August 4th, 2013


I... think this is the missing the point

Hunger Games Adventures

So, I actually liked The Hunger Games. It's a YA dystopian series, emphasis on dystopian, and I don't really blame it for kicking off the weak YA "dystopian" fad that followed, with "dystopian" societies based on vampire breeding farms, Hogwarts-esque caste systems, creepy harem-proms, or societies run by eHarmony.

But, as flawed and watered-down as Hunger Games was for its YA audience, the compelling and horrific part for me was that Suzanne Collins never let you forget that we're reading about children being forced to kill other children for the entertainment of the elite and the oppression and terrorization of the masses.

Nuclear War

Of course the entertainment industry is what it is, so we got the Hunger Games boardgame (now you too can be a teenager hunting down and killing your fellow teens!), which I can only laugh at ironically. It's not like I don't appreciate the dark humor — it's no darker, when you think about it, than Zombie dice, and I still have my copy of Nuclear War. ("I need to make change for 25 million...")

But seeing Facebook ads for "the adventures of Johanna" (you know, the psycho axe-killer) that take you to this cute little "social media game" where you wander around collecting food and energy and talking to people... Hmm, so I guess you don't butcher your fellow Hunger Games contestants?

Adventure with Johanna!

I'm not moralizing, though I guess I am being a bit of a grump about the chipper cartoonish blunting of what little edge this series had.

I'd be less annoyed by a game based on Battle Royale or The Running Man (Stephen King's original novel, not the stupid Schwarzenegger movie) that was up front about the fact that it's a bloodbath.

AQATWA: Recklessly writing

I've mentioned before I usually have a very rough outline and then make up a lot of the details as I go along. Right now I just don't know exactly where I am going or how I'm going to get to the scenes I really want to write. So I'm doing a lot of "pantsing" (as in "seat of"). Which means Alexandra is just kind of... running around doing reckless things and occasionally I drop her off a cliff. So to speak.

On the one hand, I'm amused by the some of the dialog and the scenes. On the other hand, when you are overly amused by your own writing, it probably needs to get chopped.

This book is... I don't know, just going so slowly. I assure you, it's not waning enthusiasm or anything like that. (Though I have been distracted by the SF novel which I am actually going to start querying soon really, and the thought that I really should start working on another OF novel.) I've just not been able to muster much writing discipline, the kind that keeps me sitting in front of the keyboard for a few hours, long enough to knock off a few thousand words at a time.

Partly this is because of Real Life blahblahblah, but partly it's just a distressingly deficient attention span I've been suffering lately. The Internet is seriously becoming the enemy of my getting any writing done.

Lately I've been forcing myself, no matter how late I get home or how much I've been faffing about all day getting nothing much done, to open up AQATWA and write at least a few more paragraphs, every day. So slow progress is being made. But I definitely need to get back into some kind of writing rhythm, or frankly, this manuscript will not be done this year.

Also, it's still looking like it's gonna be a big one, since I am currently at 82,000 words, Chapter 18, and still in Act One.