Sunday, March 13, 2011

Kill Bill and Other Stuff

The time change really messed with my head today.  I'm pretty sure there's a reality in which I'm still in bed sleeping with the covers over my face.  Of course, there's also probably a reality where I'm bathing in noodles, so whatever.

I'm feeling down on the whole Internet thing.  The introvert in me needs a break but the Internet feels inescapable.  A vacation would suffice but that's probably a long way off.  In the meantime, I might just shut off Facebook and Twitter for a while.

Three observations:

1.  I was hanging with the bf last night playing Wii.  One of the things I love about him is that he is infinitely patient, rarely lets anything bother him, and has this "go with the flow" mentality that makes being with him so easy.  And then we played video games and it brought out this competitive streak that was really quite jarring.  Not bad, just different.  And it made me realize that when creating characters, little surprises like that can help make a character more real.  One situation can turn a perfectly wonderful person into a basket case.

2.  I was watching Kill Bill and I got to the scene in the trailer home where Beatrix is fighting Elle.  It's my favorite fight scene of the entire duology because of how limited it is.  They had a wide open desert outside the door that they could have fought in, but Tarantino decided instead to use the limitations of the trailer--the narrow halls and cramped, confined spaces--to elevate the duel.  Instead of a hinderance, he used it to his advantage.  Impose limitations on your story and see how creative it makes you.

3.  The title, KILL BILL.  I have to come up with a title for my next book and watching Kill Bill made me realize just how perfect the title is.  The movie itself is so layered.  There are subplots and stories within stories.  It's such a brilliant bit of writing.  Yet, the title tells you everything you need to know about the movie going into it.  It's about killing Bill.  And at the end of the day, everything that happens ties directly or indirectly to that singular event.  I think the best titles are like that.  The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay is another of my favorite titles.


  1. Titles have always been important to me when reading a book, but it's excruciating for me to come up with them myself. Some of my favorite authors have horrible titles, though. Anne Rice's titles are notoriously boring: The Vampire Lestat, for instance. And Robert Jordan's are just obscure references to parts of the story that really don't relate at all to the book itself. I loved the titles of Lisa McMann's book, simple but effective. A story about a girl who gets caught in other people's dreams, and then can't get out, is called Wake. Perfect, really. There are so many different ways to come up with a title. But is there a right way to come up with a good one?


  2. Tara: I agree about Rice's titles. They're utilitarian. I think finding the right title is a trial and error process that varies by person--shoot, it varies by book!

    I also agree about Jordan's titles. I wish I'd never started reading them. Now I'm trapped until Sanderson finishes the last one.


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