Thursday, July 24, 2014

5 Minute Plot-Maker

I am, quite obviously, blogging about a five minute plot maker. I'm also here to tell you that this may take longer. Like, maybe ten minutes. I know, I know. False advertising. But, seriously, who's counting?

Now, I am a pantser when it comes to writing. Plotting. Is. Exhausting. Usually the realization that plotting might be necessary happens to me when I'm 70% done with the book and still don't know how it's going to end.

I came up with this idea when my sister was bemoaning to me about how she couldn't for the life of her figure out the plot of her book. Well, future book.

Basically, you go through five steps.

1. Pick a genre.
2. Pick a word that describes the feeling you want your book to have.
3. World-build, using the genre and word choice.
4. As Pacific Rim says, make sure your character and world are "drift compatible".
5. Give your character a kaiju.

I am totally aware that it might take more than five minutes. But the whole meaning of this thingy is to learn not to over think. When you answer the questions, you only have the backbone of what your story can become. Now, I'm no doctor, but I'm pretty sure the human anatomy has a bunch more bones that all come together to make one, big, massive skeleton. Bad analogy, I know, but it sort've works.

You should already have a story and character in mind when you start. Just use whatever pops into your head first. And an arch-enemy? Make it whatever the heck you want. What if ninja pops into your head first? Okay, then. Make it a ninja with whatever twists you come up with. What if creepy twins is the first thing you think? Creepy twins it is.

The point is not to get every detail right the first time. It's to learn that everything your story will become will start with two simple words-- Chapter One. Or just one. Like Prologue or something.

Also really quick, um, sorry for not posting in eons. I have no excuse other than I'm lazy and over-stressed and those two things don't really go hand-in-hand.

Like, at all.


Tansie G.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Reviewing: Girl v. Boy by Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout

All’s not fair in love, war, and high school journalism.
Sixteen-year-old Luisa Perez is not looking to win any awards for school spirit. In fact, she and her friends make it a point to avoid all activities considered “extra-curricular.” So when her English teacher volunteers her to be an anonymous columnist for the school paper, Luisa’s first impulse is to run. But, unlike her high-school dropout sister, Luisa does want to go to college—it may be her only ticket out of a life spent working at the cowboy-themed diner where she waitresses part time—and it would be nice to have something on her applications.
Her first assignment is to cover her high school's latest fundraiser, which pits the girls against the boys. Luisa will cover the events from the female POV, while another anonymous writer provides the male perspective—or, at least, that’s how it begins. The two columnists soon find themselves engaged in an epic battle of the sexes—a battle that Luisa is determined to win. Just who does this guy think he is, encouraging his peers to act like Neanderthals with their girlfriends? And why can’t Luisa shake the very sinking feeling that her new unidentified nemesis might also be her new boyfriend?
Please note; I am not judging the entire male population within this review. I'm judging the guys in this particular book. If there happen to be guys exactly like or almost exactly like those portrayed (which is very likely), then yes. I'm judging them.

I know next to nothing about how a guy's brain works. I'm kind of glad I don't. I've heard it's mentally scarring. In Girl v. Boy, the boys mentioned gave me migraines. The girls did too. In fact, I kind of felt like flinging the book across the room a few times. Not because I loved it so much I hated it, but, because of the characters, I was feeling particularly violent.

Lets start with Mac Landis. (I wrote this a few minutes after finishing the book, so the anger is still fresh.) I don't have a sever disliking for him because he's a bad person as in evil bad. I have a severe disliking for him, because he is a severely unlikable person. He's a pervert without a mouth filter, a first-class prick with no shame, and quite honestly, a potatoe with eyes.

Just kidding. That was Joey I-Can't-for-the-Life-of-Me-Remember-His-Last-Name on Holloween. About Joey. He was sweet. Like, put him in the rain and he'll melt, sweet. But, just like all boys in this book, I got mad at him.

Like, really mad.

Like, madder than I was at Mac, mad. I was ready to slap the bajeebers out of him.

That brings us to Russ and Tyler. Russ seemed like, at first, a distracted puppy. But puppies are already distracted!, you say. Well, yes, they are. But take that puppy, take away all it's focus ever, make it obsessed with sports of all kind, and give it something that doesn't enjoy sports and wants atleast a teaspoon of attention, and what do you get?

Tyler was nice. I kind of felt like Lu should've chosen him, because he tried -- and so many others didn't.

Now it's the girls' turn.

Mariah was evil incarnate. The only reason she was popular was because she wore next to nothing. Her insults were... well, they were immature and, quite honestly, ridiculous. She called Lu Coconut. Yeah. Coconut. That's just embarrassing. I was kind of disappointed that she was just your typical mean girl, but what was I expecting?

Rachel and Izzy are Luisa's two best friends, and they are awesome. Grace is Lu's older sister that dropped out of school and has a little girl named Keira, whose dad is Paz, who works at a factory and has a gang of friends (including Joey) that are hilarious and often drop by the diner than Lu and Grace work at.

Grace is tough, edgy, and has a seriously bad temper. She searches every single sentence for an insult, and if she finds one, Lord help you because you will be aching for the next week or so. She loves Keira with all her heart. I feel like she's been attacked by her peers for so long that she automatically fights back-- even if certain ones aren't fighting back and never meant to offend her.

Now, down to Luisa. There are a lot of things that happened in this book that just isn't believable. Lu goes from being shy, unnoticed by any guys ever, to never not having a guy have his eyes on her. Why? Well, it all started because she finally attended school dances and got involved in school things. I have no experience with these things (they sound horrible in my opinion) but I'm pretty sure getting in on the school spirit is not the one and only way to get a guy's attention.

She was smart, sarcastic, and opinionated, but jumped to conclusions a lot and sometimes didn't think things all the way through.

The plot was pretty simple. The plot twist was well delivered-- I was not expecting "Scoop" (the dude's penname) to be who he was. It just clashed so hugely with who I thought he was that I was just like

I am going to tell you that after everything sort of smoothed over I was almost/sorta/kinda/not really able to forgive Scoop completely. I was still angry that he said certain things he did. Playing a part or not, it doesn't matter.

Anyways, it was a good book that I might read again just for fun, but it's not one of my favorites or something I'd force my friends to read. But don't let me rain on your parade. If it sounds like something you'd like, try it out!