Jun 25 2012

Book Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Posted by Mathias

Warning! May Contain Spoilers!

Catching Fire is book two of The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. It continues the story of Katniss Everdeen and her trials and tribulations after being a victor in the Hunger Games, a sadistic competition put on by the totalitarian government of a post-apocalyptic America. The games pit children against children in a yearly fight to the death.

First off, and bluntly, Catching Fire is not as good as The Hunger Games, the first book of the trilogy. Secondly, it is not a bad book and is quite above average. Thirdly, it suffers from, and even magnifies, one of the major problems with the first book – its predictability greatly detracts from the story. (more…)

Aug 01 2011

Found: The short story I wanted

Posted by Mathias

Ok. I have some good news. That short story I wanted to write? You know, the one that instead turned into tens of thousands of words and what appears to be a novel? Well, I have found it within the plot of what I am writing.

It is going to require some changes to the longer story I have been typing out, but I think those changes are going to be for the better. Most of those changes have to do with the way magic is used in the world and a little bit of tweaking of the world history as well. It is amazing how thinking out a small part of the story to make it into a short story of its own allows me to see better ways to do other things within the main story itself. It also solves a couple conundrums I have been having with certain plot points. Putting the ideas for this story down have clarified a lot of the problems.

What happened was I was just free writing and jotting down notes yesterday when I was brainstorming some interactions between two of the novel’s characters. Out popped the short story in the form of a monologue by one of them.

Having happened long before this particular story, of course this short story does not fit into the novel’s full framework. The character’s summary of events in the novel does not tell the whole story so here is the chance for me to do that now and add some depth to this particular character, a female elf whose perspective and actions are only viewed in “Dark Moon” through the POV of the main character. So it has what I think is the makings of a good short story to work on.

It has taken a while to get there. But I have gotten there.

Title not decided on yet. Working title to be come up with.

Jul 30 2011

Getting Ahead of Myself

Posted by Mathias

I am still actually writing the full length novel hoping a short story presents itself. I have two ideas so far on that front from what I have written. Again, there are lots of back stories that could make good short stories but I have to be interested in telling them first and foremost. Only two are interesting to me right now.

It is funny how writing fiction seems to work for me. My mind is about 10 chapters ahead of my fingers. I even already have and ending, which seems logical and sound, flushed out. This is at times a little confusing though because sometimes the story starts to wander away from that ending. By knowing the general ending it helps me keep the story on track I suppose.

What I am doing is keeping notes on where I want the story to go with each successive chapter. Some days I just do not feel like writing but feel like only putting down ideas. And it all seems logical at the time. But when I sit down to actually flush out the notes into actual chapters things are working out a lot differently. But usually better at the time of actually writing it. Some plot lines get dropped all together because while they looked good at the time simply did not actually further the story as they were flushed out into the first draft. Or while they may have furthered the story, they would have added pages and pages and pages of story that when I thought about it were not going to actually add anything to the story.

Of course the whole story is still a rough draft.

Things appear to be happening slower in the story than I have outlined which helps too meaning I need less of these plot points to get from start to finish and make a full length novel. It just seems that I have to add dialogue and scenes to make the progression from plot point to plot point more logical. So that is what I am doing. There will always be hang ups though.

Then of course there are the ah-crap moments where when what I outlined just does not actually work out to be the way things have to happen.

Oh well.

Up to 87,000 words now in the story that I did not set out to write. Again, all very rough of course.