Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Finding My Way Back To "The Door"

As you all know, for the past couple of months, I was pulled away from my writing by all the demands of my classes at the California State University of Monterey Bay.  But now all of that is over, until next semester begins late next month/early February when it all starts up again... possibly, things may change before then.  I'm up for a couple of job interviews which could change everything.

In any case, you'd think I would be eager to jump back into my writing right?  Yes and no.  Now don't get me wrong, I'm still in love with writing, but trying to awaken my muse has been hard.  Being away from my writing for so long left me drained emotionally and mentally on the creative front.  Plus there's been other things I had to deal with which also got pushed aside thanks to all the schoolwork.

Luckily a lot of that is done and I have more time to get back to writing, only I found I was stuck staring at "The Door" and not being able to do anything with it.  

(NOTE: This is NOT the final design for the bookcover... still working on it)

Now before anyone mentions plotting, let me explain that I've always known where the final confrontation was going to take place and who'd be there.  I could clearly see each of the characters who needed to be there having their own special moment.  I even knew why they were there, but I couldn't figure out what they'd be doing DURING the fight.  Most of the scenes I was picturing were aftermath moments, or pauses when the action moved elsewhere, so they had to be on hand.  But what were they doing while the action was happening was puzzling me.  

I tried turning it over again and again in my mind only to realize I was once more dealing with a mental version of my old nemesis the Rubik's Cube.  Only this time it was more intimidating than ever before...


I began to feel like I'd never solve this problem.  Again and again I'd start thinking I had the solution, because I could see the goal in the distance.  I'd even make good progress towards getting there, but then I'd find myself hitting another wall.  It was like wandering through the most frustrating maze I'd ever encountered.


Then yesterday, the breakthrough finally hit me.  I needed to work on the final battle FIRST and then let the rest of the story follow.  I had to place every character I wanted into that scene and find out for myself what they could/would/and finally did in that climactic moment.  Only then could I justify to myself as well as the reader, why they needed to be in this story in the first place.  

Now normally I don't usually work this way.  I've always used a loose outline, like in this case, and knew where I was going and led the characters to that moment.  Plus, I still needed to see what that final confrontation was going to look like for myself.



Immediately, I looked back at my own works "The Bridge" and "The Ship" and re-read the final battle scenes for each of them.  I quickly realized I had a tendency to go for some pretty impressive battles, that seemed almost impossible for any person to win.  But that's always been my philosophy in writing.  The more daunting the odds, the more impressive the heroes are for overcoming them.  

I would have to go big for this third installment, but not just in size.  I had to deliver something new and special for the readers.  I'd given them glimpses into some of the Para-Earths where my previous antagonists came from.  This time I needed to show the readers WHY some of these being needed to be kept out of our world!  

At that moment, I knew what I needed to do... it was time to open "The Door" and let the nightmares from one of those other places come through.   With a threat of this magnitude in mind, I now know exactly how important it will be to have "All hands on deck", as well as how to utilize each and every character in that scene.

So there you have it folks, once again I say "There is no one specific to write a story".   We each may have our own special methods of writing, but sometimes even those techniques may not always be enough.  There will be days when we need to discover and add new tools to our already impressive arsenal.  


I'm very eager and excited to get back to the story now.  I know that working that final confrontation is going to make how I continue to write certain characters in earlier sections of the book much easier. I already knew their motivations for the most part, but I suspect I'll have better insight into their personalities because I'll have a more clear idea of just how far their willing to go for their ultimate goals.

Remember everyone, stories can take many paths.  But in the end its the writer to must choose or forge the right one that will best serve the purpose in the end.


Until next time, take care and keep writing.





I





Friday, December 18, 2015

From Novel To Film - When Are Changes Acceptable?

This is a tricky topic to cover, because as with any form of art the old saying of "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" truly is the rule. Speaking ONLY for myself, it comes down to have characters been cut out?  Were certain scenes reworked to blend into one?  Was the flavor or message of the story lost or enhanced?

Given the holiday season, I decided to focus on one Christmas movie that I consider a true classic, which definitely took some artistic liberties, yet managed to enhance the story in my opinion.  The movie in question is the 1951 version of  "A Christmas Carol" starring the legendary actor Alistair Sims as Ebenezer Scrooge.



Now before I continue, let me assure you all that I have actually read the original story in Mr. Dickens own words many times before and am familiar with what was actually in the novella itself.  And I can safely say his original story was carefully kept intact in this film adaptation.  However, certain additions were made by the producers which for me, enhanced the story and made Scrooge's transition from tight-fisted miser, to a good and generous soul all the more believable.  

The first change I will address was during the visit from the Ghost of Christmas Past, actually a number of the changes took place in this section of the film, but helped make the mood of the piece more poignant.  It is mentioned in the novella, that Scrooge's little sister died giving birth to his nephew Fred, who we meet early in both pieces and his harshly dismissed by his uncle.  Fred even points out that as far as he knows the two have never quarreled and he is continuously puzzled by Scrooge's attitude towards him.  In Mr. Dickens version there is the subtle hint that Scrooge resents his nephew's existence since it meant his sister (who Scrooge dearly loved) lost her life.



In the film the producers added Fran's death scene with Scrooge at her bedside.  In the scene elderly Scrooge sees his younger self leave the room after he believed his sister had passed away and heard his newborn nephew crying.  We see there the anger in his younger self  that is the birth of his resentment.  But after his younger self leaves, Scrooge sees and hears his sister speak once more begging him to take care of and watch out for her son.  Elderly Scrooge is devastated by this knowledge and the scene marks a powerful beginning of his change towards not only his nephew but his own behavior towards the world as a whole.

The producers added yet more past story, by showing us how Scrooge met his partner Jacob Marley as young men, and even further on as their greed made them more powerful men in the community.  But then there was another scene added which takes place shortly after we see Scrooge's former fiancee talking about Scrooge working in his office while his partner lies on his deathbed (this part of the story comes straight from Mr. Dickens work).  


But then the producers added a new scene where we see Scrooge at Marley's bedside, and Marley tries to warn him that they had been wrong in how they behaved all these years.  Naturally, Scrooge does not understand and takes none of his dying partner's words to heart.  This scene actually enhances the original scene of Marley;s ghost coming back to try and warn Scrooge to change his ways earlier in the film.

All of these added scenes help to enhance Scrooge's transformation towards the end of the film, and make Mr. Simms performance of the miser's delight of finding he was still alive and had a chance to redeem himself all the more poignant.


As you can clearly see, for me these changes only enhanced the film and the original story.  Mind you, I am also a great fan of the George C. Scott version as well, which did the novella many great justices, which I may touch on in another entry. 

But for now, I would like to hear your opinions on when is it okay to take artistic liberties with an established piece of literature.  It could be your own work and how you would envision it being turned to film.  We all know that time constraints and costs motivates a lot film-makers so changes are bound to happen.  But if you had a hand in the screenplay, would you allow or make changes or shortcuts, and if so how would you keep the feeling and main plot of the story alive?

I look forward to seeing what you all have to say.  Until next time, take care and as always... Keep Writing!



  

Monday, December 7, 2015

****ANOTHER 5 Star Review for "THE SHIP****

A PAGE TURNER  

5.0 out of 5 stars

ByJohn Maberryon December 5, 2015
Format: Kindle EditionVerified

A good follow up to The Bridge, also by this author. A little slow and moderately confusing at the start with a "Family History" that functions as a prologue but isn't 100% tied into the rest of the story. But other than that it moves along keeping interest and the virtual pages of a Kindle turning.

Cassandra from The Bridge is fully developed as the protagonist and her relationship with Julie, another character from the earlier book is a central feature. Together with a whole host of other characters they battle supernatural forces, some of which are associated with the ones from the earlier book.

While you can read this one without having read it's predecessor, I recommend reading the other one first. If you're into fantasy, paranormal mild horror and a little romance thrown in, you will like this book. I did.


*Available now for just $1.49*

For Kindle click on this link:


For Nook, Samsung, Apple, PDF and other E-readers click on this link:

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Tonight It Begins...

For all those who celebrate this holiday I wish you every joy and happiness...


May the blessings of this season bring you close to those you love, and success in the year to come.


A HAPPY AND BLESSED CHANUKKAH TO YOU ALL MY FRIENDS!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Gift Ideas For Under The Tree

****LOOKING FOR A GIFT FOR THAT PARANORMAL/MYSTERY READER IN YOUR LIFE****



Psychics, ghosts, and beings that are/and are not from this world await you within the pages of these 5-star stories

Signed copies of books I and II in the "Para-Earth" series are just $10.00 each, plus $5.00 shipping and handling anywhere in the United States. (For overseas shipping will be more of course, and will depend on the destination).  These books are trade paperback sized and will look great on any bookshelf.

*I accept Paypal, checks, or money orders*

Just tell me which title(s) you want and if they're to be signed and personalized. (Some people prefer just signed, which is why I ask).

You can contact me by leaving a message below or by e-mailing me at:

allan.krummenacker@gmail.com

Please note: Normal mailing time is 5-9 days, so order soon to get it in time for Christmas.