The 7 types of writers

1. The Planner

The Planner outlines and details every chapter, every scene, every line before getting down to writing. Flash cards and Excel sheets are usually involved. It’s pretty hardcore.

 

2. The Pantser

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Panster, as in write by the seat of your pants. I.e. the opposite of the Plotter. Plan? What plan? They make it up as they go along. And somehow, it works for them.

 

3. The After-Hours Writer

Also known as the one responsible for the feverish mutterings in the middle of the night.

 

4. The Researcher

You know that half of what you’ve researched won’t go into the book, but man does it take the pressure off writing the actual thing!

Also, everything counts as research. Including watching videos like this documentary on McBusted:

 

5. The Uninspired

Self-explanatory.

 

6. The Inspired

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Well. Good for you. Exit that way, please.

 

7. The Desperate

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Desperate are those who have spent weeks and months tearing apart everything they write because nothing seems to be good enough.

 

8. The Emotional

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They react to everything they write … or don’t write.

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Guess which one I am now?

 

But I found this quote on Laini Taylor’s blog that is somewhat encouraging:

“One reason people have artist’s block is that they do not respect the law of dormancy in nature. Trees don’t produce fruit all year long constantly. They have a point when they go dormant.

And when you are in a dormant period creatively, if you can arrange your life to do the technical tasks that don’t take creativity, you are essentially preparing for the spring when it will all blossom again.”

~ Marshall Vandruff

 

Leave it to Laini to offer a dose of optimism. I swear, that woman inhales sunshine for breakfast. (Although with that fabulous pink hair, can she be anything but happy?)

 

Hope you’re having a more creative day than me!

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June Read-List and Watch-List

Read-list: 

 

1. Midnight Thief, by Livia Blackburne

O.M.G. How awesome does the plot sound. Gotta love characters with conflicting agenda, when the love interest is also the antagonist. Can’t wait to read this!

 

2. The Girl from the Well, by Rin Chupeco

Yay for horror that doesn’t involve monsters and gore! A girl who hunts murderers meets a strange tattooed boy with a dark secret. Plus, creepy doll rituals and Japanese exorcisms. YUM.

 

3. Forget Me, by K.A. Harrington

“Psychological thriller with a romantic twist” is what it says on the Goodreads page. Reason enough to read it.

 

4. Of Metal and Wishes, by Sarah Fine

More horror. A unique setting. A girl who is drawn to the Ghost in a slaughterhouse where she assists her father in the medical clinic. The whole thing sounds very Phantom of the Opera-ish. And The Phantom of the Opera is one of the most haunting, beautiful books I’ve ever read.

 

5. We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart

This one has a very deliciously twisty plot.

And bonus reason to read the book: Maggie Stiefvater loves it.

 

6. Deep Blue, by Jennifer Donelly

I will never get tired of mermaid stories. This one’s about mermaid heroines who gather their forces across the 6 seas to prevent a war between the Mer nations. Sign me on.

 

7. Trust Me, I’m Lying, by Mary Elizabeth Summer

Grifters, con artists, swanky high school and its dirty politics, missing fathers. What’s not to love?

 

8. Inland, by Kat Rosenfield

This seems to contain elements of magical realism, and goodness knows I’ve been searching high and low for magical realism books. We need more of those, especially in YA! And you know what Toni Morrison said:

 

9. The Museum of Extraordinary Things, by Alice Hoffman

 

Speaking of magical realism, here’s one of the masters of that genre. I’m still in love with the last Alice Hoffman book I read, The Story Sisters. This one, though, is set in a freak circus. You can’t really go wrong with a setting like that. Remember Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby? So yes, I have high hopes for this one.

 

10. The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare, by M.G. Buehrlen

A 17-year-old who has visions of the past is actually a Descender, someone who can travel back in time by accessing Limbo, the space between Life and Afterlife. Alex is in fact one soul with fifty-six past lives. And each of them features this mysterious boy with “soulful blue eyes”. SO reading this.

 

What’s on your read-list? Any other recommendations?

 

 

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Watch-list: 

 

1. Dream High 2

Dream High was a pretty entertaining and compelling drama series, so hopefully the sequel won’t disappoint!

 

2. Pretty Little Liars

Yes, I’m late to the game. But I’ve heard it’s got a great twisty plot like Vampire Diaries, so I’m sold. There’s the stigma attached to PLL – a lot of people probably dismiss it as some high school drama series – but I’m hoping it will, like TVD, change my mind and wow me right from the first episode.

 

3. God’s Quiz 4 

One word: Donghae.

 

Also, this is the cutest thing you’ll see today:

(The boy, I mean. Not the fangirls.)

 

Okay, okay. Something cute that’s not for the fangirls:

I don’t know, bananana sounds catchier to me.

 

Happy mid-week! :0)

last post for April!

OMG, IT’S ALMOST MAY.

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WHERE DID A THIRD OF THE YEAR GO?!

Terrible, tragic things happened (I can’t read an article about the Sewol disaster without fucking crying – why do awful things happen to good people? They were only kids, dammit!), the world is still crazy, and it’s already (only?) May. Can 2014 please be kinder?

 

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In other news, author Chuck Wendig dishes some brilliant advice for young aspiring writers. So much gold in this post!

You’re not actually meant to be good. Not being good is how you get better. Not being good means you’re in that formative, fundamental blobby parthogenesis period where The Authorial You just starts to emerge. Not being good is how we are forced to take the time to not just Get Good, but also Become Us. You’re not yet the Author That You Will Become. This is all normal. Be bold enough to suck with gleeful abandon — but also know that your critical urge to be better-faster-now is a good one. Don’t quit. Don’t rest. Force yourself to improve.

You find your voice by doing. And by rewriting. You won’t want to rewrite now. You won’t want to edit. Edits feel like you’re not good, like you’re being insulted, like having to fix it means it was broken to begin with. But recognizing broken things is a value. A skill. You get as many shots at the goal as you want. Let that be freeing, not punishing.

In writing a lot and rewriting a lot, your voice will find you.

 

 

Author Natalie Whipple also shares her wisdom:

Sometimes You Have To Cut Your Losses

I’ve grown to kind of dislike the “Never Give Up” advice. Sometimes you gotta give up on something to move forward. Maybe not on writing as a whole, but on a story idea that is not strong enough to hold its own. Or on a novel that’s been on sub two years. Or on that first novel you ever wrote that has seen 200 rejections. Moving on can open up a new world. I’ve done it a lot. Never regretted it. If you find yourself pining over something from the past, you can always go back, too.

 

So here’s to rewrites and new beginnings, the pain of letting go and moving on.

 

 

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And because I really don’t want this post to end on such a heavy note (I can’t read an article about the Sewol disaster without fucking crying – why do awful things happen to good people? They were only kids, dammit!), here are some happy things for a Monday:

 

Funny signs

 

Advice from children

 

Life hacks to make life simple for girls

 

Cool wedding ideas (not that I’m dreaming of my own)

 

Pretty pictures:

Swooooon. Those colours!

 

Atypalaia, Greece – this is what fantasy stories are inspired by.

 

Oh, you sweet sweet boy

 

 

And lastly, a lovely song:

I may not understand the lyrics, but Donghae’s voice! As sweet as his face.

 

Have a great week, everyone! And happy Labour Day!

The 15 stages of book addiction

1. At first, you come across the book with the pretty cover and you’re like

 

 

 

2. First chapter in and you’re still like

 

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3. But halfway through you become like

 

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4. And then like

 

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5. By the final chapter you’re like

 

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Even though you’re like this

 

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6. After you close the book you’re like

 

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And

 

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7. You rush out to buy the hard copy even though you’ve already got the e-book.

 

 

 

8. You look for someone to fangirl with over the book, but it’s like

 

 

 

9. But then you find a fellow fan at last and it’s like

 

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10. Later, you learn that the sequel is out and this becomes you

 

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11. But then the sequel won’t be out until next year and you’re like

 

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12. Finally, the sequel is here and you’re like

 

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13. You repeat stages 4 and 5, only this time you’re more like this

 

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And

 

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And

 

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14. And now that there’s a final installment, you’re like

 

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But since it’s the end, you’re also like

 

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15. So you ration your candy, so to speak

 

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The above chronicle is all thanks to this mindblowing, awe-inspiring, wonderfully crafted epic trilogy:

 

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(gif from Laini’s blog)

 

Thank you, Laini, for sharing your beautiful writing with the world.

 

Monday moodlifters (apart from that rejection letter)!

So I was video-surfing on YouTube yesterday and chanced upon this lovely artiste: Laurel.

That’s it. Laurel. I have no idea who she is – Google doesn’t even know her by her mononym yet. She is that new.

But a deeper search provided some answers: Laurel Arnell-Cullen, a 19-year-old British girl who’s been writing songs since she was 12. This instills a deep sense of shame in me. What was I doing when I was 19 – or 12, for that matter – instead of writing gorgeous songs like hers?

But I’ll stop talking now and let her music speak for itself.

This one’s called Fire Breather. It was used in episode 16 of The Vampire Diaries season 5. I haven’t watched it yet, but apparently it was used for some Delena scene (meh, whatevs).

That voice! That beat! Excuse me while I punch the crap out of the Replay button.

This one is called To the Hills:

Oh. My. Gosh. I DIE. Can we just pause whatever we’re doing and LISTEN to her?

Those words! Those imagery! Can’t you just imagine a scene already? SO dramatic. I filled 6 pages of my notebook just listening to her – wrote a short story too, although that could be attributed to re-reading Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor.

I NEED MORE!

Her songs are like a delicious mix of Lorde and Lana Del Rey, perfect for writing some sweeping fantasy story – which, I admit, is an idea I’m kind of toying with. I PROMISE I’ll come back to Neverland … someday. For now, I don’t want to pin myself to a story that’s not working and restrict myself from working on anything else.

Speaking of a story that’s not working, I just received my first non-form rejection letter – i.e. a personal rejection letter, which is what you get after a literary agent decides to look at your manuscript – for Until Morning.

A form rejection letter goes like this:

Dear author, I apologise for the impersonal nature of this letter, but after careful consideration I have decided to pass on your manuscript blabbity blah blah more depressing blah. 

So a personal rejection letter is a tiny step up – still depressing because it’s like having your crush lead you on before telling you he’s not into you after all.

Wait, where did THAT analogy come from?

Anyway, here’s the first heartbreak for Until Morning:

Dear Joyce,


Thank you so much for allowing us to read the first 50 pages of UNTIL MORNING. Catherine and I were very drawn in by your expert use of lyrical language and cleverly imagined scenes. Unfortunately, I think we will have to pass on the project, as it’s just not quite right for us. The work is of such high quality that it deserves an agent who will be able to grant it his or her full attention. 

I do regret that we have to pass on this, but I am confident that you will find an excited agent soon. I wish you the best of luck in your continuing search for representation and publication.

All best,

Andrew

Office of Catherine Drayton

 

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Sigh. So close. So damn close.

Happy things? Much needed.

I’m weirdly obsessed with deer art these days:

by AnnyaKaiArt on Etsy
Deer cookies
by CirqueDeArt on Etsy

And this boy:

And adorable babies:

Speaking of babies, isn’t this picture of Prince George so darn adorable?

Image from Elle.com

Awwww! Those cheeks!

Also, in a bout of Harry Potter nostalgia, I found an article listing out 6 possible spinoffs and oh yes please to all of them!

I’ve been going on for ages about a Marauders spinoff (more James Potter and Sirius Black bromance; more James Potter, period):

The Marauders Art Print by sevillaseas on society6.com

but a Founders spinoff and Auror spinoff sound intriguing too. See what happens when you write a richly imagined series? SO much room for potential spinoffs!

Also, if you haven’t already seen this, you should. Gorgeous photography by Katerina Plotnikova. So many story ideas zinging around. I mean, look!

Okay, a little too many antlers for this post.

Peter Pan quote

Have a great week, everyone! :0)

mid-week moodlifters!

It’s Monday again and we’re halfway through March!

That’s the spirit.

I’ll admit my mood flagged a little over the weekend, partly because of my back injury*, partly because of the rain that has returned after two months of dry spell**, and partly because of this remark that I could care less about – “You should work on something more meaningful than your novels. Don’t waste your time on something that yields nothing.”***

* Just heal completely already!

** Yes, goodbye haze, and good riddance – but hello, dark clouds and slippery floors. I think I’ve developed a phobia after this recent fall.

*** First off, meaningful for whom? And how do you define meaningful – by its monetary returns? Does that mean I should only devote all my time to things that I get paid for? Why should writing a story be considered a waste of time if it makes me happy and no one is hurting from it (unless, of course, my stories suck and they hated it)?

Ugh. Writing a novel is an endeavour that’s trying and lonely enough without the naysayers and their two cents’ worth on something they don’t quite understand.

So yes, mood-lifters are very much needed!

Some inordinate amount of cuteness from this little munchkin. Look at those cheeks!

I must have watched this at least twenty times since I first came across it last Saturday. I love her unabashed smile – so much innocence in a world where we need to educate children to say no to strangers.

Speaking of cute,

What? He’s a guilty pleasure, okay?
The Snow Queen, illustrated by Natalia Salienco

Just finished reading Cold Spell over the weekend, and it’s good enough for me to want to own it. It’s plot heavy, but the prose has improved a lot since Jackson Pearce’s first book.

Plus, more than anything, I’m taken by the idea of childhood best friends turned lovers (as in the illustration above). The romance between Ginny and Kai is so sweet and pure in the story, and the love they have for each other is believable and something you want to root for all the way till the end – which is particularly important since that’s an integral part of The Snow Queen.

Also, there’s a good buildup towards the climax, where every secondary character and villain came into play so there wasn’t any plot device or purple prose or extraneous anything. No flab at all! Although that could be the work of the editor.

But still, a vast improvement from the first book, Sisters Red, which was kinda forgettable, to be honest (sorry!).

Yes, take me to Neverland where the words will flow.

I’m going through a Gilmore phase right now. Again. Yes, I’m rewatching it. You can never watch Gilmore Girls too much.

See, things don’t look so bad already. I mean, on the bright side:

1. The injury is healing. Slowly, but at least it’s healing.

2. No more baking in the insane heat. And no more haze. Always a good thing.

3.

Because good books are the best defence against folks who don’t like reading and think that fiction is a waste of time.

And while I’m at it, I shall

Because

Rumi

Have a great week, everyone! :0)