AMM Connect Post

 

As my school term comes to a close, I thought I’d do a post about my next goal, applying to Author Mentor Match, and thus do a blog post to connect with other AMM hopefuls.

I’m Noelle M. Pierce, and I’m a Pennsylvania cryptid who is holding onto book ideas like a kangaroo with a grossly overstuffed pouch of joeys. I’m entering my senior year in my Dramatic Writing degree with a minor in Animation. Because my school didn’t have the exact major I wanted to switch to, I found some additional love for dramatic writing which has helped me structure stories and made a plotter out of a pantser. Currently, I’m looking into graduate schools with Writing and Publishing degrees with the hopes of becoming an editor.

(Because of my art background, I can draw my characters! So that’s fun. These two are unrelated to my WIP, but have their own stories.)

Regarding novels, I write in various parts of the Young Adult age range. I like to mix up what genres I write because I like challenging myself. However, most of my books tend to sway towards sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. I’ve already written three other books besides the one I’ve been working on for pursuing the querying process for my first time. If you follow me on this blog, you might have seen mention of it before when I was looking for beta readers. It’s What Darkness Does, a YA horror that involves a couple of kids, an albino deer, and a forest that is deceptively dangerous, just like the people around it.

img_1003

This isn’t a cover or anything, just something to give the vibe. Picture from pexel.com.

What makes this one different than the others? For starters, I wrote the first draft in about a month, so there’s no voice changes / visible skill changes throughout it like two of the other books that I wrote the first draft to across multiple years. Secondly, it’s the first I’ve put active planning into. Beforehand, I was a pantser. That was fun and all, but even more fun was having a guide plan for what I wanted to do so I could finish it in a timely manner. It’s been interesting teaching myself how to edit, and I’ve done about 4 passes at it.

I’d make a great mentee because I reflect the energy that I get from my collaborators. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my college career, it’s that giving and receiving feedback is an essential part of growing both as a person and a writer. I love hearing suggestions on how to improve things; while not every suggestion is incorporated, I’m the type of person that gets excited about new twists and other potential directions the book can go in when it aligns with the spirit of the book.

I’m excited to connect with other writers and submit to AMM once the next round opens!

Failing Camp NaNoWriMo and Book of the Month

If you’re someone who follows my blog, by now you may have noticed my blog posting schedule has been off kilter. Reflectively, this past month has been one of my most difficult in a while, even compared to both semesters I had 4 classes (20 credit hours) at once. My classes have been almost entirely group projects, which anyone who’s had to participate in them knows the hell that is working with several people at once, especially creative ones who often lack strength in areas besides creativity.

Organizing a film and getting it done is crazy, and for people who work in that industry I cannot begin to understand the patience they have, and that I have none of. Due to all of these school shenanigans and mental health episodes triggered by them, I was unable to finish both main goals I had for the month.

Camp NaNoWriMo, as always, started off great. I was ahead of the minimum for a while, until I decided to change the midpoint. Why did I change the midpoint right when I was getting to the midpoint? I honestly don’t know why it took me that long to realize it didn’t work, but if I hadn’t changed it, I probably would’ve been able to continue at the rate I was going at. I wound up stopping at page 45. I need to finish it, but I think I’ll wait for a little while before I do. I still need to reconstruct the outline.

For July’s Book of the Month, The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, I am also about halfway through it, at 164 pages of 369 pages. This is the first time where I haven’t been able to finish a book in the month yet still want to read it. So for that, I plan on binge reading as much as I can in the next couple of days to get it done and perhaps make a delayed post about that. It’s a different type of book than I usually read, but I’m enjoying it. That factor just makes it a little slower of a read, but still an enjoyable one.

I can’t speak for August’s Book of the Month yet, but it’s going to be a shorter one. Is that cheating? I wouldn’t say so. I still get to read a book in a month, at least. I’m thinking of one of my new Stephen King books.

Changes Are Coming

Hello everyone! I hope your spring has sprung to a lovely pasture. Where have I been? Finals hell. Thankfully, after this quarter I won’t have such a busy schedule, and I’ll have time to breathe again, which in turn means concentrated blog posts. Additionally, this blog is approaching its first birthday. Hooray!

Within the next two weeks the appearance of this website will change, and so will the URL. On June 7th, its birthday, the URL will become http://www.noellempierce.com. I wanted to provide a heads-up to lessen the confusion of the change. I know I get thrown off a loop when someone I’m following —usually on social media— changes their profile picture or their username and it takes forever for me to remember who the person was that I followed.

Why change at all? As much as I enjoy my current design, I don’t think it’s entirely representative of the work I produce, or at least, aim to create. I’m working primarily on a mix of young adult horror and sci-fi novels, so the pink and friendly design isn’t something I want to capitalize on, even in a subverted way.

Additionally, now that I’ve been inspecting authors’ websites, I have more of an idea of how I want mine to look and the things I want it to contain.

I also have a surprise announcement that I’ll announce via twitter soon, so make sure to follow me there for more immediate news. I’m going to be working on my fourth draft of my work in progress novel What Darkness Does.

That’s all for now! Order will be restored soon. Until then, make some good out there!

Heathers (2018) Must Die

Well fuck me gently with a chainsaw (a true Heathers reference); it appears another moneygrabbing campaign is trying to remake another great story and update it to the modern day. The Paramount Network is stitching on the classic Heathers brand onto this monstrosity of a show like Leatherface trying to gain another mask. The trailer itself shows every reason as to why it should be destroyed before it sees the light of day. Don’t worry; if it’s not clear enough I’ll explain it thoroughly as I address the problems in order.

First off, “suck my third nipple?” I haven’t heard any phrase similar to that uttered since the 2000’s and early 2010’s by thirteen year-olds –not highschoolers. “How Banana Republic.” Nobody speaks like this. Not even the original Heather leader would say something like that. Either way, the only thing true at that point is the main Heather telling the other two to shut up. Although, this is largely questionable within itself. Body Positive White Heather is telling both Lesbian POC Heather and Genderqueer Heather to shut up. Um, hello? Does anyone writing this atrocity see the issues laden within that simple scene?

I think the only character that stayed relatively true to the original was JD, the attractive psychopath who is determined to go on a killing spree. It’s upsetting to think that that is the one aspect of this entire range of characters that stays the same and shows an underlying problem in society that still hasn’t been fixed by 2018. Only, of course he can’t only be a domestic terrorist, he also has to do drugs like adderall. Because cigarettes aren’t bad enough nowadays? The only thing to him they’ve more accurately updated is changing his economic status, which we can tell by the glimpses we get of his house that he is no longer from a family that is scraping on by.

The next thing that made me cringe was Veronica calling Body Positive Heather a “fatty” and playing the stereotypical audience gasp as some audience members to the prom cringe. Seriously? And what kind of followup to that is “you’re about to get flamed?” The way Veronica says “fatty” is as if she’s standing in a pre-school playground in the woodchips. This brings me to one of my final criticisms for the trailer.

Veronica is unrecognizable. At the very least, the Heathers still remain popular and the main Heather is still a bully. She is submissive. Veronica Sawyer from the original Heathers always was spunky, a multidimensional realistic character with a suitable amount of rebellion. This Heather wears a monocle —1:32 of the trailer if you didn’t catch that— and wears a unicorn shirt. When Heather is killed, her response isn’t a human one, it’s, “We’re going to be late for school.” Did they take inspiration from Logan Paul to the lack of tact? Seriously. Whose idea was that?

Also, whose idea was it to have a character say, in full seriousness, “Oh. my. clit.” NOBODY SPEAKS LIKE THIS. Do any of the writers ACTUALLY have a friend or even speak with someone who is a part of the LGBTQ+ spectrum? Making the Genderqueer Heather say ridiculous things like this just resorts to them to being just a stereotypical LGBTQ+ member. It’s like they placed buzzwords on a dart board and through them blindly to see where they landed. Genderqueer. Banana Republic. Body Positivity. Flawless. Mentally Challenged. Flamed.

Now there’s the issue of the new plot itself. Placing marginalized groups as the popular bullies doesn’t bode well with people from those groups. Everyone has the capacity to be an asshole, and I can remember times when I was bullied by people from just about all of those groups, but the fact of the matter that is probably the most damaging is the show runner Jason Micallef’s idea of changing the Heathers’ identities because of his idea of “people that wouldn’t have necessarily been considered the most popular kids in school in 1988 could very well be — and probably most likely are — the more popular kids today.”

Has this man done any sort of research? I went to a rather accepting high school where we had many LGBTQ+ students in all “rankings” of student society. That didn’t stop them from still getting bullied and people looking down on them. The truth of the matter is that Micallef has no connection or knowledge of the high schools of today and that things haven’t changed that drastically. The only school I could ever see a POC Lesbian, a Bodypositive girl, and a Genderqueer kid being the popular trio is potentially at a liberal arts college. Even at my art college —where you could say that straight people have become the only minority figure here— you don’t see these groups of kids being popular. Or at least, not nearly to the scale of the Heathers.

Systemic suppression is still around, and it is incredibly tone-deaf to imply otherwise and even place the oppressed as the role of the bullies. Speaking of bullies— how would Kurt and Ram’s whole plot line work? With all the representation in the other bullies it wouldn’t make sense for them to be framed as killing themselves because nobody would accept their sexuality. In this universe, it doesn’t seem logical to imply that due to the amount of acceptance elsewhere.

The original Heathers handled many of the same issues with poignant dark humor and a surprising amount of respect, or at least, surprising compared to what Heathers 2018 is dealing. The only other adaption I’ve seen this neglectful of the original material and the adaptation to make it “current” is Netflix’s butchering of Death Note. At least Death Note still had some aspects of the story right. Maybe I should dig out my old Death Note journal and write this TV show’s name in it. Maybe then it could be stopped.

NaNoWriMo 2017: Week 2

Procrastination is dangerous. So is a Netflix account. I’ve continued my binge watch of Bojack Horseman (now on season 4, episode 3) but ALSO added Lost, where I’m on season 2, episode 14. Whenever I don’t feel committed for a 40 minute episode of Lost, I turn to a 20 minute episode of Bojack Horseman. It’s a terrible cycle of procrastination that has disturbed both my writing schedule and my sleep schedule. I now know when the sun comes up in the morning for the adjusted times from Daylight Savings. Yikes.

Despite those setbacks, in week two I’ve managed to write 13,147 words, for a total of 25,216 words. I wrote more than the first week, although that’s the hope considering it was only 5 days long compared to 7. Being halfway done is a miracle compared to the amount of things I’ve done instead of writing this week, not only via Netflix but from cleaning and the new Sims 4 expansion pack as well. And finals, which are an especially important thing I need to focus on.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to continue at being ahead this week considering my birthday is Wednesday and I have to pick my mom up from the airport, I have my finals due on Thursday, also we’re driving back home on Thursday for 6 hours, and then Friday I have a doctor’s appointment. My hope is that I can continue to keep strong and write in the night at the very least.

Without giving away any kind of spoilers or too many details, I’m excited to delve deeper into the mystery of the story I’m writing. I’m a bit worried I might’ve overestimated the big climax and the following events. I foresee this novel being around 180 pages, which is my general goal besides 50,000 words. Whenever I edit it, I can add as much as I want. I’m continually adding different parts as I’m going, which is a relief.

I’m already halfway through, so I hope I can finish out solid enough! To everyone else working (or procrastinating), good luck!