Category Archives: novel

Endings: Tragic, Bittersweet or Happy?

There is one thing when it comes books that really bugs me– endings that are bittersweet or downright tragic. In the three books that I have read so far, only one had a truly happy-ish ending. The other two did not. One had a bittersweet ending that I was expecting because I had seen the mini-series that was based on the book. The other was downright tragic and not only made me cry (something that books never do) but also prompted me to throw the book across the couch.

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The first book that I read this year was “The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough. It is a historical epic set in Australia at the beginning of the twentieth century. It follows the Cleary family, specifically Meggie as they live off the land. The main premise of the book is that Meggie is hopelessly in love with Ralph de Bricassart who is a priest in the beginning. As the book goes on, Ralph tries to fight is attraction to Meggie and Meggie tries to forget hers. They can never stay out of each other lives and even though Ralph dies in the end and Meggie loses her son by him, it is still a beautiful book. A bittersweet ending that I was totally expecting and loved.

Screen Shot 2013-03-22 at 8.06.24 AMThe second book that I have read this year was actually a novella.”The Emperor’s Soul” by Brandon Sanderson is set in the world for his Mistborn Trilogy, though it is in a far corner of it. It follows Shai who is a Forger, someone who can rewrite the history of an object and transform it. This can be done from something as simple as a table to as complicated as a soul. When an assassination attempt against the Emperor leaves him alive but mentally empty, Shai is brought in to save him by doing the unthinkable, reForging a soul from scratch. The story was quick paced and it had a great ending ^_^ I will definitely reread it.

Screen Shot 2013-03-22 at 8.07.24 AMThe third book that I have read, the one that I spent two hours reading last night, was one that I have been waiting for, for a long time. “Everafter” by Elizabeth Chandler is the third book in a trilogy which followed Ivy and Tristan and without giving anything away, it has a tragic ending. What makes me the most angry is that the book was brilliant until the penultimate scene. That’s when things completely fell apart and I bawled. Books don’t make me cry, but this one did and when I read the last page I threw it across the couch because I was so angry. >_<

 

 

So what is the point of this post? The nature of endings and how author’s deal with it. I do understand the bittersweet ending, I really do… which is why I was able to like Thorn Birds so fully. But when an author builds up to something, and makes their readers believe that something is going to to happen and then pulls the rug out…? Well that is just bad form in my opinion.

Endings which infuriate me is also what drives me in my own writing, and why all my characters have happy endings, or at least some semblance of some. My characters are my babies. I couldn’t really kill them even if I tried… not only for my sake, but for the sake of my future readers (if I am ever so lucky) because I would hate to think of causing a reader’s heart to break and to have them throwing a book across a room.

Happy endings have always been what I look for in books, which is why I will always impart them into mine.

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A Fifth of the Way There

So after hardly writing anything all year, National Novel Writing Month has arrived. I started the month with some trepidation, because I wasn’t sure if I would be able to write, however yesterday with only five days in I managed to get a fifth of the way to my goal of 50k words.

I feel remarkably good about this story so far and I’m taking a rather long time to get through my outline which again is a brilliantly good thing. ^_^ Science-fiction seems to agree with me and I can’t wait to see where my characters are taking me (even though I know the end game) next. ^_^

Oh, and Happy Election Day to all those in the USA. My fingers are crossed that things remain in the blue and don’t descend into the red, but really who knows what’s going to happen.

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Cover Art

 

“Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” is a good motto to go with however how many of us are initially drawn to books because of their cover? I know that I’m guilty of that. I look at cover’s first, back blurbs second, inside flap’s third and finally I read the first page. If that grabs me I move onto the first chapter and if I’m still interested then I read the book… but I digress. Ever since I’ve been introduced to Photoshop and other manipulation tools I have enjoyed creating my own cover art. This year’s NaNo is no exception… though it is the first time that I’ve done the cover art before I’ve only completed the story. I’ve done two versions too and I can’t quite decide which one that I like better.

The one on the left is the first one that I did. I like it ’cause it shows the main character centre and her two love interests on either side (and yes that’ Robert Duncan, Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas as actor stand ins for this story) but my friends said that it was too confusing, so I created the one on the right.

It shows the same three characters only my female main character is on the right and the other human is on the left. In the centre is the third main character who spends the vast majority of the story as a disembodied consciousness. I have no idea which cover is better, or which one that I like more… they both capture the feeling that I was looking for and they both inspire me greatly for the month ahead. ^_^

 

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An Idea Does Not A Plot Make

Ideas. I have an abundance of ideas. Every time I walk up or down an aisle at the local bookstore where I work I get another idea. They come at me with such ferocity that I often don’t know what to do with them. More often then not though, they disappear before I am able to do anything about it (like write them down).

I have a whole folder called “The Graveyard” where the barely started ideas are placed, and I’ve got several files (588 to be exact) of chapters and story ideas, beginnings and endings, bits of dialogue and all the rest. The problem for me is finding an idea that (a) can be developed into a long story and (b) can be sustained for a long amount of time. Most of the time both are huge issues for me, but National Novel Writing Month FORCES me to make an attempt at least.

In terms of a plot for this NaNo, I *think* that I have one hammered down. It’s still in the idea stage really, but bits and pieces of plot points are coming together and with eight days to go I am eagerly waiting for that thunderbolt of inspiration to hit me so that I have enough in the tanks to see me through the thirty days.

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Finding My Voice (Or How To Pick a Plot)

So… the year is drawing to a close and I’ve barely written a word. National Novel Writing Month is speeding up like a freight train and I can’t decide what I’m going to write. I do however believe I know where all my indecision is coming from– I don’t know my voice as a writer.

For years, my entire adult life so far actually, I have always thought that I would be a YA writer. They are the books that I love to read and they are the books that come most easily to me however, just because a book comes easy doesn’t mean that it’s something that I should be writing. Last year’s NaNo was like pulling teeth and even though I ended up with a story that was pretty decent, the sequel has totally fallen by the wayside. More than that, none of the  novels that I’ve written thus far (and I’ve written six) have been good enough in my mind (save for the first) to try and attempt to get published.

I follow several writers online and the one thing that always sticks out to me is how passionate they are about their novel. Their stories MUST be told to the world, and I haven’t felt like that for anything that I’ve written (save for the one that I did query out to like 80 agents).

So where does this leave me? In a conundrum to say the least. While I’ve been trying to figure out WHAT I want to write, I’ve been reading a lot and I’ve been noticing that my muses change on a whim. When I read a good YA book, I want to write YA. When I read / watch a good chick-flick I want to write a romantic story. When I watch / read science-fiction, I want to write a science fiction story. When I watch / read something strictly fantasy, I want to be that fantasy writer. I don’t know who I am as a writer. I have so many ideas and no real determination to see any of them through.

National Novel Writing Month 2012 is coming up in just over a week and I am bouncing between a YA story where fairy tales become real, a science fiction story where a thief befriends a disembodied consciousness and a chick-lit tale where a twenty-something finds herself accidentally married and has to deal with consequences. I can see myself writing all three of them… and I would love to write all three of them at once but the stresses of NaNo require me to just pick one and I don’t know which one to pick.

*sigh* Maybe I’m just going to have to write all three on a piece of paper and then pick one come November 1.

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October 21, 2012 · 10:56 am

From CreateSpace with Love

So last year, I got a free proof copy for my 2010 National Novel Writing Month Novel “Stealing Heart” and this year I got FIVE free copies of my 2011 National Novel Writing Moth Novel “Circle of Light” which came on Monday! ^_^ The books look gorgeous, though the back cover blurb leaves something to be desired. When I was writing it out I realized that while I know what my book is about, it was super hard to break that down into something that would seem interesting. *sigh* Oh well. No biggie I guess considering that this is just for me and me alone, though it has it’s own ISBN number and could be sold on CreateSpace & Amazon if I was so inclined. Which I am, but I’m not at the same time. I really, REALLY want to be published the ‘normal’ way but I am really proud of this novel and I think that after a couple more revisions (mainly looking at grammar issues which I always skim past) I think that I could maybe possibly have something… but then again I could not. Either way, I have my novel in print once again and I’m super stoked about it. ^_^

The back cover, the acknowledgements and the the table of contents.

 

 

A couple pages from the beginning half of the book.

 

 

 

 

 

So, yeah. That’s my book. It’s not perfect, it’s not published, but it’s mine. All mine. ^_^

 

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WHEN YOU REACH THE END OF THE NOVEL

Endings, I absolutely hate writing them. I feel like getting to the end of a novel is such a monumental thing and so much has gone into it that I can’t ever get the right words to come out to wrap things up nicely. This year, with this National Novel Writing Month endeavour was no different. I reached the 50k mark with this story tonight and just in the nick of time too ’cause I’ve actually run out of story. ^_^ This novel isn’t the best literary work that I’ve ever created, actually I’d say that it’s among my worst but I did win bringing my count to eight tries and four wins… a 50/50 win-loss record, not so bad in my books. ^_^ This year has been quite a roller coaster. I got ahead really early on and then struggled with meeting my word counts. The last couple days however I just powered on and look at the pretty stat bar… I made it with two days to spare, something that has never EVER happened before. Though I’m not sure about the quality of my novel, the elation of winning isn’t going to fade anytime soon and it gives me confidence to finish the other novel stories that I’m working on and I’ve got 367 days until National Novel Writing Month 2012. ^_^

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