Friday, 30 June 2017

On Writing - June 2017


Previous Posts: January

Anyone that has ever attempted to tackle a novel length writing project will tell you that most of the the time you spend on it is not actually spent writing.

That's where I've been for the past five months.

It's not like I have given up on writing this story, because I definitely have not, but I spend more of my time brainstorming and deciding on where to go next that actually putting it down into words.


I've learned long ago that I cannot make myself write every day. If I do, most if not all of what comes out (if something comes out at all) ends up deleted. So, for me to actually sit down and write, I have to have a clear-ish image of what comes next, or at least a starting point, and then I can work with that.

Like I said in my last writing post, I have been plagued with insecurity and doubt the furthest I get into the story, and the closest I get to the end. There is a gap that needs filled between where I am now and what I have outlined for the final arc of the novel, but for the life of me I can't figure out how to fill it. The more I try to think of it the worse it gets, and after several anxiety filled weeks I decided to let it rest for a while, and that's when the next step came to me, at a very unexpected time, as I was sat in a dark cinema watching a movie that had no connection or comparison whatsoever with what my story is about or the scene that came to me.

My brain is a very, very weird place.

So, I sat down to write that scene, and in a couple of hours I had thousands of words written down that I really liked, and an entire chapter finished.

And now I'm back where I started, wondering where to go next.

This is definitely becoming a slower process than I thought it would be back in January when I planned how this writing year would be, but creativity can't be forced, as much as we would like it to come out on demand. I just have to wait for the next chapter to come to me, and the next, and the next, until I can write 'The End'. Regardless of how long that may take.


At this point I'm at just over 78k words, which means I have written 2942 words since my last update, and reached the end of chapter nineteen. I was hoping to be able to finish this first draft before I went back to university, so, fingers crossed, yes?

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Inspirational quote of the month:

'If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep,
make a pie, draw, listen to music, meditate, exercise;
whatever you do, don't just stick there scowling at the problem.
But don't make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do,
other people's words will pour in where your lost words should be.
Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.'

- Hilary Mantel

Thursday, 29 June 2017

April - June Wrap Up


Haven't done one of these in a while, have I?

*hides in corner*

After spending 6 months reading at lightning speed for university, I have found myself in a slump of sorts, where the last thing I really feel like doing is reading. I don't even feel bad about it, not completely; sure, I would like to say I've tackled the gigantic amount of books on my shelves that I have yet to read, but, at the same time, I'm happy to be spending my time doing other things, and enjoying the summer before my last year of university. Honestly, I hadn't even noticed that I didn't pick up a single book in June until now, but busying myself with other things that also make me happy is a replacement I will gladly make.

I will be starting on my reading list for that this coming month, though, so that will inevitably raise the very sad number of books I have read so far this year.

So, these are the books I picked up in the past three months:


Monday, 5 June 2017

'One of Us is Lying', by Karen M. McManus

Title: One of Us is Lying
Author(s): Karen M. McManus
Release Date: 1st June 2017
Publisher: Penguin
Genre: YA, Thriller
Source: Publisher (ARC)

Synopsis:
One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. 
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
 Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
 Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
 And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon's dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

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Friday, 5 May 2017

'Star Wars: Thrawn', by Timothy Zahn

Title: Star Wars: Thrawn
Author(s): Timothy Zahn
Release Date: 11th April 2017
Publisher: Random House
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Publisher

Synopsis:
In this definitive novel, readers will follow Thrawn’s rise to power—uncovering the events that created one of the most iconic villains in Star Wars history.

One of the most cunning and ruthless warriors in the history of the Galactic Empire, Grand Admiral Thrawn is also one of the most captivating characters in the Star Wars universe, from his introduction in bestselling author Timothy Zahn’s classic Heir to the Empire through his continuing adventures in Dark Force Rising, The Last Command, and beyond. But Thrawn’s origins and the story of his rise in the Imperial ranks have remained mysterious. Now, in Star Wars: Thrawn, Timothy Zahn chronicles the fateful events that launched the blue-skinned, red-eyed master of military strategy and lethal warfare into the highest realms of power—and infamy.

After Thrawn is rescued from exile by Imperial soldiers, his deadly ingenuity and keen tactical abilities swiftly capture the attention of Emperor Palpatine. And just as quickly, Thrawn proves to be as indispensable to the Empire as he is ambitious; as devoted as its most loyal servant, Darth Vader; and a brilliant warrior never to be underestimated. On missions to rout smugglers, snare spies, and defeat pirates, he triumphs time and again—even as his renegade methods infuriate superiors while inspiring ever greater admiration from the Empire. As one promotion follows another in his rapid ascension to greater power, he schools his trusted aide, Ensign Eli Vanto, in the arts of combat and leadership, and the secrets of claiming victory. But even though Thrawn dominates the battlefield, he has much to learn in the arena of politics, where ruthless administrator Arihnda Pryce holds the power to be a potent ally or a brutal enemy.

All these lessons will be put to the ultimate test when Thrawn rises to admiral and must pit all the knowledge, instincts, and battle forces at his command against an insurgent uprising that threatens not only innocent lives but also the Empire’s grip on the galaxy—and his own carefully laid plans for future ascendancy.

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Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly NOT Want To Read A Book


This goes the opposite way from last week's Top Ten Tuesday, and I definitely struggled to make this list more than just a negative side to that post. However, like most things, it is always easier to know what you don't like than what you do, so here is my list of turn offs in books!

1. Love Triangles

If you are new here: Hi. I'm Sofia. I absolutely hate love triangles. I've documented this hate plenty here on the blog, and I will not stop until this disappears from the face of the Earth. If I read a blurb and there are only three named characters and it smells like a romance will happen between them at some point in the book, I will run away from that book quicker than if it was the plague itself.

2. Unnecessary Romance

Why, oh why does every story have to revolve around romance? There are other things that any human being worries about and has to deal with in their lives, and so seeing characters in books, especially in settings where they definitely should be worrying about bigger things, spend all their time fawning over a love interest bores me. Again, it is very easy to see this coming in blurbs most of the time, and so I do the equivalent of a swipe left on those ones... Thanks, but no thanks.