Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hunger Games

I saw this poster at the movie theater about a month before the movie release, and I remember standing in front of it for a good few minutes, marveling at the utter epicness of the image - until my friend dragged me away. There's something about Katniss's stance, the way her body is angled slightly toward the cheering crowds, that, to me, says a lot about who she is and how she deals with things. Not a confrontational or direct person, but also not afraid to stand her ground. Plus, I like her braid.

Reminds me a bit of the cover of another post-apocalyptic YA novel, Partials. Also a great book to read, for those who like a little more science in their stories!

So I finally went and watched the Hunger Games movie, which is a week overdue. I had read the first book when it came out and waited for both Catching Fire and Mockingjay. But upon completing Mockingjay, I was left with this insurmountable sense of dissatisfaction and bitterness that I couldn't bring myself to see the movie. I didn't think I could enjoy it, when all I could think of was the fact that I didn't like the ending to the trilogy. But I went anyway, and it's a decision I don't regret. In fact, the only thing I do regret is that I didn't watch it sooner.

The Hunger Games movie delivered in all ways. I was blown away by the artistic beauty, the food, the technology of the Capitol, the scenes in the wilderness, the fight scenes choreography, and most of all, Jennifer Lawrence's acting. She personified Katniss, her strengths and awkwardness, and I never doubted her for a moment.

It reminded me of all of the reasons I had loved the trilogy in the first place. It also made me warm up to certain characters, like Peeta. I felt his pain when he was crying after being chosen, in a way I hadn't when I read the book. On the other hand, I think that Rue's death was more dramatic and touching when I read it. But it was still sad.

There were things that I felt weren't emphasized or explained, such as why Cato was acting weird in his last moments before death (which seemed too sudden and wooden in the movie), and what spurred the children of District 12 to hold up three fingers near the beginning of the movie, when that seemed to be the sign of the rebellion. I did think that other things were explained well through conversations between President Snow and the Gamemaker. Being a first-person story, the film makers had to compensate for the lack of insight into Katniss's thoughts somehow, and they did a great job there.

The difference between watching this movie and Harry Potter/Twilight was that I also approached it as an aspiring young adult writer. I felt envious, not of the fame or the money that Suzanne Collins has made, but of the fact that people were lining up to see her movie. Just as they had lined up to buy her books, and spent time discussing/debating the story, their likes and dislikes. Every author wants that, to see the fruits of their hard work pay off when their stories entertain or teach or give others reason to dream. Suzanne Collins has affected a lot of young adults with her work, and it's something we all aspire to do.

In short, loved the movie. It's definitely worth watching at least twice.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Inkpop and Aspect

In my previous post, I mentioned that I kind of wished I had more time to prepare Conduit for review on Well, that's one wish I take back. On the 26th or 27th of February, HarperCollins announced that they would be merging Inkpop with another writing community, - which basically meant that Inkpop wouldn't exist anymore, and all accounts/projects on the website would be transferred over to Figment. The merge went through on the first of March. It was sad to type out "" and not see that colorful front page anymore.

Apparently, there's something of a rivalry between the two communities, with "Inkies" being considered by some "Figgies" to be stuck-up and overly competitive, and some Inkies viewing Figgies as being insensitive jerks. But aside from a few snarky remarks by some, the Figment community seemed welcoming and helpful as a whole. However, a lot of Inkpop users decided to move to instead. I do wish them the best, wherever they eventually settle down.

I will definitely miss Inkpop, because it was an amazing website that gave budding writers the chance to make friends, get serious feedback on works, and be able to read and review new stories.

I'm very close to being done with the first chapter of Aspect. There are so many people waiting for word on the sequel, and it makes me nervous having to tell people all the time, "I want to get Conduit published first". Because the truth is that I don't know if I'll get Conduit published. And even if I do, it might take years. So my only option, to placate the eager crowds, is to put Aspect up for free. It's something I'm very hesitant to do, but it might just come to that.

Someone asked what the sequel will be about. I've worked out the plot for half the story, so I don't know all of the events. But I will say that the first chapter is from Fuse's perspective, and it will, hopefully, give readers a glimpse of his internal state and also set important events into motion. I'm considering putting up an excerpt from it and will announce when I decide to do so.