Tuesday, December 29, 2009

How Rowling Keeps Me Sane

It's really hard to portray love.  It's glaringly obvious when it's done terribly.  As someone trying to be an author, a published author, who's making love a prominent theme in his story, portraying such a bond is a daunting prospect.  I keep thinking about the stilted dialogue between Anakin and Padme from Episode III.  "You're so beautiful."  "It's only because I'm so in love." I died right there.

The love I'm trying to get across in the novel is not necessarily between a man and a woman.  It's between brothers, or between a man and his obsessions.  Even that kind of love is tricky and can seem forced, or cliche.  I'm especially wary of that last word.  Cliche.

Because love as a theme in any novel is cliche right?  Everyone loves, and somehow everyone is motivated by some kind of love.  Every character, I mean.  Think about The Road's main character, The Man.  He loved his son powerfully.  He wasn't going to let go of him.  So he walks in a postapocalyptic world amidst threats to his life on every side, human and non-human.  Or East of Eden's Trask Family.  Adam Trask was powered by a deeply delusional love for his wife.  This enabled the plot to move him towards the Salinas Valley, without which the novel's other themes would never come to light.  The word timshel would mean nothing without the crazy adoration of Adam Trask. 

Each instance was developed beautifully, but over the course of the novel.  We see The Man worrying and caring for his son each night by candlelight.  Adam Trask agonizes in the shadows of his home and his soul over the devil he married.  He does this for almost half the book!

I think the one thing that's saving my mind from going ballistic over this love crap is the Harry Potter series.  Say what you will of the writing - she uses "he said" and "she said" multiple times in one paragraph!!!  HOW?! - but the woman is a brilliant storyteller, no doubt.  And love is THE central concept of the entire series.  None of Harry's story would exist without love.  And she developed that over a slow, slow burn of seven books that nigh everyone loved.  Except some New York critic looking to make a splash by being the one dark soul hell-bent on nitpicking. 

Looking at her, I find a ton of inspiration.  A few months back, I was convinced by my mother that writing to her would be a good idea.  So I wrote a really neurotic letter with bad jokes, sent it, and got a reply only a couple of weeks later.  No, she didn't read it.  But her assistant did, and she was so incredibly nice.  I'm glad my inspiration didn't turn out to be a bitch.  This non-bitchiness only reaffirmed my belief that if I just stick to what I've got going in my head, I'll turn out alright. 

So, here's a question to you, whoever reads this.  What love scene has inspired you?  Or made you think, "That's so true!"  It can be from a movie or a novel, so long as it's a love scene that has inspired you, left you with your heart aflutter and your mind racing down memory lane.  You can leave any comments below.  Until next time then.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Book is a Beast

Hello Reader!  So let's begin this post with a lament.  No, it's more like a bastardized form of a complaint.  It's so hard to get a novel organized!!!  There are so many things being juggled around at once.  From sequencing to flow to tone, I'm reeling from the variety of plates I've got to keep spinning.

It's all due to the episodic nature of the novel.  I'm not talking about novels in general, I'm talking about mine.  Each chapter is devoted to one theme.  Will an agent think I'm just a schizophrenic teenage author?  It's scary wondering what someone will say about your work that's hundreds of miles away.

Actually, that might be the fear that's really behind my complaints.  Everything from sequencing of events to the tone of the novel are things I can fix.  I guess I'm not truly afraid of those things. I'm just being lazy.  What I'm really scared of are the agents that'll be reading my work.  They don't have an emotional attachment to who I am and what I'm trying to do.

I read a lot of the interviews that these agents give.  They're so damn generic about what they want.  It's like trying to interpret a woman.  Yes means no, but only on Tuesdays when you're having Fried Fish.  Otherwise, Yes means Yes, unless you've gone to the bathroom three times that day.  These are exaggerations, but read anyone of the links above to the Literary Blog.  Sometimes I feel like even these agents don't know what they want.

One guy said that he threw out the Lovely Bones because he couldn't handle it.  He had three daughters and he just couldn't bear to read about a little girl being raped and killed.  Well, how the Hell was Alice Sebold supposed to know that?  Do I have to stalk each and every agent I'm querying?  Should I not send my book to an agent whose father died when they were a young age?  It's baffling how subjective these guys can be, and I, as an author, still have to depend on them!

And then there's the hatred out there for science fiction.  Jeez, no really respectable agent represents it!  It feels like my name has to be Isaac Asimov for me to get published in the genre.  I don't even want to be published in that genre, I want to be in commercial fiction.  But I've got aliens and spaceships in my book.  Nothing matters except for those things.  I barely even have spaceships!  There's only one!  In the first five pages of the book!  And then it's gone.  Ya, I've got tons of aliens, but they're not the slithery kind that like to suck your brains out.  They've got passions and hatreds, loves and loss. 

I'm venting, yes.  But it feels good.  Anyways, I guess I'd better suck it up. It's normal I suppose to be afraid of putting yourself in the fire.  It's a part of life to be afraid of judgment and paranoid of ridicule.  It's also part of life to deal with stubborn people who only see one path, even though you see another.  I've got to convince them my way is the coolest, otherwise this book will stay a 300 page waste of hard drive space.  Let's hope this winter break changes that.  Until Next Time Then.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Let's Make Some Changes

Hello Reader.  I'm very sorry for not being on the blog the past couple weeks.  School took a hold of me.  Now that I'm back however, I do feel like some changes are in order.  I've been getting feedback about my blog, and it's been constructive.  Confusing seems to be the biggest complaint.  So, in order to make things less confusing, I figured I should have a new list of links in the sidebar.  These will take you to the first post of the blog that explains the underlying concept of the story, a list of the chapters in the first novel of the story, and a list of characters in the first novel.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of the important posts in this blog, but it does give the audience that's never heard of me before a really thorough outline of my first novel.

Another thing I should probably clarify is that the novel I keep talking about is only one portion of the greater storyline.  There are very few things that'll be solved at the end of this.  But it does suffice as a novel on its own, because there is a thematic end to the novel.

Of course, as always, if you want the first chapter, or want to know more, email me at rhessabi26@gmail.com.  Until next time then.