Friday, June 29, 2012

Sareh's Top Ten Writing Resources.

So this is kind of a Friday/Saturday post. Its kinda random and then it has stuff to do with writing. But because I'm going to a wedding tomorrow, I may or may not be able to post.

Actually, these may or may not actually have anything to do with writing, but I use them alot, so I'm posting them here.

The Top 10...

  1. Character Profile- This is an amazing character profile sheet. I can't even begin to tell you. You can even save it to your computer so you can finish it later or change it. 
  2. The Survey- Another really amazing character profile sheet. This one you can't save and come back to it. Once you hit save or whatever when you're finished, that's it unless you fill it out again. But I love it so much!
  3. Mary-Sue Test- This the best Mary Sue test I've come across. Its kinda amusing and then really eye opening.
  4. Fantasy World Building Questions- Even if you don't write fantasy, this has some good questions to consider. Its fantastic. 
  5. Edit Minion- This is a free editing site that does some basic edits for you. 
  6. Mary Sue Race- Its like the Mary Sue test, but for races/species/etc.
  7. Write or Die- I'm sure you've heard of this, but this is so much fun. So much!
  8. Scivener- You should just click on the link. Scivener is a writer's best friend despite the fact that you have to pay money for it. 
  9. Writer's Knowledge Database- This is basically like google, but for writers. What's cooler than that?
  10. Behind the Name- This doesn't really have anything to do with writers, but this is by far my favorite name database. The best part is that when people see you've history, you won't have any awkward explaining to do. 
So, you should totally check these out. I love them all! 


P.S I will be posting more links next week. Also, a lot of these and more can be found on the Resources page. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Writing Prompt- It shouldn't have been that hard.

So today's prompt was inspired by how my yesterday went.

Write a short story or whatever in which a character and their friend are driving to someplace. They've been there before but they haven't actually driven there on their own. On the way, they get lost....twice. The first time they drive two cities past where their suppose to be. The second time they get lost near the place. But the more the drive, the most lost they get until eventually they realize that they've ended up in a new world.

So in this exercise, how did they get lost and end up in a new world? How will they get home? What kind of world is it?


Book Reviews- The Nun's Story, Dangers in the Shadows, & Animal Farm

So I'm doing three mini reviews today. I got the idea (and permission) from the lovely Annie to use this idea for getting caught up on book reviews. I'm sorry I won't be giving the full review these books deserve but I need to get caught up. 

Sister Luke worked with the cynical surgeon in the dangerous Belgian Congo. But now she was afraid-afraid that what he was saying might be true.
This young and beautiful girl gave up the man she loved and all worldly pleasures to become a nun. Here is the strory of her struggle to keep her vows. But it is far more than a fasicinating look behind convent walls and into a woman's soul. It is a tale filled with dramatic action.

So I got this book from my school library when they were getting rid of old books and I decided that this looked interesting. For an older story, its a good book. 

The characters were well developed and the writing style was almost like the writing styles of the 21st century. There were some really lengthy paragraphs though that went on and on for a long time though. But beyond that, it was easy to read.

I enjoyed learning about the nuns and how they lived and worked. The novel seemed wonderfully researched and realistic. It was exciting at parts with even a slightly romantic part. And it isn't really boring at all, even the parts where she's learning how to become a nun and being a nun are interesting. 

But like I said, this was a surprisingly good book and I really did enjoy it. Apparently, its also a movie but I have yet to see it. 

On Goodreads: The Nun's Story
Website: By Kathrine Hulme (There's no website)

Sara's terrified. She's falling in love. And if that's not bad enough, it's with former pro football player Adam Black, a man everyone knows. That fact could cost Sara her life. Sara has been invisible, hidden away in a witness protection program from the man who kidnapped her and her sister twenty-five years ago, who caused her sister's death, and who so traumatized Sara that she blocked out the memory of his face. But Sara knows that he's still doing everything possible to find her-and finish her off before her memory returns. Her only safety is in staying invisible, but Adam won't listen, or give up on what they can have together. Soon they're both caught in a chain of events that brings Sara face to face with terror-and with the sure knowledge that only God can save her and set her free from the Danger in the Shadows.

So this book was loaned to me from my geometry teacher. Its an adult book but I enjoyed the romantic parts in it because it didn't have an questionable content in it. 

Firstly, the characters were all really realistic and enjoyable. It has a dual point between Sara and Adam and I thought that without both point of views the story wouldn't have been as good. Sarah, who's a bit messed up ever since her kidnapping and her sister's death is still a good and realistic person despite the creepy stalker and kidnapper. She refuses to let him control her life. Best of all, she's a writer too!  Adam on the other hand is this really cute and adorable ex football player. He was really sweet and handsome throughout the story.  All in all, they had their flaws and good parts, plus they were strong Christians. 

The plot and story was always exciting and there wasn't a part where I was bored. The ending could have been better though. I kinda think it was almost too easy in the way that they defeated the bad guy and Sara got her life back. But I loved the very ending, it was cute. 

On GoodreadsDanger in the Shadows
Website: Dee Henderson (I didn't like the author page all that much so I'm just linking the Goodreads page)

Tired of their servitude to man, a group of farm animals revolt and establish their own society, only to be betrayed into worse servitude by their leaders, the pigs, whose slogan becomes: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." Published in 1945, this powerful satire of the Russian Revolution under Stalin remains as vivid and relevant today as it was on its first publication. Including Orwell's proposed preface to the original edition and his preface to the 1947 Ukrainian edition, this special edition also features a series of magnificent color & black and white illustrations by Ralph Steadman.

So we had to read this book for British Literature and it was an interesting read. You don't see all that many books were animals are the primary characters and its even rarer to see them as classics. 

So I'm not sure if this summary matches the version we read. While the cover is right, we read a small hardback cover one. Anyways, it was an interesting story. The characters, the animals, were for the most part kind of realistic characters. Most of them were either bad guys or good guys and I guess in a way that's okay for this story because its older and we're suppose to not like some of the characters. 

Overall, I enjoyed reading this short book and it was interesting to see the parallels of the Russian Revolution in it. The ending was a bit creepy though and I'm not positive if what happened literally happened or if that's what it seemed like happened. 

On Goodreads: Animal Farm
Website: George Orwell (There's a website listed, but if I was you, don't click it. When I tried to click it, my anti-virus came up and stopped me from going onto it because it had  a potential for viruses. So don't click it, because I'd be super sad if you got a virus or something.)


Writing Topics- Those Dreaded Questions.

So here's some questions that writers hate getting asked and here's a way of replying (there's an actual way and then there's what I usually do).

What's Your Story About?
A: (Here you're suppose to give this really amazing short pitch that'll make them want to read it)
A2: (But this is really what happens) "Well see...its about this girl...who has super wait..."

So What Do You Want to Be?
A: A Writer (in which they give you this weird look and some annoying answer)
A2: (In which I tell them something that's not being a writer so that I can avoid the weird look and sudden awkward conversation.)

When did you know you wanted to be a Writer?
A: You give a really simple and a cute answer about something when you were younger.
A2: "Well...I'm not totally positive...maybe, yeah...when I was eight I started to write this story. It wasn't very good and-" (you ramble on for twenty minutes)

Where do you get your stories?
A: You come up with some really cool answer that makes you sound awesome.
A2: "Its none of your business!" (Or some rude remark...or a weird one that makes people look at you strangely.)

Can I be in your story?
A: Sure!
A2: No! (Or sure and then you kill them off or you give them some little part in the story because you actually don't want them in there because you know that they'll serve no purpose to your plot)

Why aren't you published yet?
A: There's really no good answer for this except that its a bit rude to be asked this. Or whoever asked this is really naive about how people get published and how long it takes to actually write the book.

Are you finished yet? (After telling someone you're working on a novel and you just started it and then a couple weeks later they ask this)
A: Yes or no.
A2: (Yes, I just finished the first draft and now I'm gonna work on the second draft [after this the person replies "I meant the whole story! Is it publishable yet?"]. No [because it actually takes longer then a month...])

So when you're published, can I have a copy of your book for free?
A: Sure! (Mostly because you're being nice)
A2: No! (Why would I give you a free copy when you can go out and buy it and then support my career?)

Are you going to make a lot of money?
A: Yes I will!
A2: Hopefully!

Do you like to write?
A: Uh, yeah... (That's why I just told you that I'm a writer. Or, the person just saw you writing and asked this).
A2: No, I'm just writing this novel because I hate writing. Pfff...

What are you writing?
A: You tell the person this really awesome description.
A2: You kinda accidently fail at it.

Are you writing?
A: Yep!
A2: No, I'm just practicing a new form of drawing. You know...wridraw?

Are you publishing that?
A: Uh...hopefully?
A2: Hopefully, if I get accepted by an agent or I self publish.

Why do you take so many notes? 
A: You look down at your paper and reply,"I'm not..." or you say, "cause I'm a good student!"
A2: This is actually an amusing question because anyone who writes as much as writers do, probably won't be taking four or six pages of notes during a class period. Just saying.

How many chapters is it?
A: You answer the question because you know that chapters don't determine how long a book is. 
A2: Some smart-aleck answer because you get annoyed being asked this for the obvious reason stated above.

"So am I a character in your book?"
A: Noooo. or Maybe.... 
A2: You don't want to be in my  book unless you want to die some horrid way. Just saying!

Why don't you just get it published already? 
A: You think back to how you just told the person that you just started it and tell them that its not finished yet. 
A2: Its not finished....and then you go on to have a lengthy explanation on how to get published because you're annoyed that you just told the person a  week ago that you just started  a novel.

Do you know the difference between your, your and you'are?
A: Of course I do... and then you explain it nicely. 
A2: You get annoyed and hand them an Idiot's Guide to Grammar and the English Language. 

You do this for fun? 
A: Yep! That's why I'm writing a novel.
A2: Noooo, I don't. I'm being forced against my will by an evil unicorn/monster to write a book that I just told you  I was writing!

 "Can I read what you're writing?!" *reading over shoulder*
A: No. 
A2: No. I won't let you because you were reading over my shoulder. And even if you hadn't, I still wouldn't let you read it.

So do you have any more annoying questions that non writers (or even other writers!) ask you? How to you usually respond? Which question annoys you the most? What's the most ridiculous thing you've ever been asked in related to writing?


Monday, June 18, 2012

Writing Prompt- Museums.

So this is something totally random. But here's a prompt that might be fun to try.

Have your character visit a museum (it can be totally as crazy or creepy as you want) and have something strange happen.

I know in my nearby museum, you can bring in things (rocks, skulls, dead animals, creepy things like that) and they're pay you for it and display it. Maybe somebody brings in a magical rock and somebody else buys it or takes it? Or maybe the dealer works for a magical underground society!

Or maybe there's an exhibit, like the Dead Sea Scrolls, and someone gets sucked into the land of the Israel and has to save King David from a assassin attempt.

Have fun!

Critique Giveaway!

So my friend Kelly over at Literary Paths is hosting a critique giveaway. And since I know some of you are writers, I thought to share this with you! Kelly is a great reviewer so you guys don't want to miss out on this chance.

Here's the rules from her blog:
There will be three winners. First winner will receive a full manuscript critique.  Second winner will receive a 100 page manuscript critique.  Third winner will receive a 50 page manuscript critique.

And, if I reach a certain amount of followers, I will add another winner.  Like, if I reach 75 followers, I'll add in another 50 page critique.  More chances for you guys to win a critique.

The manuscript must be YA and written in English.  Winners will be revealed the day after the contest ends.  Each winner will have 72 hours to email me (I'll let you guys know what exactly to do in the post).  Failure to reply will result in the choosing of another winner.  And be warned: I'm going on vacation a few days after the contest ends, so I will have time then to read.  Get your manuscripts in while I have wi-fi (this will be in the winner's post, too).
And you can enter in her post here.  I've already entered.

Good luck!

Friday, June 15, 2012

What is Dark Fantasy?

So today I decided to talk about something in particular as I'm feeling slightly better. In case you're wondering, my surgery went fine and I'm actually feeling pretty good. Anyways, I'm going to discuss what exactly "dark fantasy" is and how its different from horror and fantasy.

The reason I'm talking about this is that The Cursing is defined as dark fantasy and few people actually know about the genre. When most people think of fantasy, they think of swords and magic, and while it does have fantasy elements in it, its not strictly fantasy. When people hear horror, they think of scary stories that make people afriad to go to sleep at night, but then, The Cursing isn't meant to scare people that badly.

Why isn't it horror?

Horror in its simplest defination is that they're suppose to be frightening or scary. But although dark fantasy has horror like elements in it, its different. They usually contain things such as

  • The presence of some kind of evil
  • Creatures, monsters, or things that belong to hell
  • Characters with questionable morals and goals

But dark fantasy, although similar to horror, doesn't actually have to have any horror things in it to be dark, as the darkness in the story can be created through the atmosphere, setting, and many other ways.

Why isn't it fantasy?
While dark fantasy certainly deals with things that are not from our world, it doesn't deal with just fantastical elements. It has elements of something darker in it, something that's a bit more intense and terrifying hiding in it. But its not meant to scare people.

But it does take fantasy elements and just gives those elements a different, horrible new twist to them. It allows the author to create huge and fantastical worlds without having to focus solely on horror or the scary stuff.

Our conclusion...
What makes a book dark fantasy is when it deals with anyting fantastical or paranormal but in such a way that it focuses on the dark and scary side of nature, psychology, and anything strange. It doesn't try to get away from gore and horror, but at the same time, isn't scary. Instead of good people, its characters are people with darker intentions. It may not always have a happy ending. They may have to do things that most people would never do. And it dives into the twisted side of speculative fiction.

Well guys this is going to be short post and I hope it makes sense. I may not be totally thinking straight since I'm still taking meds and I'm pretty tired,

What is Dark Fantasy?
Dark Fantasy as a Genre?
What is Dark Fantasy?
Wikipedia- Dark Fantasy
Goodreads- Dark vs High Fantasy


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Blog Announcement!

Due to me getting my wisdom teeth out tomorrow, I probably won't be posting anything (unless the schedule works this time) or Friday. I might possibly feel well enough to get on on Saturday, but if I do, I'll probably just make it a short post or repost something.

So until then!


Monday, June 11, 2012

Writing Prompt- Real Life

So we've all heard of people turning real life into stories. But how many of us actaully, truely, have an interesting memory or event to turn into a story?

Well today we're going to explore our lives and try to create a story from it. It doesn't actually have to be your entire life, but maybe there's a certain event or a story that you like to tell people that you could turn into a story?

Maybe you got lost in the park during a family picnic or maybe your cousin went to another country and came back with a really interesting story?

My story that I've actually turned into a story is something that happened to someone in my family. So there was this lady from Asia that was going to work for the company Family Member worked at. Well Family Member met this lady and it went okay. Well then the next day the lady didn't show up for work. When she didn't return after several days, they called the police and investigated. Well apparently this woman had left all her stuff at her hotel room and they couldn't figure out what happened. Then several weeks later, we found out that this lady had decided she was home sick and went home with out telling anyone or getting any of her stuff (sound sketchy? Indeed it does...). So I'm turning this (with a large twist on the story) into a YA novel called Deadly and Missing. 

So, if you'd like, what real life event or memory could you turn into a story?


Friday, June 8, 2012

My Top 10...

So now that its summer, its officially time for me to sit down and not only find a college but to pick a major (and maybe a minor). So today I'm gonna share with you my top 10 major/career choices.

  1. Graphic Designer
  2. Author
  3. Historian 
  4. Librarian
  5. Photographer
  6. Jeweler (or Jewelry designer)
  7. Psychology
  8. Drawing
  9. Editor
  10. Journalist
So there you go. I probably won't go into Drawing or Photography as they don't pay enough to support my wanting to be an author, but the other ones I'm considering. 


Monday, June 4, 2012

Writing Prompt- Its time to get a job!

So I'm sure we all have that dream job in mind. Mine is to be a published author. And in an attempt to make our characters as realistic as possible, shouldn't they have a dream job as well? Even if they're a super hero on planet-X, they might want to so something other then save the other every Saturday.

So tonight's prompt is to have your characters decide what their dream job is. Is it something attainable or not? Are they doing it already? Why is it their dream job?

If its something that's not actually a job in their world, try creating something similar or have it be a job anyways! If they're in a different time period and there's a job that they would like to do in our century, write a scene where they travel to here and do it!

Speaking of which, if you're feeling adventurous, try writing a scene where a character from another dimension or another time as to come here and work as something. Are they surprised by the job they're doing? It is what they expected it to be?

Also, what job wouldn't they want to do and why?


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Writing Tips- Its Nanowrimo time!

Okay guys, I'm seriously sorry I forgot to tell you about this! I should have no excuse for this because I knew about this for a while and for some reason it never occurred to me to tell you guys. I'm sure most of you already know about it, but in case you don't, I'm telling you now. And once again, I'm seriously sorry for letting this slip my mind. I blame school (I got out yesterday!) but I really shouldn't be using that...


Camp NanoWriMo 2012
So this is basically NaNoWriMo, but in the summer. You can enter in June or August (I'm doing both) and the exciting part is that you can get "cabins". These are basically a small message board of you and five other people who get to talk to each other. You can get assigned people based on your age or request people you know. Or you don't have to be in a cabin. But if you are, and you don't like any of the people, you can get reassigned to another.

You can even "Send a letter home" which is basically an email you can send to someone asking for donations. These donations can get you fancy items to "inspire" you to write more and they also go to support Nano.

Other then that...there's not much I can tell you about it. Its basically NaNo but instead of November, its in the summer.

Camp NaNoWriMo

And you can check out the other Nano sites here:
NaNoWriMo Young Writer's Program

So guys, are you doing Camp Nano or will you be doing it? Do you do the November version?



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...