A Helping Hand

Carpet was a bitch to carry, it chafed his shoulder and his legs were soon hurting under the weight of it. But it was the best way to stop any of the blood from dripping onto the ground as he took the body down to the bank. It was nightfall, his vision getting accustomed to the dull oranges and dark blues. He walked down street after street, shaking on his legs. He swore, wiping his face and resettled the heavy load across his shoulder.

Finally, he came to the river bank and allowed the body to hit the muddied bank. He sighed and unhooked the spade from his back. He dug it in once before he realised he was not alone. Behind him was another man standing stock still. The stranger was surveying him with as much surprise as he was him. The stranger was covered in blood, a spade of his own in his hands.

He huffed, “do you mind giving me a hand with this?”

The stranger looked between the thick rolled carpet and his own bloodied spade before coming up to help him dig.

Body in Carpet

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I’m going to Kill a Fictional Character! Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson Review

Bands of Mourning

The Bands of Mourning are the mythical metal minds owned by the Lord Ruler, said to grant anyone who wears them the powers that the Lord Ruler had at his command. Hardly anyone thinks they really exist. A kandra researcher has returned to Elendel with images that seem to depict the Bands, as well as writings in a language that no one can read. Waxillium Ladrian is recruited to travel south to the city of New Seran to investigate. Along the way he discovers hints that point to the true goals of his uncle Edwarn and the shadowy organization known as The Set.

***

I feel like I’ve come to an end of an era and have come to realise how terribly anti-climactic it was. An awful sentence to start a review for a book I know I’m going to give 4 stars but finishing this and knowing I have to wait for the next one just feels exasperating. How dare Sanderson not have everything written up already!?

‘“Go,” Marasi said. “Do what you do best, Waxillium Ladrian.”

“Which is what? Break things?”

“Break things,” Marasi said, “with style.”’

 

Let’s talk about Wayne

I will be blunt, I did not like the beginning (I swear I do overall like this book). To talk about the beginning, we need to talk about Wayne. Wayne is Wax’s sidekick…comic sidekick. He has been weirdly harmless for the last two books if slightly on the annoying side. But in Bands of Mourning he actually tries to derail the story. I nearly stopped reading three chapters in because of him!

He’s mad but mad characters require some understandability. You need to empathise with them on some level and I just can’t with Wayne. You have no idea how many times I kept screaming at the book: STOP STEALING THINGS! He’s just mad, MAD! And I’ve had enough of him and just wanted to shake his shoulders for ruining the book.

 

And all the rest of it!

However as the book continued I definitely started to like it more. In this book, unlike the previous, things move forward, rather than backwards. Steris joins our merry band, which I love given she is absolutely my favourite character and I’m glad for all the time we get to spend with her.

‘“What the hell is in this?”

“Other than steel?” Steris asked. “Cod-liver oil.”

He looked at her, gaping.

“Whiskey is bad for you, Lord Waxillium. A wife must look out for her husband’s health.”’

I did, towards the end, genuinely worry it was going to just be a repeat of Hero of Ages and I was ready for a screaming, ranting review but in the end, Sanderson can still surprise me. The last book, Shadow of Self and for good chunk of this book I felt angry and disappointed because I felt like it was just repeating what had come before it. However the ending was smackgobbingly good. I still believe there are too many twists, now more than ever because we’re in a more down-to-earth world, but the ending had me hooked. I’m so irritated I now have to wait like a peasant for the final book: The Lost Metal.

I’m TOO Good at Writing

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Hi Guys!
It’s been a mind-numbing week. I literally cannot tell where it started and ended with my writing. Despite what I say, I’m currently meant to be editing. Structurally editing that is.

My entire plot was an absolute mess until I put in about 16 new scenes to make it all flow and made major arc changes to all my main characters, which means I spend a lot of time writing regardless. But I’m still meant to give everything a once over once I have written it for a quick line edit.

I’ve completely thrown that idea out of the window and done nothing but write this past week. So I’ve written 9’870 words but none of them have been properly finalised. Also writing more is starting to annoy me (and yes I’m aware I only have myself to blame). My book is currently standing at 180’000 words (aka: TOO MANY WORDS) and I haven’t even got to the third act. It’s just way too long and yet I’m probably too close to this story to say what could be cut.

I just need someone with a red pen to start crossing things out 😛

But that’s about it for this week! How is your writing/editing going and which do you prefer to do?

Let me know in the comments!!

21st Century Siren

Sea Siren

I twist and bend,

Art in motion,

To be shunned and despised.

How can they say that when they can’t stop watching?

 

Watch they do,

They do, they do

Their eyes pressing where their hands can’t,

Wish on…wish on pitiful men.

 

A temptress in a noisy city centres,

A modern-day siren,

The sirens of old fed upon their victims,

Now we must beg for money.

The Jailed Advisor

Jail

“You know,” Edward started loudly when Jon walked in, “I gave myself up willingly. You’d think I’d be treated a little better.”

He gestured to the stone slab he was lying on and the bars that separated the two of them.

“Prisoners who admit their guilt are still prisoners.” Jon sat and didn’t speak for several minutes, hesitant, “I need some advice.”

Edward scoffed, “I can tell you my advice did get me in prison.”

“Edward,” Jon scolded.

Edward sighed, sitting back and plastering a smile over his face. A fake one and Jon knew it.

“How do you do it?” he asked.

Please narrow that down.”

“All of it. The politics of it all,” Jon gestured wildly around them.

“Ah yes. Well, you shouldn’t get into it.”

Ben laughed, it was a horribly pitiful sound as he hid his head in his hands. Jon used to hide behind Edward when they were children as if his twin could protect him from the rest of the world.

“And,” Jon lifted his head, “if I can’t escape…this.”

“Don’t trust anyone.” It was probably the best advise Edward could give him, yet it hung heavy between them. Edward had yet to forget how he had ended up in this cell.

“Surely I must trust them somewhat,” Jon asked, “I’m not exactly knowledgeable on…well anything.”

That hurt Edward as if it was an insult to him.

“Perhaps trusting is the wrong word. Everyone has a goal, a motive, a dream and believe me, no one’s dream is to just serve you loyally. At least no one’s who matters. But yes, you should listen to men with more knowledge than you. I’m sure there is quite a few of them.”

Jon chuckled, and Edward smiled bitterly.

“I shouldn’t have done it,” Jon muttered quietly.

“I quite agree, but here we are.” There was silence and Edward asked the dreaded question, “do you regret overthrowing me?”

“I did what I believed was right.” His answer hadn’t changed.

“Brother, good Kings don’t become old Kings.”

“Well,” he stood, “time to prove that wrong.”

Trundle, Trundle: Shadow of Self by Brandon Sanderson Review

Shadows of Self shows Mistborn’s society evolving as technology and magic mix, the economy grows, democracy contends with corruption, and religion becomes a growing cultural force, with four faiths competing for converts.

This bustling, optimistic, but still shaky society now faces its first instance of terrorism, crimes intended to stir up labor strife and religious conflict. Wax and Wayne, assisted by the lovely, brilliant Marasi, must unravel the conspiracy before civil strife stops Scadrial’s progress in its tracks.

***

Shadow of Self

I must start by saying this review will be quite short. Is it because I’m lazy?…Probably, it’s been a busy week! But I also don’t feel like much can be said about Shadow of Self. I do believe that Law of Alloy, the previous book in the series, is one of my favourite books and definitely the best of the Mistborn series. So this book did have a lot to live up to.

‘“You need to stay where I know you’re safe. No arguments. I’m sorry.”

“Wayne,” Wax said, walking past. “Stop talking to your hat and get over here.”

But instead it appears Brandon Sanderson has also realised what works and has stuck with it. This will be short because there’s nothing new to say here. This book is a lot slower than the ones previously. Not that I don’t mind, this world is a comfortable one to settle into for me and just enjoy the view trundle by. But that is only because of the goodwill I feel to the four books prior, this wouldn’t be a good book to dive into as a new reader.

Also we are once again returning to the world of fantasy and moving away from the western crime world of Law of Alloy. I did enjoy the first three Mistborn books and their grand fantasy epic, but I just loved what Law of Alloy did with the world. There are A LOT of call backs to the first three books. Characters come back into the picture and events look very similar to those set 300 years ago. It feels like a repeat of things that I like but a repeat none the less.

Wax felt a sweeping wave of relief. He hadn’t lost his quarry – he’d simply been led into a trap!

Wait.

Of course there are other things to talk about, the ending made my heart break and the characters are loveable (Steris is now my baby and NO ONE CAN HURT HER). But without anything new in terms of plot, I feel no drive to talk about such things because I say it with every review. Sanderson is good at what he does and I may have already read his best.

We’ll have to see.

 

The Confusions of Being a Frugal Writer

So I promised myself I’d upload one of these every week but it’s great to see myself fail at the first hurdle. Starting as we plan to go on clearly! However last week I was at uni in the middle of bloody nowhere and didn’t have the connection to upload. So two weeks to catch up on with two big things that have happened.

I still live at home which means I mostly use the family computer to write. Partly because I have developed a crippling paranoia of my little laptop. I am pretty sure it will one day kill me, even as I write this on it. But let’s not get into my crippling paranoia and anxiety instead talk about why my little laptop is shit to use (and pray it can’t hear me).

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I have to use OpenOffice on my little laptop because of convoluted reasons. And the family computer uses Microsoft Word like normal people. I prefer Word because it is more user friendly, but is it compatible with OpenOffice? Of course not. Whenever I have to write on my little laptop (which is a lot) I have to write in a separate document without knowing where I left off in my main manuscript.

So now I’ve started this confusion mix of using five or so documents to write merely one description. It’s like I didn’t find editing my four year project hard enough, I wanted that extra challenge. I have written the beginning of three scenes twice at this point, forgetting I’d already written it and quite frankly I lost my motivation once I became blind to what I’d written before.

Messy Desk of Paper

However the second big thing that happened to me was I started university. I’m doing an apprenticeship so I’m only need to spend three weeks in uni over the course of a year. My university is in the middle of nowhere, no Wi-Fi, no fucking franchise chains (nearest McDonalds was 40 miles away!). Which is both torturous for my mind to cope with and an amazing time to get some writing done. With nothing else to do it I wrote 9606 which is really good, considering I was suffering with writer’s block for a week and I’ve stormed through a big chunk of plot, I was unable to start beforehand.

This week though I’ve got to put it all into my manuscript and hope it makes sense!

How has your week been going?