For/Against Mentally Casting People as Your Characters

Let’s face it, we all do it. You see a picture online and think, “Ohmygod, that’s [insert name of character here]!” I know I’ve done it. I once found my character, Scott, but didn’t know who the model was (for a long time, I did find it eventually, I think I’ve lost it again, though):

Scott :)

Scott :)

But once you have that image of a character in your mind, it’s pretty difficult to get rid of. In some cases, this works in your favour. In others? Not so much.

In the script I’m writing at the moment, I have cast my characters. I’ve even broadcast to the world who I want to play who! I find this useful; I’m using actor’s appearances to my benefit.

However, in prose, I don’t like to think about who would play them. Scott was an exception – I saw the picture, and gasped out, “That’s Scott!” It was just something that happened (it’s kinda scary how much that guy up there looks like Scott).

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Back Home

Hello everyone!

Me

I’m back from France. *sad face* I had such a great time and I really miss my friends, so yeah. However, on the way home I wrote an entire story, which will (hopefully) be published on Kindle, Wattpad and Figment by the end of the holidays (but hopefully in the next week or so).

And that’s about it, really.

The Blog

I think I’ll try and do two book reviews this Sunday, because I missed last week, and I don’t know if there’ll be a WWC because hopefully some friends will be coming down from London. :)

So yeah, I hope you all have a good week! Rock on, buddies.

How To Create a Memorable Quote

Before you read this post, pause for a moment. Think of the most memorable book quote from a book you have read (that also happens to be your favourite). Cast your mind around for a while. Look at the books on your shelves if you have to. Got it? Great.

Throughout the ages, there have been many memorable quotes. They have been said in speeches, such as by Nelson Mandela, appeared on the internet, such as users on Tumblr and Twitter, or, most commonly perhaps, they have been written in books.

JK Rowling managed to make tons of people cry with just one word: “Always.” She also managed to make one of my favourite ones:

“Mischief Managed.”

So quotes can be long or short. For example, one of my favourites is from The Great Gatsby and the entire sentence is 36 words long. When I started writing this article, the first quote that came to mind was, actually, “Always.”

You want – need – to make your readers remember you. Sure, you can do that with a lot of words. I remember plots of books, rather than certain bits. But think about the great series’ and books out there – if you google for posters for them, you’ll often find a picture of a quote. You only need one to make the desired effect (although lots are loved as well).

Making a great quote is harder than it looks (believe me, I’ve tried). Sometimes, they just come to you. That’s the most often way to do it. But if you really want to make it memorable, a fan-favourite, then there are a few things that can help you:

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Shroud of Sorrow [Doctor Who Book] by Tommy Donbavand

Shroud of Sorrow

I am a self-proclaimed Whovian, along with my father. Therefore, an entire half of one of my bookcase’s shelves is dedicated to the Timelord, his many faces and the array of companions he tends to acquire. Is it really a surprise that one of these books is turning up in a review?

Whilst many people think these BBC books are for children, believe me when I say they’re not. ‘Adult’ themes, such as death, are commonly talked about, and often at least one person dies in a horrible way. This book was no different.

Having recently fallen in love with X-Men – First Class especially – I have begun to have more of an interest in the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis and JFK – and that’s where this book starts.

It is the day after John F. Kennedy’s assassination and the faces of the dead are everywhere. PC Reg Cranfield sees his recently deceased father in the mists along Totter’s Lane. Reporter Mae Callon sees her late grandmother in a coffee stain on her desk. FBI Special Agent Warren Skeet finds his long-dead partner staring back at him from raindrops on a window pane. Then the faces begin to talk, and scream… and push through into our world. As the alien Shroud begins to feast on the grief of a world in mourning, can the Doctor dig deep enough into his own sorrow to save mankind? (Synopsis from Goodreads)

The prologue had me immediately terrified (didn’t help that I was reading late at night and am a scaredy cat anyway). But it was a good terrified (if there is such a thing), and I continued to read.

I liked how Donbavand introduced another planet during the book – I’m kinda tired of stories about Earth in Doctor Who, and human companions (I say that, but there are many that focus on alien planets). Still, I liked this new planet and felt that it added to the plot. It could easily have done it without it, but there you go.

There’s a bit of a twist on the main alien, the Shroud, which I also liked – especially as it threw up more obstacles and didn’t just change your idea of it (eg making you sympathise with it) or something like that. You know, it actually had an affect on the story.

The Doctor was all right – wacky as always. Clara was all right, too, although I wish Donbavand had written about her dead mother (which was shown in the TV show) instead of an uncle we have never heard of. I was expecting it all the way through, and was disappointed when it didn’t come.

However, I would still recommend this book. You don’t even have to know a lot about Doctor Who to read it (although I guess it helps) – it could just be seen as a sci-fi novel. So yes, have a go – you may enjoy it, but let’s hope the Shroud don’t really come to Earth, eh?

I Don’t Know Where I Am

‘Sup peeps?!

Me

Currently, I don’t actually know where I am or what I’m doing because this is a scheduled post (do you find this weird, cause I do). So yeah, here’s hoping I’m writing, and I’ll try and update this before it goes live, but if I don’t, you’ll know I’m just having a good time.

The Blog

Just a reminder that there’ll be no more Tuesday posts until November!

I don’t know if there’ll be a Wednesday post – shall we wait and find out? That sounds like fun.

Toodles until next time!

Adios!

Why Summer is Terrible for Writers (Although Some Like It)

I get it, summer’s great. Pools and parties (eugh, socialisation) and ice cream (actually, I like the ice cream). But, summer isn’t great for everyone – such as polar bears or those mop dogs.

Mop dog

There’s another species summer is not great for: the writer.

There are many sub-species of the writer, but one of them is the indoor-dweller. I happen to fall into this category (aside from many others).

Summer [tends to] = heat. It’s all right today, as I’m writing this, but it’s been in the 30s this month (that’s Celsius, by the way!). And heat means that it’s pretty difficult to write in, especially when you’re sitting outside because the glare of the sun means it’s practically impossible to see what you’re writing, and, let’s face it, longhand is just painful after a while. Not to mention the sweat you build up when you’re stuck inside, because if you take the comfy cushion off that chair, you might get butt-cramp.

Also, if you’re eating ice-cream, you can’t write at the same time – what if it drips? *le gasp*

And if you do go out in the sun, you might get sunburnt, and then you can’t sit comfortably and you have to keep applying after sun which just makes everything sticky.

The only thing summer is good for is reading. Reading is great. I love reading. You read so much in the summer, I find – hot nights which make it difficult to sleep are just invitations to read instead, and even if you prefer an eReader, you can still see the words in the sun (genius!).

Some writers love summer. Basking in the heat, dropping down about 10k words in an hour because apparently summer is the greatest time of the year (okay maybe that was a slight exaggeration) and okay, I get that it’s great for inspiration. I actually really like the beautiful sunsets and it’s nice to not be in constant darkness, but I don’t think that I could live in, like, Australia. I’d melt before I stepped off the plane.

More of an autumn person, me.

Questions, comments, thoughts? What’s your opinion of summer? What are you reading this summer? What are you writing this summer? 

Ps- sorry it’s not the usual article!

Against The Dying of the Light {Short Story}

Against The Dying of the Light

 

Wordcount: 868
Prompt: You receive a weird text message from an unknown number when you’re walking home one night. It says, “You now have the chance to go back in time and change one memory. You have five minutes to decide.” What happens next?

~

Against The Dying of the Light

~

She had never thought her beloved Land Rover would break down, but lo behold it had happened. Alice slammed the car door and stomped down the road – no one could pick her up, and it was still two miles home.

Envisioning the steadily-cooling macaroni cheese on the table only made her hungrier, and she sighed, plugging her headphones into her phone. One ear bud dangled uselessly, and she tucked it into her jacket.

She debated about jogging home, but voted for hitch-hiking instead. Thumb sticking into the road, she continued to trudge, her Land Rover casting a long shadow and mixing with hers.

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Coming Up to the Finishing Line…

*sings joyously* 3 days to go! Or…maybe that isn’t so joyously, in some cases. Are you behind? (As this is a queued post, I am really hoping I’ve finished.)

Even if you’re not doing NaNoWriMo this July, this post still applies to you. Do you have a deadline – perhaps an assignment – and you’re, well, not going to make it?

Listen up, people! I’ve got news for you: you can make it. I don’t care if you have an hour and an essay. You can do it. Wanna know how?

Keep calm. Being stressed isn’t going to help. If anything, it’ll make your hands shake so much you won’t be able to type/pick up a pen. And it’ll frazzle your mind, leaving you lost for ideas.

Think logically. If you’re like me, logic avoids you at every possible moment. You prefer to go from A – Z, then back up to Q before finally returning to B. Maybe, though, this time you have to go A – B – C. Think about what you want to write. If you’re finishing NaNo, how do you want it to end? If you’re writing an essay, what do you want to write about in your introduction? How are you going to link your conclusion back to it?

Time yourself. If you have an hour to do it, set yourself a goal of 45 minutes. People do extremely well under pressure.

Just remember, though:

If you don’t make it, it’s okay. I mean, if it’s an exam, obviously it’s not okay but you will have done your best (and I know people who have got full marks without even finishing their work – me being one). And your best is all that anybody can ask for (I know people say that all the time, but honestly, it’s true). If you don’t make it in NaNoWriMo, it’s not the end of the world. There’s no obligation to stop writing. If you’ve written this month – or any month – that’s still a great achievement. Not everyone can do it, honestly!

So whatever you’ve written this month, well done. You’ve done fabulously, darling. :)

And if you hit your NaNoWriMo goal, have a cookie and a pat on the back. Well done, you insane person, you!

Questions, thoughts, comments? Shoot! :D 

Beginning of the End…

Hello all! Here’s to another (hopefully wonderful) week!

Me

I’m currently in France (which is why I may not be replying to anything, sorry!), and, as this is a queued post, here’s to hoping I’m still alive.

The Alive Dance… (It’s a thing now)

Anyway, I am going to be planning a Christmas story as I sit by the pool in the sweltering heat, finishing a novella you can see linked here (The Bone Buffalo – oh, and An Icy Collision is the Christmas story) and just writing random stuff. I say ‘I am going to be planning’ because, as you know, this is written in advance. It’s quite weird actually. I kinda want to shout, ‘Hello, future self! but I don’t know if that would be too strange.

In another note, Tom Hiddleston’s snake hips are really hypnotising. *cough* sorry.

The Blog 

This week is the last of the Tuesday updates! *Sob* However, don’t fret my darlings, for they will return in November for another bought of NaNoWriMo. I may even carry them on into December in a ‘what now?’ scenario, but we’ll sort that out closer to the time.

That’s it for the blog, I think, so enjoy it! :)

So, what are you all up to this week? I hope you have a good one! :) 

- Hannah :D

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

The Future of Us

It’s 1996 and less than half of all high school students have ever used the internet. Facebook will not be invented for another eight years.

Josh and Emma have been neighbours their whole lives, and best friends almost as long – at least, they were until last November, when everything changed. Things have been awkward ever since, but when Josh’s family gets a free AOL CD in the mail, his mum makes him take it over so Emma can install it on her new computer. When the two friends log on, they discover their profiles on Facebook – fifteen years in the future.

Everyone wonders what their destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find out. (Source – back of book)

I don’t normally read romance books that are just romance books. There’s always a hint of action or something else. However, The Future of Us really is a romance novel. Just putting that out there right now.

However, the idea is pretty inventive and cool. I was born in 1998, and never had a dial-up or anything (well, I probably did, just not in living memory). So, this book provides valuable insight into the near-past, which I am too young to know (gosh that makes me sound really naïve (which I am, but let’s not dwell on that)).

Emma seemed like your typical mood-swingy teenage girl, to be honest. She played with Josh’s emotions a bit during the middle of the book, just to see how it would ripple time (uh…you’ll understand) which I didn’t think helped her in being a particularly nice person. She has dated a few guys, but I wouldn’t say she was a player – more, lonely, almost. However, she did just choose them for their looks, and she could be pretty annoying and shallow. Perhaps jealous of her friends, Tyson and Kellan, who have an (almost) steady relationship.

Josh was a pretty nice guy. Laid-back, caring, and I like how he was the one who always looked at things in the long-term whereas Emma was like, “Yeah, what harm can this do?” He seemed to actually realise the implications of what they could be doing. I think this shows the two different types of potential time-travellers out there – the ones who think, “How bad can this be?” and the ones that think, “Pretty bad.”

I haven’t really read any time-travel books (although this doesn’t really count) and I liked how Asher and Mackler showed how the ripples in time worked and their effect on the future – kinda makes you think.

Speaking of Asher and Mackler, their writing style is very similar, which makes the book move in a fluid way. I kept forgetting it was written by two authors, and not one; it really doesn’t interfere with it. I’d definitely read another of their novels (either singularly or together).

However, I wish there had been more of Kellan and Tyson, who were the two main supporting characters. For the scenes they were in, they were great. But they weren’t in as many as I had wished.

The ending, albeit cliché, was very cute.

I recommend this to anyone who likes a romance and/or their Facebook. But it didn’t really hold much excitement for me, although I was kept turning the page (I don’t know why. It’s one of those books where you think (it’s not exciting, but I need to know what happens right now).


Read more book reviews here!