Top 5 Wednesday

Top 5 Wednesday – Fancasts!

September 20th: Favorite Fancasts
–Discuss your preferred fancasts for some of your favorite characters. (Fancasts means actors you’d like to play your favorite characters or imagine your favorite characters as)

Oooooooh I love casting! I really, truly love casting so much. Ever since I was able to audition actors for my short films I’ve imagined who would play who, but of course this is simple fan service. ^_^

Ezra Miller as August, This Savage Song

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I know he’s older than August in the book but I seriously can’t imagine anyone else playing August as well as Ezra could. That mix of both dark and innocent. ❤

Armie Hammer as Nikolai Lantsov, Grisha Trilogy

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Again he’s probably too old now to play him but I want this hot man to play my hot prince, okay?! He’s funny, he’s charming, wit for days…

Evan Peters as Wylan van Eck, Six of Crows / Crooked Kingdom

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Nnnnnngh. ❤ I want him to play my little dynamite.

Daisy Ridley as Lila Bard, Darker Shades of Magic

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She is so cute. She can do tormented and cute, and probably play Lila effortlessly. The RANGE. Also would probably look good in 1800s mens clothing. Just saying.

Cole Sprouse as Gansey, The Raven Cycle

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I dunno, man. Some photos I just see it. He’s that mix of weird and also old school.

TBR lists

TBR tidy-up, or “Jade Still Wants To Read All The Things”

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While I’m still in the throws of PitchWars, I am making myself clip the TBR pile because it’s currently overwhelming…

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

 

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To be honest this sounds so strange – a Peter Pan retelling-ish that’s dark and twisty, and I’ve heard little of “Brom” but enough to know their name and… yeah I’ll keep this.

DECISION: STAY

 

 

 

 

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Let’s be honest – the cover isn’t the best. It doesn’t really give a sense of what the story is about BUT – I never try to judge a book by its cover, and the synopsis sounds cool (witch and knight and power and CRUSADES) as well as the reviews, so I’ll give this one a go.

DECISION: STAY

 

 

 

 

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I’ve heard SO MUCH about this book and most of my friends love it so I’m not getting rid of this at all. I can only hope someone buys it for my birthday or something because I never seem to have it top of my list :S

DECISION: STAY

 

 

 

 

 

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There’s been some half and half reviews on this and to be honest my heart isn’t into the story premise… though I know I should read books I don’t think I’ll like, I’m not sure this is one I want to keep immeditely.

DECISION: BYE

 

 

 

 

 

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This sounds intriguing – phantoms, darkness, fantasy – but also according to reviews, confusing. A very tentative keep…

DECISION: STAY

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The consensus with is… as well as what I’ve actually heard from friends – is that the romance gets in the way of plot with this one. And right now I’m not in the mood. The author is absolutely lovely but I’ll check out her other works instead.

DECISION: BYE

 

 

 

 

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Two of my favourite authors have waxed lyrical over this magical book and so I’M KEEPING IT.

DECISION: KEEP DAMNIT

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Zoraida Cordova is an author I’ve yet to read – I know, bad Jade – but I remember putting this one on my list ages ago and then recognising her name because her premises always sound amazing. So I’ll..

DECISION: KEEPITY KEEP KEEP

 

 

 

 

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I am such a sucker for an Arthurian tale, and this centers on young Merlin and – while I’m not 100% sure that this will be a book for me I’ll give it a go.

DECISION: KEEP

 

 

 

 

 

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I AM SUPPOSED TO BE GETTING RID OF BOOKS NOT KEEPING THEM ALL BUT THIS SOUNDS SO COOL I AM KEEPING.

AGAIN.

 

 

 

 

 

Honestly…. I will continue doing this exercise because I need to narrow this down but it’s not working as much as I hoped because I want to read ALL THE THINGS.

Blog Tours · Book Things

Fate of the Stars Blog Tour

Fate of the Stars
Arwen Paris
Publication date: September 1st 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

When the fate of the world rests upon you…

Allison Delaney wants to spend her senior year healing from the loss of her father, to leave the shadows of his death and her junior year break-down behind. A Labor Day beach party seems like a good place to start…but there’s more danger lurking than anyone could imagine. Death is coming to Earth if the pods of infectious creatures aren’t stopped. But only one human can help…

To live or die is no longer a choice.

Eenoki is a protector of life but must have a sentient host to fight the invasion. A teenage girl would not be the best choice, but out of desperation Eenoki invades Allison’s mind and body, granting her unnatural abilities and strengths – and helping her escape certain death when the first wave of pods land.

As destruction rains down on Earth’s population, Allison realizes to save everyone, she must make the ultimate choice: Reject her human side and bond with Eenoki to become the Earth’s Priestess – or be killed along with the rest of humanity.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo


Author Bio:

Arwen Paris is the author of young adult fiction. Her debut YA Sci-fi Urban Fantasy novel FATE OF THE STARS releases September 1, 2017. The actions packed pages of her novels are filled with characters that are forced to face fears they never expected. When she’s not writing, you can see posts of her (too many) vacations that keep her sane. Arwen lives in Washington, has a big crazy family & after the day job, she writes Fiction For the Fearless – #F3Fanatic

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram


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PitchWars · Writing Advice

#PitchWars Homework & Resources

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I’m not going to lie, being a part of PitchWars 2017 is a freaking amazing experience so far. The camaraderie, the unison, the fact it’s a dedicated hub of writers on the same stage as you… it’s incredible for resourcing, vibing off others, and generally making invaluable friends.

PitchWars is definitely *not* just about making a book shiny before you go in front of agents.

PitchWars is about learning another side to writing – refining your craft and increasing your discipline so you can cope with whatever future editors (or agents) throw at you in a short space of time. It hones your skills of timekeeping, organising, and yes – even stressing.

There are plenty of hints and tips passed around the writing community but it all depends on what works for you – here’s a list of things which could be a good start to search for if you’re struggling with revisions, either in or out of PitchWars;

SAVE THE CAT beat sheet (plus various others)

This is a basic layout of story structure – according to your word count, it advises what beats are hit at numerous points the story and an approximate idea of when to time them. The structure of it is detailed and fits many stories out there, but it’s a great start to see how many stages your MS meets and within what context – whether it’s all in the first 25% (bit bad) or whether you leave it all til the last 10% (also bad)

THE EMOTIONAL CRAFT OF FICTION by Donald Maas

This is a good resource to use if you’re wondering the benefits of showing vs telling and also want some handy examples from literary greats along the way. It poses the opinion that we, as readers, will not care about the characters or feel emotional about them if emotion isn’t evoked during pauses and other devices explained here. Good read!

TIP! – Read the beginning pages of cross-genre category novels

Something I’m doing as part of my homework is to read the first few pages of YA novels, cross-genre so not just Fantasy. See what parts work for me, which ones don’t grab me, and analyse why. It doesn’t have to be fancy but definitely put some thought behind it.

OUTLINE SPREADSHEETS – word counts, chapter-by-chapter, plot points

There’s plenty of resources out there for spreadsheets, and in the mentree group we’re sharing around our own to be of use to various stages. The first stage I’d recommend doing is a play-by-play outline of your novel. You can do it in excel or other, but this is a good tip I found worked for me.

First column, put in your chapter number.

Next column, sum up each chapter in a sentence or two, no need to go into detail.

In the next column write in which POV your chapter is in.

In the next column, write in your word count for that chapter.

This is optional, but effective if you’re using the Save the Cat sheet which calculates your hit-points based on words and chapter. In a fifth column, make a sum (eg =SUM(D5;E4) ) which will total up your word count from all previous chapters.

Here’s an example below!

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These are just a very few, basic things to consider if you’re going through your own revisions and need some guidance to help. I’ll be updating more about PitchWars the more the edits go on!

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Just For Fun · TBR lists

Down the TBR hole

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AGH so in the heat of the moment which was PitchWars I forgot to do this on Friday! How this works –

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

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I definitely want to read this one it sounds like delightful magical realism, and I also haven’t read anything from this author so…

KEEP

 

 

 

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I forgot this existed, but it’s definitely something I want to read!

KEEP

 

 

 

 

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I read the first one, NIGHT WATCH and it really annoyed me. I think it’d take a lot to make me pick up this one, so I’m going to unfortunately…

DITCH

 

 

 

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I BOUGHT THIS RECENTLY IT’S WAITING TO BE READ!

KEEP

 

 

 

 

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This is such a classic I’m not getting rid of this.

KEEP

 

 

 

 

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I read an excerpt of this and it was painful.

DITCH

 

 

 

 

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Dude it’s Tolkien, of course I’m going to read this.

KEEP

 

 

 

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This has got some hype around it but also mixed reviews…. I’ll keep it for now

KEEP

 

 

 

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The plot on Goodreads really doesn’t seem to hold much information about it but I will reserve judgement, because a lot of people say this is a great fantasy

KEEP

 

 

 

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This really doesn’t float my boat. Talking dogs and stuff, sounds zany, but…  not really for me.

DITCH

PitchWars

Yay! I’m a #PitchWars mentee!

For those of you who remember my PimpMyBio post from a few months ago, I have good news – I’M A PITCHWARS MENTEE!

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The incredible Cat Scully is my mentor and will be guiding this book to the be the best it can be. She has shown so much support and love for my story I can’t wait to get started and get things moving!

I know there were a LOT of talented writers who didn’t get picked this year. It’s sad there can’t be a mentee place for everyone (something like 2,600 applied?!) but I hope those who may be disappointed don’t give up! This is one way to get there, not the ONLY way. Keep going! ❤

Before I get my edit letter, my homework will be to re-read ADSOM and Six of Crows as well as other voice-tastic novels to see how voice drives the story as well as create a beat-sheet with every chapter. Which is fine, cause I’m a total Hermione about these things and I love that I have my work to do! No time for hanging around, basking in the glow of excitement and / or fear of the editing gods.

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The secret Facebook mentee group is wonderful, it’s so nice to connect with others who are going through the same experience. So far it’s a lot of pictures, squeeing, getting to know each other and our stories, finding our fellow peeps… just amazing!

But what is the PitchWars contest about really? Getting an agent, a publishing deal, a BIG WAD OF CASH? <– ( please. no. don’t set your hopes this high.)

As far as I can tell for me and many others, it’s about creating a damn good book. Something you’re proud of, that people want to read. It’s about working hard, getting conditioned to the environment you’ll be thrown into once you get into the real publishing world. PitchWars is like a training ground of deadlines, editing, taking criticism, rejection, being prepared for loss AND good news. All in the space of a few teeny months rather than the course of a year, too.

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You have to get used to waiting and working hard, and PitchWars definitely combines both. But after trying for three years – third time lucky! – to get into this, I’m ready for this experience.

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Reviews · Uncategorized

The Defenders – A Review!

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4 / 5

My favourite characters go thus – Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Claire, the entire cast of all the Marvel series, and ends with “Ir-on Fissst”.

I’m gonna lay out the bad stuff first.

The issue with the Defenders is that it puts its weakest character front and center, and everyone revolves around it. Iron Fist, who despite supposedly being the most trusted warrior of K’un Lun comes across as an entitled little rich boy who can’t see anyone else’s opinion but his own.

And rational? He’s anything but. When I think of a warrior I imagine someone so chill they could have swallowed the Little Book Of Calm. That they are a wise and trusted being with the gift passed down generations. Not someone who hasn’t matured past infancy and hisses his dialogue like someone just shat on his favourite lego.

And so while the Defenders is fun, it would have been better if they’d been united against a common enemy, not to ‘defend’ the weakest (both personality wise and story wise) character of them all. Even Daredevil, who with his self-righteous dialogue and his friends who want to ‘save’ him I don’t even know what from, might have been a better choice for the One In Peril.

OK NOW THE PARTS I LIKED.

Jessica Jones, man. She’s easily the best of the Defenders and this series proved to me just how much I missed her. She’s the only one who delivers proper belly-laughs with her dry wit and “what the fuck is this” attitude giving a refreshing turn against the “For The City!” moaning heroes we’ve known.

It was exciting when the supporting cast of our heroes came around and they all got together. When Karen Page and Trish Walker had a conversation I admit I squeed a little – with Trish wanting to go more investigative and Karen being investigative, could we see another team up there? (anything to get more Trish, ngl).

Sigourney – queen. The concept of her character was brilliant and she’s a smoooooth actress who just oozes power and flair with every scene she’s in. However by the end of the muddled narrative we weren’t sure which line she was drawing in the sand, or whether there was a line at all. It promised to do so much with her character, then it was sort of… not delivered?

Madame Gao is still an absolute favourite of mine. Manipulative, sneaky, charming, POWERFUL who knew?! I think – think – we’ll see more of her? Here’s hoping, anyway. And Misty! Are we going to segway into the Amazing Arm story? Are ALL the sidekicks finally going to get their superhero alter egos going on or….?

Overall it was enjoyable but I do think it could have done with some bigger laughs, tightening of the narrative and a little less Iron Fisssst.