glitter_n_gore: (jean gray)
Just got back! I'll try to avoid spoilers. Short version: Loved it! My face hurts from laughing so hard, and I'm sure I missed quite a bit of dialogue for the same reason, so I'm down for seeing it again. Only next time, I'll spring for 3D. There aren't many movies that make me want to spring for 3D. This is one of them.



Less short version here! )
glitter_n_gore: (mia)
So I'm going to see Ghostbusters this weekend. And honestly? While I was somewhere between "Meh" and "Please don't suck" when I first heard of this reboot, the more I hear about it, the more excited I get. I hope I'm not getting my hopes up too much. There are way too many people out there who made up their minds as to whether an all-female Ghostbusters reboot even warranted existing before a single promotional photo hit the 'net. I'm glad my little blog here isn't widespread enough to garner attention beyond the people whose tastes are somewhat similar to mine anyway. Because that's kinda why I write these things: to share my opinion on the thing, and give you an idea of whether it's worth your time as well.

In order to do that, I'm doing a mini-retrospective on the 1984 movie, and then coming back with a review of the new one on Sunday.


"Aim for the flat-top!"


This is what happens when you cross the streams. )

Cross-posted on [livejournal.com profile] rhoda_rants.
glitter_n_gore: (jean gray)
Damn, this was a good year to be a movie geek. Star Wars! The Avengers! Mad Max! Ex Machina! Crimson Peak! STAR WARS!! I saw a lot of movies in the theater, some of them twice, and I still haven't finished going through the back list. But what was it like for horror fans? Specifically, those of the female persuasion?

The Visit - $65.2 million
Insidious: Chapter 3 - $52.2 million
(Poltergeist - $47.4 million)
(Krampus - $42.7 million)
Unfriended - 32.5 million
Crimson Peak - $31.1 million
(Sinister 2 - 27.7 million)
(The Woman In Black 2: Angel of Death - $26.5 million)
The Lazarus Effect - $25.8 million
Ex Machina - $25.4 million
(Honorable Mention: Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension - $18.3 million)

That's a LOT of movies. Like I said, it was a good year. However you feel about M. Night Shyamalan, or remakes of classics like Poltergeist, or the unflinching cynicism of Christmastime horror-comedies like Krampus, chances are there was something for you to see and love this year no matter what. That's kind of a big deal. Having options is a big deal. Seeing so many movies catering to so many different sensibilities is a big deal. The comparative lack of presence from people of color in this list, regardless of the other good things I just mentioned--also a big deal. Again, there's a reason I decided to do this looking specifically at box office numbers, rather than what I personally thought was the best.

But let's be honest here: this recap is mostly gonna be me gushing about Crimson Peak.


via Tumblr


Read more. )
glitter_n_gore: (Default)
First, check out this interview with Luke Walker about his new ebook, The Red Girl.

Second, in the continuing spirit of Women in Horror Month, fellow Houndie Night Flyer has posted on a spotlight on author Sarah Langon on her shiny new blog. Check that out as well.

In other news, I have now read two--count 'em, two--of the books in my TBR pile: L. A. Banks's Minion and Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. Crossing 'em off the list now.

Anyways, since I haven't done one of these in far too long, here's a progress report on what I'm actually working on writing-wise:


Novels:

Fire Worker--previously known as "Demigeists," so obviously the first piece of news on this one is I changed the title. The reason being that "demigeists," these neat little fun-sized ghosties I made up that travel through mirrors and steal souls very, very gradually, while still worth a shot eventually I think, just aren't going to work in the context I worked out. The total wordcount so far is 28,000. I'm about at the halfway mark.

Early Risers--Currently standing at 13,000 words, and passing the Plot Twist. Which, this being a zombie story, means the outbreak is getting worse. Another issue is I realized I haven't described what my protagonist looks like yet. I tend to be lax with physical descriptions for some reason, particularly for POV characters. I don't know why. I'll figure something out, I hope.

Shorts:

Doppelganger--four rejections so far, all form, no takers. I took another look at it and decided the beginning was weak, so I'm putting it back into the editing stage before sending it anywhere else.

The Candelabrum--3,000 after the second round of edits, and now I'm scouring my lists for where to send it. Wish me luck!

NaNo 2011!

Nov. 8th, 2011 03:26 pm
glitter_n_gore: (hyde)
So I'm not doing NaNo this year, exactly, but I do have a number of projects currently underway so I figured I might as well use this space to track my progress. If nothing else, it'll give me something to blog about, because seriously, I need to update more often.

Here's the score so far:

Short Stories:

Doppelganger--supernatural horror, clocking in at 6500 words. Longish for the markets I'm looking at, but not too long, hopefully. Ready to sub, at least as ready as I can make it with the help of five betas and one personalized rejection.

Early Risers--zombie short, horror-comedy, 1290 words. Submitted to Publisher A, no word back yet. It's been about a month since I sent it, but their kill date is 60 days, so I'm not worried. (Yet.)

The Candelabrum--good ol' fashioned haunted house story, no word count yet as it's all longhand. Inspired by the October Prompt on AW.

Novels:

Early Risers--same zombie short, expanding into a novel against my better judgment. (The first "chapter" is what I'm pitching as a short story, and I still think it works rather nicely as a standalone piece.) I'm also taking some of the pieces I couldn't make work from "Dusty" and trying them here instead. Progress so far: 4500 words.

Demigeists--YA horror/urban fantasy/magic realism. I put all those in there because it's still cooking and I'm not sure what it'll look like once it's done. I've taken one of my own nightmares, the random infestation of crows that popped up 'round these parts over summer, mixed in some characters from a trunk novel, and enrolled them in a prep school next to a graveyard. Progress so far: 5000 words.

Total rejections so far: 6 (1 personalized)

Full requests: 1
glitter_n_gore: (romy)
Greetings! I have many updates in my adventures in querying, and writing in general because I just don't seem to be satisfied unless I'm working on about three or four things at once. (I don't understand it either. I just can't stop myself.)

In Query Letter Hell: I have a response from the agent who read my full. It's "no." A very polite form rejection, they have too many clients to take on anyone else right now, thanks for sending it to them and being so patient, etc.--the usual deal. I knew what it was and what it would say the second I saw the letter. This one stung a little. I imagine this is how it works in the querying process, though. The further you get along the path of "maybe," the more disappointing it is when you eventually get the "no." Also, because this one actually took the time to read the manuscript, that says to me that my query letter is good, but the story itself might be lacking. Which means I might have more revising to do.

And here is where that little voice in my head pops up and chirps, "Does that mean we can put off the synopsis some more?" and I sternly tell it, "Dammit, NO!" I will figure this mess out if it's the last thing I do. (Which it might well be.)

So, speaking of the synopsis: I put a better one together, more lean, that makes a little more sense, and got some excellent feedback on it. So now I have a clearer idea of what I need to do with it, and how to make that happen. Still don't want to though. I think most writers hating doing these things.

As far as my other works-in-progress go, here's the word count tally:

LUCID, my YA urban fantasy/horror story: 28,000.

DEMIGEISTS, an older idea that's been knocking around my head for a while, a ghost story set in a school: 3,000.

THE TIME GHOST, my NaNo from last year, going in a decidedly different direction: 600.

Now, let me talk about THE TIME GHOST for a moment here, because it's my most substantial WIP right now apart from LUCID: I wound up with a grand total of 75,000 words once I finished my rough draft, making it the longest story I've ever written, ever. However, since I have a tendency to write short, I was struggling to make that word count and wound up with a LOT of padding to fill it out. I haven't yet mastered the art of writing economically and still making the story last long enough to fill a book.

However, here's what I discovered after looking at the manuscript again: the plot is wretched. It's messy, incohesive, hard to follow, and doesn't make sense. It's only towards the very end that it starts to get interesting, but after that it quickly falls apart again. What I did well with the manuscript was world-building, getting a handle on the government and species of my futurist, interplanetary peoples, and creating a top-notch monster. The characterizations are....not my best. I have one that I like enough to keep. So he's staying. Everything else, I'm rewriting from the top. Hence the low word count.

Also, this newer approach is veering into romance territory. I don't read much romance--meaning, I can count the romance novels I've read on one hand, and can only think of one that I actually enjoyed. It's just not my genre. With that in mind, if I'm going to write a story that blends sci-fi and romance, I need to do some research.

So I asked for advice from the good folks at AW, got some reading recommendations, and a brilliant suggestion: read a couple of the shorter, category romances and study them, not for style or wordplay, but for plot structure and pacing. The goal is to see how the romance/courtship plot fits in with the other half of the plot, how they mesh together, the amount of time spent on each, etc.

I don't see myself becoming a romance writer on the whole. But this is fun--I haven't had homework in a long time, and I've bought myself some black and white composition books to take notes in, because I love those things.

The first book on my required reading list is Ann Aguirre's Grimspace, a futuristic romance that I found shelved in science fiction. I actually bought Grimspace last week, because Aguirre is one of the authors who publically supported Jessica Verday in that YA anthology fiasco I blogged about last time, and in turn I wanted to support her. The fact that she's on my list of recommendations is just lucky. It's a space opera type novel, which spaceships and distant planets and government-issue androids. So far, it reminds me a little of Star Wars and a little of FarScape--both of which equal WIN.

Ending with Jessica Verday's The Hollow, which I finished just this week, I have now read 16 books total this year.
glitter_n_gore: (mikey)
That's "National Novel Writing Month," which for reasons I'm not entirely sure of, always happens in November. The idea is to write 50,000 words worth of material--doesn't even matter if it's any good, just something--in the space of thirty days. I did it last year and wound up with my first draft of The Carrion Girl, which turned out much better than I anticipated. It's the only thing that seems to shut down my inner psycho-editor, that part of my writer's brain that screams, "Must fix! Must fix!" at every poorly chosen word, extended metaphor, and purple passage I happen to get down until all I have left is a half-finished trunk novel that's been run so far into the ground that the kind thing would be to put it out of its misery. When you're trying to get published, the first thing you need is a full-length manuscript, even if it's not perfect, because otherwise you have nothing to work with. That's why I do this--to get myself from a mess of half-formed ideas to a full-length manuscript, which I then allow myself to edit to perfection.

My goal for this week was 10,000 words. I made it, but it wasn't easy. I have a story I really like (which I'll synopsize for you shortly), but whereas last year I was knocking out close to three thousand words a day, this year I'm barely scraping one thousand. In my defense, it's been a rough week. Between the house getting ransacked (they took some random things, like my high school ring and some silver dollars, but nothing outstandingly valuable), starting my new job as a legal assistant, trying to deal with various messes caused by the dermatologist's office and my pending switch in health insurance, AND MyChemicalRomance.com releasing a steady stream of epic, cheesy, awesome, ridiculous pre-album-release goodies that I WANT RIGHT NOW but can't have because I never buy anything for myself between Halloween and Christmas, I've been a bit preoccupied. (To be fair, some of the MCR stuff is free downloads, which rules, but still--distractions. Takes away from the writing bit, you understand.)

ANYWAY.

My NaNo story, at least what I've done with it so far, is shaping up thusly: Roughly five hundred years (give or take) into the future, Earth has been abandoned, and the human population has spread out across the galaxy, making friends with some of the alien species on other worlds. My protagonist, Paul Reid, is a "Pan Dimensional Anomaly Neutralizer," the best in the galaxy, and his team gets called everywhere to take care of pan dimensional anomalies wherever they occur. A "pan dimensional anomaly," by the way, is a ghost. The popular theory is that ghosts are not, as was previously thought, the spirits of the dead come back to torment the living, but small pieces of time folding in on itself which appear as people who have lived in the same place previously, and Paul's job is to mend the rip in the time-space continuum that causes these loops. However, when Paul investigates this phenomenon further he discovers the real reason for the time ghosts, and this knowledge might cost him his life--along with the life of his wife and child.

Inevitably some things change in the transition from idea to manuscript, but that's the basic gist of it. I'm working on making it make more sense. (Another job for the editing process.) My tentative title is "The Time Ghost." We'll see if it sticks.

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