Monday, November 30, 2009

Seriously?--People think this

First and foremost, I must inform you that this is just an opinion, and it might change tomorrow. Hell, it might change within the next fifteen minutes.

One thing I absolutely hate is when people make a big deal out of a fictional movie or book. Loathe might even be a more appropriate word.

Now, I’m not talking about where people either love or hate a movie/book, but when they put things there that have no relevance at all. They take one thing and then blow it out of proportion.

An example--The Da Vanci Code. The book was criticized for historical inaccuracies. Umm…Ya, it is a fictional novel not a history book. So seriously, “DUH.”

I could go on and on. Harry Potter leads to satanic following. Seriously?

Anyway back to this discussion.

I ran across a blog saying how Twilight shows abusive relationships here

The article is from io9 website.

This is according to the National Domestic Violence hotline. Once again, I would like to say the book is fictional. Not reality. A lot of their points would not be valid if they took out the variable of the fictional character Edward being a vampire.

I am going to take a moment to counter all these claims. Hopefully putting some perspective on this.

1) Does your partner:
* Look at you or act in ways that scare you?


Edward is a vampire after all. I think vampires get to be scary. But also remember, Bella was initially scared of Edward, but not to the point of being terrified. The book repeatedly says how humans subconsciously felt the danger they were in when a vampire was in their midst. And Bella said that she knew Edward wasn’t going to hurt her. Apparently she was not too afraid.

2) * Control what you do, who you see or talk to or where you go?
"Stay away from the werewolves. I love you."

Okay, yes. But Edward knew how dangerous werewolves were, and even Sam’s girlfriend was hurt because of his lack of control. You tell me one person who knows of a dangerous place and would let their loved one: child, spouse, parents, whoever, go. At least not without a huge argument. And Bella went anyway, then Edward consented. According to the novel...Werewolves and vampires are natural enemies---like cats and mice.

Does anyone see the fiction here? Werewolves.

3) * Make all of the decisions?

I’ll admit, this one here I’m not sure. I think they both made decisions and some of them were done in a sneaky way. Fictional characters again--maybe a tad flawed.

4) * Act like the abuse is no big deal, it's your fault, or even deny doing it?
"If I wasn't so attracted to you, I wouldn't have to break up with you."

Okay, first off here. Edward was torn up about leaving Bella. I think there was a big deal about it. Another thing, I don’t ever recall anything about him saying it was her fault. As a matter of fact, I believe he blamed himself over and over. The fiction--Edward was a vampire that was worried about the dangerous world that came with his breed. Bella was human and very fragile.

5) * Threaten to commit suicide?
"I just can't live without you. In fact, I'll run to Italy and try suicide by vampire if anything happens to you."

This is one of the things that is taken out of context. Abusive people say this so the person won’t break up with them. To control them completely. In the fictional book Twilight, Edward did say something along those lines, but it was in the context that once Bella died there would be no reason for him to live.

6) * Threaten to kill you?
On their first date.

Edward never threaten to kill Bella. He stated a fact that her blood stirred a vampiric thirst that was almost beyond his control. But he did control it. His main goal was to always save her.

7) Has your partner...
* Tried to isolate you from family or friends.

Bella doesn't have time for anyone else!

Edward had no problem with Bella hanging out with anyone except the fictional dangerous werewolf, Jacob, his mortal enemy (at first at least). Now to look at this realistically, how many people, especially young people, in their first relationship go everywhere and do everything together. Especially with your very first love. There are also people with very best friends that do everything together.

Also Edward never kept her away from her father or mother.

8) * Damaged property when angry (thrown objects, punched walls, kicked doors, etc.).

Is anyone really going to tell me that you haven’t gotten mad and maybe slammed your fist on a desk? Of course, Edward is a fictional vampire that is super duper strong and can actually destroy things. So a mere human’s punch on a wall might mean hole in the wall to Edward.

9) * Pushed, slapped, bitten, kicked or choked you.
Does tossing her through a glass table count?

Edward never laid a hand on Bella in anger, which is what constitutes abuse. Edward did push her into a table by accident to save her life.

You can also look at it this way. If a person is standing in the road and a speeding car is coming down the road. And a heroic person shoves or maybe tackles said person standing in the road, and that person slices their leg on a sharp rock or maybe gets a bad case of road rash. Is that abuse? I don’t think so.

10) * Abandoned you in a dangerous or unfamiliar place.
"We're breaking up. And I'm leaving you in the forest."

He left her in the forest, but it was close to her house. Bella chose to run after him after he had already left.

11) * Scared you by driving recklessly.

The fictional vampire, Edward, was never reckless. He had superior reflexes and sight. You name me one person that never had to worry about a car accident that wouldn't be speeding. I know I would.

12) * Forced you to leave your home.
She had to run away with him to flee from the other vampires in the first movie, and she had to drop everything and run to Italy in the second.

Never forced her. Bella had to go to save her dad and herself from the fictional vampires that were coming to get her. Bella chose to go to Italy. And who wouldn’t. I’d go to Italy too.

13) * Prevented you from calling police or seeking medical attention.
Check. Even in the hospital, nothing is a big deal.

Not sure where this came from. Bella went to the hospital when he shoved her out of the way of the van. She opted not to go to the hospital when she cut her arm on the glass.

14) * Views women as objects and believes in rigid gender roles.
Well, they are Mormon... (I know, I know, cheap shot.)

I never saw rigid gender roles. There was a guy and a girl. I think Bella did her own thing for the most part. When I read this, I never thought…wow, they are putting women down. And also, if people do live in a relationship where rigid gender roles are what they choose to live in…I don’t see how that is abusive. As long as one or the other sex is not forced into that type of situation.

15) * Accuses you of cheating or is often jealous of your outside relationships.
Check, wolf-boy.

He never accused her of cheating. Yes he was jealous, and wolf-boy was jealous. Not abnormal, guys and gals get jealous of the opposite sex. As long as it doesn’t lead into violent reactions, which it did not, then I don’t see the abuse here. Even Bella was jealous of Edward’s gal pal in the other coven that lived in Alaska.

The point is not whether or not I like the Twilight Saga. These are nothing more than observations that I made because I actually read the book. It was one of the authors that I studied along with several others as I was studying the way different ways people wrote and how different POV’s were done.

I don’t care if you like or dislike a book. I don’t care if you like or dislike the author. But if you are going to make points then make them valid. Don’t make up things out of the blue. It seems to me that whoever wrote this article didn’t even bother to read the series.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What I learned

Just a quick blog about finishing my second manuscript. All I really have to say is whew. It was a tough road, but not as tough as the first time.


Because of all the things that I learned from my first manuscript of do’s and don’ts.

I brushed up on the English language and punctuation during my first manuscript so I didn’t have to as much on my second. Just to let you know though, I really had forgotten a lot from high school.

I learned that writing a manuscript is not like writing a thesis. Yes, one of my beta readers of my first mss said that it reminded him of a college paper. I guess that means it was dry.

I had to learn to actually use contractions. I always wrote more formal.

I learned the writing rules.

I learned that the writing rules are not to be solely followed, but to use my voice to define the life of my mss. There is a time and place for everything. (I learned that from reading, reading, reading)

I learned not to edit my mss so much that I write my voice right out of it. When you do that, you end up with a dry mss that leaves you feeling parched. (Now I am worried about if I edited enough)

I learned there are a lot of different ways to say the same exact thing, and usually--though not always--the shortest way is the best way to go.

I learned what a query letter is, and I learned that they are really hard to write.

I learned to connect with others that have the same interest in writing as me.

I learned to take people’s advice with a spoonful of sugar, and to make wise decisions when choosing which advice to follow and which not to.

I learned to always remember that when people who have a suggestion are writing a particular part the way they would write it. So if you decide to add the suggestion to your mss, then you must write your voice into it.

I learned that after finishing my first mss, I still love writing and have already started my third. A girl with telepathic abilities, taking place a little bit in the future with a somewhat different reality than our reality now.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Experiences of a Writer

My first manuscript that I completed is drier than the Sonora Desert. It actually started better than how it ended up. I wrote my voice completely out of it by following rules that other writers were nice of enough to share with me. You know the ones:

Use action verbs

Use strong nouns

Cut to the chase; don’t blab on and on about scenery and other minor details such as that. Readers today don’t have the patience.

Don’t use dialogue tags.

Adverbs and adjectives weaken writing.

And so on and so on.

You have all heard these. And I did as they said. To a T. I went through my mss with a fine tooth comb. And what did I end up with….a story that had potential with an interesting plot, but was lacking on everything else.

So, what did I do wrong? Everything. I took the rules too seriously. And that is not what they are meant for.

I am an avid reader. Always have been, always will be. But something clicked inside my head, and although I still read for pleasure, I really started to break down how writers were writing. What did they do?

I read book after book after book. And I noticed that none of these authors wrote according to the rules. Maybe they followed them somewhat, but rules that I learned were broken left and right. They used adverbs and adjectives, they used being verbs, they used dialogue tags (some almost every sentence). They did all these things.

And that is when I realized that the rules might be there, but they are definitely meant for breaking. You should keep the rules in mind, but remember that you are telling a story, and the story should flow naturally.

That is what those great authors did. They told their stories naturally with their voice.