Monday, October 31, 2011

Night of Horror

Hi everyone,

Just so you know, in my little corner of the universe, there's no such thing as Halloween. Unfortunately (just like Valentine's day), Halloween is starting to become a habit here as well. And I say unfortunately, because there's no trick-or-treating for kids. Just parties in lame costumes for teenagers and grownups, held in expensive clubs with lots of drinks. And then, there's horror movie night at the cinema.

Which is what I did Saturday through Sunday. It wasn't bad. I love going to the movies. Only that this year, the movies were kinda crap. Plus I still have that annoying cold, so it was rather sniffy for me.

What I will do now, is a little movie review. I know I haven't done that before, so I'll try to keep it short and simple. Here's the movie list: Final Destination 5, Fright Night, Shark Night, Dream House and Contagion. I didn't see contagion because we got bored/annoyed/tired and left. And got some sleep :)

Final Destination 5

What's going on:  Due to some freak premonition, a bunch of people escape death on a bridge. Only death isn't happy and kills them off one by one in gory freak accidents (which implies people getting crushed/cut/thrown out the window - you know, likely stuff like that).

What I think: The idea is interesting, but why make FIVE freaking movies using the same damn theme? This is not a horror movie. This is a gross-out movie. So if you enjoy those types of films, this one might be for you. (I thought it was better than Saw 6 or 7 whichever the hell I watched last year).
My grade: 4

Fright Night

What's going on: Some kid finds out that his neighbor is Colin Farrel (nuff said), I mean a vampire and tries to protected himself from him, then kill him to save his girlfriend.

What I think: I actually enjoyed this movie because... it was funny. CGI monsters don't scare me in the least, so I laughed through the whole thing. It's kinda like Zombieland with vampires, so if you liked that one, you might enjoy this one, too. So, no, this was not horror either.
My Grade: 6.5

Shark Night

What's going on: Some kids go on an island in the Bayou and are almost all killed by freakish sharks that are there for some lame reason, because they just couldn't stay the ef out of the watter.

What I think: This movie is like Scooby Do with sharks. The villains have a Scooby Do like plan (make money with sharks eating people videos - WTF?) and there's a dog there that kinda saves the day.

This movie was incredibly retarded. Here are a few examples as to why: in one scene, a guy out-swims a shark while carrying a human hand (don't ask how he found that). In the next scene, same shark out-swims a motorboat going extremely fast - so, yeah. There's an inserted plot device. The hero (who was wearing swimming trunks and a hoodie and didn't smoke) suddenly pulls out a lighter to burn off the plastic tying his hands together.... um, okay. There are stupid people. The MC cry-girl is shoved in a cage and thrown in the water for sharks to eat - only she can fit between the bars and get out - but she doesn't seem to realize that.

Lol, I ranted a lot on this one. I laughed out loud because it was THAT stupid. So, no, this was not horror either.
My grade: 2 (that's actually just for the entertainment value)

Dream House

What's going on: Some editor guy quits his job and moves into a small town with his family. While there, he finds out that the house was the scene of a crime. Big spoiler - he's the one who supposedly murdered his family there and his family is one big hallucination.

What I think: This movie wasn't half-bad. Except it was too much of a rip-off of Shutter Island. I personally loved Shutter Island and thought it a very smart movie. This one asks for a bit of intelligent thought and then simply insults your intelligence. In an effort to not make it a complete rip off, he finds out pretty fast that he's imagining that stuff and wants to find his family's killer (even if it's him). Well, it's not him, it's the neighbor who sent an assassin to kill his wife (for Scooby Do like reasons), and the guy got the wrong house. So... no, the conclusion is pretty darn retarded.
My Grade: 6.5 (for trying to be smart, I guess)

So this is it. Meanwhile, tomorrow is Nov 1st, which means NaNo is starting! I'm so excited about that. I'll keep everyone up to date with what I'm doing.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Casting call - Blog Hop (The character chalange part 2)

Told you I had fuel for another post on characters these days. I would've done this faster if I didn't have so much crap to do yesterday - but it was a productive day none-the-less, and it ended with a pretty much sleepless night because I had the wrong idea to drink an espresso at 7 in the evening  (not exactly my smartest move).

So, here's the deal with this awesome picture. Some lovely ladies ( Carrie, Melodie and Lisa) decided it would be fun to present some of our characters/stories with some visual aid (like pictures, photos, book-trailers or just plain drawings/scribbles).
I got the idea from Ian, so blame him for the tosh you're about to keep reading.

I suck at drawing. I wish I didn't, I wish I could really do it. Then I could draw my own characters the way I pictured them. But, alas, I am no good. I haven't drawn my characters since I was in grade school, and those drawings were sub-par to say the least.

Here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to use some Anime style drawings as my visual aid and give you a little something about some of my characters. Not all of them, since they're about a million. Also, I don't have any drawings of the characters in my more recent writing (since they're based off these guys/girls).

Let's get it on.
Credit to the artist

These are Sam and Christine (as says the clever text). Sam is the MC in my YA series. He's a bit of a geek, a lot of a thinker, very shy, and the leader of his secret agent division. He's also 18 (and I guess he looks younger here, but it's a drawing anyway).

Christine is his gorgeous and outgoing girlfriend. Here pictured wearing her innocent smile and childish clothes. Though you can bet she's wearing stilettos.

What's right about this picture: Hair and eye color for both of them. :)

Credit to the artist
This next one is actually one of my favorite pictures. I use it a lot.

So, the guy, Jimmy is Sam's older brother. Builder of many stuff, from traps to computers and multi-functional watches, he's also a kick-ass martial artist.
Jessie, (who can also be Rachel, since I thought of them looking the freaking same) has the orange curly hair and the fighting spirit.
These two a re a lot more accurate - they actually seem like they're fooling around, which they do a lot of.

Moving on to my final two pictures for you peeps.

Credit to the artist

You already know her. She's been featured on this site before as a Diva. This is Kay - my only blond characters so far, and my only blond important character of the series. (even if I'll start spawning blonds at some point). She's a feisty, stubborn, sensitive girl. She's a bit of a bi-polar character. She can fight her way out of something while crying and has brave moments and vulnerable moments. (don't we all?)

Credit to the artist
The guy...well, I know he doesn't look too happy. That's Kyle, sort of. (or Daniel, depending from which side of the fence you're watching this). He's Sam's oldest brother and the one who kinda does what he wants, when he wants to just because he feels like it. He's also the one who takes care of the others. And even if he looks dead serious and battle prone here (notice the nifty bullet-proof jacket :D), he fools around a lot. And turned sarcasm into an art.

This is it. That was fun. I still wish I could draw. Thanks to the creators of this idea for all the fun we've all had with this.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The character challenge (part. 1)

Hey peeps!

You know, recently, I've been having trouble finding things to blog about. I've been actually sitting in my corner, waiting for something interesting to happen to me so I can tell the world. Well... nuff said, no such thing happened. And then, I got this really awesome opportunity to do TWO posts.

Well, yes, as you've probably guessed from the title, it has something to do with characters. And you all know that I simply LOVE characters.

Here's the deal. Jay actually dared me to do a character interview with one of my rather secondary characters. And I'm never one to back out of a challenge. So, I'm totally on top of this one.

Some back story: I'm to do an interview with Chris. Who's that? Well, he was Rachel's boyfriend for three years (Rachel being the MC in Hunters). He only appears in like 2 chapters, and let's just say he's not exactly the most likable character, since he dumps Rachel and runs away.

Interview setting: Rachel just told Chris that she's not going to leave Daniel (her best friend and partner, and Hunter, just like her) and run away with him. Chris gets pissed and walks away (or should I say stomps away). I just caught him in the elevator. I'll be S, he'll be C.

S: Whoa, Chris, what happened to you?

C: Leave me alone. I don't wanna talk about it.

S: You're going to talk about it to me. I'm not telling anyone. Secret's safe. Scout's honor *cross fingers behind my back*

C: I just broke up with Rachel.

S: What? Really? But you were trying so hard to get used to the idea that she hunts vampires.

C: I know. It's just that...[turns away] I realized that my real problem wasn't with that. The thing is... there was no point to keep seeing her.

S: No point? As in you don't love her anymore?

C: Of course I do. [runs hands through hair] But I'll never be good enough for her. I'll never be what she needs. I can't compete with Daniel. He'll always be more important to her than me.

S: Ouch! What makes you say that?

C: Was it not enough that she chose him over me? He killed Cheryl, for Christ's sake! And I'm not even sure he won't turn around, go ballistic and kill Rachel, too.

S: [annoyed look] So you just left Rachel there in what you believe is grave danger.

C: [stares] I...I can't.... Even if I stayed, there's nothing I could've done. I know how these Hunters work. Daniel could've torn me to pieces with his bare hands. Rachel could, too. I don't belong in their world, with their super powers and vampires and blood drinking and what-not. I would never be able to help Rachel, to protect her. She made me feel so inadequate. And it would have been so easy not to.

S: [frowns] What do you mean?

C: I mean even tonight. I didn't want to go. It was so easy for her to stop me. "I love you. We'll get through this." That would've been enough to make me stay. I waited, and she kept going on about Daniel, about not leaving him, about how he needs her. What about me? Don't I need her?

S: You're being selfish. Daniel really did go through a rough patch tonight. He had to kill his fiancé to prevent her from turning into a vampire. Of course he needs someone there.

C: I'm his friend, too. At least I used to be. [his hands tremble] It would have been so easy for Rachel to get me to understand, to stay with her and Daniel, help them out as much as I can... but she didn't say it. She didn't say what I needed to hear.

S: [wary] What did you need to hear?

C: [looks at me with tears in his eyes] That Daniel is her best friend, he's like a brother to her. That I shouldn't make her chose between love and family. But she didn't say it. She didn't say it because... Daniel is not family to her. I always had the feeling there's a little spark there. But she had me, Daniel had Cheryl and it was nothing but an innocent bit of attraction. But now, without Cheryl in the picture... [shakes his head]. I know I come off as a selfish asshole. I said horrible things to her. But this break-up is better for both of us. She won't have to worry about me anymore and I can move on and not feel so...small.

S: I kinda feel sorry for you. But you could've been kinder to Rachel. Tell her this instead of shouting that you hate her and that she's a murderer. You said she and Daniel are responsible for killing Cheryl.

C: They are. And I think someone should tell them that. They're not human anymore and they should stay away from humans, in their own world.

S: That's a bit mean.

C: I know, but it's the truth.

S: What if Rachel had offered to turn you into a Hunter?

C: [stares in disbelief] Why would I want that? I want a normal life and a family. I want to grow old and die. I don't want to roam the world forever, killing things. [sighs] I guess that, as much as I loved Rachel, she could've never made me happy. I could've never made her happy. We were just too different.

S: You did date for three years. You wanted to marry her.

C: I know. She was a thrill I needed, but not what I want in the long run. Tonight proved that. And I hope she'll forgive me for what I said, realize I was right to say and do what I did tonight and move on. I will be moving on with my life. And if she and Daniel hook up, I wish them the best. I just hope they don't drag anymore innocent people into their games. [Elevator doors open] Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get out of here before I get killed by vampires.[Walks out. The doors close again]

So, that's it. He was a bit incoherent at some points, but the man's just stepped out of a blood-filled room. This is Chris. And the last you'll ever see of him O:)

This was fun :D I'm such a sucker for character related stuff :p

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The horror!

I've just made a mega-discovery. I suck at picking themes for stories. *sigh*
Lately, I've been trying to draft a decent query for my paranormal romance novel Hunters. I knew I'd suck at querying, probably because I can't even write a freakin' synopsis. What I didn't expect was the hate-wave toward the genre itself.

Oh, no! Not another vampire book! Put it away, no one wants to see it!

Okay...I get it, kind of. Twilight led to a whole series of terrible/not so terrible spin offs regarding more teens and vampires and vampire schools and vampire problems and so on... I have no idea. I've only read twilight and half of Interview with the Vampire and that hardly counts as vampire literature. I just thought it was fun to write a book where the vampires are the bad guys for a while. And without other motives than feeding off humans.

Try taking that out of the bucket! I agree it sounds like another bad vampire novel, and the Internet is crawling with those. But how do you explain in 250 words that your book is more character oriented than vampire oriented? How do you show all the things YOU think you did well in there, everything that makes your book different (like the characters really have chemistry - Not like twilight couples). I don't know...

I've been thinking and I understand what people think - If I were on the other side of the fence, I'd probably roll my eyes and sigh loudly. But I also find it a bit sad that silly authors (like me) who choose this theme are thrust into a pretty nasty category of bandwagon jumpers who only want a bit of scrap fame off of twilight.

Which isn't exactly fair. All vampire fiction writers after twilight put hard work into their books and tried as hard as possible not to make their books alike. But, to be honest, there aren't that many vampire myths.

In vain do I mention that my Hunters could've been Mushroom hunters, the story would've been the same. "Don't try to pretend you're not writing a vampire book, cuz you are." Um, yes I am. I never denied that - I just mentioned what I thought was different.

Okay, excuse the rant. I'm just a little baffled. But I guess it's my fault. I should've had my characters chasing a Yetti. Guess I'll just have to go for small presses which are opening special lines for vampires and other paranormal creatures.

To make things worse, I think my next novel might be a bust too, since I'm still doing the paranormal. There are no vampires in it, but I have a feeling I'll hit this wall again. But I'll try. It's not like it will kill me :) I'm not making that one about Mushroom hunters.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cover power 2! (as in two, not too)

Yes, well, to solve my pending NaNo problem, I started writing the second option, too, and kinda lost my liking for it. It's not that it's bad, it only starts off slow. There are 2-3 chapters of introducing all the characters and the real live fantasy stuff kicks off in chapter 3/4., still thinking about it. 

Instead, I got a new idea and motivation for the villain in my paranormal romance, and that makes me happy :)

I didn't write squat today. But I've been doing something fun and pretty useful. Oh, yeah, you probably guessed it, since the title is not exactly subtle (and I've used it before here). I've been working on more covers and tweaking the ones I had a little. And... here it is:

Cover 1 - y'all know it 

So, Cover 1 is the first cover I've ever pestered everyone with. I was pretty darn proud of it. And now I am again since I made a few changes that I happen to like a lot. I made the girl a lot less transparent, hoisted her a little higher and changed the fonts. The text placement remains the same, but I think it reads better. I'm satisfied with this version of it.

Cvoer 2 - Y'all know this one too

The second cover, you also know. The only change I actually made to it was making the chick less transparent. I think it makes the city background less distracting. For a long time, this one turned out to be my favorite. I kept the fonts and the title placement since everyone seemed to like it.

cover 3 - know it

 Cover 3 stayed exactly the same because people either loved or hated it. It does scream fantasy, but I think it's pretty striking all the same. Now let's move on to the good part.

Cover 4 - First new one
Cover 4 was me getting annoyed with not making another cover. I tried to use this castle as a cover so many times, since my book actually has a castle in it. But it didn't work with any of my women, so I got pissed and threw in the eyes. The fonts are also pretty fun, and they're new, so I was aching to use them. What I like about it - the eyes are awesome. They have the kind of beauty and innocence that speak volumes about Rachel. So I'm really happy with them. I tend to think that this screams fantasy a tad too much. If I change the title it could work as a cover for the damn fantasy-romance I'm trying to write. Right, moving on.

cover 5a 
cover 5b

Right, cover 5 has two versions:  version a and b (in case you hadn't figured that out yourself). The difference between them is the sky. In version a, I use awesome lady eyes which are supposed to be Rachel's. In version B, I use creepy vampire eyes (which aren't half as creepy as I would have liked them, but whatever, I work with whatever free stuff I can get. Who am I to complain?)

What this cover holds new are the fonts and display of the text. While in most covers I either place the title up or down, here, it's in the freaking middle of the page, and I personally love that. I also refrained from using the normal white title, like I did in all the others and stomped it red, just for the heck of it.
Also, this is Daniel's cover debut. I still can't find someone who remotely looks the way I've pictured him in my head, but blurry shadows seem to do the trick. I think that's the major advantage with this cover. Plus, both of them seem to be holding weapons.
Right... moving on the last one. 

cover 6b
cover 6a

This cover also has an a and a b, the only difference between them being the title font. I made the first version first (duh!), but then wondered if it would look better with the other font, so I made the second version just for the heck of it.
Now, you can see that the title is once again not white. I was going for a bloody red here. I just thought it looked better. Also, Daniel's in this one, too.

 Honestly, this was a lot of fun. I enjoyed making the covers I've done today very much. I'm starting to get the hang of this photshop crap. And maybe it's just me and the euphoria, but I think they're actually starting to look like book covers.

Now, of course, I'd like to know which one you like best and why, or if you see some possible combinations between them. Any thought is welcome.
And, honestly, if you were in a bookshop or on Amazon, which cover would make you pick up/click on the book?

Lol, I hope I'm not pestering everyone, but I personally LOVE book covers. :p

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mortal Kombat!

You know, the video game. It was all the hype when I was growing up, so let's just say I played a lot of it. Not that that's happening now. I've progressed to more evolved games. Such as writing. So, here's the problem:

I know I've been bragging in previous posts about my trying NaNo again this year. I also mentioned that I had the story idea for another paranormal romance that involved epic battles, smothering romances and unbelievable twists. Well, the problem is that, while I was planning this masterpiece, some other idea knocked me over the head.

For a couple of years, I've drawn up a spin-off after my YA series which was a sort of a fantasy-romance. I started writing it ON A NOTEBOOK with a PENCIL, but it never saw the light of my computer. Also, it sucks badly, since I wrote it before I actually learned how to write, and I only made it to like chapter 3, but now it hit me and it doesn't want to go away.

So I have no idea which project to tackle this November. Should I go with my original thought of good versus evil versus third party, or sink into the slushy romance of a time-traveling, very confused person who tires to find the meaning of life? Argh! I can't make up my damn mind.

So, I'm not sure what to do, if I should step out of my comfort zone. Anyone else ever had this problem?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

NaNo Trials

Hey peeps!

Still jobless, still schoolless (that's not half bad, actually) and with nothing better to do than... well, I actually always find something to do, which still keeps me reasonably busy, so that's great.

Yey! We're one month away from NaNoWriMo. I like it - I finally get some writing done! I have a project in mind for this year, but I'm not sure exactly how and when I'm going to pull it off. For the curious ones, I'm going to try another paranormal romance, and no, it will not be a sequel to Hunters or include any vampires.

I won't give much about the subject away. Only that I'm going to try something a bit deeper than last time. I'm going to try to include a hidden message to stick with the reader. Mind you, I've never done this before, so it will be a first for me. I'm going to stick to a small number of characters as well, just like last time, but the plot will be a lot more complex (at least for my hurting brain.) In case you were wondering/doubting it, I still have no clue what happens in this book or how it will end. But it's going to be fun, nonetheless.

In other news, I've totally reworked the beginning of Ruby, the first in my Jewel series, but I think I'll go back to it properly after NaNo. And, of course, I'm once again planning to edit Hunters using the crits I got in my private queue. That's going a bit slow - as in I've just done chapter 1 so far, but I promise to do chapter 2 today.

So, yeey for brainless writing in November. I'll be keeping everyone in touch with how I do, so I'll probably have more blog posts in November (it was about time, too :) I've been really lazy lately).

Are you going to try NaNo? And what is your project?