IT Review


IT Review

by Adam Huddleston

 

Ok.

So, knowing how much I like to do movie reviews, and my preference for works by Stephen King, how in the world was I going to get by without blogging about this film?

I saw it at the end of last week with a couple of friends, and I must say, it is a fantastic horror movie! The 1990 mini-series starring Tim Curry will always hold a special place in my heart, but the current iteration, with its new special effects and freedom to explore darker themes, takes the story up a notch. The child actors nail all of their parts as well. The dialogue has a perfect mix of terror and humor. Although jump scares have become quite cliché in horror movies, most of these are done very well, even the ones that the audience could see coming from a mile away.

Now, this year’s version of IT, unlike its predecessor, is rated “R”. It is a fairly hard “R”, tamer than some but more violent than others, so be warned.

If horror is your thing, I highly recommend seeing this film. It didn’t set the opening weekend box office record for a horror picture for nothing!

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Navigation Pane in Microsoft Word


Navigation Pane in Microsoft Word

by Adam Huddleston

 

Hello fellow writers! I have a quick recommendation this week. If you are trying to plot your story, and are working with Microsoft Word, you can organize your draft by utilizing “Headings.” It is very simple to use (and I am not that computer savvy).

Depending on the version of Word that you are using, you can click “View”, then click “Navigation Pane”. This pulls up a separate window on the left side of the screen that allows you to quickly move through your document. By assigning different sections of your story separate headings, you can organize it more efficiently. I use “Heading 1” to create a title for each scene. Then I am able to manipulate where I want my scenes in the story.

There are multitudes of ways to arrange your document, this is just what I’ve found to be most beneficial.

Happy writing!

CineFix


CineFix

by Adam Huddleston

 

I firmly believe that most avid readers are also movie fans. In my opinion, there is often something special about seeing the elements of a good story (plot, setting, and characters) on the screen. It can also be quite enjoyable to see a fellow film aficionado, especially one who is knowledgeable about motion pictures, dissecting said pictures in order to illuminate the varied techniques that lend them their greatness.

One of the websites that provides easy access to this expertise is YouTube. After viewing several pages dedicated to film, I have discovered one that in my opinion is hands-down the crème de la crème; Cinefix.

Where other sites simply give their opinions on why certain films make their “Top Ten” lists, Cinefix goes into terrific detail about them. They explain cinematic techniques, ranging from camera angles to color palettes. After viewing one of their videos, I feel as though I’ve taken a course in film school.

Topics include: The 10 Best Uses of Color in Film, Top 10 Best Character Arcs, Top 10 Best Scenes, and 5 Brilliant Moments of Camera Movement. And this is just a small sampling.

I cannot recommend this YouTube site enough.

“The Dark Tower” Movie Review


“The Dark Tower” Movie Review

by Adam Huddleston

 

So, I attended the premiere of “The Dark Tower” last night, and I wanted to throw my two cents in about the movie. Due to the fact that there are many who have not read the source material, and I absolutely loathe folks who spoil the story for others, I will do my best not to ruin the plot for you.

Ok, after months and months (years actually) of speculation and chatting on Reddit about the movie, I went in cautiously optimistic. If you read online reviews of the film, you will see a myriad of responses; some constructive, most destructive. My overall impression was this: it was mediocre.

I understand that, when trying to appeal to a wide audience (most of whom have never read the novels), you have to make the story interesting without overwhelming people with exposition. The filmmakers included a good mix of several of the books and most of the performances were great. I felt that Matthew McConaughey’s portrayal of the Man in Black was sufficiently menacing. Isris Elba and Tom Taylor did a respectable job as Roland and Jake, respectively.

The action was probably the best part of the film, even if it did border on absurd a few times. The dialogue was hit and miss, mostly miss (it seemed like sometimes they were just throwing in phrases from the books to try to make the “Constant Reader” happy). I’m hoping that the movie will make enough to allow them to proceed with a television series. According to the filmmakers, the series would be closer to the canon of the novels.

Anyway, whether or not you are a fan of Stephen King or have read the novels, I suggest you at least give the film one viewing. You just might like it!

Kennings


Kennings

by Adam Huddleston

 

This week’s literary term may not be extremely useful to your writing, but I felt it was an interesting device to have in memory. Kennings are the use of words of imagery to substitute the proper name for something. For example, in Beowulf, blood is referred to as “battle-sweat” and the sun as a “sky candle”. I suppose if you were writing dialogue for an ancient civilization, the use of Kennings might be appropriate. I hope this helps you in your craft!

Chiasmus


Chiasmus

by Adam Huddleston

 

This week, I wanted to bring you another literary term: chiasmus. It is the use of two parallel phrases that are inverted in a sentence. For example: You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy. This is not to be confused with an oxymoron, which is the use of two contradictory terms, i.e. pretty ugly.

I know this is a short blog, but hopefully it will help you in your writing!

Somewhere Only We Know


Somewhere Only We Know

by Adam Huddleston

 

Several years ago, a group called Keane released a song entitled “Somewhere Only We Know”. The lyrics, while able to be interpreted many different ways, struck a chord with me (no pun intended). Being a writer, I felt that the song lent itself to a story, possibly in the fantasy genre. This is my attempt at such a story.

Each week, I am going to try to release a bit more of the tale. We’ll see how it goes. Enjoy!

*

Robert savored the cool dampness of the earth under his body. He sat with his arms stretched behind him, hands gently clinching the rich grass covering the hillside. A fragrant breeze played with the sparse tufts of grey hair that still clung to his scalp.

He smiled.

The wind’s scent was familiar; comforting. For some reason it reminded him of breakfast. This got him thinking about Ellen. No one could make coffee like his sweet Ellen.

Coffee.

“You want another cup of coffee?”

Robert blinked. He was sitting in his usual chair at the tiny kitchen table. A plate of half-finished scrambled eggs and toast stared up at him. The only light came from an eastern-facing window.

His wife repeated, “Another cup of coffee, hon?”

Whatcha Watchin’


Whatcha Watchin’

by Adam Huddleston

 

Last week I mentioned the book I’m currently reading. This week, I wanted to share with you what television shows I’m watching.

The main programs that my wife and I enjoy are “Better Call Saul” (which just ended their third season), “Fargo” (which is about to finish their third season), “The Walking Dead”, “The Next Food Network Star”, and on Netflix, “The Office”.

Literarily speaking, “Fargo” is probably the best written show of the bunch. The dialogue is fantastic, the plot twists and turns keep you on the proverbial edge of your seat, and the overall story telling is simply wonderful. “The Office” contains some of the funniest writing and loveable characters on television. I highly recommend both programs.

What are you watching?

Whatcha Readin’?


Whatcha Readin’?

by Adam Huddleston

 

I’m currently enjoying working my way through the graphic novel, “Watchmen”. If I recall correctly, this is the first of its kind that I’ve read. It takes a little getting used to (looking at the drawings in each panel as well as the writing), but it is well worth it.

Without giving too much away, “Watchmen” deals with the search for an individual that is murdering costumed heroes from the early-to-mid nineteen hundreds (basically, who watches over those that watch over us?). The story begins with a bang, but then meanders about for a few chapters. I’m about halfway through the story now and it is really starting to pick up its pace.

If you’re a fan of the fantasy/sci-fi genre, comic books, and/or graphic novels, I highly recommend giving “Watchmen” a try.

Red Herring


Red Herring

by Adam Huddleston

 

This week’s literary device is one that many if not most writers have at least heard of: red herring. It is defined as the use of a topic to deliberately mislead the reader or character in a story. Red herrings are often utilized in mystery or suspense to deter the audience from solving the plot.

It is often believed that a red herring must be false. This is not the case. A true fact may also be used to mislead the intended target. For example: Let’s say a police officer catches a thief. Said thief begins a long, sob story concerning how he needed the money to pay for food for his starving children. The thief’s story may or may not be true, but he is using it to distract the officer from the real point that he is guilty. The use of red herrings in your work can make it more engaging for your readers.

Happy writing!