Friday, September 30, 2011


From HermioneJeanWeasley
You wrote a novel. Congratulations! That's a bit more then some people can say. Now you're happily diving in to revising and editing, ready to give you novel the oomph and triumph it deserves. You are already in love with your characters and can't wait to dig deeper into their souls. You think to yourself that maybe this time around you will find something to make them explode with life. As you read through, you realize that maybe it's easier said then done. You start to prepare for the hard months maybe years ahead wondering if your darling will ever be truly brought to life.

Creating characters is hard enough. Now at the end of your first draft you should know at least a hand full of facts about them including their name, physical characteristics, and the other everyday things. Right now for most of us and for most of our readers our characters are average. When we are revising, we have the chance to create unforgettable, one-of-a-kind fictional people. The best way to do this is to describe. Describe, describe, describe. Describe their room, their family, their house. It will help you give your character a whole other level of life. Plus, it will help your readers visualize their room and learn more about the character's personality and life style.

You have your own writing voice. Every writer does. Now try turning your voice in to your character's voice. The next time you are in a meeting or dinner instead of talking, listen. If you have pen and paper, you might want to jot down some notes. Listen to peoples voices, note their body language and appearance. After a couple times of doing this, you'll probably start to get a feel for how certain people talk or act a certain way. From there you can figure out what you want your characters to sound like on the page.

Daily Writing Tips
- Almost everyday a new writing tip, trick, or just interesting article is posted on this website. They focus on grammar, writing voice, writing, words, and over all English usage.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Divergent, Delirium, and Once Upon an Idyll

Divergent Cover From Goodreads
Divergent By Veronica Roth

Setting: Future Dystopian Chicago

Main Characters:
Beatrice- Also know as Tris later in the book, she was raised in the Fraction Abnegation, the selfless.
Four- Known as Four because he only has four fears

Protagonist: Beatrice

A Little Need To Know: Dystopian Chicago is divided into five fractions each devoted to a certain virtue: Candor (Honesty), Abnegation (Selflessness), Dauntless (Bravery), Amity (Peacefulness), Erudite (Intelligence). When the children of the fractions turn sixteen, they choose a fraction to spend the rest of their lives with. Those who are rejected from the fractions (Fractionless) are put out on the streets and given the jobs no one wants.

Plot: Beatrice is sixteen. Her test results were inconclusive and she can choose from three fractions: Candor, Abnegation, and Dauntless. Candor is out of the question, she can lie to easily, but the other two aren't so easy. Will she stay with her beloved family, and be selfless for the rest of her life? Or will she become a brave Dauntless Soldier like the ones she's envied all her life? She makes a decision, one that will change her life forever.
During the deadly initiation that follows, Beatrice becomes Tris and tries to conform to the new life she's chosen. In a game where everyone will kill to win, Tris must watch her back. Not everyone is a friend when it comes to the Dauntless. Everyone has secrets, even Tris.

Writing and Final Words: Read this book. I mean it. It will capture your imagination and pull you in. I guarantee that you will not be able to put this book down until you finish it. Roth has a away with words that will put you in the same place as Tris. In a way you become Tris. I believe that is what makes a good book, a good book. Think about it. The best books pull you in and put you into the characters mind. You feel what they feel, you cry when they cry. The only thing I wish was different would be the final climax. It felt way to short and I would have love it if I was another 5-15 pages longer. Read it!

Goodreads Reviews
Picture From Goodreads
Veronica Roth's Blogspot

Delirium By Lauren Oliver

Setting: Future Dystopian Portland, Maine
"I believe that a life with out love is probably a life without pain, but I also believe that a life without pain is a life without happiness.  Therefore... life without love is a life without happiness."
-Lauren Oliver

Main Character:
Lena- A young girl who lives above and works in a Grocery

Plot: Lena is ninety-five days away from her operation. Ninety-five days and she will be safe from the disease forever. Ninety-five days and she will be safe from love. A lot can happen three months. 
Like everyone else she always believed that love was a disease. She always knew that she would be infected someday, somehow just like her mother and sister. Maybe she would jump off a building when they tried to operate on her, kill herself like her mother did, or escape to the wilds with the man she loved. Ninety-five days. She was counting down praying it would come faster. Until she met him. The boy with all the answers. She was infected. She didn't care.

On Writing: Despite my plot description that ended up sounding like some dramatized teenage girl wrote it, this is a really good book. Nice plot, amazing ending, great characters although at times Lena really should take some toughness pills and suck it up. I mean come on your secret boyfriend (Named Alex) who could potentially get you killed is not going to leave you. I mean seriously, come on! Alex will not leave you unless he is shot down and killed. It's a good book over all. Read it! =)

Lauren Oliver's Website
Goodreads Reviews
Picture from Goodreads
Once Upon an Idyll By Muse Lee

Setting: Present Day and Wagner's Ring, "...a world of dwarves, Valkyries, water spirits, and angry tribes."

Main Characters:
Mary- A young, nine year old girl who lives with her mother and sister in an apartment; has a love of Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen.*
Danny- A new friend of Mary's, also age nine, who lives in a large house with his wealthy parents.
Wotan- King of the Gods, calls Mary and Danny into Wagner's Ring, is Mary's father.

Plot: Every Friday after school, Mary and her family visit the park. And every Friday she goes to the same tree to the same spot to listen to recording of songs from Der Ring des Nibelugen and look at pictures from a book about the opera. It is here that she meets Danny and tells him about Wagner and the opera. They are called in to Wagner's Ring by Wotan and meet Meme the dwarf. Meme, who apparently thinks he has been taking care of the children for a while, tells Danny he must slay the dragon, Fafner, who guards a magic ring. While sitting by a brook in the forest outside on Meme's cave, they meet Wotan. He tells Mary he is her father and she is a Valkyrie, the warrior daughters of Wotan. Wotan gives them a mission. Danny must kill Fafner the dragon and take the ring. He must travel with Mary to the river to return the ring to the water spirits from which it was stollen from. If they do not complete their quest it could spell disaster not only for them, but for the entire world.

Writing: This piece was well written, very original, and overall a great book. Raise you hand if you have ever read a story inspired and connecting with an opera? I know that I haven't until now. This book was a quick read. I probably finished it in a total of four hours or so. It was entertaining although I wish the characters would have been expanded a little more. You could tell by the use of language that Mary and Danny are eight years old. When I was reading it, I knew that Muse Lee had not just self-published it without major editing just to say "I have a book published". Lee put an awful amount of time and effort to make this book the best it could possibly be.


 *Sorry if I get any facts wrong in this. The closest thing to an opera that I've seen is Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert on DVD.

Good Writings!


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Writing Challenge One

00900 by brujo
Tomorrow (or everyday if you would like) pick a character from any of your stories. As you go through your day, keep them in mind. Every time you have a situation or problem to react to or solve, try and imagine what your character would do. Not only will this help understand and build your character more, but it will also help to write out your story in your own writing voice. This challenge is also helpful in editing and revising when a scene doesn't feel write or a character is out of character. Try this exercise if you have writer's block or if you can't figure out how your character would react.