New Project Reveal – Part 2: The Inspiration

Hello gentle reader,

this week again I’m taking part in the Tursday’s Children meme hosted by Rhiann Wynn-Nolet and Kristina Perez. It is “a weekly blog hop where writers come together to talk about whatever inspires them.”

thurschilbadgejpg

In these posts, I share a little bit more about what I’ve been working on, a YA Historical Fantasy nicknamed Secret WIP. Last week the first part of this “Project Reveal” was all about Setting.

Today’s theme is : INSPIRATION.

My novel takes place in London, during the Victorian era. I had the idea for it years ago, and since then I’ve watched many films and TV shows which have helped me get a clearer idea of what story I wanted to write. Here are a few…

rachel-hurd-wood

The Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)

Crimson Petal and the White

The Crimson Petal and the White (2011)

jane_eyre_mia_wasikowska_8

Jane Eyre (2011)

Great Expectations

Great Expectations (2012)

series-of-unfortunate-events

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)

ripper_street

Ripper Street (2013)

peter-pan

Peter Pan (2033)

Sweeney Todd

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

Sally Lockhart Mysteries

The Sally Lockhart Mysteries (2006-2007)

Case of the Silk Stocking

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking (2004)

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes 1 & 2 (2009-2011)

So this is what inspired me! I hope this gives you a taste of what’s to come in my Secret WIP…

What inspired you to write your Work In Progress? Do you find inspiration in the films or TV shows you watch? Feel free to leave me a comment below, and to visit the other Thursday’s Children posts here.

Learning to Write With Movies

Hello gentle reader,

As promised today I am mixing work and pleasure, in the sense that I’m going to talk about writing and handsome actors. See, I am a huge movie fan and I often go and see movies for the actor I happen to fancy. Sometimes the movie is great. Sometimes it is terrible and all I can do is stare at the awesomeness that is the main actor and forget about the movie itself. Whatever the case, I always learn something about writing. Thus let me share below a few nuggets of wisdom learned from various movies (in chronological order)… or you can just scroll down and stare at the pretty pictures.

Gladiator

Movie: Gladiator (2000)

Actor: Russell Crowe

What I learned about writing: Never underestimate the narrative power of the good old “Hero’s Journey”. If you put a new spin on it, there’s no reason why your hero shouldn’t get a call, meet a mentor, go through some trials, defeat the bad guy and finish his journey transformed.

Alexander

Movie: Alexander (2004)

Actor: Jared Leto

What I learned about writing: Don’t be afraid to be a bit ambitious and to go for epicness. Some stories need it.

Tristan & Isolde

Movie: Tristan and Isolde (2006)

Actor: Henry Cavill

What I learned about writing: Do not make your villain/secondary character more interesting, more handsome, more complex than your hero. Because then, your reader will fancy him more than the hero. And that can be a problem.

Mr Brooks

Movie: Mr Brooks (2007)

Actor: Kevin Costner

What I learned about writing: it is perfectly acceptable to have a villain as your main character, as long as you show him in all his complexity.

valhalla-rising

Movie: Valhalla Rising (2009)

Actor: Mads Mikkelsen

What I learned about writing: having a disabled main character can make your story intriguing and more original. In this example, the hero is one-eyed and mute. Yet he is fascinating.

Centurion

Movie: Centurion (2010)

Actor: Michael Fassbender

What I learned about writing: Michael Fassbender is awesome. Wait, that’s not a writing lesson. Here is the lesson: even if you have a large cast, make sure all the characters have their own “arc” and storyline. The more the reader feels he knows them, the more he is likely to care.

Anonymous

Movie: Anonymous (2011)

Actor: Jamie Campbell Bower

What I learned about writing: Done artfully, it can be very moving and narratively powerful to portray a character from his youth to his death and to span 80 years of history.

The Eagle

Movie: The Eagle (2011)

Actor: Channing Tatum and Jamie Bell

What I learned about writing: Nothing will make your reader care more about your main character than showing him with a best friend.

Have you learned any writing lessons from watching movies? If, yes, which ones? Feel free to leave me a comment below!

5 Books that Should Be Movies

Hello gentle readers,

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, The Host by Stephenie Meyer, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl… What do these books have in common? They have all been turned into movies that will come out in 2013.

I have read them, and they are good books, which means I’ll probably go and see their movie version. However, if I had a choice in deciding which books should be turned into movies, I would have made another list. Here are 5 books I really wish were movies:

1 – The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (YA Paranormal)

The unbecoming of Mara Dyer

I have given up hope that Mara Dyer and Noah Shaw are real. Can I at least see them in a movie?

2 – The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (YA Fantasy)

the-raven-boys-book-coverThose boys. This girl. This school. This story. This magic. How on earth is this book not a movie yet?

3 – Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel (YA Paranormal)

InfiniteDays

The only Vampire Book out there that should be a movie, and the only one that isn’t, for some reason.

4 – American Gods by Neil Gaiman (Fantasy)

american-gods

Neil Gaiman’s books become movies, slowly and surely. I just hope this one doesn’t get forgotten, because it’s my favourite by him.

5 – The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (YA High Fantasy)

TheThief

The awesomeness that is this book would make for an amazing movie.

Which book do you wish were a movie?

The Best Of 2012 – Movies

Hello gentle reader,

This is my last post looking back at 2012… I already mentioned the TV shows I watched this year in this post and my favourite 2012 books here.Today I’m finishing this series of posts with movies I watched in 2012. This year I watched a total of 30 new releases (most of them at the theatre) and I have picked 10 to share with you…

The-Hobbit

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The-Dark-Knight-Rises

The Dark Knight Rises

The-Hunger-Games

The Hunger Games

Breaking Dawn Part 2

Twilight – Breaking Dawn – Part 2

Underworld-Awakening

Underworld – Awakening

Snow-White-and-the-Huntsman 2

Snow White and the Huntsman

Lockout

Lock-out

The Avengers

The Avengers

Dark Shadows

Dark Shadows

Immortals

Immortals

What did you watch this year? Any movies you’d recommend? Feel free to leave me a comment below!

Friday Film – Frozen

This week, I would like to mention a film that I cannot wait to see: Frozen (Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 2013 animated feature holiday film). Based on The Snow Queen by Hans C. Andersen, the movie will be “an epic tale of adventure and comedy”.

According to the official press release from 11th June 2012, the film is set to be released on 27th November 2013.

“In Frozen, a prophecy traps a kingdom in eternal winter, so Anna (voice of film/TV/stage star Kristen Bell), a young dreamer about to take the adventure of a lifetime, must team up with Kristoff, a daring mountain man, on the grandest of journeys to find Elsa the Snow Queen (voice of Tony Award ®-winning actress Idina Menzel) and put an end to the icy spell. Encountering Everest-like extremes, mystical creatures and magic at every turn, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom from destruction.

Directed by Chris Buck (“Tarzan,” “Surf’s Up”) and produced by Peter Del Vecho (“Winnie the Pooh,” “The Princess and the Frog”) and by Pixar’s John Lasseter, “Frozen” will feature original songs by Broadway greats Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez.”

So, not only is this film based on an amazing fairy tale, but it will also include the voices of two of my favourite actresses in the world?

Allow me to swoon. I just cannot wait.

What about you? Do you have a film that you’re eagerly anticipating? Let me know in the comment section!

Friday Film – Snow White and the Huntsman

I love movies. I watch a lot of them. So I have decided to add a category to this blog and write about them. I’ll be mentioning new or upcoming releases that I’m excited about. This week, I’m starting off with Snow White and the Huntsman, which is released this week.

Why I want to see it? Watch this trailer:

I have read the reviews and apparently, Snow White and the Huntsman is not the movie of the year. But I still desperately want to see it because it’s:

a) a fantasy movie with gothic elements

b) a fairy tale retelling

c) a film where the main female character is (hopefully) not a useless and helpless idiot (yes, I hate those).

Honestly, that’s enough for me.

What are you going to watch this week?

Writers in Movies

As a writer who watches a lot of movies, I’m always slightly annoyed by the way writers are depicted in films. Why? Because according to movies, if you’re a writer…

You’re British (or at least European)

You’re agoraphobic

You always have a bad-hair day

You eat junk food

You have no sense of fashion

You suffer from writer’s block

You take drugs to fight writer’s block (and you have a bad-hair day)

You have conversations with imaginary people (who look like movie stars)

You’re a loner

You’re uptight

You’d do anything to avoid your agent/publisher/editor

You’re old-fashioned

You’re a sad little thing who needs a hug (and a boyfriend)

Your day job is teaching (and you hate it)

You’re crazy (and you know it)

Your life is a mess (and so are you)

Whatever you do, your manuscript will end up blown in the wind

Does this sound familiar to you? Do you agree with this depiction of writers in movies? Are you like this? Tell me what you think in the comment section!

Movie credits:

Secret Window by David Koepp (2004)

The Ghost Writer by Roman Polanski (2011)

Adaptation by Spike Jonze (2002)

Swimming Pool by François Ozon (2002)

Possession by Neil LaBut (2002)

Stranger Than Fiction by Marc Forster (2006)

Nim’s Island by Jennifer Flackett & Mark Levin (2008)

Midnight in Paris by Woody Allen (2011)

Limitless by Neil Burger (2011)