…….I Started With A Point But Ended In A Ramble :P

I’m quite dumb at times when I’m watching a movie or reading a book, even listening to music because I rarely see the hidden messages that are worked into what we consume.  The whole idea of making a story a metaphor used to be something that I didn’t think much about.  I am very much what you see is what you get, or so I thought.  A lot of what I’ve been thinking about with fiction lately is finding that hidden meaning in not only in what I read but also what I write, and have I put this sort of thing into my work before without knowing it?  Surely that is only natural though?  What we write is fueled by what we encounter as our lives are carried out day by day.  I’ve heard many writers say that you should ‘write what you know’  I used to think that meant literally but then how would H.G. Wells know what a martian would look like?  It’s what each day gives us that allows us to ‘write what we know’

I struggled with some of the ‘Writing what you know’ because up until a few years ago I hid away from the world and had led a very sheltered life but now I have experienced life a little more.  Like everyone I’ve been betrayed, had my heart-broken and so on and this is what fuels writing.  It’s using what we’ve felt and putting it into characters to give them that  feel that gives real depth.  Most of my short stories have been character driven which means I need to have them invoke a reaction with the reader.  There needs to be a desire to find out what happens to the characters.  The reader needs to care one way or another what happens.  The best moment I had last year, as far as writing goes, was when my lovely proof reader said that one of my stories ‘Choked her up’ 😀  I still think that the story she was referring to is the best thing that I have written, but I’m reluctant to send it out for submission just yet because it is part of a tied universe with other stories and I have a few  continuity issues to deal with.    I might have a little play with that universe while I’m having a breather from my main project, it’s been a while since I’ve looked at it.

(Its late and I’ve not proof read this so feel free to point out the errors 😛 )

The War Of The Worlds by H.G. Wells

This is a book that I knew I would read one day but it was not up high on the list of books that I wanted to read, but my granddad gave me a copy of it before Christmas.  One of the things that I was worried about when I started reading this was that I thought it would feel dated and I tend to struggle with books which are not close to our own time.  This was not a problem what so ever! There was little that really drew my attention to the time era, although I did note that the reaction to the invading Martians by us humans would not be any different today, aside from us filming the fleeing masses we were part of with our smart phones.   There had obviously been nothing quite like it and the way that it was written, in the style of a personal account being shared after the event, gave a real ‘being there with him’ feel to it.

The vision that Wells had is breathtaking!  Bearing in mind this book was published in 1898 the things that Wells created is amazing.  I would have loved to see how his tri-pod fighting machines with their heat-rays were received by the people of the time.  Aliens are such a large part of our lives today but back then it must have still been a whole new concept for the man on the street to be introduced to.  The way that Wells describes it all is page turning despite there not really being much about the characters (most don’t even have names) but that did not really click in my head till after I read the book.  I was caught up in the drama of the narrator as he tried to first return to his wife and then as he tried to survive and evade the Martians.  His humanity is pushed to its limits by other characters as is his concept of how the world has changed around him and while he is stranded in a house which, unfortunately has a martian cylinder pretty much in its back garden.

One of the major points to this novel which I’m not sure was really mentioned in the research that I did about it is that mankind has no weapons that can defeat the Martians own weapons.  Their technology is far more superior to that of the time that the rare victories that humanity has are quickly squashed by the Martians.  This has made me think about films like Independence Day where the invading aliens have technology far superior to that of ours and there is nothing that we can do about it.  This fear of an invading intelligent species has lasted since Wells wrote this novel and it sells! Us readers like to see the little guy win, as long as we can see ourselves as that little guy.  There is talk between the narrator and another character, the artilleryman, about how mankind are only ants to the Martians and if we’re in their way they will just kill us.  That is what us, mankind, does as a species.  We colonize what is not ours because we want what ever there may be.  In Avatar this point is explained in a real simple way and I think a lot of people don’t really realise that we have done it since we crawled out of the oceans.

The Influence War of the Worlds has had is numerous.  Whether it is in movies and Television, radio or the written word we can see how this novel has touched us.  I wonder how H.G. Wells feels about how his novel has affected the world that we live in.

The Hiatus Is Binned

I know that last week I said I was going to have a short hiatus but stuff that! I was properly in a rut last week but now I am beginning to feel myself again and I’ve started to get some editing done again.   Hopefully I’ll have this bit of editing done by the weekend.  I’ve been thinking about having a look at my NaNo project as well.  I’ve had a few little scenes play out in my head that I think will work quite well.

Something that I’ve learnt is that when it comes to what is going on in my life, writing is still a large part of it.  I’ll admit that since the start of December I have not written much but I think a little of that was being burnt out by NaNo as well as other matters.  So now I am slowly beginning to feel like my old self again and I’m sure that I’ll be firing on all cylinders very soon.  I’m now off to try and wrap up The War Of The Worlds so night all 🙂

(And yes I forgot to spellcheck my last post so no doubt there are many spelling mistakes, oops!)

My ‘To Read’ Pile

I have almost finished reading H.G. Wells novel War Of The Worlds, so I’m half thinking about the next book that I will read.  Now here is where I have hit a little bit of a road block because I have twenty six books waiting to be read! (Must stop buying books) No I dont mean that, I think that I just need to learn how to read quicker.

Although I love Science Fiction I think that I’m going to read something which is not sci-fi.  Of the last six books that I’ve read five of those have been sci-fi and I think I’ve OD’d on Sci-Fi so I’ll probably read one of the Kathy Reichs books that I havent read yet or Dan Browns Lost Symbol.  Although I do have Scott Sigler’s The All-Pro…………but that’s Sci-Fi, And I have Phillip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream Of Electronic Sheep? Again that’s Sci-Fi.  Okay maybe I’m not Over Dossed on Science Fiction but I do think that I’ll read a non sci-fi novel next as it’ll give me a different world to delve into.  I know that sci-fi is probably the genre that has the most possibilities of discovering new worlds but I think that being remineded of how our world is may give birth to some new ideas.  Although I write mainly sci-fi much of what I write is set in todays world so seeing how other people write it opens up my mind a little.

Something I thought that I always needed out of a novel is a good, strong story line.  If its not igniting my imagination then it’ll take me a longer time to read a book, but my short story series that I am putting together is turning out to be much more character driven.  I’ve written seven or so of these stories and they are told from the first person in a sort of monologue.  So maybe not having a strong plot, but strong characters will have the same effect on me and make me want to turn the pages faster.  Which, at the end of the day is something that every writer wants.  Last year I had my fantastic proof reader say that something that I wrote ‘choked her up’ (Brought out emotions), which is also something that every writer wants.

Back to the ‘To Read’ pile.  I am a spontaneous book buyer, there is nothing that I like more then to go into a bookstore, normally Waterstones and browse through the sci-fi section, and when I do this I always buy a book, but also when I go to my local Sainsburys I often buy a book or two there.  This is where I tend to get my Kathy Reichs books from, but because there are often 2 for £10 type deals I’ll often walk off with one by an authour that I wouldnt normally buy but I’ve not had one which I’ve regretted buying.  That is the one thing that cannot be done with online purchasing.  I am a little old fashioned in this sense,  I do like feeling the book in my hands, the weight of it and being able to read not only read the write up or the first few pages but any random little segment of it that I want.

I’ve written this over a few days as I’ve had a few things to sort out but I’m steering towards reading Scott Sigler’s The All-pro, then Dan Brown’s Lost Symbol.

Holiday Reading

This festive period I have H.G. Wells War Of The Worlds to finish reading and the first draft of my writing partners (not so) short story.

 

Now that was the plan, but………… due to a cold (which gave me a fuzzy head every time I looked at anything that I had to concentrate on) and a not writing related issue I have got next to no reading down whatsoever!  Which sucks big time.  I’ve done a little editing of mentioned short story but that’s about it.  I don’t think that I am going to get War Of The Worlds finished this year, which means I wont be able to start the book I got for Christmas, grrrr!  And as I have a lot of writing that I want to do in the next twelve months I need to learn how to read faster.  On the plus side I’ve got a short story edited and hopefully it’ll go down well with my beta readers.

I’m off to watch a movie now, Not sure which one to go for, Hulk, Spider-Man 2 or Paul………………Night Y’all.

Book Review : Bartholomew by Mimi Black

Bartholomew is a Novella that tells the story of a young woman, Haley, who befriends a man who is a little different.  He is mysterious and a bit quirky,  he has a thing about apples and hats.

I know that I have not written a great synopsis but its the first time that I’ve read a novella and I really don’t want to give too much away (and I’m still new to this book review lark).   I am a slow reader and if I’m not enjoying a book then I read slower but this story kept me turning the pages.

Mimi Black gives us a book where each paragraph is vital, there is no filler anywhere which I’m glad of because I think it would have not complemented the story at all.  I know that I could not write a story with the pacing that Bartholomew has and it had that mysterious element straight from the beginning. The ending has a nice twist which I can safely say I did not see coming, it changed the entire tone of the story for me if I’m honest and left a couple of questions hanging. I can’t say why without spoiling the ending so I’ll shut up about that bit.

My biggest grievance was that there was not enough!  I want to know more of where Bartholomew came from, what got him to the little coffee shop where he met Haley?  Why did he find her so intriguing.  What’s with the apples?

If you havent guessed I enjoyed this story, a lot, and I will no doubt read it again soon.  I enjoyed the way Mimi Black writes and I must find out  if she has anything else out there that I can read.

Please go and have a little look at the first chapter which you can do so for free at the link posted below 🙂

http://bartholomewthenovella.com/chapter-1-free/

 

The next book that I will be reading is a true classic; The War Of The Worlds by H.G. Wells.  My granddad recently gave me this book and I am a little ashamed to say that this will be the first time that I will have read it!