And then everything changed

Sonntag, 22. Mai 2016

Links I Love 2

I am always on the go at the moment and will be gone for a business/pleasure trip to Berlin for the next week. That's why I'm leaving you with some of the most fascinating, brilliant and mind-blowing stories, I have found in the Internet world lately. (You might also want to check out, Links I Love 1.)

Searching for the Nazi who saved my mother's life by Karen Kirsten

This is a wonderful story of a young woman who feels the urge to find out who the Nazi was who brought her Jewish mother to safety back in the day. It's fascinating to see how much this secret of her grandparents's generation, still affects the author's life. The story brilliantly questions the line between good and bad, or rather poses the question if once doing the right thing, has an impact on a life otherwise filled with bad decisions.

How Andy Weir took The Martian from Blog to Bestseller to Blockbuster movie by Jim Kukral

As wannabe author I have heard over and over again how tough the business is and how it's nearly impossible to get a contract with a publishing house (but some make it, so Why not us?, right?). That's why I'm a huge sucker of success stories and Andy Weir is an extremely fascinating one! Like many authors experience, noone wanted to publish his book, that's why he put it up on his website and soon it found a HUGE fanbase. As it is hard science fiction, it apparently filled a void and people loved it.

It got so popular that it was even made into a wonderful movie with Matt Damon (I've seen it and it's a good watch). Andy Weir got the movie deal before a publishing house finally decided to publish his book. Ridiculous, right? But also: Sometimes incredible things happen and people succeed despite all odds. Go, listen to the podcast and then feel a bit better about your future.

Winona, Forever by Saroya Roberts

I love Winona Rider and her cult movies like Heathers (absolutely brilliant!), Girl, Interrupted and more. She is beautiful and elegant in an uncommon way. The article goes through her career and follows how the actress became the cult symbol she is today. A good read for Winona fans!

10 vital storytelling lessons I learned from Buffy, the Vampire Slayer by Charlie Jane Anders

Buffy, the Vampire Slayer is my all-time-favorite-TV-show. In fact, I just re-watched season 2. I love the characters and though it's a fantasy show, I can relate to their struggles on so many levels, even more so now in my twenties, than back in my teens, when I first fell in love with it. io9 author Charlie Jane Anders breaks down some storytelling tips and tricks we can learn from the show and it was fascinating to see my favorite show being analysed like that. It shows once more that the writers truly created something unique.

I am Alive - Surviving the Andes Plane Crash

I mentioned this documentary and the effect it had on my life view once before. It's the story of a group of sportsmen whose plane crashes in the Andes where the ones who survived the crash now have to face the horrors of snowy mountains, avalanches, hunger and more. How against all odds, some of them managed to survive, moved me more than I can put into words and it gave me a joy about being alive. Seriously, just watch this documentary, I promise you won't regret it.

Lemonade (visual album) by Beyonce

I have never been a fan of Beyonce or her music. It's not like I disliked her, I always had respect for her level of success, but I just wasn't interested in her and couldn't find myself in her work, This changed with Lemonade. When the visual album, which is basically a 40-minute long movie/music video, came out, everyone made such a big deal out of it, that I checked it out, just to see what all the excitement was about.

And it blew my mind. I went in it completely unprepared and it touched me in so many ways. On the surface it's a love story, where a man cheats on a woman. Beyonce manages to crasp love so perfectly, I was speechless about how true and honest this visual album is. Love is beautiful and meaningful but it is also extremely brutal and absolutely terrifying. Beneath the surface Lemonade is so much more. It's about feminism, and the black rights movement and about standing up for yourself and for what you believe in.

Schizophrenia stole my brother. This is how I got him back by Zander Sherman

I know several people who have schizophrenia and I know that it's a horrific condition to live with, that's why I'm always interested in this topic. The story of Zander Sherman and his brother will move you. He captures the awefulness of schizophrenia and the feeling of loosing all control and hope perfectly. It's not a happy story but it's real.

Taking the mask off by Edenland

Edenland is a blog I follow because Eden regularily posts beautifully written masterpieces about the tragedy which is life. Ever since her brother killed herself she has lost control over her life. In this post she once again confronts her grief and how she is trying to go on living after she has lost a person she loved. I've also known people who killed themselves and for me suicide is pretty much the worst thing in the world, that's why Eden's posts always hit me and I can't read one without crying like a baby.

Dear Trauma, I refuse by Hiyah Tootsie

Hiyah Tootsie is another blog I follow regularily. I work for a publishing house which publishes erotic literature and photography, so I am very comfortable with erotic pop culture and even pornography. Hiyah Tootsie writes about her time as a kind of counceler in the pornography industry and somehow I can't stop thinking about the article. Somewhat in it, really hit me. Let's see if you'll react similarily.

Drive, he wrote by Louis Menand

You might know that my favorite book in the whole world is "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac. I've read it at least 5 times and I always take it with me on travels. I adore the Beat generation and have read so many articles and books on then and watched documentaries on them. So, this article didn't really give me any new information, but it gives a beautiful insight into the lifes of Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassidy, etc. and analyses what the Beat generation was really all about. A must read for everyone who love the Beats.

Freitag, 13. Mai 2016

And I could write it better than you ever felt it

Many people ask: How much of what you write comes from your real life? Of course it depends on the genre. My youth novel definitely resembles my real life a lot more than my fantasy story about a witch (because unfortunately, I still don't know how to do magic). But still it all comes from me, and all I know is the life I live, the lives of my friends, of fictional characters, and so on. So yes, it all comes from real life.

But that doesn't mean it's all an autobiography. Many characters and stories are based on real people and experiences. But a story isn't a good story, just because it happened. A person doesn't make an interesting character simply becasuse they exist. With writing we have the awesome opportunity to take what life offers us and make it better. More adventurous, more exciting, more dangerous, more interesting, more lovely, more glamorous.

The other day when I watched the disappointing movie Adaptation I realized something: I don't want my characters to ever be in a car accident. I mean, there's nothing wrong with a car accident in a movie, and accidents are in fact very real, they happen all the time. But many stories, like Adaptation, seem to throw them in whenever they don't see any other way to keep the story going. I mean, come on, we can do better than that! Sure car accidents are common, but in writing we have the chance to create something more meaningful, more thought-through, more spectacular.

That's what I do with my youth novel. I think about the people I knew in my teenage days and the things I lived though and I make them more sparkly and funny and dramatic. The Fall Out Boy lyric in this blog title really nails it:

"And I could write it better than you ever felt it."

As writers we have the great ability to not being restricted to our own life, but to create a life we really want to live, or at least read about. That's the beautiful thing about writing.

How about you? Does your writing come from your real life?