So back when I was 10, I discovered a song called Royals on youtube, became obsessed with it, memorised it, and sung it all the time. I knew no other things about it that someone called Lorde had sung it (And for those of you who don’t know, that’s lord). Now this was the time I was not a big fan of music, and didn’t really know how to appreciate it. I listened to some other songs by Lorde, but that was at far as it goes.

Then, 2017 rolled around, and one of my friends informs me that I NEED to listen to an album called Melodrama, by this genius woman who goes by the name of Lorde. Of course, I recognised her, and listened to the album. That’s where everything changed for me.

Listening to Melodrama, and then going back and buying Pure Heroine changed the way I look at music. Now, music is more than just beats and words–it’s an art form. It’s poetry. It’s so much more. I’ve started exploring genres, artists, everything–all because of Lorde.

Lorde wrote her first studio album, Pure Heroine, when she was sixteen. Prior to that, she had two EPs, the songs of which she released again in the deluxe version of Pure Heroine. It was great. Then, 2017, Melodrama came out. And it was fantastic. I could rant for an hour on why Melodrama should have won Album of the Year and had more nominations at the Grammy’s, but whatever. Here’s why I love Lorde:

Why Lorde is My Favourite Artist of All Time

Tennis Court is among the songs that got Lorde started. Like many songs in the Pure Heroine album, this song also talks about how everyone puts up a fake personality, and put on fake smiles and pretend like everything is perfect, when the reality is that it’s not.

Don’t you think that it’s boring how people talk? Make ’em smart with the words again…I love this line, and it’s just the perfect line to start the album and the song with, just encompassing everything in one, brief line, emphasising on how fake people how, and they talk about meaningless things.

Baby be the class clown, I’ll be the beauty queen in tears! The ‘class clown’ and ‘beauty queen’ are all names for people, saying that these personalities, have come out of the classroom, and real people start being melodramatic ;).

We’re so happy, even when we’re smiling out of fear, so let’s go down to the tennis court, and talk it up… Another line that captures the whole song and summarises everything. It’s pretty self-explanatory. The tennis court is (what I think) a metaphor for a place where people are real and not paper men.

400 Lux is one of my favourites on the album. Accompanied by some quality production and melodies, the lyrics form a perfect skeleton for the song.

We’re never done will killing time, another line that nods to societal problems.

I love these roads where the houses don’t change, where we can talk like there’s something to say, again the same message, over and over, expressed differently.

We might be hollow…again. I don’t think I need to say this anymore. And I’m not referring to this repetition in a bad way. In addition, this song also explores a love story that spans seasons.

Royals, the hit single that was Lorde’s major career starter, also has a deep meaning to it, and is a playful jab at rich, glamorous celebrity lifestyle.

But every song’s like gold teeth, Grey Goose, trippin’ in the bathroom, bloodstains, ball gowns, trashin’ the hotel room we don’t care, we’re driving Cadillacs in our dreams. But everybody’s like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece, jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash–We don’t care, we aren’t caught up in your love affair. And we’ll never be royals, it don’t run in our blood, that kind of lux just ain’t for us. I don’t really think I need to explain this, but this one just says how easy it is to get caught up in the temptations life throws at you, and all of this won’t matter in the end.

Ribs is a nostalgic song that deals with getting old, and the stresses that come with being an adult, and dealing with change in life.

‘Lover’s Split’ left on repeat. If you have no idea what Lover’s Split is, google it.

Mum and dad let me stay home, it drives you crazy getting old. Again. Do I need to explain?

This dream isn’t feeling sweet. We’re reeling through the midnight streets. I’ve never felt more alone, it feels so scary, getting old. Lorde talks about wishing you were a grown up when you were a child, and then realising, that not everything’s sweet and great as an adult, and now she wishes she could be a child again.

I want ’em back, those minds we had, how all the thoughts, moved round our heads, again Lorde wants to go back to being a child because it ‘feels so scary getting old’.  Now that’s one beautiful way to put it.

Buzzcut Season, one of my favourites on the album, is about how exaggerated and overdramatic everything and all the people are.

I remember when your head caught flame…Well you laughed, baby it’s okay, it’s buzz cut season anyway. What I take from this line, is that people get so caught up in things that don’t matter, that they stop caring about or giving thought to the things that do.

Explosions on TV and all the girls with heads inside their dreams. Do I really need to say anything here?

There are other great lines in the song as well, but these two are my favourite because they put it forward so clearly and so well. I’ll let you listen to the rest yourself.

Team another iconic one, is my second favourite on the album, and a lot of that has to attribute to the lyrical geniosity (I know that’s not a word, but this is my blog, so it’s my freedom of speech) of Lorde.

Call all the ladies out, they’re in their finery, a hundred jewels on throat a hundred jewels between teeth, now bring my boys in, their skin in craters like the moon, the moon we love like a brother while he glows through the room. I’m 90% sure I’m wrong, but here’s the takeaway from this line: The first part, of course is clear–ladies wear a lot of makeup, jewellery to make themselves look better–nothing new, but sure as hell a smart way to put it. The second part, in my opinion, tells ladies (and guys) that even the moon has craters on its skin, but it still glows and looks beautiful…? Either way, right or wrong, any meaning to this beautiful line will still be incredibly poetic.

We live in cities you’ll never see on screen, not very pretty but we sure know how to run things. We live in ruins of the palace within my dreams, and you know, we’re on each other’s team. This is another nod to the themes I talked about in the other songs–the artificial society, and how social media lets you portray people so glamorously and so perfectly, that people start comparing their real life to someone else’s ‘social media life’, you get it? You’ll see a palace on Instagram, but in reality, it’s only a ruin. The real thing you’ll never see on screen.

From Glory and Gore, I’m not going to quote a lot of stuff, because you have to listen to the entire song to get it. But it’s main message is that glory doesn’t come without struggle (the ‘gore’), which she expresses in the single line, glory and gore go hand in hand. 

White Teeth Teens is also a song you have to listen to to get, I can’t quote stuff, but it talks about the view people have of perfect people, but then she says, I am not a white teeth teen. I tried to join, but never did, saying she cannot be perfect. This term ‘white teeth teens’ could also mean the ‘cool teenager’ that Lorde tried to become, but couldn’t because she didn’t fit in and she couldn’t be a paper girl.

A World Alone, the last track of the actual album talks about Lorde realising that she doesn’t care what people say. The album begins with Don’t you think that it’s boring how people talk, and the last song ends with Let ’em talk.

Another track I love, from the original Love Club EP, Bravado, is worth listening to (It’s also on the deluxe edition of PH). It talks about being alone.

All my life, I’ve been fighting a war, I can’t talk to you or your friends, it’s not only you, my heart jumps around when I’m alluded to. This will not do, cause I was raised up to be admired, to be noticed but when you’re withdrawn, it’s the closest thing to assault when all eyes are on you. She’s talking about being alone, and not being important, which is the similar theme that she explores in the Melodrama track, Liability.

This will not do…I’m faking glory, lick my lips, toss my hair and turn the smile on and the story’s brand new, but I can take it from here. I’ll find my own bravado. Again. The faking perfection theme, but this time, Lorde says she doesn’t care if she’s a misfit, she can find her way alone.

The Love Club, a song on the deluxe edition and in the original EP, is one of my favourites. It’s about facing societal pressure as a teen, and being forced into drugs/smoking/doing something your parents don’t allow, because ‘everyone does it’, or the ‘cool kids do it’, or, simply, peer pressure.

In the old days there was enough, the card games and ease with the bitter salt of blood. I was in but I want out. My mother’s love is choking me, I’m sick of words that hang above my head. What about the kid? It’s time the kid got free. This lyric is expressing the idea of wanting to come out of being a nerdy ‘kid’ and start doing things teens do.

Be a part of the love club, everything will glow for you. You’ll get punched for the love club…There’s something about hanging out with the wicked kids, take the pill make it too ill. This is the societal pressure I was referring to.

In Melodrama, one can tell that Lorde has grown. She wrote Pure Heroine at sixteen, and Melodrama at nineteen. There’s a world’s difference. Melodrama is a break-up album, so naturally, as a kid rounding the corner to teenage, Pure Heroine was what should appeal to me more, but I hold both albums to an equal rank, simply because of the production and the LYRICS of Melodrama.

Green Light provides such a perfect analogy to moving on. It talks about not being able to move on from a break up, and waiting for the ‘green-light’ so she may move past it, but the green light isn’t coming.

Honey I’ll come get my things but I can’t let go, I’m waiting for it! The green light! I want it! In contrast to the lyrics, the melody is incredibly catchy and up-beat. Also, the first verse is completely different to this one, where she says, Those great white they have big teeth. Hope they bite you. And is evidently MAD at her ex-lover.

Sober is one of the most well-thought-out tracks of the world. Highly recommend listening to it before hand. The production is like no other. It’s about meeting a new person, and getting drunk, and falling in love again, but at the back of her head, she’s thinking, But what will we do when we’re sober? She doesn’t know if she’ll still want to be in a relationship once she is out of her drunken state. Simply, the lyrics are put beautifully, JUST LISTEN TO IT.

Homemade Dynamite, is also great because of it’s production, but we’re talking about lyrics here, so we’ll stick to that.

A couple rebel top gun pilots flying with nowhere to be. First of all, what a beautiful metaphor for saying I’M LOST AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO.

I’ll give you my best lies…another nod to the Pure Heroine theme of being fake.

Why get your friend to drive when he can hardly see? We’ll end up painting on the road red and chrome, all the broken glass sparkling. I guess we’re partying. Now who the hell would have thought to say YEAH WE CRASHED AND LOST BLOOD BECAUSE THE DRIVER COULDN’T SEE, in that beautiful, artsy, poetic way. No one, except Lorde apparently. Because only she can create that rich imagery.

The Louvre, (first up, if you don’t know what that is, google it). This song is just beautiful. Examples:

I overthink your p-punctuation use. Lorde and the way she uses her stammers. I can’t even describe. This is another point to social media, and how when you’re messaging something, even a comma can change the effect of what you’re saying. So, don’t use it kids!

Megaphone to my chest. Broadcast the boom-boom-boom-boom and make ’em all dance to it. Seriously. Just google this line, because I cannot even explain this line to you. But basically, she’s saying her heart is beating so fast that people could dance to it, and also, another interpretation would be that people don’t care about her heart or her feelings and instead of comforting her or doing something about it, they dance to it, even when she’s clearly telling/showing them she’s hurt.

Blow all my friendships to sit in hell with you. I’m not even going to try to explain this.

But we’re the greatest, they’ll hang us in the Louvre. Down the back. But who cares. Still the Louvre. I just love the witty humour in this line, casually thrown into the emotional rollercoaster that is this song.


Guess I’ll go home. Into the arms of the girl that I love, the only love I haven’t screwed up. She’s so hard to please, but she’s a forest fire. I do my best to meet her demands…

We slow dance in the living room, but all that a stranger would see, is one girl swaying alone, stroking her cheek. Here’s where we get the big reveal. She’s talking about herself. She’s the only love she has been left with. She’s not content with herself, and is trying to meet her own demands, but she can’t. And she’s stroking her cheek because she’s crying.

They say you’re a little much for me, you’re a liability…So they pull back, make other plans, I understand, I’m a liability, I’m a little much for everyone. The main theme of the song is the feeling of being a burden on other people, to be a person everyone has to care for, and being the one that’s left out.

The truth is I am a toy, that people enjoy, till all of the tricks don’t work anymore, and then they are bored of me. I can’t even say anything before this line.

I know that it’s exciting running through the night but every perfect summer’s eating me alive until you’re gone. I’m better on my own. She’s trying to tell herself that she can do it alone.

They’re going to watch me disappear into the sun. You’re all going to watch me disappear into the sun. This one is a slap and a promise to the haters.

Hard Feelings/Loveless. Picking up the pace after Liability, is Hard Feelings.

I remember the rush, when forever was us, before all of the winds of regret and mistrust, now we sit in your car and our love is a ghost. What a beautiful way to say it. She’s talking about being so in love that she forgot all else, before reality kicked in.

I light all the candles, got flowers for all my rooms. I care for myself the way I used to care about you. Another slap to the ex.

Now I’ll fake it every single day ’til I don’t need fantasy, ’til I feel you leave, but I still remember everything, how we’d drift buying groceries, how you’d dance for me. I’ll start letting go of little things ’til I’m so far away from you…Hard Feelings is a song that looks back at the relationship, and is put perfectly.

Bet you wanna rip my heart out, bet you wanna skip my calls now, well guess why? I like that! this is from Loveless, the second part of the song, and is a jab at the lover.

Look out, lovers!  L-O-V-E-L-E-S-S generation. This line is my favourite throughout the song. It talks about how ‘love’ has become a word so commonly thrown around, it’s lost its value. It isn’t important anymore. People get together and break up so quickly. Love doesn’t matter that much anymore, in this generation.

Sober II (Melodrama)

They’ll talk about us, all the lovers, how we kissed and killed each other. Ahh. This is just…I can’t even explain it. The further I get into Melodrama, I feel like I can’t/shouldn’t explain the lyrics because there’s either no point, or because they’re just out of my league.

I know the lyrics are getting less and less vague, but I’m just looking at the choice of words and the way Lorde structures her lyrics.

Writer in the Dark. 

Break the news, you’re walking out to be a good man for someone else, sorry I was never good like you…I did my best to exist just for you…Bet you rue the day you kissed the writer in the dark. Lorde is calling herself the ‘writer in the dark’ and says that despite her best efforts, the relationship was ‘born to die’.

But in my darkest hour, I stumbled on a secret power, I found a way to be without you. Who could ever think to write it this way?

Supercut. In this, Lorde looks back at her relationship one last time, but this time focusing only on the good parts, and wishes she might have tried to salvage it.

In my head I do everything right. When you call, I’ve forgiven that fight. This just evokes so much sadness in me.

I play a supercut of us, all the magic we gave off, all the love we hadn’t lost. I mean, all the poetry classes are happening right here in this very song.

Liability (Reprise). This one refutes the first track by the same name, and goes to say but you’re not what you thought you were. This can be taken in two ways. Either it’s telling the lover that he’s not worth what he thought he was, or the more obvious interpretation, in which she’s picking herself up and telling herself she’s better than just a liability.

Perfect Places. A PERFECT way to conclude the album. This talks about finally being able to let go of the relationship, and/or of teenage–but not quite. A part of her will always remember. And at the same time, it has a very Pure Heroine vibe to it.

I hate the headlines and the weather, I’m nineteen and I’m on fire, means that everything is being dramatised far past the point it needs to be, and it’s frustrating her. At least, that’s what Lorde has said. There could be new interpretations, obviously.

All of the things we’re taking. Cause we are young and we’re ashamed, send us to perfect places. All of our heroes fading, now I can’t stand to be alone, let’s go to perfect places. All the nights spent off our faces, trying to find these perfect places. What the [hell] are perfect places, anyway?

Prior to this chorus, Lorde talks about transitioning into adulthood, opening up, moving on from the breakup, drinking, and just being free. So she’s almost there, but then she realises she doesn’t even know what her destination is? What does she want, and where is she going? She’s lost her role-models, and is lost herself.

Really, the song is leaving the album open-ended. She’s asking if complete satisfaction, success and happiness is attainable, and if so, how? What defines these goals? How can one say he/she has attainted them?

Here’s a bonus, from the song she wrote for the third Hunger Games movie, Yellow Flicker Beat:

I’m a princess, carved from marble smoother than a stone, and the scars that mark my body, they’re silver and gold. My blood is a flood of rubies precious stones, it keeps my veins hot, the fire’s found a home in me. This is telling people that they must be comfortable in their own skin, and not worry about bodily insecurities, as she exaggerates her beauty in a positive way, which is the same idea she highlighted in Team.

I never watch the stars there’s so much down here. This line says it all. It’s the reason I had to include this song in the post.

All in all? What did I learn? First of all, music is not just about the music, but also about the lyrics, and they’ve started meaning more to me. They’re basically poetry. Second, I learnt a lot about how to state basic things in a better way and go that extra step to think and make a sentence sound better. To add that extra flare.

Really, I just learnt a lot of poetry, and I think I might start picking up poetry books now!

Buy the albums:

Featured photos are painted by Sam Mckinnis

If you don’t know Brandon Sanderson, and you want an example of a good YA (or maybe New Adult, NA) high fantasy, you need to get to him ASAP. In my opinion, he’s one of the few unique high fantasy writers in the YA/NA fields, and he’s a word wizard. Here’s why:

Tropes and Cliches

This is something that may end up leading to a future post, but these days, YA fantasy is not what it once was. Gone are the days of The Lord of the Rings and the other classic, unique, and rich high fantasies (although LOTR I think is a blend of middle-grade, YA, and New Adult). But back to the point: YA is losing its uniqueness and its originality. Ideas are being recycled over and over and over again, tropes and cliches are hard not to find. I feel like its the same story over and over and over again.

Corrupt government. The Chosen One. Magic has been gone for centuries, and now it’s waking up again. Badass, sarcastic female protagonist. Annoying, stupid, stubborn female protagonists. Love triangles; the devilishly handsome and funny (who is obviously going to win) person and the meh person. Female protagonist who “let out the breath she didn’t know she was holding”.

These are all tropes that I can find you at least 5 versions of in YA. And when used in the same way, they become cliches. But Brandon Sanderson has a way of taking these tropes and making them feel not like tropes.

Brandon Sanderson’s books do have corrupt government. They do have the magic has been dead for centuries trope. But they’re dimensional. And that’s where the line between cliches and tropes is drawn. Cliches are the same trope over and over again, in the same exact way. Tropes are more broad, and vague. They can be different.

The corrupt governments have dimension and purpose and reasons behind them. Magic has been dead for centuries has a dimension and a reason behind it. Brandon Sanderson’s books are planned. The Lord Ruler doesn’t just want power; there is more to it.

Unique Worlds and Systems

The worlds that Sanderson creates are incredibly rich, immersive and diverse. I’ve only read Elantris and Mistborn, but they are enough the convince me. They manage to be unique. They manage to take evil and good to whole new levels. They manage to surprise you with the complexity of the worlds and the systems.

Let’s take the magic system of Mistborn for example (no spoilers). You eat metals to gain magical abilities, and each metal is associated with a kind of power. That’s definitely new, and something I haven’t seen before.

Let’s take the world of Mistborn. The evil is so evil, that the grass, leaves and trees have been brown for centuries. Flowers, colourless. Instead of water, ash rains from the sky. It’s so unique. I bet you haven’t heard that before in any YA book.

He just perfectly blends political intrigue and fantasy together…It’s just the perfect blend of A Game of Thrones and the Lord of the Rings. That’s why I appreciate Brandon Sanderson. He’s put so much into creating this world and into making it different.

Believable Geography

This is unexplainable. But if you see the map of the books, each and every hill and gorge and valley and crevice and lake is there for a reason. He didn’t just put it there. It was there for a reason.

There’s a lot of geological research behind it all. And again, that’s why I love his books so much. There’s so much effort put into the detail, it’s literally unbelievable (get it?).

Realistic Plot Line

The best thing about him, or more specifically Mistborn, is a realistic plot line. Kel didn’t just decide to overthrow the Lord Ruler because he was brave and wanted to try and be unique, and be the uniquely un-unique protagonist who takes up the daring task.

It was because he heard of a way to defeat the Lord Ruler. That motivated him. It was because he heard stories of a world, long ago, when water showered from the sky instead of ash, where plants were green. That gave him inspiration. Reason. Purpose. Something to fight towards, and to fight for.

That is what makes, in my opinion, the plot line so…realistic and believable.

Immersive Writing Style

His writing style is just perfect. He writes excellent dialogue, the way he describes feelings is rich and vivid. He uses the right kind of language for the right setting and vibe. His choice of word and the setting of every word to pull off an impactful sentence is remarkable.

To quote what Arizona Republic said about Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander, “The pages practically turn themselves.” That applies to Sanderson just as rightfully as to Gabaldon. His books are page turners – they’re long, but immersive. That’s why I applaud him – for keeping a reader interested in the book every second, all through 700+ pages. That’s quite a feat to achieve.

If you want to take help, youtube up; he has a million lectures on there about writing, outlining, characters, world building, etc. They’re amazing and very helpful, so be sure to check those out…But that’s it for today. Hope this was helpful. Free for comments down below. I’ll write more sometime again.


So I participated in NaNoWriMo this year. For those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is an international competition (or self-challenge, more like) in which anyone above thirteen can compete to write an at least 50,000 word book in the 30 days of November. Anyone who crosses 50,000 before the clock strikes 12 on November 30th, wins. Anyone who doesn’t, doesn’t win.


Now I initially did not plan on writing a book. Last year, I really wanted to participate, but I was twelve. This year, I did not plan to finish writing a book, firstly because I knew the book I wanted to write was longer than that, and there was no way in the seven skies I could do that in one month. Secondly, because I had one set of exams in the middle of November, and one set of exams right after November.

My plan was to just feel motivated to write–it was a national competition when everyone’s writing, Twitter and Instagram and Facebook is crowded with writers–so all I would do was write whenever I could write, and however much I could, and just get at least something done.

But Day 1 of NaNoWriMo, things started happening. I became so in love with these characters and this story, that I wrote 5,000 words that day. The next day, I wrote another 5,000 words. I was already ten, thousand words into the story. And it was escalating fast.

So things continued like that, and by Day 20, I’d already hit 50,000 words. Then, the story went on and on and on, and I hit 60,000 words at November 25th. And right now, November 30th, I’ve hit 64,000 words, plus the two thousand words of appendix and world-building.

What Did I Learn from NaNoWriMo?

I think one of the most important lessons to this was to write everyday–however much you can. One of the bigger problems with Queens and Kings was that I often overlooked in editing was that I was contradicting what I’d said in the same book earlier.

So making an appendix, listing down main events and character notes really helps. I outline and write in Scrivener, because it lets you organise chapters and parts and it’s easy to outline in. I always outline each chapter, and each character, which is easy to do in Scrivener.

When I was writing everyday, I didn’t easily forget what I had written a day ago. So it was easier for me to remain in the world and with the characters.

Overall Thoughts?

I personally think this was a great experience. I also participated in some writing-sprints with some online writer friends on twitter, which helps to boost it up.

I encourage everyone to do it, if you like writing. It’s a wonderful challenge to do and even if you don’t it’s a wonderful experience on its own. It’s the universal month of writing, and just that alone makes it feel magical for writing.

And that’s all. Also, I might put up something about my upcoming novel (the one I wrote for NaNoWriMo), but not sure yet. We’ll see.

So it’s been some time since I sat down and thought about my own published works. I’ve just been so occupied with moving forward and writing other books and outlines, that I have completely forgotten about the past.

So as usual, let’s start with a disclaimer. I fully believe in failing, because failures are the stepping stones to success, and I am very happy with myself. Despite what I’m about to write in this following blog post, I am very thankful and grateful to everyone who has supported me, and very thankful to God, who gave me this talent and strength, but…there are things I wish I had done differently.

A Self Reflection on My Work Faizan Aslam Soofi

I Should Have Spent More Time on My Work

I don’t know really who to blame for this. My dad or myself. I suppose both of us had an equal role to play in this regret (which is not mutual regret, by the way).

Back then, I was in such a hurry to complete and publish my books, especially with my father whispering in my ear (refer to previous blog posts), that I never really put effort into it.

Four published books at age 13 may look like a real effort, but in fact, it shows quite the opposite. It shows that the books aren’t as good as they would have been had I spent more time and effort in them.

I Should Have Written Original Content

It’s no secret. Anyone who reads my books knows immediately. My books are not as original. You can see clearly the books that inspired them. It gets better, with each book, but it’s still not…mine. 

That’s what I hate. It’s not mine. I’m calling it mine. I’m not saying it’s a rip-off because that’s different – I’m saying it’s similar to other books. A little too similar.

I Should Not Have Published Work I Wasn’t Proud Of

And what makes it worse? I knew. Going into publishing, I knew, I think, deep down, that this was not the work I was completely proud of.

Had I known how much I would regret this years later, I would not have done it. Though it can be argued that publishing at the time gave me a name to build myself up and made it easier to sell the book and gave me an indestructible record of my past work, I still feel like I should not have published it.

I Should Have Consulted Other People

This is something I’ll always remember from now on. Before publishing, the only person who truly read my book was my mom. And I feel as though I should have given it to other people – specifically those who had read the books I had read, and the ones who had lived in the worlds I had lived in, so they could give me more feedback.

My mother was able to give me feedback and help me edit on grammar, spelling, structure, etc. But she wasn’t able to give me feedback on plot and originality and the world and the names and so much more. That feedback I could only get from a person who had read the books that had inspired these ones, and again, who was like me.

And that’s all the things I wish I would have done differently with my past works. Let me know what you think down below.


So you want to start writing a book. However you go about your story, what will really need to capture is a good start – a good first impression. The start is the most important thing – whether it’s a blog post, a movie, a tv show, a book, whatever, if it doesn’t have a good start, people won’t be compelled to go on reading/watching/listening to it. It’s kind of like a blog. Once you’ve driven traffic, you need to sustain it and that will come from the first impression. And that first impression for your book will come from the start.

Why You Can't Start Writing Your Novel


A lot of my friends have a lot of drive, a lot of motivation, and have amazing ideas, but they don’t know how to start. The start, for me is sometimes the best and easiest and sometimes the hardest. There are probably two reasons why you cannot start…

  • You’re a perfectionist
  • You have no ideas
  • You have no words

If you fall under either one of these, then stay. In the following post, we’re going to talk about (in a lot of detail and at the same time, briefly)…

  • Overcoming perfectionism
  • Getting ideas
  • Getting the words

So without further ado, let’s get into how you can overcome perfectionism and/or how to get ideas. Make sure you read through carefully. This post is coming right from my brain and trust me when I say, I’m experienced in this field. And a disclaimer, this is not about ‘how to write a good start’, but in fact, it is ‘how to start’.


First of all, I’d like you to read this post by Megan from LivingBetweentheLines. She wrote a post on how perfectionism is killing our passion and while this may not relate to how to start writing a book, it is very true. Next, let’s talk about why being a perfectionist is stopping you from starting this damned book.

If you’re a perfectionist, like me, you want this book to start out amazing and beautiful and awesome and capturing and luring and oh, the things you want this start to be. The truth is, every time you write down your start, you scrap it because you think it’s not as amazing and as beautiful and as awesome and as capturing and as luring as it could be – or rather, as you want it to be.


If you’re ever going to go anywhere with this book, you’re going to have to say goodbye to your inner perfectionist and just put it to the side. Then start writing. If you want it to be amazing and beautiful and awesome and capturing and luring then take it from me, YOU’LL NEVER GO PAST THE FIRST CHAPTER, and that’s where you’ll stay.

What you need to do is crush your perfection and write your start and MOVE. AHEAD. Otherwise, you’re going to stay stuck staring at the words ‘Chapter One’ forever. Besides, you could always come back and edit it once you’re done. You’ve got a million other drafts to do before you publish, you can change the start whenever you like.

And this goes for whatever part of the book you’re writing. Your inner editor will continuously try to invade and tell you it’s wrong and bad and you need to write better, but you’re going to have to ignore him and KEEP.ON.GOING. I wrote those words in caps because they’re the keywords here. If you don’t keep on going on, nothing’s going to happen. It’s going to stay in your computer/notebook and that’s where it is going to stay, lost in a maze of other forgotten folders. You need to make sure it hits paper and then shelves, too. But that’s never going to happen if it doesn’t hit the screen in the first place.


So you have no ideas. That’s okay, we’ve all been there. It’s normal. There are times when you might be having a creative slump or, to be more specific, a writing slump. But what’s not normal? You sitting in your bed and complaining. If you want this project to move on, then get out of the bed and WORK to get those ideas. That’s the only way you’re going to go ahead and ‘start writing a book.’


Why do I have no ideas, you ask? This is because you planned your story, but you didn’t plan it well enough. You planned, for example, that a certain ‘they’ are running from the monster, they destroy it, and awaken it’s mother. They need to restore a diamond to its place in order to put the mother back to sleep. But what you didn’t plan, is how the monster found them. How did they manage to run from wherever they got attacked? Basically, what you did, is you didn’t plan out the story in detail. And these things will, later on, be a hindrance to this book hitting shelves.


How do you conquer this problem? Well, there are three things that will help you start writing a book.

  • Get out.
  • Observe.
  • Think.

And it doesn’t matter if your story is the farthest from reality, even if it’s fantasy, these small details are what come from real life. Okay, here’s a wild example. If one day, someone predicts the future and tells me I’m going to write a book which will contain a grandmother who loves to feed her twelve-year-old grandson from her own hand, I’m going to believe this ‘someone’ in an instant because I know my grandmother does that and if I needed to describe a grandmother, I would look to mine for the description.

Another thing you can do is read something. Maybe a book, maybe a newspaper. Get ideas from there and put your own twist on them. Let’s expand on my first example. Maybe you read a newspaper where a fire broke out in a house in the absence of the adults and the children managed to escape. So you think, ‘Man, this is similar to my story!’ You think hard and long, and you come up with this: The monster that breaks in can shape-shift into black smoke. It went into the pipes and ended up in their lounge and attacking everyone but ‘they’ escaped through the back door. Pretty good for a start, huh? Now all you need is good words. In which case, roll on number three.


So you’re staring at a blank document on your screen. You know what you need to write and you know it’s not going to be perfect, but ya don’t care. But no clue how to write it. AKA, you’re out of words. This is a very common reason for me, and it’s usually why I can’t start writing a book. But fret not my friends, I have a solution for you.


For now, I’ve figured only one way of getting out of this. There may be more, but I have not yet discovered those. What I have discovered, that helps, and works for me every time, is reading. Think of the mood of your start. Is it creepy right off the bat or does it start off happy? Is it a typical high school scene or a strange murder scene?

Once you’ve gathered all these things, read other books with a scene or start moods like the start vibe you’re going for. Look at the words they’ve used. How have they structured their sentences? And as fake as this may sound coming for a thirteen-year-old, it works for me, believe it or not. Look up words like the ones they’ve used in a thesaurus, look at synonyms, antonyms, idioms and all that confusing ish I learned in seventh grade English class. Once you get the idea, you should be good to go.

And that’s it! That’s how to start writing a book. Now I’m out of words. Are you writing a book? What are your struggles with starting or just struggles in general? Let me know down below.

So last week I was editing the final ARC of Instrumental Kings when I started picking up so many mistakes and things I wanted to add or cut out and change, which I had somehow neglected in the million other editing rounds I’d previously done. And it’s fine. Because I wrote Instrumental Kings way before Instrumental Queens, so my writing is much different and much better now. So I chose to ignore them, especially because this was the final ARC but the first few pages I did edit, were filled in red ink all over. And so I came up with an ‘editing key’ for future editing to make my book better.

What this basically consists of is words and their abbreviations that I write atop the paragraphs/words/sentences they fit on. For example, if a sentence is really overloaded with unnecessary details, I’d write ‘w.d’ over it, meaning ‘wordiness’. So here I have a couple of similar things that can help you with making the book better.

Of course, a disclaimer, like always, this is just the things I’ve found to be really problematic in my writing style, you can add or cut out things as you like it, but this is the key that I mainly use. Also, I’m not claiming to be a really good writer or anything, this is just things I’ve picked up along the way.

An Editing Key Towards a Better Book


Redundancy means repetition. It means when you’re repeating the same thing except in a different way or maybe even the same way – in any case, you’re repeating what you’ve just said.

For example, the first line of Instrumental Kings is I drove to college with the windows rolled down. Then, a few lines later, in which I discuss the weather, it’s repeated again, I drove to my college. That is redundancy. Repetition. So I wrote a small ‘r.d’ over it and cut out the repetition.


Wordiness is similar to unnecessary elongation (see below), except it just means extra description that you don’t need. Everything is clear without a word or line being there. In many cases, this can also mean redundancy.

For example, a sentence in Instrumental Kings goes, There was no noise except the occasional drip of the moisture, indicating last night’s rain – how could I be so absent minded not to have noticed the rain? In this sentence, the entire part after the dash in unnecessary. First of all, since the rain happened at night, the character must have been sleeping, so he couldn’t have noticed it anyway. Secondly, it’s not relevant and the sentence would be better off without it.


Continuity error means two sentences don’t connect well together. They lack a certain word or a punctuation that will make them flow naturally and it won’t look unnatural and confusing to read. This mostly happens with long sentences that are joined together.

For example, a character Instrumental Kings says, I could not believe how I could be such a coward and staying away longer only made it worse. These sentences don’t connect. There’s something off about them. They don’t roll out of your tongue when you read them. What they’re lacking is a little word and a full stop. So, the edited version now says, I could not believe how I could be such a coward. Besides, staying away longer only made it worse. That’s much better.


I hate this in books. This is basically when a sentence is too dramatic to fit the vibe of a scene or book. It’s really cringey and weird. I had a lot of this in Instrumental Kings.

A line goes, I lay there, staring at the clouds, relaxing my soul. That last part, relaxing my soul, is excessive drama. It doesn’t feel fit to go into the scene and it just makes it really cringey and makes it sound like something it’s not. This is one of my pet peeves in books.


Tense error means switching from one tense to another, or from first-person to third or something like that. This can be really hard to manage especially if you’re trying out a new tense or style. But be wary of it and keep your eyes peeled. It’s really easy to do. Another thing is when you’re writing multiple POVs, you can sometimes slip into another character’s POV at times, and also be aware of that.

I’m going to use the same sentence here, how could I be so absent minded not to have noticed the rain? Again, because the rain has happened last night, it should have been, how could I have been so absent minded not to have noticed the rain? I don’t know, really. I’m not an English Connoisseur, but I think the second one sounds better.


Essentially, this means the unnecessary elongation of a sentence/paragraph/scene that wouldn’t have made a difference to the main story. These can range anywhere from sentences to paragraphs to chapters.

For example, this paragraph: When I returned to my room, I was hungry. I was tired of fish and chips, so I went to the drive thru at McDonalds. I couldn’t think of anything to eat, and I always hated burgers. I had already had chips. So I took some nuggets and a McFlurry and returned home, carefully lying down on the bed cover. First of all, this paragraph, if I had to keep it, for some reason, would have been much better, detailed and different. But it is just unnecessary and leads you right back to the main thing, especially when the last page just mentioned that he packed food with him. So now, the edited version, is this: When I returned to my room, I collapsed on the bed cover. That’s it. All of that long unnecessary hassle gone.

This is also key to make sure your readers don’t lost interest.


This means that there is a loophole in the plot. And it effects the entire story and makes it meaningless. This can either be really big or really small. These can be really hard to spot, so keep your eyes peeled for this too.

For example, in Instrumental Kings, we talk about the main character going to college for two days in the week and skipping one day. Which means, if school started on Monday, it is now Thursday. The protagonist mentions how a named character is absent from college. The next line says, He didn’t show up the next day either. This means he didn’t show up on Friday either. The next line reads And the next. First, it should have been or the next. Secondly, this means he didn’t show up on Saturday, and there is no college on Saturday. That is a minor loophole in the writing/plot.


And that’s it! I hope you picked up some things from this, and if you did make sure you share this post and drop a comment, leaving any other things you think I missed. Also, all of the examples I mentioned above will not be edited when Instrumental Kings comes out, because I wanted to preserve a little bit of the original work. So keep that in mind. Instrumental Kings will have mistakes. But with that being said, I’ll see you next time. Bye!


A couple of weeks ago I did a post on my writing process, which you can view here. On a skim through, both these posts might look like twins—fairly identical, but little differences. But if you look closely in to the different ‘ideas’ or writing and editing, you might notice that both of them are quite different from each other. So today I’m going to be talking about my editing process, or, to put it in simply, how I edit my books. Continue reading for some bonus editing tips and also, do what I say, not what I do.


First things first, you need to set up your goals. The most basic and essential editing goals (in my opinion, you are free to agree or disagree) to make your book great are:

  1. Keeping the original draft intact
  2. A flawless draft, without errors
  3. Keeping the backbone intact

And just a little thing you want to keep in mind – do not what I do, but what I say. I completely went off track with the third goal, thanks to dad’s excitement, but hear me out. First of all, make sure you can still see the original draft through these new fancy words. I just think it’s important to let YOU shine through the books, and not YOU [EDITOR] show all the time. Second, you want to revise it so many times that no error is left. I personally (thanks to dad) did not realise how crucial this was until my third book. If you want people to take you seriously, make sure your book doesn’t have any errors in it. Lastly, keep the spine intact. No matter if you’re writing, re-writing, editing whatever, make sure the spine of the story stays the same – and by spine I mean the general idea. You cannot go rewriting a story from scratch – it will turn out a completely different novel, and you don’t want all you previous thinking to go to trash – yes, changes to the storyline can be made, but even those should be made with great care – I personally copy and paste the entire thing into another documents and make my changes there to compare the two side by side. So I definitely recommend doing that.


Because I’m all about plot twists, death, magic and mysteries, it is very essential for me to fix up and strengthen the plot before I get to the language. This usually includes quickly running through my book in as little sittings as possible and make sure the story flows out smoothly—make sure you’re not contradicting yourself or a previous idea anywhere, no loopholes, no leftover spaces (unless its clear that the gap is to be filled in a sequel) or just anything out of order. This is especially essential to fantasy and mystery writers in my opinion.


This is another essential. This basically mean approaching someone who you know has read a lot of books like yours, and ask him/her to read your book and go through it and give suggestions that are plot related. This is the easiest because the person who reads the book doesn’t have to be a pro English expert, as you’re only looking for improvements in the plot, but if you want corrections in spelling too, go ahead and go for it. Also, make sure you’re ready to accept criticism, and you’re not waiting for your own praise, but some genuine suggestions. For me, this is my mom most of the time.


This will kind of sound repetitive, but again, go through your book and search and correct all grammar and spelling mistakes. For me, my mom corrects spellinges and is grammar (get it?) while she is doing a loophole scan. She will do this on a print copy, and then I’ll copy them onto my computer.


Not necessary, but I do it nonetheless. This is the part where I kind of move from correcting to making it better. I swap out words for better ones, paragraphs for better paragraphs, and so on and so forth. I focus on the description, vocabulary, language, and everything like that. This also automatically rolls into a spelling/grammar check.


A lot of people rewrite books, but I personally find that very de-motivating, and try to edit mostly, because it keep in line with goal #1 and that’s where I edit A LOT. So I personally don’t think it’s necessary to rewrite, but if you feel like it, do it.


I personally don’t feel like I’m in the need for a professional editor, even though it takes my mother a million years to edit one story, because she is busy, but I just feel more comfortable sitting down with her, correcting stuff myself, being able to give suggestions, and just discussing stuff openly the way I never would with someone else.


No, this is not about sending books to book bloggers/booktubers for review, but this is more of pre-publication suggestion kind of thing. I’d highly suggest sending a manuscript to some trustee people you can count on to give you genuine, valuable suggestions. This will usually be my friend, my mom, and a cousin.

So that is it for how I edit my books. I hope you got a ton of information out of this post and enjoyed reading as much as I did writing it. And that’s it! I’ll see you next time. Bye!

Hullo everyone! Today I’m going to be doing the Writer Tag. I’ve only seen this once before, and I thought this would be a good way to share my overall experience of writing. Anyway, the writer tag is basically a list of questions writers have to answer about writing. So without further ado, let’s get into it. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, but it took me time to answer some of the questions. But I finally did, and here they are!


I usually write fantasy. Since very early I’ve been obsessed with Narnia, so naturally, when I started writing I fell straight into fantasy but right now I’m starting to delve in contemporary a little bit as well, which I’m really LOVING. But recently I’ve also been reading more traditional stuff like short stories, and poetry, so I can see myself delving into those sometime soon.


For the whole plot of a book, it’ll be a small incident or character in real life, and then I’ll build a world around it, adding more pinpricks from here and there and real life. But it’s all about it striking me that I could build a story around a particular incident, and if it doesn’t, then that’s gone forever. But for like detailed ideas inside of a general plot, I’ll get ideas from other books/movies/tv series.


I usually write in my room, especially when I’ve taken a shower, on my bed, and can easily write. But if I can’t focus, I’ve found that getting out of your comfort zone really helps, and the same goes for studying. I write whenever I find time, and that’s mostly late at night, when I actually come alive – though it’s unhealthy, I stay up a lot. I write on my 13 inch Macbook Air, and before that I used a Dell Inspiron laptop, and before that my hands were the victim of severe exhaustion all the time.


SOUND! For the last time, I love sound while writing. It really helps focusing and getting involved in the scene and it just makes you think better. For more details, see my previous post.


No, I have not studied writing. I’m in eighth grade. I do plan on taking writing classes – I have been to a few writing sessions and learnt some tips from teachers and critiques. I’d say I learnt a lot of descriptive writing tips from school, but otherwise I just picked it up from reading other books and listening to other writers.


Encouraging, but haven’t read any of my works (apart from mom, because she edits it), but other than that I don’t think anyone has read it but doe encourage me a lot. Friends, not that much but family definitely. I’m okay with that, as long as it goes this way. I mean my target audience isn’t in my friends or family.


Blankness. Absolute and utter blankness. There’s been countless occasions where I’ll be writing and then my mind will drift away, I’ll stop, and when I come back away I’ll just be blank. My mind will be empty. It’ll take me a few moments to process the world itself, let alone write anything solid. Lately, it has been happening a lot.


My favourite think about writing is probably going to have to be the fun of it. The ability to create a world, shape its inhabitants, shape their fates, and just being able to do what you want, and this makes me sound like a terrible person, but I’m not. I just love going crazy on my work.


I learnt this one tip from Cassandra Clare, which she taught on her website. BICHOK. Butt in Chair, Hands on Keyboard. Whenever I don’t feel like it, I think BICHOK and just start writing, and write. I don’t care if it’s crap. I don’t care if it makes any sense or not because this isn’t the final act of some play, this is a rehearsal, a first draft, it’s going to go through a crap load of editing, and we can figure that out later. And the second tip I have is probably the best one that helps me not only write but also study and it’s to get out of your comfort zone. This is really important and it stops you from getting distracted and just helps you focus better.


Write a New York Times Best Selling novel. Publish a contemporary. Write a novel my friends can appreciate genuinely. Learn the art of short story writing. Learn how to write poetry. Start a blog.




As I mentioned in my previous post, I mostly listen to music while writing to get me in the mood. And if I don’t have music, I find it hard to concentrate on writing. I may or may not have promised in that post that I will do this post, but whatever the case, here’s some music I listen to while writing. 


Because most of my books are fantasy, these soundtracks work best for me. There are three helluva long movies that I can pick from, and it’s easy as that. I love all the soundtracks. The movies also provide a great variety of soundtracks from romance and action to mystery and sadness. So I definitely recommend googling some of them up and choosing from them. My favourite ones are Give up The Halfling, Theoden King, Farewell to Lorien, The Fighting Urk Hai, One Ring to Rule Them All, Home is Behind, and The Breaking of the Fellowship.


Again, a classic. I love a lot of Harry Potter soundtracks. They provide much more variety than the previously mentioned ones, because there’s eight movies packed with romance, mystery, death, magic, action, and all sorts of things that work in my stories as well. My favourite ones are The Courtyard Apocalypse, Harry’s Sacrifice and The Chess Game, but I also have others that I use.


I loved this movie. From the VFX and the graphics to of course – the music and the soundtracks. I literally have the most soundtracks from this movie, and it even beats the number of Harry Potter soundtracks I have. Even though this wasn’t as similar to my stories as the above, but the music fits my stories like a shoe. My all time favourites are Warriors on the Beach, White Horse and Escape from the Tower. Because my books always contain running, fighting and magic scenes, I listen to them more than half of the time I spend writing.


I’ve been a massive MASSIVE fan of this series all my life. And even though my current writings are NOTHING like it, I listen to a lot of its soundtracks. They fit in beautifully. My favourites are mostly the ones with action, like, The Games Begin, The Fog, Monkey Muts, and Arena Crumbles.


Another classic. I started the tv show back in June of 2016, and then I read the first book, then watched the second season, and I fell in love the moment I clicked play on that pilot. The soundtracks are heavenly. Heavenly. They legit make my story. My favourites are Lawless, Castle Leoch, Fallen Through Time, Veil of Time, A Dance With Druids, and of course, The Skye Boat Song.


When it comes to songs — not soundtracks, songs — I look to nowhere but Reign. Another one of my favourite tv shows, Reign has one of the best music ever. And though it’s not very popular, I love the tv show and the music itself. My favourites are Hills to Climb, Crystals, Journey, The Hunt, My Eyes, Scotland, Breathe, Kingdom Fall, Hello My Old Heart and my absolute favourite, Take Control.


Another one of the same category, Shadowhunters also has epic songs — not soundtracks — which are mostly by Ruelle, and I love them all. I listen to them mostly when I’m writing a sassy mysterious first scene. My favourites are Monsters, Live Like Legends, Storm, Invincible and War of Hearts.


When it comes to songs, again, The 100 rocks. It’s an amazing tv show that I love, and because of its depressing atmosphere, its music is incredibly emotional and is perfect for a sad scene. My faves are Empire of Our Own, Knocking on Heaven’s Door, The Other Side, and Thousand Eyes.

So that’s it for my list. I hope you got some ideas and some material to work on. That’s all for now. I’ll talk to you next time. Bye!

My writing process is not really a ‘process’ or ‘routine’, it is, now, thanks to two years of writing, now a general and involuntary flow of my brain into my computer and onto the page in the form of words. I feel like that was a school-ey robotic definition, but that’s what I’d call my writing process. The reason for that is simple: When I sit down with my computer an start typing, I kind of flow into an automatic mode where I just get lost. I don’t even know how I manage to write while being lost and nowhere, but I do and that’s why I call it an ‘involuntary’ flow of my brain into my computer. But without further ado, here’s how I write.


This is considering what I’m writing. If I’m starting a novel from scratch, I’ll obviously have an outline, (this post is about writing, not outlining) so I’ll go through it, seeing what I need to write, what events happen first and just little things. If I’m picking up writing, I’ll just start typing straight away, unless there’s a complex scene going on and I need to think very hard and straight about what I’m going to write. Otherwise, I just take the plunge.


I usually listen to music while I write. The music depends on what I’m feeling at the time and what I’m writing. I usually listen to movie soundtracks, so I don’t get carried away by lyrics. The movie soundtracks differ according to the scene. If I’m writing an action scene, I will listen to an action soundtrack from another movie. That’s how I usually do it. If I’m in the mood I’ll also just pop on some lyrical songs.


Writing specifically is a very difficult thing for me to explain. It’s such an abstract process that I’m sure if I did tell you, it would make no sense. But I’ll give it a try. I just write. I don’t care about being perfect, spellings, grammar, anything else — I just write. And honestly I think that’s the best thing you can do as a writer because it keeps work going faster and also forces you to do more editing, which is essential. It also stops you from coming back and editing at the time, and that’s only going to slow you down, because when it comes to writing, the biggest obstacle you will ever face is your own inner editor.


Now I don’t type like you normally should. Though I’m fast, I type in my own way. I guess when I was small I didn’t know the real way to type and just did it however I wanted, and with practice I’ve come to do the same way. And now it just urks me. I want to shift to the actual typing way, but I can’t. It’s too late. What I hate Most about my typing way, is I always press Caps Lock instead of shift, even for writing only one capital character. I’ve honestly grown tired of it.

So that’s it for this post. Hope you enjoyed reading how I write my stories. I’d love to hear your thoughts and stories down below in the comments. And that’s it. Thanks for reading. Bye!