Thursday, October 18, 2012

Blog Chain: Book to Film Goodness

There are so many book-to-movie adaptations out there. Which are your favorites? Which are your least favorites? Why? Do you make sure you've read a book before you go see the movie adaptation, or do you prefer to read it after, or not at all? - topic provided by Michelle McLean

Generally speaking, I like to read a book before I watch the movie because otherwise I feel like I'm missing the inside jokes. BUT... in the case of Harry Potter, I enjoyed the first movie because I hadn't read the books yet. Later Harry Potter installments left me frustrated because entire subplots were left out and I knew

But the best thing about films made after a book is the comfort of seeing and hearing your favorite characters go through their dilemmas and come out on top. You get to experience the catharsis anew. I've watched every version of Pride and Prejudice I could get my hands on. I watch the Colin Firth version pretty much every time I find myself feeling overwhelmed with my life. It's like spaghetti-o's on DVD: comfort food for the soul. 

Now for the book-to-film adaptations that get me FREAKING EXCITED!!!

Stephenie Meyer's one and only adult novel -  it's awesomesauce.

Watch the trailer @ imdb
When Melanie, one of the few remaining "wild" humans, is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, was warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, the too-vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind. 
Wanderer probes Melanie's thoughts, hoping to discover the whereabouts of the remaining human resistance. Instead, Melanie fills Wanderer's mind with visions of the man Melanie loves - Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she has been tasked with exposing. When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous and uncertain search for the man they both love.
Orson Scott Card's epic Hugo and Nebula Award winner (in the same year: a record)

Fan-made poster, no official movie poster yet. Due out:  11-1-2013

70 years after a horrific alien war, an unusually gifted child is sent to an advanced military school in space to prepare for a future invasion.
Here's more Ender's Game filming news:

and one that has been optioned and appointed a director that I'm just really, really hoping gets turned into a movie:

Kiersten White's first trilogy, huge crossover appeal from young teens to adults
Evie's always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she's falling for a shape-shifter, and she's the only person who can see through paranormals' glamours.
But Evie's about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.
So much for normal.

Read all the latest on movie news for Paranormalcy at the unofficial fan site! Apparently, the first draft of the screenplay is done, so... WOOT!

I'm leaving off some big ones other people are thrilled about: Twilight, which is the first in the latest flood of book-to-film adaptations; Mortal Instruments, which is already cast; The Hunger Games, which is working on number 2 already; Divergent, which I'm saving to read when the movie is just about to come out (because it's more exciting that way); Delirium, which I also haven't read but really want to.

So if you are a book-to-film lover, there's a lot to be excited about these days. 

What do you think of this trend? Is Hollywood being lame by not coming up with "new" ideas? Or do you love seeing your favorite book characters brought to life on the screen?

Check out other members of the Blog Chain and their thoughts on books-to-films. Christine Fonseca gushes about The Lord of the Rings, and Lisa Amowitz will give us a glimpse of her favorites tomorrow.

Monday, October 8, 2012

At last, the answer to NaNoWriMo hangover...

Operation Awesome has the solution to your NaNoWriMo hangover (i.e. the December after you wrote a novel in thirty days wherein all your love of the novel dims and you realize: I have to revise this thing before submitting!)...

New Year's Revisions Conference!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Call me Ishmael, or Ishy for short. Whatever.

The fabulous BLOG CHAIN is starting up again and I'm blessed to be a part of it along with a gaggle of writers I both adore and admire. Good people. Find them in my sidebar.

The format is a little more predictable this time, so I can tell you I'll be posting Blog Chain topics every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month. Yay for schedules and predictability!

Read it backwards. The Mirror of Erised has a special name.

Kate Karyus Quinn has picked our first intriguing topic:

What's in a name? What if Harry Potter had been Larry Snotter? What if Edward was Jacob and Jacob was Edward? What favorite books had character names that you loved or hated? And how do you come up with your own character names?
 This topic makes me smile because of the memories it revives. My junior high school English teacher taught me about literary names, using the old classic Oliver Twist. The teacher pointed out that Mr. Bumble was an appropriate name for a bumbling fool, and Bill Sikes had kind of a menacing note to it, while Oliver TWIST made you think of something crooked or perhaps ill-fated. Then there was the atrocious Fagin, the self-sacrificing Nancy, and the most literal: The Artful Dodger.

It tickled my literary-loving brain to explore the implications and emotions each name conjured.

Years passed and I didn't worry about that element of literature too much again... not until my baby sister, then about 13, told me there were these awesome books about magic that I really should read. Can you guess?

Harry Potter!

I relished anew the fun of deciphering a character by his or her name. Some were just weird: Hermione? Really? How do you even say that? Pshaw.

Then there was the harry Hagrid, the awkward Neville, and the fancy Draco with all his perplexing opinions about Hogwarts houses. Those names, too, were packed with meaning. In fact, there's not a single name in Harry Potter that isn't. It's incredible. JK Rowling must be absolutely exhausted. My favorite is Sirius, the dog star. So many layers can be hidden in a name.

When I name my characters, I usually look for one that matches a type: 

For instance, I created a science fiction writer who wrote his first book as a teenager and still collects comic books. His name was Eric.

I have a neuro-scientist with a tragic past who spends all his time imagining this other, better world created in our minds. His name is Professor William Astor.

I created a pair of twins, one good and one evil, named Rob and Rupert. If I'm honest, Rob was initially kind of a Harry wannabe. Rupert was the interesting one. (Those characters are still evolving, and their names might, too.)

I had fun naming a miracle child Mirielle, and an ex-spy Angus Chase.

A beautiful blonde alien named Azalea beams all over the pages of my one and only alien book.

And when I want to write a story set in a high school, there is invariably a side character named Jessica. Not sure why...

Naming characters is fun. Almost as much fun as naming my own kids, but without the guilt of possibly giving them one that doesn't work well atop a resume.

For me, the meaning is important. But even more relevant than the official meaning is the feeling it evokes, or the word associations (things it sounds like or ideas it inspires).

I like to give characters a stereotypical name so readers think right off they've got them figured out. People like to have easy first impressions, like Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice. And it makes it all the more fun to stand those stereotypes on their heads, to show the audience that you can't judge a book by its cover... or its title.

After all, a name is just a name.

Don't miss yesterday's blog chain post by the lovely and talented Christine Fonseca, and tomorrow head over to Lisa Amowitz's blog. These two lady authors have a lot going on right now, so be sure to check them out on goodreads, too.