Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ill-conceived Niggling and Buzzing

For those of you working along side me with the Great May Scramble (sidebar), I’ve resolved to extend the deadline! That’s right! From what I can tell, we’ve all worked hard, plugged away… then Memorial Day Weekend hit. And since our families shouldn’t suffer from my ill-conceived plan, I’m calling today and tomorrow freebie days. If there are days you need to make up word counts or visit more blogs, by all means use the next two days to get caught up. Thursday is the big day I’ll draw a winner. (It’s actually the first day of summer break at my house anyway.)

And if you haven’t officially signed-up for the two different drawings, feel free to do so HERE.
Now on to an arbitrary topic buzzing in my brain. Discussion and thoughts would be appreciated.

When I was a Sensitive Species Biologist for the state of Utah, I took a crash-course on identifying birds by call. Once I’d learned how to do that better, it was hard for me to just enjoy a bird call for the sake of the beauty in its song. I was constantly dithering in my head if it was a Lark Sparrow or a Song Sparrow and such. This is not to say I didn’t enjoy the calls, the magic of the music just took on a whole different meaning. The same thing has happened to me as far as reading a book and watching a movie now. I watch/read them, love them… but there’s always some monologue in my brain about how much I didn’t like a certain plot hole or how that piece of dialogue could have been written better. Case in point? Prince of Persia. I loved it. But there were things that niggled me.

Does this happen to you? Do you now see stories as a writer, songs as a musician, plants as a botanist, or bird songs as a species ID tactic?

Have a great Tuesday—I’m off to spend it in my daughter’s classroom on this the second to last day of school!

24 comments:

  1. Good luck with your Great May Scramble!!

    I love birdsong and even have an official British Libray 4 CD discs of british birdsongs! :-) They are very soothing but I can only seriously identify about 4 out of hundreds! LOL!

    Anyway! I am forever finding alternative endings to films and stories. Sometimes I like adding dialogue and characters too and then extending the story into a different thing all together! It's such a fun thing to do.

    Enjoy your day spending it in your daughter's classroom!

    Take care
    x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Today I start the re-structuring of my writing plan so this is perfect! I actually made sure to go out with a bang and not give up, I will warn you that yesterday was very tough!! I'm glad that I we have two days to add to the pot! This has been a ton of fun and I look forward to seeing the winners this week! First day of summer, what a brilliant plan!

    I didn't think I saw stories as a writer, but that was until I finished my first draft, read a few books on writing and now every book I read I do tend to analyze, and not always for the good but for the things I would have done differently. It does seem to help with my writing but it also pushes me farther away from the read, which I'm not a fan of!

    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I definitely see movies/books as a writer now, not just a viewer/reader. But I enjoy the analyzing, so it doesn't bother me at all. I've been wanting to see Prince of Persia, just haven't gotten there yet. I took six kids to see How to Train Your Dragon yesterday though, and was pleasantly surprised. I normally don't enjoy animated movies, but I really liked it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh yeah! I'll never read books the same way again. And there were a few "what the heck?" moments in Prince of Persia. His brother's character changed so much from wanting to conquer to all of a sudden giving it to his brother at the end. Oh well. I enjoyed it, though.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Whew...Thanks for the two extra days! We took off for the weekend, so I did nothing in the way of writing all weekend.

    I look at books, movies, tv shows with much greater respect. I didn't really think about the process before I began writing....

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great post! I've totally been there on the plot holes thing. I enjoy it . . . but I'm always bugged by that hole. I try to think of a way to fix it until I'm satisfied. OCD or what? :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh, boy, do plot holes bug me now. In my head I'm thinking, "No way!" But that means I really appreciate a book or movie that's well done.
    Wow, I'm really impressed with your list of accomplishments for May!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Have a great time with your daughter! (Hey, my kids get out of school this week too! Yay summer!) =D

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm with the others. I notice things in books and movies that I might not have before. My kids thought it was funny when I analyzed a kids movie the other day which had been written in an adult's pov instead of a kid. I mean, really, what were the screen writers thinking?

    ReplyDelete
  10. OOh I like the idea of a freebie day--definitely catching up for me!

    ReplyDelete
  11. What was it that niggled you about Prince of Persia? I really liked it, but don't remember the plot holes... I thought of you this weekend when Jasper was asking me what every bird and plant was called while we were hiking in Silverton. I only knew a few and the rest I told her she would have to ask her Aunt Jackee about! :D

    ReplyDelete
  12. I do see the pieces that make up the whole, especially in books, and it's actually reassuring. I don't rail at the injustice of the publishing industry when I find an award sticker slapped on a book with too many passive verbs and a comma splice, especially if I liked the book. We're not perfect, and it's okay if our ideas of style/perfection differ. It gives me hope that, someday, readers will be able to see past my own imperfections to fall in love with my stories.

    ReplyDelete
  13. That definitely happens to me. That's why I love reading something that makes me forget about any of that and just carries me along for the ride.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I do that all the time! And I so wish that I didn't! I don't like to be critical of other peoples stuff, because, um, I don't have any room to talk :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I wrote a (semi)fictional piece on cardinals a few years back. (My only publication to date...) I love birds too. When I went to the Highlights Foundation Summer workshop we were taken on a trip to the Peterson Institute. We were able to view several extinct species of birds...(no, they weren't alive.)

    I gave you a plug on my post today...

    ReplyDelete
  16. Just wanted to let you know you won a little something on my blog today, so if you get a chance be sure to check it out. :)

    Have a great day!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Freebie days are a good idea!

    I do find the same thing with both books and movies. I can usually turn off the writer brain, but if there's something glaring - it tosses me right out of the scene and it's no fun anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Writing has definitely made me view books and movies differently, but I still love them just as much. I laugh at myself sometimes, rereading passages to see if I'd have broken the paragraphs the same way, or whatever.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hooray for summer :)

    Don't even get me started on things that irk me...I took public speaking class in college, and now I find that I critique every talk I hear, same with singing and choirs, etc. then there's gymnastics...ugh, I still enjoy watching it (and I understand that the skills look amazing to most people) but after doing it for so long, it takes a lot to amaze me...I guess I expect a lot but I think that's what I expect of myself when I do anything too, so I try not to think of it as looking for someone/something else' flaws as much as I do looking for ways to make what I do better :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I missed the May Scramble deal, but what a fun idea. I love tracking stuff.

    And yes, I see a story in everything.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh yes. Definitely read books a whole new way.

    I'm a geographer/cartographer, and I can't look at a map without critiquing it, even just a innocent little road atlas.

    But glad to say there are still some books that are so good I get swept away and only notice holes or inconsistencies after the fact.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I appreciate plot lines an tension in movies and books so much more now. I see them for what they are. Flip side is I have more trouble getting lost in them!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Enjoy your day spending it in your daughter's classroom!
    PPC Advertising India

    ReplyDelete
  24. Lately, I feel like it's so hard to find a book that gets into the characters head as much as I'd like. I don't know if it's just because I'm so used to getting into my characters' heads that I can't get into others now, or if it's actually a fault of the writer. I think it's me though, not the writers.

    ReplyDelete