Why Stranger than Fiction is a must watch for Writers.

Stranger than Fiction written by Zach Helm is one of my most favourite movies of all time, as I write this blog I am watching it as well. I have seen it at least ten times, and every time it inspires me to write and create.

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A little bit about the movie, it is about a man Harold Crick (Will Farell) who is a tax auditor who wakes up hearing a voice narrating his life. And in this movie, again not wanting to spoil it, he finds outs something, and this drives the plot along. To understand what is happening he goes to a Literature Professor (Dustin Hoffman) who helps him figure out what is going on. Unless you have seen this movie, I don’t want to go into the whole thing, but it is fantastic.

Why I think this is a must watch, is the blurring of the illusion between the author and your character. We talk about as writers that our characters can surprise us and cause us, the author, to go down a path that we did not plan for. Being a freeform writer over a planner, this is more natural to run on the whims of your characters.

This movie makes me think if my character was real; one he would hate me because I am a huge dick to what is constantly happening to him. But this allows my imagination to go on a tangent as if one of my characters changes their mind and change the direction of the story. Like when he is talking to the unconscious Stinky Pete in the first chapter to him just standing in line thinking of drinking a few ales. It always felt that he did this, I just merely tapped into this reality and words flow.

So Stranger than Fiction shows the complex relationships between the writer and their creations, and at that moment you realise you do not have full control over said characters. All you can do is just enjoy the journey.

Review of Reflection of Sandra

I had the fortunate experience to meet Michelle Heynen at her book launch, being a fellow author at Inhouse Publishing, I wanted to show my support. What amazed me was the beautiful story that was created by Michelle.

A little story from the book launch, Michelle read out a letter from her book, a thank you letter to her mother. This is why I love this book, the connection that I had with this piece. The emotion poured off me and tear unbashful fell from my eyes. It made me think of nearly losing my mother seven years ago, I could never imagine how I would react if she were gone. Michelle allowed me to experience something that resonated with those feelings. It is not about sadness but remembering the gift which was given by someone who is the closest to you.

The courage of Michelle celebrating her mother’s life and the grief that comes from losing someone. An emotional roller coaster ride, as in real life there are ups and downs but striving through this is what makes this book amazing.

Another gift that Michelle gave the reader is the beautiful poems at the start of each chapter, reflecting the journey of her family during this trialling event.

Reflections of Sandra is a well thought out and emotional connective book; it can help a person who is going through a troubling time, showing the path to acceptance. Alternatively, it can be for someone who is looking for a great story of an incredible person.

Thank you, Michelle, for allowing us to join your journey.
To buy her book either head to her website, Inhouse Publishing Bookstore or Amazon.

Review of Chapter One of Caligation

This is strange to write a review on something like a prologue and first chapter, but it is happening! Brhi Stokes has her book, Caligation coming out in June and for a great bit of marketing she released the first two chapters of her book (well, the prologue and first chapter). I am so blown away by this work of hers, the imagination and vividness of the world Brhi paints with these eight thousand words is amazing.

The set up of this book is quite clear, lonely road and something big happens. This is usually not the formula for a hero’s tale, which again makes it unique. It is set in a supernatural world, and not much needs to be understood about this as the setting is clear and crisp.

In these brief insight into the book, money is dealt with, atmosphere and how is different from this world. I can go on and on about these two chapters, but I just want to read this whole book!

If you like to become wanting for time to speed up and June to come, then this book will ignite that desire.

Head to her website, BrhiStokes.com, her Facebook page, click here or her Twitter account @BrhiSAuthor

Review of Battle of Skeptron.

So my second review of the books I collected from Supanova. Mr Gennari impressed me with his creative vision, combining martial arts with a sci-fi fantasy world; remarkable.

Battle of Skeptron is the first of a future series by R. D, Gennari. It is set in the world Númaria. This is a sci-fi/fantasy book. I do not read many sci-fi books, as I find them bogged down with technical terms and distracts from the story. While reading this even though it is technically sci-fi, it felt more like High Fantasy, in the scope and mysticism of the land and its people. There are certain things I have to tip my hat to Mr Gennari, and a few things that I could suggest to help improve the readability of the book.

Let us start with what drew me to the story and the book. First thing is the world, in essence, the world building. Wow! Building the world with rich history and lore is a marvellous thing, of the style of the spoken language to the martial art; Lúkari to the different races and their histories. I could go on and on about the richness of this book’s landscape. Being a person who has created the world like this for his own series I can tell the effort Mr Gennari has been put into it. Even that there is technology, it feels more like a part of the world and not unique, which again well done. Another thing I love about this book is the map! I can not tell you how much I love maps. Maps show you the world, and you can track the progress of the heroes. Wonderful! The characters Areus, Santia, Ryaklesian, Belvara, etc. are well thought out characters, each with their own lore and personality.

But the world itself does smother the contents of these individuals. Which bring to my issues with the book. The book itself is well written, but it had something that I have to call ‘Tolkenistis’. What is Tolkenistis? Well, is over description; a lush and vibrant world that overtakes the story. The new terms, races, language, etc. can slow or smother the progress of the story and due to this slows down the story to the point of sluggishness. The more complex of the world, the more explaining that you will have to do for the standard terms/casual conversations. This can be solved with a simple glossary. Once you are past the world building, the story flows, and with a bang, it is a ride of pure enjoyment!

In the end, I found the Battle for Skeptron an interesting read, and I will be looking forward to more about this world, story and characters. For lovers of multi-layered, complicated written books, this is for you!

Review of From Dusk by M. G. Ryan

 

From Dusk: the Vampire Hunter Prophecy is the first of four novels that I picked up at Supanova and this week is dedicated to reading and reviewing them. To understand how I feel about this story there will be some spoilers, not how I like to do reviews but there is no other way for me to talk about this book honestly.

So spoilers ahead, but I will keep them small.

I meet M. G. Ryan at Gold Coast Supanova; she was a few booths down from me. I was intrigued by her cover and title, so I brought a copy. An overall feel of the book, I enjoyed the novel itself, but the last third was I say my most favourite part. It follows a hero’s journey but had elements of romance and discovery of oneself.

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Lexi is the main protagonist; her character was a great way of showing a strong female without trying to make her overly masculine. Her femininity was I think one of Lexi’s compelling points, which caused me to become engaged with her story, accepting her path with a measured approach. I read one review that is was like Twilight, as I have read that series, I can tell you it is far from that type of story. Some elements are similar, wolves and vampires but it concentrates on a prophecy about a vampire hunter. The Lore of the Vampires was more like Anne Rice than Stephenie Meyer. There are some issues of flow at the beginning of the book, but once you move past that, the story was difficult to put down.

Jack is Lexi’s main supporting character. I do like him, he feels like a real person like Lexi. Something happened to him in his past, and he needed to understand this. The relationship between Lexi and Jack, I found believable. Being that close to an oblivious attraction with each other show how to do organic romance in literary form.

My favourite character is Corey, can’t go into why as I think this would ruin the book for readers but when he came into the story, the dynamic of Lexi, Jack and Corey made me lose track of my reading and before I knew the book was over. I want to read the next one now!

I would highly recommend From Dusk. Aside from the pace at the start, the book flowed and showed what knowing the path and walking it means.