Saturday, September 19, 2009


Hello, LIT SOUP readers! It just took me five minutes to figure out how to get it to capitalize LIT SOUPIn the prior sentence.

As some of you may know, especially those that met me in Colorado, I've been wearing a brace on my wrist. At first, I thought this was my rheumatoid arthritis acting up, but then not only was my wrist swollen, but the palm of my hand started to swell. I am very dominantly righthanded, and this caused me a great deal of trouble as it is my right hand that is messed up. To make a long story short: I saw the doctor today, found out I have tendonitis, and received a very painful shot.

The tendonitis will heal, but in the meantime I am now using Dragon NaturallySpeaking to type pretty much everything. By the way, the program recognizes "Dragon NaturallySpeaking", but has trouble tendonitis. I am overjoyed , however, that I get to type at all.

To celebrate, I'm going tell you about CATCHING FIRE by Suzanne Collins, which I read last night. I literally devoured the bookin about four hours, from when I bought it at the bookstore. It was interesting to me, not only as a reader, but as a writer. Ms. Collins does some really amazing things with plot. She probably did the same things in THE HUNGER GAMES, but I hadn't been to Odyssey when I read it, so I'm pretty sure I missed a bunch ofwhat she did. Apologies for all the mistakes but I'm still having trouble getting Dragon to recognize everything I'm saying.

Anyway, CATCHING FIRE is really great in that it does stuff with plot turns. At Odyssey, we learned that when you end the scene you need one of three things: your character must realize anticipation, realization,or have a turn. A turn is easily defined with a physical turn. A physical turn is something like a horror movieplot sequence--the hero and his girlfriend are running from the zombies, the zombies get girlfriend, instead of just running anymore, the hero literally turns around and goes back to fight. The really hard part about plotting, at least for me, is figuring out how to get all of this into a story or novel. If your scenes, and I mean every scene, don't have one of these three things, then they are doing nothing to propel the story forward.

And what Ms. Collins does is make sure that every single scene in CATCHING FIRE does that. it makes for not only a suspenseful novel, but one that shoves the story forward, while not sacrificing character development. I loved the book, and although I think I know who Katniss will end up with, I'm not willing to bet on it, and I can't wait for the third book.

Bedtime now for me as this is absolutely exhausting to dictate. :-)


Robert W. Leonard said...

I'm glad it will make your life a little easier while you recover. Who knows, maybe you'll like it so much that you won't stop even after it's healed. I also think it's great that you are a night owl. Not enough 1AM blog posts in the world. Nope.

Lorin said...

I have tendonitis in my right elbow, too, and its terribly painful. Fortunately, I don't also have RA so I am in physical therapy and it seems to be working. I tried to use voice recognition to dictate my reviews for a while (I used the native Windows program) and found it to be so awful, I gave up. I'll be interested in updates on whether Dragon works for you.

Gilbert J. Avila said...

It's nice if you have vivid dreams and talk in your sleep. Who knows what plot bunnies will emerge from your night-time ramblings!