This past week was one of the most productive I’ve had in a long time. It’s also been an incredible week of discovery in literature, music and television episodes. Ready to find out more…
What I Read:
Deeply Odd – Dean Koontz: A couple of years ago, I would never have imagined it possible to weep at the end of a horror novel. And yet, at the conclusion of this sixth installment in the Odd Thomas series, I found myself incredible moved. How a novel can balance a spiritualism within a dark setting with such expertise is a wonder to me. And yet ever since I picked up the first Odd Thomas novel, I was captivated by Koontz’s ability to balance the light and the dark, his ability to introduce hope in a narrative laden with terror and despair. That isn’t to say anything about Odd Thomas, the main protagonist, a hero with a tendency towards humility and self-deprecation. I won’t go into any other specifics with fears of spoiling a truly worthwhile series for some people. I cannot wait for the seventh book, already released and probably the last as the sense of termination in the sixth book suggests. All I can do is highly recommend this series to those who have yet to try it. Not only a great read, it is also a great lesson for prospective authors in tone and character creation.
What I Wrote:
What didn’t I write? Honestly, this week saw me touch a little bit of every project I’m working on, mostly my NaNoWriMo project–I’ll write up an update on that in a separate post later today or tomorrow.
I got a little further in one of my new scripts, editing through the first two acts before getting started on the third. Why did I choose to review before completing my screenplay? Mainly because I reached a recent epiphany regarding the whole structure of the narrative, and realized that the driving action had occurred far too late, that particular plot point only appearing midway through the second act. I am not someone who believes that each plot point or pinch must occur at a specific juncture, but I also believe that main events need to happen at an earlier stage of the game to allow for further development later. Certainly I could have just finished the third act and then gone back, but at that moment of realization, I also came to a disturbing awareness that my plot was overstuffed with action that was all to the detriment of my protagonist’s important character arc. After a decent amount reconsideration of my outline, I made a few corrections and jumped back to the beginning to better set up for the third act and hopefully avoid needless rethinking of it later on. Phew. Did anyone understand what I just said?
My other two fully-written scripts also underwent a good deal of edits this week, though not to the same extent. One of them needs more treatment than the others, but I’m excited for the challenges, and excited to write new scenarios for my characters to engage in.
What I Listened To:
A lot, but I have three particular earworms to bring to your attention:
- The Outlander Theme Song: a cover version of The Skye Boat Song performed by Raya Yarbrough. This song is just gorgeous, alive with a Celtic instrumentation that resonates in the soul. Raya’s voice is also soothing. I’ve loved listening to her on other tracks where she’s collaborated with Bear McCreary, and this is definitely one of my favourites. It truly inspires and uplifts.
- Chandelier by Sia: for some reason, this song has been stuck in my head for the past few days. I loved the song from the first listen such a long time ago, and it’s one of those guilty pleasure songs that I belt out at home when no one is around, screeching proudly to hit the high notes. The lyrics have especially resonated with me this week, inspiring me to push on with my writing. Each project is a chandelier I’m desperately clinging onto, and I won’t let go til I’m done!
- I am a big fan of soundtrack scores. Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, Battlestar Galactica, etc, etc….. This week, I’ve been replaying one specific song: Time by Hans Zimmer on the Inception soundtrack. It’s such a catchy piece that invokes a swell of emotions as the music builds, strings guiding its momentum, a rise and fall, push forward then fall back. It is a truly beautiful piece that never fails to inspire me to strive through my stumbling blocks. I also like to imagine scenes being written according to it, imagine the action unfolding to it. In all truth, it’s not a bad analogy: a scene after all needs to have its action build towards a climax before receding to a small, subtle conclusion.
What I Watched:
Mostly television episodes and more segments of The Graham Norton Show. Let me highlight just one:
Chapter Twenty-Three, Jane the Virgin: I started watching this show last year just to see what it was about and I absolutely fell in love with it. Not only is it incredibly funny, but it is incredibly heartfelt. The central relationship between three generations of Villanueva women is one that never grew stale and always felt real and honest. Having a beautiful mother and grandmother that I can always depend on, Jane was someone I could well relate to — except for the insemination and love triangle part. This past Monday saw the return of Jane and her not-so-typical family. And it was pure gold! It is one of my favourite shows on TV at the moment and I am glad to have it back. Bring on the laughter and the tears!
I’ll say that’s a wrap for this week. My Word count is now nearly at 1000. I might have ranted more than I should have. My apologies in advance. And leave a comment with your own read, watched, listened and written adventures of the past week. I love to hear them!
May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,