Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Thesis = Submitted

Yes, you read that post title correctly. I passed in my thesis!

Final specs:

Pages: 384
Words: 101,101 (no, I did not cheat to get that number. Cross my heart)
Chapters: 31
POVs: 3
Body Count: 5 named characters, lots of unnamed ones
Tears shed throughout process: too many to count
Total of cut words: I have no idea, and I cannot count right now. I will, though. And I’ll report when I get there. I’m very curious. Heh

So now I wait for overall feedback and the final verdict. Part of me wants to hide under the bed. The other part thinks that’s silly. And then there’s a small part that thinks I should be dancing on the roof…except I’m just too freaking tired.

K, signing off for a day of doing nothing, and I do mean nothing.

Cheers

Thanks for reading.

Mary
@desantismt on Twitter

Follow My Blog With Bloglovin

-Kit ‘N Kabookle
My book blog

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Bad Blogger Part II

Same deal as Wednesday. Thesis is due Tuesday. I will pick up with Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas next week.

Cheers

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

I'm a bad blogger this week, but my thesis is due next week. So I don't care.

The title says it all, folks.

It’s been two and a half years of blood, sweat, and tears (well, maybe not blood, but you get the idea). Finally, the moment of truth is upon us. My thesis is due next Tuesday.

Wish me luck as I get into my final week of making sure every little thing is as perfect as it can possibly be. (NOTE: I overused the word “possible” in the manuscript. This has been fixed.)

Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s back to the writing cave.

Cheers

Saturday, April 5, 2014

MCS #10: Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast (1991)

IMDB BLURB
Belle, whose father is imprisoned by the Beast, offers herself instead and discovers her captor to be an enchanted prince.

Seriously, what’s not to love about this movie? The heroine is an independent, willful woman who is willing to fight for those she loves. There’s a purely evil villain, and there’s a group of epic side characters. I’m sold.

Oh, also, Belle loves to read.

I’d totally be friends with her.

Moving on to the music. It’s lovely, fun, and, in places, even haunting. I’m thinking about the West Wing sequence in particular there. They added “Human Again” in the special edition DVD, and it didn’t ruin the movie.

Then there’s the scene where the beast dies. It’s beyond sad, and did you know that the music in the movie isn’t the original music for that scene? Check out the original score.

While I think this is absolutely lovely, I think the music in the movie works better for the scene. Here’s that version, along with the score through the rest of the movie. Don’t look at me like that. You know you want to listen to this.

Which do you like better?

Gastone—yeah, self-centered and a total jerk much? I mean really. There’s an entire song dedicated to how much he loves himself. That’s just sick.

And then there’s this picture that I just have to share…cuz reasons. *Warning: cursing.*

That’s my picture on Twitter, and I have no shame.

Writer’s Lockbox

Flesh out your secondary characters. Beauty and the Beast did this in the special edition with the previously mentioned “Human Again,” which gave new light (no pun intended since one is a candle) to our three main (and some of the background) secondary characters. Watch.

Also, it gave Jerry Orbach more singing time, which I am always in favor of.

Related Posts
-Secondary Character Appreciation…Few Weeks (1/3)
-Secondary Character Appreciation…Few Weeks (2/3)
-Secondary Character Appreciation…Few Weeks (3/3)

Last week: Bambi

And join me next week for Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas.

Thanks for reading.

Mary
@desantismt on Twitter

Follow My Blog With Bloglovin

-Kit ‘N Kabookle
My book blog

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A spoon full of research helps the medicine go down

Hi folks,

Last week I appealed to reviewers, telling them to stop calling authors stupid.

Which they seriously need to do because it’s not right.

Onion Head Smiley

I’m good.

Anyway, I left off that post with a promise to authors. This week, my plan is to unravel what prompts reviewers to take inappropriate jabs at authors.

It seems to boil down to one thing—research.

As I pointed out last week, diverting from what is considered fact on Earth, in fiction, is fine, especially in the case of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and anything paranormal. However, there is a difference between changing up how the world works for the story and just plain ignoring facts. I will put this as succinctly as possible.

Authors, if you are working with characters that you have established as human (without any strange diseases/disorders or type of fantastic or technological additions to their being, i.e. normal humans) in a world that is Earth or that follows the basic physical/physiological rules of Earth, you must be accurate.

Let’s take an example—hair. It’s a simple, everyday thing. Without even getting into the science, it is clear that hair grows at a certain speed. Some people have faster growing hair than others, but it is a widely accepted fact that the average human being’s hair takes a while to grow a noticeable length.

Now, let’s say Author A (I know, real creative of me) introduces an ordinary human character who lives in a world that follows the physical/physiological rules of Earth. That character’s hair is only going to grow so fast. So if the author has a character appear with shoulder-length hair and then, three days later, shows us that same character with waist-length hair—with no extensions or other hair-growing aid—that’s wrong.

And readers notice.

And too often, they are not nice about it. That is their fault. I covered that last week, but authors, do you see where the propensity for reviewers to say “this author is stupid” comes from? If I read a book where this happened, I’d be forced to think one of the following:

-The author doesn’t know what he/she is talking about.
-The author did not do his/her research. I wonder what else won’t be researched?
-The author didn’t edit his/her work.
-This author had a terrible editor. (which is just placing the lack-of-paying-attention blame on a different person)
-The author is an alien. (K, not likely, but who knows, right?)

Honestly, I want the solution to be an editing mistake. I want to believe, every time, that someone, at some point, just didn’t see the mistake. Unfortunately, though, I have read books where the mistake is glaring and goes on for paragraphs, and I just cannot believe that neither the author, nor any of the beta readers, nor any of the editors noticed it. So I’m forced to think the author didn’t know something so basic or, even worse, didn’t care, thus showing a complete lack of interest in his/her own work. More often than not, this leads to me putting the book down, or if I do finish, it leads to me never picking up another book from that author.

It never, however, leads to me writing a scathing review about how stupid the author is and then posting said review on the internet.

Message to take away: authors, research and edit.

SIDE NOTE

I did a guest post for horror writer C.R. Langille (a fellow SHUer of mine). Have a look at what I think about the fantasy genre.

Thanks for reading.

Mary
@desantismt on Twitter

Follow My Blog With Bloglovin

-Kit ‘N Kabookle
My book blog

Saturday, March 29, 2014

MCS #9: Bambi

Bambi (1942)

IMDB Blurb
The story of a young deer growing up in the forest after his mother is shot by hunters.

So, that synopsis, yeah. Disney, I love you, but there’s no real plot here. I mean, even if we expand past this, the story is about a deer who makes friends, grows up, falls in love with a female deer (that’s a doe, and we’re in the money with a buck…badumpch), becomes prince of the forest, and has twins.

Okay Smiley Sign

Despite this, this movie is indeering (see what I did there?) and extremely depressing. This brings the “mother not in the picture” to a new level. Let’s talk about murder on screen. Pardon me while I cry like a baby.

But seriously, this is a coming of age story. Bambi is forced to learn some tough life lessons very quickly. All things considered, he turns out pretty good.

Then there’s the random “black screen,” Bambi’s an adult now. Oh, and why is he so resistant to love? The girls are all over that concept. The guys aren’t. I’m seeing a gender thing here. 

When all else fails, this movie has it all—love, marriage, and a skunk named Flower. What more do you need?

So happy

That’s what I thought.

Writer’s Lockbox

I’d like to take this opportunity to reiterate my point about having a plot.

Have a plot.

Thank you.

Carry on.

Last week: Atlantis, which I’m watching the Lego version of as I write this post

Join me next week for Beauty and the Beast

Thanks for reading.

Mary
@desantismt on Twitter

Follow My Blog With Bloglovin

-Kit ‘N Kabookle
My book blog

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Who put the "book" in the book, book, book review?

Answer: Someone who knew what they were doing

Yes, they are in fact called “book reviews” for a reason. They are supposed to be reviews of books.

Say it with me: “Of books.”

What are they not reviews of?

Authors

Good Job Smiley Sign

Talking about fiction here.

This whole “book review = review of a book” thing seems like a no-brainer, but too often I read reviews where people criticize the author’s intelligence. While not every tiny thing about a fiction work may be factually correct as determined on Earth under our living conditions, here’s the thing. It’s fiction. Yes, common facts should be correct. Authors need to do their research, but if they change something to fit their fictional world, that’s their choice. This does not make them stupid. In the case of speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror) this might make a world.

Regardless, however, there is no place for “this author is an idiot” in a book review. That is called attacking, and that is not the point of reviews. If you’re going to review a book, review the damn book. Don’t spend 200 words going on about how stupid the author is. All that does is make you look dumb, jealous, or both. Then you lose your credibility as a reviewer (because no one likes a complainer), and no one feels bad for your loss of credibility. After all, you’re the idiot who decided to attack people where it wasn’t called for.

“But the author messed up. What am I supposed to say?”

Try these alternatives to “this author is clearly a moron.”

-I’m wondering if this part of the book was researched enough.
-I couldn’t get into the story because there were a lot of small details that bugged me.
-The world building/characters/whatever could have been tightened.

“But these don’t let me get out my massive amounts of anger about the author getting stuff wrong.”

Really? Then I suggest you seriously reevaluate why you are reviewing and possibly see an anger management specialist.

Depressed Sigh

So, reviewers, be nice, and as much as it pains me to say this, authors, pay attention to your manuscripts. Being called stupid, an idiot, a moron, or any other name in a review is never justifiable. Period. On that note, though, readers aren’t stupid either. They notice things. Someone once described reading as reader and author entering into an unspoken contract to appreciate one story. Readers know when that contract is broken, and they do not react well. So next week, I’m going to work on unraveling what brings reviewers to the place where they feel the need to call an author stupid.

As always, thanks for reading.

Mary
@desantismt on Twitter

Follow My Blog With Bloglovin

-Kit ‘N Kabookle
My book blog