Tuesday, September 27, 2011

NaNoWriMo & Recent Books

I'm a lover and avid reader of Fantasy Fiction.  Something about magic really does it for me.  I think part of it has to do with breaking the rules of physics that have been ingrained in me since high school.  Another part is just how unlike this world the stories end up becoming.  It's a little mind vacation for one who used to be so imaginative (I'm referring to me, ask my childhood collection of stuffed animals).  It's an Aquarius thing, I've heard.  But I've also heard I'm not an Aquarius anymore.

Anyway, I've been getting back into reading since leaving UCLA.  And my priorities are the opposite of non-fiction.

Last week I finished The Wise Man's Fear:  Day 2 of the Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss.

This is the second book in Rothfuss' new series.  It's fun, in a kind of continuously-sidetracked fashion.  At the end of two 1000-page books, I don't feel like we've gotten very far.  You're stuck wondering if this person really is who he says he is ('cuz every time they take a break from telling the story, he looks less and less like the person he talks about).  All you want him to do is tap into all of the power that he claims to have (like Taborlin the Great) and start whipping the shit out of people.  At least I'm totally fascinated by Elodin.  He's such an interesting character.  If this kid's story isn't done by the end of the 3rd day (as we were initially promised), I'm not sure I'll read many more.

Last night I finished Storm Front:  Book One of The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher.

This was a ridiculously fast read.  It wasn't very deep.  It was just a fun story combining an openly practicing wizard (who typically helps with crime investigations and finding lost things) with the real world.  Not great literary value, but it was like watching a movie.  There was one great scene where a nearby girl accidentally takes a love potion in the middle of a big fight scene between the naked wizard and a demon, making for extreme awkwardness.

Tonight, I'll start The Magician King (Sequel to The Magicians) by Lev Grossman.

The Magicians was one of my favorite books in the past year.  Maybe longer.  Annie and I got to see Lev at a panel discussing the attempt at making fantasy fiction worthwhile literature.  I think he succeeded.  It explores what it would really be like to learn magic at a magical school, but with real death (death never felt very real in Harry Potter) and accidents and tedious memorization and sex and heart-wrenching relationships.  It also breaks down the awe-inspiring magic that we all saw in Narnia as children.

Why am I reading so much?  The same reason I've been blogging so much.  I'm going to attempt to start writing stories.  I heard from somewhere recently that Stephen King claimed that a good author has to read 4 hours a day and write 4 hours a day.  I'm in no way that dedicated.  Nor do I consider myself a good writer. I do, however, find myself analyzing things like how characters are introduced now.  I also think that my blog has been great practice at creative dumps and writing regularly.

So, when Annie showed me the NaNoWriMo challenge, I accepted it.  For the month of November, I will attempt to start and finish a 50,000 word novel.  Or just a story.  Not sure the fine line between them is very distinct.  That's almost 2,000 words a day.  Needless to say, my writing will be devoted to the story for the entire month of November, and my blog will be skimpy, if existent at all.

Early next month, I'll reach 20,000 pageviews of this blog.  Though I still have much to work on, I feel like that's enough to say that there is sufficient interest in hearing the way I tell stories.  I've also had a story in my head that I've wanted to start developing, so there is no more perfect time.  It's likely I'll fail, but maybe I'll actually get a jump on my 30 by 30, or on being less jealous of this chick.

So, thank you for all of your support so far.  I'll start apologizing for my November absence now.  At least I've given you fair warning.  When I start putting up whiny, agitated, mind-numb statuses on facebook and twitter throughout November, your kind words of support will be thoroughly appreciated.

I hope this doesn't flop as badly as the last time Annie and I tried to co-author a book,

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