watching, reading, and writing stories

Rewriting a Story

Pencil, Sharpener, Notebook, Paper, Education, Office

Image Source:

I have done several posts about what I’ve been reading or watching lately, but I haven’t had a post about my next big writing project. About a year ago I finally finished my first novel Finding Home: The Orphan’s Journey. It’s not like I’m a big time author, and not many people have even read my book, but it was something I really wanted to do and I actually finished it. Well, as many authors do, I started writing a sequel to my novel. I started the process during a NaNoWriMo competition. But the result has been sitting off in some lonely part of my Laptop’s hard drive for sometime. Now that school is back in session and everyone around me is headed back to the grindstone, I figured it’s time for me to do the same.

So I got out the word document and started ‘revising’ but it really is more like rewriting. You see when I started this sequel I had a very vague idea of what I wanted the story to look like. And most of what I had written for NaNoWriMo was spur of the moment inspiration. Now that I’m rereading it, there’s a lot I want to change. But I am not used to cutting out big chunks of story and throwing them away. When I wrote my first novel, everything was planned, or at least a lot more than this one was, so most of what I wrote, I kept. But with this sequel, I’ve had to add in a whole other storyline. It’s like I’m starting over, but I still have all these chunks of old storyline that I don’t want to delete.

It’s a touchy process of me trying to figure out what can stay, what can be reworded and touched up, and what just doesn’t make sense anymore in light of the changes I’ve made. It’s like I’ve entered a whole other world of writing, and it’s a lot harder than the last one. There’s always that little voice in the back of my head saying, “no I liked the old story better, why are you changing it? You’re making a mistake!”

But even though it feels more time-consuming and it is hard to let go of what I’ve already written, I think this is a growing experience for me as an author. And I do find the new direction of my story much more compelling than my initial idea.

Maybe I’ll post a sample of what I’ve been working on one of these days, but it would make more sense if you have already read my first novel. So for now, I’ll just post a link to where you can find that:

Leave a comment »

The Nut Job

Image Source:

So I got on Netflix today and found that The Nut Job was available to download. When I saw commercials for this movie I thought it looked like a generic kids movie, and one on the lower end of the spectrum. So I never went to see it in theaters and didn’t have much interest. However, when I saw it on Netflix, I thought eh whatever, might as well watch it.

If you haven’t been reading my blog, here’s a tidbit, I love kids movies. For some reason it’s the genre I like the most. So, here I am watching this movie, expecting some silly storyline and undefined characters and a lot of cheap jokes. But as I kept watching, I was pleasantly surprised.

I actually enjoyed the storyline. The movie seemed to be based in the not too distant past, when bank robbers pulled big heists. The plot weaves around two separate heists, one a group of animals is trying to pull off, in order to survive winter, and the other, a group of thugs who are robbing a bank. There’s some interesting correlations between the two groups, so the audience can see their similarities but also their differences. And there’s enough twists and turns in the storyline to make it interesting.

The characters are fairly well developed as well, especially our hero who goes from a selfish independent scrounger, to a reluctant hero. And the villain is also well hidden so that their real motives are a surprise to the audience.

Even the humor was okay, it’s not a roll on the floor laughing kind of movie, but the jokes aren’t too dumb.

So if you enjoy a good family/kids movie like me, check out The Nut Job on Netflix.

Leave a comment »


Lone Ranger 2013 Movie Poster

It was my birthday this past week, and as a present, I got to go see two new movies in theaters. Now in general, I prefer kids movies. If you’ve been reading my blog, you already know that I liked Monsters University a lot more than The Man of Steel. It seems to me that kids movies, in general, have a fairly good storyline without crude language or questionable scenes. However, it is not always the case that kids movies end up being more enjoyable than other movies, as you will soon find out.

So, as I was saying, it was my birthday and one of my good friends wanted to take me to see some movies. We decided on Despicable Me 2 and The Lone Ranger. Now, I think a big part of what makes a movie enjoyable is EXPECTATIONS. If you really want a movie to be good and then it doesn’t meet those high expectations, you end up disappointed, even if the movie itself wasn’t that bad. Or if you go to a movie, expecting it to be lame, you might be surprised by some emotional moments and end up liking the movie. Of course this isn’t always the case. When I went to see Tron Legacy, I was expecting it to be a bad movie, and when I walked out of the theater I was only more convinced that I didn’t like it. And when I went to see Monsters University, I was hoping it would be really good, and it fulfilled my expectations. But no matter how you look at it, expectations do influence us.

So, the big question before I tell you about the movies I saw is: what were my expectations for each?

Let’s start with Despicable Me 2. I did see the first Despicable Me, and to tell the truth, I was disappointed. From the previews I was hoping for a hilarious kids movie, and I found the jokes, especially involving the minions, not very entertaining. I know a lot of people who really liked the movie, but I wasn’t a fan. So going into the sequel, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would it be more of the same? Or perhaps an improvement to the original? In any case, my expectations were not very high.

Then there’s The Lone Ranger. I’m not a diehard fan of the old TV series, but I have seen about 2-3 episodes on Hulu of how the show started. So I had a grounding in the characters, but wasn’t sentimental about how the show was made. I was looking forward to an updated version of the old west drama.

And now to the results! I enjoyed The Lone Ranger more than Despicable Me 2. A lot of this had to do with expectations, but it also had to do with storyline. I expected Despicable Me 2, to be like it’s predecessor, and it was. Since I didn’t love the first movie I didn’t love the second. It was an average movie, with a fairly predictable plot line, a few new characters, and some more minion jokes. But with the Lone Ranger, I had no preconceived notions about what it should be like, and only a basic understanding of the original plot of the TV series. So I thoroughly enjoyed finding out about Tonto’s past and why he acted the way he did, and seeing John slowly transform from a city lawyer into The Lone Ranger. I think the film did a good job balancing a connection to the original, while sill being able to poke fun at some of it’s aspects. It had a satisfying ending that wasn’t completely predictable, and interesting characters that I cared about.

So there you go, expectations are a big deal. They done completely determine a movie’s likeability, (the movie has some work to do too) but it does play a significant role.

So How to Train your Dragon 2, you better be good, because I’m expecting big things from you!

Image Source:

Leave a comment »