Novel Writing v. 1.5

I have been working on a project on and off. I have a clear beginning and a specific ending but the middle is always the hardest part. I know I can do it. I just haven’t —- partly due to anxiety and partly due to procrastination. This time my procrastination has nothing to do with my anxiety. I’m just in an in-between point of my life. I’m getting ready to move into a new apartment and be married in 24 days! This means furniture shopping and practical things like having to get a marriage certificate. Also, I’m planning my own wedding so that means shopping and staying in touch with the cake person, etc.

I want to participate in Nanowrimo but I’m planning to work on something completely new. I don’t know if I should finish what I’m working on currently before moving on. I don’t need a slew of unfinished projects, but Nanowrimo would be perfect for my complex idea. My current project is not as complex. By the end of the year, I’ll have two unfinished projects and I don’t know if that’s a good idea or not…. ahhhh. Maybe my Nano project can just be to finish my current project while I outline my new one during the month of October.

By the end of the weekend, I should have two book reviews up. I hope.

Also, can we take a minute to be appreciative of my new header designed by Lucy. It’s kind of fall-ish but dark and whimsical. I LOVE IT.

 

Currently

Currently watching: Riverdale – This shit speaks to my writer’s brain. A small town full of secrets and a unsolved murder based on characters from the Archie comics.

Currently drinking: Cinnamon Toast lattes mmmm

Currently writing (but not): Haunted, a book about a girl who falls in love with a ghost.

Currently reading: They Both Die At the End by Adam Silvera and Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

 

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Novel Writing Volume 1.4

I was supposed to do Camp Nanowrimo this month and I can’t come up with a legit excuse except that I was picking up extra shifts at work and in the process of moving, so my focus wasn’t in it. However, I am making progress outside the Camp (I deleted my project on the site) and have managed to nail down something I want to stick with this year. I’m slowly making my way to the first milestone: 10,000 words. I’m currently around 8,000.

I posted some minor details under one of my Novel Writing Volumes. I’m writing about a teenage girl who believes in logic and facts, but meets a ghost. How the ghost dies is pivotal to his backstory. Believing in ghosts is essential to the character’s journey and growth since the girl is forced to have an encounter outside her comfort zone. It’s about one character’s dark past and another character’s crossroads with the real world and the supernatural one. They more or less fall in love, but it’s not the main focus of the story. I have them fall in love because I wanted the readers to feel the strain of an impossible relationship. We have stories in which a human falls in love with vampires, werewolves, and even zombies. Those creatures are able to exist in our world. Ghosts exist in another world. Above all the supernatural creatures, they truly don’t belong. That lack of belonging in the physical world is another theme that will be highlighted in this story.

Novel Writing Volume 1.3

I’m trying to refine my novel writing organization. I have three tangible ideas and I’m going to write several pages of summaries for all of them. Those are my non-fantasy books.

For my fantasy novels, I’m going to get individual notebooks to  continue brainstorming so I don’t forget the details.

Thanks to free writing courses and workshops I’m learning so much more about the writing process! I always wondered why it was so hard for me to jump right into a story and I realized how the preliminary work HELPS SO MUCH!

Here are links to some great workshops and advice.

Free Plot Course by Tomi Adeyemi

Lady Writer has a free Novel Outline

V.E. Schwab has personal tips Youtube on writing and publishing.

Edit 9/12/17: I just found out that Holly Black’s website has an abundance of writing resource’s. OH MY WORD. I need a notebook.

Holly Black’s Writing Advice and Resources

Maybe one day I could afford to go to graduate school and earn an MFA but that day is no where near. Free writing courses and workshops are helping me now. Even the ones you pay for are a less expensive route than a full degree program. I enjoy learning first hand from actual writers currently in the industry. It’s basically like taking online writing classes but for free.

Novel Writing Volume 1.2

I decided to put my fantasy fairytale re-telling on hold to work on a magical realism ghost story! I had learned quickly that world-building is no easy feat and I don’t want to be a lazy writer and make my world generic. So I’m going to do some more brainstorming.

My ghost story is set in real life  so I don’t have to invent a whole new world. I have a very clear, linear story-line working in my brain. I’m SO excited for it.

The main character is a bookish, introvert young teenager who believes in logic and facts. Throw in a ghost story…. well, things get interesting!

Novel Writing 1.1

In case you didn’t know, I’m working on… stuff. I feel weird calling it a novel or novels because that would imply I actually have something worthwhile in physical form. Or in any form.

I’m currently working on a fantasy fairytale re-telling. Who knew world-building could be so much fun? I’ve written 10,000 words for Camp Nanowrimo, which was my goal. I had a writer’s block moment because if you don’t know all the players at large in your own story how the freak can you keep going? So I did some plot and character brainstorming and I think that will help me carry through my first bump. I’M JUST SO EXCITED FOR THIS RE-TELLING YA’LL. HINT: It’s not romance focused. I think my number one struggle with this story is not reusing the same fantasy world that’s been used a plethora of times before me. Example: A kingdom with a king and queen and castles blah blah blah…. My challenge is to convince my readers that is a whole new world, but still slightly reminiscent of what they’re used to. Or break all the rules of world-building completely. Or start off with a world we all know and are familiar with and then surprise the readers with a world they never knew even existed. I have a storyline for my main characters played out exactly in my head, but it is a re-telling so I do want to deviate from an ordinary fantasy to something more. 

I was working on a YA contemporary. I hit the 50k mark and stopped writing but in the last few says, I managed to reach 55k. I feel like I need at minimum 65k. How is it that I wrote 55,000 words and still need 10,000 more to make it count as a real life novel?! AH. I was going to finally take the manuscript I had to the printer and start editing it, but I’m afraid. I’m afraid I won’t like this story anymore. I’m afraid of sorting through all the crappy sentences and seeing failure. This is the closest thing I’ve ever had to a novel and I think I see two choices: 1. Completely trashing it after I realize what shite it is or 2. Reforming, Editing, and Drafting and making it official. What is it about a novel being official that is so terrifying?! I’m not even sure I want to write this book anymore but I feel like it’s because it would be so easy just to throw the whole thing away and start over and never have to look at my failure. It’s possible I’m not making an executive decision in saying I shouldn’t publish it —- I’m simply scared to try.

 

Why I’m Breaking Up with My Reading Schedule 


For the first few months of the year, I put myself on a reading schedule and created a “to-be read” pile for every month. So far, I’ve stuck with it. However, there are several huge book releases in May and an ever growing TBR pile, so I know that continuing a monthly reading list would no longer be helpful. Part of the reason why I made the monthly list was because I felt like my books were running away from me. I felt like I could tangibly grasp things better if I had this list. My brain felt fried from trying to choose the next set of books, so maybe making a TBR was due to indecisiveness. 

Starting on May 1st (or whenever I finish my April reading list) I will throw out my TBR and just choose new books to read on a whim. Have you ever noticed that book choices are sometimes mood-based? I think starting off the year with a monthly TBR helped me stay committed to reading but now with so many new releases and so little time, I don’t think I could handle following a list anymore. 

What do you think of TBR piles? Do you like to stick to a reading schedule or do you end up getting so overwhelmed you just pick the most popular book? Do you prefer to keep the next book you read open depending on your mood or recent releases? 
Happy reading, everyone! 

May has an amazing set of new releases. I’m so excited! 
– V 

A Belated Gilmore Girls Revival Review

I wasn’t able to watch The Gilmore Girls Revival immediately following Thanksgiving. I was stuck in a cabin with friends with no wifi, which turns out can be soul cleansing. Alas, the following Sunday I began to watch a show I dreamed of happening for nearly a decade. I watched Lorleai and Michelle argue. I smiled at Luke attempting and yet failing to persuade Lor and Rory to eat healthier. I felt the absence of Sookie when she wasn’t at the Dragon Fly Inn’s kitchen. I was floored to see that Lane was still rock and roll. And Paris Gellar became my favorite character.

Then there was that iconic scene of all the Gilmores in a limo together on a dreary day attending our dear Richard’s funeral. While sad, it was suiting. I truly think Richard’s death accelerated Emily’s story line (and by story line, I mean character growth). It also forced Lorleai to come to terms with a lot of emotions she had been burying. As for Rory…hers is the most difficult storyline to connect with and piece together. As the series was wrapping up, and before the famous “final four words”, I couldn’t help but wonder if it was then end of the Rory Gilmore storyline. Some of the plot was reminiscent of the movie Post Grad (2009)

Here are  thoughts of The Gilmore Girls Revival immediately after watching it (not in chronological order of each episode):

  • It felt like an extra long movie and in chick-lit form. Very Eat Pray Love meets Uptown Girls?
  • Haha. So many hipsters in Stars Hollow now.
  • I kind of doubt Tristan would have actually went to an alumni event since he practically hated Chilton and got sent to military school.
  • I love that Rory is writing a book but it was sort of cliche’. “Let me write a book… about the show … that is my life… the title of the show.”
  • There were so many good genuine laugh out loud moments but om the very first episode, it felt like Alexis Bledel forgot how to act. I also feel like her character was the most one dimensional.
  • Awkward with Dean … The tension worked really well.
  • If they continue the Revival, can we have most of the cast of Parenthood act in it? They all actually know how to act.
  • What the f*ck was that musical? It felt like a filler.
  • I want to be Team Jesse but it was like he was there for one second, I blinked, and then he was gone. But I’m also very much not Team Logan: he’s fun but once you’re older you need someone who can ground you. Logan has proved not to be faithful (or monogamous) time and time again
  • I wish to pretend Paul’s storyline never existed. Amy  Sherman-Palladino, you’re better than this!
  • Lorleai’s moment when she called her mom and told the story about her dad made me cry so much.
  • Lorleai and Luke’s conversation after she comes back from her “Wild” melted my heart. I love the instant wedding. It was definitely spontaneous, like Lorleai.

When I finished the show, I really did not know whether to rate it 1 star or 3 or 5 after the wedding and the cliffhanger. Initially, I felt like the Revival brought out Lorleai’s and Rory’s worst qualities and I wanted them to have a better transformation. After further thought, I realized Lorleai grew in exactly the way she was meant to but I couldn’t help but feel like Rory was literally the worst. The kind, considerate, thoughtful Rory forgets about Paul and sleeps with an ex-boyfriend who has a fiancee. Who is she, again?

Recently, I re-watched the first three episodes of the show and it was easier to tolerate certain things the second time around. Why? Because Emily Gilmore is QUEEN and Lorleai, despite her flaws and all, she wears her heart on her sleeve for Luke but it’s almost always off when it comes to her parents. She is living proof that no matter how old you are, there’s still plenty to learn and discover about yourself.

 

 

 

3.

There are so many YA fantasy books, but then I’ll read the summary and reviews and it’s the same plot over and over again.

  • Girl has powers, usually with fire. Girl must hide abilities. Girl exposes abilities either out of choice or accident.
  • Kingdoms are at war. Girl must save world. Girl saves world.
  • Girl is on a mission and isn’t supposed to fall in love. Falls in love, anyway.

I was thinking about branching out from Sarah J. Maas’ world to venture into other fantasy, but it’s so difficult to keep up with multiple major series at once. I want to read everything. Now I’m hearing a bit of controversy surrounding Maas.

I promised a book review, but I’ll just do them by a month-to-month basis.

So far, my January reads are as follows:

  • Wink Poppy Midnight by April G. T
  • Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
  • Everland by Wendy Spinale

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1.

hello. I used to review books on Tumblr, but I feel like Tumblr has changed since I was a teenager. I feel like it’s not the same. I didn’t realize how much I missed the book world. I read about 8-9 books last year and I only liked about half of them. I made a bookish resolution that I would not read mediocre books or force myself through a book that I felt was lacking. I already feel inspired and excited for this year. I’m attempting to cut down on screen time. Gosh. I would watch so much less T.V. if it weren’t for Netflix. Just so you know, I’m not a quick reader. There are so many great books coming out this year and I still have books on my shelf from five years ago. Hopefully, creating this side blog and re-entering the book community will help to motivate me.

dsc_1111First review to be posted tomorrow! ^ I am not reviewing the book featured, just fyi.

–  V. Wolfe