Wednesday, December 26, 2012

As 2013 Approaches

This is Katherine.
She is currently on the other side of the country.
Merry Christmas all! Or whatever else you might celebrate out there. 

As 2013 approaches, I think it is important that all us writers take a moment to think about our goals. Actually, New Years tends to be a good time for everybody to think about their goals. But because I'm a writer and this is my blog, of course my goals are going to focus on writing. 

I'm hoping to start and complete at least one if not two bigger writing projects in the new year. What is everybody else aiming for? 

- Bonnee. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The LOOK Meme: Snippet from my new WiP

My apologies to followers: this blog was meant to be posted over 10 days ago, before I went on a little holiday. But knowing that I wasn't going to have time to post it manually, I tried to schedule it to post itself and it didn't work. Hmph... Well, here you go anyawy! 

It might no longer be November, but that certainly isn't going to stop me from writing. So after printing off Katherine and express posting her to the other side of the country in time to enter the novella competition, I started planning out my next WiP. The working title of this one is Walls, and it's going to be a Young Adult/Dystopian. As I struggled along with the planning, I felt the need to take a break and write something... so I cranked out what would be the prologue, except that I know it's just a huge stupid info-dump that I'll end up deleting in the very first revision.

That said, JeffO from The Doubting Writer tagged me in the LOOK Meme, the idea of which is to find the first use of the word 'look' in your WiP and share it along with with some of its surrounding text. I decide to search the measly 796 words I'd written to see if I'd used it, and sure enough, word 357...

    In Lani’s absence, Mildred leaned into her brother again. “Jonah, what if they don’t let us through?”
    “They have to, Mil,” he said, rubbing her arm. “We’re good people looking for safety. They have to help us.” Their small family was processed along with every other family without identification. Jonah had to let her go to put an arm around their mother when she started weeping. “It’s okay, Mum. We’re safe here.” Mildred knew as well as her brother that his words would not console her. Their father was the only one who ever could when she lost her grip, and he had left The South before them to help keep the peace elsewhere.

Yeah, yeah, I know it sucks. Like I said; I already know I'm going to end up deleting what I have so far... most likely anyway.

Tagging time: 

1. Giora who always shares so much info about his book's setting, but who I would love to see an except from.

2. EJ, my fellow Aussie who recently mentioned that she needed a spark to get her back into writing. It would be awesome to see someone else who writes with Australianisms (mum instead of mom, colour instead of color, etc.) even if there's none in the excerpt.

3. Fiona, who's current WiP I believe is called Erase. I'd love to see a little snippet from you as you hurtle towards the finish-line.

Of course, I'd love to see something from EVERYONE, so feel free to participate anyway, and let me know so that I can check it out! And of course, if those tagged didn't want to share anything, that's okay too.

- Bonnee.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Thoughts: 'Paper Menagerie' by Ken Liu

First of all, NaNoWriMo is coming to an end! I reached my goals. Did you? That's great if you did, and better luck next time if you didn't. What happens next though? I think Chuck Wendig answers that question rather... colourfully... over at his blog in the post about wasting your efforts.

But on another note, today I wanted to talk about a short story that has won all three of Science-Fiction's major awards: the Hugo, the Nebula, and the World Fantasy Award. I just so happen to be talking about Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu. I'll thank Nathan Bransford for the link to the story he left on his blog, where I read it just minutes ago.

First of all, let me just say that I have a soft-spot for sad stories. The themes presented somewhat reminded me of the stories in Haruki Murakami's after the quake, which you've heard me gushing over plenty of times before. However, at the same time, it was a completely different experience. I really loved the story overall. My only issue was the (SPOILER ALERT) long letter at the end from Jack's mother, giving her life story. It seemed like an info-dump to me, but placing it at the very end of the story resolved some unanswered questions and tied things up nicely. Paper Menagerie is well written, heavily sentimental and presents real issues faced by some children from interracial families, whilst weaving the scenes with a touch of Chinese magic.

After reading the story, I continued to read the comments left by other readers. I was SHOCKED to see so many negative reviews slamming it! Initially, it really pissed me off and I sat there thinking what a bunch of thoughtless, narrow-minded pigs. And while I still hold some of that resentment, I've taken a step back to consider why those people reacted that way. Yes, it was a very sentimental and melodramatic story. That's part of why I enjoyed it, but I guess other people have different preferences to me.

Although I really did love this story, admittedly, I am among those who are surprised that it won all three of those awards. I didn't feel it represented the genre of science-fiction as well as the winner of those awards should have. Science-fiction isn't really my genre though (yet fantasy is? Is that weird?), so I probably ought not be the judge of it.

So there's two things we can all discuss in the comments: How did your NaNoWriMo go and what is your take on Paper Menageries

- Bonnee.

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