Saturday 30 November 2013

The Belgrave Daughter Blog Tour

The Septemgeminus Prophecy states: "A powerful sorceress with blood laced in gold sevenfold shall determine the fate of the world."
Fawn Belgrave's magical powers are the coveted prize in a bet between God and the Devil.
When she meets Caleb, the dark angel assigned to seduce her, Fawn's life is turned upside down.

About the Book:
 Title: The Belgrave Daughter
Author: Zara Hoffman
Series: The Belgrave Legacy #1
Expected release date: November 25th, 2013
Category: Young Adult (YA)
Genre: Fantasy Romance

View or buy at:

About the author:
Zara Hoffman is a teen author. She spends most of her time doing homework and writing new stories. When she isn’t wrapped up in projects, Zara can be found relaxing with friends and family, listening to music, reading and writing, or playing with her dog, Riley.


So you decided to write a series! Most people–even in the writing world–will call you crazy for embarking on this long and arduous journey, but the satisfaction of writing your story over multiple books and getting to know your characters and plot super well will be worth it in the end. But before you jump head-first into writing the first book, you need to plan your series–even if only a preliminary sketch that will most likely change over the course of writing the series.
I've only read one book on fiction series, and that was Writing the Fiction Series by Karen S. Wiesner. I highly recommend it for everyone, even people who aren't writing a series because it speaks a lot about consistency, and everyone can use some more help with that. In addition to that, I really love The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing. It has great advice from many renowned writers. Both of these books I consider must-buys for all writers.
I'm a semi-plotter, semi-pantser. Or as Stephanie Morrill of Go Teen Writers says, I'm a "Plantser." Let me explain. I start writing the first scene that comes to mind and keep going until I get stuck. Then I go back and re-outline. I do this for non-series books, too. But with a series, after outlining the whole first book, I go ahead and roughly outline the next and maybe 3rd book. If there's more in the series, I may try and put something down for them too, but it depends. Then I go back and revise the first book to hint at what comes in the subsequent books (Karen Wiesner calls these "Series Plants" in Writing the Fiction Series, and honestly, they're genius devices).
My process involves lots of revision, no matter how good the first draft is, because if I do something in the first, it will always affect the later books, and I go back to the later outlines to reflect that.

If you're writing a series, you're in it for a long haul. Don't half-ass anything and cut corners. It will leave your story somewhat flat, and readers will lose faith in you incrementally as the series progresses unless you have it all together.

Enter the Giveaway, with a prize of five signed eBook copies of The Belgrave Daughter!

Find the tour schedule here.

Thursday 21 November 2013

Book Review: The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines #4) by Richelle Mead

Between her witch classes with Ms T and tip-toeing around Zoe, Sydney doesn't have much time for her relationship with Adrian, but they make do. However, when new discoveries are made about restoring Strigoi and what's really in Marcus' tattoos, the couple find themselves on dangerous paths...

Saturday 16 November 2013

Young Adult Blog Party: Do Authors Have a Responsibility to Their Readers?

It is a miracle; I am posting. Actually posting. Thanks to Matt over at The Little Engine That Couldn't and his wonderful Blog Party, I have an actual idea for a post. Hurrah!

The blog party is all about a genre known best as YA, or Young Adult. I've seen a lot of talk on YA review blogs lately about what is actually appropriate for books for teens, and it's made me wonder: do the writers have a responsibility for the appropriateness?

My first answer would be very loud and very in the negative if you asked me this question. In fact, I might even slap you upside the head for comedic effect. Unfortunately, my second reply would be a quiet and begrudging yes. But not in the way you might think.
 A lot of aforementioned bloggers have talked about the sexual and explicit content of books. In fact, I'm pretty sure the (what seems to me when I have done no research whatsoever) rise in the 'Christian' genre is linked to this. Adults want their kids to read something 'clean' that affirms their own views and makes them accessible to what one adult calls 'the people of the tunnel', who laugh cynically at anything they need to believe in that isn't a fanon OTP. And that's good for them. I'm not going to go into that because it's a whole different kettle of morals.
 What I am going to go into is this idea that our young, impressionable minds can be dirtied and manipulated more than those of adults. This is where my emphatic, instinctive 'no' came from. Our society acknowledges that the media can manipulate us... but they also think that our generation -- the turned on generation, the one that will go and look for its own answers if it doesn't like the ones it finds -- are more likely to be twisted, simply because of our age. I have a giant issue with this. I may be gullible, but the rest of my generation aren't as stupid. If we see sex in a book, we're not going to be ruined like a maiden in Victorian literature. If we read a swear word in a book, it's not going to make us go around repeating it (after all, by the time you've made your way into the 'Young Adult' section of WHSmiths, you've already learnt a lot of things your parents never wanted you to know). We don't, as much as adults might feel it is their duty to do so, need to be protected from these things in our literature.

We need to explore them.

 And this is why I think that authors -- and not just the authors, but their editors and publishers too -- have a responsibility to us, their young readers. These people have a responsibility to show us the entire world, preferably objectively, and let us make up our own ideas. Like I said before, we're the internet generation; if we don't like what we hear, we'll Google search until we see something we agree with more. But we need to know we don't like it before we go a-looking. And we can't do that if we have clean, or even worse, biased novels shoved down our throats. The longer I spend on this earth, arguing my views with opposing parties, the more I think that, however right my political and philosophical views seem to me, it is wrong to try and force people onto my side. As a writer, I don't want to be writing novels as propaganda for my own beliefs. Not any more. I want to write something that will make people think about -- explore -- something. If they happen to find that they believe what I believe, then hurray. But that shouldn't be the main aim.

 In short, authors do indeed have a responsibility to their readers: not to censor things they don't need to know, but to let them think about the very things that the rest of the media restricts and come to their own conclusions.
At least, I think so.

Charlotte out!

Thursday 17 October 2013

Liebster Blog Award

Yes, friends. I am now famous enough to get an award. You are shocked, are you not?
The lovely Eryn over at was wonderful (and wise -- I do have a pitchfork, after all)  enough to nominate me for the Liebster Blog Award! Hurray, and thanks very muchly, Eryn!


  • Link back to the person who nominated you
  • Answer the ten questions given to you by the nominator
  • Nominate ten other bloggers for the award who have less than two hundred followers
  • Create ten questions for your nominees to answer
  • Let the nominees know you have nominated them by going to their blog and telling them

The Questions (dun dun dunn! also, the colour might look crappy but I felt like mixing it up a bit so go with it, minions):

  1. Are you an early bird, or a night owl? Which would you prefer to be and why? I'm a night owl, as I think most people my age probably are. However, I think being an early bird would probably be a blessing since society seems to think that the day starts in the morning.
  2. What's your favourite kind of story? Adventure, romance, etc. I love all sorts of stories *shifty eyes* okay, so maybe I read a bit too much YA paranormal romance, but is that really such a bad thing? It's a good genre!
  3. If you could live anywhere, where would it be (could be an imaginary place)? Hmm. Well, I couldn't live anywhere too warm because we vampires literally melt, but I also couldn't live anywhere too cold because as a cold-blooded reptilian hybrid thing I can't regulate my own temperature, so I suppose my ideal place to live would be in Goldilocks and the Three Bears land, where everything is juuuust right... until you get mauled, obviously.
  4. What is the first sentence of your current work-in-progress? 'The day that I lost my family was the day I started losing my mind.' It seemed like a opening at the time, but not so much anymore. Pretend you never read it.
  5. What is your ideal writing setting? Like, time of day, location, beverages to sip during. I like to write in the evening, sat in my room with angsty music blaring and lots of chocolate. Beverages would just take away from the... productivity...
  6. If you could stay any age forever, what age would you choose? This is another hmmm one. Hmm. I suppose I'd stick at the age I am now (seventeen, for those of you 'rinos that don't stalk me) just so I didn't have to work. But that's just me being lazy and scared of the future.
  7. What are your favourite historical figures? I wasn't aware I had any favourite historical figures, but if I do, they'll probably have to be the people hanging around Russia during the Revolution -- especially those who were part of the Revolution. Honestly, I just find the Russian Revolution interesting.
  8. What is the thing you think about most when you are writing a story? The characters. Always. What they're doing, what they're thinking, how much pain I'm causing them (mwahaha) -- I'm always thinking about my characters and seeing everything from their perspectives.
  9. What is your favourite animated movie? I'd have to say Finding Nemo.
  10. Coffee or tea? Anything but. I can't stomach hot drinks. But if I absolutely had to had to had to choose, I would go for tea.
My Nominees:

  • Jonathan
  • Mark
  • Anne
  • Lily
  • Oliver (I don't know how many followers you have but I nominated you anyway)
  • Sam (who will have to send the link to his blog since he changed it)
  • Cait and Mime (again, I'm not sure how many followers you have, but I nominated you anyway)
  • Matt
  • Jumbled Writer
My Questions:

  1. How many trees live in your garden? If you don't have a garden. how many trees live in your heart?
  2. If you had to do one hobby for the rest of your life, what would you want it to be?
  3. Do you know what a hobby horse is (because I don't)?
  4. What do you enjoy most about being nominated for awards?
  5. This is an open question. Tell the world what you think it needs to know.
  6. How many books do you own?
  7. Which is your very favouritest book?
  8. How long do you spend on each blog post (on average)?
  9. Has an animal ever tried to murder you?
  10. What is the best thing you have ever done, ever?
Charlotte out!

Saturday 28 September 2013

Teens Can Indeed Write: Announcements

You all thought it was a lie, didn't you, 'rinos? You thought that it was absolutely impossible for teenagers to be able to write -- after all, we are inferior creatures from the land of Oz -- but in fact it is true! Hurray! And, in case you can't find it in your skeptical little hearts to believe me, I even have proof in the form of announcements from two teens from the crazy TCWT Facebook clan!

I'm a bit late getting to this announcement, friends, but Oliver Dahl's novel, The Dreamers, is free! But only until the end of the day, so hurry up and get it here:
Not convinced that you want to splash out? Here, have a blurb:
The Dreamers is the NUMBER ONE BESTSELLING FREE CHILDREN'S SCIFI book on Amazon, and the #1Bestselling science fiction book! (+Top 60 Free books on all of Amazon!) Get it for FREE on your kindle or kindle reading app here -
About: Sam is a Dreamer. This means that he can live inside of his dreams. In them, he must stop the evil Malfix from taking over not just the Dream Realm, but earth as well. Sam's adventures bring him through races, mazes, explosions, battles, and yes, the occasional cheesy knock-knock joke. Sound like your kind of book? Join thousands of people joining the ranks of the Dreamers at

If you can handle it, inferior creatures from the land of Oz (I really need to think of an acronym), I have even more news: Zara Hoffman has just revealed the cover for her soon-to-be published novel, The Belgrave Daughter. Having read bits and pieces of this one, I can personally suggest you go on and have a nosy over at and see what all the ensuing exclamation marks are about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Proud Teen Writer out!

Saturday 21 September 2013

NaNoNovel Read-Through, Re-Cap, and Worry-Over

I promised you this a long time ago, and so here it finally is! You can also have a virtual bag of virtual popcorn if you can find one.

You may remember that I spent most of July writing, writing, writing. To you weirdos, partially, but mainly I was writing a novel based on Shakespeare's Hamlet. It still doesn't have its own title, but I've read it all the way through, and I thought I'd tell you what I thought of it.
 Short answer is that it's absolutely rubbish. Thankfully, the fact that it's absolutely rubbish will make editing it a good lot easier, which is always good. But first, I need to do lots and lots of research. Which is where the 'worry-over' part of this post's title comes from.
 You see, I have a bad habit of shoving things into my writing (which is a problem of its own that I don't have the energy to go into or even think about with this novel). When I'm writing speculative fiction, I tend to cram as many supernatural creatures into a world as is humanly possible. And in contemp., it seems, I shove themes and problems into novels like I've got four folders and a laptop to fit into a handbag. This particular novel has everything from terminal illness to mental illness, from suicide to cowardice to cold-blooded murder.
They say 'write what you know' but I only have experience in one of those things  (and it's murder, of course). The rest of them are all things that you need a careful, well-informed hand to handle, and while I try to be careful, I'm not very well-informed.
 What should you do when you're uninformed? You should get yourself informed! But with topics like suicide... it's a bit more difficult. Especially when you're socially awkward (but that's another issue I don't have the energy to go into). It's difficult to find people who can inform you, it's hard to talk to them sensitively -- possibly as difficult as writing about it is -- and if something they said would make a huge difference to the novel, what would I do? Would I ignore them so that I could keep it on track and not have to re-write the whole thing, or would I leave it and offend them and possibly others?
 A friend of mine (hi, by the way, if you're reading -- harass me at some point; we haven't talked in yonks) pointed out that you can't keep everyone happy. But as true as that is, I'd like to avoid it as much as possible. I want what I write to be as true to life and human nature as possible. I want what I write to help people, if it can. I want people to like reading my writing, not hate it. Which is why reading through this novel was so difficult to do -- I could see the image it painted of the mentally ill and of people in general and it was so negative, so awful... but I've not got a clue how to fix it.

Also, I haven't got a satisfactory ending yet. But at the moment, that's almost the least of my problems.

Writer-who-actually-seems-kind-of-depressed-but-promises-she-isn't out!

Tuesday 27 August 2013

Happy Birthday to Me, Happy Birthday to Me...

Hurray! Guess what, everyone -- I'm two today!

The blog itself just said that, by the way. At the grand old age of twenty-four months it has been given the ability to speak by the gods of technology. It asked me (at knife-point) to tell you this because it thought you wouldn't believe it if it told you itself. But it is completely true, 'rinos. I can assure you of that.

Yes, it was on this very day in 2011 that Charlotte posted her first post, which you wonderful people have somehow kept as the most viewed post throughout that whole time, even though I have become a treasure trove of much better and less embarrassing posts since then. I'm sure Charlotte will join me in thanking you for doing that. We are both so terribly grateful and bemused.
 Two years,one hundred and fifteen posts, three followers,one thousand six hundred and seventy views, forty menacing stalkers and three convictions later, the world is a much better place for having me in it, as I'm sure you'll agree.

I've seen a lot of blogs have parties for their birthdays, and while I would love to have a game of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, I'm a blog with no arms. It's lying -- it's pointing a knife in my face right now so how could it not have arms? Someone please come and help me. Ignore Charlotte, she's just messing, and taking me away from my point: I'm a blog, so I can't have a human birthday party (and don't really want one, either). However, I would like to have a Blog Get-Together. If any of you three followers, forty stalkers or people of the void have blogs, and if those blogs have been granted voices by the gods of technology, I would love to get to know them! Link to them in the comments and let them post what they will for the day, and I will get my minion/blogger to comment on their post for me. I would love to have some Blog Friends instead of rubbish human ones who think the anthropomorphosis of something immaterial is impossible.

 If you would like to send me a birthday message just add a comment, and if you would like to send me a birthday present (which you undoubtedly do), post it to Charlotte and I will steal it off her when she's asleep. Or perhaps I'll just kill her and take over her life as if nothing has happened -- I have been privy to her thought patterns for long enough now that nobody would ever notice, I think. I'll just see how it goes.

Blog out!

Wednesday 21 August 2013

I Have Completely Given Up On...

...waiting a while to get perspective on my WiP. If I don't edit it soon I might blow up, so I'm going to read through it, and when I have I will actually get around to that post I've been promising for over a week now about how it all went.

Spontaneously combusting person out!

Monday 19 August 2013

A to Z Survey

I'm back from the end of the land and my holiday! Hurray! I think I promised a round-up thing of how my WiP first draft went, but I'm procrastinating over that. Instead, you get this survey originally from The Perpetual Page-Turner! Yay!

Author you've read the most books from: Probably Rachel Caine -- I love all ten Weather Wardens books, and I've read a lot of the Morganville Vampires books, though I've sort of gone off them.
Best sequel ever: Tough one -- I love all sequels, usually, simply for the fact that there is one. But I think the best has to be The Evolution of Mara Dyer.
Currently reading: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.
Drink of choice while reading: Robinsons Orange and Barley squash. I basically only drink squash and Coke.
E-reader or physical book? E-reader. I love books a lot, but I also love my Kindle and not having to cart around very heavy books -- especially when on holiday like I just was.
Fictional character you probably would have dated in high school: well, I'm still in school, so... I think probably Adrian from Vampire Academy and Bloodlines.  I just always want to give him a hug. And he is so romantic in The Indigo Spell that he just can't be beat. Since this is hypothetical and he is fictional, he'd also probably have to not be a drunkard who was five years older than me.
Glad you gave this book a chance:  The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. I wasn't so sure about it at first, if you can actually believe it.
Hidden gem book: Samantha Young's Slumber (Chronicles of the Fade #1).
Important moment in your reading life: when I read The Book Thief. First book I ever cried at and one of the greatest books in the history of forever.
Just finished: The Magnus Bane Chronicles #1: What Really Happened in Peru. Don't read it. You will want to punch Magnus Bane and Cassandra Clare in their pretty little faces. It is way too cruel for words.
Kind of books you won't read: Contemporary. I know I've read some -- I think I've even reviewed some of them on here -- but no more. Reading them makes me feel dirty (says the girl who is writing a novel that walks the line between speculative and contemp. Don't talk to me.). I hate the 'broken person healed by love' trope.
Longest book you've read: If I'd got through Les Mis, I could say that, but unfortunately I didn't, so I don't really know.
Major book hangover because of: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelled Hodkin. Anything I read afterwards paled in comparison.
Number of bookcases you own: two. I have one in my room and my old one is on the landing and serves as a kind of communal thing for the books me and my brother have grown out of but can't find the will to get rid of.
One book you have read multiple times: I read lots of books more than once! The one I've read most times, though, is probably Vampire Academy #1. I think it's got up to 4 re-reads now.
Preferred place to read: in my house somewhere. The living room couch, probably.
Reading regret: that I used to be a Twilight super-fan in my youth. Sure, it introduced me to the genre that I love, but did I have to be so obsessed with it? Could I not have realised how bad it was sooner?
Series you started and need to finish (all the books are out): ha! I don't have the luck of discovering serieses after they've finished. My life is a list of Amazon Pre-Orders and cliffhanger tears.
Three of your all-time favourite books: that is just mean. Three?! Probably The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. No, wait, what about Weather Wardens? And the Kate Daniels novels? And the Alex Craft novels? This is too difficult.
Unapologetic fangirl for: Vampire Academy and Bloodlines, of course.
Very excited for this release more than others: The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines). And Grave Visions (Alex Craft #4) by Kalayna Price. You can't expect me to choose just one.
Worst bookish habit: breaking the spines on my books.
X marks the spot -- starts at the top of your bookshelf and pick the 27th book: it depends how you're doing it, because my bookshelf is double stacked and stuff, but what I got was... Lord of Misrule (about #100 in the Morganville Vampires Series).
Your latest book purchase: I just pre-ordered Grave Visions (Alex Craft #4) by Kalayna Price.
ZZZ-snatcher book -- last book that kept you up way too late: I haven't stayed up too late to read since I started getting migraines when I was ten, so it's a hard one to remember -- but I think the last one I remember was a book by Dianna Wynne Jones that I can't remember the name of but had something to do with red and white Welsh dragons and magic.

Well, that took up even more time than I imagined it would (I've been kind of stuck for purpose since I decided to take a writing break [which, if you don't count my holiday, has been today and yesterday and that is it] because all I want to write is my WiP and I'm supposed to be letting it rest [which I'm probably going to give up on soon and just go straight into my first read-through], so this is better than it sounds). Hurray!

Charlie out!

Thursday 8 August 2013

Book Review: Angel Fever by LA Weatherly

Willow, Alex and Seb have escaped from Mexico City and the angels, and now they've set up shop in Nevada, training new AKs and planning for the end of angels. But then a spanner's thrown in the works and Alex finds himself on a mission that he can't tell Willow about. Will he survive it -- will Willow?

Thursday 1 August 2013

CampNaNoWriMo: Day X

It's the END. Camp has finished (and I won!Yay!). But my novel hasn't.
Hopefully it will at some point, though, because I'm very proud of it and can't wait until it's finished and had a bit of time to sit so that I can go back to it, read it, and realise that I've made a bigger mistake than Frankenstein did when he made his monster. And then I can follow in Frankenstein's footsteps even more by attempting to make it better and just killing everyone I love.

Maybe not the last bit. But the rest of it is exactly what will happen. Don't worry, 'rinos -- I will continue to bother you incessantly with my blathering about it.

WriMo out!

Monday 29 July 2013

CampNaNoWriMo: Day 29

Yes, it's Day 29. I've got two more days, and then I should, hopefully, have my 50K written and ready.
The novel, however? Not so much. I'm still not sure how to kill off Hamlet or his uncle or Laertes or the new person that I somehow accidently added to the hitlist. His mother is dead, though, which I suppose is a start.
 I'm getting supremely weary of this novel, but still it's all fascinating me. I originally aimed for a writing style reminiscent of The Silver Linings Playbook and The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer -- mystical but simple and understated. I don't think that writing style will be particularly obvious in this first draft, but it's a feeling I have constantly while I'm writing it (even if it is hidden under a pile of fatigue and moaning). Hamlet, to me, is Shakespeare's greatest play because Hamlet is his greatest character. There are so many layers to him because he's an onion, and he continually surprises others -- and himself. He's like a dark and depressed teen at times and at others he's the class joker, except most of his jokes are so intelligent that his classmates don't know he's laughing at him (note to self: add in intelligent humour because there currently isn't much).
 I'm not going to say I've been recreating that -- I don't think it's possible -- but I've been trying, and it's been wonderful to attempt to make a character so wonderful and alive.
 In short, unless the next two days fall to pieces in a hail of bullets or something, this is the best NaNo I've ever done.
 Let's ignore the fact that it's only the third, people. Just enjoy the moment.

[Edit: I forgot to mention that the Stats page on the Camp website lied to me. It turns out that it's been giving me false hope all along, because its 'Words per Day to Finish on Time' thing counts the day that you're on, even if you've updated your word count for that day. Thankfully, I noticed this before Something Bad Happened and I found myself supremely unable to hit that 50K. Yesterday I got to the point where my daily word count matched up with what I started with having to do (when I worked it out myself because of the website lying). So, yay!]

WriMo out!

Thursday 25 July 2013

CampNaNoWriMo: Day 25

These days have started going faster. It feels like yesterday that I posted for day 22.
 So, day 25... the day that you can start winning. I think I won on maybe the 27th or somesuch in November, but not this time. I've got a good 12,000 words to go and no understanding of how I am actually going to get to the place that I will have to get at some point: the end. Just a couple of days ago, I felt like I was going to run out of story before I got to the big 50K; today, I feel as if I'll get to 100K before my characters actually do each other in like Shakespeare intended.
 Speaking of what Shakespeare intended, this isn't so much a re-telling of Hamlet now as a thing that was origjnally a re-telling of Hamlet. I'm pretty sure that his uncle insn't going to be the one to kill him. And his mum has to die at some point, too. And I don't know what to do about Laertes, because he has to die too and he also has to be Hamlet's uncle's right-hand-man and all sorts of things that should happen in the end don't seem like they'll stick with the characters. Oh, and Hamlet's got another best friend and another murder to do.
 This is probably why I don't feel like it's ever going to end -- because I don't have a clue how it's going to end, not really, even though I think I just said above that I do. I don't know. This is why I don't write thrillers or detective novels or anything like that. I just don't have the brain power to mastermind a murder (let alone like five or however many). Although it is nice to be able to write on a Sticky Note on your computer (for the whole world to see), 'The train isn't a safe place to plan to murder someone'. That was a fun moment of my life.
 In other news, I read a blog post about word wars/sprints, and how you could just do the magainst yourself. I tried one yesterday, just made myself write as much as possible as fast as possible for fifteen minutes, and it really speeded up my time for getting my 1700 words or so done. I've mentioned before how I hate having to rush things and not having the chance to stare out of the window and contemplate life and everything and soak in feels, but I did actually quite enjoy writing that fast. It makes me feel productive.
 And I need to be productive right now.

WriMo out!

Monday 22 July 2013

CampNaNoWriMo: Day 22

I thought I had another day before I had to write this post. Huh.

You may remember that I put my word count down to 45K because I'm a wimp. Well, I put it back up again, because the stats told me that I didn't actually have to write as much to catch up as I thought I did. Of course, that was before I gave up at 750 words yesterday because I felt so shattered, but, you know. I still don't have to write a load more a day than I originally did. And I've finally got to a place where I can actually get back to the plot, which is always good.

But nine more days, people! Sigh. I don't know if I have nine days more energy left in me. Which is a shame, since I really want to actually be able to finish this first draft. I stopped everything else I was doing because I really wanted to write this. Sigh.

Keep your fingers crossed for me.

WriMo out!

Friday 19 July 2013

CampNaNoWriMo: Day 19

So, it turns out I was using hyperbole on day 13. Just about hitting your word count? It's cool. It's a nightmare and hard and a total love/hate thing, but it's fine. It's not the end of the world.
 What is the end of the world is feeling like you have to drop your word count goal.


I know, it's lame. It's like losing, except worse because you know you're going to win without putting half as much effort in at all. Basically, it's like cheating. However, it was out of my control. I missed two days (and possibly today; I've got a headache already and I've only been checking Tumblr) because of a really bad migraine. I can see what you're thinking: two days, pah! That's not that much to make up -- but the thing is, when you're wimping out of your word count as it is, it's difficult to see how you would make two/three days of words up. I'm going to try, of course I am. But I'm not going to put too much pressure on myself -- I've already learnt that that's a pointless thing to try and do. Besides which, of course, my novel will never end regardless of it's word count.

In other news, Dropbox is SO slow on my phone it is ridiculous and was a waste of time downloading the app.

WriMo out!

Tuesday 16 July 2013

CampNaNoWriMo: Day 16

Well, it's all been going on in the past three days, I have to say.
I have given up on Q10. I don't know if I mentioned it in that previous post, but the thing didn't have scroll bar and the longer my novel got, the longer it took to get to the bottom of the page so I could actually start the thing. Grr.
I did the unthinkable, guys. I copied it all into MS Word.
I know, it hurts me, too.

I also, after a bit of nagging from my mum, 'But what if the thing with the battery breaks the laptop?' etc., I have downloaded Dropbox. I thought it'd be a bit like Google Docs, but actually it's just a folder on your computer that you can get at from the net. It would be cool if it didn't want to sell more space to me.

And Day 13, I think, was The Day That It All Went Wrong. I mentioned how the novel had now stepped into the unknown with no hope of survival, and it's possible that that will still be the case. I barely wrote anything on Day 13, just about caught up on Day 14, and then yesterday I just lost all my motivation. That lack of motivation is still quite obviously there, unfortunately, which is why I am writing this now. Hopefully it'll jump-start my brain, but I don't know.

On another note, my Inner Editor is very unhappy with my lack of research and the marked change in the whole tone since I stepped into the unknown. This part could very well be a sequel to the first part, if the first part was long enough to count as a novel on its own.

I don't think that was 'another note', really, but there you go.
 On another another note, in case you were wondering about the whole 'I have no clue how he'll get out of this' line from my last post, I still don't. I'm leaving it until a certain point that I've fixed in the future of the novel to worry about how that will work. I might have to kick Shakespeare when he's down and change one of the best parts of Hamlet to suit my personal preferences.

 Well, we'll see how far it's been driven into the ground on Day 19, I suppose.

WriMo out!

Saturday 13 July 2013

CampNaNoWriMo: Day 13

Is it nearly two weeks, 'rinos? It feels like less... no wait, that's a lie. It feels like months.
You may remember day 10's entry. Ironically, I got my writer's block fixed after writing that post, and finished up my word count plus more, I think. So, you know, hurray for me then.
 Today, however, I am back to the self-same slump. My characters have pulled themselves back into line, and the plot with them, but I have got to the bit that I hadn't prepared for, and it doesn't bode well at all. Not at all at all at all. I won't get into the specifics, but let's just say that this novel either has to find itself a deus ex machina or stop being an almost exact replica of Shakespeare's Hamlet, because I don't have the foggiest how I'm going to write myself out of the corner I flung myself in. Sigh.

WriMo out!

Wednesday 10 July 2013

CampNaNoWriMo: Day 10

I totally forgot about this post, so I'll keep it quick.
It turns out that today is the day that I start crying (inside). I'm running out of writerly energy, or something. Maybe it's because my brain decided to go against Shakespeare and re-write the plot, making it all harder. Maybe it's because my characters (after quick consultation with my brain) decided to have a bit of a fight, even though one of them is the only person that the other character will trust. Maybe it's because the character with trust issues ran off to his girlfriend who he was supposed to be driving away and have no real connection with. Maybe it's because, just after I'd resigned myself to that, his girlfriend decided she had standards and was strong enough to say no to someone who didn't understand the word. Maybe it's simply because I'm sick of feeling like I have to do something every single day, even though it's the summer holidays. Maybe I'm just being mopey. Who knows, but I'm falling behind my word count for the second day sice you last heard from me. Day 8 was the first time; this was when the plot first started to go kaput. I caught up and wrote past my word count yesterday (there were feels) but now I've started writing late in the day because I've been out with friends all day, and I've been trying to get away from it because I just can't get anything to happen the way I want it to.

Sigh. Not as short as I thought. I've got another 800 or so words to write. Darn.

WriMo out!

Sunday 7 July 2013

CampNaNoWriMo: Day 7

You may remember me saying I would be crying by today. Well, I was right, but it's more because of the intense heat, high pollen levels, and large amount of open windows than any issues with Camp.
 However, that brings me to one of the points that I don't like as much about writing a novel in a month -- the lack of feels other than 'I have to get this done'. I mean, giving myself a deadline is extremely necessary (I take years to finish novels when I don't have one), but I like meandering my way through a story line. I like taking a minute or a day or a week, whatever I feel like, to soak up the feels of a scene. I like to take time to plan my chacters' next move (by which I mean to let them plan it themselves).
 But that's irrelevant, because working like that won't get anything wrote, and I can always catch up on feels while I'm reading it for editing purposes. It can just feel a little bit empty sometimes.

 Other than my winging, though, it's going okay. I didn't hit my daily word count yesterday because it was absolutely boiling and I had to play at a concert (an annual one which was the first one in three years to A: be warm and B: be inside with hot stage-lights trained on the players), but I have been writing five per cent or so over most days anyway so I didn't go under the word count I was supposed to be at.


I can't think of anything else, I'm too busy watching the Tennis to think properly. I promise a better round up on the tenth.

WriMo out!

Thursday 4 July 2013

Umm, guys... guys... GUYS!


I know, right? This is gonna be a tough one.
Thankfully, Noah is hot, considerate, dreamy, sexy, funny, and British, while Daemon is just a sorta-people-shaped light alien.

You know who else were glowy and sorta-people-shaped once?

Yeah, the Cybermen, right before they ripped their way into our world.

Now, I'm not saying Daemon's a Cyberman... but he's certainly not as feels-full as Noah. Daemon and Kitten's relationship is hot enough for sparks and broken laptops, I suppose, but Noah? Mr Shaw can make fires even on his own -- and I'm not just talking about his love of cigarettes, ladies. He is hot.

So what are you going to do, ladies and gentlemen, lovers of Noah all? Well, you're going to vote for Noah Shaw, of course!

Charlie out (to go vote)!

CampNaNoWriMo: Day 4

It's only four days since I started out on my quest, friends. Can you believe it? No, I can't either.

I apoologise for the following post. All the stuff I have to get done has made me brain-dead.

You may be aware of my propensity for procrastinating. You may also be aware of all the stuff out there on the Internet to stop people like me from doing what it is in our nature to do.
I downloaded one of these things. It's called Q10. It makes your entire screen go black, and anything you type comes up in tiny orange type.

Shall we do pros and cons? Yes, let's do pros and cons.

The pros:
  • You can't go on anything else (ie the net) without saving and exiting. It might not seem like that big a deal, but dudes: I'm lazy as owt. It really works.
  • You can set a word count goal! Hurray!
The cons:
  • You can't really see what you're writing
  • There's no spell-check
  • It saves as a .txt file, which will mean a lot of fiddling about later on
  • It has that thing where it skips a line when you press enter, like this:
  • See?
  • You can't format (centre, left, italics, etc)
Overall, though, I really like it. I mean, really I just like it because it makes it hard to procrastinate. And that is always good, because I've hit my wordcount goal (and surpassed it) every day! Wahoo!
I also feel like writing my lovely Hamlet re-telling is helping me to crawl out of the writer's block cave! Huzzah! I'm still having to toil, but today I kind of enjoyed the work -- I went 8% over my goal because of the feels! YAY!

Just wait til Day 7. I will be crying into the Internet's shoulder.

Wrimo out!

Monday 1 July 2013

CampNaNo Starts, With a Promise that My Novel Won't Sell

My novel, as some of you may know, is a re-telling of Hamlet.
Well, darn.

However, it won't keep me down. This re-telling is going to be so awesomesauce that those ones that were planned will be thrown out in favour of mine.


Wrimo out!

YA Crush Tourney Round Two

Yes, it is that time again; time to vote for Noah Shaw in the YA Sisterhood's Crush Tourney! For anyone who has forgotten why Noah Shaw from the Mara Dyer books is worthy of your votes, here's a quick recap:
  • He's an animal lover
  • He's from England (the place to be, I'll have you know)
  • He has a 'panty-dropping smile'
  • He's a book-worm
  • He is almost constantly dishevelled
  • He's brilliant at innuendos

By Anabelle at Mara Dyer Phillipines

You really need to know more? Head on over to The Page Sage's blog to find out more.

Charlie out!

Saturday 22 June 2013

I'm sure you're wondering why I'm not around...

Well, it's because I have a new, super-secret blog which I am posting on every other day. Sorry, 'rinos.
You will, however, be getting my lovely company for the entirety of July, so there.

Charlie out!

Friday 14 June 2013

Noah Shaw is in the YA Crush Tourney!

At this very moment, Noah Shaw, everyone's favourite fitty from The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin, is going up against Augustus Waters in the YA Crush Tourney. He could be losing at this very moment (I don't know, however, because this post is pre-written). We can't let that happen. It is time, 'rinos, for me to call in your loyalty. It is time for us to cast our votes at the YA Sisterhood blog.

Who can honestly resist a guy who swims with his clothes on?

No? Not impressed? Fine. I shall resort to bribery. Noah's advocate, Sara the Page Sage, is holding a giveaway at 5pm EST, aka 10 o'clock in England. All you have to do is vote for Noah (duh) and answer a trivia question correctly using the hashtag #VoteNoahShaw, for your chance to win a Noah Shaw bookmark.

Vote, minions, vote! Charlie out!

Thursday 13 June 2013

June TCWT Blog Chain!

 Yes, it's here again! And this is what we are posting about this week:

“How have both the people in your life and your own personal experiences impacted your writing? Do you ever base characters off of people you know?”

I am going to answer the second question first, because I have the shortest answer for it: no. I don't really base characters on people I know because I am absolutely rubbish at knowing people (for those of you who have read or seen An Inspector Calls, the answer to your question is no, you creep). I can never ever guess people's motives for anything, so basing a character off a real-life person's personality would be like writing a big question mark on their face. And it turns out that you can't do that. I do, however, give the occassional character the name of a person I know, though I always find that slightly cringe-worthy because it is like trying to force that question mark on there.
 I prefer to emulate characters that I read about or see on TV. For example, I once wrote in a character profile, 'like Michael off Eastenders', because at the time Michael made about as much sense as actual real-life people, but in a fictional way. Of course, Michael later became a dumbed-down version of his former self, but my character just got even more complicated.

Question numero uno. Okay. This is a big one. My personal experiences are basically my writing, they have such a large impact. Sure, I've never been chased down by the fairy Mafia or travelled through time, but the motivations behind all those things stem from the experiences I've had, which can be anything from watching Doctor Who for the first time to finding out that the world isn't as equal as it likes to pretend it is (yes, that is what brought on the fairy Mafia). Just having a short conversation with the right person can spark a whole new world into being.
 Which brings us nicely onto people and how they impact on my writing. People are the only reason why I can write (if you don't include sweets and fame). You see, I had this thing, called a teacher, and this teacher thing taught me how to write letters and spell and stuff...
I'm joking. I taught myself how to do all that. But honestly, school was helpful in getting me to write. In Year Five, we had an hour of story writing a week. An hour. At school. Seperate of Literacy (English) lessons. It was like a child writer's Nirvana or something, and it was helpful -- I found out how not to write boy characters (apparently boys aren't all whiny and cry-y [I'm still working on not writing my boy MCs like that {while my feminist side shouts, 'no! they are as wimpy as anyone}]) and that I use exclamation marks too much -- can you believe that?!!!!!!!!!!!
 My parents have also had a giant impact on what I write because they've always encouraged me to write, even though they hardly ever see any of the fruits of their labour. They've bought me enough gel pens (and, more recently, super-fine-line felt tips) to open up my own WHSmiths -- and don't even get me started on the Jacqueline Wilson notebooks that I absolutely coveted as a pre-teen.
 Almost more important than that, though, is the awesomeness that my mum found via the Internet. In fact, the two-times awesomeness she found on the Internet: an advert for a local young writers' group and NaNoWriMo YWP. The young writers' group has taught me how to write poetry and how to perform pieces in front of people with a voice that sounds like your character's one, and also that people can be mucho awesome and a source of inspiration for life, writing, the universe and everything. NaNoWriMo YWP taught me that I could write something nearing novel-size, and write the first draft in less than three years. But best of all, the NaNo forum turned up a wealth of bloggers, whose blog posts in turn introduced me to TCWT, and a community that is unbearably cool, my favourite type of weird, and inordinately wise and helpful. Without the Internet community, I wouldn't even know how to edit, that I had to, or even what a query letter is.
Hurray for the Internet community! Speaking of which, there's a few of them here (it's like this was planned or something):
26th – (We’ll be announcing the topic for next month’s chain.)

Charlie out!

Tuesday 11 June 2013

Writing: Dramatic Irony

According to Wikipedia and the Oxford English Dictionary, dramatic irony is:
'the incongruity created when the (tragic) significance of a character's speech or actions is revealed to the audience but unknown to the character concerned; the literary device so used, orig. in Greek tragedy'
Yes, I have been 'researching', 'rinos.
But what's alla that jargon got to do with anything? After all, we're not writing no Greek tragedy, no we ain't.

Saturday 8 June 2013

My Writing Plan for the summer (and part of the autumn, technically)

By Monday 10th June (this is a draft post, so I don't know when you will be reading this, which is why you get the full date) I will have finished school for the summer, thanks to my GCSEs finishing. Therefore, I have a lot of time on my hands. Therefore, I am planning on getting a lot of stuff done. Here it is.

For the rest of June I will be mainly working on writing blog posts for you, my lovely 'rinos, and editing/revising/rewriting/whatever you want to call it-ing Lantern's Fall. I might also be doing bits and bobs on Nemophilia and the story idea I got when I wrote this for a Write Practice practice, and don't let me forget about entering this competition. I will also be preparing for July.

Because (drumroll please)... in July I will be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo for the first time! Hurray! My goal is set at 50k, though I'm hoping to maybe do more than that (scoff), seeing as I have so much time on my hands. Like in November, you lucky dudes will be getting a look into my writing habits via some round-up posts, although I have not decided yet how often these posts will be. They will be added to the 'NaNoWriMo Journal' page again, so you can see how much awesomer I have become since 9 months ago.
For Camp I will be writing a re-telling of Hamlet. You can find more information on the shiny new 'WiPs' page.

August all depends on how far I get with Lantern and her difficult-to-work story. If I have got it all sorted, then August is pretty goal-less, unfortunately. I will be writing whatever takes my fancy and also going to the summer school weekend run by the Ilkley Literature Festival. Find out more about that here. If Lantern, Annie, Malan, Cathenna and assorted others have refused to cooperate, though, I will be working around the clock, as...

September is NaNoCritMo! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I will be sending my baby off into the world for the first time and looking after someone else's to boot! I am slightly scared and apprehensive about this, but, as I'm sure you know, the teen writing community are a brilliant lot, so I'm sure it'll be brilliant. *gulp*

And that is my summer. Please feel free to berate me if I don't do any of the things I have written down here.

Writer type out!

Just a bit of housekeeping, which I apologise for in advance...

...You may have noticed a post entitled 'hey' was posted sometime yesterday. It had a link to some website advertising something or other.

I did not post it.

In fact, I do not know where the fuck it came from.

I'm angry. Can you tell that I'm angry?

If there is one thing I hate about the internet, it is spam. I get an email trying to sell me something or make me click on some link? I delete it. I get a DM on Twitter with a link to something or other, I ignore it. The internet is a horrible place for getting people to buy things they don't really want, or scamming unaware people into ending up with a virus on their computer or money taken out of their pocket, and that pisses me off.

I started this blog because I love reading and I love writing. I love the online writer community. I love wasting my time on Twitter and Facebook and talking to you, my mainly imaginary readership.

I turned my laptop on today and saw that this blog had got a thousand views. I was ecstatic. But, looking on the stats I saw that a couple of people had looked at a post that I hadn't written, which linked to a website that wanted to make me slim, and I was royally pissed off and betrayed, and it made that awesome thousand views bitter. More importantly, it's made me feel unsafe on the internet, something I've never really felt before.

So, if the person who wrote that post is reading this right now, then fuck you. Money isn't the only thing in the world, but if it is more important to you than the written word and a sixteen year old girl's online safety, then wahoo for you. I am changing my Google password and I hope to never be an accidental party to such Capitalist bullshit again.

For anyone reading this post/who read that post which I didn't put up, I apologise for the swearing and negativity, and I'm sorry that there was such an unashamed attempt to scam posted on my blog.

Friday 7 June 2013

Film Review: The Great Gatsby

So I went to see this film at the weekend. About three days after I'd read the book. Yup. I was both almost optimistic and expectant of an absolute horror of a film.
 It was actually quite good.

Thursday 6 June 2013

New Things On This Blog Because I've Finally Got A Touch Of Time On My Hands!

It is exactly what it says it is. This is a round-up of new things and things that I will hopefully be adding straight after writing this!

First of all, you may have noticed that the 'My Writing' page has been lost to the time vortex. Well, that's because I have replaced it with WiPs! The work in progress page contains a short explanation of all the novels I am currently writing and what point I have got to with them, and it also contains a list of posts that I hope to put up in the future (mainly so I have no excuse to forget/not bother to do them). Hurray!

Secondly, I am going to add tags to all of my posts so that they are easy to find. Hurray!

Ahem. That's kind of it. Sorry. You might get an 'About Me' page as well, if you're lucky. But other than that, that's your lot of shiny new stuff. You're welcome.

Charlotte out!

Review: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Yes, I'm back again with a lovely book that I don't really have the credentials to review. Enjoy!

Saturday 25 May 2013

Writing: An exercise from The Write Practice

Today's Practice from the lovely The Write Practice is to a pick a random quote and to write about it on your blog, so here we are.
 I might have slightly cheated with 'random' -- there is some absolute rubbish in the Net, let me tell you -- but here you go, the quote I (eventually) found:
"Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway."
 Writer's Challenge

And this is what I am going to write about it on my blog (simples, yes?):

 Nobody gets out alive.
That's what they told me from the beginning. Don't take it seriously. Live like you're dying, because you are.
So I did. I lived a short life full of pain, suffering, beauty, hatred, desire... anything I could conceivably feel, I searched out. I talked a man off a ledge, I kissed a hundred people, I started a dozen fights. I took drugs, I went to AA meetings, I met a girl. I met a boy. I created a new life and I left it to waste away. I sold everything I owned and lived on the streets, and then I became a banker. I did everything, I was everything, I saw everything.

But somehow, I was still empty. What I felt was a joke, even the desperation that began to grow as I found the black hole inside me growing and thriving. Nothing was real. Nothing was important. Nothing was worth it.

Nobody gets out alive anyway.

 I walked out in front of the 12.15 bus to Skipton and told death that I was coming to get him, ready or not.

 It turned out he wasn't.

Nobody gets out alive? I did.

"Sit up for me," the nurse saidwith that impatient tone that told me that he'd do it for me if I don't get the bloody hell on with it. I did as I was told, even though I'd learnt lately that it was a shit idea.
 I stared at the white wall that was part of the hospital that my daughter was born in and wondered if maybe I shouldn't have put her in that basket and sent her down the River Aire like Moses on the Nile or whatever the river was that he was on. No one had said so to me, but then this was the point of the experiment, wasn't it? To see what it was really like to live like you're dying -- or rather, to live however the hell you want with no repercussions, from outside parties or from yourself. The company that run it, that run me, want to see if Anarchism is truly possible, and what kind of people and mental conditioning they'll need for it to work.
 "Can you move your legs?" the nurse asked. I kicked him in the face, and he frowned but said nothing.
 "I think you're ready to go," the doctor at the other side of my bed smiled. His face was dark both in colour and in expression, even with the smile. I nearly asked him if he'd been mentally conditioned, but to ask would be impolite and a waste of my time. Instead, I let myself say what I really wanted to say. After all, nobody gets out alive.
 "Why didn't you let me die, you worthless pieces of heartless crap?" There's no tone to my voice. I didn't't need to put on a show for these people.
The doctor smiled again. "There have obviously been a few teething issues in the work we've been doing with you. We want the chance to fix it."
 A thought struck me, rare as lightning hitting twice. "I don't want to be part of the experiment any longer. I want you to let me out."
 The smile dropped. "We can't do that."
 "I was told this experiment was about doing whatever we wanted. This is what I want. To leave."
 The nurse snorted. "Oh, lord, they didn't say a thing. They lied. The experiment isn't about anarchy. It's about immortality."

Sigh. Another story that I don't have time to write. But I kind of love it.
Thanks for reading,
Charlie out!

Friday 24 May 2013

Review: Heroes by Robert Cormier

So this one was for my ENGLISH LIT EXAM! You'd think that meant I hated it, but no, so therefore I am reviewing it.
 PS, this review will be just edging on the spoilery, especially if you're good at reading between the lines.
 Francis Cassavant has just come back home from the War and he has no face. But that's how he wants it to be. The War -- and the events that occurred before he left to fight it -- have taken their toll, and he doesn't want to be recognised. Not before his final mission is complete.

Monday 20 May 2013

Review: Angelology by Danielle Trussoni

Yes, I am back. But only because I need to vent/procrastinate/...alright, I'm too scared to go get the revision book for Physics back off my twin brother because he's an arse, okay?
But really, I needed to vent about this one.
Evangeline has lived at the convent for half of her life, but soon it will no longer be safe: her meeting with a seemingly innocuous art historian, Verlaine, have started wheels turning that should never be turned. A treasure will be unearthed, and life might just go to Hell. Literally. Sort of literally.

Thursday 16 May 2013

Writing... no, wait, exams.

You may have noticed I've been (un)suspiciously quiet lately. This is because I have exams. Hurray. In fact, I should be revising for my RE exam tomorrow, but instead I'm writing this and watching Ten O'Clock Live which is very funny.

 Yes, my brain is currently slightly fried (you do not know how many times I had to re-type this sentence).

 I am planning posts, so you will see me soon!

Charlie the Exam Girl out!

Tuesday 7 May 2013

The Little Engine that Couldn't Blog Party: Zombies vs Unicorns

Yes, it is time for the question that you all want to know the answer to, the question that this guy here finally dared to ask: which is better? There's only one way to find out... FIGHT!

Sorry, unfortunately I couldn't find and zombies or unicorns to battle it out live for your entertainment -- and besides, Harry Hill probably copyrighted the whole thing already -- so we'll just have to have a discussion about it.


Friday 3 May 2013

NaNoCritMo: Welcome to NaNoCritMo!

Look look look! A thing, a thing!
In seriousness, this is gonna be really cool, and a chance for the more shy, scared of their novels being out there types (ie me) to find a lovely CP who will shred your manuscript and ask for a new, better one. Huzzah!
NaNoCritMo: Welcome to NaNoCritMo!: Hello writers! Welcome to NaNoCritMo, short for National Novel Critiquing Month, an event in which writers gather together to critique eac...

Sunday 28 April 2013

Reviews on Amazon and Why You Should Not Take Them as Gospel If You Value Your Reading Experience

Welcome to the world of rants, rants and more rants. Yes, this is the low down on Amazon reviews! Hurrah!

I hate Amazon reviews with a passion. The only reason I ever write them myself is when I have to. I've heard along the Internet grapevine (so it might not be true) that Amazon have been deleting some reviews. Not in a control-the-press kind of way, but in a stop-authors-bad-mouthing-the-competition and friends-of-authors-giving-them-completely-false-good-reviews kind of way. If that is the case, then they darn well haven't been deleting the right reviews.
 I may have moaned before about how my Kindle is registered to my mum's account from before I had my own and how I can't send books to it and swapping it to my account would mean losing the 150 or so books I've read (and the good hundred or so that I haven't). Well, it means that my mum has to buy books for me.
 And that's where 'the good hundred or so I haven't' bit comes in. See, a lot of them are just books by Austen or Stoker or someone old which I just haven't yet had the willpower to get through. But a large amount are books with rave Amazon reviews.
 "Why won't you read it?" my mum will say. "It's got forty five-star reviews on Amazon!"
 Fact is, Amazon reviews lie. I don't know if that's because the idea of reviewing only appeals to people who, like me, hate to be harsh, or if the general public really are that easily pleased, but I've found that even the worst books are praised to within an inch of their lives. In fact, you're more likely to find a good book in the deep dark hole of 'mixed reviews' than the shining temple of 'five stars'.
 Which is why, occasionally, I'll write an Amazon review. Not because I loved the book, nor even because I love cutting the souls out of fellow writers in a fit of jealousy. No, I write the review so that maybe, just maybe, someone about to buy that book, that stupid book with no punctuation, the whole love-at-first-sight-with-no-explanation gig and a strange view of racism towards Native Americans, will realise that there's at least one bad review, and it's logical and cutting enough that it might possibly be true. And then they'll stop themselves from buying it, at least until they've harvested reviews from the farther reaches of the Internet.

I just thought I'd warn you. Sorry for the mini-rant, but, hopefully, not taking Amazon reviews as Gospel may just save your life one day.

Yeah, I wouldn't count on it either.

Reader out!

Friday 26 April 2013

Self-Pub vs Trad-Pub

And now time for the age-old -- maybe not age-old, but you know what I mean -- argument. Which is better, self-pub or trad-pub? Only one way to find out...
Have a rational discussion about it.

I love Harry Hill's TV Burp, don't you?

Kindle vs Kindle-with-a-light-on-it

It's a bit of a mouthful, I know. But today, you get to find out lots of things. Mainly about my life, but a few things might be slightly helpful.

Friday 19 April 2013

Film Review: Silver Linings Playbook

To be honest with you, this isn't going to be a review. It's going to be a rant with lots of spoilers of the absolutely amazing book version. Avert your eyes from the words after the jump break if you haven't read it. In fact, avert your eyes in the direction of a copy and read the damn thing before you a) watch the film and b) get me knocking on your door (because you know I know where you live), preparing to punch you in the face. READ. THE. BOOK.

Thursday 18 April 2013

TCWT Blog Chain!

Yes, it's here again! It's the TCWT Blog Chain! Huzzah! This month, the topic is 'What is your ultimate goal as a writer'. Ooh, exciting, I hear you say. I want to read all the blogs that are participating.

27th – 
29th – (We’ll announce the topic for next month’s chain)

Saturday 13 April 2013

Music Review: Paramore by Paramore

I love music, and while it doesn't really fit under the 'Eat My Book' remit other than as that thing what you do while writing and reading what also has words in it, it's music. It's another art form, and one most readers and writers love, and it can be inspirational. What you're listening to can determine what you write, from the themes of its lyrics to the mood of its sound. So I've decided that every now and then I will sort of review an album.

Friday 12 April 2013

What I did yesterday (because I know you care)

I went to the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth. Okay, okay, I know what you're thinking. I went to a museum like ten minutes from my house, how interesting.

Yeah, you guys are mean.

What I was there for was a thing. Yes. A thing. Some of you may remember that I went on an Arvon course in February (or you might not, I can't rememeber if I posted about it). I had a great time and we wrote loads of Bronte-related stuff (when in Rome/Yorkshire, after all). We also looked round the about-to-open Bronte Parsonage Museum, which was fun, and they let us look at some of the things they had, for example a tiny little book written by the sisters and their brother, and a toy lion, and then we wrote about them, or the place as a whole, or whatever caught our fancy.

Those poems and pieces of prose (by which I mean 'piece of prose', as I was the only prosey person in the village) are up all around the museum, and they're all actually quite good and everything was actually quite interesting and fun and stuff. Besides being in a place were people kept saying 'Charlotte' and turning around and realising they're talking about the Bronte sister. Awkward.

So that's what I did yesterday. This will not be happening tomorrow. You do not want to know what I am doing today --shudders--

Only Prose-girl in the village out!

Thursday 4 April 2013

Book Review: Slated by Teri Terry

Kyla was a criminal in her past life, but now? She's been Slated: her memory has been taken away and she's been given a chance to be someone different. But Kyla isn't like other Slated kids, and as time goes on, she wonders whether she wants to be...

Thursday 28 March 2013

Series review: Weather Wardens by Rachel Caine

I have finally finished reading all nine books of the Weather Wardens series, and I thought I'd tell you what a gem it is just in case you've never found it before.
Because, Darlin', this is the best thing that will cross your TBR shelf.

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Writing, a double post: Your plots and your Internets

Neither of these points currently merits its own posts, so I decided to squidge them into one.

First of all, your Internets. There are a lot of brilliantissimo writing-y blogs and websites out there. To name just a few that I follow:
This is all well and good and helpful... but beware, my little minions. I e-mail followed maybe six or seven blogs. I now spend an hour reading my e-mails. Now, that isn't really helpful when you're trying to get stuff done, so beware. You can learn how to be a good writer all you want, but if you never put that into practice...
Just a word of warning to the wise.

And now onto plotting. Unfortunately, I've already given you a link to the wonderful Liam, who has basically explained all the things that I might want to say about plotting before.
Let's go with it anyway.
I've always hated plotting. I like my characters to drive, and they can't exactly do that when they have to work to a given point -- if they don't have free will -- right?
Wrong. Or at least, I think so.
Because it depends on what you mean by plotting. At writer's group lately, we have plotted and tried to write a short story as so:
  1. What is the spark that starts the story off?
  2. What is the main character's motive?
  3. What's the obstacle to this motive or goal?
  4. What's the first thing to go wrong?
  5. Where's the point of no return, where it looks like there's no way out?
  6. How do they get out of it?
  7. Now tie up those loose ends.
Or something like that. It might seem like a lot of things to get sorted, but that doesn't mean that your story is done, dusted, told and explained, oh no. Because, not only can you change these things if you want to, this isn't the story. It's just the plot, and one plot can be told a thousand times in a thousand different ways, especially if it's character-based. You need an example? --sigh-- Okay. Let's say I'm writing a short story about a guy who finds out that his uncle killed his father for his crown and this guy plots to kill that uncle. Basically, I'm writing Hamlet, yes? No. My Hamlet could be a girl instead of a guy. She could be sassy instead of moody. Her mother could have been in on the whole thing. The uncle could be a much nicer dude than the dad.
 You get the point. My story could be almost unrecognisable from the original but still use the same plot. Hurrah! The story might be plotted, but that don't mean it's been written yet, sistah.
I apologise from the random faux-US-style-language. I don't know what came over me.
 So that story hasn't been written yet. But maybe you're scared of jumping in quite so close to the deep end. Maybe you've got a series planned out, like I have, and you've got stories where the beginings and endings have to fit together, but no more. Does that count as plotting? And is it possible to do?
 From my experience, I would say no. I've been trying to write a series where each book gets to a certain end. The only book I have finished that has done what I've told it to is the first book, and I only found the ending mid-way through in a flash of inspiration. I've tried writing all five other books, but they just... they basically die half way through. So, if I were you, and I was going to plot, I'd try to plot out more than the beginning and the end. It seems like the middle actually seems to matter.

 I think that's all the 'wisdom' I've got to share with you. Thanks, and comment if you've got something to say (*facepalm* duh, Chaz, your readers aren't idiotic enough to not know why people comment on posts...

...are they?)

Writer out!

Sort-of Book Review: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

It's a sort of review because, people, I only got a quarter of the way through before 'taking a break'. This 'break' was going to be one book that I was reading. It became about five books. I will get around to reading it, I'm sure, but if I try to read it exclusively, this blog will slowly die from maltreatment and lack of posts.
 Why is it taking me so long? Well, apart from the fact that it's about 960 pages long, I blame the film.
Wait a second, I hear you say, the last time you posted about Les Mis you said that you could only read it because of the film.
 You're right, I think. Otherwise, I just said that in my head, and you've somehow been looking into my thoughts.
 I wouldn't have started to read it without the film, and I wouldn't have stuck with it after the first ten pages if I didn't know the film was amazeballs. But... I want the pacing of the film. I don't care about the ruddy Battle of Waterloo, Mr Hugo, I want to see Valjean go pick up Cosette, dammit!
 As I've said before, I don't have a very long attention span. And this doesn't grab at it. I think I spent an hour or two waiting for Valjean to storm into the courtroom.
Yeah. It was maybe a five-second thing in the film.

So. I'd still say that Les Mis is worth a read, and I'm definitely going to keep persevering. But don't try to stick to it like exclusive glue. It will do you no good, I can tell you.

Tired reader out!

Monday 25 March 2013

Music is Fun.!

It's been a while since I've posted about music, maybe a year or longer (I've been blogging for a year or longer?!) but lately, I've been listening to some stuff that's slightly different to my usual stuff, so I thought I would post about why it is all awesome enough to get through my rock-only barrier of prejudice.

But before we go all crazy: Funeral For A Friend's album Conduit is very nice. I don't tend to like screamy types, but it kind of works as soothing white noise when I'm writing, and you can also actually listen to it and get a bit of an emotional-mood-set-up thing. No, I don't know what I mean, either.

I am now going what might be called 'old skool' in the popish world: Marina and the Diamonds' album, The Family Jewels. If, like me, you heart your sarky, kicky girl characters, then you'll love this. It's just filled with sass... and just a tiny bit of the always-needed angst. Lovely. I feel like dancing to it.

Next? More stuff I want to dance to, and this one comes with a story. I went to see Paramore a while back (they have a new album coming out, BTW), when their third album, Brand New Eyes, came out. They had B.o.B supporting them. I didn't like B.o.B. They also had another band supporting them, too. They were on first, and I was too busy getting into the arena and then buying a tshirt to listen to them. I only caught their last song, a cover of Queen's Radio Gaga, as I wandered over to my seat. I didn't think that much of it.
Worst thing I ever did in my music-related life. Why? Because, as the title of this post suggests, that band was Fun.
I know. Now, I'm listening to their album, Some Nights, and hating myself. Because, dude, this band is brilliant to a scale factor of a million! It's dance-worthy, it's sit-and-cry-worthy, and it's different, and I love it. Missing them live might have been the worst thing I've done, but listening to their album (my mum bought it, I'm not a pirate-type)? One of the best things.

So that's all the awesome music I am currently listening to. Oh, and MCR's Conventional Weapons. The fact that I forgot about MCR (who split up on Saturday, BTW) has got to show you how awesome all these people are. Listen, buy, and support the artists, damn you!

Music-lover out!