Book Blogger Tip Tuesday #12

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Get away from your distractions. Which could include your house. Go sit on a bus and write for two hours or find a little café to blog in. Whatever helps to get you active and productive.

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Steam

Steam

Art created in heat,

Snakes curl and hover,

They twist and consume,

Suffocating from within.

 

Far off through tendrils,

A fire smoulders,

Bubbles and hisses,

Blooming in the din

 

They take hold of the body,

Clinging to skin like lovers

They wrap and squeeze,

Until blood is dripping from their chin

Writing: How to write more

Introduction

You may have everything set out perfectly for writing, but are you actually doing any?

Writer’s block affects us all, but this isn’t the time to turn away from your writing and just have a day off. No, no, no this isn’t like a cold, you won’t get better tomorrow and it’s you that’s the problem, not the writing. And only you can cure it.

 

Make time

We have all procrastinated at some point and we know it is easy to make excuses for ourselves. But when it comes to writing, you’ve got to slap yourself in the face (figuratively) and make time. You always have time, even if you try to convince yourself you don’t: perhaps on your commute, commit to waking up 30 minutes early and use a little notebook to write wherever you go. You have to make time or else you’re just making excuses.

 

You don’t have write in order

It is better to write the scenes your fingers are itching to write rather than the next scene chronologically which you can’t figure out the words for. Always good to reach your writing goal, no matter in which order you reach it so you have something to be proud of.

 

Do you know where your story is going?

It could be just a matter of the unknown. If you don’t know what needs to happen next, then how do you know which words to write? This is common for writers who do not plan before writing (which I advise against). You need take a step back from the writing and plan instead. Even if you have plan, maybe you need to plot out the scene beat for beat before you know what to watch.

 

Just bored.

This is a simple truth: If you’re not excited by what your writing, why is your reader going to be? Perhaps if you find yourself falling asleep when writing something, it’s time to go back to the drawing board rather than trying to plough ahead.

 

You don’t have to write for long

I think what puts people off starting to write is how time consuming it is, which it is, but that doesn’t mean it needs to take much time out of every day. Writing for twenty minutes is better than not writing at all and the further you get into your novel, the more you can write in one sitting without even realising it.

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Get a writer friend

Writer friends are great: they are in the same boat as you and any problems you have, they probably have already gone through. And they are also good at poking you into doing your writing, they can keep on top of your writing targets as much as you do.

 

Goals, small but meaningful

It’s easy to want to write 5000 words a day than to actually achieve it. And this begins the endless cycle of putting off writing instead of having to try and fail to reach your goal. Stick to smaller goals that you are perhaps able to surpass them.

 

Short hand writing

Remember not having to write in order? Of course you do, it was barely half a page ago. But you don’t have to write in full either. Snippets of scenes and stage directions at the very least are the foundation for words to come.

 

Reward Yourself

Positive reinforcements works both with dogs and humans. Giving yourself a reward for reaching a target is a great way of motivating yourself.

 

Conclusion

Hopefully now you will realise how to tackle writer’s block but also that there is no such thing as a day off in the life of a writer. Good luck Xx

 

Further Reading

https://www.copyblogger.com/effortless-writing/

https://www.marissameyer.com/blogtype/12-ways-to-write-more/

 

 

Is This The Best Book Ever Written? Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir Review

‘Soldiers hunt Laia and Elias as they flee the city of Serra and begin their journey through the heart of the Empire. Laia is determined to break into Kauf, the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison to save her brother Darin. 

Bound to the Emperor’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them before they set empire on fire.’

***

This book…is good…

That’s it, review’s over!

Torch Against the Night

I find myself struggling for words. I have been a begrudging reader for a lot of my life. I read because I write and I understand that the two usually go hand in hand. That doesn’t mean I enjoy reading. I like some of the books I force myself to read but if I could choose I would never read again.

I think this is based in my hatred for many tropes that are cemented in fantasy and YA. But Torch Against the Night is…good? I struggle with the word because I think Torch Against the Night is the best book I have ever read. Not my favourite, but the best written and most subversive of the tropes of its genre and audience. But I don’t want to say that because as previously stated – I hate reading and therefore what I think is amazingly well done maybe old news.

But damn that! I’m a slow reader and that’s not going to stop me explaining in detail why TAtN is the best book ever written (that I’ve ever read).

Oh and beware, spoilers ahead!

 

“It’s definitely someone following us.” At my unease, he offers a quick smile. “Don’t look so worried. Most successful missions are just a series of barely averted disasters.”

~What I tell myself every day of my life

 

The General Goodness.

Of course there’s a lot of great things carried over from the first book. Quite literally given it starts exactly where Ember in the Night finished. There is no rest between books which I like because I’m reading them back to back and I read most of this book non-stop in silent horror waiting for the madness to start.

The characters continue to be actually clever rather than their IQ increasing and decreasing as the plot demands. Problems aren’t only overcome but they are done so with actual solutions, it isn’t just dumb luck but actual clever reasons. And there are consequences. CONSQUENCES! Real painful consequences.

No one keeps unnecessary things from each other which is especially good when there’s a love square in progress. In fact I find myself quite invested. I love Laia. She is so soft and MAN will someone let this girl kiss someone, anyone! It is a rare book that gets me invested in its love subplot.

 

‘I whoop, loud enough that the echo in the cave startles, and the invisibility falls away. Right. Work on that, Laia.

~This is the moment I realised I loved Laia

 

I hate first POVs because I never can tell who is speaking. And with this book, I don’t know who anyone is, there’s just a lot of Roman sounding names that all blend together. But once again I still find myself caring way too much about everyone, I’ve become sentimental in old age (old age being my twenties).

 

Helene’s arc.

I didn’t particularly like Helene in Ember in the Night. She was this supposedly great warrior who kept having to be saved by the men in her life. Now I think back, it happened in Torch Against the Night as well, but Helene isn’t in this book to be the best warrior, she is here to suffer.

Sabaa Tahir could me by the collar and said: ‘you’re going to fall in love with this character and you’re going to like it!’ Helene and her family go through Hell and back in ways I didn’t think were possible for characters I knew nothing about previously. She comes out of this book a much harden version of the woman she started as and my favourite character.

 

“This” – I speak over him, lest he say something that Harper can report back…- “is Lieutenant Avitas Harper. My torturer and the Commandant’s spy.”

~I was legitimately shocked when Helene said this. I have never read a character blunt.

 

The Afterlife and the YA immunity to Death

Now let’s get into my many hatreds of tropes that Torch Against the Night rips apart. I hate the afterlife being shown in media. If the main character suddenly is aware the afterlife exists, all tension is taken away. There’s no point in fearing for the living if at the end of it all they get greeted by the dead (dead parents are especially guilty of this).

And that’s what I thought of this book when Elias started to cross into the Waiting Place. It felt cheap because the other irritating side of this trope is that the main character never stays dead. They will visit the other side, says hi to their parents and return to the land of the living without mentioning it once. And I knew Elias wouldn’t die. Sure he had been poisoned but he was the main character…SO WHY IS HE DEAD?

It threw me through the hugest loop when Elias actually died. It went against everything I had learnt from YA. Characters are impervious to permanent damage and if they are put down, they come back. And yet it seems that Elias has now become a part of the Waiting Place. It is a part of his story that he dies and its strange how this has never been done before.

 

Man in the Mirror

The man before me only has one arm. It’s the most striking thing about him, for other than that, he is nothing of note. He wears a worn in fleece and blue jeans, a belt wrapped tightly around them. He must have been around thirty, but despite that his hair was already greying. His brown eyes stare into my own, looking for something. I don’t know what it is but I want to help him find it.

“Sir?”

The man looks around to the nurse speaking behind her and I do as well, stepping away from the mirror.

“Sorry, I thought I might at least remember my own face.”

I’m Great at Writing…Everything I’m Not Supposed To!

The Easter weekend has been and gone and I spent most of it writing…just not writing what I need to!!

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I feel this happens every time I get a spare day, finally able to sit down and get a good chunk of editing done, and yet my mind always wanders on to a drafted scene further on or worse, scenes from future books yet to be plotted.

It makes me wonder if what I’m currently writing is even worth writing if I’m so set on not writing it but I don’t think that’s what’s happening here. I can’t wait to reach those scenes, that character’s development. I suppose that’s a good thing…if only I could focus on the character development now.

Do you struggle with writing in order? Do you think it’s sign of something wrong? Let me know in the comments!

Morality

Tiger Roar

If a tiger kills a gazelle,
No cries of evil ring out.
A tiger is free from moral.
People agree this without doubt.

And yet our own is bound,
To abide by the laws of old
Why should not I yearn for the taste of blood,
Or the want to feel skin turn cold?

Oh, scream as you wish,
Cry evil if you must,
But I am an animal,
I only wish to feed my lust

Ignorance is Bliss

It still amazed him, the imagination of the young. He remembered playing with his older brother when he was three or four. They always played in the house as his brother wasn’t allowed outside, their mother had insisted. They fought on pirate ships and slayed dinosaurs. He would laugh all day, every time he was allowed to play with his older brother.

His father had always hated letting them play, but he didn’t notice. He didn’t notice a lot of things. Like how much older he appeared than his brother. How he never spoke, had to be carried everywhere, why he had to be kept away from the cats.

Hey, ignorance was bliss. He wished he could have remained ignorant and not have to stare down at the little mummified baby and have his childhood of joy tarnish by a morbid obsession of his mother’s.