Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What's Up Wednesday: I'm Not a Morning Person

My brother really needs to get his driver's license so that I don't have to drive him to college. That requires me to get up at 6:45 AM. I've never functioned well at that time. My morning classes even in elementary school were horrible because I was so tired and had so much trouble focusing my attention. I blame that for why I hate math. Nope, getting up early results in days like today, where I was completely burned out and frustrated by 6 PM. If I hadn't pre-written this post, I wouldn't WUW this week.

I took a nap. I wish I could retake all those naps I wanted to skip as a kid.

Me this evening.
Anyway, writing! I finished my Ready Set Write! side goal for the week: complete a scene from Contracted and start the next one. However, I'm worried that my voice/style will change as I get further into the story. I'm editing another WIP with drastically different characters, voice, and style. This is the first time I've been worried that working on two WIPs at once will affect them.

What I'm reading

I'm still working on Throne of Glass and MILA 2.0. I want to save MILA 2.0 for college so that I can pretend to be studying while I read it on my computer. Throne of Glass I'm taking slowly for a different reason: it's similar to Contracted in a couple ways, and I don't want it to influence the story I'm writing. They both feature assassins, and both are -- oddly -- inspired by fairy tales.

Sarah J. Maas got the idea for Throne of Glass from Disney's Cinderella. She apparently wondered how the "Cinderella flees the castle" scene would be different if Cinderella had done something really, really be an assassin who'd just tried to kill the prince. (Is that not awesome?) In the interview at the back of my edition, she says, "Throne of Glass has become more of an original epic fantasy than a Cinderella retelling, but you can still find a few nods to the legend here and there."

Meanwhile, Contracted was inspired by Little Red Riding Hood. I wondered, "What kind of terrible mother sends their young daughter alone through wolf-infested woods? ...What if she did it on purpose?" and it went from there. I also threw other fairy tale elements into the story, like an evil stepmother and the three brothers -- the youngest of whom is, of course, the most virtuous. The main character's name is also the heroine of a Russian fairy tale. My story seems to have stayed closer to the original tale than Throne of Glass did, and apart from those two elements, they have nothing in common. It just struck me that I would pick up Throne of Glass in the middle of writing a fairy-tale-inspired story about assassins.

What I'm writing

I like editing and rewriting, but I have to work on something new just to give myself a break. Contracted has become my primary project for now. I may have written a truly unlikeable protagonist. She's sympathetic from a certain point of view, but she also has the sociopath thing going on. It probably comes from not feeling like she could trust anyone in her childhood. 

Everyone in this WIP has mommy issues.

What else I've been up to

I mentioned last week that I was writing a review of Orange is the New Black. I posted it over the weekend. It's long, but I'd appreciate the thoughts of anyone who wants to take the time to read it. :) Several people expressed interest in it last week, so head on over there if you like! I'm aware that it was a book first, but as I haven't read the book, the review is strictly of the show. Fair warning, though: if you loved the show, you're not going to like my review. I didn't hate it, but neither did I fall down and worship at its feet like some of my friends have. Here's an excerpt:

Her bisexuality -- excuse me, I mean her "choice" between gay and straight; there are no "bi"  people on this show -- is presented as yet another aspect of her entitlement. Which reinforces the stereotype that bisexuals are entitled sluts who just want it all and can't "choose" like normal people. Or that bisexuals don't exist because "bi" people are really just "undecided."


It's not cringe-worthy, but it's not the ultra-progressive show some people seem to think it is.

What inspires me right now

I can't stop watching Pentatonix videos on YouTube. I think I'm officially a Pentaholic.

Also, I will take full blame for any hours of your life enriched by going to YouTube and looking them up. :)


  1. Congrats on meeting your RSW goals! Good luck this week!

    1. Thank you! And thanks for stopping by!

  2. That's a cool idea for a story. You do have to wonder why anyone would send their child out into wolf-infested forests. But then I think about my mother letting me walk into town, or catch a bus on my own when I was 11--times change, I guess. Still, an excellent premise for a story. All the best with that, Laura. :)

    As for an unlikeable protagonist, I know people say you should make your MC as likeable as possible or your readers won't be able to connect and care for him/her. But this doesn't have to be the case. I don't think either Heathcliffe or Catherine are particularly likeable characters, but there's something compelling about their story that makes WUTHERING HEIGHTS work, at least IMO. I think it's about making them relateable, and giving them something in their character for you to care about (in the Catherine/Heathcliffe example, I think it was their love for each other).

    Have a great week!

    1. Thank you :) The Red Riding Hood original story is darker than the version most people hear, where the hunter comes along, cuts the wolf's stomach open and saves the grandma and girl, and then sews stones into the wolf's stomach. Or kills the wolf. That story tells kids, "Someone always comes to save you." In the original, the wolf wins. There is no hunter. The original is supposed to be a scary story intended to warn kids about wild animals -- and people -- who prey on children. It's basically teaching street smarts. :) I've always liked the story.

      I certainly hope people can relate to the MC at some level. She is in a difficult situation, and hopefully people can feel sympathy for that and understand where some of her unpleasantness comes from...


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