Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Getting Stuck and Having Doubts

Max told me to read a book instead.
I recently just started writing a new WiP. It's a YA fantasy, so it has a magic system in addition to all the usual world-building and character & plot development. It's been a while since I've drafted anything, but I'm excited to start again.

I got 2k in until I realized I had the wrong magic system. It was becoming a different story than what I wanted, though I LOVED the first pages. There was intrigue and tension with just enough background while moving the story forward. And because of that love of the first few pages, I've been stuck.

I just can't get that first scene out of my head, even though it's not the story I want to tell. I think. And that's where the doubt comes in. The questioning. Can I make it work? Can I tweak it so that it's what I want?

So I wrote a new opening scene. And after three or four tries, I came up with something I liked. But then the doubt set in again. This opening isn't as dark; do I want it to be darker? This character is slightly different; does she work with my planned ending?

So for the last few days I've been paralyzed to write anything further for fear it won't be right. But you know what? It's not going to be right on the first try. My drafts are very messy and that's fine. But I can't fix it until I've written it. And when I finish, if I realize it was wrong, then I can always write another draft.

I think with school starting in a few weeks, I'm nervous I won't have time to write, because last year I didn't. But this year will be my second year of teaching, and that means I need to do things for me and that's writing. So I just gotta force myself to write it, even if it's wrong, because then at least it can be fixed; you can't fix what's not on the page.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Books I've Read Recently: August Edition

As the summer winds to a close, I've been frantically finishing all the books I got from the library, because I know once the school year starts I'll read maybe one a month.

I started reading RED RISING by Pierce Brown because I saw on twitter that Victoria Schwab was enjoying it, and I figured if I like her books, I'd like what she's reading. And I was correct. RED RISING is the first of a trilogy, sort of The Hunger Games on Mars meets Roman mythology. It took me a few chapters to get into it, but then I couldn't put it down. His lyrical writing is awesome and he has great lingo to show the different setting (that's linguist in me again, getting excited). Definitely one to read!

For our high school book club, WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart was one of 5 books we decided to read over the summer. While I liked this story, the twisty ending didn't seem as twisty as everyone made it out to be. It could be that I've just happened to read many similar twists lately. But I couldn't put this book down either, so I'd still recommend it.

While I was on vacation, I finished STEELHEARTS by Brandon Sanderson. I really liked this world, having the superheroes as villains, but I wanted more wrap up in book 1. Since this will be a series (a trilogy? idk), I felt that he didn't wrap it up enough because he wanted to save things for the next book. Not sure if I'll read the next one, but I still really enjoyed the concept. If you like action/thrillers with a different take on superheroes, give this one a try.

I just started THRONE OF GLASS, so that's next on my list.

What have you been reading lately? Or what's in your TBR pile?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Fantasy Languages in Novels

I am a linguistic nerd at heart. And out in the open. Really everywhere. I minored in linguistics in college, tried my hand at learning two languages (because that's all I had time for in my schedule as a bio major), and studied abroad. For a while, I was a linguistic researcher at a university. I've always wanted to learn elvish. My dream job is to be one of those people who creates languages for TV shows. So any time I see a new language in novels I get really excited.

Most times languages in books are similar to other languages or have a very short vocabulary. I mean, authors don't have time to create a new language, unless you're Tolkien and then that's why you wrote your novel in the first place. But I still get excited.

Recently, I've come across a language that is so unique, I'm jealous I didn't think of it. Currently, I'm reading THE WISE MAN'S FEAR, the sequel to THE NAME OF THE WIND, and the second in The Kingkiller Chronicles. In it, one of the languages Ademic, uses a sort of sign language to show their emotions, instead of the expressions on their face. How do people even come up with stuff like that?? It's so unique and cool!

It's made me think about my fantasy (that I haven't quite started yet) because I too will be coming up with a new language (it's part of the magic system). How can I think outside of the box? Yet still show it on paper?

What are your thoughts? Do you like the fantasy languages in novels? Would you ever want to come up with your own? (Or if you have, how did you?)