5 Tips to Have An Alongside Romance Story

Romance is such a huge part of our lives – I mean, would any of us be here without it in some shape or form? – that it’s obviously going to be in most texts. But not everyone likes to read romance stories, and sure there are some novels that don’t feature a slither of kisses. Sometimes, however, romance can help ’round-off’ a story and it’s nice to put it in, both for the writer and the reader; although, you don’t want it to overpower the narrative and take over your story. Balance is an important part of anything, and here are a few tips for you to balance the romance and action in your story.

  1. Build up the romance. Like any romance, if it’s not realistic and happens suddenly, the reader won’t believe it. But people don’t happen to fall in love in a war zone or whilst tackling demons. You have to build up the romance using the things around you – perhaps they meet in a safe zone or one saves the other. Do something to bring them together, rather than have them fall.
  2. Make the romance relate to the main plot, but also separate it. Katniss and Peeta wouldn’t have fallen in love if they hadn’t been in the arena together. Hermione and Ron wouldn’t have met if they didn’t go to Hogwarts. Having your character suddenly meet another in the most unexpected place could make for an interesting twist, but is it ‘realistic’? – for example, if Hermione had met Ron, somehow, on holiday, would they have remained friends? Probably not.
  3. Make sure the problems of the main plot still affect the relationship. Back to The Hunger Games, but both of the star-crossed lovers think that they’re going to die when they go back into the arena for the second time. Hermione and Ron can’t be a normal couple because of the Second Wizarding War. The main plot should bend your characters and mould them, but the plot should bend the relationship too, or just both of the characters separately which affects them together.
  4. Make sure both of the characters are separate from one another. “But he’s a boy and she’s a girl,” doesn’t count. They have to have separate identities, lives, personalities. This is obvious but even more so when it’s a sub-plot and there’s less focus on it. For example, (yes, THG again) Katniss aims to survive her first bought in the arena by being on her lonesome and fighting for herself; Peeta uses strategy and joins the Careers. Would Katniss have done that? No! Would Peeta have survived five minutes on his own? The Nightlock says not.
  5. Let them enjoy themselves – at least once. Writers these days are so into suffering they’ve forgotten that romance can be happy. Even if they’re just sat by themselves for a moment in a corner of the trench, or steal a kiss before wrestling trolls, there should always be a little part of the reader that roots for the partnership and enjoys seeing them together.

Have fun with romance! Questions, thoughts? Shoot! 

Caffinated

Hello all!

Me

So over the past couple of weeks, I have started drinking coffee. Yes, you should all be scared, as I have discovered that when I have had a lot of coffee, I turn into an adrenaline-filled Duracell bunny. Ahem.

I am publishing my fanfiction this weekend! I am determined to, as I have missed the last two weeks of deadlines I made myself!

We’re starting a book club this weekend (we = my friends and I) so if you’re curious as to how that went, then check out hannahbanana98.wordpress.com!

I did a read-a-thon on Saturday. They’re great, you should really try one sometime.

The Blog

I am amazed that I have managed to get the Friday post and the Sunday post up on time this week, so hopefully that’ll be the same this week! 😀

PS – if there are any topics you’d like to see on Friday, then feel free to ask!

Have a great week guys! 

Amy’s Diary by Maureen Lee

Amy’s Diary

On September 3rd, 1939, Amy Browning turns 18 and starts a diary. Whilst being a tremendous day for her, it’s also the day that she hears it on the wireless: Great Britain was at war with Germany. Life goes on as normal for a while, with Amy and her friend getting a job at a factory and her sister giving birth to a baby boy. But then her brother is fighting in France, her boyfriend joins the RAF and the bombs begin to fall on Liverpool.

I hadn’t actually read a WWII book set in Liverpool before, and this novelette seemed like a perfect place to start, with what I hoped to be a realistic but promising lead.

However, I wasn’t particularly best pleased with this book. Whilst her friend Sally seemed to be 3D and have flaws, Amy seemed a bit like a paper-cut character, even though she had plenty of character-building toils thrown her way. I never really got into her romance, although I did like her sister, Alice, and an America soldier Amy came across: they were my two favourite characters, and pretty minor ones at that!

The writing style was not to my liking: I never really understood if Amy was actually writing in her diary, or if this was a recount afterwards. The style also seemed a little simplistic to me, although I understand that Amy was presented as being quite plain.

The plot…well, to me, there didn’t really seem to be one. Okay, I understood that it was about Amy’s life in the war, but that seems, to me, to be a loose version of the word ‘plot’, it needed more in it to make it more interesting to be the main one. Some of the subplots had more life.

Although I have just written a rather scathing review, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the WWII time period. It does offer an insight into rationing and how the Home Front carried on living, despite the atrocities being committed elsewhere. Some characters are rather charming ,and scandals are present which can make it an intriguing read. What’s more, it’ll only take you an hour or so to get through, so it’s not a decent amount of your time. And unlike One Good Turn by Chris Ryan, which I reviewed last week, this does give you an uplifting finish.


Ps I’ve decided to start adding this at the end of the review:

TITLE: Amy’s Diary
AUTHOR: Maureen Lee
PUBLISHER: Orion Books LTD (Quick Reads)
YEAR OF PUBLICATION: 2012
NUMBER OF PAGES: 105
PRICE: £1.99
ISBN: 9781409137382
GOODREADS
WHERE I GOT MY COPY: Borrowed from the library.

 

Music and Writing

Music is fantastic. It can give you chills and inspire you; not to mention be a great thing to bring people together. Listening to music can be a great way to help you write as well, or even before you write as inspiration.

However, some people get distracted by listening to music whilst writing. Perhaps it’s the lyrics or maybe you just need complete silence. It doesn’t mean you have to be in the no-music club though!

If you find yourself getting distracted by the lyrics, an obvious answer would be instrumental songs. But that makes it really hard, right? They’re generally from musicals (although Coldplay does some instrumental songs) and then they’re made for the musicals, so can be difficult. But can I recommend the Doctor Who soundtrack. Sure, some of it is a bit ‘Who-y’, but some of it is really great, and there is plenty to choose from.

Another thing you can try is making a playlist of every story you write. If it’s a short story, I guess you could listen to one song on repeat (sorry to distract, but I think I’ve got deja vu. Have I written about this before?). But it’s fun to make playlists for your stories too, as well as being helpful! I don’t know about other phones/music players, but on the iPod Nano that I have, you can’t name playlists (so I have about 10 that are just ‘Playlist 1’, ‘Playlist 2’ etc. And yet I still know which each one is!) so I’d suggest trying to plugging it into the computer to name the playlist. However, make it on your music player. Then you can scroll through, see each one in a small group or even individually, and it’ll make you think about it more.

Finally, if you get distracted whilst writing, do what I mentioned before and listen before you write. If you know there’s a certain scene you’ve got to write today, try and think of a song to fit it and listen to it just before you write. Sit back and truly listen to it. That way it won’t distract you when you’re actually writing, but you’ll be in the mind set for the scene.

Music can be a great help to you when you’re writing, so use it! There’s no point in overlooking tools that are right on your doorstep.

But, if music doesn’t help you, that’s okay too. There are, of course, many other things out there that can aid your writing. You just have to find them!

Hope that helped! Comments, questions? Shoot! 😀 


Some of my favourite albums for writing are Doctor Who (Instrumental) for Doctor Who fanfiction and general tone setting, Up All Night by One Direction for upbeat and happily romantic stories, Mamma Mia! (musical) for upbeat stories and ones with a positive message and In My Dreams by the Military Wives for ‘slow’, romantic and sad stories. If those help then that’s great! I also listen to a mixture of songs by different albums and different artists and stuff too.

Hello!

Hi everyone! Hope you all had a nice week last week. 🙂

Me 

I’ve finished my Doctor Who fanfiction! Now, all I have to do is edit it. It’s being published on Saturday (check out this blog for updates!). I’m quite excited! And now that this Doctor Who one is over, I can make a start on my Wolverine/Rogue one! Oh, I love fanfiction.

Anyone else excited for Top Gear this weekend!? I caught the end of their LiveStream last night, so that was pretty cool!

I think I might start planning for my second novella in the series this week. Should be exciting! The other one is listed here, and entitled An Icy Collision. The second will focus on the character Anna. You can read the first one here on Wattpad or here on ML!

The Blog

I think I might change the day of the Friday post. If it’s up on time this week, I’ll carry on, but if it’s not I’ll change it to Thursday or Saturday. I volunteer at Scouts on Fridays, and it’s just a lot of work!

Sunday post will be as usual, though. 🙂 And I know it definitely will be this time, because I scheduled it!

I’m thinking of starting a Wednesday drabble. Thoughts?

Have a nice week everyone! 

One Good Turn by Chris Ryan

One Good Turn

Chris Ransom wakes up in a cell in 1917. He is put on trial and found guilty of cowardice, impersonating a fellow soldier and theft. As the trial comes to a close, Chris remembers two things: that the name the accusers has been calling him is not his, and that he took something from a dead man in the trenches. Now, he has to remember, completely, the events leading up to this moment to convince the officers and save himself.

One Good Turn is not a book, but rather a novella, even a novelette. It’s quick to read, if you have a spare hour, or you could finish it during the day if you just had a few ten-minute instalments. Perhaps read it over your lunch break. Or maybe not, given the topic.

This novelette is brutally realistic and provides insight into the truly harsh fighting of WWI. Not only does it feature the human impact, but also the animal impact, and shows another side to the story which you may not have heard of or read much about before: what happens when your own troops turn against you.

Chris is the good-guy, John Stubbs the bad guy. We know that from the off, and Ryan reflects this well in his work. The stories run parallel to each other smoothly and you really feel like you’re living alongside them, through the whole torturous event.

I did like this novelette, but the ending, for me, whilst perhaps most realistic, was dissatisfying, and I didn’t particularly like it. However, if you’re interested in WWI, particularly as we are now living in the 100 year anniversary, it’s a nice little read for you. Just don’t expect to be left with a pleasant buzz of hope in your veins afterwards.

Drabbles

Okay, so let me begin by saying the title is actually a thing. And it’s a thing you can do easily!

A drabble is a 100 word story. Some people say it has to be exactly 100 words, and some people say it’s just anything exactly or below 100. The former group of people say that anything below 100 words is a ficlet or a snippet (as well as other words). But to be honest, in my opinion, it doesn’t really matter.

Anyway. Drabbles were started as short stories but many fanfiction writers have taken them on. Challenges have been created that you can find quickly online, that you can easily take part in.

Why should you write drabbles? Well, whilst they can take a long time if you do them ‘right’, you can do them pretty quickly as well. Why not knock one up right now, during the ad break of the TV show you’re watching, or once you finish that chapter of your book ? Even jot one down when you’re boiling the kettle for a nice cuppa.

And they can be super fun! 😀 Try a fanfiction, or just a snippet of one of the moments your character lives through.

So I propose a challenge. Write a drabble and post it in the comments!

Good luck & have fun! 

My Bum Is Going To Drop Off

Hello everyone! Sorry I didn’t write yesterday; I had my first ever A Level mock exam and felt like I deserved a bit of a reward for not dying during it (the result may be a different matter, but I am hoping I did well!) so I watched X-Men for some research for a fanfiction (ehehe that’s what they all say) and because Hugh Jackman and Anna Paquin. And had a hot chocolate.

Me

The reason for the title? I did cardio yesterday. My legs. Although, from the fact that I ache like hell, it means that it’s working, so yay! I’m doing this work out thingy but I’m not entirely sure how it works, and therefore I am doing another one tomorrow, not today.

Fanfictions: my Doctor Who one is nearly finished and then I get to edit it and start posting it whilst I plan my X-Men one, and then I get to start writing that. 😀

I might do some more editing of ‘An Icy Collision’ also this week; however, I have a lot of exams which I need to revise for. 😦

But to finish on a positive note, I am about to start drinking the first fruit tea I’ve had in nearly a year. Here goes…

The Blog

I didn’t post a Sunday review, did I? Oops. I shall this week!

And I’ll actually do a Friday post on Friday (hopefully, anyway).

Have a nice week guys! 

Find a Way To Relax

I know that writing can be stressful. More than stressful: sometimes it even turns into a chore. Characters are temperamental, the plot just isn’t working and despite the five cups of coffee you’ve had, the caffeine just isn’t kicking in.

Miraculously, though, you don’t have to write every day. Well, most of the time. Some times you can have a day off, even two days, or maybe just a morning if that’s all it takes.

When you do relax, distract yourself, completely, from your writing. If, for example, you find baking relaxing but you know it so well that your mind wanders, then try a new recipe that you really have to concentrate on. Not only will you be pleasantly pleased with the brand-new end result, but you’re distracted!

Why distract yourself? Because if you’re thinking about your writing, chances are you’ll still be stressing about it, and wasn’t the point of this whole thing to take a break?

If you want/need to take a break, though, and you can’t get away from your laptop (for example, if you go down stairs you’ll be trapped by a well-meaning but incredibly annoying relative) then why not try writing something else instead?

This article was originally going to be about fanfiction, but I did a series of articles on that not long ago. However, fanfiction can be a fantastic way to wind down, or, indeed, wind up if you’re trying to get your mojo working. The characters are already 3D and completely mapped out for you, you don’t particularly have to think about it, and you can write as much or as little as you want. I’m actually writing a fanfiction at the moment, because it makes me happy and helps me to destress. Simples!

Another thing you could do is simply write something else: an article, a blog post, a couple of fillers for magazines (which can then be used in the real world!), even a short story about something random on your desk or outside your window. And then these things can kind of just disappear into the void of writings if you want them to, so they can be as terribly hilarious as you want.

One of the worst things you can do when you’re stressing about your work is procrastinate: go on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and just sit and scroll. It’s incredibly difficult to break the loop, because you think to yourself, “Oh, I’ll just read the next post…or the next one…or the one after that,” and before you know it you’ve wasted an hour looking at cat videos! Even baking would at least give you a decent finished product. Procrastination is my writing fatal flaw, and it’s something I am trying to work on!

Remember that writing is meant to be something that you love, not something that you detest. Start each session with a smile and make sure it ends that way, too. Most of all, enjoy it!

Questions, comments, thoughts? Shoot! 😀 

Back To College

Hello everyone! Wow, a post that’s on time (kinda)?! Probably a record.

Me

Back to college this week…. great. Mocks start next week. Fantastic. Revision is in the go. Brilliant.

I really hope you can detect the sarcasm.

In other news, I am now chocolate free! Yay? I think?

Looking forward to doing some writing this week. 🙂

The Blog

Friday & Sunday post as normal! I need to catch up on my 2014 book reviews, me thinks… oops…

Have a fantastic week guys! 🙂