Thursday, March 29, 2012


Last night I jammed my headphones on and tapped around my iPod, set it to the wistful score from "Finding Neverland" and got to work.

I scribbled and scribbled for hours, sometimes glancing up at the sheets I'd placed around me.

I am hesitant to declare it, so I'm simply going to suggest:

...I think I have a complete outline?

Whew.  This is the first time I've had a really complete idea of where the story is going (?).  I've even got little things creeping in here and there, callbacks and flashbacks and some madcap happenstances and a showdown.  Plus a little love story on the side and a hopeful ending.

I am cautiously optimistic that I will be able to follow this thing all the way through and complete my goal of 120 pages (4 pages per day) during ScriptFrenzy.

This is the most prep I've ever done for a NaNoWriMo/ScriptFrenzy project -- so here's hoping it pays off!  I still want to make a playlist and add a few things to my Pinterest board. 

And I need a name for the script.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Reading, Research and Brainstorm Sessions

Only four more days until the madness begins!  I'm talking about ScriptFrenzy, of course.

I am having to exercise a large portion of self-control -- I want to start writing my screenplay NOW!

However, I've taken some advice from the SF headquarters and am in the midst of three things that will most definitely help my script reach its full (while still being messy and in need of serious editing) potential.

1. I'm reading scripts.  Some will be of my favorite movies (Speedracer and The Breakfast Club, to name a few), some I've never seen (Adventureland and 500 Days of Summer), and maybe one or two I really dislike.  Just so I know what to avoid.  ScriptFrenzy has a link to Dave's Script-O-Rama which has a large collection of scripts (various drafts, formats and genres), and I highly recommend imbibing a few before April 1.  I might even print one out as a reference.  (And it will probably be The Breakfast Club.  Seriously.  I could watch that movie every day)

2. Research!  I read a great piece of advice from Chris Baty, who started the NaNoWriMo/ScriptFrenzy bonanza.  Instead of wasting countless hours on 'research' (or Farmville), give yourself 5 clicks.  Go to Google, type in one thing you wrote down on your research list, and 5 clicks after that, you're done.  That's it.  No more until you finish this draft.

For a first draft, that's a great rule (that will hopefully keep me from worrying about how perfect my understanding of 1940's Dinner Etiquette really is).

3. BRAINSTORMING -- my absolute favorite part of story creation.  It might also be called day-dreaming.  Give me a soundtrack and a treadmill to walk (or a car to sit in) and I will entertain myself for hours making up stories.  But writing the stuff down might be helpful too --

which is why I have index cards, different colored felt-tip pens, notebook paper, a clipboard, a notebook, push pins and a bulletin board spread out in the living room, along with some short, helpful hints on writing.  My imagination space is almost complete.  Now I just need to plug my computer in.

Are you joining in the Frenzy? 

(If not, what are you working on/reading/watching these days?)

Foundling: Book 1 of the Monster Blood Tattoo Series by D.M. Cornish

I've begun several series this year -- much to my chagrin, they are all new(ish) and therefore I'm having to wait on the Kindle versions (or even paper versions!) to come out at the library.  It's painful.

BUT it is exciting that the slump of children's literature (or at least the perceived slump -- excluding the Harry Potter series, of course -- a definite literature life-saver) from the Noughts Decade (2000-2009) has receded and we are left with some true gems.

Foundling (Book 1) is one such gem -- it was utterly fascinating.

Rarely have I found a fantasy world that feels so real.  There's even a glossary at the end, complete with maps, pronunciation, measurements and descriptions.  While there is so much background information, the book is in fact quite easy to read (which is somewhat rare in very detailed fantasy worlds -- at least from my experience).

It is in fact so intriguing that I would (if I had the money -- which, alas, I do not...until Friday...) snap up the next two books wherever I could find them in paperback.

I want to know more about the unfortunate boy called Rossamund (I'm sure that's a foreshadowing of some kind!  How thrilling!) and his new life outside the orphanage.  And the monsters!  How is he going to avoid getting chomped in his dangerous new job?  And will he deign to serve someone who kills those who are, perhaps, misunderstood?

There are several things to chew on here -- racism (without sounding trite), society and the way it intertwines with our fate, and even freedom vs. safety (political and sociological).  All without being dry and dusty and tasteless.

It's amazing how much you can pack into a child's story.

Which is what made me want to write in the first place.

Have you read anything by D.M. Cornish?  Did you enjoy it?  What other fantasy worlds are real to you?  Which books make you want to pick up a pen and write?

Monday, March 26, 2012

How to Be A Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood by William J. Mann

William J. Mann's inside look at Liz Taylor's history was, to me, depressing.

I grew up with the Hollywood glamour in my eyes.  I wanted to be a movie star.  (Or a TV star.  I'd actually rather be on TV with a character I can play for years)  And then of course reading the tabloid headlines, I received a healthy dose of cynicism.  Or realism.  However you want to look at it.

But Old Hollywood still held some glamour for me.  At least until reading this book.

I'm not saying it's a bad book -- it's written by someone who wanted to reveal the real person beneath the publicist's mask.  Which of course is refreshing, in a way, and sad, too.

Liz Taylor wasn't the perfect, beautiful, tragic-turned-happy (?) figure we're led to believe.

She loved food.  diamonds.  sex.  alcohol.  and drugs.  These excesses (or the want of them) drove her life.  Pushed by her mother into stardom, Liz took what she could when she could, always ready for more.

She had a wretched beginning -- married off by MGM to Paris Hilton's granduncle (who turned out to be abusive), which began her running from man to man in an attempt to slake the thirst inside her.  (Her dad was a distant figure in her past, never close.  Wonder what psychologists would do with her?)

I like reading about celebrities.  But I don't like reading only the bad things about them.  I like knowing they're mixed bags -- as are the rest of us.

This book seemed to be trying to make her a real person -- but it didn't succeed in showing that she was a sympathetic character.  My respect for her dropped until there wasn't any left by the end of the book.

Would you have liked Marie Antoinette if you were a French beggar?

It also opened up the wretched mess that was the Hollywood industry and even back then, people were just as terrible as they are now.  It was just tied up in a prettier package.

Opening eyes can be a good thing.  But realizing that humanity has always been wretched and will always be wretched is not why I read.  I read to hope that we are better than that.

This book was extremely well written and researched but it left me sad and feeling ugly.

I'm going to go back to fiction for a while.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Saved By Soup

This is the first time I can say I've read a cookbook all the way through (skimming the prep since a lot of it is similar) -- and I really enjoyed it!

Saved by Soup:  More than 100 Delicious Low-Fat Soups to Eat and Enjoy Every Day by Judith Barrett is not only a cookbook -- there are bits of history, practical shopping advice, and health info sprinkled throughout.

It was an enjoyable read for several reasons:

1. I love soup.  I mean, I REALLY love soup.  It's my favorite thing to prepare and eat besides popcorn.
2. I love history -- so learning about each type of soup was intriguing.
3. I loved that each of these flavorful soups was low in fat (and calories) and that they (for the most part) used common ingredients.

There are several sections of soups -- including fruit soup (for summer), ethnic soups (borscht, gazpacho), and light soups for a fancy meal (pea soup and watercress), as well as comfort soup (chicken noodle).

There are instructions for making your own low-fat broth (quite easy) and also suggestions for what to serve with the soup (whether it was hearty or light).

I truly enjoyed reading this cookbook -- I read it on my Kindle but I'd love getting the hard copy someday to use in my kitchen.

If you're interested in low-fat, delicious soup recipes, or if you want to try something new (and healthy), I recommend this beautiful, practical and well-written cook book (with pictures!).

Friday, March 23, 2012

Steampunk! An Anthology -- by Various (including Lois Lowry and Garth Nix)

I usually don't read anthologies because I don't care for short stories.  They are usually unsatisfying, horrifyingly violent or tragic, and the endings are dreadful.  That's an unfair generalization, but I have read a ton of short stories.  (And yes, I do have some favorites -- Poe's "The Pit & the Pendulum" for one)

Perhaps I had better rephrase that to say, "I don't care for the modern/postmodern literature version of short stories," which is far more accurate.

Therefore, I was a wee mite trepidatious upon my primary perusal of the aforementioned anthology, "Steampunk!"

But it was steampunk.  And I was curious.

I was pleasantly surprised at the quality (and content) of the stories.  Instead of children mauling each other or everyone dying, there were semi-historical settings (some off-planet), gunslingers, nuns, a ghost and an automaton dance instructor who falls in love with his pupil.

Garth Nix and Lois Lowry are two of my favorite authors, so reading their steampunk stories was a real treat.

I have not been exposed to large quantities of steampunk but I like the general idea and hope to read more, as this was a lovely introduction.

The stories were so different from others I've read -- more like detailed oil portraits instead of dark and grainy snapshots.

"The Seventh Chair" (Lois Lowry) is especially intriguing.

I recommend this collection if you want to travel off-world for a while and learn about some very beautiful steam-powered machines (including a time-warping gun).

Have you read any steampunk literature?  Do you like the mixture of Victorian age science, futuristic societies and the occasional robot?  If you don't, what short stories do you like?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

I've reviewed a few of J.D. George's books this year -- with mixed feelings.  I love her ideas, but something's always missing (it seems) in the execution.  Not that she's a bad writer, mind you.  She isn't.  She plots extremely well (which is more than I can say for some other books I've read this year), but that little something that makes a book isn't there.

Or wasn't.

Tuesdays at the Castle is unique -- ostensibly written for a younger audience, it is a delightful romp of a fairytale, so fun to read that parents might want to take over the reading responsibilities for a few nights.

Another word for this story is appropriate.  And not the boring definition.  It's appropriate because of the way the subject matter is handled.  It doesn't turn dark, twisted and horrifying.  It has sad parts, scary parts, hilarious parts...but none of it ever feels threatening, and for a younger audience, that's important.

I don't want my (future) kids always reading one wretched tale after the other about poor young children who are stuck in horrible situations with no hope of a better future and no way to change their fate.  I want them to read books like this, about kids with spunk, bravery, mischievousness, and heart.

(And I also think it would make a great family movie)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Analyzing The Writer

As a young-and-aspiring writer, I haven't found my "things" yet. 

Things like:

-my writing style
-my plotting/story-boarding, "work" format
-my favorite way to write (keyboard? pens? a blue pencil?)
-my themes

So that's what I want to write about today.  How do you figure out what these are?  I expect the answer runs along the lines of, "just shut up and write" (and then you'll figure it out years later) but for the sake of discussion (and a longer blog post), I'm going to hazard a guess, or several, about the Origins of a Writer's Style.

I think we have to begin with the individual brain.  Your Primary Story-Telling Device.  The thing you spin yarns with, the thing that gives you crazy dreams wherein mice are your co-workers, translating your data entry into Braille*.  Everybody's noodle is wired differently, and whether you realize it or not, your personality and your brain have a lot to do with HOW you write.  (I'm talking about weird stuff, like why you only drink orange soda while writing code for websites)

For example: I am a messy, disorganized Type-B individual.  I don't use notecards or Post-Its with enough regularity for them to be called Instruments of My Trade.  I'm more likely to keep one notebook and scribble EVERYTHING down.  The organization will come later.  Hopefully.  I just shower my paper with thoughts (and doodles) and hope something linear arrives.  A pattern of some kind.  Sewing mixed seeds and then hoping to harvest all the cucumbers, that sort of thing.

Why?  It has to do with what type of learner I am.  My brain deals with abstracts much better than concretes.   I learn by doing, seeing the big picture and drawing strange connections.  So it makes sense I'd write stories that way.  My brain's just wired like that.

Also, I snack on carbs when my brain stops working as I write.  Maybe that explains my non-pregnant-yet-round tummy.  O.o  (That or I'm an extra-tall halfling, and loving/eating tons of food is in my DNA.  I tend toward that prognosis)

I think part of the way you write also comes from the stuff you love (obvious, but let me explain).  Say you decide to write a story about fruit, a princess, a large, cuddly animal and perhaps some sort of magical spell.  Those things were stored in your brain from somewhere.  Your brain likes these things for some reason, and it pulls in stuff you won't even realize is in there until you begin dissecting, years later, for those nosy columnists who interview you after your story wins best something-or-other.

There's also the idea that you often include stuff that's happened to you as a way of processing it.  I tend to write about characters who are only children, who want something -- either a 'real' family that actually gets along or spends time together, or to escape the oppressive situations they've grown up in.  I'll let you figure out why I write about the last two situations, but as for the only child thing...

I've thought about that a lot, and I've just this second seen why I write about that.  When I was very small, I lost a little brother in a tragic accident.  I was an only child for a while again, and I don't think I ever forgot what that felt like, even though I now have three more siblings.

Weird, isn't it?  Like a little piece of yourself coming into focus.

As for my Tools of the Trade -- I must have a non-scratchy pen.  I CANNOT write with a scratchy one.  I can't concentrate and I want to blow the pen up in a much-larger-than-necessary explosion.  I love notebooks.  I have too many, and few of them are gorgeous.  I can't write in beautiful, empty books.  What if I mess them up?!  I also love writing on the computer -- I'm a pretty fast typist.  I prefer certain programs over others and I may find a favorite eventually but I'm young and new enough to this that I haven't found The One yet.

So what about you?  As you approach a new writing project (or ScriptFrenzy), what do you stock up on?  Have you discovered something about yourself while writing that surprised you?  Do you hate scratchy pens too?

*Totally had this dream a few nights ago.  It seemed perfectly normal at the time.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Script Frenzy 2012

I'm excited about SF 2012.  I've put a badge on my blog, done some real work on my screenplay (some pre-work, anyway), and gone ahead and signed in to my SF account.

My fingers are itching to get to work -- literally.

I've been trying to decide how much pre-work to put into my screenplay -- I'm still a mix of panster/hyper-organizer.  I am making "To Do" lists (movies to watch, playlists to make, a board on Pinterest for inspiration and information) while scribbling anything that comes to mind into a notebook while hoping it doesn't end up a mess by the end of the first week.

The thrill of Script Frenzy is almost tangible.

Less than two weeks and I will be tapping the keyboard to produce my first movie screenplay (I've done a graphic novel and TV scripts, plus some novels for NaNoWriMo).

Between my critiques of books (more are coming -- I'm currently reading a cookbook, a biography, an anthology, and several books that are first-in-their-series) I will be posting my progress (or lack thereof) in Script Frenzy, and maybe some things I've learned.

Today I wanted to mention something Chris Baty wrote about in his book No Plot? No Problem! which I've gone back to over and over again as I contemplate doing another year of NaNoWriMo or ScriptFrenzy and wonder just how crazy I am for doing this year after year. 

He was talking about having references when you're writing -- most people think of the dictionary, a thesaurus, or maybe a style formatting book.

Mr. Baty recommends one of your favorite books (or movie scripts, or whatever you're writing).  Why?  Because a) you love it and b) it's properly formatted. 

So when you want to check on where parentheses go, or where dialogue quotes get left out, you can find it in something you love.

That makes a lot of sense to me, and I'm going to treasure that little bit of info while I write.

What's your best tip for writing something in 30 days?  Want to join the fun?  Check out

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson

As a rule, I don't read much fiction if it isn't fantasy/sci-fi, for the simple reason that it bores me.

I love Madeleine L'Engle.  But her stories about normal people?  Don't interest me.

So I don't know why I picked up this book.  Or continued reading it.

But I didn't dislike it.

Catalyst is a strong, well-written book about grief.  Grief in different forms, and at different times.  The process of grief, and how different a form it takes with different people.

It's a sad book.  But it's a good book -- there is hope at the end.  The hope that you can face your grief, live through it, and go on to do something with your life.

I also loved the fact that it showed people of different beliefs working together.  In a world of cliques and religious factions, it's a breath of fresh air to read about people who help each other out no matter their skin tone, IQ level, salary, religious affiliations, or their inherited facial features.

It's not a cheesy-feel good story, either.  There's real heartbreak, anger, and imperfect people.  But the reminder that grief shared is halved and that life goes on is a great one.

What books have you read that reminded you of a truth you'd forgotten?  Are there books that have remained in your memory a long time because of their message?  What were they?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What-the-Dickens: The Story of A Rogue Tooth Fairy by Gregory Maguire

There's a writing exercise that my husband and I like to use when describing a story (whether it's one of our current projects, a movie we've seen, or a TV show we want to watch with someone) -- it has been used by countless writers, but it's a fun exercise and can tell you a lot about a story.  What's the theme?  What is the author trying to communicate through the story?  Are the characters all struggling/dealing with this concept in some way?

The exercise consists of finding the one word that the entire story revolves around.

For example:

Harry Potter is about death.  The death of friends and family, life after death, and the seeking for a way to escape death.  Every character deals with it differently, but all of them experience it.  (I'm avoiding spoilers just in case *someone* on this green earth has not read this amazing series)

The Thief (an incredible book by Megan Whalen Turner) is about deceit.  The whole time, you think the story's going one way, and then you find out that the main characters were hiding something -- two or three of them hiding information from YOU!  Just...brilliant.

Alice in Wonderland (the 2010 movie by Tim Burton) is about destiny.  Alice struggles with the knowledge that she should be the White Queen's champion, even though she's struggling with the basics -- her name, who she is, and what life she wants.  The Caterpillar's destiny is being a butterfly.  Everyone has a destiny, but not everyone is alright with the outcome -- the Knave, the Red Queen, the Mad Hatter, Hamish, and Alice's mother/brother-in-law come to mind.  This is what makes the story interesting -- those unhappy people fought against it with various results.

All that to explain what I disliked about "What-The-Dickens"...I couldn't figure out what it was about.  I suppose you could say that it was about belief, but that isn't quite true.  And it isn't really about identity, either.  If a reader can't tell where you're going and doesn't get the message, maybe it needs to be made more clear.  (I also didn't care for the tone -- it sounded like a bitter, sardonic individual was telling me that the world is a cold, hard place where I'll never fit in, but was somewhat wishy-washy in saying it, like they couldn't decide if I could take it or not.  Now, I don't really like sappy happy endings.  I like my share of bittersweet.  But really?)

Have you read anything by Gregory Maguire?  Are his other works like this?  And if you've read What-the-Dickens, do you know what it's about?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Currently Reading, Goodreads, & ScriptFrenzy

Books I'm currently reading (and will write about next week):

Tuesdays at the Castle - Jessica Day George (already more engaging than her last two books)
How to Be A Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood - William J. Mann (not the memoir I was hoping for -- it's very stiff at the moment)
What-The-Dickens: The Story of a Rogue Tooth Fairy - Gregory Maguire (didn't realize it was by the man who wrote's a little condescending and rough but here's hoping)

I am still reading through the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson (CANNOT GET ENOUGH!), finished Fang (book six) and found out they did not have the Kindle edition for Angel (book seven) so will get the hard copy from the library.  Also, I hate coming in at the end of a series -- I'd much rather wait until it is all OVER.  The last book, Nevermore, comes out in August.  Can I wait that long?!?!?!

I am poking around Goodreads, trying to find out how I can maximize its potential for my needs.  So far I've made a list of to-reads, categorized probably 1/2 of what I've read in my entire life, and played some trivia.  One of the book quizzes got me mad because I didn't agree with the question...had a lively discussion about who Voldemort's "Right Hand Man" would have been (who do you think it is?) with the husband and friends.  So far, Goodreads is fun and mostly helpful...but besides saying what books I've read, and how good I think they are, what else can you use GoodReads for?  I like it, don't get me wrong -- I'm just curious what other people like about it.  (Maybe if I'm a published author someday I'll use it to garner stellar reviews -- ha!)  You can find me here: SnapeFan4Life

And, ScriptFrenzy approaches!  I promised myself I'd plot out my potential movie project (I still don't know whether I want to write a movie or a graphic novel) but so far, zilch.  I am taking some days off during Spring Break (so helpful that everyone's gone!  Taking time off is much easier when nobody needs you) and when I'm not watching Dollhouse (again) with my brother, I'll probably be plotting.

If you haven't ever participated in ScriptFrenzy or NaNoWriMo, I think you should.  Not only is it a valuable learning experience (how well do you work under pressure?  How do you plot/write most efficiently?  What do you like to write?  Still figuring out these questions, myself) but it connects you to people around the globe -- some will be great contacts in the literary world, some your cheerleaders, some may write your new favorite books, and some might become long-term pen pals.  I've learned a TON from taking part in these events every year, and you should do it just once for the experience.  And I also know a few authors who started out as NaNoWriMo participants who now have books on real bookstore-bookshelves...

Have a great weekend, everybody.  Sorry this post is so jumpy/disorganized. 

What are you reading these days?  Have you read The Maximum Ride series?  (If so, please don't give me spoilers.  Just tell me if you liked it or not)  And...have you participated in ScriptFrenzy/NaNoWriMo?  What was your experience?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Of Love And Evil: Song of the Seraphim, Book 2 by Anne Rice

After reading Anne Rice's lovely book "Angel Time," I wasn't sure how she was going to write a second one and make it just as good - but of course, she did!

There are (more than) a few things I really, really appreciate about her writing:

1. She has fully developed characters -- even if they're not doing anything, they feel like real people.  I'm invested in the cast of characters as a whole, instead of just getting to know one or two characters.

2. She writes amazing, beautiful dialogue that makes you think.  There was a more-to-the-point theme running through this book, more so than the last one, but it was just as gorgeous and I loved that she could take such serious, dense subject matter and create something you care about deeply.

Other things I appreciate are her sense of detail (including the ring of authenticity in her work) and her knowledge of the human condition.  She can write male, female or spirit and it is done so well you forget, actually, that someone else wrote the story down.

I love being enveloped by the worlds Anne Rice creates.  

This book brought to my attention, once again, the fullness of Rice as a story-teller.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Pegasus by Robin McKinley

There's a trend I've discovered whilst reading new books -- a detestable trend wherein you build to the climax and...STOP.  No denouement.  No wrap-up.  No tying up of loose ends.  Nothing.  You simply build until you reach the most exciting part and then you leave off, making your readers wonder if you just got tired of the story or didn't know where it was going and decided to let the readers do the rest of the work (here's looking at you, Chuck and LOST).

Shame on you, Robin McKinley, for falling into this trap!  Your book, Beauty, is the best re-telling of a fairytale anyone could ask for (besides Cameron Dokey's brilliant Golden and Beauty Sleep)...and then you had to go and buy in to this faddish lit trend of leaving off the resolution...

I admit, the beginning of this book was a slow burn.  It took me so very long to get invested in the character -- three chapters!  But then -- THEN, oh then!  Chapter four took my breath away.

I was hooked.  And I kept reading with astonishment.  Beautiful, beautiful fantasy!  Wondrous descriptions, taking me to another world.

WHY, then, for the love of ALL that is good, did you choose to end right at the point where everything comes crashing down around the characters?  That is NOT an ending!  It is the CLIMAX, which is then followed by THE DENOUEMENT.  EVERYONE KNOWS THIS.

The sickening part?  Robin doesn't write sequels (she has averred).  So, we are left with a pile of ashes that began life as a masterpiece.

I am highly disappointed.  I am outraged.  I am hurt.

And seeing other readers' reviews has hardened my resolve.

I shan't read McKinley's other books (she has plenty of other fans who will buy and read -- she won't be missing out because of me) because I absolutely cannot BEAR to love a book so much only to see it poop out right at the crux of the matter.

I just can't.

Ever been cruelly disappointed by a book?  Tell me which one so I can avoid another heartache.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Shadows: The Books of Elsewhere, Book 1 by Jacqueline West

I believe in the power of editing.  I think one of the most important things for a story is to be paired with a solid editor.  There are several new and popular stories that could have been classics...if only they were in the hands of an editor for any (longer) period of time (certain Heroes and Vampires come to mind).  Instead, they were rushed through the process because they were destined to be "hits" and instead of being classic literature, they were relegated to faddish, pop fiction.

I also think that no matter if it is your first book or your fifty-seventh, if you have a great editor, the quality will be high.

Such is the case with "The Shadows: The Books of Elsewhere" (Book One).  I was astonished, upon finishing it, to discover it was the author's first novel.  The quality of the work was much higher than most beginner novels.

There were other things going for it, of course:  I was hooked from page one.  (Although, again, that could have something to do with the editing)  The thing that really stuck out to me, however, was the villain's monologue.

Most villain monologues are old hat by now -- I am here to destroy the world, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah...only you stand in my way, blah, blah, blah...the typical "I-am-so-powerful-until-you-stick-me-through-with-a-sword" nonsense.

THIS villain's monologue was BRILLIANT and made me think about my favorite villain monologues -- the ones that really ring true and hit home and make you more aware of what's going on.

A few key components:

1. Knowledge of the (heroic) main character's desires
2. Temptation (in order to gain said desires)
3. Intimate conversation (which makes the first two creepier, personal, and harder to say no to -- true colors come out when no one else is around to watch)

Way back in the garden of Eden, the greatest villain knew Eve's curiosity would get the better of her, and so he tempted her with fulfilling her own desires.  Clever.

In The Shadows: The Books of Elsewhere, the confrontation between heroine and villain is intimate and scary as HECK because the villain draws out the feelings the heroine never knew were there.  The dawning realization of her personal issue tied up with her desire and the villian's plan is incredible.

I loved this book with every fiber of my being.  I was thrilled to find out there will be five volumes to complete the series, and the third will be coming out around my birthday this year!

Again -- I really think a great editor had something to do with how great this book was -- the author, of course, put in most of the work crafting the story, but the editor tightened it up so that it was pretty much flawless.

Have you ever read a book that thrilled you all the way down to your toes?  What is your favorite villain/hero moment in a book?  Got any recommendations for me?