Book Review | Lament by Maggie Stiefvater

Sixteen-year-old Dee is a cloverhand – someone who can see faeries. When she finds herself irresistibly drawn to beautiful, mysterious Luke, Dee senses that he wants something more dangerous than a summer romance.

But Dee doesn’t realize that Luke is an assassin from the faerie world.

And she is his next target. – from Goodreads

Having read Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, which I really enjoyed, I was looking forward to Lament. However, it wasn’t what I had hoped for.  Continue reading

Book Review | Ink by Alice Broadway

32827036Every action, every deed, every significant moment is tattooed on your skin for ever. When Leora’s father dies, she is determined to see her father remembered forever. She knows he deserves to have all his tattoos removed and made into a Skin Book to stand as a record of his good life. But when she discovers that his ink has been edited and his book is incomplete, she wonders whether she ever knew him at all. – from Goodreads

I thought that the premise and, indeed, the execution of Ink was such a brilliant idea. I love that this is a really tattoo-positive novel, too.  Continue reading

The Good And Bad Novel Lists

I am planning my NaNoWriMo novel (*screams*) and I am using the lovely book called No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty (aka NaNoWriMo founder). In it, Chris suggests listing two lists: the Good Novel List and Bad Novel List (or, as he calls it, Magna Carter I and Magna Carter II). On these lists, you’re meant to put things on them that you like/don’t like in a novel. Continue reading

Mini Reviews! | The Go-Between and Waiting for Godot

This week I review The Go-Between by L.P. Hartley, a novel about a young boy who acts as a messenger between two lovers set in 1900, and Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett, a play I’m not sure anyone really knows what to make of.  Continue reading

Book Review: Shattered by Teri Terry

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Ignore how weird my thumb looks… Dx

Kyla was Slated: her mind was wiped clean by the government. When forbidden memories of a violent past began to surface, so did doubts: could she trust those to care for, like Ben? Helped by friends in MIA, she goes undercover, searching for her past and evading authorities who want her dead. But the truth Kyla seeks is more shocking than she imagined as the Slated trilogy concludes. – from back of book, modified.

 

Okay. O-kay. So this is a review of the last in the Slated trilogy and is the only review I’ve done of them, for two reasons. 1) I’m lazy and procrastinate book reviews all the time and didn’t get around to it. 2) These are easy books to forget! I got lost in character names and the plot. So when it’d been a couple of months, I knew I’d only be able to do a vague review, so I just didn’t do one. But not this time! Mwhahaha.

Continue reading

3 Tips To Writing A Prologue

For those who don’t know, a prologue is a bit, generally shorter than a chapter, which almost introduces the novel. It’s kind of like the bit before the titles in a TV show. I quite like them… but only if they work with the story. So, what are some tips for them?

  1. Make sure it adds, somehow, to your story. If it gives a back story to your antagonist that the reader doesn’t get until the final chapter, it still counts. If it gives a back story to your character’s great aunt Meredith who isn’t mentioned in the rest of it, then don’t. (Okay I’m exaggerating here, but make sure that the prologue does link up to the story.)
  2. Decide what you want it for. Is it to set up your protagonist, antagonist, the world in which they live? Decide exactly what you want it for, and then make sure you relate it as much as possible to that, so that the reader can get the best experience and you can do exactly what you want to with your writing.
  3. Don’t make it extraordinarily long. It’s not the first chapter. It’s the prologue. It’s designed to give the reader some extra information which will hopefully come into use later, not start the fully-fledged story.

Personally, I enjoy prologues. Whether you do or not in general is up to you, but if you think it could benefit your story, don’t shy away from it!

We Could Be So Many People… [Cue Heather Small]

In writing, we can be anyone we want: a Starlord, a dog, a boy from Afghanistan, a girl from America, even an inanimate object. But something that all of these things have in common when you choose your narrator is the point of view it’s coming from.

You can go with first person, which would tell us exactly what’s happening as they go about their day to day business, but only theirs.

You can go with second person, which would let the reader imagine exactly what is happening, as it’s as if it’s instructing you. That sentence was written in second person.

You can go with third person, which could give more information about surrounded scenarios and other characters.

But which one would be best? Well, that depends on what affect you would like to have on the audience.

The differences between the ‘persons’ are the pronouns they use. Other things come into affect, of course (such as other information and how much you give away), but today I’m going to talk about the basics of the different ‘persons’ as well as their pros and cons.

First Person – uses ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘my’, ‘us’ and ‘we’.
Pros

  • Can offer insight into the main character (MC)’s thoughts and feelings.
  • Can help the reader to identify and relate to the MC.
  • Easier to portray the world around them (eg in The Hunger Games) and other character’s personalities – but, this is only from the MC’s point of view, so they could be biased.

Cons

  • If something happens elsewhere, when the MC is not present, then another character will have to narrate it to them, which can become tedious.
  • Along with the tediousness, ‘I’ can become repetitive.
  • If the character is not interesting and varied enough – or without character development – then the reader can get bored.

Second person – uses ‘you’, ‘your’ and ‘yours’.
Pros

  • Puts the reader completely in the story.
  • Can make them feel incredibly involved.
  • Can be good for those ‘choose your own destiny’ stories (they are totally not my guilty pleasure… especially the Doctor Who ones…)

Cons

  • Can constantly remind the reader they’re in a story, which is exactly what you don’t want.
  • Can be difficult to write.

Third person – uses ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘it’ and the plurals, as well as ‘they’.
Pros

  • Gives the writer (you!) the greatest flexibility; any character can be the ‘main’.
  • You can swap between characters more easily than first person.
  • Dramatic Irony. 

Cons

  • Multiple characters POV’s can get confusing, very quickly.
  • It can restrict ‘seeing’ inside the characters’ heads. You’ll have to work really hard so that the reader knows what they’re thinking (unless the affect is that they don’t).
  • Each character must have a different voice, and this can be difficult to do.

Of course, in third person you can stick to one character, like most of the Harry Potter series. Or you can switch persons (difficultly, but it can be done), such as Game of Thrones.

Ultimately, just do whatever you think is right for your novel. A post I read said that most beginning writers write from the third person, but my current novel is in 1st; additionally, another (or the same, I can’t remember) post said that lots of thriller books are in 3rd person, but mine’s in 1st. A great thing about being a writer is that you don’t have to break the rules; they bend to your will.

Have fun, and if it doesn’t work, remember that you can always rewrite it!

Questions, comments, thoughts? Shoot! 😀

PS – sorry this was a day late. I went to Scouts and then had an accident (I’m a Young Leader, I shouldn’t be doing anything anyway!) and had a bit of a headache last night, so I went for the easy thing of writing my novel instead. 🙂

Choo-Choo!

Are you on the right track, or is your train/story gonna beat you up?

Ouch.

Ouch.

Camp NaNoWriMo has begun, and that means that all over the world, writers are furiously typing away at their computers, probably with demonic expressions and clasping half-empty coffee mugs in their hands (or should that be red, pointy tails?).

When NaNo starts, some people know exactly what they’re doing. These are the organised ones. But, unfortunately, they are few and scattered. This post, my friend, is not for you (although this Camp I am one – I have to be, scripts are hella harder than I thought). But you can read it anyway ’cause it will, no doubt, still apply. This post is for the Pantsers out there (gimme a holla in the back; yes, you with the pretty pink laptop).

First: are you a Pantser? If you’re writing this with no flippin’ clue where you’re going, then yeah, you’re a Pantser. Easy answer, eh?

Pantsers are great, they’re so free and easy. But what happens if you’ve started your book/new Odyssey/script/non-fiction/are editing, and realise, perhaps, that this isn’t quite for you?

  • Give up. This is the easiest one of them all, but it’ll haunt you for the rest of your life; you’ll constantly have nightmares of Thomas the Tank Engine beating you at a fist-fight. Guaranteed.
  • Start anew. This is also easy, but takes time and effort, especially if you’ve already got pretty far. Also, your old characters may haunt you like Thomas. Thomas doesn’t like to be abandoned; especially by Percy.

Ok, I’m going to stop comparing your NaNo story to Thomas the Tank Engine, ’cause, quite frankly, it’s freaking me out. On with the list…

  • Imagine the worst situation you could possibly get your characters into. Then do it. No doubt this’ll stir up something fun that’ll give you juice for the next 10 pages or so.
  • Imagine the best situation you could possible get your characters into, then change it to the worst. 
  • Alright, keep it at the best. I understand everyone isn’t as horrible as me. And good things can give you material, too. Don’t be afraid to be nice to your characters (just only do it occasionally, otherwise there’s no fun in being a writer).
  • Ask someone else for their opinion. I get it, I get it, you don’t wanna share your idea with anyone. So find someone you trust and try it! Maybe a teacher. Parent? Friend? Even the dog can give a good answer if you give them biscuits (bark for yes, eat for no…).
  • Just keep writing and see where you end up. This will probably get you into a spot of writers block, but it is very fun. Don’t be afraid not to try it. You might find something interesting.

If all else fails, make a list of things to do in your novel, pick a few and try them out. You could end up with 5 different stories with the same starting bit, but eh, that’s NaNo, right?

Good luck my fellow Wrimos. You’ll do great! 

Questions, comments, thoughts? Shoot! 😀 

The Differences Between…

…A Short Story, a Novelette, a Novella and a Novel

Well, there are a lot of different things you can write – maybe I’ll do different poems or something soon – but I thought that, today, I’d start with the basics.

Short Stories

  • Shorter than a novel, a novella and a novelette (duh)
  • Usually narrative prose
  • Has a beginning, a middle and an end
  • Generally about 3500 – 7499 words, although there is no set length
  • Under 1000 – 2000 words, in my opinion, is called ‘short short stories’ or ‘flash fiction’ – but others say just below 1000 words
  • Tend to only have 1 climax, but maybe 1 subplot
  • Doesn’t have too many characters

Novelettes 

  • Shorter than a novel and longer than a short story
  • A long short story, basically
  • Generally about 7500 – 17499 is considered a novelette
  • Has 1 climax, and then subplots

Novella 

  • Shorter than a novel, but longer than a novelette
  • Generally about 17500 – 39999 words
  • The rules are pretty relaxed with characters and plots and whatever

Novel

  • Longest work of fiction
  • Mainly fictional prose
  • Generally more than 40000 words, but can go up to a billion words, I guess

I hope that that helps with definitions, and I’m sorry that this was so late! 🙂

Sources:
Wikipedia