Kristan Hoffman - Writing Dreams Into Reality
Wed Oct 8 2014

Strike while the iron’s hot

I think it’s kind of funny that I can spend months (even years) drafting, fleshing out, and revising a single novel-length story idea — yet for quick little blog posts, if I don’t get it down right away, odds are, I’m never coming back to it.

*selects all Drafts, moves to Trash*

Soooo, what should we talk about?

Just for fun, here are a few of the things that I had intended to discuss but have now lost the urgency to compose roughly 500 words about:

comment 5 Comments
Tue Sep 30 2014

IF I STAY and writing from the heart

With straightforward but poignant prose, Forman made the lives of Mia and Adam feel authentic and brutal and intense… for me, the book was both inspirational and educational.

if-i-stay-movie-poster-movie-review-if-i-stay-and-possible-sequel-name

My friend Ingrid already shared her thoughts on IF I STAY, both the book and the film adaptation, and my feelings basically echo hers. But I wanted to elaborate on a couple notes that really hit me when I was watching the movie last week.

For me, If I Stay was not only a pretty good film, but also a friendly reminder that “small” or “quiet” stories can be big and loud in their own ways.

(If I have one criticism of the movie — and I suppose the book too — it’s that there is a noticeable lack of diversity.)

comment 3 Comments
Tue Jun 3 2014

The hero who doesn’t win

I know I’m late to the party, but Game of Thrones, man. Wow.

game of thrones ned stark

Spoiler level: Somewhat high, but only for Season 1.

I could talk about these characters and their stories forever, but today I want to focus on Ned. Head of the noble Stark family. Warden of the wintry North.

In many ways, Ned is the prototypical hero figure: a strong, handsome man governed by his own sense of honor and morality. He’s a loving father and husband, and a successful leader who is fair to those he rules over and serves.

All of these good qualities are what endear him to us — but unfortunately, they are also what lead to his downfall.

Out of loyalty, Ned follows an old friend into treacherous territory. Out of compassion, Ned warns an enemy about impending danger. Out of love for his children, Ned compromises his integrity and is forever branded as a traitor to the king.

In most stories, we would expect Ned to find a way out of his predicaments. He’s a hero! He’s not supposed to lose.

But Game of Thrones isn’t most stories, and Ned doesn’t win.

It’s such a twist on our expectations. It’s a slap in the face to the long-held tradition of good always triumphing over evil.

The boldness of George R.R. Martin’s decisions is hugely appealing and inspiring to me. (And to many others, it seems, based on the popularity of the series.) It’s not that the good guys can’t ever come out on top — it’s that GRRM makes us really think about whether or not they will. He makes them earn it.

Of course, this also works because there is no one single hero in Game of Thrones. It’s an ensemble cast with many compelling characters. I’m sure this won’t be the last time I talk about them.

Now excuse me while I go binge-watch Seasons 2-4…

comment 6 Comments
Thu May 1 2014

#WeNeedDiverseBooks (and diverse everything else too)

In case you missed it, the YA community is spearheading a charge for increased diversity in contemporary literature. The #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign is amazing, and you can find out how to participate here.

For my part, I’m tweeting and re-tweeting, and I’m writing diverse stories, and I’m now (as ever) sharing my own personal thoughts and experiences.

Last night, I caught a rerun of the 60s television show Bewitched, which I used to love as a kid. The hijinks of a witch and her ad exec husband — what’s not to like? Best of all, they had a kid. A HALFIE kid. Like me. And even though little Tabitha didn’t do a whole lot in the story, I adored her. She was one of the few “biracial” characters I knew growing up.

The-Bewitched-family-bewitched-2432674-495-608 cast Counselor-Deanna-Troi-counselor-deanna-troi-24182625-1533-2269

Other favorites included Evie, the half-alien star of Out of This World, and Deanna Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation, who was half-Betazed. Noticing a pattern, anyone?

There’s more. My favorite Disney princess was Belle, a brown-haired, brown-eyed book lover, and my favorite anime character was Sailor Jupiter, a brown-haired, brown-eyed tomboy. No matter that they were French or Japanese, respectively. I was looking for myself in stories, and these were the closest resemblances that I could find. Not precisely right, but better than nothing.

BelleBooks tumblr_n1a05dtqik1re1kzio1_500

Now imagine a kid who can’t see herself anywhere. Not even in these pale approximations. The idea of that honestly makes me cry.

We need diverse books — and movies, and music, and teachers, and business leaders, and politicians, and everything else. We need them, and we shouldn’t have to justify why. The reasons are pretty evident.

comment 7 Comments
Thu Oct 24 2013

Moms are the best (Or: A brief scene from Friday Night Lights that brought me to tears)

First, a very relevant shout-out to my mother: Happy birthday, Mom! Thanks for always supporting me in the pursuit of my dreams.

After a series of controversies, Dillon Panthers star running back Smash Williams finds himself without a scholarship. Which means he can’t afford to go to college. Coach Taylor lines up one last opportunity, but Smash isn’t sure he’s going to take it.

Smash: Hey, I’m not going to the walk-on next week.
Mrs. Williams: What?
Smash: Alamo Freeze made me an offer. They want me to be a regional manager. It’s a good job, and I can help you —
Mrs. Williams: Alamo Freeze? Hell no.
Smash: Well look, I decided. And I’m gonna tell Coach tomorrow.
Mrs. Williams: All you’re gonna tell Coach is thank you. After all that man has done for you? He could have lost his job, Brian.
[pause]
Smash: This is not how it was supposed to be. I mean, I was supposed to buy you a house.
Mrs. Williams: I did not have kids to buy me a house. What is wrong with you?
Smash: I’ve done everything right. I’ve done everything I was supposed to do, and it’s still not enough.
Mrs. Williams: And you’re gonna keep doing things right. That’s what makes you a man. The son I raised is a man. So you’re going to that tryout, and you’re going to play like God made you to, and you are going to go to that college.
Smash: What if I don’t take your help?
Mrs. Williams: Oh, you’re gonna take my help. I am your mother. Maybe you’ll get the scholarship, but if you don’t, I am going to help you. You let me be your momma. That is my job.

comment 4 Comments
Older →
bio writinglinkscontact

subscribecontactcontact connecttwitterfacebookinstagramgoodreads

My Web Serial / Ebook


Beautiful and confident Sophie Lin, goody-goody aspiring writer Claudia Bradford, and boy-crazy scientist MJ Alexander are ready to tackle work, love, and life after college -- or so they think.

As their relationships go sour, their careers sputter, and a few too many ethical dilemmas arise, the girls turn to the one thing they can always count on: each other. But even that will be put to the test...

$1.99 at Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Kobo, Smashwords

My Husband’s Book


Welcome to New House 5. It’s not just the top floor of a brand new dorm. For 56 freshmen, it’s home. A place where friends are made and doors are always open. A place where hearts are broken and tears are shed.

Watch as these students try to overcome their flaws and fears to create a bond so special that nothing can pull them apart. Not even themselves.

Print: Amazon, B&N, IndieBound, CreateSpace

Digital: Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Kobo, Smashwords

Popular Posts

Categories

Features

Archives

Search