Sunday, April 20, 2014

On Breaking Bad's Series Finale and Loose Ends Endings

I hope you enjoyed Easter weekend. And no, I'm not doing the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this year. But for those of you who are doing it, I hope you're having fun. 

Last month, I finished watching the entire five seasons of the Breaking Bad series. Great show, really excellent writing. Once I got started on the last eight episodes of Season 5, there was no turning back.  The talented writers of the show tied many loose ends together in the series finale.  At the same time, there were some loose ends that weren't tied up, and these open endings were left up to viewer interpretation or musing. I don't believe loose ends always need to be tied up. But there were some loose ends in Breaking Bad that kept me thinking after I finished the show. And that's what I want to talk about today.
Readers, before you continue, I just want to warn you THERE WILL BE SPOILERS AHEAD. If you don't want to know what happens during the fifth and last season of Breaking Bad and the season finale, you can stop reading HERE.

...Okay, so here I go...

...again...SPOILERS AHEAD...

...So one of the things that popped out at me while watching the series is that it's not a good place for a child to be associated, even indirectly and/or unintentionally, with the meth producing and drug dealing underworld of Breaking Bad. As a kidlit writer, I'm invested in experiences of children, and so after watching the series finale, I was left wondering what happened to the surviving children on the show. 

What happened to that peek-a-boo kid Jesse rescued from that house in season 2? For a minute, I thought that peek-a-boo kid was the same kid that Todd killed in Season 5 by the train tracks, and that when the kid waved to the men after the train passed, it was because he recognized Jesse. But I was wrong, and the peek-a-boo kid is still out there somewhere. As is Brock, now without his mother Andrea, who was killed by the neo-Nazis in another grim moment of the series.  And what happens to Lydia's daughter, Kiira, who might've fulfilled Lydia's worst nightmare by finding her dead in their home? What happens to Mike's granddaughter, Kaylee, who only knows that her doting grandfather disappeared without a trace? What will Walter Jr. do with all that money the Schwartzes hand over when he turns 18? How will Holly handle the stigma of who her father was while growing up? 

And what happens to Jesse? He might be a man but I found him as vulnerable and impressionable as a child for most of the series. I can only hope that during the time he was incarcerated by the neo-Nazis, he thought hard about what he would do if he found freedom again, and now that he's out, he would stick to his escape plan....even though his taped confession is in the neo-Nazi's possession, which law enforcement is sure to find after they recover Walter's body at the hideout.

In addition to thinking about these loose ends after seeing the Breaking Bad finale, my kidlit writing brain also explored how a story about Grown-ups Behaving Really Badly would play out if it was told from the perspective of the children in the story, if each chapter bounced from character to character in a risky third-person omniscient narrative. While the children might not be able to fully explain or understand what's going on, the reader can absorb the clues offered by the green and honest voices of children, and put the pieces of the puzzle together. 

What did you think of the series finale of Breaking Bad, if you've seen it? Were there any loose ends you wanted to see get tied up?

Do you consider the third-person omniscient narrative a less desirable approach to storytelling over the first-person or third-person narrative?

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

IWSG: Why I'm Not Doing the Blogging from A to Z Challenge This Year

It's IWSG day. Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for organizing this monthly event where writers share about their writerly insecurities and other stuff.

I participated in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for the last two years. I enjoyed doing the challenge both times. But this year, I'm not doing it. 

My husband and I are planning a move, and if everything falls into place, we're due to move at the end of this month. As I'm writing this post, I must admit that I haven't packed a single box yet. Not for myself, not for my husband, not for our children. So. Lots of work cut out for me this month. 

So what am I doing instead of packing? I'm working on my novel. I know, I know. I really should start packing. But you know there's that thing writers do when they try to avoid confronting their manuscript, so they get busy cleaning their homes instead? Well, as excited as I am about moving to our new place, I'm not so excited about packing and boxing up everything in my home. So I'm working on my manuscript instead.

I'm still with YA Buccaneers' Spring Writing Bootcamp. In March, I got set up with a lovely writing team called #TeamDenali and a motivating team leader named Heidi Sinnett. While I'm not producing as much as I'd like to, I'm still making progress. But the truth is, once I take off with my moving duties, I know my productivity will take a dive. 

So this is my insecurity. It took me awhile to build up momentum again with my WIP earlier this year, and soon, I'd need to slow down. Once I slow down, it'd take me some more time to build up that momentum again. I often dread that part of the writing process where I'm returning to my manuscript after a period of "slowing down," or sometimes just plain stopping, and I'm trying to get back in the driver's seat. Yes, I can view my WIP with fresh eyes and things I need to fix jump out at me. But no, I can't just make 2,500 words appear out of thin air on the first day back. Or sometimes, not even during the first two weeks after I resume my butt-in-chair nights.

I will begin packing sometime next week.

Are you doing the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this year? If so, do you have a theme? If you're not doing the A to Z Challenge, why not?

Any tips on packing for a move?

How do you get back in the driver's seat with your WIP after a period of slowing down?