Darlings and November Planning

So, after months and months—almost a full year—of procrastination, I finally did what I think is right for my writing.  I killed two of my darlings.  Two that I have been trying to write for almost four years now, and that for the past year, almost, have done me nothing good.  They’re never going to go anywhere, so they’re a distraction, and not even a good one.

I finally came to terms with that and let them go.  I’m going to write the two poor characters a happily ever after on Monday, and then I’ll move on.

I hope.  These two are hard to leave behind.  But I’m pretty sure this is what I need to do.

Meanwhile, on cheerier notes, I’m still working on the planning for my November NaNoNovel.  World-building is going pretty well.  Slow and painful, but as well as I’d expect.  My characters are also coming along quite nicely, though also fairly slowly.  Two of the four protagonists have almost-fully-developed personalities and have joined the herd of other characters that feel like they might be alive in my head.  The other two are…coming much more slowly.  My villain, too, is still mostly flat and lacking any personality, but I’m not too worried.  I have time.

I’ve also been working on a short story, both to help flesh out the backstory of one of the characters, and to keep myself writing until November.  Somebody told me this story is one of my best works so far, but I don’t really believe that it doesn’t need quite a bit of work.  I do agree it’s better than a lot of my other writing, though.  I’m trying to remind myself to properly describe things, and the short story is way more exciting than anything I’ve written.

For some reason, I never seem to have much action.  Just dialogue.  It’s kind of boring.  So this novel I’m planning, I want to be far more exciting.  There’s going to be sword-fights and…other cool stuff.  (I did say I’m not writing an outline, didn’t I? I’m not planning everything!)

My novel is basically a twist off of your stereotypical, “Prophesied Chosen One has to save the world from the ultimate evil”.  I thought it would be interesting if the oracles and prophecies were more everyday things, and how they’d affect things, and it basically turned into this world where the prophecies basically rule everything.  It’s also very interesting to see how the setting affects my characters’ motives and goals.  It’s actually fascinating to build this world, and I’m definitely very excited to write it this November.

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Review of Jack Blank and the Imagine Nation

I don’t normally review books, but this one needed to be reviewed.  So here it is.

I had two people recommend this book (and the rest of the series) to me, so I decided to try it.  After getting extremely annoyed at my library’s e-book selection, I figured out how to put the book on hold (it was a new library, with a different system…I’m not completely computer-illiterate, I swear), and when I got to the library, I picked it up.  I realized, then, that I had no clue what the book was even about.  Oops.  But, really, if someone who has good book tastes and whose opinion I respect and/or value recommends a book to me, there’s a good chance I’ll try it.  Especially if it’s two someones.  (Unless there’s a lot of said someones.  Then I have a bad habit of avoiding the book like the plague.  Hence why I haven’t read Divergent yet.  Oops.)

Anyway, for those people who actually like to know what they’re reading before they put it on hold, here’s a summary stolen—ahem, borrowed—from Amazon, with my actual review following it.

All Jack Blank knows is his bleak, dreary life at St. Barnaby’s Home for the Hopeless, Abandoned, Forgotten, and Lost—an orphanage in the swampland of New Jersey. Covertly reading old comic books is Jack’s only solace. But his life changes forever when he meets an emissary from a secret country called the Imagine Nation, an astonishing place where all the fantastic and unbelievable things in the world originate. Including Jack.

Jack soon discovers that he has an amazing ability—one that could make him the savior of Imagine Nation and the world beyond…or the biggest threat they’ve ever faced.

I went into the book with not much expectation, since I barely knew anything about it, but I had heard it was good.  Hopefully it really was good as I’d heard.  The first sentence caught my interest pretty quickly, which is always good.  I ended up getting stuck at a little church on Monday for twenty minutes while my brother was part of a “meeting” thing for a Boy-Scout-like-troop-thing that he’s in, but I didn’t mind, because I had my library book!  Yay!  My mom started teasing me about how I was being so “loud” while I was reading.  Ha-ha.

Anyway.  The more I read, I realized, the more I was enjoying it.  I liked Jack fairly well.  He seemed like an interesting protagonist, and his “ability” was also pretty interesting.  The other characters I liked, too.  Particularly Jazen, though I don’t really know why.

I think, though, the thing I liked the best about the book was the setting.  I’m not really sure why, but I thought it was awesome.  I enjoyed seeing the different parts of the Imagine Nation.  There wasn’t a whole lot of description, but I thought it was really cool anyhow.

The other thing I really enjoyed was the ending.  In my experience, an ending can make or break a book, sometimes.  If the ending is not very good, it kind of screws up my perspective of the entire book.  But I didn’t have this problem here, thankfully.

In fact, the only issue I had with the ending was that my mom decided sixty pages until the end was the perfect time to have me make tacos for dinner.  I also just so happened to have after-dinner dishes that day, so I spent about two hours trying to act civil with my siblings until I could go back to the book and finish the climax.  I think I did okay.  Maybe my siblings have finally learned that talking to someone who’s been interrupted from an exciting part of their book is not good for their health.  I get…kind of cranky and snappy.

Anyway, throughout reading the book, I kept thinking that this book would make a really cool video game.  If there isn’t one already, someone needs to write one.  Brain, why are you reminding me of those IOS programming books I have on the shelf? Oh yeah, right, I’m supposed to be reading them and learning it…

Overall, I think I’d give this book about four and a half out of five stars.  I can’t decide if I should round that up or down, so I’m just going to leave it at the half.  I’m definitely going to read the second book.

TCWT Blog Chain: And in the Morning, I’m Makin’ Waffles!

I almost completely forgot about this blog chain.  Great way to start off my first post for it… Thankfully, I was reminded the day before I was supposed to have my post, and not the day after.  So I’m not late!  Yet.

Anyway, for those who don’t know what this chain is, here’s a link to the page.

 

Anyhow.  This month’s prompt was:

What kinds of published books would you like to see more of? 

Oh boy.   What a big question.  So here’s a list.

  • One of the things I want to see more of is female characters.  I guess this goes along with what a lot of other people have been saying—having more diversity in books—but I want to see more diverse female characters in the fantasy genre. I mean, how many different personalities, different combinations of flaws and strengths, different backstories, different goals, do you see with male characters?  Why can’t females have just as much diversity and differences?  Not just as a main character, either, but playing any role in the story.  Villain, sidekick, any of that.
  • More fairy tale retellings.  Yes, yes, I know, there already is a lot, but… they’re strangely fascinating.  I’ve never really been able to write one before—at least not very well—but I love reading them.
  • Less love triangles. Don’t get me wrong, I like a little romance. I can fangirl over my favorite ships. However, I prefer the kind that’s just a subplot, has a happily ever after at the end, and doesn’t thrown in any love triangles—especially if the sole purpose of them is for tension and suspense.  There really are other ways to create suspense, I promise.  And, well, I really do like happily ever afters.  I know they’re not very realistic—but when I read about “true love”, I can pretend that it really does exist and that maybe one day I’ll find some kind of Prince Charming, even though I feel darn near invisible to the male gender in social situations.  That sounds super cheesy, I know.  But I have a right to sound cheesy when I want to, thank you.
  • Anyway.  The last thing is different settings. I know there’s lots of different settings in different genres, but I mostly read fantasy, so the setting I see the most of is one usually loosely based off of medieval Europe. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that; it’s a fun time period and place. Almost every single one of my novels has a setting like that, too.  But I think it would be fun to see more fantasy novels set in completely different style settings. How about, say, a big fantasy that happens in the middle of Africa? Or Russia?  And not something modern, either.
    I want to write something like this, myself. I have German heritage and I’m sort-of learning the language, and I think it would be awesome to learn more about the culture and maybe use it for a story. I’ll be honest and say the only reason I haven’t done this yet is because I really…don’t know how to do the research.

And…to end my little list, here’s the other blogs in the chain.

May 5th – http://sammitalk.wordpress.com/
May 6th – http://www.nerdgirlinc.blogspot.com/
May 7th – http://nasrielsfanfics.wordpress.com/
May 8th – http://erinkenobi2893.wordpress.com/
May 9th – http://thelittleenginethatcouldnt.wordpress.com/
May 10th – http://randomofalife.blogspot.com/
May 11th – http://maralaurey.wordpress.com/
May 12th – http://www.fidaislaih.blogspot.com/
May 13th – http://musingsfromnevillesnavel.wordpress.com/
May 14th – http://theloonyteenwriter.wordpress.com/
May 15th – http://insideliamsbrain.wordpress.com/
May 16th – http://taratherese.wordpress.com/
May 17th – http://miriamjoywrites.com/
May 18th – http://oliviarivers.wordpress.com/
May 19th – http://afoodyportfolio.wordpress.com/
May 20th – https://magicandwriting.wordpress.com/
May 21st – http://unikkelyfe.wordpress.com/
May 22nd – http://www.brookeharrison.com/
May 23rd – http://eighthundredninety.blogspot.com/
May 24th – http://www.oyeahwrite.wordpress.com/
May 25th – http://avonsbabbles.wordpress.com/
May 26th – http://blisterblogs.blogspot.com/
May 27th – http://thependanttrilogy.wordpress.com/
May 28th – http://www.lilyjenness.blogspot.com/
May 29th – http://sunsandstarsanddreams.wordpress.com/
May 30th – http://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com/

Resolution

So, I decided to break from NaNo and the forums so I can spend more time writing. Last night was my last day. I had a few conversations with a few of them, managed to evade being “kidnapped”, and joked about having a going-away party. I had fun, and I’ll miss those NaNoers. I’m already looking forward to July, when I come back.

However, there were reasons I had leave, and one of the biggest ones is so I can put more effort into my writing. My Camp NaNo novel got, in some ways, thrown out the window. I got to just above forty thousand words on it, right before the climax, when I just couldn’t go any further. The character that was originally supposed to be my protagonist has so little personality that I don’t like writing her. The other two protagonists who kinda bumped themselves up have personalities that are in some cases flat, and some cases inconsistent. My villains don’t have any more of a personality. My setting is urban fantasy, but I can’t even decide if it’s our world, or just one with technology like ours.

In other words? This is turning out really awful. I think it’s an interesting plot and I’m not ready to give up on it yet, but it’s going to need a real overhaul. So, I think I’ll be working on that one these next two months.

Or….not.

What I probably will be doing is editing my other novel. The same one that I rewrote and rewrote for two years straight, and didn’t actually finish a draft that I was happy with until December. Sometimes, I like to refer to that as The Story, because I can’t seem to stay away from it. After these two years, I know my characters inside and out. I know all of the twists of my plot and I know my setting. And I love every piece of it.

So here is my resolution for the next two months. I will, without a doubt, be editing and writing the second draft to that novel, and hopefully, I will get some character development done and possibly write an outline for when I re-write my camp novel.