Going to Hell in a Handbasket

Evening lovely readers 🙂

hell in a handbasketFirst off has anyone else heard the saying in my title? I was always positive it existed but everyone around me looked at me like I’d grown a second head and started breathing purple fire. “What? Never heard of it…” “you must have made it up…” lol. Well now I can officially say that it does exist and it means that circumstances are being led to disaster. Nuh ny nuh to all those doubters lol 🙂 Anyhoo slightly off topic…

This saying does in fact relate, at least partially, to what I am doing now. I have to think of a new title for my novel. I know right? I’d rather rewrite the damn thing than rethink the title solely because my brain seems to have taken on writer’s brain block. Okay, so it’s all not going to disaster but my brain is definitely hurting right now… As some will know my novel is currently called I Cast Magic Into the Darkness. I originally chose this title to show the confusion my protagonist feels at the circumstances she finds herself in. Now I have no idea how to pick one. How the heck do I avoid falling into a stereotypical fantasy trap of a title?

Some of my favourite authors have adopted varied techniques when naming their own works. Christine Feehan opted for the more repetitive option with her Dark Carpathian series as, for example, she starts the series with Dark Prince and each book that follows begins with dark in the title. For the way the series develops this is inspired as it really adds to the effect of the darkness that each protagonist must fight against. In contrast, The Belgariad and The Mallorean series written by the exceptional David Eddings chooses a fantastical title to encompass what happens in the books in general. For example, the first book of the Belgariad series is entitled Pawn of Prophecy which aptly describes what Garion is and what his journey will be through the two series and beyond. It’s with examples like these that I wish I had the the type of genius to come up with equally epic titles.

You see my problem. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Love to you all. Thank you 🙂

Who Knew? Secret Confessions of an Unknown Whovian??

Have you ever had something grab you that you never expected? Has a story which you enjoyed but thought nothing of come back to your mind again and again until you actually find yourself sat there thinking about nothing but it? I have done this several times with many different novels but never really with a television program. Now I’ve never watched Dr Who, which is in total contrast to my eldest sister who is Queen Whovian, but last Saturday I was pretty bored so I turned onto the Dr Who 50th special called ‘Day of the Doctor.’ I have to admit, what I found shocked me. There was a pretty decent attempt at a story line in a Universe where anything could happen, not to mention there was my not very well concealed secret crush David Tennant 🙂    Nom!!! 🙂

The story began in what I imagine is a standard Dr Who beginning; the Doctor meets up with his companion, in this regeneration cycle it’s Clara Oswald, and they are whisked off to begin their Dr Who adventure. It was an interesting enough beginning but when you’re in love with David Tennants’ Doctor it’s hard to pay attention to anyone else (sorry Matt Smith 🙂 ). My attention was finally grabbed however when one point actually made me laugh…

Clara: “Some day you could just walk past a fez.”

Doctor: “Never going to happen…”

The episode then begins to flash between three different moments in the Doctors multiple lives; the present with Clara, his previous incarnation with Queen Elizabeth the First in 1562 England and an unknown Doctor with Rose Tyler (David Tennants’ Companion) on the last day of the Time Lord War. Now there had been a glimpse of this unknown Doctor in another episode and the present Doctor reacted that this was a life he forgot and never wanted to speak of. Immediately you think “whhhyyyyy???” but you are left guessing until it is revealed that the unknown Doctor plans to detonate a weapon to stop the Time Lord/Dalek war by killing and destroying everything on and around Gallifrey (the Time Lord Home World). The episode then throws the Doctors together and we realise that the story is actually about the unknown Doctor, who gets renamed as the War Doctor. It turns out the Rose he is accompanied by is actually the consciousness of ‘The Moment’ the weapon the War Doctor plans to use to destroy Gallifrey. Rose thrusts the War Doctor into the future to see the men he will become if he does decide to use the weapon. As Rose says “They’re you and what you will become if you destroy Gallifrey. The man who regrets and the man who forgets…” I think this is a very poignant line and is used very well to establish the different Doctors personalities and the effect choices can have on a life, or lives.

The episode continues after the dilemma in the present as both the future Doctor’s travel back to the War Doctors time in order to share the burden of guilt for destroying Gallifrey. They realise that sometimes there is no good option, that sometimes the many must be sacrificed to save the few. It’s not until they’re all together in this time that they realise there is three of them now and that if there could be three then there could be more. So the Doctor calls on all of his past lives to come and help save Gallifrey and store it frozen in a moment of time. Once it disappeared then the Daleks would destroy themselves and the Universe would assume that they destroyed each other. At this point we are treat to an almost nostalgic look at the eleven Doctors that appeared in the series through the use of old footage, though we are led to believe that they have taken moments from their own time lines to come and save Gallifrey. Even the Commander in the Time Lord War Room comments, “I didn’t know when I was well off… All twelve of them.” It’s then that a booming voice rings out “No sir, all thirteen.” This is an excellent touch which I would openly admit had me baffled for a while as I missed this on first viewing. I spent a while trying to comprehend who the thirteenth Doctor was and if they had indeed blanked out another of his previous lives; and then it occurred to me, they had included Peter Capaldi in the Doctor stew complete with his own Tardis. Peter Capaldi is set to be the next Doctor so not only had they included all of the Doctors previous incarnations but his future one as well…

…and so Gallifrey is saved and all the Doctors return to their respective times.

The episode, despite it’s jaunts in time, flows very smoothly and the confusion is kept to a minimum (until someone tries to describe it lol.) I really enjoyed the character development and the various aspects of humour, satire and grief used to portray the very nature of the characters. You can enjoy something that’s very well written in any form and I have to say this episode caught me just as well as any novel, not to mention I liked the little references to previous series’. The language use was well developed and the casting perfect. Even though it didn’t convert me I can understand why these series are so well loved throughout the ages.

I’ve tried not to add in too many spoilers but of course there’s no way to get around the fact that time bends and we have to deal with a whole multitude of Doctors. I believe this is why the episode has haunted me for so long. The idea of time travel fascinates me. What could be done if you could go back and change it? Or indeed go into the future and help out? It’s something I always wanted to add into my own writing but have feared it will turn out stereotypical and almost corny, not to mention confusing; to which I hope I haven’t confused anyone by trying to describe this episode lol 🙂

Thank you for giving me the chance to talk about this. Though I don’t think I’ve been converted to Whovianism I would like to thank the creators for giving me something to think of, maybe perhaps the confidence to include something like this in my own writing, and the chance to stare at David Tennant more lol 🙂

Ingeniously Written Series or Gone on Far Too Long??

https://i0.wp.com/images.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/Anita-Blake-Book-Covers-laurell-k-hamilton-530388_303_475.jpg      https://akhinchey.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/0b5a1-deaduntildark.jpg   http://paperlanternlit.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/greenrider.jpg

Just recently I’ve been wondering about some of the series I have come in contact with. I like to think every novel I have read has been well written, entertaining and read because of my love of literature. I have wondered though if some authors have been tied into a contract to produce so many books or whether they are dragging out a series, sacrificing narrative and reader interest, just to make more money.

A few series in particular spring to mind. I want to point out that I am not naming and shaming. I read these books because I am a fan and these series began really well. They were so creative and had established well thought out and in depth Worlds that I was hooked instantly. So many different aspects were introduced that I would never have thought of and reading the books actually brightened my day. Eventually however something, at least to me, was lost along the way and the series became hollow and almost dragging questionable story lines from the depths of Hades just to continue. Some of the series seemed intent on letting their protagonists enjoy every aspect of life where others were intent on torturing their protagonists as much as they could. None of this would seem necessary if the storyline was neatly contained and as imaginative at the end as at the start.

One such series is the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series. I began the traditional way with book number one entitled Guilty Pleasures. It introduced Anita Blake a strong willed female lead who had a secure job as an animator (raising zombies) and a licenced state vampire executioner. Ok, she had some sexual tension and conflict with Jean Claude the Master Vampire of the series but she knew her own mind and where she stood in life. As the books carried on, she grew in power, continued her conflict with Jean Claude and was introduced to her future fiance Richard. I enjoyed these books as they portrayed a strong capable woman taking on the men in the World on an even keel. Not to mention ALL the fantasy 🙂 But eventually something in this series changed; blink and Anita has become a succubus, a master necromancer (that’s the only bit I liked) and a carrier of all forms of lycanthropy (shape changing). Suddenly she is the be all and end all of the universe and she has a lover round every corner. Personally I feel like the integrity of the character has been lost and the focus on the narrative not as important as when Anita’s next shag will be.

Another such series is the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mysteries (True Blood to those who watched the series first.) Now I was a huge fan of this series. They started out so well with a heroine who was tormented but the goodness of her soul radiated from her. She had telepathy but she controlled it well. Perhaps naively she fell in love with Vampire Bill but he was sweet and they seemed perfect together. As the series progressed however she was all of a sudden the be all and end all of her universe and everyone was in love with her and would be in love with her for the rest of their lives, essentially ruining them for other women. She was tormented and tortured and could find no happiness. The last book seemed hollow to me and like an easy fix to the series. It was a bit of an anti climax to be honest. I will however admit that the first four series of True blood reignited my love of the book series but only up until book ten, and although the series has Alexander Skarsgaard in it (yummy) I cannot watch past series four as the show has gone the way of the books.

https://i0.wp.com/novelreaction.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Pawn_of_Prophecy_Cover2.jpgIn contrast I promise that there are series that I love. The Christine Feehan Dark Carpathian series I often rave about is one. Another is actually David Eddings’ The Belgariad and The Mallorean. This is an in depth fantasy world full of magic and old gods. They both follow the story of Garion as he progresses from farmhand to High King and beyond to being the sorcerer Belgarion. The Belgariad details his first adventure to that of High King, The Mallorean is his adventure to rescue his son. I can’t rave enough about this series; it’s original, in depth, fantastic and a must read.

Do you think I’m being too harsh? Is it sometimes reader perspective or do authors sacrifice narrative for numbers? What do you think?

** Please keep in mind these are only my personal opinion. Thank you 🙂 **

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