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- 05/10/12--07:57: _Where can I find th...
- 05/10/12--15:01: _Wattpad Cover-Off: ...
- 05/11/12--07:54: _When Words Fail, Mu...
- 05/14/12--07:54: _Your Friend, the Sa...
- 05/15/12--11:25: _Why Science-Fiction...
- 05/15/12--14:01: _How to get over an ...
- 05/16/12--08:45: _Movies About Writers
- 05/16/12--13:31: _Jane Sevier is an a...
- 05/17/12--12:59: _Harry Potter Adapte...
- 05/18/12--08:55: _24-hour Contest: Ar...
- 05/18/12--12:59: _Epic Shows and Movi...
- 05/19/12--11:35: _Congrats to the luc...
- 05/22/12--07:18: _You are what you read…
- 05/22/12--14:00: _Wattpad meets Twili...
- 05/23/12--07:00: _A Man Of Many Hats!...
- 05/23/12--07:11: _Congrats to the Imm...
- 05/23/12--13:32: _Peter Facinelli Rea...
- 05/23/12--15:02: _Wattpad Meetup in N...
- 05/24/12--06:01: _allenlau: Yesterda...
- 05/24/12--11:38: _Friendship and Gift...
- 05/10/12--07:57: Where can I find the Wattpad meet-up page?
- 05/10/12--15:01: Wattpad Cover-Off: "Bubble Tea Girl"
- 05/11/12--07:54: When Words Fail, Music Speaks.
- 05/14/12--07:54: Your Friend, the Satirist
- 05/15/12--14:01: How to get over an ex-boyfriend
- 05/16/12--08:45: Movies About Writers
- 05/16/12--13:31: Jane Sevier is an award-winning writer, most known on Wattpad...
- 05/17/12--12:59: Harry Potter Adapter-in-Chief Steve Kloves Will Take on...
- 05/18/12--12:59: Epic Shows and Movies of the '70s and '80s
- 05/19/12--11:35: Congrats to the lucky winners!
- 05/22/12--07:18: You are what you read…
- 05/22/12--14:00: Wattpad meets Twilight's Carlisle Cullen
- 05/23/12--07:00: A Man Of Many Hats! David Callinan is one of our featured...
- 05/23/12--07:11: Congrats to the Immersedition Winners!
- Jessica (@WorldPeaceRaven)
- Orlando Bloomberg
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- 05/23/12--13:32: Peter Facinelli Reacts to Wattpad Fan Fiction Wattpad interviews...
- 05/23/12--15:02: Wattpad Meetup in New York!
- 05/24/12--06:01: allenlau: Yesterday was our company photo day. Our photographer...
- 05/24/12--11:38: Friendship and Gifts for Special Someones
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Which version of “Bubble Tea Girl” by Althea Liu do you like better - 1, 2, 3, or 4?
Wattpad brings you a guest post from featured writer Leah Crichton:
The one question I get asked a lot as a writer: “Where does your inspiration come from?” You may be surprised at my answer but I doubt it. In fact, you may be inclined to agree.
There are so many things about this life that give me cause to celebrate each day. My family, coffee, butterflies, lip gloss, black and white photographs, reading and of course…writing. For me, writing goes hand in hand with one other thing that I couldn’t possibly live without.
Some people say silence is golden. And that’s fine, for them. But for me, silence is dreadful. My iPod is like another limb. I’d be lost without it.
I. Love. Music.
What does my major obsession with music have to do with writing? It is single-handedly, where most of my inspiration comes from. My first novel, Amaranthine was inspired by two songs that played back to back on my iPod.
My second novel which will be featured on Wattpad, Celebrity Status has also been inspired by music.
The book shares its title with a song by a Canadian band, Marianas Trench. As the title suggests, it’s about becoming a celebrity. The first time I heard it I thought it would make a good premise for a novel.
So many musicians live on my beloved iPod. I have playlists for reading, writing, cleaning, working, dancing… breathing. Some of my other favorite bands to write by: Better than Ezra, Breaking Benjamin, Lifehouse, The Maine, Mayday Parade, Every Avenue, Hedley, Maroon Five, The Midway State, Simple Plan, Three Days Grace, The Fray, Augustana…just to name a few.
Lyrics that tell a story encompass every reason I love music. As a listener, I don’t think you can ask for much more. As a writer I know you can’t.
My favorite thing to do when I listen to music is to close my eyes, focus closely to the words and ask myself “what if?”
The song “Broken” by Lifehouse has lyrics which say: “the broken clock is a comfort, it helps me sleep at night, maybe it can stop tomorrow from stealing all my time.”
In my writer’s mind, I heard this and thought what if someone actually did lose time and had no idea why? The result is my current work in progress called In Time.
Inspiration is not hard to find. You just need to know where to look for it. Your iPod is a virtual vault of stories just waiting to be written. Next time you’re listening to that great song, close your eyes and ask yourself “what if?” You never know, the answer might surprise you.
Wattpad brings you a guest post from Brian K. Henry, author of SPACE COMMAND AND THE PLANET OF THE BEJEWELLED CONCUBINES:
Satire has always been one of my favorite genres, probably because I’ve always thought society is so screwed up it could do with a lot of satirizing. The satirist makes their whole project from picking out the dumbest and most outrageous things going on in the world and helpfully pointing them out to you, the reader, usually through some kind of exaggeration or new perspective. A typical satire takes some element of contemporary life and uses a skewed look to reveal just how off-kilter it really is.
America has a great tradition of satirical writing, going back to one of the U.S.A.’s first full-time writers, Washington Irving, who wrote a comedic fictionalized history of New York, and even including Edgar Allan Poe. While Poe is famous for his horror stories, he also has wickedly humorous satirical pieces, such as “The Man That Was Used Up” about a heroic soldier who’s become nothing more than a heap of prosthetic body parts.
Mark Twain is probably the most consistently satirical writer in the American canon. Almost all of his work has some sardonic, mocking quality to it. This comes out most clearly in some of his short sketches, such as “Journalism in Tennessee”. Twain’s typical wry understatement is played to good effect here. When he reports for work at the editorial offices of the Memphis Avalanche, the editor urges Twain to juice up his writing and make it more “peppery and to the point. Mush-and-milk journalism gives me the fan-tods.” But Twain soon discovers the editor’s journalistic boldness has its downside – the office is constantly attacked by a whole range of offended locals. Twain’s take on sensationalistic journalism seems just as relevant today as when it was written, with media headlines always needing to be bolder and sexier.
Another of Twain’s masterful satirical miniatures is “Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses”. In just a handful of pages, Twain eviscerates the writing style of this revered early American adventure novelist. His literary broadside descends from a long history of satirical putdowns of writers by their colleagues, which include Alexander Pope’s Dunciad and Henry Fielding’s Shamela.
Like Twain, Sinclair Lewis was a lifelong critic of hypocrisy and small-town, narrow-minded thinking. His novel Main Streetis the classic depiction of a stultifying, xenophobic Midwestern town. When bright and upbeat Carol Kennicott, the town doctor’s new bride, tries bringing some much-needed life to this hermetic world she’s quickly closed down by locals like the “soft, damp, fat, sighing, indigestive, clinging, melancholy, depressingly hopeful” Mrs. Bogart. Again, maybe not as much has changed since the 1920s of Main Street as you’d think. Gopher Prairie’s residents even then were up in arms about the influx of immigrants with poor English skills – but their immigrants were the pesky Scandinavian residents of the “Swede Hollow” slum.
Gore Vidal is another satirist who’s always had an eagle eye for American parochialism. His wide-ranging career includes such satirical burlesques as Myra Breckinridge, a wild experiment in gender-bending for its time. Set in a Hollywood where the glamour of its heyday is fading, the novel’s narrated by Myra Breckinridge herself, a sexual renegade and movie obsessive with her share of bombshell secrets, who upsets all sorts of gender and sex role expectations in her rampage through Tinseltown.
In more recent years, Don DeLillo has been a key, wry observer of the cultural scene. In his 80’s classic, White Noise, DeLillo takes on everything from academic absurdity to ecological concerns and the obsessive fear of death. Protagonist Jack Gladney is the highly respected inventor of the field of Hitler Studies, but is constantly anxious about his status: nervous over his inability to speak German and the necessity to constantly fend off such rival cultural disciplines as Elvis Studies. The eerie practice sessions for unspecified toxic events in his hometown, in which the residents practice laying out in biohazard suits, and the characters’ obsessions with the minutiae of daily life (Jack’s wife gives adult education classes on how to stand, sit and walk) are prescient forerunners of today’s safety-minded milieu.
America’s long tradition of satire is alive and well in the internet age. While such master satirists as Stephen Colbert and Sasha Baron Cohen have taken the genre to broad audiences in TV and film, the written word may still be the source of the most potent satire. Wattpaders have a whole bizarre world ready for satirization and lots of great writers like the ones above to take inspiration from when setting out to write their own satirical takes on our current messed up world.
Check out Brian’s hilarious sci-fi adventure on Wattpad:
Wattpad brings you a guest post from Nick Uskoski:
As I write Sigma/Star, my science-fiction story, I have come across one big problem people seem to have: its genre. I can’t tell you how many times someone has commented or looked at my work and said it looks so good and they find it really entertaining and enjoyed it but…it isn’t their type of thing. And by that they mean science-fiction. There is a general assumption made by just about everybody that science-fiction involves space, aliens, and the future (and I used to make that too!). The problem with all of this is that it is…well wrong.
As an easy example of how off quite a few people are on the concept of science-fiction, I have encountered numerous readers of the popular Hunger Games series who have no idea it would be classified under science-fiction. A story set in a dystopian future environment? The way to tell that it is science-fiction is simple: it creates a timeline that could exist, but does not, while featuring a special something called cognitive estrangement.
A fancy-sounding term, n’est-ce pas? The easier way to put it is that science-fiction presents some sort of situation or uses science and explanations to make you believe in the world. Once you have decided to put aside your disbelief that, for example, there really is a world in which young kids are rounded up and thrown into a televised gladiator event, then the actual magic begins. For you see, science-fiction is all a lie. In fact, good and proper science-fiction is usually more real than a detective novel or a romance. The secret behind these pretty images and fancy flying machines is actually commentary on the true world. Can The Hunger Games actually being making a statement about modern society or the oppression of the government or perhaps on society’s lust for reality television? What about A Canticle For Leibowitz, which expresses the fears of a generation past when dealing with the atomic bomb? Or how about Planet of the Apes, exploring the ideas of animal testing, what it means to be human, genetic manipulation, and evolution? Did you even know these books were about all these things or did that cognitive estrangement have you passing over it without realizing?
So even if there were aliens and laser beams in those stories and many others (which there aren’t) you now know that they are actually all standing in for something else. Somewhere in that book is the author’s view on an aspect of our world, and every time machine, and trans-dimensional communicator, and alien being, is actually standing in for something that we see and hear about every day.
Finally, if you find a book, any book, of any genre, that sounds interesting or looks intriguing or is engaging and enjoyable then read it! Who cares if it isn’t what you would normally read. There is no penalty on your reading record if you stop reading fantasy one day and pick up a romance novel. If it’s good, it’s good. And with science-fiction, you’re almost always going to find one you’ll like in that genre. It is such a vast and incredibly complex grouping of books that there is something in it for everyone. Do you know about soft science-fiction and hard? What about space opera?
Don’t be afraid to pick up a book just because it’s sitting in a section you think isn’t for you. Stories are stories. The best ones always combine a little bit of everything in them so if you think you’re locked into one genre, you’re mistaken. Read whatever seems interesting and forget those stigmas pop culture tacked onto the novel you’re holding. Just go for it!
Hello my lovelies!
First of all, I want to thank all of my Wattpad fans for your amazing comments and support. I hope you’re enjoying my Summer Diary as much as you enjoyed my first diary. Stay tuned for a new chapter and episode every Tuesday and Thursday on Wattpad.
After sharing with you 5 things I wish boyfriends would do, on my second post I’m sharing my advice on how to get over an ex-boyfriend and move on from a breakup. This is the advice I usually give to my friends and I’d like for you to share your tips as well in the comments, boys included.
1. Do not force yourself to stop thinking about him
It will drive you crazy if you do. How can you simply order your mind not to think about what used to be one of the most important people in your life?
Despite the common advice, I think it’s important to think about what went wrong… Do not beat yourself to death about it but try to exorcise all the demons. Cry, yell, do whatever you want, but don’t try to repress all your feelings and memories.
Think about the good things and the bad things, the sweet and the bitter. This is really important. What usually happens when you force yourself to stop thinking about your ex is that even if you eventually manage to do it, the moment you see him or run into anything remotely related to him, all those feelings of love, anger, or even jealousy, rise up again. I don’t think that’s healthy.
2. Spend quality time with your friends and family
You know I had a tough time with Siobhan and Ali when I started going out with Murphy. I’m not proud of it, but I have to admit I kind of neglected them, putting them on the background of my life. I’m spending a lot of time with them now and I’m loving it. Same goes to my parents, kid brother and Granny Nora. Cherish your friends and family. They will always be there for you.
3. Take on a new activity
Ever wanted to do something but you could never find the time for it? Now you have the time and the opportunity. Take on a new class, learn a craft, do some sports, discover new stories on Wattpad, have fun!
4. Meet new people
It’s always nice to make new friends, isn’t it? This advice is especially helpful if you have a lot of common friends with your ex. Friends tend to take sides when a couple in the group breaks up and the last thing you need is to argue with an old friend because of something that doesn’t even concern him. You won’t have that problem when meeting new people, that’s for sure.
5. Start dating only when you’re ready
After a breakup it’s OK to spend some time alone and if you’re anything like me, it is almost imperative that you do. You need to figure out who you are when you’re not in a relationship.
Everyone has different timings when it comes to start dating again, so there’s not a rule for it. Just do whatever your heart tells you to do!
I’m not trying to write a top of the best movies about writers. I’m just making a list of the ones that I really enjoyed – for various reasons of course, whether it had to do with the overly tackled theme of the writer’s block, or had some inspirational scenes attached to it, these are my favorite movies about writers.
Finding Forrester (2000)
In a way, I just couldn’t start with any other movie, simply because Finding Forrester was so cute and sweet and sincere that I almost cried at the end.
Starring Sean Connery and his manly voice in the role of William Forrester, a very successful and yet reclusive writer, this movie actually has some pretty good advice on writing. And, as I said earlier, some inspirational scenes as well.
Connery’s character, loosely based on J.D. Salinger, , through a string of events, ends up helping Jamal Wallace with his writing. Jamal is black and sixteen, and just about ten different characters say it’s remarkable that he’s black, sixteen, and also a good writer. The film also stars Anna Paquin will all her clothes on and Busta Rhymes.
As I said earlier, besides the melodrama and some pretty good jokes and some bad jokes and the inevitable romance and one or two cliches about writers (like all writers are notorious drunks,) this movie actually has some good advice on writing. Much like this one:
Forrester: Why is it that the words we write for ourselves are always so much better than those we write for others? Go ahead.
Jamal: Go ahead and what?
Jamal: What are you doing?
Forrester: I’m writing. Like you’ll be when you start punching those keys. Is there a problem?
Jamal: No, I’m just thinking.
Forrester: No thinking – that comes later. You must write your first draft with your heart. You rewrite with your head. The first key to writing is… to write, not to think!
And, of course, there’s this fabulous exchange between the remarkable black teenage writer Jamal and Sean Connery’s fantastic accent:
Jamal: Women will sleep with you if you write a book?
Forrester: Women will sleep with you if you write a bad book.
Barton Fink (1991)
Without a doubt this is one of the best movies about writers ever made. Written in three weeks by the Coen Brothers because they were suffering from writer’s block and they were struggling with the script for Miller’s Crossing, Barton Fink won the Palme d’Or and was nominated for three Academy Awards.
Universally acclaimed, this movie tells the story of a young New York playwright who is hired to write movies scripts for Hollywood. John Turturro, in what is maybe the best performance of his career, reminded me, in a bizarre way, of Fitzgerald’s The Pat Hobby Stories, or any other of his shorts based on Hollywood for that matter.
I’m perfectly aware that this movie isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Damn, it’s even difficult to categorize. It’s a film noir, surrealistic, and whenever I have to describe it, I use one word: VERTIGO. This should do the job. It’s really worth the time.
Secret Window (2004)
I have a special relationship with this movie. I first saw the movie trailer at the cinema, and since I was very young at the time, I misunderstood what it was about.
What I understood from that trailer ended up years later as the basis for my novel The Writer (which isn’t finished, so it’s not technically shameless self-promotion since you can’t buy it anywhere.)
Based on Stephen King’s novella, this movie is not as much scary, as it’s thought provoking. To a certain level, the psychological side of this movie appealed to me more than the horror part. And, of course, Johnny Depp’s performance, who for the past ten years or so, has played each of his roles impeccably.
Secret Window tells the story of Mort Rainey (Depp), a very successful writer, who one night follows his wife into a motel, where she was engaged in some sort of extramarital sex. Of course, they divorce, and he moves to their lake house. He’s suffering from writer’s block (who wouldn’t?) and spends most of his time either sleeping or drinking.
Until one day, when a guy named John Shooter (John Turturro) pays him a visit and accuses him of plagiarizing one of his short stories. Of course, things get nastier and nastier, and Mort Rainey finds himself locked in this strange game, when he’s constantly outsmarted and harassed by this Shooter guy. Then there’s the inevitable, mind-blowing twist at the end, which you will discover on your own.
I liked this movie, mostly because I’m a big fan of Depp, but also because Stephen King is one of the few writers who actually manage to create writer characters that appeal to non-writers; characters that actually add a bit of insight into what it feels like to be a writer. Then, of course, there’s Woody Allen.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
What I admire about this movie is that it took a lot of courage. Hunter S. Thompson’s novel has a specific, hallucinatory imagery, and the story almost spirals out of control towards the end.
Those of you who’ve read the novel won’t be disappointed. A tale about addictions in its many forms, but mostly drugs, this movie stars Johnny Depp as Raoul Duke and Benicio del Torro as Dr. Gonzo, who’s some sort of lawyer, as we’re constantly reminded every two pages of the novel and two minutes of the movie.
Like Barton Fink, this movie isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. It gets scary at one point, and it offers the visual equivalent of spinning around and around for twenty or so minutes.
The story it’s pretty simple. Raoul Duke, a journalist, and his friend Dr. Gonzo, go to Las Vegas to cover a motorcycle race. The idea is that they also buy all the drugs imaginable to man. And, of course, they try them. The events that follow… well you can imagine what happens.
Deconstructing Harry (1997)
I have this odd relationship with Woody Allen’s movies. Match Point, for instance, is one of my favorite movies. I loved just about everything in that movie: the beginning, the whole metaphor for luck, the smart dialogue, the story, the soundtrack, Scarlett Johansson. I really recommend it if you haven’t seen it already. It’s really, really good.
You Will Meet a Talk Dark Stranger (this one’s about writers too) is one of the few movies I genuinely hate. If I could, I’d ask for my two hours back. It was dreadful, even though it featured great actors like Anthony Hopkings, Josh Brolin, Antonio Banderas and many others.
But Woody Allen really gets the whole idea of being a writer. He understands the process, the quirks, the doubts and the lack of sanity. And Deconstructing Harry, featuring himself as Harry Block, a very successful writer is one of the best movies about what it feels like to be a writer ever made. The story is told through a series of flashbacks that add emphasis on the central plot of the movie, which in itself is pretty simple. Harry Block’s driving to a university to receive an honorary degree, accompanied by a prostitute, a friend, and his son.
This is a great movie, worth seeing by any aspiring writer. It offers insight into the mind of the writer, a feat not accomplished by many movies.
Midnight in Paris (2011)
Another one of Woody Allen’s movies, this one is a cute romantic comedy starring Owen Wilson as Gil Pender, a Hollywood screenwriter struggling to write his first novel.
If you like Rachel McAdams, then this is the movie for you.
It was enjoyable, though not as great as to deserve three Academy Award nominations.
Basically the storyline goes like this. Gil Pender and his fiancee are vacationing in Paris. There, through a magic only Woody Allen and Harry Potter know about, Pender ends up meeting Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, and many, many others.
As I said, the idea is quite cute, and, well, there’s always Rachel McAdams to look at, and it’s not the least bit boring (at least it wasn’t for me.)
The Rum Diary (2011)
As I said at the beginning of this post, this is a list of my favorite movies about writers, not that much about writers actually writing. In this one, there isn’t as much writing going on as there is drinking, but it’s worth a shot.
Based on one of Hunter S. Thompson’s novels (Johnny Depp actually stumbled upon the long forgotten manuscript of this novel during one of his visits to Thompson’s house), I gave this movie a try simply because there’s a very good female character in it.
Chenault (she doesn’t have a last name) played by Amber Heard, is a femme fatale unlike many other characters I’ve seen in movies. Well, maybe the novel version of Chenault is a bit more complex and original, but Amber Heard is simply ravishing. She’s sexual and sensual, and, sadly, that’s about it.
Oh, there are some laugh out loud scenes, there’s a lot of politics, and a lot of dialogue. And, of course, as the title suggests, rum, rum, rum. Not a great movie, but there’s one scene in which Paul Kemp, Johnny Depp’s character, says something that he has to try to write like himself, meaning that he has to find his voice as a writer.
The Libertine (2004)
If I were to try to describe this movie to someone who hasn’t seen it, I would say something like, “This is like Shakespeare in Love, only serious for a change.”
It’s a gritty depiction of the life at the court of Charles II of England, and Johnny Depp plays one of his most endearing roles yet.
This movie has it all. A controversial theme, a true artist type, the one who indulges himself in the most decadent of eccentricities, very good dialogue, a very smart ending.
It even has character arcs, which isn’t something you see often these days. The characters are well shaped, well played, and dressed accordingly to the era. For those who love a bit of Shakespeare, a bit of The Tudors, this is the movie for you. And, of course, we shouldn’t forget about the sex. There’s lots of it, but then again, if you’re watching HBO than sex shouldn’t really be any problem now, is it?
I know there are many, many more movies about writers. And there are some that are should be on the list, and maybe I’ll write a second blog to add them to the list. There are many of Stephen King’s adaptations, there’s Naked Lunch, and many others, like Capote, for instance.
Jane Sevier is an award-winning writer, most known on Wattpad for “Fortune’s Fool,” a mystery set in 1930s Memphis. Listen to our interview with Jane as we discuss her career, historical fiction, writing tips, and psychic powers!
Cover-Off: “Defending Jacob”
Which version of William Landay’s “Defending Jacob” do you like better - left or right?
Want to win a chance to meet Peter Facinelli this weekend? Act fast.
Join Wattpad for a rare daytime appearance from the Twilight Saga’s Carlisle Cullen.
A shout out to our friends at Tanger Outlets in Cookstown for hooking us up with amazing VIP passes to share with you! They’re celebrating their grand reopening this Sunday by inviting Twilight Saga’s Peter Facinelli to host a Summer Fashion Giveaway and greet fans! And did we mention the awesome shopping sales going on as well?
Enter our 24-hour contest for a chance to win Wattpad swag autographed by Peter himself and passes to meet him at an exclusive VIP reception! Oh, and of course, Wattpad is super pumped to interview Peter on Sunday. We can’t wait to let him know how much he’s loved in our community. Stay tuned for more next week!
1 winner will be randomly chosen to win 2 VIP passes* to a reception with Peter Facinelli in Tanger Outlets, Cookstown, ON, Canada + autographed Wattpad shirt and tote bag.
4 runner-ups will be randomly chosen to win a Wattpad shirt and tote bag autographed by Peter Facinelli.
There are 2 ways to enter:
Share our Facebook post on your timeline. Make the post setting visible to the public so we can see your entry!
On Twitter, tweet “Pick me @Wattpad to meet #Twilight’s @PeterFacinelli this weekend at Tanger Outlets in Cookstown.”
Contest ends at 12 pm noon on Saturday, May 19th. Winners will be announced by Wattpad on Saturday afternoon.
The winner of the VIP prize must pick up the passes on Sunday before noon at the Shopper Services in Tanger Outlets Cookstown.
*Winners are responsible for their own means of transportation to the VIP Reception.
Wattpad brings you a guest post from writer J.A. Marlow on her writing inspirations:
My love for the written word started early. Both of my parents were readers, and I loved to climb on their laps with volumes of an animal encyclopedia full of pictures. Typical story children’s books weren’t enough for me. I thirsted for knowledge, and the answer to all those ‘why?’ questions every toddler asks.
I still remember being fascinated that the dark marks on the page could mean things. How I wanted to figure out what they meant so I could read to myself!
Fast forward to school. I took to reading and writing like a duck to water. Soon, I was writing my own simple stories, frustrated to get better so I could tell stories like those in the books around me.
My mother was a writer and she used to set up her typewriter on the kitchen table. Well, what kid doesn’t want to mimic their parents? When she realized I wanted to ‘write my own stories, Mom!” she put up an old manual typewriter for me to work on. When she wrote, so did I. I was so little and my fingers not very strong, so I had to push the keys down with two fingers to make it work, but, by gum, I was going to write my own stories, too!
“Dick and Jane” clinched that I wanted to some day be published. I can still remember sitting at my desk in class, looking at it and thinking, “THIS is what can get published and put in every school in the country? I can do better than this! Wow, am I gonna get published!”
Overall, I was pretty much doomed to become a writer.
Many things influenced the type of stories I would go on to write. Other than books, the sometimes campy television shows and movies of the 70’s and 80’s influenced me greatly. Which ones? Glad you asked!
1. Star Wars
The first movie came out when I was pretty young. The second movie, “The Empire Strikes Back,” is what stuck with me more than the first one. Then came “Return of the Jedi,” leaving the impression forever of fun science fiction adventure behind.
2. Battle of the Planets
This translation from Japan (original: Science Ninja Team Gatchaman) was Sandy Frank’s answer to the phenomena of Star Wars. Wow, did it catch on with me. Planetary invasions, an elite team, superhero bird suits, an imperfect team dynamic… what a contrast to what else was showing on TV at the time. The series has remained with me down to this day.
3. Buck Rogers of the 25th Century
Buck Rogers lasted for 2 seasons, with the second drastically changed from the first. The first season is the one I remember fondly. The moment the DVD set came out, I bought it. It’s pure fun action-adventure science fiction, with plenty of battles, fights, skimpy clothes, and space flight to keep a growing love of science fiction happy.
4. Battlestar Galactica (Original)
Campy fun. I still love watching the original Battlestar Galactica, and wish it had gone on longer than it did (I choose to ignore Galactica 1980. Heh.). The characters were great, story exciting, with the search of the ‘mythical Earth.’ There was so much to love in this show.
5. Might Orbots
This animated shot lived a short 13 episode series shown among the cartoons that filled the airwaves each Saturday morning. It was written by a US team, but then animated in Japan, giving it luscious visuals. The fun of the characters, the quality of the animation, and the fact that in the 13th episode it actually had an ending, set it apart from other robot animation and made up for the silliness of the narrator. It’s still a guilty pleasure.
6. M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand)
This was yet another of what are called a “30-minute toy commercials” combining contemporary cars with vehicle who can transform. I still remember waiting to see what the agents would be doing in their personal lives when the call came out for them to join the M.A.S.K. team on a mission. One of the things that set it apart from so many of the other toy commercials such as Transformers or G.I. Joe was the fun the writers had with taking legends and myths we have in our world and finding answers to them.
7. Star Trek: The Next Generation
The original Star Trek series was before my time, but thanks to syndication I did see all the episode. However, when “Star Trek: The Next Generation” started, I quickly became a faithful viewer. The episodes ranged across all sorts of adventures with engaging characters, a ship that was a character in and of itself, visited worlds of wonder, and pickles to get out of. The show carried me off into new places to explore, ideas to think about, and thereby expanding my own writing repertoire.
Other popular media helped shape me into the writer I am today, but those are the big ones. Wow, do they all bring back memories. Just thinking about them makes me want to write!
So, how about all of you? What science fiction movie, TV show, or animation do you find inspiring?
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J.A. Marlow is a science fiction writer who loves great plots, interesting characters, and exotic locales accompanied by a sense of wonder.
The Salmon Run series currently consists of 4 books, beginning with “Night of the Aurora” which is available here at Wattpad. They can be found at all major retailers including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. Print copies are available at Amazon.
Thank you to everyone who entered for a chance to meet Twilight Saga’s vegetarian vampire, Dr. Carlisle Cullen, for a rare daytime appearance!
We have a winner! Congratulations to Jill Kneeshaw, grand prize winner of our 24-hour contest. Jill is the lucky recipient of 2 VIP passes to an exclusive reception with Twilight star Peter Facinelli at Tanger Outlets in Cookstown tomorrow! She will also receive a Wattpad prize pack (Wattpad shirt and tote bag autographed by Peter Facinelli). Have a ton of fun, tomorrow, Jill! Please pick up your 2 VIP passes on Sunday, May 20th before NOON at the Shopper Services in Tanger Outlets Cookstown. (Must show ID as proof of identity)
Congrats as well to the runner-ups who will each receive a Wattpad prize pack (Wattpad shirt and tote bag autographed by Peter Facinelli):
Nightingale is human - or would be, had it not been for the manner of her creation. Genetically engineered and grown to adulthood in a lab, she was created, not born. Why? For the sole purpose of the entertainment of rich men as one of the many Inamoratas in the bordello business . Beautiful, elegant, a superb dancer and an even better singer, she is the perfect lover for any man. Perfect, that is, except for her personality - the one thing you can’t engineer.
You Are What You Read…
When scratching my head and trying to come up with a blog post, I searched my memories for interesting conversations I’d had with fellow Wattpadders, trying to find something, anything, that would get some creative juices flowing. I was throwing stuff around the room, ready to freak out with frustration when I remembered something my good friend Kevin (username “Parogar”, the most illustrious author of Psych Investigation Episodes) had said to me.
He’d brought up the point that, no matter whether you’re a reader or a writer, it’s important to do a little bit of both.
People on Wattpad can usually be classified into one of two distinct but equally important species: readers and writers. Though there are some people who are truly both, usually, a person fits into one camp or the other.
Readers, for the most part, read Wattpad authors’ works, comment, fan, and only write a little bit. Writers, for the most part, focus on their own work, though they might have favourite stories they read and comment on. But switching between the two is crucial, especially for writers. After all, you are what you read.
What do I mean by that? Well, chances are, if you’re a writer, your writing style is a mishmash of your own creativity and the writing style of every author whose work you’ve ever read. It’s like anything you so much as skim goes into the melting pot of your brain and, eventually, when you go to write something down, what you end up putting on the paper will have been influenced by what you’ve seen. I’m not saying that writers copy their favourite authors (that’s utterly disastrous when it happens, and also really unfair to the original author), but good writing does have the tendency to rub off on impressionable writers. Therefore, a writer can draw on everything they’ve ever read in their writing, making it vital to actually read something other than their own work some of the time!
So it’s important to read, and it’s important to read good stuff, both from published authors and from Wattpad’s very own unpublished ones. If you’re a writer, sit down for a little while each day. Read something good, think about it, absorb the information, meditate, read it aloud in a warm bubble bath, do whatever it is you do when you read a good story. Pick works you like and authors you think are talented authors, because that’ll be the stuff that influences you when you sit down to write.
So read more, all you writers! You’ll be amazed to see what it does for the prose of your work, the flow, even the grammar!
And as for the readers out there (don’t think I’ve forgotten you) it’s important to write a little, too, if only to be able to understand the agony of writer’s block…
Check out the romantic sci-fi Inamorata on Wattpad!
With over 3.2 million stories, Wattpad is the world’s most popular community of readers and writers.
We’re always on the lookout for more ways to inspire and engage our MILLIONS of users! This past week, we hosted a contest for a chance to meet Peter Facinelli, who famously plays Carlisle Cullen in the Twilight Saga:
We were lucky enough to snag a few minutes with Peter, aka Dr. Carlisle Cullen, to interview him about fan fiction (Still Dawn is still the most popular Twilight fanfic on Wattpad with over 2 million reads!), his upcoming projects, and the genres he would like to try next in film making.
Watch out for our video interview with Peter Facinelli tomorrow!
Having played Dr. Carlisle Cullen in the Twilight Saga for many years, Peter knows first hand how intense the Twilight fandom can get. He was nothing less than gracious in greeting all the enthusiastic fans who came to see him at the VIP Reception in Cookstown.
We found Peter very friendly and approachable with everyone. One woman drove 4 hours just to see him that day, and Peter gladly gave her a kiss on each cheek to thank her for coming!
We’re very grateful to Peter for signing a TON of Wattpad swag for us. We can’t wait to mail these Wattpad shirts and tote bags to our contest winner and 4 runner-ups!
What would you ask Peter Facinelli if you had the chance to interview him?
A Man Of Many Hats!
David Callinan is one of our featured writers on Wattpad. Besides producing screenplays and writing novels, he has also enjoyed a successful career in music, journalism, TV ads, and PR. Listen to our podcast as we talk to David about his writing, Wattpad, working with a young Pierce Brosnan, and more!
Check out DavidCallinan.com to learn about David’s music and more!
Peter Facinelli Reacts to Wattpad Fan Fiction
Wattpad interviews Peter Facinelli on May 20, 2012 about fan fiction, his upcoming projects, writing screenplays, and more!
Join us in a hip SoHo loft for our next Wattpad meetup in New York, June 2nd!
Free Wattpad swag, food, and a ton of fun!
AND Get a sneak peek of what we’re working on at Wattpad HQ!
Here we go ...
Yesterday was our company photo day. Our photographer came by and took some pictures for the team. Will post more later!
I love my friends, I guess you must know that about me by now. When Siobhan decided to leave to Dublin I thought I was going to die. I didn’t want spend my summer without her… She’s the greatest friend I could ever hope for, even after our little falling out and even if she doesn’t really trust me sometimes…
I’m sure you feel that way about someone; so today I’ve prepared some Aisling customized e-gifts for you guys to send to your best friends!
You can download each of them here and send it to whomever you like. If you want to see more gift options come to my beChilled TV facebook page!
All suggestions are welcome! If you want a personalized one you can ask me for it on my beChilled TV facebook page as well.