Creating myths, busting them up, and writing them down

Do you guys miss me?  Was the summer dry and boring, without Apricot-kitty’s weekly opine on all things middle grade and literary?  Well, huzzah and hooray, cause I’m back!  The summer was fabulous, and the fall promises to be wonderful as well.  It’ll bring a couple changes to the blog–fall is good for change–in that my weekly MMGM book spotlights will be liberally sprinkled with Monday updates on my writing and literary journey, but I promise to keep the posts flowing and make sure Apricot-kitty still gets to share her two cents.

My summer was marked by something quite extraordinary that was something of a surprise–I discovered that freakishly awesome animal, Mythbusters!

The funny thing is, it was actually a rediscovery.  Years ago (many, many years ago) my kids tried to get me into Mythbusters, but I watched a snippet of an early show (in which they de-bunked ninja myths) and wasn’t impressed.  As a martial artist with a little more ego than is maybe justified, I felt aggravated that the Mythbusters folks thought that just because they couldn’t do it, it couldn’t be done.  After all, can they do a triple lutz on the ice?  No?  But plenty of pro-level ice skater’s can!  So, I turned my back on the show and stalked away in a huff, and as it turned out, that was about as smart as stalking away in a huff usually is. 😛

Hooray, at any rate, that I finally had the opportunity to give the show a second try–and I’m hooked!  Seriously, If I met either Adam Savage or Jamie Hyneman, I’d probably go all fan girl.  I’d maybe even squee–silently, of course. 😉  And perhaps best of all, I can count watching it as writing research!

Or, kinda count.  It does seem to do great things for my creative juices, and I think also helps a writer (or at least this writer) think through problem solving and creative world building, with the result that I’m more inclined to approach my story from new angles.  Take their look at how to best dispatch zombies, from a couple years ago.

*insert youtube clip that’s refusing to insert…sorry, follow the link!*

In essence they were trying to find out which weapon would better keep the zombie hordes at bay–a gun, including a shot gun, or an axe.  And the surprising result was that when the human was standing out in the open and a zombie horde of undead approached, the axe was the more effective tool.  Which is so cool!  And also not so surprising, once I thought about my experiences using both.  Of course, the axe would tire you out more, but then, the gun would only be as effective as the person shooting it could aim and would eventually run out of ammo.

At any rate, I’ve really enjoyed watching the show this summer, as time has allowed.  I don’t have any zombies in my wip (which is a scifi adventure middle grade) but at the beginning of the book my hero has to foil a would-be assassin who is floating in the sky in a giant bubble, while the hero has nothing that could pass for a weapon and is presently on the ground and contained by a crowd of parade-watching creatures of all types.  How will he do it?  Well…some day you can read the book to find out. 😉

Truth, even that setup may owe a bit of creative moxy to Mythbusters!  My muse is grateful.  So, woot for fun shows that involve axes, myths, and plenty of explosions!

And while I’m at it, I am of course working through a couple of writing books.  I’ve re-visited an old standby, 20 Master Plots, by Ronald Tobias.

20 Master Plots cover

And added The First 50 Pages, by Jeff Gerke.  I hesitated on this one, since much of the first portion of the book is geared toward landing an agent or editor…but I’m agented already and moreover work, on the side, as a content editor for a small publisher, so that seemed like it would be less helpful for me.  However, I ordered it anyway and found even that portion a good refresher.  And the rest the book has been highly useful.  I can recommend both these books for anyone looking to take their writing craft up a notch!

First fifty pages cover

Did you have any adventures this summer?  I’d love to hear about them!  And pass along any great books you’ve been reading.  I look forward to seeing you next week, and am thrilled to be back to regular blogging!

 

 

6 comments to Creating myths, busting them up, and writing them down

  • I’ve been in withdrawal without your weekly thoughts on books so welcome back! Thanks for all of the recommendations today. The only one I was familiar with was Jeff Gerke’s The First 50 Pages.

  • Aww, thanks, Greg! And happy to recommend! 20 Master Plots has been around for awhile and maybe is less up to date than other books, but is super solid as a reference and guide for great plot dynamics!

  • Yay! Glad you’re back. I was away from the blog for about six weeks, myself. Good to step away from it once in a while.

    And I LOVE Mythbusters. My husband and I watch it all the time. They do enjoy blowing things up, don’t they?

    I haven’t heard of either of those craft books, so thanks for the recommendations.

  • I missed you, too, Joanne! So glad to be back with my awesome blogging peeps. 🙂

    Happy to hear we share a love of Mythbusters! I knew you had good taste. 😉

  • I’ve heard good things about Master Plots. I think it was mentioned at the Darci Pattison retreat. I’ll definitely be checking it out! It’s good to see you back, although I’m about to take a break myself. But I completely understand the need to step back for awhile.

  • Thanks, Jenni, and enjoy your break! I didn’t see your post listed on Shannon’s blog, so wondered if you were coming or going. You’ll be missed!

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