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.

NaNoWriMo

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

WHY YOU CAN’T START WRITING A BOOK

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’.

PERFECTIONIST?

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.

TACKLE PERFECTIONISM

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.

NO IDEAS?

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 NO IDEAS?

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.

GET IDEAS.

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.

OUT OF WORDS?

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.

GET THOSE WORDS.

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 (R.D)

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 (W.D)

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 (C.E)

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.

EXCESSIVE DRAMA (E.D)

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.

NARRATION ERROR (N.E)

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.

EXCESSIVE ELONGATION (E.E)

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.

PLOT ERROR (P.E)

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.

GOALS

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.

LOOPHOLE SELF SCAN

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.

LOOPHOLE STRANGER SCAN

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.

LANGUAGE STRANGER SCAN

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.

LANGUAGE SELF SCAN

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.

REWRITING?

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.

PRO EDITORS?

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.

REVIEWING?

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!

WHAT DO YOU WRITE? WHAT GENRE? ANY REOCCURRING THEMES?

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.

WHAT OR WHO INSPIRES YOU TO WRITE?

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.

WHERE DO YOU WRITE, WHEN AND WITH WHAT?

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 OR SILENCE WHEN WRITING?

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.

HAVE YOU STUDIED WRITING? WHAT WAS IT LIKE? WHERE DID YOU LEARN IT FROM, IF NOT?

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.

WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY THINK?

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.

WHAT DO YOU FIND CHALLENGING?

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.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT WRITING?

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.

ANY TIPS FOR WRITER’S BLOCK?

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.

WHAT ARE YOUR LIFE-LONG WRITING GOALS?

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. 

LORD OF THE RINGS MOVIES SOUNDTRACKS

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.

HARRY POTTER MOVIES SOUNDTRACKS

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.

SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN SOUNDTRACKS

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.

THE HUNGER GAMES MOVIES SOUNDTRACKS

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.

OUTLANDER SOUNDTRACKS

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.

REIGN SONGS

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.

SHADOWHUNTERS SONGS

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.

THE 100 SONGS

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!