Writer's Block

Yes, writer's block is a real thing. A real, annoying, frustrating, way-of-life-threatening thing. And I'm currently going through that right now. I have this story in my head that I want to tell but I can't come up with a way to make it work. I wonder if perhaps I'm trying to force two people together in my story that don't belong together. Is that what it is? Can that even happen?

I found with my last novel that the story flows much nice if you create your characters. Make them real. Experience their entire life with them so you know how they'll react to the events you throw in their paths. As a writer, you are the world builder. You create the characters in your novel, yes, but then you let them react to the shit you throw in their face. That is how the story comes to life in a believable way.

So is my writer's block a result of trying to put my two characters together when they don't really belong? Now that I've defined their roles, I feel almost wrong going back and changing them in any way. Isn't that funny? Characters really are people, for me at least.

So... how can I get past this? Well, I think all sorts of writers have all sorts of ways to combat the stress of not knowing what to get out on the page. I've heard many people just start writing and hope that the shit that comes out will eventually lead them out of the dark. But I'm not sure I like that method. I hate writing complete shit. Why write crap that you're just going to have to throw away? My method relies on planning.

I take a big sheet of paper, or a large sketchpad and just go at it. I create idea spider webs and bubble charts and draw pictures and write dialogue snippets. Anything to help me imagine where I want to go in my head. This way, I can see the ideas form on a page before me. I almost write/draw my way out of the sticky situation and eventually I can formulate a way to get past what's blocking me. I suppose I work my way AROUND the block instead of forcing myself directly through it.

Hopefully, if you're a writer, you're able to find your own method. I would say ANYTHING is better than no writing at all. And that's really what it comes down to. You either let the block stop you. Or you don't.
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50 Shades of Grey

by E.L. James

this one's a doozy

Cover Beauty Score: 1 out of 10
Goodreads Score: 1 out of 5

Plot Blurb: Anastasia Steele is a meek(er) girl finishing up her college career and has to interview a huge CEO when her journalist friend falls sick. She meets Christian Grey, the CEO, and is immediately drawn to him. He starts to pop up around her and eventually proposes a scandalous deal with Ana which involves his kinky sex preferences and her servility. She struggles with the decision of whether or not to take him up on the offer throughout the book.

My reaction: Is the world slowly degrading its reading level on purpose? This was seriously the worst piece of dribble I think I've ever read in a published format. I mean, honestly, the writing was so horrendous that it was a joke. A literal joke. I seriously hope that the world is obsessed with this book merely for its comedic value. As I sit here staring at the keys on my laptop I cannot honestly decide where to begin my degrading commentary.

Shall we touch on the fact that James mentions the lip biting about five million times PER PAGE? It is annoying. I have a theory that women think lip biting is much more sexy than men think it is. Think about it. Whenever we want to appear sexy, we nibble on the lower lip, hoping it will force our man into songs of rapture and professions of love, but it never really does. Obviously James is completely obsessed with this concept. If I were Mr. Grey and the girl I was boning bit her lip that much I think I'd smack the shit out of her too.

The dialogue was horrible. Unreadable, really. The analogies make me cringe. Hot brownie fudge covered sex with a cherry on top? Really? I mean... really?

On that note, let's take some quotes I highlighted on my kindle (yes I had to read it in digital format to cover my embarrassment):

"Stalker, my subconscious whispers at me through the cloud of tequila that's still floating in my brain, but somehow, because it's him, I don't mind."  AND ANOTHER IN THE SAME VEIN "Stalking is one of his specialties." 
WHAT? How is it that stalking is an attractive quality? I understand you want your man to keep his eye on you and protect you... but stalking? That is not an attractive adjective, people. How is it that we are fostering this type of mentality? Him tracing her cell phone is just creepy. Not a joke. It's plain creepy.

"I don't remember reading about nipple clamps in the bible." OR THIS ONE "Holy Moses, he's all mine to play with, and suddenly it's Christmas." REALLY?
These are self explanatory, I think. I hope. Please tell me you think these quotes are stupid as hell.

"He's no gentleman. He has my panties." AND "Oh, crapola. Don't get your panties in such a twist... and give me back mine." 
This whole panties gone thing was weird. I hope these excerpts illustrate a bit of that. I mean... I can't even.. I just... There's nothing to say. And don't even get me started on how many times she gushes about her inner goddess. If I have to read one more thing about that bitch jumping up and down I'm going to throw my kindle against the wall. As a matter of fact, Ana seems to have quite a few voices running around inside her head. Perhaps we should be analyzing her for possible psychosis... multiple personalities maybe? It would explain a lot...

So in conclusion... the writing is horrible. Beyond horrible. If I were Stephanie Myer and knew that this was a fan fiction of Twilight... I think I might go jump off a cliff. It seriously makes the Twilight books look like classic literature. And anyone that can't understand that this book is horrid needs to go back to high school, Or middle school. Or possibly elementary, because that's where your reading level is obviously located.

In all honestly, I expected to enjoy this. I thought that I was being pretentious by holding my head high and not reading it. And it has nothing to do with the sex scenes... I'm a self professed lover of romance novels - I read sex scenes daily. The biggest thing that pisses me off about this is that it gives the romance genre a bad name all around. This is by far the most popular romance novel ever written and now the nation will assume that romance is a waste of time and it's the joke that society already thinks it is.

So thanks, E.L. James, for ruining the romance genre as a whole.

Somehow you made millions off of this, so I guess you're a fucking genius too.
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by Shannon Hale

Cover Beauty Score: 6 out of 10
Goodreads Score: 4 out of 5

Plot Blurb: We follow the story of Jane Hayes, a pretty sad pathetic girl that lives in New York and has become obsessed with the idea of Mr. Darcy and the Austen-like romance. Having gone through man boyfriends, she has almost decided to give up when her rich aunt leaves her a vacation to Pembrook Park... an estate in England where everyone dresses up in Regency everything and basically role play an Austenlike experience for three weeks. She goes and meets several gentlemen and struggles with her role playing life and her normal one. Lot of adorableness ensues!

My reaction: So I recently went to see Austenland in the theatres and was delighted with the movie. As an Austenite myself (pretty sure I've seen every costume drama the BBC has to offer) I thought that it was charming and hilarious and utterly fabulous for a rom com. I knew I'd have to try out the book and I wasn't disappointed! The writing was full of the author's voice, something that is sometimes difficult for me to grab in modern works. Many times a loud voice can throw me off a book, but this was adorable, I have to say. Lots of funny bits and I would have to admit some pretty classically cheesy scenes but I loved it.

Did I think Jane was a bit lame at the beginning? Yes. Was she able to redeem herself? In many ways, she did. The ONLY difference I would have liked to have seen would be that Jane should have had some alone time at the end BEFORE her man came after her and swept her off her feet. I mean, I'm all for getting swept off your feet, but the girl really did need to be happy with herself for a little while.

And let's be honest about Mr. Nobley here for a second. He gives completely unrealistic expectations of men. I'm sorry, but no guy is gonna be all "oh I want to fall in love and I'm in this for the long haul and can I please have your children." Those kinds of guys don't really exist. Do they? Honestly, who could really care when the guy is basically blowing romance crack into your face. No wonder Jane had fun on her vacation. I wanna get high on Darcy love too!

So I guess my only lasting comment would be... where can I sign up for this trip? Seriously. I wanna go.

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