Saturday, March 28, 2015


Yes, I know you aren't supposed to compare the movies to the books they are "based on" (Use that term loosely, Hollywood). But sometimes, it just can't be helped.

As I'm sure you've figured out, I saw Insurgent tonight. I went in with an open mind, kind of, and was determined to enjoy it even though I knew it would be a bit different from the book, like the first of the series, Divergent was. Well, this wasn't different from the book so much as a different story altogether. Okay then, let's look at it as just a movie. Just a sequel to the first movie. Let's do that. 
FYI, I haven't read Allegiant but I'm already afraid for that book to movie disaster in the making.

My first issue is the pacing. You're trying to shove a lot of stuff into one movie and it felt just way too rushed. Concepts are being thrown at the audience at such a speed that I feel like people are just left confused and trying to figure out what the hell it was even all about.
Honestly, I can't remember who that black guy, Tris's friend, was supposed to be. I think his name was mentioned once (Well, whispered maybe) and that's how many times we saw him in the movie. So how are they close friends who hang out on top of a building at night to chat when I don't recall seeing him before and never have to worry about seeing him again? That guy was in and out faster than a ninja. So then, what was the point of his role? 

My next problem was that there were no mysteries here. Everyone seemed to know everything that was going on as it happened. Secrets were revealed all too easily. There were no serious problems to work out because someone will just come along and tell you the answer pretty soon.
Also, how in the name of Tris's too-short hair did Four know about the box? I actually complained out loud about that scene as it played out. Tris never knew about a fricking box until it was shown to her. She never tells Four about it. So how does he magically know about it when she says she has to go get it? Are we to just assume that some guard was all like "Yeah, they're torturing your girlfriend to open a box."? We have to, right, since there's no other explanation?

As a movie by itself it was okay. I should have waited for DVD but oh well, that's money I can't get back. You're welcome, overpriced movie theater. It had action scenes and parts where yes, I actually had to hold back some tears, ("I can't forgive myself.") but as a whole, it could have been better. It could have been much better.

Now, compared to the book. A lot was changed. A few things were not. Some things that were changed were understandable to me. I got why it had to be done. Some things did not need to be changed and there was no reason to change them. Hollywood needs to stop assuming that the audience members are idiots who can't put two and two together. We can handle mysteries. We can handle complex concepts. Otherwise, why would we be going to see a YA dystopian, post apocalyptic, fantasy/sci-fi, however-you-want-to-categorize it movie? Did you ever think that dumbing down this stuff might actually be making our teens, I don't know, dumber?
We can also handle relationship problems between two young adults which take place during the entirety of the book but not at all in the movie. The lovey-dovey puppy dog crap on screen actually had me rolling my eyes in frustration.

To conclude, if you've read the books, don't see Insurgent in theaters. Wait and Redbox it for less than $2. If you haven't read the books, go see it if you like action; sappy, uncomplicated romance; plots that sometimes don't make sense; and everything laid out on the line for you.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


I haven't done a post about art in a little while so here we go. I'll keep this short and sweet because the art speaks for itself here, people.
Of the many talented artists I follow on deviatART, another one of my favorites is the digital artist Jon-Lock. Not his real name of course (I'm assuming it's a guy, I really hope I'm right and don't offend), just what he goes by on that site. His original works of art are amazing! No, really, very inspiring stuff.

He did a short series of works that were a different take on fairy tale stories. Instead of the usual damsel in distress, he switched it up and had males playing the lead roles. For example, this piece, which was one of my favorites of the bunch: Sleeping Beauty.

 I really enjoy his particular style, bold lines and subtle lighting but the themes in his art is what really draws me in. Small details in facial expressions and color schemes make all the difference when it comes to tugging on my heartstrings. I fall in love with these characters. He just makes it so easy to.

Serious, thoughtful, silly, heart wrenching; each drawing has it's own emotional setting and unique story to tell. Go check out his deviantART account to see more samples of his work. Here's his tumblr account too. He's also creating a comic that I believe he'll be posting later this month. Looking forward to that!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Writing Rules & Guidelines... Ick

Whenever I come across an article about bettering your writing, I always take the time to read it because, duh. But I've learned to take the advice of others with a grain of salt. And I often disagree completely with what other writer's ideas of "dos and don'ts" are. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those writers who is unwilling to change their story because they think it's perfect the way it is. Uh, no. If that was the case, why would I be reading all these articles in the first place? I'm not in denial of my faults and limitations. I just don't like the "new" ideas of how writing should be done or these rules that are becoming the known, common thing in the writing community. (Like, everyone knows that!)

One thing that every editor and blogger in the world is saying now is this: never use the word suddenly. Apparently, nothing happens suddenly in novels. Things happen or don't happen. There are no sneaky people or unexpected magic. Let's have a look at these two sentences.

Jim was standing by the road talking. A car hit him.

Jim was standing by the road talking when suddenly a car hit him.

I guess I'm just weird because I like the second sentence better. But you should NEVER DO THAT! According to the web, never use the word suddenly. Or the word very. Just take them out of your vocabulary. 
Writers are also supposed to never use adverbs and crack down on your use of adjectives. Basically, take your dictionary and rip about half the pages out of it. 
We need to make our sentences short and choppy. Writers shouldn't be too wordy. We don't need to overly describe anything. Yet we have to make our readers taste, see and hear every little detail of the surroundings in a scene. We have to create lush worlds and draw our readers into them. Huh?
Oh, and never use the passive voice. That is a thing that writers never do. 

There are so many rules and guidelines on the web for writers. It seems like anyone who's ever had anything published has writing tips to share with others (Myself included.) Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that this is a bad thing. There are a number of blog posts that have helped me hone my skills as a writer and I'm very thankful. 

I guess what I'm really trying to say here is that you shouldn't read any of these articles before you write. Just write your story. If you're busy worrying about overusing adjectives while you're writing, you'll never be able to concentrate on the story itself. Worry about that first. That's why it's called a first draft. You have to go back and tinker with it to prepare it for reader's eyes. And every writer, even the professionals who've been doing this for years, have to go back and clean up the first draft.
I just think the tinkering should be judged case by case. Just look at some famous modern writers who are overly wordy. Why, some even use the passive voice! *Horror music sounds in the background* 

I still read every article I come across. How can I not when so many have helped me? But I also still use the word suddenly sometimes. Maybe an editor will scoff at the use but oh well. I just can't remove the word from my dictionary. I'm very, very bad.

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. ― W. Somerset Maugham

 Don’t take anyone’s writing advice too seriously. – Lev Grossman