Disney Book Tag!

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I had a different idea for what today’s blog post was going to be, but that kind of ended up failing. It’s okay though because I love reading, and I also LOVE Disney so this seemed like the perfect book tag to do. Anyways, without further ado here are my answers to the Disney Book Tag!

(P.S. I did not create this tag, I actually don’t know who did but if you do know, tell me so I can credit them!)

The Little Mermaid – A Character That Is Out of Their Element…A Fish Out of Water!

Image result for apollo from the trials of apollo series

Haha, the first character who came to mind when I read this question was Apollo from the Trials of Apollo series by Rick Riordan! This is perfect because, in the first book, Apollo is cast down to earth by Zeus and made mortal until he can complete trials to gain back his godly powers. Apollo is definitely out of his element on earth and it is hilarious watching him navigate life as a mortal.

Cinderella – A Character Who Goes Through Major Development

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Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter series! In the first few books, he is just a sweet, scared little boy but by the last book, he is truly a brave Gryffindor…still sweet though! Neville has been through a lot in his life, just as much as Harry with losing his parents and all that, so for him to come out stronger rather than broken is definitely a major development.

Snow White – A Book with an Eclectic Cast of Characters

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When I think of a big eclectic cast of characters, I always come back to the same book series and that is The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan. One specific book where we finally see all of our cast working together would be The Mark of Athena, but I just recommend the entire series. This cast of characters is such a diverse bunch of young people that you can’t help but like. They are diverse in their races, sexual orientations and just overall personalities, and it is a great series for all ages to read!

Sleeping Beauty – A Book That Put You to Sleep

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So, for English class, I have to read a lot of books…like a lot. Some I don’t like and some I do however the book I am reading right now for this class is a challenge to read. The idea of the story is great and interesting, but the actual story and how the author portrays it for the reader to see puts me to sleep. That book is Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden. I have to read it out loud to actually understand what I’m reading, and yesterday I sat down to read it and it took me 45 MINUTES TO READ ONLY 17 PAGES! What is this witchcraft? What?

The Lion King – A Character Who Had Something Traumatic Happen to Them In Childhood

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A lot of characters fit the bill for this one, but to be a little creative I decided to go with Tavvy Blackthorn from The Dark Artifices trilogy by Cassandra Clare. So this kid is the youngest of the Blackthorn family (he’s currently seven) and his has mother died, his father was turned into a Dark Shadowhunter and then killed, when he was really little his brother Mark was taken away by faeries, and a lot more that I can’t say because of spoilers. This kid has had a LOT happen to him and he is only seven years old! To say that he had “something” traumatic happen to him in childhood is a bit of an understatement.

Beauty and the Beast – A Beast of a Book (A Big Book) That You Were Intimidated By But Found the Story to Be Beautiful In the End

a court of thorns and roses

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas is about 416 pages which is an average fantasy book size, however, it is a high fantasy book so I was intimidated because of that. Once I got into it though, I really, really enjoyed it and just flew through it!

Aladdin – A Character Who Gets Their Wish Granted, For Better or Worse

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In To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han, Lara Jean writes love letters to all the boys she has loved before, and even though she never intended for them to get out, it works out for her in the end when they do. She ends up with one of the boys she wrote a letter to, and while she never consciously wished to send them out, she did address them so deep down I think she did!

Mulan – A Character Who Pretends to be Something or Someone They Aren’t

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Ooooh, Sebastian Morgenstern from The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. He definitely pretends to be someone he is not, but I won’t go into specifics in case anyone here has not gotten that far yet in the series.

Toy Story – A Book with Characters You Wish Would Come to Life

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I am going to have to do a double answer for this one and say the characters from The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. They would be such an awesome group of friends to have not only because they are all funny, nice and just plain cool, but they also have AWESOME powers being the children of gods!

Disney Descendants – Your Favourite Villain or Morally Ambiguous Character

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My favourite villain is really any villain from The Vampire Diaries (I haven’t read the book so I’m cheating using the TV show but whatever). Katherine, Klaus, and Kai (haha all K’s) are hands down some of the best-developed villains ever created. They do what is best for only them and sometimes the small, small, small circle of people they love and overall, they just see their way as right. We still see them as a human though which is why I think they are such great villains.

There it is! Those are my answers for the Disney Book Tag which I loved because who doesn’t love Disney? If you haven’t done this tag and want to then do it because it was a lot of fun! Also, don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts for more bookish and writing related content. Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: Preptober Week 3 – Determining Your Goals

 

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Preptober Week 3 – Determining Your Goals

Happy Monday!

NaNoWriMo is fast approaching so now is the time to kick our prepping into high gear, and get some stories planned. Today we will be discussing all things goals for NaNoWriMo and how to have an overall successful and productive month!

 

Step 1: Create Big SMART Goals

I always bring up SMART goals whenever I make a blog post centred around goals because these are the type of goals you need to focus on making. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, Time-bound, and by following these five words, you will create goals you can ACTUALLY achieve! When making goals, it is important to make them as directed and specific as possible and to make sure they are goals you can achieve in the time given. Some examples of my big, overall NaNoWriMo goals are:

  • Edit and re-outline character profiles, world history, and act I, II, III by October 31st – I specify what I want to edit and re-outline and also by what date = SMART goal!
  • Write 50k words by November 30th – This is a SMART goal because I determine how many words I want to write by whatever date, and I have achieved it before so I know it is attainable!

Step 2: Create Smaller SMART Goals

Now it is time to narrow our focus into the individual days of November and figure out what daily goals we can make to help lead us to success. The main goal in NaNoWriMo is to write 50k words in 30 days but in order to do that, you need to write at least 1,667 words per day. Maybe you can’t write that much a day though, and 1,667 words in a writing session is a rare, amazing occurrence. Whatever the case, you need to tailor these daily goals to your life and make them attainable so you are not letting yourself down at the end of the day and month. While 1,667 words are the average daily goal, maybe your goal needs to only be 1,000 words a day or maybe you write a lot and want your daily goal to be 2,000 words!

I also recommend if you have the time during the day, to split your NaNo writing session into two or even three sessions. For example, on the weekends (this is only what happens during Camp NaNo or NaNo, I don’t do this every weekend!) I like to write for three 30 minute sessions because, in the end, I finish the day with up to 3,000 words! That way, I still have time to get other things done but still get a lot of writing done. Figure out what works best for you in order to attain your personal daily goal so you can finish the day with the largest amount of words possible!

Step 3: Set Up a Reward System

Now that you have your big and small goals created, it is time to put in place a fun reward system! Whenever you hit a big, overall goal, like you write 50,000 words in NaNoWriMo, reward yourself with a big reward! For example, when I reach 50k I plan on giving myself a weekend free of writing where I get to watch Netflix and basically do whatever I want. November is not only busy because of NaNoWriMo, but also because school really picks up for me during this month so I know I am going to be exhausted by the time November 30th rolls around. When it comes to the smaller, daily goals, I like to give myself little rewards at the end of the week if I have written 5-7 days of that last week. Here are some smaller reward ideas!:

  • 30 mins of Netflix
  • A writing session at a coffee shop!
  • 30 mins at the gym (I know this might not be a reward exactly, but if you use some spare time to workout you will feel AMAZING. Trust me)
  • Reading time! (I don’t know about you, but finding time to read the books I want has been incredibly hard, so this will definitely be a reward for me)
  • Adventure to the bookstore

Step 4: Displaying Your Goals

It is important to have these goals AND your possible rewards displayed somewhere you will always see them. Whether that is when you first wake up or when you sit down to write, have them put up somewhere looking all pretty and exciting for you to see and be reminded of. I know you probably already wrote these goals down, but now take a clean piece of paper and make them colourful and lively; something that will catch your eye.

Okay! Those are the four steps to creating smart goals for NaNoWriMo! Now, to make sure these are truly smart and achievable goals, ask yourself if you know what your overall goals are for the month and how you are going to achieve each one. Know each step, or at least have it written out for you, and remind yourself of the deadlines and rewards for when you finish them!

I hope you found this blog post helpful and that you enjoyed it! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below for more bookish and writing related content. Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading + Writing Update

 

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Reading + Writing Update!

Happy Sunday!

Since I didn’t update you all last week, I have a lot to update you all. Long story short, I am currently reading six books. Yeah, six. How did this happen you might ask? Well, I just kept picking up and starting books I wanted to read (some re-reads), and here I am. I am just going to roll with it though and focus on two or three at a time (still a lot, but some of these are books I have to read for school!) until I get through them all…hopefully by the end of October. Anyways, because I have so many books that I am currently reading, I am not going to write a paragraph because it would be MASSIVE. Instead, I will do a quick, to the point update.

Books Finished:

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia – Finished on October 6th – LOVED re-reading it 5/5 stars

Currently Reading:

Traplines by Eden Robinson – Progress: 70/215 pages (none since the last update)

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare (audiobook) – 6ish/12 hours (4 more hours since the last update) – Still enjoying my re-read of this series!

Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden – 191/384 pages (started it on Oct 5th) – Not exactly my cup of tea but I have to read it for school so I am getting through it…slowly

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi – 80/394 pages (started it on Oct 8th) – Enjoying it a lot so far, especially its atmosphere (college, coffee shops, and romance!)

The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth – 50/325 pages (started it on Oct 10th) – Re-reading this hauntingly beautiful story for my review of it since it is getting released to the world this month on Oct 23rd!

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier (audiobook) – 1.5/8.5 hours (started this today!) – I really wanted to re-read this trilogy during the fall and thought it would be smarter to re-visit them via audiobook. Loving it of course!

Okay, that was a lot easier than writing out a monstrous paragraph. Anyways, as for writing, I haven’t done too, too much. I have done a few hours of NaNoWriMo prep since it is right around the corner though. I have re-outlined the first act (almost), some of the magic system, and characters as well. I still need to finish re-outlining the second and third as well as a few more characters, but other than that I think I will be set for November! This weekend I actually did do a little bit of writing. I am re-vamping a short story I wrote almost a year ago for my writing portfolio, and have written about 700 new words of it so far. Hopefully, I will finish my first draft of re-writes for it this week, but I am not rushing it.

That is all for my 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 all linked below. Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: The Shadow King

 

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The Shadow King

Happy Friday!

One sort of “resolution” for my blog was to share my own writing from time to time…so that is what I am doing! This is an older story of mine…maybe like from 1.5 years ago when I was 15, but I still wanted to share it because it is polished and well, finished. Can’t really say that about any other of my other writing projects…but anyways, if you want to critique it or give me feedback, don’t hesitate! Tell me you like it, tell me you hate it…whatever your heart contents.


 

Her cloak was a flashing torrent of black as she zipped through the forest. Gnarled roots twisted out of the ground, but the princess skipped over them with beads of sweat dripping down her face and thighs screaming of pain. Her blue nightgown caught on a root and she slammed into a tree trunk, gasping, pushing the hood of her cloak off of her inky curls. She dropped to her knees, exhaustion blurring the edges of her vision. Her eyes scanned around. The towering trees had swallowed her up, shielding her from the outside world with their bushy tops. When she looked over her shoulder there was no sign of her castle in the distance, its vine-twisted, cobblestone walls and candlelit windows now just a faint memory of bitter times.

A silver coin winked down at her from high up in the sky, sprinkles of gold-dusted around it. The moon. Had she been running for that long already? She looked around. Night had settled over the forest. It cast its thick shadows which danced in the small slivers of moonlight, and its crisp wind which swept through the leaves. Pinching her lips together, she pushed herself to her feet and wandered deeper into the forest. The princess’s shoulders tensed, her neck angled and grey eyes keen as they scanned around.

Crunch. She stopped, breath trapped in her chest and fingers halting mid twitch. Goosebumps sprouted along her arms as she took another step forward, the icy claw of fear seizing her throat.

Snap. Her heart leapt from her chest and onto the ground. She placed a hand over her gaping mouth. Past the darkness, something flailed from behind a tree, and a deep groan echoed throughout the forest. Fingers trembling and knees wobbling, she shuffled towards the tree, carefully skirting around it in a big arc. Behind it, a wedge of moonlight trickled down onto a pile of leaves. Something twitched on those leaves; a body angled oddly with a face concealed in the shadows of the night. The princess swallowed down the bulging lump in her throat.

“Hello?” she croaked and then cleared her throat, balling her hands into shaky fists. “Hello?” she called out again. A wheezy breath rattled in the lungs of the body at her feet. The princess grimaced. “Excuse me…are you okay?” Several heartbeats passed, and she was only answered by silence.

Help me,” a raspy voice hissed, and she whirled around, expecting to see someone lurking behind her but there was nothing. It was the lump on the leaves that spoke. She turned back around, her stomach flipping at the face which was now illuminated in the pale moonlight. It was the face of a young man with sickly skin so white traces of blue veins shone underneath, and dark streaks of blood and dirt were slashed across his cheeks. He blinked, his eyes a dull blue, like the sky before a rainstorm. The princess could tell his eyes were once a brilliant blue, maybe even like the ocean on a summer day, but now they were leeched of their colour and empty. His clothes were torn and tattered, and like his face, blood and dirt stained. Her eyes flicked down to his arms and legs, which had deep, bloody gashes carved into them. The princess looked away, fist pressed against her sealed lips.

“What happened to you?” she asked breathlessly. His blue eyes darted around nervously, and his skin was shiny with sweat. The princess’s heart twisted, and she reached down for his frail hand. It was ice cold and thin under hers. He glanced down at their hands, his entire body tremoring before relaxing.

“What happened to you?” She shook her head. “Who did this to you?”

“The…” he started, his voice hitching and his eyes wide. “The Shadow King.” The princess flew away from him like he had suddenly caught on fire, the blood slowly draining itself from her body. “I was a prisoner,” he continued, pulling his arms and legs to his chest, “for two years in his castle.” He shuddered, eyes fluttering shut as poisonous memories tainted his mind. A seed of uneasiness planted itself in her stomach, and she no longer felt as sympathetic for the young man as she did a few seconds ago.

“How did you escape?” she asked, shaking as that name rang inside her mind. The Shadow King. Her mother used to tell her stories of a king who lived underneath their land for centuries. An ambitious king made of darkness and shadows who was tired of living beneath the feet of humans. A king who was building up an army to take over the lands above. The only thing was that it wasn’t a story, but a fragment of history people chose to forget. Until now.

“He let me go,” the young man said, leaning over and coughing. A dark liquid blossomed on the ground next to him and the world tilted under the princess’s feet.

“The Shadow King doesn’t just…let people go,” she said as the young man rolled onto his back, sweat dribbling down his forehead and his chest heaving up and down. The princess bit her lip. “Tell me the truth.” The young man sighed and looked up at her through the corner of his eyes, defeat and exhaustion painted in grey all over his face.

“He-he let me go to-to,” he started, squeezing his eyes shut and grimacing. “T-to deliver a message to the King of Nordom.” The world around her faded, all noise becoming just a faint static in her ears. She shook her head, lips parted. What message would the Shadow King give to my father? What does this mean?

“What is it?” she asked, head snapping up as everything came back into focus. The young man stared blankly at her. She pushed the stray pieces of hair from her face and glared down at him. “I am princess Adelyn of Nordom,” she hissed viciously, startling him and herself. She had never known herself as the kind to hiss, or be vicious. The princess glanced away, shaking her head. “Just tell me. Please.”

“The Shadow King said,” the young man started slowly and hesitantly, licking his dry lips, “that the world will not end in a bang or a crash, but with one scream at a time…u-until there is nothing left,” he paused, lips shaping invisible words. In his lap, his fingers fiddled with each other. “A-and that end is the next Harvest moon.” The world was a carpet being yanked out beneath her feet. Her knees wobbled and she fell onto the forest floor. The next Harvest moon? That was only four days away! Her stomach flopped and flipped like a fish out of water as fear washed over her in monstrous waves, her skin clammy and chest tightening until no air was left. She dragged her eyes to the young man. He was suddenly still and unmoving. Pushing herself to her feet, she walked over to him, arms crossed over her chest as if to defend her from the bitterness of reality. He still didn’t move. Not even when a stick snapped under her foot, the sound echoing sharply throughout the forest.

“Young man?” she asked, bending down next to him and shaking him gently. No response. She leaned over him and gasped. His blue eyes were open and glassy, and he wasn’t blinking. Letting out a soft breath, she closed his eyes with her fingers before scrambling away and retching beside a tree trunk. Tears trickled down her cheeks in winding streams, sobs silent but stabbing pains in her chest. She stared up at the night sky.

The King’s message played over and over in her head. She realized what she had to do. Adelyn had to go back. She had to go home to her parents and warn her people, despite all the mistakes they made she still loved them.

It was only a matter if they would love her back.

Slowly she backed away from the dead body on the ground, and then spun around, breaking into a sprint. The tears continued to roll down her cheeks, the same words playing on a loop in her mind, inching her closer to the edge of insanity.

The world will not end with a bang or a crash, but with one scream at a time. Until there is nothing left.

Those words sounded insane, the product of one who sees ghosts and talks to the moon like she is a friend, but the princess gripped those words to her chest as she ran through the forest, cradling their power and hoping that it was all enough.

How to Write More During NaNoWriMo

Okay, before we get into this post I just wanted to let you guys know that this blog post is a collab with descript.com! I am really excited to be collabing with them because their website works really well with what a lot of my blog posts have been about lately (prepping for NaNoWriMo) so honestly, it was the perfect time for them to approach me. Of course, I would not be collabing with them if I didn’t really think their website would be helpful to you all and it definitely is so I cannot wait to tell you all about it below! Okay, now to the actual blog post…


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NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is all about trying to write 50,000 words in 30 days, and that is no easy task by any means. To help make it a little easier though, I will be sharing 5 tips on how to write more during the month of November and get a little closer to that 50k goal! If you have been keeping up with my blog this month, you probably noticed that I have been posting Preptober posts every Monday to help with prepping for NaNoWriMo. However, this is a little bonus, Preptober blog post because it is Wednesday, not Monday so I hope you enjoy!

Descript.com

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As I mentioned above, this is a collab with descript.com. Basically, Descript is a transcribing website where you can record audio for a podcast, video, or even your NaNoWriMo project, and then insert that audio onto their website. They will transcribe your audio and allow you to physically edit the words you spoke! It is great because if you don’t have the time to sit down and physically write, you can talk out your story and transcribe when you get the chance. It is also a great way to break through writer’s block because sometimes we just need to talk things out and get those creative juices flowing to finally find the motivation to write again. If you want to learn more about how descript.com can help you overcome writer’s block, especially during NaNoWriMo, check out their super informative blog post all about it HERE. Also, if you decide to give their website a try (you get 30 mins of it free when you sign up, but it is pretty affordable if it is something you think you will use!) let me know how you liked it and what you used it for 🙂

Freewrite In the AM

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One thing I have gotten back into recently is journalling right when I wake up in the morning. I sit down with some coffee at around 6am and try to write at least a page of my thoughts, feelings, and goals for the day. Journalling is a great way to get your creativity flowing early on in the day and it sets you up for writing success later on. Instead of writing about what’s on your mind though, especially during NaNoWriMo, you could freewrite a short story or part of your NaNoWriMo project just to get you started for the day. This warms up my mind and helps me crank out 1-3k words each day!

Listen to 88 Cups of Tea with Yin Chang!

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Whenever I am feeling unmotivated or I just really need to sit down and get some words down for the day, I know that I can always count on the amazing podcast 88 Cups of Tea with Yin Chang. I have been a HUGE fan of this podcast for over 2 years now…wow, that’s a long time, and I recommend it with my whole heart. It features people of different creative backgrounds like writers, actors, and literary agents who offer really useful advice for pursuing creativity. I always finish each episode itching for my computer so definitely check it out throughout the month of November!

Plan Goals for Each Writing Session

I don’t always do this but I wish I did because it helps me immensely in determining how productive my next writing session will be. After a writing session, I like to first off, take a step back and breath because I probably had been writing for a while. Secondly, I like to take a piece of paper and a pen, and looking at my outline, see what major(ish) beats I need to hit next. These are just 1-3 major (or minor, but still important) points I need to hit in the next scene in order to make it exciting, interesting, and also easier for me to write. This way I still let my panster side run wild in the next writing session, but I have a loose map I can still follow so I don’t get lost. I recommend trying this to see if it works for you and if it doesn’t, that’s alright! If it does, that is awesome because it always helps me so, so much when I do this.

Set Aside 1-2 Hours of Self-Care Each Day

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I talk about taking breaks a lot in my writing posts but it is just something that all writers need to keep being reminded of, so here I am, mentioning it again. I’ve talked about how you can set aside one day a week for self-care, or like an hour at night every once and a while, but I am back with a slightly different tip. I am challenging you to take 1-2 hours every. Single. Night to focus on yourself. After a day of writing, working, and existing, you need time. So, take this hour or so to watch TV, read, or just lie down and exist. This is super important to do, especially during NaNoWriMo, so you don’t burn yourself out. I get a little wound up when NaNoWriMo hits, and usually spend a lot of time at my computer and my back does NOT appreciate that. So, my goal for this November (apart from writing 50k) is to take a 1-2 hour break for just me every night (probably 8-10pm) to relax.

Those are my 5 tips on how to write more during NaNoWriMo and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out Descript.com and their blog post all about how to use their website to overcome writer’s block because it is a really cool and efficient way to write this November! Also, make sure you check out my last blog post and all of my social media accounts linked below for more writing and bookish related fun. Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: Preptober Week 2 – Are You Planning Enough?

 

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Preptober Week 2 – Are You Planning Enough?

Happy Monday!

First of all, before we get into this Preptober post, I wanted to apologize for not having my usual, weekly reading and writing update up yesterday and having this blog post up later than usual. I’m Canadian so it was my Thanksgiving weekend (and still is) and I was visiting family and just did not have time to sit down and write a blog post, let alone pre-write blog posts for the week which is what I usually do. But that’s ok! I am back now with this brand new Preptober post that I hope you all enjoy 🙂


Image result for nanowrimo

Are you prepping enough?

This is a really important question when it comes to preparing for the event that is NaNoWriMo because it has time constraints and a massive goal surrounding it…and because of that, you don’t have the time to continue outlining in November because that is the time you need to spend writing your story! So, to make sure your prepping doesn’t get carried out in November, here are some tips and tricks and things to keep in mind during Preptober.

Sit Down and PLAN

Sit down with your notebook right now (well, after you finish reading this post!) and plan out your characters, world, history, plot, and the overall synopsis of your story. Just sit down and go through all of that, making as much progress as you can in each section. Those are 5 things that you MUST have in-depth, detailed planning for otherwise, you will still be planning in NaNoWriMo.

I recommend having at least 2 pages of information for each character, like AT THE VERY LEAST. This will include their age, race, family, likes/dislikes, personality, past, etc, etc. When you plan out the world and the history, I recommend planning it out like it is a book that is going to be read in schools across the world. However, remember that you are always, always going to know more than your readers, so if you have a lot of info about your world and its history, don’t freak out about trying to fit that all into your story…no, no, a lot of that is just for you so you can write the best story ever. With your plot, this is where you can tweak things depending on the type of writer you are. If you are a plotter, you are going to have pages of plot and like, every scene plotted and connected to others. If you are more of a pantser like me (although, I have been forcing myself to plan a lot for this project), then you are going to want to just have enough to get you through your story. I recommend having a good idea of the beginning, middle and end, and how all those parts are going to connect. These are all super important things to plan, and you need to make sure you plan all of this otherwise you might get disappointed when November 30th comes around and your still several thousand words short on your project.

Ask Questions

Okay, when you finish planning and plotting (and this does take time, like at least a whole month sometimes!), you need to figure out if you actually know what you are writing. Yeah sure, you can sit down and fill a notebook with info but that doesn’t always mean that you are ready to write your story. That is why we answer some questions about our project just to make sure. Here are some questions I ask myself:

  • If someone asked me what my project was about, what would I say? How would I describe it? Do I have a good synopsis that someone who has no knowledge of my story would understand?
  • How would the characters in my world react to some of the things happening in MY world? Or things that happened in my world a long time ago? What part would they have in it, or would they not have any part in it at all?
  • Do I know my ending? Do I know how I am going to get there? (P.S. I don’t always know my ending, but I have noticed over the years that it really does help to have an overall idea on what that ending is…it makes for a better story and also makes it easier for you to write and edit.)
  • If I had to teach a history lesson of this world I created, what would be the 5 major events I would focus on? These are the 5 major events that people in the future could not ignore or forget. How do these events affect this world now? 
  • If my characters were all together and witnessed someone in need (someone fell down, dropped their groceries, etc, etc), how would they respond? Who would help? Who would pretend they didn’t see it and carry on with their day? Who would just watch? 

These are just SOME question ideas you can ask yourself and of course, tailor to your own story. I recommend asking anywhere from 10-15 questions because they will really test your knowledge on your world and characters to make sure you are ready for NaNoWriMo. If you have trouble answering one or two questions, maybe head back to your outline and go over what you wrote, adding whatever needs to be added so you can answer these questions!

Make a Story Bible

What is a story bible? Why do I need one? These are both very valid questions that guess what? I am going to be answering right now! So, a story bible is a handy little notebook, a piece of paper, the backside of a napkin or really whatever, that has some basic info on your story that is ready for you to access whenever. It can have the first and last names of characters, the five major historical events that affect your world, or just really anything that is necessary to your story and will be needed lots. For example, my WIP deals with lots of mythology so I have the names of some immediate gods and also character names in my little, handy notebook. It is great to turn to while writing instead of having to dig through all your notes to find whatever it is you need. It saves time and stress so make one and fill it with whatever you need.

There it is! My three major tips to make sure you are planning enough for NaNoWriMo and are chugging along on the path of success. I really hope you found this all helpful and for even more tips, check out my last Preptober blog post here where I give a quick overview on how to get ready for NaNoWriMo this year. I link a lot of great worksheets for building characters, world-building, and creating your plot so check those out! Also, make sure you check out my last blog post and social media accounts which are always linked below for more writing and reading related fun. Thanks!

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September 2018 Wrap Up

I knew I read a few books this month, but I am honestly surprised with how many I actually did manage to read. September…was a busy month. Lots of stress and things to do, but I still managed to squeeze in reading time and I am very proud of what I read! I read 5 whole books this month which is a lot for a school month, especially the first school month of the year. Anyways, enough ramble so here are the 5 books I read in September!

City of Ashes and City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

I listened to the second and third book in The Mortal Instruments series via audiobook, and had so much fun revisiting one of my favourite series by listening to them while commuting to school! This series follows a girl named Clary who after her mother disappears, is suddenly thrust into a world of angels and demons and discovers that she has more of a place in this crazy world than she thought. There is adventure, action, and heaps and heaps of romance so what’s not to love? CoA – 4/5 stars, CoG – 4.5/5 stars

Oedipus the King by Sophocles

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I think its obvious that I had to read this for school since it is not normally what I read, but I am actually surprised at how much I enjoyed this Greek tragedy. While the story is…strange, it is entertaining and really powerful. It has actually made me want to pick up more Greek tragedies and give them a try, so who knows, maybe we will be seeing some more plays in my monthly wrap-ups. Anyways, this follows our main character, Oedipus who is the king of Thebes and he discovers that his life is not exactly what it seems…lots of drama and irony but a very good book to dissect in English class! 3.5/5 stars

Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese

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Another book I had to read for English class, but another one that I really enjoyed. This story was so impactful and important, and there were several times while reading it where I had to put it down to take a break. Indian Horse follows our main character, Saul, who is retelling the story of his life while in a rehab centre when he is around thirty years old. We watch him get taken away from his family and taken to a residential school, and how he survived that and the following years to come. This is a book I think everyone needs to read and I definitely plan on reading it again in the future because it was that good! 4/5 stars

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

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This was a book I was super excited to read ever since I read the synopsis a few months back, and I was so happy to find the time to sit down and just read it this month. I have an entire spoilery review on this book so if you are interested in that definitely check it out here, but basically, it is a gory re-telling of “The Little Mermaid”. We follow two main characters, Lira, a siren who has the heart’s of seventeen princes, and Elian, the heir of a kingdom and killer of sirens. Their paths cross when Lira kills one of her own and as punishment, is made human with the task to take Elian’s heart and bring it back to her mother. Obviously, though, things do not go as planned. I had a lot of fun with this book and while it did have its problems, it was still an enjoyable read overall! 3.75/5 stars

So, those are the 5 books I read in the month of September and I am pretty proud of reading them all. Let me know what books you read this past month because I would love to know, or if you got too busy and didn’t have a chance to read anything at all! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts which are linked down below for more bookish and writing related content. Thanks 🙂

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Reading + Writing Update

Helloooo readers, writers, people of the blogging-verse. Today, I am back with my weekly reading and writing update so let’s just get into it! Here is everything I managed to accomplish this week and I am pretty proud with it all.

While I didn’t finish any books this week, I did make some progress in the books I started. I am about 2 hours into listening to the audiobook for City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare, and so far I am enjoying that. There are about 10 more hours of audiobook left I think so I still got a bit more to get through, but I have no doubt that I will finish it sometime this coming week. I also started reading Traplines by Eden Robinson, a book of 4 short stories, for my writing class. I am on the second story and am really enjoying it so far! My goal is to read the last two stories by Wednesday and then write my little write up I have to hand in with it by the end of the week. I love reading short story books because instead of trying to read a certain amount of pages, I just read a short story a day. Lastly, I decided to pick up Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia. I really wanted to get this done by the end of today, but honestly, that was not going to happen. I had too much homework to do and ended up only reading to page 150. Which is still pretty good though because that means I read around 80 pages of it this weekend! Anyways, I know I will finish it sometime this week so it’s all good.

As for writing, I have been working on rewriting and editing my first 20 pages of my WIP for just over a month now for a fellowship, and yesterday I finally submitted it! The deadline was today but I wanted to get it in a little earlier just in case, so I finished editing early yesterday and then sent it off! It felt so good because I have been working towards this deadline for months now and I finally have it done. Now I can focus on re-outlining my WIP during October so I can write draft 2.5 of it during NaNoWriMo, and also work on some short stories for my portfolio! It will also be nice to focus a little more on my homework and blog posts, and just take a step back from trying to write, write, and write. Even though I love, I still need a break sometimes.

That is all for my 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: To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo Book Review – Magical, Mythical, and Yes, Bloody

 

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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.

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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 🙂

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