Dec 31, 2011

New Year's Resolution!

For 2011, my New Year's Resolution was to write three novels. I wrote two and a fourth. Or two and two sevenths, but I think the former sounds better.

This year, I plan on doing a few more things (which is probably silly, considering I'll be entering Junior year of high school) like...
  • Complete three novels OR finish writing a series/trilogy (Nightland is a four-book series; Rush is the first in a trilogy)
  • Edit one of my completed projects until I'm happy with it
  • Read 100 books
  • Be nicer to people
And those are my resolutions for 2012. I hope to get a jump start, considering how I have a whole week for break. Plus, I'll have a three day week in the middle of January. Then comes the two semester projects I'll receive... Oh what fun comes with this new year.

So, what are your New Year Resolutions?

Dec 30, 2011

Writing Hell Preparations?

As we grow closer to the new year, another Writing Hell will commence. How much you want to write every day is optional, but please try to stick the amount of days for that month (5 for January).

I think I might start calling this a meme, but I'm not certain.

If you are participating in Writing Hell, I'd love to at least be able to visit your blog (if you have one). Just leave the link in the comments.

The layout for your posts should be something like this:

Excerpt for whatever project you're doing

Starting count: (insert word count started with)
Ending count: (insert word count ended with for that day)

And I think that's simple enough. Why not start off the New Year with a little challenge? I already know that it'll help out with my New Year's Resolution.

So, if you're participating, post your blog's link in the comments!

Dec 18, 2011

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern review

The Night CircusThe circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

I'm going to start off by saying that the pitch is a lie. It isn't a duel; it is a super long ... game, really.  The pace is slow, and really, I'd suggest not reading the pitches.  I didn't, or, at least, I don't remember them. Consider me lucky: my expectations weren't so high.

I did enjoy reading this. My only complaint is that the pace was way too slow.  It dragged a lot of the time, and there were scenes that I wanted to skip.  A lot of the chapters, though, do tie in to everything.  But I have a strong feeling that there are chapters that could be skipped, and the reader would still understand the ending.

Oh, and speaking of the ending: have you heard of The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton?  Well, the ending is similar to that.  I found a lot of things I could compare this to, like an anime I've been watching, and a movie I recently watched.  They were little aspects of the stories.

And now I go back to the story.  The main characters' father figures were rather ... odd.  I did, however, love Celia's relationship with her father.  Rather inspiring to my writer's side.  All of the relationships were well crafted, and the characters all distinct and interesting. The backgrounds to a good majority of the major characters were pretty cool, too.

The plot was very, very slow.  The writing weighed it down a lot; the descriptions were elaborate.  All of the pictures painted were beautiful, and a lot of the scenes were great.  But when those dull scenes popped up every few chapters, I would end up thinking about other things.  Which happened quite a lot.

Then there's the ending (actually talking about it now). It tied up everything rather nicely, in my opinion. Kind of sweet, too, at some places.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this to other people, but warn them about the slow pace. I'd give this a 4.0 rating. The pace was too slow for me, and some scenes were too boring, but I'd say everything else was great.

Dec 17, 2011

In My Mailbox (3)

It has been a while...

Anyways, In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

On November 30th, I actually received books in the mail. (Granted, I bought them with a year old Amazon gift-thingy I found while cleaning my room a week prior, but I still got 'free' books.)

And what I got was:

DestinedShatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)
I am so excited to read these, even though I have about a gazillion books I need to read before I read these. (Like this week: I plan to finish all of the books I'm reading so my friend can read them over winter break.)

As I go off to read, let me know what your IMM is!

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award?

So, last year I wanted to enter, but I didn't have a completed manuscript. This year, I have two (Nightland and Rush). The problem is not only deciding between the two, but they both need editing. One doesn't even have a second draft. The other's second draft is far from completion. So what will I do?

Work my butt off one the one without a second draft. I don't want to enter the other one just because I really really want to work on that one more. And it has been, oh, at least six months since I've gone through it.

The first thing I should do is probably read through and fix stuff. A lot of stuff, like the opening. It doesn't really have a good one. Good thing I've got over a month, and winter break starts in a week. I hope I have the time. The other thing will be the motivation.

And, another thing would be some peer critics. (I don't really know what to do to find people.) I have a feeling I'll have to resort to inkpoppers to get some critiques, which is the opposite of a plan of mine. *sigh*

If you don't know what the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award is, click here. And if anyone would like to work with me, I'd love to help out with your manuscripts! My critiques on inkpop are rather in-depth, and I won't be afraid to point out things, or help with grammar. Leave me a comment or shoot me an email if you're interest!

What are your opinions on the ABNA?

Dec 16, 2011

Updating y'all?

So, ten days later, I've finally decided to return to my blog.

This past week, and the next week, was/will be interesting. At the beginning of the week, I finally got into contact with my brother who lives a couple hundred miles away. That brought up my week. Thursday, I had to play at my school's concert. And, I have learned that I barely have an A in my History class, and a low A in HP Chem. Today, I'm going to watch Sherlock Holmes 2 with family friends and my mom. Awesome way to end the week.

Next week starts finals, and then Winter Break. I want to achieve straight A's this semester (Yes, I'm a nerd) which means I need to study. Which is the first, because studying isn't in my nature. At all. Which means I'll probably just write out this outline for my Chem test (my teacher won't give us a review) and read over the first chapters in my History book.

As for reading and writing, I am almost done with The Night Circus, and am going to finish another one or two books. Along with doing my homework. Writing wise, I'm at a block, even though I just came up with an idea based around a tree. Yeah, that's got to say something.

So, what are you guys reading? Those of you who are in school: has your break started yet?

Dec 6, 2011

Woohoo! I'm an epic failure!

As you know, I should be nearing 50,000 words tomorrow in Smolder. So let's say that I'm really past 18,000 words right now.

Yeah, real big difference there. For the majority of the weekend, I was watching Yu Yu Hakusho. And I'll end up watching Sailor Moon and Rurouni Kenshin in the upcoming weeks. Anime seems like really like me during the winter; last year, my friend got me to watch almost all of the DeathNote series. But ... yeah, I didn't finish it.

Let's see if I can get this writing done! On Thursday, I have community service because of my history class. On Friday, I have to play for the football game, because we've made it to championships for the first time in the history of my school. And we're undefeated. So, I must suffer in 30 degree weather (I'm a Californian used to 90-100 degree weather, of course I'm going to die!) and then thaw out at home that night.

At least I don't have homework. Not with finals coming up. I just need to pull up my history grade a little to maintain straight A's. (Yeah, I'm a nerd, too.)

So, those of you who're participating in Writing Hell: Are you failing as badly as I am, or have you stayed on track?

Dec 2, 2011

Writing Hell 1.2

Week one, day two.

Today, I need to catch up. So I'm making this post quick.

Starting word count: 15535
Ending word count: 16189

I give up. Pulling my attention from the road, I ask, “Papa, why are we going to Moscow?”
Papa glances back at me through the rearview mirror. “There’s a lot of history in the city. I thought it might help explain some things. You can do some research.” He pauses, fingers tapping the steering wheel. “Meet up with some people, hopefully.”
“People? Like who?”
He doesn’t answer, peeving me. I fold my arms over my chest, dip my chin down, and glare at Mama’s seat. Levin’s hand rattles my knee. I look up into a smiling face as he scoots over, now sitting right beside me.
“Do you know what he’s talking about?” I ask, peering up at Levin.
His lips form a tight line. He taps his right picky finger, the joint bouncing on my knee. Finally, he says, “I might have an idea, but I’m not certain. There are many things to do in Moscow.” He laughs. “I could teach you a lot, if Marco doesn’t plan on it.”
I'll post an excerpt in a little bit. In the mean time, leave a link in the comments of your Writing Hells, guys! I'd love to read your works.

Dec 1, 2011

Writing Hell 1.1

First day of the first week of Writing Hell.

How many of you have met your 2.5-5k goal yet? I for sure haven't! I've been at school, reading and doing school like things. And tonight, I can't write much, because I have a wonderful Christmas Parade to march in. Oh the joys of being in my high school's marching band.

So, Writing Hell participants, here's how posts will go (I meant to do this yesterday, but Yu Yu Hakusho distracted me):

Make a post for your first day of Writing Hell. It will contain your starting word count (example: Starting word count: 100) and beneath that, your ending word count (at the end of the day, or the next day, fill it in; follow previous example) and then you could post an excerpt. I will most likely be doing this tomorrow, and will be catching up on my 5k goal over the weekend.

For now, I will post the summary, as I don't have a whole lot of time to get stuff done.

Starting word count: 15535
Ending word count: 15535

And the summary:

Having to actually save something is the last thing on Milo’s mind. Being a demigod is a close second. Yet now she’s forced to take on these two foreign paths in hopes of keeping some sort of world order. But Milo couldn’t care less about things that don’t involve her.

Levin refuses to let her go down the wrong path. As her Guardian, he guides her as best he can. He’s able to solve many of her mistakes, until she upsets Them—the ones who granted mortals the chances for immortality in the first places. Milo should listen to them no matter what, unless she wants to lose the powers that come with being a demigod.

When it comes to change, Milo’s chances of staying a demigod smolder to dust.

I hope to near completion for Smolder by the end of these ten days.

So, how's your Writing Hell going? If you're participating, feel free to leave a comment with your day's excerpt. I'd love to check it out!