Writing Tip: 225#

Crossed out words

Do not spend days on end editing your first chapter when you haven’t started chapter two.

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Writing Tip: 224#

Stephen King

‘Good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky: Two previously unrelated ideas come together and make something new under the sun. Your job isn’t to find these ideas but to recognize them when they show up.’

-Stephen King

Pain is all I know at this point: Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson Review

Tricked into releasing the evil spirit Ruin while attempting to close the Well of Ascension, new emperor Elend Venture and his wife, the assassin Vin, are now hard-pressed to save the world

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hero of ages

I must confess at the time of writing this review I have yet to finish Hero of Ages though I do very much intend to, I feel so comfortable in this series, it’s like slipping into a warm bath at this point, even if it is a warm bath of PAIN, but my schedule doesn’t care about any of that. I will assume that there is a twist coming up that will no doubt make everything even worse for our characters, more so than it already is. Because these books are definitely an exercise in trying to make people go through the worse possible situations, trying to get them to crack. However the reading experience of each book has just kept getting better: Final Empire was great, Well of Ascension was brilliant, Hero of Ages was amazing, (maybe I’m just a sadist).

It’s strange that I’m always surprised by how much the books keep expanding, like new cities with new politics, the kandras, the koloss, everything has a deep lore that we have barely scratched the surface of. This book broke my heart, if you have read any of my previous reviews of this series you may be able to guess why. A part of me really wants to give this book a one star review because of this. However I feel I must give this book a five star review for being so good at breaking my heart.

OH THE PAIN OF IT ALL

I’m going to start sounding like a wind up doll: once again this book just does terrible things to these beloved characters. There is an overwhelming sense of doom from the prologue to the end and its unnerving to start a book that practically screams that it won’t end happily. And I do love these characters at this point and I will be very sad when this is all said and done. I enjoy how easily empathic all the characters are, of course I don’t agree with all of them (and some of them just need to pull it TOGETHER) but Sanderson makes them all very human, which makes it easier, maybe not to agree with them but at least understand them. They all need a ruddy hug and instead they are just punch further into the ground, with everything they have ever worked on being warped and twisted by an invincible villain. All the characters have matured and sobered, just like the description of the land around them – bleak and dying.

Of course at this point it isn’t unexpected there is going to be a twist or two, though usually I’m hard pressed to figure it out, (I still have no idea how this will end). But I did work out a couple of things in this book, long before I think I was supposed to. there’s a certain fun in having the rug being pulled from under your feet with a twist, knowing the rug is going to be pulled is just childish and annoying. But I may have just guessed by chance because I found myself paranoid of EVERYONE in this book, when the enemy can subtly nudge your emotions and thoughts, how can you even trust yourself? There are (however brief) moments of levity in the book, allowing the reader a chance to breathe, and believe me they are necessary.

MY PROBLEMS WITH VILLAINS (VERUS ANTAGONISTS)

I don’t like the term villain. Most ‘villains’ are antagonists. They are not forces of pure evil and the epitome of horror. And those that are, are usually terribly unrealistic because it’s impossible to be someone who is pure evil. Evil is a force rather than a personality trait. Which is why Ruin is so horrifying. It’s just gruesome and powerful and without mercy, of course how do you find mercy in a force? And when that force of pure evil is put in a human form, that’s when you get a great villain.

The Flash Fiction

So, I need to write another Flash Fiction. Oh dearie, dearie. I do wonder if I’ll run out of ideas: about witty people living peculiar lives or my horrors will lose their edge. Did they ever have one?

Enough that. Time to write.

But what to write about? It has to be something that can keep a reader’s attention, be that by being snappy or funny. And about who? Perhaps a slice of a complicated life that will never be touched again.

Do you ever think about all the stories that you leave unfinished? Those lives put solely in your hands that you forget about so carelessly.

Of course, they mean nothing. They are but words on a page.

Jar

But perhaps that is what I am. Thoughts on a page and a narrator for a story that has an ultimate ending. But as long as I’m thinking, as long as I’m still a running idea and a story worth writing I’m alive. Because I can’t die, I don’t want to die. Does anyone?

So, I beg of you.

Don’t stop reading.

 

The End Xx

Worldbuilding: Fauna and Flora

Introduction

Within any story told, a world is created. Even set on Earth, your book needs to show the world around it from the smallest creature to the society and culture of your main characters.

One of the importance aspects of this is the fauna and flora in your book and how it can enhance your writing.

Why Include?

There is a lot you need to put in your story to make it stand out, it’s exhausting I know, and it’s easy to forget the small things. BUT small things, like animals and plants, will help bring colour to your world and of course the small ideas only need small additions to be put in. It’s normal to stick rigidly to just your plot and find when reading it back that it appears all your characters are floating in space. Adding in a few details will help solve this.

What to include?

  1. Food

Of course, shockingly, most of your characters are going to eat at some point. Try adding in a line or two about an alcoholic drink or a stew their mother used to make or just plain fruit eaten on a long journey.

  1. Terrain

The world isn’t just made of buildings and empty roads, there are plants and trees and probably the simplest of all; grass, surrounding your characters and settings. Not to mention the sea and coast line if your story takes place there. From the highest mountain to the bottom of the sea, no matter where your book is taking place, your characters are never alone.

  1. Animals

Animals come in all shapes and sizes and it’s good to include one of each of the main types: predators, prey, domestic (dogs/cats) and farmyard animals.

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How to Include?

Don’t go over board

You don’t need to give the reader a lesson in the zoology and horticulture of your world, it’s not about quantity it’s about quality. Just enough to make your world feel real, not enough that I could write a biology essay on it. A sentence here and there is enough to allow the reader to build your world in their mind without you having to do it for them.

Be Creative

It’s easy to stick to the simplistic: there were trees, the plane was barren. No, no, NO. You became a writer to imagine worlds beyond imagination.

Don’t fight that, write that!

Getting into nature

Think about why certain animals and plants occur in certain areas. You can’t a furless cat living in a frozen wasteland and if you do, why? The plants and animals will build themselves if you know what the weather is like where your book is set.

Research your area

It is a piece of advice for any aspect of writing: If you’re stuck, research. The internet is a pleather of lists of ideas if you know where to look. And I know you know this, but it’s about understanding when to use the internet instead of just not bothering to write.

Reality not Fantasy

If you have set your book within the fantastical realm we call Earth, you’ll find it a slightly easier to find your inspiration, literally just look outside.

Finding Fantasy in the real world

Writing in fictional settings is almost as easy. Anywhere a book is set will mimic the conditions of SOMEWHERE in our little planet.

Conclusion

No matter what genre or type of book you are writing you will always need life in your books. Make sure to remember that it’s the little details that make the story. Good Luck Xx