Saturday, 12 November 2011

Reading long books

I’ve always avoided reading long books, and by long books I mean anything more than 400/450 pages. The few I had read when I was younger (besides Harry Potter) seemed to drag on, and because I thought it took too long to reach the climax, I’d lose interest half way through.

I admit that most of the books on my TBR shelf are larger books. And I have been trying to get through them lately. And my latest discovery is that larger books don’t necessarily take longer to read nor do they all drag on. 

One Day, Of Marriageable Age, Afterwards, Seven Types of Ambiguity, Shot in the Heart.

These are all long books that I have read and loved. And that's only naming a few.

With longer books, you spend more time with the characters and get to really know them; you get attached to them. You have longer to spend in a world  you're loving. And if you're loving the book, it doesn't really take that much longer to read than a smaller book, because you just can't put it down. 

I vow to read all the long books on my shelf. 

Anyone else a big-book-phobe?

Monday, 7 November 2011

7 days down, 23 more to go.

It's hard to believe that it's been only been 7 days. A week ago I had nothing and now I have something. Something I'm already feeling proud of. 

At the beginning, I really struggled with thinking large. I'm so used to writing short stories and keeping things minimal, that I found it hard to expand on things. My first few chapters started pretty short, only 1-2 pages (but the entire novel is written in the form of letters so I wasn't too worried about the length of them). And now they are going up to 3.5 pages. I can feel myself exploring everything more, tapping into my characters head and seeing things how he would see them. When I'm ahead on my word count and can afford to spend some time 'leisurely', I want to go back and re read those first few chapters, because I know there were will be heaps of room to expand them. 
It's at 11,000 words today. 

I lost the weekend because I was out in the country (which usually would be a great place to write, but not so much when you're on a romantic weekend away). We drove out two hours into a small town called Daylesford. We had a room with a private spa, we went to a cocktail party, to an antique and farmers market, wine tasting and lunching on the mountains. 

Happy writing everyone

Thursday, 3 November 2011

oh uh October

So, October wasn't my best reading month. I read this book that I absolutely loved - The Sky is Everywhere - right at the start of the month, and then I couldn't read anything for a week after because I was so attached to the book. 

Jandy Nelson - The Sky is Everywhere
Sue Saliba - Alaska
Rosamund Lupton - Afterwards
Lauren Strasnick - Nothing Like You

Alaska was beautifully written (and my god what a ridiculously amazing front cover)  but I thought the main character was stupid and I hated the way it ended. 
Same as Nothing Like you. I really enjoyed the book but the ending ruined it for me completely. Yes, the girl got what she deserved. But after being on a long journey with TWO boys involved, I just wanted her to end up with one of them, and she didn't. 

But... The Sky is Everywhere goes into my top books (obviously since I can't stop blogging about how much I love it) and Afterwards was also a fantastic read which I would recommend. 

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Only day 2 and there have already been tears.

Day 1 of NaNoWriMo was a lot harder than I thought. 
I had done so much planning and research. I was excited. Nervous. Totally ready to start NaNo. 
But by 2 in the afternoon, 2,100 words later, I had come to the conclusion that the story was told from the wrong perspective and was just all wrong. It was going no where. 

I declared failure, teared up in disappointment and curled up in bed all sad. Luckily for me, I have the sweetest, most supportive boyfriend, who told me that he wouldn't let me give up. He brainstormed ideas with me until 1 in the morning (I was thinking a YA with an awesome love story, and he was thinking Navy Seals and government invasion). Finally we found an awesome idea that I was really excited about. (ok, so it's a combination of love and military ... but for all those who have read my blog, you should all know that I have a weird obsession with the army). And since my boyfriend is such an army and history addict, he's pretty much done all the research for me already! 

I woke up super early and got to work at 7am so that I could sit in the coffee shop downstairs and write before work started at 8:30. I got 1,500 words done and am REALLY happy with my new story. It was telling itself. Honestly, I hardly had to do any work, just move my fingers. It was the greatest feeling ever and I've been smiling all day since. 

I'm going to write a bit more before bed but will wake up early again and have a repeat of yesterday. I just write better in the morning for some reason. 

Anyway, here are some hints on my new story. 
An excerpt will follow shortly. 

Not necessarily in that order. 

Top Ten Tuesday - Books I had strong emotions over

So I have decided to participate in the Broke and the Bookish Top Ten Tuesday. I started reading some of the entries people had posted and have a good list jotted down of books I'd like to read now. Hopefully my list could inspire some people with some reads. 

  1. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson -  Lyrical. Beautiful. Heartbreaking. Fall-in-love-with-main-guy. Seriously, this author knocks everything on the head; writing, characters and plot.
  2. One day by David Nicholls - I have to admit I cried my eyes out in the movie. But you definitely got a better sense of the relationship in the book. I think it was a combination of both that really made me love One Day. 
  3. Dreamland by Sarah Dessen - I'm not going to lie, I definitely had a lot to relate to this book. Just made it all the more raw and emotional for me. There were some inaccuracies I found, but overall a really good psychological exploration into abusive relationships. It's absolutely heart breaking what damage love and manipulation can do. 
  4. If I stay by Gayle Forman - Ok, if you're not crying at some point in this book, you've got to be crazy. What an emotional journey. I was just as lost and confused as the main character. 
  5. Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton - I finished the book and had to curl up in my boyfriends arms for comfort hugs. A long book on a harrowing journey. I knew the ending was coming, but it hurt like hell to read. A definite must read. 
  6. Stolen by Lucy Christopher - I absolutely love love love this book and thought the author ended it really well. I couldn't stop thinking about the characters after, questioning the ending, and questioning how the psychological issues that were affecting the main character, were affecting me too while reading. 
  7. Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers - The girl was just so broken. I didn't cry but it was a hard read. I definitely had to go and give my dad a big hug afterwards. 
  8. Sisterhood Everlasting by Anne Brashares - ok after following the girls through four books, I was definitely attached to the characters. Was not prepared for what happened in this book. Especially the twist at the end. I loved it and hated it. And have decided to pretend I never read it. It's too sad to be true (well, as true as fiction can be). 
  9. The Book Thief by Markus Zusac - War. Family. Prisoners. Death. Books. OBVIOUSLY emotional. 
  10. What it Used to be Like by Maryann Burk Carver - Raymond Carvers life told by his first wife. I finished to book while at work and had to take an extra half an hour lunch break because I couldn't stop crying when I reached the end.