November 15, 2013

Stuff and Things 11/15/13

What I'm Writing
So I've been getting stuck with this plot a lot. And bored. But I've been keeping my word count up by jumping around a bit (and writing side stories; I'm a rebel). It's been surprisingly easy to keep up, although I do have the week two doldrums, and I have hit the wall of suck. I've just been writing around that. Usually by writing a side story. :D

Edit: Okay, I got behind this week, but I've made up worse. Just means I need a serious writeordie session this weekend

Anyway, here's an excerpt from my NaNo novel, the working title is Winter's Gift. A lot of name dropping here, but the only important one is Becca, who was the child hero of my first NaNo Novel. She helped end a war that had lasted centuries (against the Cold One, aka the Snow Man) and save the world from an eternal winter. Now she's adjusting to normal life again, starting college and the like. I had a throw-away line in the last novel about how she had never known her father. When I decided to sequelize it, I wanted that to come up again as a major plot point. And here's the result. (Please excuse the NaNo-brain-mush-induced typos)

Becca stared at the man in front of her, trying to feel some sense of familiarity. If he was who he said he was, then Becca should recognize him immediately, shouldn’t she? She should know him instinctively. If he was telling the truth, then they would be connected with a bond so strong that she shouldn’t even have to try and feel it; it should be so profound that it would make itself known to her.

But Becca continued to stare at the man in front of her and she continued to feel nothing.
“Hello Rebecca,” he said.
“Becca,” she corrected him, automatically. It was reflex; she didn’t even have to think about it. She was too busy searching his face for something that she recognized, even if it was from the mirror.
“Right, of course.” The man smiled as if the expression was one he didn’t have much practice with. His lips were crooked, he showed too much teeth, and he didn’t smile with anything more than his mouth. He twisted his hands together, and it occurred to Becca that he might be nervous. “You look just like your mom did when she was your age.”
“You mean when you knocked her up?” The words and the cool tone of voice shocked Becca, almost as much as it shocked him. For a second she wasn’t sure that she had spoken. She thought maybe someone else had come in to say those deliberately hurtful words. They weren’t the sort of words that came out of her mouth.
But apparently, they were.
The crooked, nervous smile faded from the man’s lips, and Becca found she much preferred him that way. “I guess I deserved that.”
“I guess you do.” Becca wished Chet were here with her. Or Ned or even Jenny. Maybe with an audience, she’d be able to keep these harsh words behind her teeth. Chet, at least, would scold her for being so unkind. “Look, I don’t know you. I don’t even know your name, but I’m supposed to, what, hug you and kiss you and call you daddy just because you didn’t have the sense to use a condom twenty years ago? You’re nobody. Just another guy that couldn’t keep it in his pants, and I’ve had enough of those lately.” Becca stood, abruptly. It was like this man she didn’t recognize was making her disappear, changing her until she didn’t recognize herself. She needed to leave before she disappeared completely.
“Becca, wait.” She did. She wasn’t sure why she did, but she looked at the strange man expectantly, tapping her foot. “I know you've been there. The place beyond this one. The outer realm.”
Becca’s foot stopped tapping.
“I’ve been there too,” he said. Half of Becca wanted him to be lying, the other half desperately wanted it to be true. “That’s where I’ve been this whole time. I was lost there, and I wasn’t able to find my way back until the war ended.”
Becca shook her head. Even if that was the truth, the war ended five years ago. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she said, and the lie was bitter on her tongue.
“Of course you do. Becca,” he stood, and made as though he wanted to reach out for her, but she stepped out of his reach, “it took me time to find someone that could open a way through the veil, time to track down your mom, time to convince her to let me see you, all the while re-establishing myself in the world that I never thought I’d see again. But I did come, and I hoped that would count for something at least.”
“How--?” Becca couldn’t finish the question. There were too many clamoring to be asked inside her head, each more important than the last.
“How did I manage to get myself stuck in the world existing beyond human knowledge?” he finished for her, with a self-deprecating grin that looked much more natural than the last one. “The Cliff Notes version? The war was so powerful that there were times when it damaged the veil between worlds, causing them to bleed into each other.” He said it so off-handedly, but Becca felt herself still at the word ‘bleed.’ “The last one happened centuries ago, but the effects aren’t so easily erased.”
That answered nothing, and Becca was suddenly uneasy at the mention of the bleed, but there was another question she needed him to answer first. “What makes you think I was there?”
“How could I not?” There was incredulity in his voice. “Becca, you’re an honest- to- goodness goddamn legend there. And when I left to track you and your mom down, and I realized that it was you who defeated the Cold One--”
“I didn’t defeat him.” People were always saying that to her, but it was so wrong. She’d gotten lucky. She’d weakened the Snow Man at a crucial moment. Esrom and the First had gotten there just in time to take advantage, but not in time to save Rosie’s life. Becca was no hero. “Esrom defeated him. I was just… I was just there.”
“The way I hear it, you were more than just there, you were integral.” The man’s voice was gentle, and at that very moment, it reminded her a little of Bem’s. “But I’d love to hear the real story, if you’d like to tell me.”
And a part of Becca really did. After five years of lying to every new person she met, it would be a relief to tell the truth, and to someone who would actually understand it. Still, she shook her head. “I still don’t know you. I don’t even know your name.”
“Daniel. My name is Daniel Miller.” He held his hand out to her. “It’s very nice to finally meet you, Becca.”
Becca hesitated only a moment before shaking his hand.
Divergent book 3 Allegiant cover high-res
I found Allegiant to be disappointing after the first two, I have to say. It didn't feel as cohesive. It ran off in a lot of tangents that didn't do a whole lot for the plot. Like the attack Four helped Nita with. I get that they learned some useful information because of it, but it was unnecessary. They attack, drug people, blow a hole in the wall, Uriah's in a coma, just so Tris can learn that they need a code to get into the Weapon's Lab? It's a little extreme, and Four gets off with just a slap on the wrist? Umm, yeah, way too extreme and way unnecessary and way too unbelievable.

Plus, Tris and Four were narrating the story. I found that pretty jarring. I understand why Roth wrote it like that, but I got so used to being solely inside Tris' head that it was difficult to switch back and forth. Even though she labeled each chapter as "Tris" or "Tobias," there were times I was reading it and thought it was Tris narrating like always, and then I'd come across a passage that didn't make sense, and it would take me a moment to realize that it was Four. The character voices sounded the same, which didn't help, and they both did a lot of skulking around by themselves or with the same group of people, so it was really difficult to differentiate between the two. It should not have been written in first person if Roth wanted to switch viewpoints.

I didn't like the ending either. There was a little more unnecessary happening (I won't spoil that much) and everything else just felt like it was resolved way too easily. It just felt rather slap-dash, you know? Like Roth's editors were just gunning for their payday and put it through before it was a finished, cohesive story.

Anyway, Allegiant was a disappointment, and I'd suggest waiting to get it from your library if you want to see how the trilogy ends.

TV- I'm totally behind in pretty much everything. :3
Castle- Awesome episode. Although, I saw the car crash coming. It was kind of obvious.

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