Monday, May 6, 2013

Write for the Heights + Game of Thrones, Episode 3.6 + Mermaid Reminder

Not the kind of big opening I mean, but thought
 I'd share it anyway. You're welcome. :D
So this past Saturday I had my first public speaking engagement. I presented at the Write for the Heights Literary Workshop. The top was how to create the Big Opening of your book. 

It went really well. Not a huge crowd, but that was probably a good thing for me. I totally felt like I was sweating like a pig--I sweat when I'm nervous--but I don't think I had any massive blunders. Anyway, I thought I'd do a recap today of what I spoke about.

Do's When Creating Your Big Opening:

1) Immerse your reader in a moment. See through a character's eyes and immerse your reader in a particularly engrossing moment for them.
2) Use the 5 senses to describe what they are experiencing.
3) Start in a moment of action--the character should be actively doing something.
4) Write as though the reader already knows who/what/when you are talking about, even though they don't.

Dont's When Creating Your Big Opening

1) Give lengthy descriptions (2-3 lines at most)
2) Give backstory
3) Tell/explain things the reader doesn’t know
4) Use long, blocky paragraphs
5) Begin with heavy quirks, expletives, etc

I also talked about story structure and objects of desire as a means of propelling the reader forward, but I've done posts on both those subjects before. (Click on the links if you want to read them.)

Overall it was a very good experience and I was glad for the opportunity. Thanks to everyone who wished me well! I really appreciate it! :D

Game of Thrones Recap

Episode 3.6 didn't have quite as much explosive action in it. It had a feel of set-ups for future action, but I enjoyed it all the same. Afterward, my two sisters (who I always watch it with) and I had a nice long discussion, in which I reveled in my knowledge/power and teased them with almost-spoilers. Muah-ha-ha. Okay, I'm better now.

First off we see Sam and Gilly on their way to the wall. Sam is awkward and lovable as always and I thought it was kinda cute. Then we see Bran. Still not much happening with him except that Jojen's sister (can't remember her name right now) and Osha are fighting like cats. Then Jojen has a seizure while in the midst of a vision, which worries Bran. I don't remember that particular detail from the books, but it's the kind of thing I could easily have missed.

Jon Snow is getting ready to scale the Wall with Ygritte. She tells  him she knows he's still loyal to his own people, but warns him not to betray her. I actually think this was really well-done. I applaud the shows writers for this bit. It didn't happen in the books, but reading it, there was tons of internal dialogue about how guilty Jon Snow felt about his looming betrayal--about how conflicted he was once he started to have feelings for Ygritte. They can't do that in the show, so I think this was an excellent way to establish some emotion now that will result in the audience feeling a lot of guilt on Jon's behalf later when all the tragedies play out. Later there's a lot of life-and-death drama while scaling the wall, which I thought was pretty cool. It was really touching and romantic--as it was supposed to be--when they finally reached the top and Ygritte was able to see the view, which she said she'd always wanted to. Then there was the obligatory make-out scene while the other Wildlings looked on. 

In Arya's thread, we see her practicing with a bow. Then something really odd happens. The red witch, Melissandre shows up. Did I miss something major or is this a major departure from the books? I don't remember her showing up here and she definitely didn't take Gendry anywhere. I'm not necessarily sad about it. On the contrary, I'm intrigued to see where they'll take it. I also really liked the part where Melissandre looks into Arya's face and sees "eyes that she (Arya) will close forever." Definite foreshadowing there, and well-done. Still, Gendry gets taken, which will turn him against the Brotherhood, and Melissandre says he will make kings rise and fall. The only thing I can think of is that the writers are privy to where Martin is going with later threads (after book 5). If this is what it sounds like, I'm very surprised. I really never thought Gendry and Arya would actually end up on a throne. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but I suppose we'll have to see.

Next we see Theon undergoing torture. Big whoop. The little finger is significant from the books, but not much else to remark upon.

Robb meets with two of Walder Frey's sons to discuss terms for alliance. Frey, of course, demands Harranhal and all its lands, along with the marriage of one of his daughters to Caitlyn's brother. It takes come convincing, but he finally agrees. I'm thinking that perhaps this little wedding-to-be may end up being our season finale. Thoughts anyone?

Jamie and Brienne meet with Lord Bolton who informs them that Jaime will be sent back to King's Landing for ransom, while while Brienne will be kept prisoner for abetting treason (i.e. helping Caitlyn set Jaime free). Jaime tries to insist Brienne come with him, but Bolton won't hear of it. Do I hear a bear growling in the background?

Meanwhile, in King's Landing, Tywin must convince Olenna to agree to the marriage of Cersie and Loras, which she eventually does (That was a battle of wits if I ever saw one!) while Cersie and Tyrion lament being caught in their father's schemes. We see Sansa and Loras talking. That part made me laugh. Maybe Sansa is really taken with him, but all he did was agree with her, repeating back almost word for word everything she said, then talk about pretty lace and brocade. Can she really not see it? Anyway, then poor Tyrion goes to tell her about their pending nuptials, for which his love Shae is present. Of course she is!

The last scene (technically second to last) was very well done. We have another really interesting dialogue between Varys and Baelish, two very dangerous, very well-informed, very intelligent men. Right now they're angry with one another because each of them has foiled the other's plans in some way. The sinister music starts up and Baelish reveals that he knows Ros has been spying for Varys, and that he's done the very thing to her that he said he would in season one if she became a "bad investment." We see Sansa crying while watching a ship sail away. (Not entirely sure who's on the ship. Loras, perhaps? Though she's also probably crying because she now knows she'll be marrying Tyrion rather than the pretty boy of High Garden.) Then we see that Joffery has tortured Ros to death with a cross bow. Poor woman.

So, in truth, the plot wasn't advanced over much but there's a lot of set-up for what comes next, which just makes me that much more excited for the next hour to be spent in the Seven Kingdoms.

The only story line we didn't actually see this week was Dany's, but the trailer for next week promises we'll see her then. 

So, what did everyone else think of episode 6?

P.S. Don't forget to sign up for the Summer Mermaid-Lit Reading Challenge!!!


  1. Glad your speaking engagement went well!
    Sorry, no HBO, so not watching Game of Thrones right now.

  2. I'm fairly certain they are using Gendry to replace the character of Edric Storm from the books. He does have Baratheon blood after all, and Melisandre will use it to make kings rise and fall. Mostly the latter.

    1. Oh, and the ship was Littlefinger's. He is off to the Vale to woo Lysa, and Sansa blew her chance to come along because she thought she was going to marry Loras, which is why she's crying.