Yes, Twice

We arrived early and scored an amazing parking space. I was floating on air, with anticipation the only possibility of bringing me back to my seat while reminders to silence cell phones played across a large screen.

I thought back to my experience reading the trilogy. The books spoke to me more than most books I have read and enjoyed–helping me see past fear and focus on the power of relationships, values, and choice.

Of course, I could hardly wait for the film’s opening night.

I purchased my tickets two weeks early. (I can’t remember the last time I’ve done that…if ever.)

The moment arrived, and the credits began to take their places on the screen in front of us.

When the film ended, though, I felt heavy and exhausted. I bemoaned the fact that I promised to bring two of my kiddos (who also read and enjoyed the books) to watch it. I wasn’t sure I wanted to sit through it again. I processed what reasoning I could find for my feelings…but was at a loss. 😦

I spent the next day heavily in thought, wondering if the changes from book format to film adaptation were bothering me. I considered other books-made-into-films that I had seen as an adult, but I couldn’t shake the let down I felt from this weekend.

Finally, on my return trip to the theater the next evening, I put some pieces together. I was looking for an intimate experience, one of connection with characters, one which reminded me of the triumph of human spirit I recognized within myself as I read of their struggles cuddled in a blanket on my couch. I didn’t get that through my first theater experience.

I approached my second viewing more analytically. I felt much more closure and was able to process what I actually liked or didn’t like regarding the adaptation to film–and I can honestly say that I enjoyed the experience.

Yes, watching the film was so different from reading the book (isn’t it always?), but seeing the setting and characters take shape while experiencing highlights of the story again filled me with a greater appreciation for writers and those who direct and adapt to the screen. What an amazing process!

Overall, I would see Divergent again. Want to come with me?

Writing With Perspective

My favorite aspect of writing (at least at this moment) is the ability to explore perspective. In most of the novels I have written, I find myself attracted to writing with multiple viewpoints, and I enjoy the exploration I find as a writer through the eyes of varied perspectives.

In fact, the novel I began earlier this year is my first experience writing from one perspective (in first-person). I’m learning to appreciate the mystery of knowing events through writing with one solitary set of eyes. An intimacy occurs there that I’m not sure I nurture as much when I am bouncing back and forth between character perspectives. I’m waiting to see if I will need to write from another perspective at some point for background or research purposes. Currently, though, I’m quite enamored of exploring life through the eyes of my main character.

I continue to find the study of perspective helpful beyond the work of writing, though. I try to see various events from differing vantage points. I delve into several sides of a debate or issue. I naturally find myself seeing value within multiple (and, at times, seemingly contradictory) philosophies.

I recall a drafting class I took in high school where I was required to draw a four-point perspective elevation of a house I designed. I loved the depth and energy and life the elevation took on through multiple perspectives.

While reading, I adored the journey and exploration through books like The House Girl, The Help, and even the final volume of the Divergent series Allegiant for the opportunity to read about events through the eyes of more than one character.

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What do you think about multiple perspectives in writing? In reading? In life? Do you prefer one viewpoint or to experience through varied perspectives? Why?

For a Moment of Clarity…

Do you listen to Zedd? My son has been entranced by “Clarity” since I got it free on iTunes quite a while ago. He was reading the Divergent series at the time, and he kept telling me that the song reminded him of the connection between Tris and Four. Here is a video for your listening pleasure:


Well, last weekend, Zedd released a new single…and rumors are flying (and I think have been confirmed) that this song is on the Divergent film soundtrack. Only time will tell for sure, but here is the single, entitled “Find You.” (FYI, it’s on iTunes and I’m guessing Amazon…and it’s on Spotify, too).

Happy Friday to you!

Allegiant…Sprinkled With Divergent and Insurgent

As you are aware from yesterday’s post, I was reading (and subsequently finished) Allegiant, the third installment in Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy. My mind has since been bouncing around processing her approximately 1,500 pages of writing…but I would like to record a few themes here and the way the story affected me.
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From the dedication, the mother-daughter connection was evident. It was the most powerful connection for me in the series, with the second being the love shared between two main characters (both of whom share in voicing Allegiant). Without spoiling the story, (and if you read these books, I urge you not to read summaries or talk to others about them too much prior to reading them) the connection between Tris and her mother, especially as Tris discovers her mother’s strength as well as her own, brought out the most emotion for me.

Fear is also a major theme, as well as cultivating bravery. I enjoyed the journey, which caused self-reflection and a great deal of thought. I am still pondering. (And, I wish I knew what my fear landscape would look like.)

Faith is also expressed–though not necessarily in the religious sense of faith. Rather, the characters find faith in themselves, in each other, in their strength and relationships. This faith leads them to trust and to love more deeply.

The theme of forgiveness is paramount through Insurgent and Allegiant. Tris’s acknowledgement of forgiveness in Insurgent as well as her discussion and pondering about it in Allegiant are notable. Without this theme, I’m not sure I could’ve continued in Insurgent (which held less pull for me than the other two books in the series, but is necessary in understanding character development).

Speaking of continuing, I almost stopped at the end of Insurgent. I had heard from friends who were upset by the third book or the ending or whatever. None of them went into detail (and my son cautioned me after finishing Allegiant sometime last November not to discuss the ending with anyone until after I read it). I was glad I took his advice.

Though many of my friends vehemently oppose the conclusion of Allegiant, I felt like Roth did what was necessary as a writer to be true to the characters who spoke through her in this series. I wept through the last forty pages or so, and laughed a few times, as well. I found the ending beautiful and poignant.

I’d love to hear your thoughts if you have read the series or if you plan to read it. 🙂 Till then, much love!