Book Vs Movie

001A while ago I blogged about discovering Game of Thrones.

I was initially hooked by the exciting storylines. Add compelling characters, fabulous costumes and amazing scenery and I was powerless to resist.

Terri Lively, a fellow blogger, mentioned the graphic violence in later seasons. At that point I’d only seen season one and although I thought it was fairly violent, it wasn’t any worse than most of what’s on TV these days.

I think I’ve reached the scenes to which she referred. Horrific is the only word to describe them. I close my eyes and plug my ears while they’re on screen. (Really? This is how I spend my precious leisure time–trying not to watch the show playing on my TV??? It’s crazy!)

Weirdly, this particular horrible storyline doesn’t drive the plot. A quick online search indicates these scenes aren’t even in the book. For some reason, they were added to the screen adaptation. And I can’t figure out why.

I’m caught up in the stories, but I just can’t watch anymore so I’m going to give the book a try.

I love reading. The book is always better than the movie. Apparently there’s not as much graphic violence in the novel.

Sounds like win, win, win.

50,000 Words and Counting

I wrote a novel.

Besides being a devoted mom, it’s one of the things of which I’m most proud. My novel’s not very good, but it’s mine and after almost a lifetime of abandoning novels three or four chapters in, it’s complete. That’s a huge accomplishment!

I’m working on my second one. Although it’s still a very rough first draft, it’s already better than my ruthlessly edited first book. (In my case, practice may not make perfect, but it does make better.) I enjoy the process and I adore my protagonist. Not only is she a character, she has character.

Aiming for 60,000 words or thereabouts, I’m 50,000 words in. All the strands of the complex plot are coming together for one kick ass conclusion. I know exactly where I want the story to go and my characters are co-operating.

And I’m stuck.

I can’t write.

For a while I beat myself up about it. It hung over my head like an overdue assignment. I couldn’t relax. Whenever I had a spare moment, I chastised myself for not using it to write.

I strive to be kind to others. I’m finally learning to be kind to myself, too. I don’t have the energy to devote to a novel just now. I’m too busy focussing on my other success–mom extraordinaire–and that’s okay.

Unlike my boy, Sister Rita (my protagonist is a spirited nun) will still be there, right where I left her, when I have the time and vigor to devote to her–probably not until my sailor gets home safely.

It’s okay to let some things slide–really it is.

Writers’ Groups: The Good, the Bad and the Nasty

020My friend M is working on her first novel. She’s making good progress and enjoying the process, but her mom is pushing her to join a writers’ group.

A writers’ group is somewhat like a marriage. When it’s good, it’s amazingly good. When it’s bad, it can suck the creative life out of you.

I once belonged to what I thought was a good group. We met monthly and handed out copies of work to be critiqued and discussed. One member, Kathy, admitted she was working on a novel, but she never brought sections of her book to the meetings. Clearly she didn’t feel supported and safe within the group. Kathy eventually dropped out to devote more time to her novel.

She sent a couple of emails afterwards. Nothing too heavy–just saying hi and checking in. I was happy to discuss my writing journey and hear about hers. Not so our fellow gang, er, group members.

Julia, the defacto leader and the one I thought was the nicest of the bunch, announced that Kathy had the nerve to email her. “I refuse to acknowledge her since she left our group. She’s dead to me. Dead!” Okay, Julia may not have used those exact words, but you get the idea.

Yikes, I thought, that’s pretty harsh, but Kathy never really fit in with the group. Not like me. I was one of the popular girls. Everyone liked me and always complemented my writing.

Flash forward about a year to when I’d begun seriously working on my first novel.

I’m a busy person. I have a fulltime job, a family, an emotionally needy Chihuahua and a husband who disappears for months at a time. Something told me not to tell the group I was trying to write a novel. Maybe it was the way they criticized books written by local authors, even bringing them to meetings to gloat over typos or cheap bindings.

I continued writing short stories and essays for the group while working on my novel on the sly. That extra writing, as well as the meetings and critiquing their work began to take its toll. It pulled me away from what I wanted to concentrate on–my novel.

I’d learned from Kathy’s mistake. I didn’t tell them about my book. Instead I said I couldn’t make the meetings anymore because of a scheduling clash with my boy’s Tae Kwon Do. Darn it all–it was the same night, same time! No, there was no way my sailor or even a friend could take him. It had to me. Sigh–a mother’s work is never done.

Whew! I extricated myself from the gang with no hard feelings. I was quite proud of myself.

Pride was about to goeth before a fall.

A little later I emailed Julia. (What was I thinking???) She has an impressive website and I wanted to talk about website design. She didn’t respond. Worse, I’m certain she slagged me at numerous subsequent meetings. They’re probably still talking about me. “Did I tell you Nanette emailed me? She wanted to ask me about designing a website! I have no interest in communicating with her! Ever! She left the group!”

I’ve achieved a Kathy-like level of exile.

So back to M: Choose carefully when you join a writers’ group. Some of them take their membership commitments very seriously.