blog awards · Just For Fun · Random Musings

Mystery Blogger Award!

mysterybloggerThe Mystery Blogger Award was created by Okoto of Okoto Enigmas Blog ,and I was nominated by Hayley of Fangirl Fury — thanks so much Hayley!

The purpose of the Mystery Blogger Award is to honor bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do so with love and passion.

 

 

The Rules

  • Put the logo/image on your blog.
  • List the rules.
  • Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award and link their blog.
  • Tell your reader 3 things about yourself.
  • You have to nominate 10-20 people.
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question.
  • Share a link to your best post(s)

3 Things about Me

  1. I bake–I think people will already know, but I love it. I make my Mum’s birthday cake every year.
  2. I once skipped school after my piano teacher reduced me to tears. The afternoon class was P.E so I was like “Peace” and basically left the piano lesson and walked home without telling anyone. I was fine, cause it was only a few streets away but I think I almost gave my grandma a heart attack.
  3. I keep a dream diary because my dreams are weird

I nominate:

Anna Mercier

Lex @ Lex Writes

Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Mikrael 

Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek

Kristi @ Confessions of a YA Reader

If you’ve done the award already or you’re currently writing like you’re running out of time enough, no worries!

My Questions:

  1. If you could make ONE character come to life, who would you choose?
  2. What was the first book you remember being obsessed with?
  3. Have your favourite genres changed over time?
  4. If you could cast yourself in a TV Show which one would it be?
  5. You’re stuck in jail. Your favourite Disney princess is in there with you. Who is it, and what did you get jailed for?!

Hayley’s Questions For Me:

If you could revive any past TV show, what would it be?

BUFFY. That show was incredible when I was a teenager and I loved how much I saw women being strong and vulnerable all at once. I wanted to be Willow so bad and it completely fit my spooky little aesthetic far more than Charmed ever did. It also showed vampires in their (imo) best incarnation yet.

Do you celebrate any holidays during the winter season?

Mostly Yule and Christmas. And the winter solstice, which is Yule, but sometimes I take it without the pagan reference. OH and my birthday which is 7th November — while it’s technically autumn it’s cold enough to be frickin winter 90% of the time.

What is or was your favorite subject in school?

Art and English. I loved being creative. I also got my highest marks in that. Not sure what the lesson came under, but I also loved weather–where we did little experiments outside or learned about clouds. Anything to do with nature was a plus for me.

If you had a soundtrack of your life, what would be three songs on the album? 

  1. May It Be by Enya
  2. Wicked Game by Chris Isaak
  3. Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend – Moulin Rouge! version

What books are you hoping to get to before the end of 2017?

The Hate U Give
Scorpio Races
Language of Thorns
Forest of A Thousand Lanterns.

I can do it, right?! I haven’t read so much lately because of PitchWars edits/revisions but I hope to remedy that and fulfil my 40 books read this year.

Top 5 Wednesday

Top 5 Wednesday; Fandoms You Are No Longer In

Ooo. This is a tough one.

When I’m in a fandom it takes a LOT for me to completely disregard it and hate it and shove it to one side. For instance, even though Buffy is 20 years old I STILL get excited by that shit. I’m still in the Harry Potter fandom, purely for nostalgia’s sake, even though I’m not active in many of the conversations because of bullshitteries from both fans and author.

NOTHING will get me to leave the LOTR fandom. Nothing. Ever.

Also, I’m not active in the Sherlock fandom any more (because WHAT – was that last series?!) but I remember the good old days and it still helped me through depression so yeah.

Here be a list of fandoms which either pissed me off or I tapered off from.

5. X-MEN

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I saw the first X men film about 6 times at the cinema. I do still adore the X-men but I’m nowhere near as active in following new mutants, or anything like that. I no longer go crazy when I see a new film is coming out. The more recent films pale in comparison to the originals IMO but I haven’t seen Logan so I am going to reserve judgement.

4. DOCTOR WHO

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GO AWAY GO AWAY GO AWAY

Now, see, this is a fandom I adored but also… I felt Matt Smith got shit scripts despite being the best doctor, Peter Capaldi’s doctor is far too cold for me, I hated Clara, and it’s taken me three or four years to catch up with his series simply because I know he’s going to regenerate at the end of the current one and finally – without Clara, without 12 – I can maybe get into it again. So I need to be up to speed.

But saying that, I’m really not as excited about it as I used to be. Blame Moffatt? Sure.

3. LOST

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Because this show damn well lost its way, basically. Series 3 was my favourite, and I never saw the ending because I was at Uni and had no time for additional confusing narratives. I will always hate Kate and Jack but Sawyer, Desmond, Charlie, Hurley, Sun and Jin…. my babies, I heart you.

2. MERLIN

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I still adore Merlin as a series but they fucked up Mordred’s storyline, the ending was rushed, and they’re not bringing him back, so while my admiration and love for Colin Morgan endures, I hardly ever re-watch any of the series just… it was of its time, that’s all.

1. TORCHWOOD
MOTHERFUCKERS KILLED IANTO AND I AM DONE.

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Not only did they kill Ianto, they killed him the DAY BEFORE I GRADUATED UNIVERSITY. And in the universe where anyone can be brought back to life, THEY REFUSED. So on the DAY I graduated, still with hope I would come home to see Ianto alive, nope. They killed a kid for the finale instead, and I couldn’t stand Gwen, so when we were left with her gawpy fucking face and child-killer Jack I deserted.

HE EVEN HAS A SHRINE FFS IT’S STILL THERE AFTER 8 YEARS!!!

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IANTO DESERVED BETTER #stillbitter

So!!! *ahem* What about you guys?

On Writing · Writing Advice · Writing Method · writing process

On Writing: Authentic Dialogue

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Because, Barney. Because.

I admit it. I’m a bit of a dialogue snob. I am so nitpicky when it comes to what feels authentic and what doesn’t. And the truth is – dialogue is HARD.

There’s a fine line, of course, about what feels authentic in a book – anything from cultural background, personal inflections, and regional dialogue can make a difference when phrasing.

But – and it’s a big butt (I’m sorry) – there are some tips to make your characters sing rather than sound stilted and one-dimensional.

For instance, whenever I can, I try and do a long stretch of conversations without questions. When I observed conversations, both mine and other peoples’, I realised that we don’t usually ask a lot of questions between ourselves. Sure, you’d have like the odd “How was the party?” but then you wouldn’t get many obvious questions after that.

This is what a lot of stories fall down on. In order to expose plot through dialogue there are questions on top of questions. A brief (and somewhat awkward) example below:

“Where are you going? Are you trying to avoid me?”
“Why, are you jealous?”
“I’m worried about you, can’t you tell? Ever since Dorothy, my grandmother died in that fire in 1997 and the dreams I’ve had plaguing me ever since…”

STOP. Ok so this example went into a bit of trope territory that I’ll get into in a second, but —

You’re missing an opportunity to show character AND advance the story arc on a personal level. We very rarely talk so openly in real life (unfortunately) but also rarely as stilted.

Maybe try this?

“Every time I see you, you’re off out somewhere. One might think you’re trying to avoid me.”
One might think you’re jealous.”
“I’m just saying. You know what I’m like about things like this.” –

Something like that. Forgive the potential English slang.

But by removing the questions, it moves much smoother and more naturally as well as setting more of a mood of possible tension between the characters.

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Now before I mentioned something about tropes, and it’s the “explain backstory in dialogue” trope I can’t stand. You see it a lot more in TV series these days resulting in an instant eye roll from me but it goes thus:

*Book begins. Exposition. Something about the character. First dialogue appears.*
“I’m going out, Mom.”
“Jason, you know your father and I talked about this. The woods aren’t safe since Mitzy Kougar got taken by the jellybean man last fall. You know the school’s been looking for her since, and the curfews are in place to help you. Sheriff Dunwoody is not going to want to add another case file since his wife died last June, and since I had my hip replacement I don’t know what I’d do if anything happened to you…”

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Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugh

Ok so that example wasn’t perfect, but really, I try not to write like that in any case so I’m kinda glad I DON’T know how to write stuff like that. But – the example doesn’t sound like a real human being to me. It sounds like a person giving a local status report or the summary of the last episode so they can do a subtle nod to the reader like – “you following this?” before they get along to the actual plot.

It’s an alternative but still obvious way of Telling so the reader knows where they are and what they need to pay attention to, rather than making an effort for atmosphere and world by other methods.

Going over information is critical at some points in novels but. Please. Not like that. I’d rather you just leave me guessing for a good five pages and reveal slowly than have me slip into a reading slump wishing I could read something else.

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These aren’t meant to be rules, either. They’re more like guidelines to help things flow smoother. If you have a few of the things listed above included in your prose, that’s not going to ruin your book unless it’s choc full of it.

When asking questions make sure they either have meaning, motive or both.

When delivering backstory through dialogue, please don’t just info dump it all at once. See what you can create through other people’s stories, their viewpoints.

Like everything in writing it gets better and easier with practice. So keep going!

If you’d like me to take a look and edit your query, MS or synopsis, see this post HERE

 

editing · Uncategorized

ANNOUNCEMENT: Query Critiques!

Hello one and all, announcement, announcement!

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If there’s anyone who needs or would like a look over their query, I’m currently offering a free query critique (and one pass) in exchange for testimonial (if you like it, of course!).

I’m hoping to gradually build up my editing business, and wanted to throw this out there! LINK IS HERE https://jadewritesbooks.wordpress.com/editing-services/

If you’re interested let me know