Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Exorcising Carnage Creatively…

June 6, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Carnage – definition: the slaughter of a number of people : massacre

400px-Sadler,_Battle_of_Waterloo

Television viewers are assaulted with images of carnage on a daily basis. Regardless o,f if it is a war, revolt, terrorist attack or mother nature, there is human and animal suffering displayed to the world by the news cameras. When I was younger; I’m talking late teens early twenties, these images had a profound effect on me. I would have recurrent nightmares, which incorporated all the most disturbing pictures I had witnessed. It was at this time I resolved never to watch the news. My parents told me I should keep up with current events and affairs, but I just couldn’t do it. So I left the room when the news came on at my parents house and when I moved out, I never switched it on. Several years later I happened to accidentally see a news clip. What struck me was its similarity to the last report I had seen except the location of the carnage had moved.

What is wrong with the world, it is on some sort of repeat button? Are we on a thread wheel, going round and round in circles? Supposedly we are the ‘higher’ animal life on this planet, so why can’t we learn? Doesn’t the natural world give us enough to contend with without adding to the pain, suffering and carnage?

End of lecture…and on to a happier note.

The images I was exposed to on television and film still haunt me on occasion but now I can use them creatively banishing the demons. One scene from my novel, Life in Slake Patch, has my antagonist, Evan, in shock.  After a fierce battle he finds many dead including a close friend. He questions their actions. Was it worth the lives lost?

How do you expel your demons? 

Comet’s Near Miss – A Learning Tool…?

February 21, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Trajectory – definition: the curve that an object travels along through space (such as a bullet, a rocket, or a planet in its orbit)

Igor-Zh

What a shame this word was not on my desk diary a couple of days ago, it would have been perfect for the spectacular but frightening event in Russia. Having a massive piece of rock hurtling towards earth certainly shakes our false sense of security doesn’t it? At any time a projectile could plunge to earth devastating everything in its path or at the very least showering molten fragments into the atmosphere with an accompanying sonic boom.

Reviewing all the data that flooded the Internet and news programs made me realize why we like disaster movies so much. In every one there is a seemingly insurmountable problem that is neatly resolved at the end. You can probably think of quite a number of them without much thought. We humans are portrayed as being able to overcome aliens, the earth’s core becoming unstable, mutant animals and a host of other threats. But when it really comes down to it, we have no answer for space rocks apart from tracking them and hoping they miss. A sobering thought. No futuristic spacecraft to shoot them down or massive laser beams exploding them thousands of miles above the earth – but lots of material for ideas!

If we use the comet as the basis of a story, there are a few options. We could start with the object approaching and how the inhabitants react and plan, or the big burning ball could be viewed as a sign and worshipped or we could write about how the survivors deal with the after effects of the impact. Just one event can spark many view points and scenarios. Which view would you choose?

When we develop our stories we need to give our readers the same form of scenario – the ‘normal’ life for our characters, the obstacle they need to overcome and ultimately  the resolution. The greater we can make the odds, the better we engage our readers. Obviously, we don’t all write disaster type stories but every hero or heroine needs to conquer something or someone. Finding a new perspective or view point in which to tell our story makes it unique even if the basic scenario has been ‘covered’ before. This is something I did with my children’s story, Rumble’s First Scare. Instead of the usual Halloween – people are scared by monster – I viewed the night’s events of All Hallows Eve from the monster’s perspective. Rumble experiences his very first scaring expedition.

http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/retail/books/rumbles-first-scare


Rumble's First Scare

Blog at WordPress.com.