A blog for people who don't want to spend all their free time in the real world. After all, we live and work there. Escape the mundane with books, travel, and writing.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Different Character Points of View

My novel, Far-Knowing, is told from two characters' points of view (with a third making a few appearances).  I love the way this lets you into different characters' heads to see the situation in different ways.  It's fun to write, and I generally find it fun to read, though there is the danger of distancing readers, and some people don't like it.  These varied reader reactions have made themselves clear in online reviews.  Check some of them out:

"I normally don’t like stories that switch a lot from one point of view to another, and back again. There have been rare cases where I did end up liking them, in spite of multiple POVs --- but this book is the first time I remember finishing a book and thinking that the multiple points-of-view not only failed to detract from the story, but also made the story better. From the perspective of someone like me who is biased against that practice, this is quite a testament to Melinda Brasher’s skill as a writer. It’s terrific."
-from a 5-star Amazon review

"But for me this book had a major problem, and this was the manner in which it jumped from one character's point of view to another character's point of view. Many times, just as I was getting into the story, the point of view changed, and I had to reestablish the context. Some readers don't mind this kind of style, so I think many readers will enjoy this book more than I did."
-from an otherwise positive 3-star Amazon review

"The characters were well developed and you really got to see into Kalli and Ista's minds. I do however think that the POV switches came too frequently. I would've preferred the format to be different, but it wasn't too distracting."
-from a 3.5-star review

"Far-Knowing was both well-written and entertaining. I loved how different Ista and Kalli are, and yet neither one is better than the other. Usually when books switch points of views between two main characters I favor one character over the other, at least a little, but I liked them both equally."
-from a 4-star review

"I absolutely loved the changing perspective of different points of view of individual characters. Things aren’t exactly as they seem to be. Very true."
-from a 5-star Amazon review

See for yourself what you think:

Friday, June 12, 2015

Knowledge and fear

Cool quote I found in a novel:

“In knowledge one had all the tools necessary to face fear, and in time overcome it.  It didn’t make one more brave, it made one more sensible.  And that was a powerful substitute without the inherent dangers of being brave.” 


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Súľovské skaly in Slovakia

Súľov fields, forests, and rocks
Súľovské skaly is an area in western Slovakia with lots of striking white-gray rock formations sticking up through the forest.  Gorgeous hiking and beautiful views.  

Bus connections to Súľov town may be a little tricky, depending on where you're coming from, but it's possible.  

View out of the Dragon Hole
I went with friends in their car, and we took the yellow path from Súľov up to the Dragon's Hole cave (Šarkania diera), past a cool stone bridge, and then to the trail crossroads at pod Roháč.  We then followed the red trail through rock formations and great viewpoints to the turn-off to the ruins of Súľov Castle.  At the ruins, beautiful views and tiny entryways made me appreciate its defensive position.  

The  trail was only about 8km long, but included nearly 600m of elevation climb, some of it with the aid of ladders and iron rings stuck into the rock.  Great fun.   

Me, enjoying the views
Don't look down!

Fun ladders and handles on the trail
  
The doorway to the castle

View from the castle

Friday, June 5, 2015

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I don't usually scarf down a whole series.  I usually spread the books out a bit.  I have a feeling I won't be doing that with this series.

I just finished Cinder, by Marissa Meyer, and loved it.

Yes there were issues.  I think it could have developed the world a little more fully, and wrung a little more from the big what-ifs of this future.  I found a few words that weren't used quite right, and had issues with little plot holes and inconsistencies, but I didn't really care because I was just enjoying it so much.  

The writing is very good, the romance nice, the characters interesting, the sci-fi setting cool.  I love this unusual take on the Cinderella story, and the way it stays true to the tale I know while somehow managing to twist it into something totally different.  It ends on a cliffhanger (not my favorite thing), but luckily my friend had the next book ready for me.  I finished Cinder today on my lunch break and I've already started Scarlet.  

Definitely the most fun read I've had in months.  

Rating:  4.5 stars  

Monday, June 1, 2015

Deer hunting (with a camera)

I took a dusk hike yesterday to see if I could find some deer.  Success!  I spied 5 deer in 4 separate encounters.  Awesome.  And in the sunset meadow at the top of the hill, I saw more ears sticking out of the tall grasses.  Rabbits this time!

So here's the first picture.  That ugly gate just HAD to be there...


And the same deer, after I stalked it a little


Sunset in the Beskydy mountains.  Ahh...this is the life.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

My micro story published at On the Premises

I got an honorable mention in a cool mini writing contest over at On the Premises.  The task was to write a story between 20 and 40 words long that used the same (non-trivial) word at least twice—and each time it was used, it needed to have a different definition. 

Quite a fun challenge.  And 20-40 words is SHORT.  Here are the winners and honorable mentions, including mine: http://www.onthepremises.com/minis/mini_25.html

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Filming vs writing

We were just wandering around Prague when we saw film crews and then two people running down the street, right past us--maybe six feet away.  "That's Elizabeth Mitchell!" I said.  "No way!"  But it was.  Her and Goran Visnjec.  Cool!  I felt a little silly being so excited, but as a big fan of Lost (at least the first few seasons), it was awesome to be so close to Juliette.

And the mechanics of it were fascinating--the big cameras, the chalking out marks on the cobblestones, the redoing of the same short scene, the guy whose job it was to feed the pigeons so that they could fly away when Elizabeth Mitchell and Goran Visnjec ran through.  Extras, make-up people, catering truck...all very interesting.  


But it looked like actually being part of the crew might be boring.  Lots of standing around, waiting, repeating the same short scene that might have 3 seconds on screen or get cut entirely.  Writing, too, is a lot of repeatedly revising the same short scenes, slaving over conversations and descriptions that eventually get cut, standing around thinking about how best to capture the mood.  But I think I prefer writing.

The show is Crossing Lines, and they're filming the third season, where these two actors appear for the first time, I believe.  I hope I one day see this scene on screen.