Wednesday, 12 August 2009

#4 Writing : Plotting

Some people don't plot. I don't, but I try to keep track of what's going to happen next.

My ideas always begin as summaries of a story, usually 500-1000 words, and then I keep notes below my writing that list key events coming up.

I don't know if anyone else does it like that, but if you like to plot out your novel, there's a lot of different methods instead of just a straightforward plot/outline, so find what works for you...


The Three Act Structure

Speed Outlining - Ten Point Outline

...yes, I am too tired to rant lately ;)

Monday, 3 August 2009

Thoughts on Books: Tithe ~ Holly Black

This book is cool. Very cool.

I went to bed reading it, and woke up and finished reading it.

There's a sense of magic and mystique in the beginning that's carried skillfully through the whole book with the description of the faeries and wonderful imagery.

Kaye was a great character and felt very real to me. Some of the story was a bit predictable but I can let that slide ;) Delightfully dark and magical.

You can see more about the book or buy it here.

I want to read Valiant now...but I do wish it had the same characters in it )=

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Thoughts On Books: Ink Exchange ~ Melissa Marr

Okay, so it wasn't really like anything I'd write at all.

I was a bit disappointed by it, to be honest.

The writing wasn't particularly good and felt a bit sloppy in places, and some of the characters were bipolar.

I read it to the end, though. On the positive side, I did like a few characters, especially Niall, and I'd blame him for the fact I kept reading - because he was so awesome.

It was also very readable. I got through it in less than 2 hours (and I haven't read anything in AGES), so it wasn't a bad story for a quickread ;) I think more definitely should have happened in it, but hey, it had a good moral message at the end. Unfortunately, I'm a bit too old for anything that dares to be even a little preachy.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Things I'm Looking Forward To

1. Buying this book

2. Getting my hands on something written by Melissa Marr. Her books sound scarily similiar to my ideas/fantasies. (I've wanted a tatoo like the one on the cover of Ink Exchange since I was about 7 years old...and I'm writing about Faeries at the moment...) Freaky. But probably means I'll like the books.

3. The new Final Fantasy games. Best thing in the world = Final Fantasy. I mean that, with all my heart. I am in awe. Wonderful awe. These games made me who I am.

4. Tomorrow. Because I'm going to see the new HP - Half-Blood Prince. <3

x x x

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

#3 Writing: Eyes are not Precious Jewels

Seriously, do you ever look at someone and think: her eyes look like amethysts?

It's not too bad if it's an inhuman character but if you add in the purple prose description...It's also another reason to hate elves. People love giving elves 'sapphire' and 'ruby' eyes.

I've been in love, but I've never looked into a boy's eyes and thought they were sparkly like jewels. Maybe murky, or in-between two colours, or I might notice that tiny bit of lighter colour around the edge that makes them look brighter, but this is far from the realm of jewels.

They may be the windows to the soul, and we naturally seem to have grown fond of talking about them...but please, spare me the precious eye-jewels, and the ones that go crimson with rage.

#2 Writing: Repetition

There's good and bad kinds of repetition.

Some writers, even published, end up leaning on crutch words. These are uncommon or jarring words that the author has a bit of a secret love affair with and soon stick out like sore thumbs in the prose - things like 'zesty' being one of the worse offenders. It's a good idea to check through your writing to make sure you're not leaning on something.

There's also repetition of pronouns or sentence beginnings, the classic example being when someone writes a paragraph like this:

I put my shoes on. I left the house. I walked down the street. I looked both ways as I crossed the road. I didn't see the car coming. I fail at life and varying the beginnings of my sentences.

All different words and phrases can cluster your prose with repetition. A good site to use when revising is simply to see if something is amiss. The results can be suprising. [I used 'dark' 22 times on the same page??!]

Good repetition in my eyes is where it's used sparsely for effect: In. Out. In. Out.
...okay I was thinking of breathing control, but that sounded dirty.

Another thing is circulation, which is repetition in a sense - where the beginning and end of a story connect. This can be very effective. Personally, circulation does not come naturally to me so I don't use it much. I definitely don't deny its power though.

Monday, 20 July 2009

#1 Writing Anti-Heroes

I'm pretty sure everyone can agree that almost every story needs a PROTAGONIST and an ANTAGONIST.

But when the Protagonist is an innocent goody-two shoes who shirks at the thought of killing anyone, and the Antagonist is some form of Pure Evil, things tend to fall a little flat.

Don't forget your shades of grey.

Every human beings has flaws and WILL make mistakes. They are also open to temptation by things that are wrong or evil. If you don't force your characters to ever face the darker side of themselves, they aren't real people.

There's a trend of anti-heroes showing up now, but alot of them are all the same. Badass, hot guys pretty much. Basically, they kill people or belong to some typically evil race (i.e Vampires), but it's cool because they've got a soft spot for the girl protagonist, or are 'misunderstood'.

How about a different sort of anti-hero? How about a babysitter that loses her cool and accidentally kills her friend's child? How about an orc that smashes people to pieces but would never abandon a fellow orc? Give me something new, something a more interesting shade of grey.