Arrival and the Story Behind It

When we think of aliens the first thing that pops into our mind is the idea that they will invade earth and destroy humanity as we know it, but what if that wasn’t the case? In the movie Arrival and The Story of You, that wasn’t quite what was envisioned, more like the complete opposite.

The story and the movie gave way to an entirely new concept: the idea of trying to understand an alien language polar opposite of our own, using not only linguists, but also physics and learning to change ones thought process to really understand how they communicated.

There was something rather unique about their thought process, if you learned their language well, you where able to foresee the future, but whether or not one could change it remained unknown. The person that learned to foresee the future -the main character- let what would happen, happen, but whether or not she could have changed it still remains uncertain, at least in the book.

The major difference between the book and the movie was how deeply they went into the divorce the main character had. In the story it was brief, no answer as to why they were divorced, but in the movie the main character told the husband what was going to happen, but since she told him then would he have been able to change the future? The divorce made it seem that he didn’t like the idea of it, so is that evidence enough, that they indeed, could not change what was going to happen?

In most stories simliar to this one, if one can see the future, they normally can change it. It’s feels good to see a story in a new perspective, I’m tired of hearing the same old thing. It helps me think of new ideas and thinking like everyone else can get really bland sometimes. Quite a bit of “new” ideas are just reruns of something someone created a long time ago.

The movie wasn’t as boring as I thought it would be, if anything the movie help to guide my vision of the story instead of surpressing it. The movie didn’t really give a “new” vision of the story, and it really bugs me when someone takes a book and tries to flip it around to match a certain theme.

If it’s a different vision, its an entirely different idea and should not be advertised as the same thing.

 

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What Books Help Us With

Books always raise questions in my mind, such as what would happen if society was flipped upside down? Wouldn’t it be cool if we never had to worry about money again? What could I have done better if I was in their situation? After reading a good book my mind is turning with questions, I can relate the book to myself or the real world. Here are a few things I think books teach:

1) Better Vocaburlary

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Let’s be honest, a formal vocabulary can make you smarter, or at the very least give people the illusion that you’re smart. A formal vocabulary might help you land that job you always wanted and you might learn a thing or two about something you don’t usually study. Some people don’t know the term equine or astrophysics. If you use either of those most people would assume that you know a thing or two about the topic.

2) Empathy

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You could be the smartest person in the world, but without other people to help you, you wouldn’t get a whole lot done. We all need each other for the sake of our mental health. Empathy will put you in another person’s shoes and help you care about them. Using empathy will hopefully encourage others to show some love too. It can help you gain better opportunities and give you the help you need whenever you need it.

3) They Help Us Think

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So I can home from school today, and now my mind is pounding with information. I have to think a certain way to get the answers right, but when I’m just reading a novel, I have freedom to think however I want. Good stories aren’t controlling and they help to raise questions in your head. It helps you mind relax and new questions and situations bubble in your mind. Books don’t slice into your brain like school does, it just expands it to help give way to new ideas.

 

 

Dear Authors, STOP Putting Characters on the Cover

Most readers say they like the book better than the movie, why? Because we want to imagine them for ourselves. I can’t even read Harry Potter because I’ve the the characters in the movie stuck in my head. Seeing a book with the main character on the cover is starting to make me feel queasy. I don’t like how the covers make me feel.

What if we want this:

me-before-you

To look like this:

Now this might not be exactly what you pictured if you read Me Before You, but I think it gets my point across, just like in your writing, you don’t want to be too controlling, you need to give your reader room to picture it for them themselves.

Now it’s OKAY if you have the character on the cover, just as long as it’s pretty blurred and isn’t detailed. I think a cover like this is okay:

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This cover has a cartoon-like look and making the picture of the character pretty broad so it isn’t too controlling, but again I would still think this is an OKAY cover. To me, less is more, you don’t need the main character on the book to get the idea across. I think this next book cover is even better than this one:

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I didn’t like this book much, but the cover matches the books message perfectly. The person on this cover makes you think of a messed up human robot. Which is exactly what this book discusses. It talks about what life might be like if we didn’t have feelings for anyone and met our own desires as soon as we wanted to.

No matter how many times we are told not to, we will judge a book by it’s cover. I can’t tell you how many books I haven’t read just because I didn’t like the cover. To me, if you can’t convey your message through the cover, then I’m not completely sure you can convey it through your writing. Covers and writing are art, they both go hand in hand.

Why Natasha Preston is my Favorite Author

authorIt’s the thrill, it’s the waiting, it’s the calm voice of the antagonist that makes you want to throw something, it’s wondering why the main character won’t do anything. Reading her books will leave you squirming in your seat, hoping the main character will do something, anything, to get out of their current situation.

Natasha Preston really knows how to build up a conflict and keep it sitting their in tell the last possible moment. If it wasn’t for my busy life, I would I have read The Cellar and Awake on the same day.

I know they say not to judge a book by it’s cover, but I think both of these covers have a beautifully dangerous kind of look to them. The flowers make it look pretty, but with the dark cellar and the barbed wire, you can tell something is off, the covers match the message of the book perfectly.

Preston is also not your typical YA book writer, unlike many YA books, the family of the main character plays a major role in the story(at least, in the ones I’ve read so far) unlike in other books where the parents just kind of disappear.

She does keep up with modern writing by changing perspectives, which I’ve seen in many books written recently like The Girl on the Train, All the Light We Cannot See, and When We Collided. This style of writing keeps the reader close to character while at the same time giving the reader a better view of the story. This choice of writing doesn’t always flow well in some books, but I think this style was placed perfectly into her novels.

Some of her other books are The Cabin(which I think I will read next), Our Chance, and With the Band, as well as a few others.

 

How to Write Your Voice

It’s not just about finding who you are, it’s figuring out how to tell someone who you are. Finding your voice will help you organize your mind and it will help you figure how you want to live your life. Here are some tips for finding your voice:

1) Read

book-reading

Reading articles, books, or short stories will help you figure out a way you might like to write. Make sure you aren’t just using one person’s writing structure, each person has there own way of writing and trying to copy a certain could look strange to readers. (and may also be plagiarzing)

2) What’s your opinion?

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Remember writing something like,  oh. this book was great! Or that sandwich was good wouldn’t be worth reading to someone if you don’t give context as to why you liked it. Don’t make your writing stale, use why you like or dislike a certain thing so you can help your readers develop their own opinion.

3)Do you care?

caring

If you want your reader to remember your story, article, book etc. you have to care a lot about it. You have to pour yourself into it and show why you care through personal experience or real world problems. If you don’t care, your readers won’t care either. Writing about something you care about will inspire you to find your own voice.

4)Does it sound like you?

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Remember, only you know who you are and no one else. As your writing think to yourself: is this something I would say? How would I tell my friends about this topic? Sometimes your writing look a lot different then something you might actually say, make sure they both go together.

 

Book vs. Movie

Books and movies(well mostly Netflix) consume most of my down time, but I’d have to say, I’m yet to watch a movie I thought was better than the book.

One of the most disappointing movies I ever watched was City of Bones, a story about half human half angel people called shadow shadowhunters. I absolutely loved the twists and turns this book had and I decided to watch the movie on my birthday with my friends. I will admit, I had some pretty high exceptions for the movie, but even now if I went back to watch it, I would probably still think it was terrible.

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Actresses in the movie City of Bones, Clary’s mom is on the left, Clary is on the right.

Even just the start of it gives away everything that could potently be exciting, they already talk about the supernatural stuff in the first scene and in this scene Clary has some type of mark which she didn’t have in the book, which somehow worries her mother.

Her mother, Jocelyn isn’t taken by Valentine either(the villain who made Jocelyn’s son a demon), so I guess her mom got to tell her all about the shadow hunter world. The book made Clary figure out what was going on instead of just being told what was happening. It made the movie really boring.

One another thing that I had pictured in the book and certainly didn’t happen in the movie , was the way the characters looked. The cover of the book gave the reader the illusion that Jace was a thick, and broad shouldered teen  and the movie completely flipped it around! Not to mention his hair also looks curlier on and gives him a more “golden boy,”look on the original cover.

 

I think it’s really hard to make film adaptions, even with the books that movie makers find adaptable. As a reader, there are some scenes I find crucial in moving the story along or making it more interesting and sometimes movie adaptions leave it out or just sped passed it.

The day I find a good book to movie adaption, is the day I find a movie that nearly word for word what the book is.