuff that they had him doing before he got into the war, but once that passed it was a pretty good action flick.

Overall, for those of you that are comic book fans, this is a must see. For those that have no real idea who the Captain is, then might want to rent. 4/5

Friday, July 22, 2011

Character Interview - Kellen

I got this idea from one of my other crit partners and thought that I would try it with my current character cast to help everyone understand them better. This first one is going to be with the main character's love interest - Kellen

Thanks for joining me today, how have you handled your new found relationship with Rebecca?
She's one of a kind for sure. I think that I've been supportive, helping her out when she needs it. It's been fun chilling with her since the incidents in Peakside. I just hope that I can keep up with her.

Keep up with her?
Yeah, I mean she just took on that Cole guy which from what I've gathered is one of the strongest Followers in the nation. That's got to mean something.

How's your relationship with Alex now, you know, after the whole Peakside thing?
It's a bit different. I'm dating his sister which is awkward, but he seems distracted if you know what I mean. He's a good guy, but it's not the same anymore. We've sort of grown apart, but we're still friends you know?

Yeah, I can understand that, it's hard sometimes. So what's your plan now?
I still plan to graduate from Peakside High this next year, then I'm not sure. I haven't really thought that far. Maybe college, maybe be Rebecca's sidekick. Hahaha, no but for real, I want to graduate from Peakside High and then see where things are then.

You still want to go there after all that's happened? Why?
Because that's still my home, my friends are still there, my family still. Despite the changes, I still call Peakside home. Now Rebecca on the other hand...

That's cool. Do you think Peakside would welcome her if she wanted to return?
Yeah, I mean, she did do some pretty brave things and all. It might be weird at first, but over time things calm down and return to normal.

I don't think so, but if you say so. What do you think is next for Rebecca?
I don't know. Since everything that's happened, you know, she's grown up. She's seen a side of life that not many of us will ever see and survived. 

That sounds sort of scary, do you think she wants you around still?
Yeah, we still hang out and do the couple thing, but sometimes I just see it in her eyes. She wants to be out there saving people and such. She's not shy anymore, she's enbraced who she truly is and that's one tough chick.

One last question then I'll let you get back to your day. What do you think is going to happen with The Collector now?
You mean since he's not dead and all?

I don't know. I mean there are still some questions whether or not he'll wake up or just remain in the coma. I just don't know.... And I don't think Rebecca or Alex know either. Thank you.

Thank you for your time. 

So what did you think of Kellen? What did you think of the interview, especially for those who have read the book? I don't think I gave anything away, but still kept it true to his character.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Sorry about missing Monday, I had the day off from work for a wedding and just completely forgot about blogging beforehand.

On to today's post, I have my manuscript out with Beta readers and so far have received a bit of feedback. The rest shouldn't be back until the end of the month, so about two weeks. In the meantime I'm Beta reading for a crit partner and have noticed something in the way I critique.

I am a more story oriented person, looking at plot and character inconsistencies. I notice the grammar, spelling, or punctuation  if it stands out, but generally I read for story. I don't know if that makes me a better or worse partner, but I have noticed that it's the way I work.

Maybe that's why when I go over my own work, I miss things that should be easy to spot such as a comma instead of a semicolon. One thing I did learn that I probably learned years and years ago, was the comma after sentences in dialog where the said tag is after the dialog. Seems like such an amateur mistake too, oh well.

What is your method of feedback for others? What are some of the mistakes that you can see in others work, but miss completely in yours?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Happy Birthday to me

So today is my birthday so I'm going to share a post with pics.

First let's all say:

Then we will open these:
Finally we will:

Everyone enjoy the day because it's mine and I said too.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Google +

This past week I was invited into Google +, the new hot thing in Social Networking. It's basically a direct competitor to Facebook, but in my opinion better.

The pros:
I like the way your circles dictate what information you want to read. I don't have a constant stream of stuff that I can't sort and make heads or tails of at times. This way if I'm in the mood to read stuff my my fellow writer friends, I can just look at what those in my "writers" circle are talking about. Same with friends and family. It makes organizing what I am looking to read easier. Unlike Facebooks everything in the same screen approach.

I like the way that it is connected to the other google services, and will be more tied in the future. So far I can see the possibilities with gmail and blogger. Really excited about these.

The Hangouts. I haven't gotten to try this yet. I plan to get some writer friends together to give it a test run as soon as I can. I think this could be very beneficial to have a sort of web/live crit group going at times. Even just to have company while writing if you like. If they can tie this into Google docs it can also be used collaborate over projects as well.

Sparks, haven't used much so I can't comment on it, but what I gather it is about certain interests and pulls relevant news stories for you to read. I'm not sure as like I said I haven't used it much.


The limited release so far. It's got far fewer people on it, so connecting with old friends or classmates is more difficult, but this could change in the future as more people adopt it.

That's it for cons now. Like I said I've only been playing with it for less than a week, but so far its impressive as another Facebook. Right now I still use both, but once I get more used to the Google + features, I think that it could be a full time replacement. Only time will tell.

Btw, Monday's post was written using my new cell phone and the blogger app, did anyone notice any difference? I think with all these new toys, I will have to do an updated technology for writers post with some new gadgets that I have implemented into my toolbox recently.

What do you guys think of Google + for those of you that have it? If you would like an invite I will see if I can do so, but I think I heard it might be open for all google account holders now. If not, and you want in, please let me know in the comments with your email and I will send you an invite so you can see for yourself.

Monday, July 11, 2011

How rearranging a bedroom relates to writing.

So the weekend we had to rearrange our bedroom to make room for a new desk. It got me thinking how much we rearrange our books before its finished.

We might move a character from a scene to make a better entrance later on, or to set up something later. We might also move a certain scene for more impact. In my current project I expect to move certain things around to make it better. How do you guys handle the rearranging of you book? I bet mystery writers do it more than others.

Are you guys like me and have a separate file for things to save field later? I use it to store things that don't fit yet but could work later on. What are some of you writing techniques for organizing your novel?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Movie Review "Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon"

Now I want to preface this with the comment that I grew up watching these cartoons and have enjoyed the previous two for what they were. Summer Blockbusters.

My wife and I saw this movie Sunday and I knew going in that the reviews were terrible. Now I'm not one to really care what reviews say, but they did keep me from expecting much. We decided to plop down for 3D, our first in about a year. Yikes $22.50 for the two of us. Good thing we didn't bring any of the kids.

Now I'll first say that I thought that the 3D was used well in the movie, jet smoke coming out, bits of robot flying toward you, but there is a scene where there are skydivers, and the 3D was pretty pretty amazing.

The story was passable. Blah blah robots fight, some die, some live. Nothing to really write home about, but for a Summer Blockbuster it was enough.

The characters, Shia did a good job for his role and I agree with him that the story of Sam is pretty much done. The new female lead was no better or no worse than Megan Fox, she's there for eyecandy that's about it. The robots, they did focus more on them and got the audience emotionally attached in this one more than they have the others, which I thought was nicely done.

The overall package wasn't great, but my wife and I like these types of movies because they are mindless fun that you can enjoy without thinking too much about it. Pretty good time at the movies. I give a solid 3/5.

Have you seen the movie? What did you think about it?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Trouble with Endings

I just finished my WiP 2nd draft, and still am struggling with the ending. I think that it's rushed, but not sure how to slow it down. Since I promised Beta's that I will be sending it today, actually that was supposed to be last Friday.

I am going to take some time to think about it and how to tie it up better. I will let my Beta's give me their feedback and take it into consideration, but ultimately it's up to me. I have to decide whether it works for the characters, or if its too forced. Maybe it ends too fast, or maybe too late and I should end it earlier. So many options.

What are some of your favorite endings in books, maybe I could get some ideas of how to end it?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth of July

I hope you all enjoy the day with your families. I volunteered to work today for the extra money. :) Everyone be safe and have fun.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Feedback, what kind do you like?

Now that I'm about to send my WiP out to some Beta readers, it made me wonder what sort of feedback do I like. I'm all about story while I'm writing, focus on plot, action, and characters, but I also know my weakest thing during the first draft is the character relationships. I usually have a great main character, while the rest of characters are only partially complete.

I also know that I can get into a passive voice at times, which is hard to notice while writing and is usually picked up on subsequent readings.

My plot usually flows pretty well, I think I enjoy moving from one action to the next without much in the ways of missing parts, however, for a first draft some of the things that show up later need to be introduced a bit earlier.

If you're following, when I send it out for readings, I like a lot of feedback, nothing is too small or too big. I also feel that I have a thick skin, meaning lay into me, I won't mind, because I'm of the mindset that if one person notices it, its just that person, if two people notice it, it's something that needs to be looked into and if three people notice it, then it's something wrong.

What sort of feedback do you like when you are getting read?

Oh yeah, next step, thanks to comments on Wednesday's post is the query letter and synopsis.