Don’t Be Rude: Why You Should Watch Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal

On Saturday, August 29th, the final episode of Hannibal season three aired in the United States. It has not been renewed by NBC, nor has it been picked up by streaming services Netflix or Amazon. Given Bryan Fuller’s commitment to American Gods, as well as the casts’ moving on to other projects, the final episode of season three is very likely a series finale. Fuller and the production company have said they’d like to come back. The cast has said they’d like to come back. Perhaps, in a few years, that may happen: we’ll get what would’ve been season four as a mini-series or a movie on another network. Maybe it’ll even get Kickstarted! But right now, that’s a pipe dream, and to be honest, season three provided a fantastic series finale.

Art by Risa Rodil
Art by Risa Rodil

Today’s post isn’t to talk about that finale. Rather, it’s to lead into something else entirely: now that the show is over, it’s the perfect time to watch and see what all the fuss is about. You don’t have the worry about the show getting canceled, because it’s already canceled. You don’t have to worry about it not coming to a satisfying end, because it did. All you have to do is curl up and start watching, get addicted, and join the rest of us who identify as Fannibals in hoping that Bryan Fuller will get to continue his vision in some form or fashion. After all, he never did get around to introducing Clarice Starling.

I thought it might be fun to interview myself, as if I were the prospective viewer who hadn’t yet watched the show. I polled my FB friends to find out what reservations they had to watching, and that, combined with my own experience of watching the show, is the basis for the following “interview.”

So please, don’t be rude. Read on to learn why, after four books and five film adaptations, you should give Bryan Fuller’s vision a shot.

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Writing Work Day #2

After a rather odd February, March has arrived, which means consecutive Writing Work Days will be had! For a refresher, here was the progress report from last official writing work day, and here’s the last progress report (Con Nooga doesn’t count since I wasn’t actively working on something).

So, a reminder, where am I in my official plan?

3) Use notes and questions to determine what changes need to be made to the current draft of Codename: Telepathic Soulmates. Ultimate goal: reduce word count from 132,000 to around 115,000 words, if possible. Consider:

  • Does it need a total rewrite?
  • Does it need a partial rewrite?
  • A very surgical rewrite?
  • Or just a super-hard final polish?

Deadline: tentatively, Sunday, April 5th. Deadline dependent on what kind of rewrite/polish the draft really needs.

I’d decided that in order to do this, and while waiting on feedback from my two readers, that I would go ahead and sit down and read Karen Wiesner’s First Draft in 30 Days book as a means to narrow my focus on Codename: Telepathic Soulmates, because before I start cranking out revisions, I want to make sure I know what I actually want for the novel. That way, if/when I get conflicting advice from my readers (which has happened long before now), I know what direction to lean towards.

So after some errands this morning, I settled down and did a few things differently:

1) I moved myself into my husband’s office. I thought it would be good to work in a place where I’m not used to messing around on the internet, or where I watch television, or read, or get sleepy. So that was was useful.

2) I usually listen to the Writing Excuses podcast during the week in my car, and this week was no different. However, this week some of the advice (episode 10.9: Where is My Story Coming From?) I wanted to hear again and take notes, so I think in the future, I’ll hold off listening to the podcast and start off my writing work days by listening to it. I know I’ve missed out on REALLY internalizing good advice because I’m not in a position to take notes when I listen, so this should be a positive change.

3) The BIG thing I wanted to do today was start character sketches. Now, mind you, I’ve already written this novel. The idea for character sketches is to make sure I understand at least my main three POV characters and make sure their character arcs through the book MAKE SENSE. Wiesner’s book starts with an introduction and then proceeds to glorify outlines. I’m not sold on that part yet, because I’m more of the Writing Excuses way of thinking, which is that outlining is a spectrum, and most writers do SOME form of outlining, but not necessarily the full-blown, rigid method we all think of when we hear the word “outlining.” But after all of that, the book settled down and talked about character sketches and things to fill in. Fortunately, I’d been informed that Scrivener’s 2.0 version offered these near-exact templates, so I started filling stuff in for my three POV characters. I’ll admit: some of this involved looking up pictures of models for my characters, and I have no shame in admitting it’s fun to look at the pretty.

But how useful was the act itself? Useful…. but not in a tangible way, not yet. In the past few weeks since my first official writing work day, my brain has settled down and I feel mostly confident that I need to do a very deliberate, very surgical rewrite. I need to make sure each scene is performing on all cylinders and doing the best it can for the overall story and themes. As a result of this, my brain’s been storming all over the place and I’ve been taking notes on things I can feather in, and I used those notes to help with the character sketches today. But sketching is different than actually breaking everything down chapter-by-chapter and making sure everything is operating at peak efficiency, you know?

So what does this mean for next week? I want to fill in what I can for the other secondary and tertiary characters in the novel to make sure I’m not missing something useful or obvious, so I think this character-sketching thing may take at least one more, if not two more weeks. Then it’s on to setting and plot, where I intend to break the book down chapter my chapter and really map it out and make sure it’s working the way I want. By then, I suspect I’ll have all of my feedback from my two readers and will have had ample time to pick their brains.

From there? Surgical rewriting, yo!

I will say, I didn’t get started as early as I wanted today due to early morning errands. That being said, I started around 11:00-11:30, and I found the day moved surprisingly slowly. Not in a “I’m bored!” way, but in a way that just surprised me. I suspect my sense of time will change depending on what I’m doing in the process, and when I get to a phase where I’m actually writing, I suspect if I’m in the groove, I’ll lose all sense of time and will need an alarm to remind me to eat. I’d tell the cat to remind me, but I don’t think he’s very dependable in such matters, unless he’s the one wanting to eat.

Today’s musical accompaniment was the following:

1) Chasing Ice Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by J. Ralph because the music is so very lovely, haunting, a Philip Glass-esque to my ears. Also, the setting is very close to my heart.
2) [Soul] or [System] by Skytown Riot: I picked up this EP at Con Nooga, and I saw them perform a few years ago when they opened for Filter. I’m officially in love with this band.
3) This Is War by Thirty Seconds to Mars because of course.

One of These Days….

I fantasize that one day, someone will pay me to read for a living. I have all these reading projects I want to embark on in addition to all the other stuff I want to read, and there’s simply not enough time in the day.

But if there were enough time in the day, and ESPECIALLY if someone were paying me to read for a living so that I could embark on these projects, this is what I’d like to do.

1) Re-read the Harry Potter series. I re-watched the movies over Christmas, and it was a lot of fun re-watching with the series’ end informing the scenes. I can only imagine how much fun it will be to do the same with the books.

2) Read Charles de Lint’s Newford series using his recommended reading order. I’ve been wanting to do this for ages, and I’ve got quite a few of the titles. I just need to start!

3) Read the Norton Book of Science Fiction edited by Ursula K. Le Guin. It’s a BEAST, and I know I won’t like every story, but I think it’ll be well worth the effort.

4) Blame this one on the Writing Excuses podcast and Cherie Priest: I suddenly have a desire to give H.P. Lovecraft another go. I tried reading At The Mountains of Madness but the writing style did me in. However, listening to Writing Excuses episode 10.3, “Lovecraftian Horror” and learning what Lovecraft did and how he did it and how it was effective really has me wanting to track down a “Lovecraft for Beginners” reading list and make my way through it. Problematic the writer definitely is, but his lessons on horror might be quite fascinating.

5) This is an easy one, one I might actually start putting in my rotation: return to my original passion of reading women who write SF. Not just fantasy, but SF in particular. Because women writing SF need more love, and there’s tons of titles I still need to explore.

6) I’m sure there are other reading projects that have taken root in my subconscious, but they’re not rising to the surface at the moment. But even if I could do these, I’d have more than enough to keep me busy, and that doesn’t include the very necessary need to climb Mount TBR and whip it into submission!

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Today’s headline comes from “These Days” by Foo Fighters, from the album Wasted Light. You can hear the song here, and you can blame both Jaime Lee Moyer for using a lyric from this song for her blog post (which is far more interesting than this one, you should read it) and my husband for watching HBO’s first season of Sonic Highways and getting the Foo stuck in my head.

Culture Consumption: June 2014

It’s that time again! Amazing how fast the time flies, but once more, it’s time for another Culture Consumption. As always, I’ll post a list of what I’ve read/watched over the past month, and in some cases, provide some commentary. If there’s anything you’re interested in or curious about, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments, and I’ll be happy to talk further!

June was a strange reading month, thanks to the Hugos. Comics were neglected, and I only read one actual novel-length work. Crazy! But I ended up reading a lot of short fiction and finished a television show I’ve been wanting to complete for a long time. So let’s see what June held in store, shall we?

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Podcasts versus Music (On the Elliptical)

When I started getting my sorry ass up at 6:00 am to work out on the elliptical, I filled my Nano with podcasts. I liked putting on something that woke up my brain while I was using the elliptical to wake up my body. Well, this morning, I’d run through my available podcasts and was too lazy to download a new one to the Nano, so I put on a music playlist and started working out.

And I’ll be honest: with the exception of the FIRST day I did it (by it I mean waking up at six am, getting on the elliptical for 20 minutes, and feeling my body go OMG-WTF-WHY?!?!?!?!), this is the hardest workout I’ve had. I mean that in a good way: I didn’t feel sick or tired after, but I definitely worked up more of a sweat than usual, and my pores still felt like sweating even after I showered and dried off. Definitely got my heart-rate up, which is the whole point of exercise, right?

Which makes me realize that while I like stimulating my brain first thing in the morning, music may be the way to go. 2-3 minute songs also make the 30 minutes on the machine go by faster, especially since my pace is more determined by whatever beat I’m listening to.

For those of you wondering what I’m listening to, here’s the breakdown: Continue reading