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Character Motivations vs Morals

3 Apr

Not going to lie, I recently binge-watched The 100 through Netflix. For those of you who don’t know, The 100 is a TV show based off a young adult series with the same name. The first season follows a group of 100 kids dropped off on earth after a nuclear disaster destroyed the planet 97 years prior. It’s currently airing season 4. (I’m only on season 3.) Granted, I’m not normally a TV person. In fact, I usually have to be extremely ill to watch a bunch of TV, but I made an exception for The 100. Why? Because I fell in love during episode one. What do I love about The 100? The character motivations. They are 100% believable, even when the plot gets crazy, and I feel like that’s pretty rare.

There’s no spoilers in this article for The 100. Don’t worry. But definitely check out a few episodes to see what I mean.

Character motivations are so important, but often dwindled down to right vs. wrong. But motivation can (and should) be more than that. As an example from The 100, Bellamy just wants to save his sister, no matter what it requires (right or wrong) and whether she wants it or not. In fact, he often does horrible things in order to achieve his goal. Therefore, he is driven by his motivation to save his sister, not his morals to be a good person. On top of that, though he believes saving his sister is his responsibility, he doesn’t lie to himself and think he is morally perfect because of it. He doesn’t have a “hero complex.” An older brother complex, sure. But not a heroic one. He is driven by motivation, not morals.

Why do I bring up morals? Because morals is sometimes the opposite of motivation in fiction. Though they can be synonymous, it’s easy to let a character slide one way or the other. Personally, I always prefer believable motivations to morally-driven characters. Why? Because completely morally-driven characters can be hard to relate to. I mean, let’s be real. Sometimes, that self-righteous hero trope gets a little…boring.

I would much rather watch a show or read a book where the characters’ motivations are believable, morals be damned. Let’s take villains, for instance. The most popular writing tip today is that every bad guy believes they are the good guy, and while I love that tip, I disagree. Not all bad guys think they’re good guys. Granted, I like a bad guy who thinks he’s good. I often prefer them that way. But it’s also fun to follow a character who knows they are selfish, who has reasons for their selfishness, and owns it.

Of course, it’s always best to have both worlds, right? Motivations and morals (and sometimes one fueling the other) can be fun and exciting and terrifying and interesting. But I would like to see more books with strong, sometimes twisted motivations that overcome morally-driven characters.

What about you? Do you prefer characters with motivations or morals or a mixture of both?

Discuss away! Just don’t be the evil one and post spoilers about The 100 in the comments below. (Or at least put a warning at the top of your post.)

Thank you,

~SAT

P.S. Bad Bloods: July Thunder releases next Monday! I also received my first review from Babbling Books! “Another fantastic addition to the Bad Bloods series and a marvelous start to a new duology. Wonderful writing, captivating characters and a story that will reel you in until the last page, these Bad Bloods may have a tendency of breaking the rules, but their stories are way too good not to read!”

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TV Time: King of the Nerds

7 Mar

Four P.M. Update: My Twitter hit 1,000 likes too :]

Noon Update: My Facebook Author Page hit 100 likes! I am spinning in circles of happiness. Thank you for the consistent support. I appreciate you all as much as I appreciate my morning coffee (something I cannot live without.) Have a wonderful day! 

Okay. So I know tonight is the finale, so I’m a little late (super late?) bringing this television series into my nerdy light, but I HAD to. My biggest excuse is the fact that TBS just got the GO for season 2. And, yes, you can now apply to compete yourself.

King of the Nerds tests the intellect and varies capabilities of eleven “nerds” (such as a game designer, neurologist, and a NASA employee) as they compete for $100,000 and to be crowned as they sit on the Throne of Games. (Yes. Pun intended.) All of the nerdy action takes place at Nerdvana, and the contestants are hilarious. Even better, there isn’t as much useless drama as you may find on other reality shows (which I, personally, can’t stand about reality television.) Nerds seem to understand what matter, including when emotions get out of hand. 00097787-608003

The show comes on TBS on Thursdays, 10/9c. It’s hosted by Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong, both actors are known for their characters in the comedy series, Revenge of the Nerds.

Tonight, I’m really rooting for Ivan to win (mainly because he painted himself red, stood on stilts, gave himself horns, and waved a flaming sword around in the “create your own fantasy world competition.)5cd6f791f96ebcc80870087bbc4dbca7

If you haven’t checked this show out, it’s a new (and definitely a celebration) show about being a “nerd.” If you’re anything like me (definitely nerdy) this show is a wonderful reminder of why being “nerdy” isn’t a bad thing; it’s a great thing! Watch what it’s about, and maybe you’ll forward to season 2 like I am! Click here to visit the show’s home page.

~SAT

P.S. Thank you for the all congratulations! I’m really excited. I will surely keep you all updated, but I have to clarify that November Snow is already available as paperback (through Amazon) because I got a few questions regarding that.  I also got my first submissions for the cover for Minutes Before Sunset, and I’m working hard to get everything ready!

In other news, an aspiring author, the lovely Lee Paige, wrote a very touching piece about my blog, and I wanted to share it, because it’s a perfect example of how my followers help move me forward (and how I strive to help others move forward.) I want us to achieve our dreams together, and it seems that Lee Paige is a great example of how that dream is happening! Click here to read her piece.

My Author Page is 10 away from hitting 100 followers; it'd make me spin in circles of happiness if I could hit that mark. I may even record it.

My Author Page is 10 away from hitting 100 followers; it’d make me spin in circles of happiness if I could hit that mark. I may even record it. 😀

The Oscars: Who I Want to Win

24 Feb

11 p.m. Update: I’ve entirely bolded the ones from my list that won in the categories I chose them in. I hope everyone had a great night! 

Okay. So I’m not normally into award shows, but I LOVEEEEE the Oscars, so I’m super excited for tonight.

Today I’m posting the 85th Academy Award Nominees that I want to win, along with why. I’d love to hear what you think! Click here to look at the list yourself.

Best Picture: Lincoln: I have to admit I haven’t seen all the movies on the list, but I found this one to be well-done and historical, which can be difficult when you have so much to cover. (P.S. This is NOT the vampire Lincoln movie. Haha.)

Actor in Leading Role: Hugh Jackman in Les Miserables: I think this competition will come down between Jackman and Washington, but Jackman, in my opinion, had a more difficult role due to the singing, acting, and costumes. (But mainly his singing.)

Actress in Leading Role: Quvenzhane Wellis in Beasts of the Southern Wind: I really respect such a young girl taking on such an important role in a very interesting and challenging movie. However, I have to admit she probably won’t win, because the acting in this particular movie is different compared to the others. I want to show my support for her bravery.

Acting in Supporting Role: Christoph Waltz in Django Unchained: I still cannot get over how brilliant Waltz was in this movie. If I can be bold, I think he made the entire movie. I loved him, and, as a writer, I envy the brilliant work done to create such an amazing character come to life.

Actress in Supporting Role: Anne Hathaway in Les Misérables: I, personally, don’t like Les Miserables. (I know. I know. I’m a horrible person.) But I haven’t liked it ever since I read it, so it was really hard for me to enjoy the movie (since it is, ultimately, the reading.) However, I can still appreciate the wonderful work they put behind it, and Hathaway deserves an award for her short-lived life in Les Miserables.

Animated Feature Film: Brave: How could I not love this movie??? I do love ParaNorman (I did a review on it here) but I think Brave ultimately blows it away.

CinematographyDjango Unchained: I think it’s going to be between this movie and Anna Karenina, but I have to pick Django Unchained. In the end, I’d think Anna Karenina would win, because Django Unchained is controversial, but I saw both, and I think Django Unchained had more unique camera work.

Costume Design: Anna Karenina: The dress was beautiful, striking, and elegant. I loved it all.

Directing: Beasts of the Southern Wild: If you’ve seen the movie, you know it has a documentary feel to it. I thought this was unique and effective in the ultimate piece, so I want to support this flick.

Documentary Feature: I’m not familiar enough to pick.

Is it egotistical to drink a bottle of wine with your name on it??? Oh, well. I need something to accompany me to The Oscars

Is it egotistical to drink a bottle of wine with your name on it??? Oh, well. I need something to accompany me to The Oscars

Documentary Short: I’m not familiar enough to pick.

Film Editing: Zero Dark Thirty: I think this is hard to judge as viewers, because we don’t know everything that goes behind the scenes, but I really think this movie deserves an award in this instance.

Foreign Language Film: Amour: Honestly, it’s the only one I’m familiar with, but it’s lovely.

Makeup and Hairstyling: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: I think it’s between this and Les Miserables, but I think The Hobbit should get this based on how much harder (I think) it must be to do makeup and hair on fantasy characters.

Music: Original Score: Skyfall: I love Adele. End of story.

Music: Original Song: Skyfall: …I…love…Adele…

Production Design: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: I really enjoyed the overall look of this movie, but I also liked Anna Karenina in this particular topic.

Short Film: Animated: I’m not familiar with these.

Short Film: Live Action: I’m not familiar with these.

Sound Editing: Argo: Again, this is a hard topic to choose, because we don’t know everything that went down behind the scenes, but I’m going with Argo, because it deserves an award too.

Sound Mixing: Les Miserables.

Visual EffectsThe Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: There was some magnificent visuals in this film.

Writing: Adapted Screenplay: Argo: What a story to share. Seriously. It’s historical, and it’s shocking.

Writing: Original Screenplay: Moonrise Kingdom: I think something else will probably win in this category, but I LOVEEE Moonrise Kingdom, and I’d love it even more to see it succeed in The Oscars.

So who do you want to win?? I’d love to hear, and I can’t wait to find out who does tonight 😀

~SAT

TV Time: Being Human

12 Jan

It’s great to see you all on Shelfari. I really love connecting with readers and writers further. This is why I want to take some time to thank one of my followers, Indiscriminate Critic, for finding my Goodreads page. Now, you can join me on that site as well by clicking here. I really like Goodreads, because you can connect, but I LOVE the neverending trivia quiz about the books you’ve read.

However, I’m here to write about the t.v. series “Being Human.” (Official website via Syfy here.)

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Season 3 premiere on the Syfy channel this Monday at 9/8c. I’m REALLY stoked, because I LOVE this show. It’s based on the original British supernatural series, and it follows the basic plot line the same (I watched both the American and British version of season one to see.)

“Being Human” is about three twenty-somethings attempting to live together–except they’re supernatural. Aidan is a vampire, Josh is a werewolf, and Sally is a ghost.

If you like supernatural, this series is for you. Even cooler, the Syfy channel posts all the old episodes, so you can catch up! Catch up on Season 2 here. It’s worth it. One of my best friends who lives far away watches it like I do, and we talk about it over the phone the next day. It’s a great show to try to predict and enjoy with friends.

~SAT

 

 

TV Time: Alaska Marshals

25 Nov

Hey all!

I’ve been enjoying the family time at home recently, but I thought I would share some cool information with you.

During my family reunion (not the ENTIRE family, but more than I normally get to see), I saw family from Pennsylvania and Alaska. We caught up, ate a lot of food, and, most importantly, spent quality time together. During our talks, however, we all sat back, turned on the television, and watched one of our own on the tube.

My cousin is a U.S. Marshal (great guy who deserves a lot of praise for his hard work and dedication), and he is now on the Discovery Channel show, “Alaska Marshals.” These marshals do what they do, chase down the bad guys, and arrest them, but they also do it in the Alaskan elements.

I’ve seen the first episode. It’s intense ! Watch a clip via YouTube here.

So cuddle up on your warm couch, and watch these brave marshals partake in hunting down some seasoned criminals in the cold. Get more information here & an episode guide here.

Hope the holidays have been wonderful for everyone, and here’s a picture of my reunion: my grandma, three uncles, two aunts, four cousins, brother, dad, and a great time! 

~SAT

TV Time: American Horror Story: Asylum

17 Oct

Happy Wednesday, readers!

I’m back, so be expecting daily updates again, and thank you all so much for all of your condolences and nice notes. I hope everyone took a moment to hug their loved ones this week.

I thought today would be a great day to come back, because American Horror Story (season 2) is premiering tonight on FX. Set in 1964, this television thriller takes place in an overly religious insane asylum, and the characters are sure to cause shivers to run up your spine all night long. Plus, season 2 is completely separate from season 1, so you don’t even have to catch up like you do with other television shows.

If you’re looking for an October scare (or just something different and unique), then turn on FX tonight, and give the insane asylum a try. What could be scarier than Nazis, serial killers, mutants, and aliens? Maybe the troubled Sister Jude? I can’t wait to tune in tonight and find out!

Click here to see more about American Horror Story (or watch some of their intros!).

~SAT

TV Time: Gossip Girl

7 Oct

Considering I’ve been watching this show since 2007, and I started reading the book series in 2002, I cannot believe the last season is premiering tomorrow night!

Based on the best selling YA series by Cecily von Ziegesar, Gossip Girl is a drama-filled soap about the Upper East Side—who’s rich and who’s richer. Although the show itself doesn’t follow the books at all (except for the very first episode of season one) I fell in love with this guilty pleasure of mine. If you have the same guilty pleasure—watching melodramatic teenagers throw money around while attempting to control their angst and act like adults, then this New York soap is for you. Even better, the final season is upon us tomorrow, so you don’t have to wait for anything new once this season is over.

Click here to watch the season promo (because it’s as drama-filled as the show itself).

And click here to read more on the original series.

XOXO,

~SAT

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