Thursday, June 28, 2012

mini-vacation

not quite what is expected
 in Boston, but that's okay!
So I know I haven't been blogging frequently lately because of my exams and everything being crazy.  BUT I took my last (hopefully) test this week!  I am taking a (much-needed) mini-vacation to Boston until the middle of next week to visit some college friends, so starting when I come back I should be able to continue regular blog posts.  Yay!  Thanks to everyone for being patient, and see ya'll next week!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Invented words

I've done a few posts on my love of slang and invented words, so when I cam across this article on some everyday words that were invented by famous authors, I knew I had to share.  Check it out :)
 http://www.flavorwire.com/291507/everyday-words-that-were-invented-by-famous-authors

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

revisions and deadlines

Nice quote, right?
So after reading Amanda's post about her writing deadline, I've decided that's exactly what I need.  Even though I'm still in the middle of studying for an exam I take next Tuesday, I need to really buckle down and make a deadline.  So, you heard it here first.  My deadline to finish COTF revisions is July 26th.  That gives me about four weeks (I can't actually start in earnest until July 4th b/c of traveling and exams).  

I've been messing around with revisions, but haven't created a schedule.  I made a list of the things I have to change and have done 1 out of 15 of them; it's a start, but I need to MAKE time.  Make a study schedule and add revisions in there too.  Whatever it may be to get it done, because right now I'm letting myself get in the way.

Monday, June 18, 2012

more thoughts on Stephen King's On Writing

So I've been thinking about Stephen King's On Writing, more specifically his thoughts on how plots can be "labored and artificial".  I was thinking that's why agents like high concept books, because it focuses on characters, which is also what readers like the most and can relate to.  And while I think Stephen King is right about that, I still find myself liking plotted books.  I fall in love with characters, but if there isn't something pushing them forward, I kind of stall.  Maybe those specific books I read weren't character-driven enough, but either way I still find myself liking books with plots.  I do like what he stated about putting characters in a situation and seeing how they get themselves out of it, though he says that's not a "plot".

I have to remember that there are no hard-and-fast rules (except for maybe spelling and grammar, but even those can be stretched) and it's something that I forget a lot.  These are King's suggestions, which are really good suggestions, but they won't work for every story.  I think maybe for my next book I will throw characters into a predicament and see them work themselves out of it.  But for now, I need to focus on making my books the best they can be and not take his word as Rule.

Friday, June 15, 2012

overhaul

So I've been reading Stephen King's On Writing.  It's as awesome as everyone says it is, so if you haven't read it, totes go check it out.

That combined with some feedback from CPs have made me think that COTF might need some major overhauling.  I've been procrastinating because I know it's going to be a lot.  I have one character's personality I have to completely change, fix the ending, and sort through some scenes for modifications.

Stephen King talks about books that "put a group of characters in a predicament and then watch them work free".  He talks about how plots can feel "artificial and labored".  These two things really stuck with me, because I was kind of feeling the same thing.  COTF has a plot, as does Novel 2, one that is very specific.  I think both need some overhauling to change the feel of the story.  It's still going to have a plot, but hopefully it won't feel contrived or "labored".  I know I also have to change some scenes so that my MC is progressing, and doing things for herself instead of letting things happen to her.  Even though she's timid and shy, she needs to change over the course of the story and MAKE things happen.

I love COTF.  I think it has potential.  But that's just it; it's only potential and not there yet.  I know I'm going to have to work hard to make it what I want it to be.  But in the end it will be worth it, right?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Pixar offers some great thoughts on fiction writing

Got this from Marie Lamba's facebook page and thought it was a cool read.  A Pixar story artist shares some writing basics for making a good story!  Check it out here: http://www.pixartouchbook.com/blog/2011/5/15/pixar-story-rules-one-version.html

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

books I've read recently

So despite having to study for the biology Praxis exam and the general Praxis exam, I've still been able to read a few books lately.

The first was Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde.  NOT to be confused with 50 Shades of Gray.  nothankyou.  This is set in a world where status is based on the color a person can see.  Everyone can see black and white and grey-scale, and then (maybe) one other color: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, with violet being the highest status, the lowest being just grey-scale (with red coming up next).  So all the "violets" are the most upperclass.   It's a very cool and unique world, which I was specifically interested because of Novel 2's theme of synesthesia and colors playing a big role.  And I love Jasper Fforde as an author.  He's hilarious and witty and British, so there are some things that get confusing because of the Britishisms or just the different words they use.  If you've read his Thursday Next series or his Nurser Crime series, I would def recommend Shades of Grey.

I also read City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare.  Ohemgee I love this series and Clare always lives up to the hype for me.  It's the 5th of 6 books (last one hasn't come out yet) and I can't wait!  Jace is always lovely to read about (*swoon*) and I really do care about most of the secondary characters and their backstories.  But there are a lot of them, so sometimes they do kind of get mushed together.  This was a really good continuation of the 4th book (1st in the second trilogy), while also being able to kind of stand alone in the story line; I might have even liked it better then City of Fallen Angels.  There were even some references to her Steam-punk series set in the same Shadowhunter world, The Infernal Devices, and characters in that series.  So I'm interested to see if there will be any more overlap between the two as we get to the last two books in each series.

I've been on a John Green kick since I read TFiOS, so I read both Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines.  (Okay, I actually read them awhile ago).  LfA was better, though both were good because John Green is awesome at writing characters.  He gives his characters such unique and quirky character traits that you can't help but fall in love with all of them (in an entirely different way than you fall in love with Jace).  In LfA, the main character Miles loves reading biographies about authors, but not the actual work they are known for.  I just though it was a super cool detail and tidbit for a character to have and definitely makes him feel more real.  I still have to read Paper Towns and Will Grayson, Will Grayson, but I'm totes looking forward to it!