NaNoWriMo 2017 – Update #3+4

Update #3 – 22nd November

We’re over half way through now which terrifies me and to make it better I’m currently suffering from major doubts about my writing and my story in general. I knew that I would hit this point in my writing soon as I hadn’t yet experienced it, but luckily for me, I managed to shake myself out of it fairly quickly. I blame John Green for all my current doubts as I’ve just finished reading ‘Turtles All The Way Down’ which I thought was incredible. I’ve never been a massive fan of John Green as I’ve only ever enjoyed one of his books but after reading his new release I might be starting to change my mind.

After conquering that first major road bump, I hit another one which had a much bigger impact on my word count and started making me doubt whether I would even hit my personal goal. That road-bump was my lack of re-search and planning as I got to various scenes where planning was vital which meant I had to stop my writing and start googling; a process I wish I’d done before I started writing. Nevertheless it something I can learn from and hopefully next year I will have learned from my mistakes. Fingers crossed I can catch up with my word count because I’m seriously behind!

Update #4 – 30th November

It’s the last day of NaNoWriMo which is crazy as I don’t know where this month has gone. I’ve still got just over 2,000 words to write but luckily I’ve got the day off Uni so my whole day has been dedicated just to writing. I don’t want to go to much into detail about my writing process and my experience as I’m going to leave that for a review post that should be up later this week, but I will say that this has been a great experience that has allowed me to discover more about my writing skills and process. Being able to finally put my story and characters into words has been so exciting and I’m even ready to share my writing with a few of my close friends and family. I never told anyone that I was participating in NaNoWriMo because I was scared of people reading my work and I still am a bit but certainly not as much as I was at the beginning of the process. Now I am so proud of my characters, my story and my ability to put them both into words and I can’t wait to see where the rest of this journey goes.

I hope those who were also participating in NaNoWriMo this year managed to hit their target and that they had as much fun as I did! And I also hope that I’ve encouraged other people to give it a go next year, if I can do it then you can too!

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NaNoWriMo 2017 – Update #1+2

Update #1 – 8th November

It’s been over a week since NaNoWriMo started and I’ve only just realized how much work and effort something like this requires. Trying to balance University and NaNoWriMo has certainly been hard and has a big impact on my word count. On the first few days, I was winning at NaNoWriMo, I’d managed to keep up with the word count and I was really getting into the whole writing process however since coming back to University I’m ashamed to admit I’ve only written around 500 words! My aim in the next week is to sort out a timetable and try and work out some sort of balance between the two. I already know that I won’t make it to 50,000 words by the end of November but my aim is  25,000 words instead and hopefully I’ll be able to achieve that.

I don’t want to give anything away yet about what I’m writing, and I am still trying to decide whether or not I should post it on What-pad after I’ve gone over everything and edited it. If you’ve got a What-pad account I’d love to hear what your experience has been like and if you’ve got any tips for new members!

Update #2 – 15th November

We’re halfway through November which means I’ve only got 15 more days to hit my target of 25,000 words, panic! But in all honesty, I’m doing well in terms of word count, and I’ve currently written 13,567 words which equate in my book to just under four chapters which I’m so proud of! Starting this process and learning different things about the way I write is something I’ve really enjoyed and it has even inspired me to work on a few flash fiction projects that I’ve been planning for a couple of months now. My confidence in my work has also increased however I’m still not confident enough to share my work with friends and family just yet, maybe by the end of this month I’ll have sent it to someone to read.

One of the main tips I was given before I started NaNoWriMo was to ‘just write as much as I can’ and at first I really struggled with the idea of not editing or spending ages thinking of the exact words or sentence structure. However, in this last week, I’ve got into the hang of ‘just writing’ and not getting too hung up over the smallest of things and I think it’s because so much more is about to happen in my book. Their adventure is about to begin, I’m introducing new characters and new relationships and I’m at the stage where I’m excited to write and finally see this story take place. Fingers crossed this phase lasts until the end of November!

If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo this year then I’d love to know how things are going and how you’re finding the whole process?

Happy Writing!

The Traitors Crux – Jessica Prather

I received this book from OfTomes Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

I’m a huge fan of dystopian novels, like Divergent and The Hunger Games so when I heard that  The Traitors Crux was a mix of dystopia and magic I got very excited and knew that I’d love this book! This easy read transported us to a unique world filled with a great ensemble of characters and the occasional plot twist!

In a country ravaged by years of war, plague, and death, witches and wizards are blamed for the state of the world and hunted by the U.S. government. Sixteen years old Kenadee discovers she has magical powers and must face the facts: the government is watching, and they have plans for her. She’s given a deadly mission and an impossible ultimatum: the lives of a hidden group of magic refugees, or the safe return of her long-lost brother.

When it came to our protagonist Kenadee, I didn’t click with her and found it difficult to get over her stubbornness and blind faith however at the same time I really appreciate her realness and I understand her action and the way in which she dealt with different situations; at the end of the day we will do anything to save the ones we love. Harlow and Bryce, on the other hand, were my favourites and I instantly fell in love with their characters, they’re both just so badass and powerful! I definitely ship Kenadee and Bryce, however, I felt their relationship was very insta-romance and happened very quickly. But Prather redeemed herself when they didn’t instantly get back together after that trust was broken, and that for me was real romance as you could see that they both still loved each other but the hurt and distrust was still too new.

There’s no doubt that this book is extremely fast-paced and certainly keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the entire book, particularly in those action scenes, of which there are many! However, at times I felt scenes were a bit rushed and left me a little confused about what had just happened. Nevertheless, we had some serious plot twists that I didn’t see coming and I thought the ending was perfect, the only negative thing is that I don’t have the sequel in my hands because I need to know what happens next!

Thank you again to OfTomes publishing for sending me this fab book!

What I’ve Been Reading At University #4

I wrote a few posts like this during my first year of University and I got some great feedback and response from all of them, so I thought I’d keep you all updated with what I’m reading in my second year! This year I was not only able to choose my own modules but more of them too, which means more books to read and study!

Frankenstein by Mary Shelly – Hollywood has sadly butchered this book and this is a clear a case where the book is far better than the film. The concept, the characters, and the prose all come together to make this classic tale a masterpiece and it was so interesting when it came to analyzing it!

The Word for World is Forest by Ursula Le Guin – Fans of Avatar will love this book because both have a very similar plot and message in regards to consumerism and deforestation. I’d never heard of Ursula Le Guin, however, I’m looking forward to reading more of her novels later in the year as her writing is so detailed and complex and it just makes you think.

Avatar (2009) dir. James Cameron – Avatar is one of my all-time favourites films because of the thought and craft that went into creating such a masterpiece and if it wasn’t three hours long then I’d watch it a lot more. However being able to study and analyse it, is a dream come true and as sad as it sounds I’m actually enjoying reading lengthy essays about the science, creation and meaning behind the film.

The Scarlet Letter by Nathan Hawthorn – The first book of the year that I hated. For me, there was nothing good about this book, and I understand that it is a celebrated American Classic so my apologies if my thoughts offend you. It took a lot of effort read and I hated pretty much all the characters especially Dimsdale!

The Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey – I’m a sucker for a good Western novel or film, so when I saw my lecturer getting very excited about the prospect of sharing her thoughts and starting lengthy discussions, I knew it was going to be a good read! Thankfully I loved it and my American Literature module has redeemed itself, the characters, storyline and open landscape all came together to create this brilliant story that is far more than just a western adventure!

The Poetry of William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge – Two of my all-time favourite poets due to their beautiful and magical representations and relationship with nature. Both poets mastered the ability to transport their readers to faraway places and breathtaking scenes through the power of the imagination and it’s been a real joy to study and appreciate some of their finest work!

Stranger Things: Season 2 – Review

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Warning: Major Spoilers Ahead

Once again the Duffer brothers have created an incredible show that I had to restrain myself from watching all at once! Season two is, in the grand tradition of sequels, even more than season one, with more characters, storylines and of course monsters all paired with equally terrifying action-packed adventure. There so much I want to say and gush about, however, I’ve had to restrain myself and attempt to put all my feelings and emotions into words and fully functioning sentences.

Last season the focus was very much on Mike and Eleven, however, this season it was nice to see that some of our other much-loved characters got their own storylines and focus. Dustin was a favourite of mine in the first season and now I love him even more and would love to have him as a younger brother. His new found relationship with Steve made me fall in love with both of them even more and I need more of this brotherly dynamic. You’ve probably seen the whole internet fall in love with Steve Harrington with his huge character development, that has seen him change from an arrogant pretty boy to this caring and brave young man. God, I just love him, and if the Duffer brothers are looking for someone to play the role of his new love interest then sign me up!

You’ve probably seen the whole internet fall in love with Steve Harrington with his huge character development, that has seen him change from an arrogant pretty boy to this caring and brave young man. God, I just love him, and if the Duffer brothers are looking for someone to play the role of his new love interest in season 3 then sign me up! I thought I’d be more excited about Johnathan and Nancy finally getting together but I think my love and appreciation for Steve has grown so much that I want Nancy to be with him instead!

The addition of Max as a character to balance the group dynamic was fab and I love her relationship with Lucas! I can’t discuss character relationships without mentioning Mike and Eleven. I cried when they had their reunion but I was disappointed that I had to wait till nearly the finale episode for them to reunite. However, the ending of the entire season did make up for that and had my heart melting, I need more of these characters!

Someone just give Noah Shapp an Emmy already because his performance was absolutely incredible, for someone so young being able to perform to such a — level is mindblowing. In all honesty, the whole cast deserves endless praise because they all successfully bring these much-loved characters to life and all give a stunning performance that leaves me wanting more of their characters and performance.

It’s these new multiple storylines that help carry the show and make it more fun and engaging than the first season. We learn more about the characters and beginnings of new friendships as well as more of the backstory of Hawkins Lab with episode seven being entirely dedicated to Eleven and her journey into discovering more about her past. We still have all the action and mystery we had in the first season but now we’ve got more storylines to share it with, keeping us all on the edge of our seats and ending each episode with a serious cliffhanger, making it addicting and hard not to binge!

 

Writing My Own Novel? – NaNoWriMo 2017

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This is something I’ve been considering for a while now and it’s only today that I’ve finally convinced to sign up and join in with this years NaNoWriMo! NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and runs through the entire month on November with the aim to encourage its participants to start their novel and write a grand total of 50,000 words! I’ve had a couple of book ideas and accompanying notes jotted down in various journals and Word documents, however, I’ve never managed to write more than 1000 words due to the horrible feeling of doubt and my enormous workload!

I always compare myself and my work to others and then that horrible feeling of doubt beings to grow in my mind and I start to question whether my work is good enough and whether I should even be writing. I don’t plan to have a finished product by the end of the of the month, instead, I just want to finally put my ideas on a page and into complete sentences and hopefully, the whole process will increase my confidence when it comes to writing!

This is a huge task which requires a lot of work, and I know I haven’t left myself much time to prepare but I’m going to give it a good old go! Fingers crossed, that I can keep up and not get too overwhelmed with the word count! I plan to work on my YA fantasy novel which I’ve been hinting about on here for a while but I don’t want to reveal the synopsis just yet! That is something you’ll just have to wait for!

If you’ve participated before or are planning to participate this year then I’d love to know and I’d especially love to hear some of your tips for surviving NaNoWriMo! I plan to do weekly updates where I’ll record my progress and my thoughts on the whole process so keep your eyes peeled for those! Finally, if you’re interested in joining or just want to follow all the action then you can head to the website www.nanowrimo.org and sign up there!

 

 

20 Things I’ve Learned in Twenty Years

You may argue that I haven’t experienced enough to write a post like this and at the young age of twenty, I have nothing important to share however I completely disagree. I’ve experienced and struggled with a few of life’s bad cards like mental illness, bullying, wavering relationships, however, I’m lucky enough to have been dealt some seriously good ones too. I’ve been blessed with a network of support and love from friends and family, and with a solid plan for the present and the future. I’m currently studying one of my passions at university, all whilst living with five flatmates who I adore and who all put up with my bad jokes. Back home, are my family, high school friends and childhood memories all of which welcome me with open arms and a warm hug whenever I decide to visit.

I’ve learned a lot over the years whether its lessons from my parents or things I’ve discovered on my own and I wanted to share a few of them with you. I hope these words of wisdom can inspire you and encourage you to create your own list that you can look back on in years to come as a reminder that we’re always growing and to never stop learning.

  1. Everything happens for a reason and things might not always go to plan but don’t panic.
  2. Be Kind to everyone, sometimes the smallest of acts can brighten someone’s day.
  3. Time alone is time well spent.
  4. It’s okay to cry, we all have our down moments.
  5. Hard work pays off but don’t overwork yourself.
  6. Celebrate and appreciate the little things in life.
  7. Sometimes it’s okay to be selfish and to put yourself first.
  8. Confidence is key.
  9. Loose lips sink ships (that’s one for you dad!).
  10. Don’t ever give up on something that means the world to you.
  11. Love. Love with all your heart. Love yourself, love your family and love your friends.
  12. You’re not going to be the best at everything and that’s okay.
  13. Never be ashamed of the kind of music you listen to.
  14. Be spontaneous, sometimes the things that aren’t planned are the best.
  15. Don’t compare yourself to others.
  16. Say yes to new experiences – adventure awaits you.
  17. Don’t rush love. It’ll happen when it happens.
  18. It’s okay to have high standards, especially when it comes to boys.
  19. Take as many pictures as humanly possible.
  20. Laugh as much as you can because laughter is the best medicine.

Tomorrow I’ll turn 20 and I’ll admit it’s scary how fast time has gone, and as my friends keep reminding me, that twenty is only halfway to forty. However, I can’t wait to see what the next twenty years have in store. I see my twenties as an open book, a blank page, a new chapter and I’m excited and intrigued to see where it leads me, fingers crossed it’s a place where I’m happy.