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26 Feb 2014

What's Up Wednesday...

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly feature created by Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk. Perfect for readers and writers who want to share what they've been up to on a weekly basis and right now the place to share your goals.

1) What I'm Reading
Continuing to read Vicious which I quite like.  I'm still at the beginning where slowly Schwab is building up this world and I like the pace of the novel so far.  It keeps going forward and back to Victor now and his origins story but it doesn't ruin the flow of the novel.  It keeps you interested whether you're in the past or the present. 

2) What I'm Writing
I finally finished this revision of Beast Inside, completing the final chapter last night.  More revisions are needed in the next round of edits but I have the story I want.  I like what happens and there's nothing I want to change plot-wise.  All I want to do is add some more chapters in the next revisions that I thought of and start to concentrate on the characters and their voices.  I still think it's quite a weak area in the draft.  

3) What Else I've Been Up To
Back at work now where I'm glad to get into a routine again.  I'm not great with the last few days of the holidays.  I get restless and need routine in my life to get things done. 

4) What Inspires Me Right Now
Finishing off a revision.  I hope that doesn't sound arrogant but completing a first draft or a revision can help so much. You feel one step closer!

24 Feb 2014

Writer Recharge Update #3

For the whole month of February I'm taking part in Writing Recharge where I'm going to track a writing goal and see how I do.  It's generously hosted by Elodie, Katy, Sarah, Liz, and Alison who will also choose five winners at the end for either a query or three chapter critique.  Sign up on Sarah's blog and keep posting an update every Monday there as well or follow on twitter using the hashtag #WriterRecharge.

My goals:
  • Start planning for April Camp NaNo.  I have a horror short story I'd love to work on.
  • Complete the 2nd Draft of Beast Inside.  Just a few more chapters I need to write and I hope to do this by the end of the month. 
  • Write every day.  Even if it's just a little bit.  I want to be in that habit of taking the time to sit and write.  
So far...
I haven't been planning this week after I made a lot of progress with research notes and a brief idea of how the plot is going to work in terms of my supernatural antagonist.  I'm going to do a brief beginning, middle, end plan.  A couple of character bios and that will pretty much be it for a short story plan this week.

I've finished Chapters 37 and 38.  Yay! The story is basically over now and I've revised everything from my first draft.  All that's left to do really is add in a chapter or two more to really finish off the story.  Have a sort of cool down for the characters instead of ending it abruptly like I did in the first draft.  But pretty much the second draft and revisions are done.  Celebrate Ood style!


I didn't write every day, forcing myself to start knuckling down on maths revision which will have to take complete priority as the days get closer to my exam.  But I wrote about 5/7 days so I wrote for a whole school week at least!

How did you do this week? Don't forget to add your update to Sarah's blog and see how everyone else is doing. :)

19 Feb 2014

What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly feature created by Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk. Perfect for readers and writers who want to share what they've been up to on a weekly basis and right now the place to share your goals.

1) What I'm Reading
I stopped Ash for now to read Vicious by Victoria Schwab instead.  I'm definitely enjoying it more Ash.  I just couldn't get hooked and it's mostly down to being an impatient reader.  But come on, almost 200 pages in and you're only just getting to the castle and introducing us to more characters with long backstories? I think Stephen King definitely does a much better job at having multiple characters and keeping you interested.  Vicious has already hooked me in and while the chapters jump back and forth in time I'm still pretty interested:
than

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question


2) What I'm Writing
I'm down to the last few chapters of BI in this round of edits.  Overall with the first set of revisions I know I definitely have the story I wanted from it.  When I get it all typed up onto the computer the next editing process will focus on a few extra chapters that I thought of and want to add in, concentrating on characters and voice which I think could do with some major editing, grammar, typos, etc. 

3) What Else I've Been Up To
My week off so far has been nothing but writing and maths.  I started my maths revision, only being reminded so far of how terrible I am with the subject and how easily I keep making mistakes.  I'm actually doing some of my revision on BBC Bitesize and planning on getting a couple of maths revision books.  It feels absolutely ridiculous.  What's even more ridiculous is I have to remember how to do GCSE maths because I may have to teach a child one day who is at that level.  I'm only specialising in Early Childhood Education. That's 3-7 year olds.  =/

4) What Inspires Me Right Now
Someone who was in my English and Creative course at university is hosting their own workshop this year at the annual Writer's Festival the uni doesI love hearing about the success of fellow writers because it's inspiring to see them come so far.  Whether it's by getting published, finishing off a project, getting ready for querying, or being seen as experienced enough to share their knowledge to new students. Their dream has come true today so maybe it's our turn next?

17 Feb 2014

Writer Recharge Update #2

For the whole month of February I'm taking part in Writing Recharge where I'm going to track a writing goal and see how I do.  It's generously hosted by Elodie, Katy, Sarah, Liz, and Alison who will also choose five winners at the end for either a query or three chapter critique.  Sign up on Sarah's blog and keep posting an update every Monday there as well or follow on twitter using the hashtag #WriterRecharge.

My goals:
  • Start planning for April Camp NaNo.  I have a horror short story I'd love to work on.
  • Complete the 2nd Draft of Beast Inside.  Just a few more chapters I need to write and I hope to do this by the end of the month. 
  • Write every day.  Even if it's just a little bit.  I want to be in that habit of taking the time to sit and write.  
So far...

I made some more plans to my short story, just outlining the plot for the supernatural antagonist and jotting down a brief plan of the story time-wise.  I also think I may have to do some research on a paranormal myth that I'd love to use in another short story idea.  I love little legends and myths for short stories.  They're perfect for them. 

I've got further into Chapter 37, just about to kill some characters that should lead me into the final showdown! Sounds a bit dramatic there.  I'm aiming for two or three more chapters.  See how much of a cool down is going to be needed.

I did write every day.  Sometimes only a sentence or two.  Sometimes just a bit of planning.  But I never wanted to push myself too much and say I have to write 1000 words a day.  Just little and often to keep it moving but not so much I feel like I'm stressing myself out with word counts and deadlines. 

How did you do this week? Don't forget to add your update to Sarah's blog and see how everyone else is doing. :)

10 Feb 2014

Writer Recharge #1

For the whole month of February I'm taking part in Writing Recharge where I'm going to track a writing goal and see how I do.  It's generously hosted by Elodie, Katy, Sarah, Liz, and Alison who will also choose five winners at the end for either a query or three chapter critique.  Sign up on Sarah's blog and keep posting an update every Monday there as well or follow on twitter using the hashtag #WriterRecharge.

My goals:
  • Start planning for April Camp NaNo.  I have a horror short story I'd love to work on.
  • Complete the 2nd Draft of Beast Inside.  Just a few more chapters I need to write and I hope to do this by the end of the month. 
  • Write every day.  Even if it's just a little bit.  I want to be in that habit of taking the time to sit and write.  
So far...

I've started doing some research into the inspiration of my short horror story that I want to write for NaNo.  And I've also got my playlist ready and waiting to keep me inspired.

I haven't written every day since I signed up.  I made a good start throughout the rest of last week and then I stopped for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday when we had Pete's sister come to stay.  I felt it might have been a bit too anti-social of me to sit, write and ignore everyone else.  And it's probably a good idea to interact with the rest of humanity now and again.  I'm not a total hermit...

Since I wrote most of last week I managed to finished off Chapter 36 and start Chapter 37. I'd say that was a step closer to the end. :)

How did you do this week? Don't forget to add your update to Sarah's blog and see how everyone else is doing. :)

6 Feb 2014

Book Review: The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey—ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her.

Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.


I don't think I'm ever going to understand the appeal of a moody boy, especially Ash who admits that he would willingly kill Meghan if ordered to. I don't get how that is supposed to be romantic in any way. The so-called relationship between Meghan and Ash brings the rating down for me. Personally I'd go for Puck, the best friend and Mr Nice Guy who Meghan always seems a lot happier with even thought she says she loves Ash. Ash makes her feel miserable. He breaks her heart and he makes her cry. Who really wants a guy like that? When Puck comes along, he always brings a smile to her face and she seems and acts a lot more comfortable around him. It's unfortunate that it's quite fashionable to go for the jerk nowadays.

If the book didn't have this ridiculous pining (I can't call it romance because there's nothing romantic about Ash and Meghan) it would be a really fantastic read. The world of the fey is absolutely brilliant. It's mischievous, wondrous and dangerous at the same time. I love the idea of a new breed of fey evolving because of advances in technology. It brings danger that Meghan can't ignore and willingly steps into help. She's an idiot with Ash but at least she remains an active heroine, not letting others drag her around on these quests. She always opts to go.


When she has this focus of a quest and trying to solve a problem she is a likeable heroine.  But I felt we didn't get to see much of the strong Meghan in this book because she had a tendency to cry a lot.  Not exactly great when you're in a world full of sociopath fey.  And I love the complete lack of sympathy you get from these creatures.  They're old school, badass jerks.  Half the time I'm surprised Meghan is good natured enough to care about the demise of their world and get it sorted out.  They have a lot to thank her for.

Despite the dodgy romance aspect and Meghan's tears I still loved the book enough to stick with the girl on her little quest.  I loved the book to still pick up the third in the series which I'll review in the future.



5 Feb 2014

What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly feature created by Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk. Perfect for readers and writers who want to share what they've been up to on a weekly basis and right now the place to share your goals.

1) What I'm Reading
Well, I'm finally at the castle in Ash but now I have to go through a lot of back stories for the new introduced characters. *head desk* I just want some spooky moments. I can't help it, I'm an impatient reader.

 2) What I'm Writing
I've signed up for Writer's Recharge to monitor my progress on Beast Inside.  One of my targets has to been write every single day, even if it's just a little bit and start planning a short story for Camp NaNo.  I finished off a chapter of BI last night so I'm doing well so far on my recharge. :)

 3) What Else I've Been Up To
 Not much except catching up with my online forensic science course.  Some of the things I've learned could definitely be of some use for future projects.  It's always been a personal interest of mine but it's been fantastic as writer research.  I've gone and joined two more courses because I may have become addicted.  One on different moons and a fiction writing course.

I like to know new things... I'm very Ravenclaw.

 4) What Inspires Me Right Now
With Pete finishing off one of his writing projects and editing for Miss Cole I've been inspired to keep going as well.  Something about seeing people finish their WiPs and get ready to move on to the next stage brings the motivation for me.

4 Feb 2014

Book Review: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.

Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.

With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.


I'd heard many good reviews about Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan trilogy.  I have to admit the world he built was absolutely fascinating.  And alternative World War One history with steampunk thrown in and science advancing in it's creations of weapons and machinery that has split the world apart into Darwinists and Clankers.  Both were an interesting concept.  The Clankers were more into steampunk machinery and technology, relying on them for the war.  The Darwinists created hybrids from animals, turning them into the machines and weapons they relied onWith the addition of illustrations I had no problem visualising these strange and (in a way) futuristic designs in a period of time that is already well known to the audience.  

Unfortunately while the world was interesting I found Leviathan quite slow to get into. From the beginning I wasn't hooked with the events or the characters. With two different perspectives the pacing was slow, building up a lot of back story and the alternative world Westerfeld created. The blurb doesn't really apply until 200 pages and I was actually hanging around, plodding through their journeys until they did finally meet.  Like most books I find quite slow to begin with, the action then suddenly began in the last part as if the author realised he had to get things going and the finale began.  It ends up making the story feeling quite rushed at the end.

I liked Deryn even though she wasn't the most original character I've read about. A girl disguising to be a boy has been done over and over again. I didn't hate it but it just meant I wasn't interested in her storyline in the end.  Maybe Deryn's situation with take an interesting turn in the next two books but unfortunately it hasn't got me hooked enough to be curious and find out.

Overall, it was an okay read.  Interesting world.  Slow paced.  I'm probably going to leave it there for now and not rush to pick up the other two.


3 Feb 2014

Writing Recharge!

I always love writing events that are created to keep you motivated and help you keep track of your progress and goals.  For the whole month of February I'm taking part in Writing Recharge where I'm going to track a writing goal and see how I do.  It's generously hosted by Elodie, Katy, Sarah, Liz, and Alison who will also choose five winners at the end for either a query or three chapter critique.  Sign up on Sarah's blog and keep posting an update every Monday there as well or follow on twitter using the hashtag #WriterRecharge.

My goals:

  • Start planning for April Camp NaNo.  I have a horror short story I'd love to work on.
  • Complete the 2nd Draft of Beast Inside.  Just a few more chapters I need to write and I hope to do this by the end of the month. 
  • Write every day.  Even if it's just a little bit.  I want to be in that habit of taking the time to sit and write. 
Are you up for a recharge? :)