Saturday, November 22, 2008

Men in Uniform

As the theme for this week's blog is Men in Uniform, I thought I would google the phrase.

Any single girls out there in Melbourne or Brisbane reading this? Because this is what I found:

Men in Uniform Speed Dating

Woohoo! Now I've never done the 'speed dating' thing myself. Back in 'my day', it was 'slow dating', you'd usually give the guy at least an hour to impress you, rather than a five minute face to face meeting. I did the classified thing, met lots of guys, went on a heap of blind dates. It was a hell of an eye-opener. A couple of meetings progressed to second dates, and some went no further than that first drink, but nothing eventuated from the two occasions that I took that particular adventure. I found the whole thing very superficial - so I'm not sure how increasing the quantity, while decreasing the quality of time spent with a person would improve your chances of finding Mr Right.

When I look back and analyse my relationships especially the ones that worked for a substantial amount of time, it was always a gradual getting to know the person, a slow burn. The lust at first sights (and none of that happened on a blind date) never worked out beyond the initial attraction.

Anyway, back to Men in Uniform: let me find a few pics:

Here lemondrop has done the work for me: 20 Favorite Movie Veterans How can we go past Richard Gere in An Officer and a Gentlemen? But I do apologise in advance for the alien in uniform, you know the one I mean - initials TC, used to be married to NK.

Ooh, nice calendar! Wonder if there's a 2009 edition?

Okay enough of that! Yeah I know there's never enough, but the scary thing for me about men in uniform now is that the ones I meet in real life seem to be getting younger and younger. Maybe it's because I'm adding another year to my age tomorrow - starting to feel old.

I want to tell you about Write or Die! Write or Die is a website that I discovered while procrastinating on the Nanowrimo forums. Great for word sprints, and people like me who can end a paragraph and then check their email instead of writing on. So you set your word target and a timer, and you type into the web site itself. If you stop typing, after a set period of time, it will flash red and start playing unpleasant sounds to you. ( I won't tell you what the unpleasant sounds are - you can discover them for yourself) The sounds stop when you start typing again. I'm going to test it out now and write for 10 minutes so I can get a Write or Die widget for this blog post!


8 days of Nanowrimo left. If you're on track, congratulations! 8 more days of hard work and you will be at 50ks or beyond. If you're behind, don't despair! Just keep moving forward, and find out exactly how much you can write in one month!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Flyboy Friday

With another hunk week for NaNo thought I couldn't go past the flyboy. Flyboys epitimise the very essence of the alpha male - born leaders they exude confidence, are competitive and are very masculine. I mean, c'mon girls, when looking for an alpha male hero, you can't go past a flyboy....

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's TWILIGHT time!

Okay just take time out of your busy NaNo schedule to have a look at something for me. Twilight is not just a series of books, they're a phenomenon....say it with me folks, PHENOMENON... (there goes that Muppet song in my head).
So what did Stephenie do that was sooo different. There're dozens of teen angsty vampire books out there which were written long before Twilight came into her head, why these books?
LJ Smith wrote the Night World series in the 90s. They're about a teen girl who finds out she's an old soul - a reincarnated person who's had many lives. She also is the soul mate of a Lord of the Night World. Thierry has been there for her in every life she's led, she is his passion. When she finds out who she is she rejects him and this leads to the rival vampire who is out to kill her to find her. It's an interesting book, yet it hasn't had the world dominance that twilight has.
I think Stephenie did something that was amazing - she tweeked into the facebook/myspace/online community and teen girls had access to her. Wouldn't you like to be able to speak with your favourite author and ask them questions about the story/characters etc? If I ever find Terry Pratchett's phone number look out world! or maybe just change your phone number Terry!
So Stephenie wrote a 130,000 word book about an angsty teen girl who gets shifted to an out of nowhere town where she's sort of an outcast and meets up with a guy who is gorgeous but wants nothing to do with her. Oh that appeals to teens on soo many levels (I was there once.. not in an out of nowhere town but an angsty girl who was in love with a gorgeous guy who didn't know I was alive - someone get me a tissue the memories hurt).

So with your own story do you have characters that have inner conflict? Are you giving them lots of scenes to show how conflicted they are? (although watch the whiny voice thing, that gets annoying.. i'm just saying, not accusing Bella at allll - sorry Di)

And don't worry if you don't, because it's first draft, on the second and third run throughs you'll get into the whole inserting conflict, cutting out whole scenes etc...
Anyway my teen has told me she wants to see Twilight with her friends and not me. Ah well, I'm going to see it before her anyway now, so I'll have one night where I purposely tease her all about it - ahh the joys of being a parent.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wednesday Warriors

Warriors bring to mind different things for different people. But for me a warrior is someone who fights for what they believe, puts their life on the line for other or goes out of their way to do something for another. A warrior is often a hero. The best ones do what has to be done without much fanfare and without taking credit. The ones I admire the most are the ones who do everything in the name of their job.
Think about what makes your hero a hero. Is it enough to make your heroine love him? Is it enough to make your readers love him? Do you love him? While you're pondering the virtues of your hero here's some pix for you to look at.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tuesday's Troy Boys

We are having another hero week here on the blog. This week it’s Men in Uniforms. Now because I’m writing an historical novel for NaNo I thought I’d go with that theme so to speak hence the heading Tuesday’s Troy Boys. LOL. And who better than to start my pictures off with than three men in dresses.

The other week on the ROMAUS loop we were discussing the Alpha hero and what makes them an Alpha Hero. Let’s face it we all love the Alpha hero in a story, the one that stands out from the rest, the one that gets our hearts racing. We may not always like them to start with but by the end of a good book we are heads over heels just like the heroine.

There is one thing that most authors agree on and that is that the Alpha hero has to have as sense of honour and no matter how arrogant he may be we need to show just a glimpse of the tender side early in the story.

In his time Charlton Heston was one of the most popular actors of the day and not just with the women but also the men. The reason I think he was so well liked was because he gave each of his roles that real male quality.

In 'Ben Hur' he took us on the ride of our life and not just because of the chariot race. Plus I bet he had many a woman's heart racing with his short skirt and muscles.

Now I have to admit that Kirk Douglas is not one of my favourite actors but he like Charlton was big in his day and had women swooning for him especially in this get up.

I often wonder what it is about the hero’s in the movies that draws us to them. Is it the actor playing the part?

Or is the way the writer has written the part? Have you ever read a book and visualised the hero a certain way only to have it made into a movie and have your vision blow to pieces? Or had two different actors play the part and think yeah he looks more like the hero?

Now here's an example Kirk Douglas played the hero in 'Spartacus' yet to me he didn't seem to fit (Okay
so I've already said I wasn't a fan and that could have a lot to do with it) but Goran Visnjic Now he is my idea of Spartacus.

Then we have the actors of today (yes I know Goran is an actor of today as well) that have played the roles of heroes in the times of the Roman empire. Russell Crowe (also not a big fan of Russell's so glad he didn't do Australia with Nicole sorry got of track) he pulled the hero off so well in 'Gladiator'. Plus if you ignored the voice and head the body looked great. LOL. (Sorry again had a bitchy moment).

Now on to the Troy boys. Orlando Bloom well as far as I'm concerned Orlando can be a hero of mine any day. I loved Orland in 'Troy' but I loved him more in the 'Pirates of the Caribbean'.

Now I know some of you think Brad is a bit sissy to be a hero but you have to admit that six pack is well worth looking at. You know I can't help liking Brad as a hero in 'Legends of the Fall' he was great, I loved his role in 'Meet Joe Black' and 'The Devil's Own'. In 'Sleepers' he was fantastic, okay I have to admit I'm a brad fan.

Than we have our own Eric Bana. Who would have thought all those years ago when he was taking off 'Mr Perfect Hair Ray Martin' that Eric Bana would turn the heads of women all over the world as a hero. He plays his roles with such ease, I watched him in 'The Other Boleyn Girl' a couple of months back and thought he was great. Okay, I'm not sure Henry the eighth looked this good but I bet he was up their doing a little dance when Eric was cast to play him.
In 'Troy' he played the role just as well. Hero material all the way.

So what sort of hero do you write? Is he strong, arrogant, self absorbed, does he show any kink in his armour?