Wednesday, November 2, 2011

...THE END!!!

Oh, hey guys :)

That's right, I, Rachel Bean, have finally returned to my blog, after only a.... holycrapitsbeenawhole MONTH! .....Um, yeah, so I'm starting to wonder if it wasn't the smartest idea to start this whole blogging thing during high school...

Anyway, after a long, homework and stressed filled month, I have finally found time to write a post!!!! Hurray! And speaking of fantastic moments, stop by Jeigh's blog to enter her awesome giveaway! (And trust me, the prizes are AMAZING).

Now, back to writing.

Sadly, Google just didn't have the right picture, so we'll have to do without....(shame, Google, shame)

Okay, so recently I read a very good book. I will not tell you the name of the book, because I am about to giveaway the ending ( I know, I'm just so considerate, aren't I). Anyway, so in the book, basically the  main character (a girl) can see bits and pieces of the future. And around the middle of the book, she finds out that she had a younger brother who was kidnapped as a baby (around ten years ago), and whose corpse was found a couple weeks after the incident. So then shes all depressed about her lost brother, until, oh hey, the police come and tell them that he might actually be alive. So then they start searching for her lost brother, but then she suddenly sees a moment in the future where she and her boyfriend are searching for her brother, and her boyfriend gets shot and dies. So now she really wants to find her brother, but is worried that by doing so, she will also lead her beloved boyfriend to his death. So yeah, she's stressed.

But then one day the police come and tell them that they found the people who kidnapped her brother(and who run an illegal adoption center), and that they crooks are cooperating, and that they can probably find her brother. And then that night she goes into her mothers bedroom, where her mom's basically freaking out and says, "Don't worry.", because at that exact moment she had a vision of a future Christmas when her brother comes home. THE END.

(Oh, and then there's a short epilogue where she talks about how she is confident she can save her boyfriend and change the future (even though its only worked one out of two times....)).

Okay, so NOW, its the end.

....Well? Feels a little.... abrupt, huh? Honestly, I had NO CLUE it was the end of the book till I turned the page and read, "Epilogue". And when  I read that, I just sat there and stared at it for a couple seconds (no joke), not comprehending that the book was actually over.

Moral of the story?

 Don't do that to your readers. Throughout the whole novel, I was getting drawn into the MC's problems; feeling her pain, sorrow, happiness, etc. And then after I get sooooo absorbed into the ends. Just like that. Leaving me with nothing but a freakin' SENTENCE to resolve half a story's worth of mystery, and anxiety, and sadness, and I think your getting the point here.

If your going to get your reader emotionally invested in the conflict, then you need them to be emotionally invested in the resolution too. If they're going to get all beat up over the fact your MC has a lost baby brother, then you better make sure that they get all hyped up when you finally bring him home. Because if they're not, they'll feel like they were left hanging ( and NOT in the good(but terrible), cliff-hanger way). And if there's anything that can make or break a book, it's the ending.

Question time! So have you ever read a book were the ending just.....was a let down? Kinda left you hanging, or maybe even confused? Share below!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Second Campaigner Challenge! Woot-woot!

Took me awhile, but I've finally some up with an entry to the second of Rachael Harrie's Campaigner Challenges! This one was definitely harder than the first, but I think I managed :)

I had to use the words lacuna, oscitate (which, according to Word and Blogspot, is not a word), synchronicity, and miasma, ( plus imago in the title).

And for even more fun, I had to reference a mirror, and keep it at exactly 200 words! AND, I wrote it in second person, a personal first. So, without further ado, here you go :)

Everlasting Imago

The room smells like cigar smoke. I hated the miasmas from your cigars while I was here. I miss them now.

Those months with you had been the happiest of my life, but they hadn’t meant much to you, had they? You were just waiting for the day when I was gone, and it would be yours.

That day apparently hadn’t come soon enough. Still now I wonder how I hadn’t seen it coming. Shouldn’t I have doubted the synchronicity of it all? From our random meetings, to how perfect you seemed to me? But I hadn’t. That was the point.

Your oscitation as you wake brings me back to the present.  I follow you to the bathroom, closing the gap between us, but you’re just as unreachable as ever.  I was prepared for your oblivion of my presence, yet still I long to reach for you, to call your name. But the dead cannot talk to the living.

As you brush your teeth only your reflection appears in the mirror, a testament of the lacuna between us. Now it is my turn to wait. To wait until the day you join me, and we can be together again. Forever.


Well, what do you think? Stop be here to vote, I'm number 181. Thanks :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I'm Back!

Tada! Fear not, for the Beaner lives! But you wouldn't know it from looking at my blogging life....

Any who, so remember how I once said I'd post reviews about books? And how I haven't for like a couple months? Well, I blame high school for taking away my time to read, but still it's about time I actually do just that. And so I will! Hurray! And the book is....

What Happened to Goodbye, by Sarah Dessen!

Another town. Another school. Another Mclean. Ever since her parents' bitter divorce, Mclean and her father have been fleeing their unhappy past. And Mclean's become a pro at reinventing herself with each move. But in Lakeview, Mclean finds herself putting down roots and making friends---in part, thanks to Dave, the most real person Mclean's ever met. Dave just may be falling in love with her, but can he see the person she really is? Does Mclean herself know?

Okay, well first off, let me just say it was a pain to find that synopsis. There was about ten different ones to choose from, and none of them were the one on the book that I had read ( as in, none of them were my favorite). But I think that one will do.

Now, back to the book. I loved it! It was one of those books that once I've finished make me walk around the rest of the day with a big goofy grin on my face (and convince my mom I've finally lost it...). It was funny, cute, touching, inspiring, and just plain awesome.

And it was sad, too. Mclean's relationship with her mom was completely destroyed by the divorce. They had once been so close, but ever since the divorce, Mclean's been trying to avoid her mom. She's annoyed with how she's always trying too hard to talk to her, and won't give her some space. Every time I thought about what they had lost, I just about wanted to cry. But it also made me a lot more grateful for the relationship I have with my mom, and the fact that she's still in my life.

Other than that though, I absolutely loved the book. Dave just about made me laugh every time he did opened his mouth, and I loved his and Mclean's sense of humor. So basically, all in all, I loved the book and would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes contemporary YA :)


And guess what! The fabulous F.E. Sewell has given my a blog award! Hurray! Haha, but don't worry, this one doesn't require any more random facts.

So here are the rules!

1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2. Reveal your top 4 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog or sending them a tweet.
3. Post the award on your blog.

So here are the lucky four!

Congratulations guys! :D

Saturday, September 17, 2011

You Could Say I'm Having A Good Day..... But that Would be an Understatment

Reasons Why Today is Amazing:

1. It's Saturday. Which means three things: Sleeping in, no school, and more sleeping in.

2. I actually get to use the computer (read my previous post to see what I'm talking about).

3. I was tagged (again, the previous post)

4. And finally: I've been interviewed!! Yes, I, Rachel Bean have been interviewed (!!!!). Now before I start my freak out, let me just say BIG thanks to the wonderful Michelle Merrill for helping me reach another HUGE milestone in my blogging life!!! You can read the wonderful, amazing, life- changing interview, here.

5. And look! There's actually a fifth thing too!!! I know, today's just wonderful, isn't it? And the fifth thing is: I got two more awards!!! TWO!! These things keep getting more exciting every time!!

Okay, so this time I've gotten these little bundles of pure awesomeness from Jessica Therrien at Imagination to Publication! Big thanks to Jessica! (and isn't her blog just gorgeous!!)

Oh gosh, and for The Versatile Blogger award, guess what I get to do again! More random facts!! It's getting harder and harder to find semi-interesting facts about myself, but the good thing about random facts is that...well, they can be random. So bring it on.

1. I don't like anything orange flavored.... except for oranges.

2. I like homemade sandwiches... and that's it. I don't like sandwiches from anywhere else (even Subway).

3. When ever I see a green colored candy, I get excited and think that its sour green-apple flavored, but it usually turns out to be lime (my least favorite flavor) and then I get pretty bummed o

4. I'm still wearing my pajamas ( and it's almost 2 o'clock).

5.  I used to have a really bad habit of chewing my finger nails, but then my friend helped me get out of it by painting over my nails with clear nail polish. She said that when I bit them, it would taste gross and I would stop, but I ended up just never biting them because I was afraid of how bad it would taste.

6. Ever since then, I've kinda been curious about what clear nail polish tastes like....

7. I like pretty much blueberry-anything. Blueberry pancakes, blueberry muffins, blueberry bagels, and even blueberry cream cheese.

I DID IT!! Third post of random facts about myself!! And don't worry, I promise I'll get back to posting about regular things.... later.

Anyway, so now I get to pass on these little beauties to other people! Technically I should be passing it on to fifteen people, but I really need to go do my chemistry homework, so I'm just going with five. (Sorry, I still love you all! I just don't have time for you.... ;)

1. Avery at Creative Type ( she had one of the best Campaigner entries I've read so far!)
2. Laura Marcella at Wavy Lines
3. Lindy at Lindy Legends and Other Such Nonsense 
4. Jill Campbell at Outside the Lines
5. Peggy Eddleman at Will Write for Cookies

Congrats for the awards guys! For the Leibster, you just need to:
1. Show your appre­ci­a­tion to the blog­gers who gave you the award by link­ing back to them.
2. Reveal your five picks and let them know by leav­ing a com­ment on their blog.
3. Post the award on your blog.
4. Bask in the cama­raderie of the most sup­port­ive peo­ple on the internet—other writ­ers.
5. And best of all—have blog­gity fun and spread the love. 

And for The Versatile Blogger award, remember to:
1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Pass this Award to 15 recently discovered blogs and let them know about it (unlike me.... *SHAME*)

So yup, have a good day!

I'm Kinda Missing Recess...

Hey, so guess what? Good news and bad news, which do you want first?

*waiting for reply*

...Well, I'll just give the bad news first (that way the good news kinda softens the blow).

Okay, so the bad news is that out computer is broken (*GASP*, I know, tragic, isn't it!), which means I'll only be able to get onto the internet when my dad comes home and I finally manage to drag his laptop away from my brother. So yeah, the bad news :(

Good news time! Yay, happy thoughts! Smiley faces :) :)!!! Okay, so the good news is that some one tagged me!! And apparently this is a different kind of tag than what I played in school, because people actually LIKE getting tagged, so... Woohoo!!  Yay, and big thanks to Crystal Collier for giving it to me....or should I just say for tagging me?

Anyway, so guess what this means? (And yes, I know most of you probably already know this, but I'm having fun here, okay?) I get to give you ten MORE random facts! Hurray for randomness! And I warn you, they will be pretty random, because I spent pretty much all my cool facts on my recent blog awards...well, my kinda cool facts.

1. I love Mac laptops, but prefer PC desktops. Which is kinda weird, because I practically worship the Macbook Air, but when it comes to desktops (at home), I like the PC ones... mainly just cause that's what we've always had (my Dad's trying to convince us to replace our old computer [you know, the one that broke... for the fourth time] with a Mac, but I'm being a little anti-change).

2. Incase you didn't get it from my last fact, but I'm really not into change (unless it's beds, for some reason I have no problem switching those....yeah, don't ask).

3. I teach piano lessons!

4.  I used to play soccer, but even though I loved it.... I kinda sucked. (Luckily, I knew and excepted that, so I was able to avoid humiliating myself by ever trying out for the travel or school teams).

5. I have a big family, two married siblings, and so far no nieces of nephews. (A fact which I am not all that happy of...... um, I mean the nieces and nephews part... I love my family).

6. If I could travel anywhere right now, I would go to England.

7. I have and adorable white fluffy dog named Toby who loves to cuddle and play..... and bark his head off at strangers.

8. I used to prefer the pool to the beach, but now I'm not all that sure.... (probably has something to do with the fact that I'm actually big enough to go in the waves now without getting bulldozed over...).

9. Today is Saturday.

10. One of my favorite breakfasts is my mom's homemade waffles with whipped cream (not the kind in a can, the kind where you buy the cream and whip it yourself), with either fresh strawberries of peaches. Mmmmm, so good.

I did it! I actually was able to come up with ten more random facts! Woohoo! Now let's see who the five poor suckers are that will have to do it next ;)

1. Chantele Sedgwick at My Writing Bug
2. Ruth Josse at Ruth + Writing
3. Jessi Kirby at Jessi Kirby ( She has a book coming out in March!!)
4. Amanda Kurka at Truth, Justice, and Other Stuff
5. Carrie Butler at So, You're a Writer...

Well, that was pretty fun :) And now onto the questions! Do you prefer Mac or PC? Do you have a hard time with change? And last but not least, if there was anywhere you could travel, where would it be? Answer below! :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Post! (About Time....)

First off, if your one of the Campaigners, hello! My entry for the first challenge is below, if that's what your looking for :)

I figured I'd start using pictures now :)

Okay, so in case you are wondering, the above is a still from the movie The Young Victoria. It was a good movie. There was a love triangle, an assassin, family troubles, romance, drama, and even some nice character growth thrown in the mix.

But you wouldn't have known it from the back cover.

Basically, the back cover didn't do the movie justice. It was boring and bland, and left out all the details that made the movie good (and even ruined the love triangle, which I really hate when people do). In fact, from reading it, I probably would have skipped the movie if my mom had not had us watch it together.

Now onto another seemingly random and unrelated story! So I was looking around at the clips from a TV show at their site, and I noticed something: all the clips left you with more questions. ALL of them. Not one of them answered any of the questions I was dying to know, but instead just created more of them. Basically, it made me NEED to actually watch the show to find out how everything works out.

So what I'm getting at is that when your telling people about your book, tell them what goes WRONG. If there's a complicated love triangle that is one of the main subjects of the book, tell them! DON'T tell them that your main character "draws strength from their love" with one of the characters ( yes, I'm talking about Young Victoria again). 

If you've been following me for awhile, you'll remember how I've said that people in general like drama. No, we're not all drama queens, but yes, we do like it. So, as a writer marketing your book, give us what we want!

Tell us about the challenges and complications that your character must face (keeping in mind not to give anything away that happens later, of course), that way we start coming up with questions ( how do they solve that problem, who does she pick, how do they escape, etc.) that can only be answered by reading the book. 

Had the cover of The Young Victoria said less of how she was "resolved to establish her authority over those who rule in her stead" and  how she "draws strength from the love of Albert", but instead mentioned  more of her struggles with her controlling family, her restricting life-style, how she had to prove to a doubting (and even angry) country that she could lead them, her complicated love life, and how she brings her country to the brink of a disaster, then I would have been a lot more eager to see it.(Wow, was that a run-on sentence or what!) Know what I'm saying?

Okay, now to the daily question! So, have you ever watched a movie/ read a book that turned out to be a lot more than the cover implied? Was it better or worse than you expected? Answer below!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

And Let the Campaigning Begin!

Wow, so the first campaign totally snuck up me! I almost missed it! For more info, go here, but basically I need to write a short story/ flash fiction with the beginning words " The door swung open" ( and ending with "The door swung shut" for more of a challenge), all in 200 words or less.

 Bring it on.

 The door swung open. As I walked down the court room aisle, I closed my eyes, trying to focus on my breathing, and not about how what I was going to do would change my life.

And Kyle's.

I squeezed my eyes tighter, attempting to stop the new tears from flowing down my cheeks. Barely two feet into the room and already I was crying; I needed to stop thinking about Kyle. Except how could I? How could I forget how easily he had manipulated me? How could I forget his face as he shot that innocent man?

How could I forget how much I had loved him?

It didn't matter, I reminded myself. This was something I had to do. Besides, I wasn't the first girl he had lied to and used. He deserved this... didn't he? 

I choked back a sob. Too bad knowing what's right didn't make it easier.

As I sat down, I forced my eyes open and tried looking brave. The door opened again as the judge entered. I stood up with the others, my eyes never leaving the door, knowing that when it closed, there would be no going back.

The door swung shut.

Well, there it is! Exactly 200 words even! Does it make sense? Sound good? Tell me what you think!

Also, you can vote for me here. I'm number 278. Thanks! :D

I Can Redeem Myself!!

Okay, so your probably all heard about my massive screw-up the other day, but guess what!? It apparently wasn't that big of a deal, because I just got another! In fact, TWO others ( Oh dang, these things just keep on coming!!).

Okay, so first off, BIG thanks to Kirsten Lopresti for taking pity on my failure and giving me another chance :)

And now for the awards!

Aren't they beautiful?

Now, for me to be able to accept these wonderful little things, I need to do a couple things. They are:

1) Thank and link to the person who nominates you.
2) Share seven random facts about yourself.
3) Pass the award to five more blogger friends.
4) Contact and congratulate the blogs nominated.

 So, now for the random facts! (And I warn you, they are random).

1. For all my life I hated chocolate (except for brownies... do brownies even count?),  but then about a year ago I was introduced to our local fudge shop, and let's just say, my life was changed ( and so was their supply of milk chocolate....)

2. I won third place in an international youth art competition a couple years ago (but only after I entered it for five straight years).

3. I can't sing. For my life. ( And I really wish I could).

4. When I was little ( as in, like up to a couple years ago...) I was the biggest tom-boy you'd ever seen, and I let you know it just by looking at me. Thankfully, I have since stopped my wearing-my-brothers-hand-me-downs-days, and while I don wear girl clothes, I still don't wear pink.

5. I like wearing big comfy t-shirts on the weekends, and sweatpants when its rainy. 

6. I'm a Mormon :)

7. I like bike riding more than running. You get the wind in your face, can move a lot faster, and its not as hard ( I can run for about two minutes straight but can bike for probably more than thirty).

And now for the nominations! (that I hopefully won't screw up this time...). Okay, so here goes nothin':

1. Michelle Merrill at Perfecting the Craft  
2. Cortney Pearson at Cortney Pearson
3. Lori M. Lee at You Are the Unicorn of My Dreams ( And she draws too!!)
4. Lindsay N. Currie at Lindsay N. Currie

Whoo, I did it! And now I can bask in the glory baby.... and get started on my Campaigning entry.

Well, no question today,  cus I can't think of one thats related to this topic (that I haven't used yet)...- OH WAIT! Yes I can! How about sharing two random facts about you? I'd love to get to know you all better! Comment below! :)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Copying is the Most Sincere Form of Flattery... But Don't Do It

Okay, so don't you just hate those days where your there suffering from bloggers block, and then you go online and find out that hey, your the only one! Not that other's never do get it, they just don't have it at the same time as you. In fact, they happen to be brimming with the kind of genius that makes you kick yourself for not thinking of it first. And then their ingenuity gives you a good idea, but you can't write it now because they beat you to it.

Or can you?

I have this weird little mentality that if I want to write something similar (or on the same topic) as something another blogger wrote, that I shouldn't do it. Or, at least not for a couple months. Because its copying, unoriginal, and people have already heard it before so its redundant.

But is that really true? Cus, honestly, I'm mostly just being too hard on myself. So I started thinking about it, and I decided that if I've got something to say, then gosh dang it, I'm gonna go say it. If reading another person's blog gives me an idea on the same topic, then its okay to go and write about it. If it's a new take on an old topic, then people will still want to hear it.

Now am I going to start copying everybody else's posts? No, not at all. But if I have a friend who posts about cliches, dialogue, plot, etc. and it inspires me to write something about that, then I will. But I'll add to it to make it original, and something worth reading.

(HINT: This can apply to our writing, too)

Now here's the question: How do we know when to stop? Because while sometimes we do have a great idea, other times where just following the cliches. So how do we recognize it and know when we need to make some serious changes?

Well, Christine Tyler has an answer. Here.

Dang, I couldn't have said it better myself. Seriously, avoiding cliches can be hard stuff, so this post was perfect for me. So go ahead and answer the questions, and make some changes if need be. But most of all, have fun while doing it, because if we're not enjoying our writing, then why do it?

So have you ever read another person's post and had a light-bulb moment? Ever had blogger's block really bad? What do you do to fight it? Answer below!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Haha, Well, Oops...

So , this is pretty embarrassing.. apparently the rules to the award I just got ( you know, the one I was kinda, maybe a little freaking out about?), is that the blogs you pick have to have less than 200 followers... and the blogs I picked had... more. Which just proves that I am a rookie and thus I have no clue what I am doing and should probably just stop this whole business now before I humiiate myself further.

But I won't. Why? Because I LIKE doing this, and if I got to learn along that way ( and make a few mistakes while at it), then so be it!

Ooh, lightbulb!

Haha, so when I began writing this post, I didn't really plan to even get into my little stubborn rant, and now I have an idea ( about writing, no less)! Okay, so some of you may already be on to what I'm getting at here ( mind twins!), but I'll say it anyway: This whole thing applies to writing!

While we continue writing and working towards publication, we are bound to make mistakes ( and hopefully learn from them...). But don't worry about it. Mistakes don't make you a failure, so just keeping writing and enjoying life.

Dang, I write a lot of self-confidence/morale boosting posts.... haha, don't worry though, because I do know more about writing than just how not to give up :) And I'll prove it ( as soon as my homework will let me...)

Any-who, so have you guys made any embarrassing blogging/writing mistakes? What were they ( unless of course, they're just so terrible you can't bare to share it... don't worry, we understand) Comment below!

Or don't, seriously, its fine... no pressure

Monday, August 29, 2011

Oh My Gosh!

Wow, so today is a big day! So not only have I reached 50 followers ( 50! Bleepin,freakin,I-can't-beleive-it-50!!!!), but I've also received my first blog award (!!!), AND gotten a shout out!

Big day people. BIG day.

Okay, so the blog award. Or should I say MY blog award. ( You don't know how long I've wanted to be able to say that...)

Well, its called the Leibster Blog award, and I got it from J at Concrete Pieces of Soul (hows that for a title! pretty aweseome, right?). So first off, thanks J for the award!! And now, the rules:

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you
2. Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.
5. And most of all- have bloggity blog fun!

Now lets get down to business! So here are my top five:

1. Christine Tyler at The Writer Coaster
2. Jeigh at WriterBrained
3. Meredith and Erin at Mint Tea and a Good Book (sure, they blog about books, but I'm pretty sure that can count too)
4. Madeline at Madeline Bartos
5. Matt at Cockeyed Caravan (other than the underrated movies, he has a lot of good stuff that can relate to writing)

So there it is! First blog award: DONE. And now for the daily questions! So have you guys gotten any blog awards too? If so what were they ( and did you freak out as much as me?). Haha, comment below! :D

Friday, August 26, 2011

Sparkfest Tertius!! (thats Latin, btw. I figured I'd use something besides Spanish for once)

Okay, so I actually didn't know what I was going to post for my last Sparkfest entry, up until a couple hours ago. But then I watched The Adjustment Bureau ( good movie, not at all what I was expecting, but I liked it), and didn't get around to typing this up until now. At 11:30 at night. When I only got 5 hours of sleep last night ( wait.... this morning, actually).

Don't you just love procrastination?

Anyway, so this time I'm not really following a specific question ( and if there actually was a question for this, I don't know what it would be), soooo... I'll just jump right into it.

Okay, so if you've been around with me for a while, you would know that I gave a review for the book Divergent about a month ago. In case you don't feel like reading the review, I loved it. For a lot of reasons that I won't say now because I've already said them in the review and that would be pointless. Except for one thing.

I loved the message. Throughout the entire book, Tris is being pushed to be brave, and is being told to "Be brave", but all of the types of "brave" she needs to be are different. She is being pushed to be cruel, merciless, and strong: to be brave. She is told to have no fear: to be brave. She is told to be selfless: to be brave. She is told to act in spite of her fears: to be brave. And she must keep going even while her world is falling to pieces: she must be brave.

All of these are different views of bravery. And quite frankly, some of them aren't even true. One of my favorite parts of this book was to see Tris try to come to terms with what true bravery is. And while she was doing this, I learned too. I learned of new concepts of bravery I had never thought of before. And I thought. Alot.

Veronica Roth took a concept, a virtue, that in some ways has been warped by society. And she showed us what it really is ( and in a heck of a way, too). She showed me that bravery isn't about being the strongest, the bravest, and certainly not the cruelest. It isn't even about having no fear. Sometimes we think that we must overcome our fears, to squash them out of existence. WE DON"T HAVE TO. We just need to act in spite of our fears. Another thing I loved was that there was a point were Tris' life is just falling apart, and she just wants to sit down. And cry. And give up. To not have to go on anymore. But then she realizes that she must listen to what people have been telling her. And that she must be brave, brave enough to continue facing life, even when it no longer seems possible.

Haha, okay, so if I go any further, I might accidentally give something away, so I'll just leave you with that ( and hopefully a burning desire to read the book ;)

Anyway, so what do my deep thoughts on bravery have to do with the Sparkfest? Because while other books have made me want to share a message with the world, Divergent went beyond that. It made me want to share something that people haven't heard before, or maybe have forgotten. To show them new sides to things they thought they knew. I don't just want to share a good message that we've all heard a million times in a million different ways. I want to say something new. Something different. Something true.

And I want people to remember it.

Okay, so what about you guys? Have you read a book out there that had a unique message that truly inspired you, or got you thinking? Has a book ever made you re-evaluate your life? Answer below!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sparkfest Dos!

Okay, so here's the question: What author set off your spark of inspiration for your current WIP?

And the answer is (and I swear I'm not being a kiss-up here), none other than Christine Tyler! (Who, coincidentally is also the creator of this blogfest)

K', so here's the story: Way back when I first discovered Christine's blog (and hadn't even started my own), I was reading through basically all of her blog posts. And I was on her awesome post about secret heirs in disguise and pure evil and other such cliches, and she was ranting about character motivation. And she said "And really, did your hero just join this rebellion to get with the hot enlightened chick?", and then BANG, the heavens opened and God himself came down in all his glory and told me that I needed to write a book about a conceited guy who joins a rebellion to get the previously mentioned hot enlightened chick (well, it was something like that....)

But now, a couple months late, the MC is NOT conceited, and isn't even a guy anymore, but a girl who was mistakenly kidnapped ( and may or may not be suffering from amnesia...). So sure, the original "spark" bears almost no resemblance to the book now, but than again, isn't that the same with almost all books?

So what about you guys? Has your current WIP evolved to the point that its almost completely different? Or was your original idea just so dang awesome that it barely changed at all? Comment below!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

.... EEP!!

Okay, so let me just apologize right now for the major hyperventilation/ freak out that is about to ensue.

Twenty followers. TWENTY. That is a big number people! A HUGE number!!! Gah, I'm so happy!!! I mean, I leave the internet for a couple hours, come back, and low and behold, my follower count has doubled!! OH MY GOSH!!!! :D

Ahem, okay, so I'm done with the freaking out ( at least on the internet....), and thought I might as well thank all you AMAZING people for so willingly becoming my minions and speeding me along the process of total world domination- I mean, um, for.... following my blog. Yeah.

So... thank you. You are wonderful. And beautiful. And incredibly smart. I want you guys to know that, 'k?

And I promise that my next post will be about writing again.
(bear with me people, I'm new to this :)

And its Sparkfest Time!! ... Well, actually it was yesterday...

Okay, so in my defense, I have a pretty good reason ( if there ever was one) to miss the first day of my first blogfest that I've kinda been waiting for for about a month. Basically, yesterday was a big day for me, it was:

The start of Sparkfest (...duh)

My brothers birthday ( happy late birthday!!)

The day we were supposed to eat in the UN building, but ended up eating in an uber fancy steakhouse ( long story)

So, when I wasn't in the Big Apple, I was celebrating my bro's big day, and thus, didn't have time for the Sparkfest. I know, I'm terrible and should just shut-up right now because I've already failed as a writer.

But sadly, you have no such luck ( mwaahaahaa!)

M-kay, so today I will be answering: What book made you realize you were doomed to be a writer?

And the book is.... ( drumroll please)

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy! ( By Ally Carter).

Okay, so those who have been around my blog for a while might recognize this title, because its no secret that I love this book ( I mean seriously, I have a LABEL about it) . But not only is it my favorite, its also the book that got me back into writing ( kinda...).

So basically, when I was younger, I wrote alot. Like, all the time. I was that nerdy kid in class who would write a ten-page short story for the picture prompts ( and almost never finished on time). But then we stopped learning about creative writing in school, I lost the story that me and my friend were working on ( which is why typing is better), and then I kinda just dropped writing. It used to be my talent, me hobbie, and something I did with my friend, but now I didn't do it at all.

And then I read Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy ( for about the fifth time), and I got an idea for a book, one that I was really excited about. And then I joined the Writer's Club in our school. And then I found Christine's blog, and that was the final push I needed to decide ( and remember) that I LIKED writing, and I wanted to do writing, and that I didn't need a diploma to do it.

So, maybe I didn't read Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy, and instantly know that I HAD TO BE A WRITER, but it was the first step in a long chain reaction ( well, long time-wise at least) that got me to where I am now.

And where am I? Sure I write again like I used to, but its NOT like it used to be. I used to write because it was fun and I liked it, but now I write not only for those reasons, but so I can meet writers like me, and one day get published and share my book with the world.

So what about you? Why do YOU write? And I'd ask what book got you started on writing, but most of you have probably already posted (or will) post that for the Sparkfest, so I'll just stick to one question today :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Just Wanted You to Know...

Hey, guess what?

...Now I just need to figure out how to get the button....

Sunday, August 21, 2011

So, I'm Kinda a Hypocrite....

So I've noticed a trend among writers, including (.... okay, especially) me. And I like to refer to it as the I-suck-and-shouldn't-be doing-this-because-other-people-are-better-than-me syndrome. ( And yes, this does not just apply to writing).

So, here are the symptoms: Person writes book. Person then reads another book. Person then proceeds to discredit their work and lose all motivation and or self esteem because author of said book writes "better" than they do.

The causes: Reading books by well published authors.

The cure: There is none. Your doomed for eternity and shouldn't even bother writing anymore because obviously there's no point.


So, I'm about to sound like a huge hypocrite as I give advice on something that I am (very) guilty of, but bear with me. First off, it OKAY to think that other authors are better than thus ( and in my case, I bet they probably are). BUT THAT DOESN"T NEED TO STOP US.

Instead of losing confidence in our writing, we can ADMIRE these other authors, and let them INSPIRE US TO DO BETTER. For the personal confession of the day, I'll admit that I have a huge problem with self esteem and confidence, and am constantly noticing how others can do things better than I can. And for awhile I let that get to me and pull me down and discourage me. But now I realize that I don't need to let it do that to me. When I see somebody do something that I wish I could do, instead of letting it make me feel bad about myself, I'll let it motivate me to do better.

And you can to.

So next time you sit down to read the Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Twilight, you name it, and you start doubting yourself as a writer, tell that part of you to shut- up. Because sure, maybe your not published, and maybe your not the best ( or even a good) writer out there.

But that doesn't mean you can't be.

So what about you guys? Do you guys also have those days where you doubt yourself? Whose your favorite author, or whose writing do you admire the most? Answer below!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Life is COMPLETE.

GAH!!!!!!!!!!! I think I might go die now ( unless I already have, and this is heaven...).

Ahem.... sorry, I'm just a little.... excited (freaking out). So let me explain:

Ally Carter, my FAVORITE author...ever, ( wrote the Gallagher Girl and Heist Society series), was touring in the west a couple weeks ago, and would be visiting Provo Utah. Problem was, I did't live in Utah. In fact, I live about four and a half hours away from Utah (... by plane). Luckily, it just so happened that my older brother was going to school in Utah, and he just so happened to live in PROVO Utah, and he just so happened to have a membership to the Provo City library.

So I sent him my copy of Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (my favorite book ... which I mentioned in the last post) and instructions to go get it signed at her signing session on July 24th (... please). And then I waited.

And waited.

And then holy crap, I looked at the calender and it was July 25th!!!!!!!

Since my brother had told me to remind him about the meeting ( and I ... forgot....) I started panicking and thinking I had missed my opportunity to COMPLETE AWESOMENESS. So after preparing myself for the worst, I called my brother.

And found out that HE GOT THE BOOK SIGNED!!!!!!!

.... And that I had to wait two more weeks to get it from him.

So I waited.

And waited.

And then we flow out to Utah for a family reunion, and I met up with my brother.... and he forgot the book at his house. Which we didn't have time to visit. And so we went the next day... but were to busy playing with his new kittens to get the book. And then we were to busy to go back to his house the next day.

Finally, we went back to his house to get his suitcase, and were so busy smuggling one of the kittens into the car ( long story...), that we would have left with out the book, BUT, I happened to remember it and ran back to get it.

And THAT, is how my life was made complete, and I got a signature from Ally Carter ( with MY NAME!!!!!)

S0, the reason I'm telling you this? (other than the fact that my family wasn't nearly as excited as I am about this) DON'T GIVE UP.

I could have looked at the touring locations and thought that I lived too far away, that it was hopeless. Or when I found out that you had to buy tickets for the event ( a week ago), I could have decided that there was nothing I could do. But no, I wanted that signature, an dang nab it, I WAS GOING TO GET IT!

And that is how we need to be with our books. If someone says that they don't like something about our book, we don't drop it. If we realize that we got A LOT of work to do to make it better, than we DO IT. And if an agent turns us down, then we listen to their advice, make our story better, an try again ( but maybe with another guy).

And then, when all out work is done, our patience is tried, and that book appears on the shelf, we freak out. A lot. Kinda like I did when I finally held this book :)

So, has anything ever happened to you that made your day... or your life? Or was there something that you tried very hard to make happen, but then at the last minute, it didn't work out (or at least seemed like it wouldn't)? Or is there something completely random you'd like to say? Comment below!

Maybe I Should be a Director Instead....

When I read a book, I don't just read it. I visualize it. I pay attention to every little detail, whether the author mentions it or not. I imagine the slight change in a characters voice while they're talking, the tilt of their head, how they stand, walk, what they do with they're hands. I map out (most) of the buildings that they go to beforehand. If the book says the MC walked into a friends room, I stop right there and then imagine their room with every detail down to the color of their pillows. Basically, I'm crazy.

And I noticed that I do it in my writing too.

When I write, I try to make sure that the reader "sees" things exactly like I do. I write down every little detail to make sure that they interpret the story the same way that I do.

And this makes for bad writing.

I saw that I used WAY too many adverbs ( I know, and I called myself a writer), and described things so much that it slowed down the pace of things. MY WRITING SUCKED. And when I realized this, I had another (slightly painful) realization too:

IT'S NOT OUR JOB TO MAKE SURE THE READER SEES THE EXACT SAME THING WE DO. We don't need to constantly write down the little details of how this person did this, and the color of that guys shoes. ( Unless, of course, its important). Okay, so maybe I never got that extreme ( shoe color), but I definitely used way too many details ( aka: adverbs). This was largely because I'm a perfectionist ( And no, its not OCD, no matter what my friends tell you) and I like things done MY way. And to realize that I shouldn't even try to have it "my way" with my book felt.... weird.

And why should we not " have it our way"? Because: PEOPLE WILL ALWAYS READ A BOOK DIFFERENTLY. We all interpret and imagine things differently than the person next to us (or than the author) AND THATS OKAY. Because we as readers will take care of the little details, and when the author robs us of this opportunity, it kinda takes the fun out of reading.

In my favorite book, Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy, by Ally Carter, there's a scene where two people went on a study date. But she didn't actually write about how the MC sat, or when she pulled out her text book, or if she put her elbows on the table, etc. She left that for us to imagine. She DID write about how the date sat pushed his chair back onto the back two legs, and how when he was asked a question, he raised his eyes, but not his head. She gave the IMPORTANT LITTLE details, but not the INSIGNIFICANT ONES.

Don't get me wrong, I love it when there are details that bring the story to life. But don't over do it ( like I was). So when you sit down to write, don't be afraid to take out some of the small (and insignificant) details that most readers will just add in anyway. Too much detail can bog down writing and slow the pace of things, which, well, is obviously not a good thing. Of course, I'm not saying get rid of ALL small details, because they can be important to writing.

Im just saying ( for about the third time now) to get rid of the INSIGNIFICANT ones.

So what do you think? Do you also think that too much detail can be a bad thing, and would you mind, as an author, if readers didn't interpret things the same way you do? Also, when your reading, do you take time to visualize everything to extreme detail, or do you just imagine what's written on the page? Answer below!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

It's the End of the World!!! ... Oh, Just Kidding

We've all read those stories where the MC "snatches victory from the jaws of defeat" at the last possible moment. Where one second it seems there is nothing they can do, the bad guy will has won, but then somehow the good guys pull through and save the day ( and the world). It happens alot. In fact, sometimes its even predictable. But we love it anyway.


1. WE LOVE UNDERDOGS- Everybody loves reading about a hero who even though their enemy is 10 times more powerful, doesn't give up and tries their hardest and ends up winning). Its inspiring. Its dramatic. And its fun to read.

2. WE CONNECT WITH THE HERO- If the bad guys just hanging around minding his own business in his summer home, who cares? But when he's about to take over the world, we feel the urgency along with the hero to take down the bad guy. If the guy's evil, but not doing anything at the moment, we're not going to be able to connect with the hero, and aren't going to care about the fight and the cause as much.

3. DRAMA- Aaaah, drama. However, this gives a different type of drama than love triangles( although those are good, too). This is more, that dramatic, climatic, kind of drama. If Harry Potter just snuck up behind Voldemort in the seventh book, before the battle and the elder wand, and killed him quick with a spell, it would have been anti-climatic. It would have left us feeling empty and cheated. No, JK Rowling let Voldemort get the elder wand, become "invincible", unleash his death eaters on Hogwarts, heck, he even killed Harry! That way, when Harry comes back and kills Voldemort, its EPIC. Its dramatic, climatic, everything a final battle should be.

No body likes it when things are too easy for the hero. I once read a book where everything went according to the MC's plan, where she accomplished things that had previously been thought impossible, and everything went smoothly. She did something that others had died trying to do, and she barely broke a sweat. SHE HAD NO TROUBLE AT ALL. And it annoyed me. Because then she seemed distant, unreal, untouchable. I couldn't connect to this character who could so easily overcome everything thrown her way. When things don't go according to plan, when the enemy is stronger than them, we connect to the characters because our lives aren't easy either. Things hardly go the way I would like them, and sometimes it seems like I'm up against and impossible challenge I could never accomplish ( even though its usually not saving the world...)

So go ahead. Be mean to you characters. Make it hard for them. Make their enemies tougher, stronger, more powerful than them. And let them grow and become stronger ( in more senses than one) as they learn how to never give up and to overcome their challenges (or better yet, when to except defeat, because that can be even harder, but more on that later). So go make a dramatic epic ending, and most of all, DON"T BE AFRAID TO MAKE YOUR CHARACTER WEAK. If your hero's all powerful, it alienates your audience. But when its your antagonist that's all powerful, well, now that's another (very good) story.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Book Review # Dos: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Okay, so I had been hearing alot about Divergent before I got to read it. A lot of people were saying that Hunger Games had finally found its match with this book, so i had pretty high expectations. Lets just say, it wasn't what was expecting. At all.

And I loved it.

Here's the synopsis:

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

Wow, so yeah, this was a great book. I love books that have me question things like my values and priorities and basically get me really thinking. And this was definitely one of those. Big time. Haha, I once stayed up till almost 2 in the morning reading it (shh.... don't tell my mom that...), it was so hard to put down. I loved the plot and characters, even though if I'm honest, it was sometimes frustrating to see the way that Tris' society was beginning to affect her... which got me thinking again about the above again :)

Also, I especially loved the theme that bravery is also selflessness, and that it is not the absence of fear, it is acting in spite of your fear.

But other than that, it was an gripping story with romance, action, amazing characters, and some mystery to boot :) I'd definitely recommend this and can't wait for the sequel, Insurgent!!

Yeah, I'm Weird. But Aren't We All?

Okay, confession: I'm a bit of a dork. I'm one of those people that gets really attached to dumb little things. For example, we were at Walmart getting supplies for a camping trip I was going on, and my dad wanted to be buy me a nice new flashlight. But I told him no. Why? Because I wanted to take the crappy old blue one I've been taking for the past three years.

So yeah, I'm weird , but there's alot of people like that out there that have some weird little quirk to their personality. And one of the things I love the most while reading is seeing a character like that.

I like it when an author adds some little quirk, pet peeve, obsession, etc. to a character that makes them real. Like in Paranormalcy, Evie wishes she could raise just one eyebrow, but she can't, so she has to raise two and look surprised or startled. And when I read this, I about fell out of my chair because I was thinking " SAME!!" It just about made my day.

In another book I loved, Sean Griswold's Head, the MC Payton is way into organizing (okay, so more like OCD), to the point that she spent 50 bucks to buy a leather organizer. Now, would I do that? Heck no. But it was endearing, and she was so into it that it was hilarious, and I liked her even more.

I once read a book where the MC brother died. She was always sad that she lost him, and said he was a great brother and all, but honestly I didn't really care much about him until later on, when she talked about how goofy and funny he was, and how when she was sad, he would make a dog with his hands and pretend it was talking to her. Yeah, he was kinda wierd. But in a funny, goofy, approachable way, and suddenly I loved her brother.

What I'm saying is that we shouldn't be afraid to give our characters some weirdness to their personalities, because it makes them more real, more likeable, and even more relatable. In fact, I think we should. Nobody likes a flat character, and one of the best ways to dimensionalize (yes thats a word, its just not... official yet) your character is to give them a little bit of personality that sets them apart from others. And your readers will thank you.

( Note: If you make your MC enjoy kicking kittens, licking themselves, or just being obnoxious to point of near insanity of those around them, for the sake of adding personality, that might not go down too well with the readers...) So yeah, don't make them weird in a sadistic, gross, or annoying way; we want it to be endearing.

So, do you have some irrational obsession, practice, fear, favorite object, you name it, that gives you personality? And do you prefer it when authors add quirks to their characters, or do you find that wierd? Share your thoughts below :)

Why Authors Write Love Triangles

Every body knows that one of an authors main goals ( besides getting published and uber rich- uh, i mean, enjoying what they do...duh) is to be different. We want to avoid cliche's ( or apparently only certain ones, since vamps and werewolves are still going strong), so that our novel isn't known as the book that was like this one, which was like that one, which is very similar to this one over here.
So why do people keep writing love triangles?

Because they're a good idea. If you do it right( i suggest my fine, albeit lengthy, post below which tells you how to do exactly that).
So, here's what they accomplish:

1. DRAMA. We don't like it when things are easy, especially people's love life. We like to see misunderstandings and inner conflict ( of course, only if its resolved later on)

2. Character Development. It gives a chance for your character to grow through self discovery and a lot of deep thought and decision making.

3. Contrast ( look at the scalene love triangles below)

4. Creates a need for people to still read our books! Not gonna lie, there's this a couple series that I would have stopped reading by now if it wasn't for me wanting to know who the girl chooses in the end. If you make a good love triangle, people will get in debates about whose better ( ever heard of Team Edward or Team Jacob? ... Yeah, neither have I), and readers will give alot of thought to who they like better and why( ... or atleast I will...). So basically, if done right, it increases readers interest ( or obsession) with the books, which comes in handy when your writing a series.

So, yes, this article was almost completely redundant of my last one, but I still decided to write it to show that sure, I sometimes get annoyed with all the love triangles out there, but from a literary standpoint, its a smart move. And because I forgot to mention that fourth point in the last post, and I didn't want to make it any longer.

So, what about you? Do you like the drama, etc. that love triangles create, or are you sick of it and just want a decent straightforward romance? Comment on it below!

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Oh So Famous Love Triangle

Aah, the uber-popular (you could even say over used) love triangle. Every ones writing about them these days.
But why? Whats the point?

Well, first off, we need to get to know The Triangle. There's two basic types: what I like to refer to as the equilateral and scalene love triangles. (wow, my geometry teacher was right, I would use triangles in life(even though, somehow, I don't think this is what he was referring to...))

The Equilateral Triangle
This is what I like to think of as a "true" love triangle. It's one where there's two evenly (or at least very closely) matched guys vying for the MC hearts. These are the kind that create alot of emotional confusion and inner turmoil for the MC; where they have to make an impossible decision between two people they love. This kind also provides an opportunity for the character to grow as they think deep thoughts on what is right for them and find self discovery, etc. Also, another reason we love these so much is because we like to see what she chooses and why she chooses it.

The Scalene Triangle
So this is the name I've given to what I think of as "bad" love triangles. This is when one character is obviously the right choice, and the other guys just kinda... there. Now, these kind of triangles can serve a purpose. They could be used as a contrast: to show that Exhibit A is clearly the right man, because he loves the main character for who she is, while Exhibit B just wants her for her body, etc. It can also help the main character to know whats right: Exhibit A loves her, but he does some pretty sketchy things and wants to get her involved, while Exhibit B loves her too, but wants to help her make good decisions. However, when writing these kind of love triangles , never, NEVER, try to make a "bad" triangle look like a "true" love triangle. IT WILL DRIVE YOUR READERS INSANE.

One of the things I hate most is when I read about a girl who has one guy who lusts after her, and another guy who loves her, BUT FOR SOME REASON SHE DOESN"T KNOW WHAT TO DO. It's unrealistic. No one would sit there thinking : " Well, this guy wants me for my body and is trying to get me to do insert-bad-thing-here, but he's kinda hot and I kinda like him. But then there's this guy who loves me and wants whats best for me, and I think I love him too. What should I do?" At these points, I just want to go in and slap the MC.

If you want a love triangle that is confusing and hard for the MC, and requires her to make a tough choice, then make sure you give her reasons to be confused. Make both of the guys people she could be happy with, people she loves. You get a good example of this in Matched, by Allie Condie.

But if your point is to show contrast, to prove that this guy is better for x amount of reasons (great, more geometry...), then don't make your character all confused and wondering what to do.

And honestly, are you just adding in a love triangle because every body else is? Sometimes it seems to me like this is the case. I read a book where you got one guy who the author clearly likes, and wants you to like, and the other guy is just kinda there. Sure, he likes the girl, but she already has her mind made up on the other guy and doesn't really pay attention to him. This just created some pointless complications.

Now, don't get me wrong. I like drama. But give it a reason to be there. If you want to create a complication with two people's relationship by adding in another guy, make sure that the outcome moves them forward.

For example: The MC love this guy, but is too shy to get across her feelings, even though she's pretty sure he loves her back. However, just as things start to move forward, another guy shows up whose all over her and showers her with attention. She doesn't really know how to react, so she lets him do it. The guy she loves sees this, thinks that she no longer needs him and is hurt. This then forces the girl to overcome her shyness and tell the guy she loves that she loves him before she loses him forever.

Get it? If you want drama, give it a reason to be there so that its not always drama drama drama. Because people will get sick of it. We want to see your MC make hard decisions and to grow, and thats one of the reasons why we like love triangles.

Next up : why authors write love triangles. ( don't worry, I promise it will be ALOT shorter)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

First Book Review!! Demonglass, by Rachel Hawkins

Woohoo! My first book review! Okay, so before I get started on how freakin' amazing this book was, I'll give you the synopsis. But before I can even do that, I should probs warn you that you shouldn't read it if you haven't read the first book, Hex Hall ( which you should), cus it contains some pretty big spoilers. So, that aside, here you go:

Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch.

That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers.

But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Acher to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?

And now I can start ranting. Okay, so this book is definetly in my top favorites now, and I think I'll go read it again tomorrow I loved it so much. Sophie is a way lovable sarcastic MC, and her snarky comments continually caught me by surprise and left me laughing. And Archer... aaaah, Archer. Let's just say, I loved him even more in this book than first book. Oh, and then there's Cal, too. Yeah, this book has some pretty good guys alright.

Another thing that contributed greatly to my eternal love for this book was that it did something thats hard to do: It surprised me. I've read ALOT of books ( okay, understatement of the century), and I've gotten pretty good at seeing things coming, even the ones that can take most people by surprise. And it surprised me at least like five times.

All in all, I think it was an amazing book: lovable characters, amazing plot, plus a whole starcrossed lovers romance to boot, and Im actually going to go read it again today ( yeah, I'm a nerd, what can I say?). So yeah, I would definitely recommend this book to any one who likes YA fantasy and sarcasm :) ... and probably even the people who don't.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Bad Boy Syndrome

Okay, so I just read an AMAZING book the other day, but sadly I can't say what it was because I'm about to give away a big spoiler. Anyway, so in this the main character has this whole little budding romance thing with a guy that they work on throughout the whole book. And then near the end, they argue, they kiss, happy ending. Right? NO, because two seconds after kissing the guy, she finds out that oh hey, actually he's and agent for the organization that is basically out to kill all of your kind( which isn't human, in case you were confused). So she freaks out, and the guy is forced to pull out a knife and break open a window and basically run for his life and disappear. Okay, so we just find out that throughout the entire book, he has been lying to her and the others around her, and could very likely have just been using her. So we hate him. Actually... no. If anything, he just got hotter. Like, ALOT.

And it doesn't just happen in this book. I've read another book where the MC's love interest turns out to be the son of the woman trying to kill her. Or in another book, where it turns out that the MC's love interest was strongly connected to her brother's death, or in another book where the guy was a thief, etc. So, why is it? Why do us readers drink up all these stories about bad people who... actually aren't bad people? Why don't we hate them when we realize all they've done?

It's because we like to see a boy who's raised by people to think a certain way, to do certain things, and yet somehow rises above it a is a good guy. And even if he hasn't risen above it completely, then the beautiful wholesome girl comes along and his love for her convinces him to have a change of heart! Even better!

So why is it that we love to hear about redemption and all that other stuff I've already explained? It's because these people are showing us that we AREN'T a product of our environment, that just because were born in the slums doesn't mean we have to act like a slum ( or in this case, just because your raised by evil terrorists doesn't mean you are one), etc. And even if we don't consciously think/ feel it, when we see or read these stories of the bad guy turned good, we have hope that we also don't have to be a product of our environment. If they can do it, so can we( but our's would probably be alot less dramatic).

Plus, you know, there's just the fact that bad boys are hot. And everyone likes to read about that( ...well, at least girls do)

Friday, July 22, 2011

I'm going through withdrawal...

It's been nearly two days since I read. TWO DAYS!!! I've been so busy designing and posting on this blog that I haven't read, which is why I'm taking a break today (plus you know, the whole blogger's block is kinda back...) But never fear! I will be back tomorrow with something amazing to say! ( or possibly today if I'm struck with some huge epiphany or realization or my inner muse decides to talk to me for once, which i highly doubt will happen)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Introducing your new world, program, society, insert-insanely- complex- and confusing-thing-here.

Okay, so I don't to have to repeat that title through out this whole post, so were just going to talk about introducing new worlds ( although the same things should apply to all the others).

K, so you've written this insanely amazing book about this insanely amazing character who lives in this insanely amazing world. Problem is that this new world that your so proud of is pretty confusing and has alot of rules that the reader needs to know about. The main question is how to teach the reader with out making it: 1. obvious ( as in having the MC say: " Here, let me explain..."), 2. BORING, and 3. long.

Well, for starters, don't give the information all at once; only give the relevant information (and at the right time). We don't want to know the entire history of your dystopian society on the FIRST PAGE of the book. Save the information for when we want to hear it. And if all thats important is the fact that your country is ruled by a corrupted totalitarian government with an evil leader, then don't tell us about the bloody Civil war that took place 500 years before and put that government in place.

And another thing: NOTHING ruins a book like taking away all the surprises. Don't get carried away and tell us everything to make sure we have any questions . We WANT to have questions (the good kind). Sure, we want to know how the world works enough that we're not totally confused. But we DON'T want to know all of its secrets. In the book Matched ( AMAZING book, btw), Cassia explains how the Matching system works before its her turn, but she doesn't explain the significance of the blank screen until acouple pages later when the information is suddenly relevant. This creates suspense and mystery. So you need to figure out what information we need to know ASAP so we aren't confused, and what information has to wait to keep us interested and wanting answers. TIMING people. Timing is everything.

Oh, and one more thing. You don't need to explain every single little thing. Give us some credit, we can figure some things out or just use our imagination. In the book Matched, there are these things called hover cars that are mentioned a couple times through out the book. Thats all we know about them though. Their names. We dont know how they look, how they work, how fast they can go and how high up of the ground they are. But thats okay. Because we don't need to know ( and quite frankly, I don't really care too much).

Now that you know some guidelines, I took the method of sharing info with the reader and broke it down into three really simple categories ( but only two really matter):

1. Don't teach the reader, teach the MC. Okay, so this is a really good method because it accomplishes other things besides the whole explaining thing. When the MC has to stop the conversation to say " Hold up. Can some one please tell me WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON??", it gives us, the readers, and opportunity to say " I know right! This is confusing!". This then helps the readers to connect and bond with the character as they learn together. Another pro to this method is that people are generally fascinated with discovery. Would the Percy Jackson series have been as successful if Percy had practically grown up at Camp Halfblood when we found him? No, I dont think so. Because we like to see Percy's confusion and reactions to the crazy things that start happening to him. Why? Because in most cases, its like what we would do. If I started getting chased by a Minotaur and my mom turned to gold dust, I would be FREAKED OUT. And so was Percy. So once again, we connect because our reactions are similar, and we're discovering new things together.

2. Have the MC explain it to the reader. Okay so when your doing this, keep it sounding natural. Keep it with in the flow of conversation/ thoughts your character is having, so it doesn't seem weird when they start spouting information. Evie from Paralnormalcy ( GREAT book), is not going to be walking around the mall reviewing all the rules and guidelines she must follow as an employee at International Paranormal Containment Agency. She might, however, complain about how much work it is to travel the world doing bag and tag missions after she just tased a vampire. Get it? Another way to do this ( if your introducing like a ritual, action, etc.) would be to have someone go before the MC, and have them kinda review/ explain what they're doing.

3.Have the narrator explain everything to the reader in the Prologue. Haha, no. Yeah, don't do this (unless your writing a childrens book, which in that case it could work). I don't want to read a Prologue( or worse, a first chapter) that says: Jimmy lives in ______. ____ was ruled by an evil totalitarian government that made there citizens do this, this and this. Ugh, no. Just DON'T DO IT.

Okay, so those are the most basic methods I could break things down into. Of course there are variations of this such as MC has a limited knowledge of things or that the MC knows everything and their explaining it to another character who is learning ( like in Inception), etc.

Oh, and one more thing. You don't need to explain every single little thing. Give us some credit, we can figure some things out or just use our imagination. In the book Matched, there are these things called hover cars that are mentioned a couple times through out the book. Thats all we know about them though. Their names. We dont know how they look, how they work, how fast they can go and how high up of the ground they are. But thats okay. Because we don't need to know ( and quite frankly, I don't really care too much).

Did I miss anything important, or do you disagree with anything I wrote? Or do you just want to complain to me about how insanely long this post was? Put it in the comment section.