To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo Book Review – Magical, Mythical, and Yes, Bloody

To Kill a Kingdom took me over 3 weeks to read, but I enjoyed those 3 weeks spent desperately trying to squeeze in time for this gory “The Little Mermaid” retelling. This is going to be a SPOILER review, but before I get into this, I’ll give a quick description in case you are interested in reading it but don’t really know what it’s about! My quick thoughts are that I really did like it and you should check it out if you like mythology, deadly characters, and a fast-paced plot.

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To Kill a Kingdom is a magical, mythical, and yes, bloody retelling of “The Little Mermaid” following our two main characters, Lira, a siren heiress who takes the heart of a prince for each year she has been alive, and Elian, the human heir of Midas but siren killer and sailor at heart. When Lira kills one of her own, her mother banishes her from the sea as a human with the task of retrieving Elian’s heart in exchange for her place back in the sea. But what happens when Lira finds a place with Elian and his crew? And what happens when they find out the truth of who she is; a siren on a ship of siren killers.

——————————————————SPOILERS AHEAD—————————————————–

After reading the first 50 pages of To Kill a Kingdom, I immediately thought “The Little Mermaid” meets “Throne of Glass”. It has the core story of “The Little Mermaid” and the initial drive and goal that our main character, Celaena, has in “Throne of Glass”. While I am not a huge fan of the Throne of Glass series, I did enjoy the first book though so I knew I would like To Kill a Kingdom. And I did! A lot!

One thing I appreciated about this book a lot is the consistency of the characters. Lira and Elian are both murderers and don’t flinch at the sight of blood. I was worried that as we followed them through the story, that they would soften a bit because of each other and their growing feelings, but luckily that didn’t happen. Well, I mean they did fall for each other but they were still themselves. Sometimes, authors kind of soften their characters personalities when a relationship forms but luckily, that was not the case for this book. When it comes to our two main characters, I am not sure I could pick a favourite. There were times I liked Lira more than Elian and times where I liked Elian more. I do love their names though, and for some reason that made me love this book even more. They were both strong-willed and brave and intelligent in a lot of similar ways which was interesting because I haven’t read many books where the love interests and two POV characters were THAT similar. It made for a nice connection at the beginning though because them being so similar meant they quickly understood the each other. I was really surprised to like them both equally because when it comes to having more than one POV, I rarely ever like them all.

One thing I was kind of sad about when it came to characters was the rest of the cast in this book. The sailors of the Saad just really fell flat from me and I didn’t connect with them at all. Maybe it was just me but I feel like they were just there. Kye and Madrid were close to feeling like real people to me, but only just when the book was wrapping up. That is one thing that disappointed me and kind of made me not love the book as much as I could of, but since Elian and Lira were such strong characters, it kind of makes up for it. Kind of.

The plot was a lot of fun and pulled me in from page one. I mean kickass sirens and a deadly siren queen? Yes, please. The story was dark from the beginning and for the most part, kept the darkness which was perfect considering most of the days I read this book were cold and wet. As Elian and Lira started actually liking and caring for one another though, the mood and atmosphere of the story got lighter, like the clouds of a storm were finally parting. I thought the pacing of the plot was fast but not too fast for the most part, however, I thought the last 100 pages just happened all at once. The author sped through them and there was a lot more telling rather than showing I found. This threw me out of the story a little bit, but I was so deep already that it wasn’t enough for me to put it down or anything luckily. When it came to that final fight scene though…that was a little fast in my opinion. I mean, I am not saying I want a long, drawn-out fight scene because ugh, boring. I just wanted a little more substance to it so it would slow down a tad. We finally got to the end and it was a battle between the sirens and the humans, mostly focused on Lira and her mother though. We got no insight really to what was happening around her and Elian, or maybe we did but it just wasn’t enough for me to really envision it! And then bam, Lira has convinced the sirens to join her side and turn against her mother. And then bam, her mother is killed. And then bam, story over.

I know I complained a lot towards the end, but apart from those last 100 or so pages, I did really enjoy this book. I just had some problems with it but hey, no book is perfect. Would I recommend this book? Yes! If you love myths and legends, especially The Little Mermaid but with a bloody twist, then give it a shot. If you have read this book, let me know what you thought in the comments! Or even better, if you have a review of this book as well, link it for me to check out. Out of 5 stars..this book would get a solid 4/5 stars!

Anyways, that is all for this review on To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo and I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts. Let me know if there are any specific books you want me to read and review, otherwise, my next book review will (most likely) be The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth sometime in late October! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts which are all linked below. Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: All About NaNoWriMo

 

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All About NaNoWriMo

The month of November is fast approaching as well as October, two very important months for writers. While I have talked about it quite a bit on my blog, I thought it would be helpful to make a post where I put all the information you need to know about NaNoWriMo and Preptober is for you to learn about it.

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So, What IS NaNoWriMo and Preptober?

First off, Preptober is a time during the month of October where writers plot and outline the story they will be writing in November for NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo stands for “National Novel Writing Month” and is an online based event where you try to write a first draft (50,000 words) in one month. You can make an account at nanowrimo.org where you can create your project, meet writing buddies, and also see if there are any local, NaNoWriMo events near you. It is a time for writers across the world to come together and get their stories on the page.

Do You Have to Write 50,000 Words in 30 Days?

While that is the ultimate goal, it is completely alright if you don’t achieve that. The point of NaNoWriMo is to motivate you to write more than you would if you didn’t participate, and even if that is only 100 words, that is still a success. Don’t let that daunting word count goal keep you from joining because it is still a lot of fun!

Perks of NaNoWriMo?

Well, apart from getting some productive writing done, there are sponsor offers that NaNoWriMo offers to the participants and winners of NaNoWriMo. Even if you don’t write 50k, some goodies are still offered to you. Here are some past examples of sponsor offers: a certain percentage for both participants and winners off of Scrivener, money off of online writing community subscriptions, and much more!

Like I said before, it is also a great way to meet writing friends whether that is online or in-person which is always great. There is even a NaNoWriMo YouTube account where they post writing tip videos and virtual write-ins all year round that comes in handy during November when you need to get some writing done! Lastly, on Twitter, NaNoWriMo has a word sprint account where during Camp NaNoWriMo (writing even that takes place during April and July every year and is the same thing as NaNoWriMo except you create your own goal) and NaNoWriMo, they host writing sprints that are incredibly helpful in getting words on the page.

Tips for NaNoWriMo?

  • Use October wisely to prep yourself for a full month of writing. Plan out everything possible and more so you don’t waste any time adding to your outline in November!
  • Figure out how you write best before November. Do you write better in short or long sessions? Morning or night? With tea or without tea?
  • Make yourself a “writing motivation pack” full of things that wrangle you free of writer’s block. For example, I watch AuthorTube videos when I need some inspiration and listen to fantasy playlists to get me in the mood for my project.
  • Keep up with my blog posts during October and November where I share tips and tricks for the two months!

That is all I have to share about Preptober and NaNoWriMo and I hope you enjoyed! In October AND November, I will be posting weekly posts all about preparing for NaNoWriMo and staying motivated while writing, so keep your eyes opened for those. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as all my social media accounts linked below. Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: Things I Learned From Writing the 1st Draft

 

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Things I Learned from Writing the 1st Draft

The best way to learn about writing is by doing it, and while I have written my fair share of first drafts, I still learn a lot each time I sit down and begin a new story. On April 1st of this year, I sat down to write the first draft of my WIP I like to call “Project Mystic”. This is by far my most developed project and is something I am still working on today, but boy, did I learn a lot after writing its (AWFUL) first draft. Today, I am going to give a list of all the things I learned while writing its first draft that helped me become a better and more understanding writer.

  • First drafts really do suck
  • Only time will make your writing good
  • Your ideas will change with each draft, and that’s okay
  • Sometimes our thoughts don’t translate perfectly onto the page…and that is also okay
  • The more you love your project, the faster you will get through that horrid first draft…don’t waste your time on a project you aren’t passionate about!
  • You have to be okay with things not going according to plan otherwise you will spiral in on yourself
  • Just get it done. No matter how crap it is, just keep on writing
  • But remember to take lots of breaks…whole day breaks, weekend breaks, evening breaks, whatever fits your needs
  • First drafts can be as long or short as you need them to be, there is no right length
  • Stretch…a lot. This goes for whenever you are sitting at your computer for long periods of time, whether its when writing your first draft or not
  • The writing routine/schedule you are using for your first draft might not hold out the entire drafting process, and it probably won’t be the same routine you use for your other drafts or other projects. Be flexible
  • If you change something from your original outline make sure you add it into your outline right away! You don’t want to write it in and then have no idea where to go from there
  • Be patient and enjoy the process of writing your first draft

So there is my rambly list of things I’ve learned from writing the first draft and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post and my social media accounts which are all linked below! Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: October 2018 TBR

 

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Reading + Writing Update

FIRST OFF, before I get into this update I wanted to take a minute and ask you all to either comment on this post or head over to my Twitter and/or Instagram and give me some blog post suggestions! I really want to make content that not only I enjoy making but that you all enjoy reading so it would be really helpful if you gave me your ideas. If you have any thoughts or ideas on anything about my blog and what you want to see from me in the future, please let me know.  Thanks 🙂

For the first time since school started (for me, that was only 2 1/2 weeks ago but feels more like 2 1/2 years), I am excited to give this reading and writing update to you all because I have lots of fun reading and writing related things to update you all on!

I FINISHED TO KILL A KINGDOM BY ALEXANDRA CHRISTO. I know, it took me like 3 weeks to finish this book which is ONLY 350ish pages, and that is insane. I blame school and stress and also my tendency to procrastinate. However, I did really enjoy the story and how cut-throat and interesting all the characters were. I finished this book earlier today because I had maybe 50 pages to go, and I am just so happy to say I have read it because it was a great and bloody twist on The Little Mermaid that I was definitely in the mood for this month. Sometime last week I started listening to the audiobook for City of Glass by Cassandra Clare, and yes, I am still working my way through it. I have only 2 1/2 hours left and since I listen to it on double speed I have no doubt I will finish it sometime in the next three or four days so yay. Oooh, I also finished reading Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese (thankfully, because I have a class discussion on it tomorrow morning), but again, I finished it just before I sat down to write this post. This book took me through a whirl of strong emotions and sometimes I had to put it down for a bit because it was shockingly real and raw. I did enjoy it though and am glad my teacher assigned us to read it because it is a very important book covering a very important topic in Canadian culture; residential schools.

As for what I am going to pick up this week, I think I am going to start reading the City of Bones graphic novel as well as The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater…I read the first 100 pages around a month ago but got distracted and never finished it! However, due to all my classes and all that fun stuff, I might also be picking up a collection of short stories called Traplines by Eden Robinson. I am super excited to get to this short story collection but the realization that it’s for school kind of takes away the excitement. You know? We’ll see.

A lot of writing also got done this week because I am racing to meet a deadline that is next Sunday, Septemeber 30th. I need to have 20 polished and revised pages to submit to this fellowship I have been working towards for months, and while I am way more behind than I set out to be, that’s okay. I have been working really hard this month and finally finished writing those 20 pages this week and I am kind of…happy with them. This coming week, however, I will be focusing on rewriting and editing them like crazy. Overall, I wrote around 11,000 words this week and it feels good! It really does. I am kind of sad I didn’t have a chance to work on this short story I started writing this month (a fun but dark and mystical fairy story), but I knew I had to put what was important first and that was my 20 pages.

Well, that was my week reading and writing wise and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked below. Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: October 2018 TBR

 

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October 2018 TBR

September was a better reading month than I thought, so fingers crossed that October is just as good. For the most part of September, school work was steady but easy enough, however, now that it is halfway through the month it has picked up a lot, to say the least. I still want to make time for my personal reading though, but I also have a few required reading books for my writing and English class so hopefully, I’ll get a few books read by the end of the month.

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

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As I’ve mentioned before, I am re-reading The Mortal Instruments series via audiobook and will definitely be on the fourth book by the time October rolls around. This series follows a race of half-humans and half-angels called Shadowhunters who fight demons to keep balance in the world. This is one of my favourite series and I’m really loving listening to the books while commuting to and between my classes every week.

Traplines by Eden Robinson 

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For my writing class, we have a mini assignment series called “Reading Like a Writer” where we read/watch projects written by living Canadian writers. For the short story part of this assignment, I decided to pick up this short story book and am really looking forward to it. It is written by a First Nations woman and her stories are heart gripping and incredibly realistic. I read one of the stories in this book for English last year and liked it so it was the first book to come to mind when this assignment popped up.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

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Clearly, I did not get to this book in September because of all the homework, reading and procrastination that had to get done. However, I am ready to (hopefully) pick this West African YA fantasy book up in October. Like I just said, this is a West African fantasy book that has lots of magic and epicness. Other than that, it is a mystery to me but I am so ready to dive in.

Those are the top 3 books I want to get to this month but I know this list will grow once I get more assigned reading for my classes. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts all linked below! Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: Tools for Writers

 

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Tools for Writers

All writers have some tools up their sleeves that they use whenever they write, but in case you are in search of some new ones, here are a few of my personal recommendations!

Grammarly

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I recently got the free version of Grammarly and not only is it great for essays and other school assignments, but it is also great for short stories and other creative writing projects. I wouldn’t recommend it for poetry, but if you are submitting a short piece to a contest/literary magazine, I would recommend giving it a try! The free version catches any obvious and common grammar errors, and also helps drive you to write stronger sentences. Sometimes when using creative pieces in it, it isn’t the best, but for those grammar errors, it’s really useful. (I’m actually using it right now to write this post)

MyWriteClub

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When it is not NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNoWriMo season, I like to use MyWriteClub to track my writing progress. I am not the best when it comes to keeping up with always putting my daily/weekly word counts in…but that is something I am trying to form a habit of. If you like tracking your progress, especially if you have multiple writing projects, I definitely recommend this website!

Pinterest

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I am 99% sure I put this in every writing tool related post, but it’s because it’s probably the best tool out there for writers. You can search for writing prompts of all genres, setting inspiration like forests, castles, etc, characters, and outfits. It has everything you need on one website/app but just make sure you don’t spend too much time on it. We all get a little distracted by Pinterest’s wonders sometimes, but try not to get sucked into the deep, dark hole too often.

Craft Literary

This is a great website where you can submit your own work and also where you can get helpful writing tips. There are lots of websites similar to this one, but I decided to give this one a try one day and really like it. If you sign up for their email you also get some extra tidbits and don’t worry, they don’t bombard you with emails every day or even every week.

Prompt Generator

I absolutely love using this website if I just want to write a fun, little story, or I can’t seem to rack my brain for one, single idea. It is also great if you are in a writing class and need to write a lot of stories because after searching our brains for ideas for hours, our brains kind of turn to mush. What I like to do is spend maybe 15 minutes on this website with my notebook in hand just writing down all the prompts it gives me so whenever I am in need of one, I just can flip through it quickly and pick one.

Those are 5 of my top writing tools and I hope you give them a try if you haven’t already! Make sure you comment some of your favourite writing tools because I am always looking for more to explore. Also, check out my last blog post and all my social media accounts linked down below. Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: 5 Books That Surprised Me

 

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5 Books That Surprised Me

In my several years of being an avid reader, I have had a lot of surprising reads. Whether I’ve picked up a book without knowing anything about it, or it was one that I didn’t really think I’d like but gave it a chance anyways…what ties all these books together that I am going to share below, is that they all surprised me in some way, shape, or form. Anyways, here are 5 books I read that have surprised me.

The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth

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This was the book that sparked my idea for this post because I LOVED this book, as I have mentioned a lot since I read it just over a month ago. This is a contemporary-fantasy book that follows two sisters who have returned from a magical kingdom called The Woodlands and now have to readjust to reality. While the eldest sister, Philippa is eager to get back to her old life, Evelyn is unable to let go of the beauty and magic that was The Woodlands. I love, love, love this book. It is whimsical and atmospheric with a story that really grabs you from page one with its deeper meaning underneath. I had no idea what this book was about going into it, but if anything that only made me love it more.

Oedipus the King by Sophocles

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I spoke about this play a bit in yesterday’s reading and writing update, and I actually really enjoyed the play. I am not a huge fan of plays, and this one was a weird one that is for sure, but it had so many elements like irony, setting, and truth that I couldn’t help but admire it. In this Greek tragedy, we follow King Oedipus of Thebes who is told by Apollo to avenge the death of the former king of Thebes, Laius. Lots of truths unravel and our characters are faced with the dilemma of staying in the dark or opening their eyes up to the light. The character dynamic is strange, to say the least, but it is fast paced and a very thought triggering read.

Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa

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Again, I had never been one to love mangas but Fullmetal Alchemist help transition me into being more open to mangas. The anime is also a great adaptation of this manga and helped me fall in love with the story and characters more. The manga is very detailed and interesting, and of course, a really quick read. I could sit down and blast through one of the books in an hour if I wanted to because of how enjoyable they are. In this manga, we follow two brothers, Edward and Al who are alchemists in search of the philosopher’s stone to undo some past…complications while doing alchemy. I am only on the second one in the series but I am excited to continue it!

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

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This was the book that got me into the world of YA/Middle Grade and for that, I owe it everything. I did not expect to love this book and its series as much as I ended up to because I refused to read it or watch the movie for the longest time. It was funny how quick I was to draw the conclusion that I would hate it when I ended up adoring everything about it. In this story, we follow twelve-year-old Percy Jackson who learns he is the offspring of a Greek god and human and is brought to a special camp that is home for kids like him. However, he is being accused of stealing one of the most powerful weapons in the world; Zeus’s lightning bolt, and is forced to go on a quest to find it before time runs out.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart 

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I am pretty sure I picked this book up from a thrift shop after hearing good things about it, but it took me about a year to finally read it. When I did though, I was blown away by how gripping and mysterious it was, and how eager I was to find out what really happened in the end. It wasn’t the best book ever writing or story-wise, but it was enough to really keep me interested. I don’t want to give too much away about the plotline, but it mainly focuses on a family and a certain summer on their private island. This book made me cry and laugh, and somehow I connected with the characters in just over 300 pages. Something I was not expecting!

Those are 5 books that surprised me and if you haven’t had the chance to pick them up, definitely give them a try! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts linked below. Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading + Writing Update

 

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Reading + Writing Update

I was going to start this update off how I usually do, with “I didn’t get AS much reading done as I hoped, but that’s how it goes sometimes…” but then I realized I actually did get a lot of reading done. The thing is, I started 3 new books this week on top of the one I was already reading which is To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo. So, while I didn’t finish a whole lot of books this week, I did read a lot of pages. This is at the fault of my English AP class because of all the required reading I have to do, but I’m not complaining because so far, I’ve been enjoying what I’ve had to read for this class.

Let’s start at the beginning though. I am still not done reading To Kill a Kingdom, but I did read another 150 pages meaning I only have around 100 pages left. Again, still really enjoying it. I also started listening to the audiobook for City of Glass by Cassandra Clare and am about halfway through it. I really enjoy revisiting this series via audiobook while riding the bus to my classes or walking around campus because I spend a lot of my time commuting. As for my English class, we started off the year with the famous Greek tragedy Oedipus the King by Sophocles, and while it was a really weird story with really weird character dynamics (if you’ve read it…you know what I’m talking about), I did actually enjoy it. I’ll go into more detail in my monthly wrap up, but I was surprised at how quick and easy of a read (took me 2 days) it was for me. Phew, okay, the last book to update on is Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese, another book I am reading for English class. This is a book that follows a character who has dealt first hand with residential schools (a massive part of Canadian history). I am also really liking this book and it really touches your heart while reading it. I’m on page 110 out 221 so I have no doubt I will finish it this coming week…well, actually I HAVE to have it read for September 24 so I have no choice but to finish it this week.

Don’t worry, don’t worry. Despite all that reading, I did this week, I also did some writing. For my writing class, our first assignment is actually due tomorrow and it was a “polished prompt” assignment. The prompt was a picture and we were put to the task of writing a 250-300 word story (more like a scene, to be honest) based off of it. I wrote exactly 300 words for that story and had a lot of fun doing it. It required a lot more editing than I thought it would, mostly because I really want to do well on the first assignment despite it being a tiny, tiny fraction of my overall grade. I have also been scrambling to write my first 20 pages for this fellowship with a terrifyingly close deadline. Over this past week, I probably wrote 12 pages towards it but I need to pick up the pace. I still need time to edit it and make it (almost) perfect because I really need this. But anyway, I’m trying not to stress too much and am just enjoying the process of rewriting my WIP of 6 months.

That is all for this reading and writing update and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts linked below. Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: Going Into College As A Writer – Tips, Tricks, and Things To Keep in Mind

 

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Going Into College As A Writer – Tips, Tricks, and Things To Keep in Mind

Helloooo everybody!

Today I have a post I am really excited to share and really enjoyed putting together. I will be talking about going into college as a writer because I am a writer in my senior year, meaning I am applying for colleges this year and going into my first year in about elevenish months… Because of that, I put together some tips, tricks, and important things to keep in mind when applying for majors, minors, scholarships, and also just approaching your years to come.

Applying

First off, it is important to figure out what you are going to college to study. Is it related to writing? Is it not? These are all really important things to think about and decide before you apply for your dream school(s). Obviously.

As of now, I plan to study English and minor in Professional Communication because those are two things that could benefit my career as a writer. It is important to realize that you become a better writer not by studying it at college, but by constantly writing new things. That is the only way to become a stronger writer and you can’t go into your first year and expect that studying writing or English will instantly make you a fantastic writer who will 100% get published. It can be helpful to study something apart from writing or English that will benefit your writing like history or business; something that you can make into your back up plan or just help yourself become a more diverse writer.

I decided to study English because while I want to write novels, I also want to write short stories, articles, essays, and blog posts. I want to become better at grammar and structure because those are two things I can easily improve in, and English is all about that. My Professional Communication minor will also help that because it focuses all on business and social media writing, two things that could help me find jobs still related to writing. While being a fiction writer is ideal, that will only come in time and while we should aim high and follow our dreams, we need some realistic revelations sometimes as well.

Scholarships

Lots of scholarships require you to write essays about yourself or your career plans so if you are a writer, it would only make sense to focus on the scholarships where you can let your writing skills shine. Keep an eye out for the ones that requirer longer essays because students who don’t like to write will definitely stray away from those. I also recommend submitting just to writing contests overall because you can get prize money for them too. Find essay and short story contests, or whatever you feel most comfortable writing and submit! Sometimes writers forget that this is an option and really, it is a great way to make money for school! Here are some contests I recommend:

Reminders

  • Writing classes won’t exactly make you a better writer, especially if you enjoy writing YA fantasy or whatever genre stories. Writing classes at colleges are geared toward writing stories of “high class” literature and it’s important to remember that.
  • While it may be your dream to study writing, sometimes it’s best to major in something apart from that passion…you might start to hate it or doubt yourself by the end of it all.
  • Writing is the only way you will become a better writer. Focus on your own stories in your own genres and trust that success will come within time.

That is all for this post and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked below. Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: How I Became a Writer – Storytime

 

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How I Became a Writer – Storytime

While most writers were avid readers since a young age, that really was not the case with me. While I enjoyed stories, I liked having people read them TO me rather than read them myself. I was a very active and outdoorsy kid who would rather run free outside with friends then sit inside for hours. However, I did read the Magic Tree House and Geronimo Stilton series occasionally despite them being way under my age level at the time. My fourth-grade teacher told me to try and branch out my reading a little bit more but if anything, that only hindered my growing love of reading and I stopped for a few months.

When it comes to a writer’s journey, reading is really the start of it all. The falling in love with storytelling and characters and a life apart from our own. And finally, the chance to create our own. While my true love and passion for reading came a little bit later on in my life, I made up for the lack of reading as a younger child with one of my favourite games at the time called “what-if?” I played this almost every day, coming up with different scenarios to ask my mother and that was when my love for storytelling sparked…even though I didn’t realize it at the time. And while I wasn’t reading a lot, I was playing make-believe games with my friends all day every day, and was creating worlds of my own in my head to live in. However, reading did come full force into my life when I was ten years old. I had just moved to a new school in a town close to where my family lived and I spent more time with my older cousin who introduced me to a movie called Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. I absolutely adored the movie because of its characters, story and of course its mythology. I had to have more and to my luck, it was a book series. A fantastic book series as well that led me to, later on, realize how terrible the movie was. But it was what got me into reading and became the only series I read for a solid two or three years. Eventually, I expanded my horizon to the spinoff series, The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan, and also The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Divergent by Veronica Roth. Around this same time, when I was thirteen years old, my eighth grade English class teacher gave us the assignment to write a short story. Since we had just finished a unit on fairy tales, I decided to write a re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood where Little Red Riding Hood was an assassin trying to discover the murderer of her family and the kidnapper of her grandmother. It was…awful, but of course, at the time, it wasn’t that bad. That was the turning point of my passion for writing because my teacher gave me such kind and uplifting feedback that I wanted to keep writing stories…and I did!

Writing this story opened the gateway to writing for me and I needed to write more. One day, my younger brother came home from school with a flyer advertising a local(ish) writing contest looking for ocean-themed stories. I submitted to two contests previous to this one with no such luck, but at age thirteen I was anything but unmotivated. I wrote a story inspired by the recent and sudden death of my brand new pet fish, except in the story the fish is flushed down the toilet by its owners who didn’t realize the fish was actually dead. I wrote about the fish’s adventures in the ocean as it tries to figure out where it is and what to do next. Somehow…it won. I, of course, was ecstatic and winning this contest gave me even more validation that maybe I could do this. That moment made me realize that I could potentially make money off of writing and turn it into my career with time, practice, and motivation. Since then, I haven’t stopped writing because that is the best thing you can do to move your career forward; write. Practice and practice and practice and eventually, success will come. That is something I’ve learned in my four years of being an active writer and is ultimately the most important realization. Without stories to share, you won’t get anywhere as a writer.

Thanks for listening to my story on how I became a writer and I hope you enjoyed! Let me know in the comments how you became a writer, and the journey you’ve taken to get to where you are now because I’d love to know. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts linked below. Thanks 🙂

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