I’ve been quiet on my blog the past week or so. Reason: I’ve been brain dead at the writing level. The short story I am currently working on is testing both my patience and my writing skills. I needed a little break from it. I am convinced it will be a great story; this is why I need to persevere through this thick writing fog!
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Scary. And creepy. I have kids; I can only imagine what these parents were going through when their daughters had gone missing. Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman), a good man who worships God, decides to take action to find answers. I won’t say more. A very good movie. And the soundtrack is excellent for this kind of movie. I’m proud to say that Denis Villeneuve (who directed the movie) is from Quebec.
How far would you go to protect your family? Keller Dover is facing a parent’s worst nightmare: his young daughter and her friend have gone missing. Heading the investigation, Detective Loki arrests the only suspect–the driver of an RV on which the girls had been playing–but a lack of evidence forces his release. As pressure mounts, Loki’s team pursues multiple leads while a frantic Dover decides he has no choice but take matters into his own hands.
I had heard about this hijacking and wanted to see this movie based on the true story. I have to say; the second half of the movie is nerve-racking. I’m a big fan of Tom Hanks, he’s a great actor. The last scene where Captain Phillips is being examined by doctors, after the ordeal is over, is very emotional. Hanks does a fantastic job of depicting the shaken commanding officer freed of the stress and fear of losing his life during the standoff. A very emotional movie moment.
Captain Phillips is a multi-layered examination of the 2009 hijacking of U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates. Based on a true story, the film focuses on the Alabama’s commanding officer, Captain Richard Phillips, and the Somali pirate captain, Muse, who takes him hostage. The two men are set on an unstoppable collision course when Muse and his crew target Phillips’s unarmed ship; in the ensuing standoff, both men will find themselves at the mercy of forces beyond their control.
Since my last post, I think I may have found what doesn’t work with the short story I am currently working on.
- I need to do research on a specific aspect of my storyline. If I don’t fully understand the basics of this particular aspect, my story won’t fly.
- I ‘m considering changing the setting (where the main action takes place) and also change one of the main characters. My initial idea will still work, and by making these changes I believe the ‘surprise effect ‘ at the end of the story will have a greater impact on the reader. Although my current draft is unfinished, I will be able to salvage a good chunk of if and reuse it in the revamped version of my story.
- I will update the abbreviated outline I wrote last week with my new ideas and I won’t begin work on the revamped story until I give myself the green light to go!
On a side note, within the last few months, I’ve been listening to author K.M. Weiland’s podcasts. They are awesome. If you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to visit her website Helping Writers Become Authors; it is filled with excellent information and tips on how to improve your craft. While I am stuck in my current predicament with my short story, I listened to her podcast “Sticking With a Story”. It reassured me. I want my story to start breathing again, so I will continue performing CPR on it!
The last part of her podcast struck me:
“Allowing our impatience, frustration, and artistic insecurities to convince us we’re wasting our time is far too tempting an escape. But don’t give in. Don’t abandon a story just because it isn’t working. Stories never work in the first draft. But if we’re willing to stick with a story and resist the urge to let go when the going gets tough, we’re likely to discover that we possess one of the most important traits of any artist: perseverance.”
Although my story outline was clear in my mind at the beginning, I am hitting road bumps as I write my first short story this year. I can’t pinpoint accurately what is wrong with it, but there is definitely something stuck in the gears somewhere. It would be so easy at this point to simply put this unfinished story aside and begin working on another project. But I won’t do that. This particular story is haunting me, challenging me. Guess what: I like a good challenge. The more difficult it becomes, the more I like it.
In an attempt to resolve the issue, I took some time last week to write a short abbreviated outline of my story. This exercise forced me to make some adjustments. One significant change was to rewrite the beginning of the story. This made me realize one thing: if I don’t like the first 2-3 sentences of my story, in other words, if I don’t get ‘hooked’ myself, then the momentum doesn’t build up as I write further.
Stay tuned for my next post, I will no doubt have more to say about my current short story in progress.
Yep. The holidays came to an end and I had to get back to work on Monday. It wasn’t easy getting back into the usual daily routine. Trying to reorganize my daily schedule to make some time to write was even harder. I struggled, but I didn’t give up. I realized one inevitable fact: I must learn to write as the bullets fly (reference: Jessica Strawser’s article “MAKE YOUR WRITING TIME MATTER”, Writer’s Digest Magazine). I carry my iPod everywhere I go… and I write when I can. One sentence at a time. It’s a slow process, but it’s better than nothing. I also downloaded an App on my iPod to help me keep track on my mini writing sessions. So far in the new year, I have clocked 3 hours and 15 minutes of writing time. Mostly in sessions of 15 minutes. The longest session was 1 hour. Compared to 0 minutes, that’s great, isn’t it? Anyhow, the short story I’m currently working on is coming along. Slowly. But it’s coming along.
I decided I would write down on a list all the movies I would watch in 2014. So far, I have seen three. This is the latest one I’ve seen. I’ll be honest, I had not seen any previews and had not really heard about it. I was pleasantly surprised. This is a great movie. Two parallel worlds, two opposite gravities, poor people on the lower world, wealthy people on the upper world. A very original idea. I really enjoyed this movie.
Adam (Jim Sturgess, Cloud Atlas) and Eden (Kirsten Dunst, Spider-Man) are long-lost lovers separated by social class and gravity. They live in parallel worlds with gravity that pulls in opposite directions – he on the poverty-stricken planet below, she on the wealthy, exploitative world above. In a desperate attempt to reunite with Eden, Adam embarks on a quest fraught with challenges and dangers. Upside Down is a visually stunning romantic adventure that asks the question: what if love was stronger than gravity?
Here is the movie preview:
Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer.
- Ray Bradbury