Monday, December 30, 2013

My Thoughts on Allegiant

So there's been a bunch of opinions over the ending to Allegiant.  I was waiting and waiting to get it from the library (I was like 150th on the list or something) and finally got it and read it over Christmas.  These are my thoughts.  [Also, SPOILERS if that wasn't implied, so if you haven't read the ending, don't keep going!]

I remember reading something from Veronica Roth saying she wanted to write a book that didn't happen "by chance", giving the example that there was no car crash to start it or something happenstance like that. I think when reading the ending of Allegiant, this idea really comes through. Divergent started based on Tris's choices, Dauntless over Abegnation, and everything came from that.  It's her choices that propel the story, not an accident, and because of that it's more like real-life (as real-life as you can get in a dystopia).

This is partly why I Tris is killed.  If this was a "real-life" situation, she would probably die.  She's the pinnacle of the story, the Nicholas Brody (another story where I was sad the main character died).  Tris is involved in everything, being shot at left and right, and there's only so many times a person can dodge a bullet.  I can see why people were upset, I was upset too.  And I can totally understand the argument that this isn't a "real-life" situation.  So I can see both sides of the argument, but also, she's the author, so she gets to decide what happens, and I totes respect that.

Overall, I thought this was a great conclusion to the trilogy and that it really stepped up its game.  There were so many themes in this novel that I love love loved and gave me so many things to think about.  It was emotional (in good and not so go ways) and I thought she really grew as an author.  (Not that I'm one to judge, because I could never write like that, but I read an article that stated how much she thought she grew and I totally agree with her.)

One side note, Roth talks about how each faction transfer created a certain type of person, which I thought was really well thought out.  The Erudite transfer from Dauntless were cruel, the one's from Candor were jovial, etc, and I thought those really rang true.  It just shows how much thought she put into this book.

I cannot wait til March 21st!

Monday, December 16, 2013

What Myers-Briggs taught me

I'm not a particularly emotional person; I've been called stoic at times.  I'm also a scientist (well, soon-to-be science teacher).  Yet my favorite books are the ones with emotion dripping out of them. (Ahem, TFiOS and City Of Bones). If the book can make me feel something, it's a keeper and I'm going to recommend it to all of my friends.  I can overlook meandering plot, not-great writing, what-have-you, as long as it has emotion.

But the one note I keep getting for my MS is that there needs to be more emotion and motivation from the MC.  So with emotion being so important to me, why is it so hard for me to write emotion?

I'm an INTJ (yep, I'm Malfoy).  It's that third component, I think, that makes it so hard for me to write emotion.  Naturally, I think using logic, not feelings, and that transfers to my write.  It's quite frustrating actually.  After a critique, one of my fabulous CPs deleted a line from a particularly emotional scene (one of very few in the book) saying something of the sorts that it was too analytical for that level of emotion in the scene.  I think it was that comment that gave me an epiphany.

Not everything has to stem from logic.

It was that one off-handed comment that made me self-aware to who I am and how I write.  And for this book, that emotion has to be there.  It just kinda opened up my eyes and made me realize how I can fix the emotional parts that aren't working.

Now if I could only fix the plot structure...

Monday, December 9, 2013

Reflections on the year

Yes, I realize the year isn't over, but my school year (semester) is.  This semester I've really let this blog go, mostly because I've been student teaching, doing all the work that goes along with that, getting my portfolio ready, and working a part-time job in the evenings and weekends.  I've barely had time to breathe.

But Wednesday was my last day in school and Sunday my portfolio was due.  Seeing all the students so sad that I was leaving reminded me why I wanted to be a teacher, and why I write YA. There is passion in everything that teenagers do.  They have all the feels all the time.

Going into student teaching, I wasn't sure if teaching was actually for me.  I love teaching, but there's so much other than teaching that goes into being a teacher.  And I have other passions, writing being one of them.  I wasn't sure if I'd be able to do both (and frankly I'm still not sure).  But seeing those students genuinely upset for me leaving renewed my passion for teaching and made me realize all the lives I'd be influencing.

I still have one more class to get my Master's, but I'm certified, meaning the job search can officially start.  It's a bit scary to think I'll have my own classroom and if this is actually for me, but I'm excited to see where this part of my journey leads me.