NaNoWriMo: The Inevitable Explanation

Sunday, 16 November 2014

I knew this was coming, you knew this was coming, everyone knew this was coming. So I won't say I've given up, because that's not true (well it sort of is). I've chucked NaNoWriMo basically. Wow what a surprise. But let me explain.

I've never been a particularly fast writer. That's to say, when I get going I can go for thousands of words, but when I'm not feeling it, I'm not going to be able to write more than 500 words. And what with school work and hanging out with friends (because no matter how much I love and need to write I'm not sacrificing my education and social life for it), I wasn't making the word count. And the visual of being hundreds and eventually thousands of words behind became a massive deterrent for me. I don't want to force myself to do something when it's not bringing me as much happiness as I originally thought.

However, I am going to continue writing my novel. For some reason, this idea is one I've really latched on to and can see myself writing for some months to come. I'm going to continue with my mindset; of write and don't look back. But I'm not going to feel pressured into writing 1,667 words every single day because honestly I don't have the time and writing until midnight everyday was not good for my health.

So the blogging schedule should be back to normal for now. Although I've hit a bit of a reading slump (oops).

Good luck to everyone who's still going strong!

NaNoWriMo Update

Saturday, 8 November 2014

So NaNoWriMo has been going on just over a week, and well, I may be behind on my word count, but this is pretty much the longest I've been committed to writing one single piece of work and surprisingly my enthusiasm hasn't dropped. I'm pessimistic by nature, but I've taken a different approach this year that's stopped me from getting frustrated and giving up. Usually I try write the best I can all the way through, but that's exhausting and leads to me criticising my work so much so that I end up hating it. But now I'm just writing. Just typing out as much as I can in the hopes that I'll finish on time.

My current word count stands at; 8,836 words which isn't bad for someone like me who can so easily be distracted. I worked out that I need to write 1,871 words per day to finish on time which isn't astronomical especially considering that I went out last night after school so didn't write at all yesterday, nor on Tuesday.

And actually as I'm writing this I should be typing up more of my novel. If anyone would like to add me my username is; restless5oul.

Good luck my fellow writers!

Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

About the Book:
Title: We Were Liars
Author: E. Lockhart
Series: N/A
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Age Range: 15+
Publication Date: 15th May 2014
Pages: 225 pages
Publisher: Hot Key Books

We are liars.
We are beautiful and privileged.
We are cracked and broken.
A tale of love and romance.
A tale of tragedy.
Which are lies?
Which is truth?
You decide.

This is going to be a fairly short review, mainly because I just do not want to spoil anything for you. I feel like anything I say will reveal something, and boy am I so glad I wasn't spoiled before I read this. It's been so long since I've been that floored by an ending (actually, I had about three possible endings that I thought might be true but I was still so shocked), but now I think back to the book it seems so obvious; the clues are everywhere. I totally get why, frustrating as it is, people tell you to go in blind. You have to. You just have to. I feel so satisfied with it, honestly I know all the details about the plot are vague but just do it. 

You should know that I give out 5 star reviews quite a lot, and I gave one for this because I feel like I would be doing the intelligence and skill in this book a disservice if I didn't. The only criticism I had was that the protagonists annoyed me some of the time, I won't say more than that. Just know that I wasn't a massive fan. It wasn't enough to stop me from reading it; the need to know what happened is just that strong. All I have to say is read this book. And read it now.

November Schedule: NaNoWriMo and More

Sunday, 2 November 2014

So November is here and we're getting closer to Christmas! Yay! However November is also National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo and this year I will be participating. I've tried in the past but I have a pretty good idea this year and a better attitude towards it too. But this means it takes up a lot of my free time, so my blogging schedule will have to change.

This month the only features on my blog will be:

Top Ten Tuesday (only if the topic grabs me)
Reviews (though I won't be reading as much)
And Let's Talks (if I have a burst of rage/enthusiasm)

I will however try to post updates on my NaNoWriMo (if I stick at it that is) when I need breaks.
Good luck to anyone else participating!

Review: The King's Curse by Philippa Gregory

Saturday, 1 November 2014

About the Book:
Title: The King's Curse
Author: Philippa Gregory
Series: The Cousin's War Series
Genre: Historical, Adult
Age Range: 15+
Publication Date: 14th August 2014
Pages: 604 pages (hardback)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

As an heir to the Plantagenets, Margaret is seen by the King's mother as a powerful threat to the Tudor claim to the throne. She is buried in marriage to a Tudor supporter - Sir Richard Pole, governor of Wales - and becomes guardian to Arthur, the young Prince of Wales, and his beautiful bride, Katherine of Aragon.  But Margaret's destiny, as cousin to the queen, is not for a life in the shadows. Tragedy throws her into poverty and only a royal death restores her to her place at young Henry VIII's court where she becomes chief lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine. There she watches the dominance of the Spanish queen over her husband and her tragic decline. Amid the rapid deterioration of the Tudor court, Margaret must choose whether her allegiance is to the increasingly tyrannical Henry VIII or to her beloved queen. Caught between the old and the new, Margaret must find her own way, concealing deep within her the knowledge that an old curse cast upon all the Tudors is slowly coming true...

Anyone that knows me will know that I am a huge Philippa Gregory fan, so really it's no surprise that I loved this book. I know she's not popular with everyone because of the liberties she takes with history, but who on earth reads historical fiction for facts? I don't take her word as gospel truth by any means, I just think she has a remarkable gift for quite literally bringing history to life; her style of writing means I can visualise everything so perfectly in my mind. Of course not everyone will feel this way, her style just happens to suit me very well.

Lady Margaret Pole is an historical figure who's point of view is simply fascinating to read from; not just because of her character but also because she sees so much. Albeit from the sidelines mostly, it's still refreshing to get yet another point of view on events such as the break with Rome, the fall of Anne Boleyn and the rise of Jane Seymour. Margaret herself is a great character, she's a lot older than most of the protagonists I read about but that hardly mattered, she's ambitious (though she'd never admit it), shrewd and stubbornly loyal. Loyal to the point of almost recklessness that threatens to destroy her whole family. Other characters in this book quickly became some of my favourites; Mary Tudor (who Gregory hasn't written an awful lot on) has a prominent role in this book and is written in exactly the way I expect and love, her son; Henry/Montague Pole was one of my favourites of the entire novel (though weirdly Margaret preferred Geoffrey, for reasons I will never understand) and of course my old favourite; Katherine of Aragon. I also liked the little snippet of Elizabeth of York we got, though she isn't in it much I like her despite her perhaps meek portrayal in The White Princess.

The overlap with the other books is one of my favourite things about this novel, it really bridges the gap between her Cousin's War series and the Tudor Court novels. The events of The Constant Princess were just as painful this time around, and I found it really interesting to read the events of The Other Boleyn Girl from someone quite removed from the story and on the opposing side. Once again I am quite disappointed with Gregory's portrayal of Jane Seymour who is possibly my favourite of the six wives, of course it could be Margaret's biased opinion but if I had to pick a fault that would definitely be it. But overall the plot in this book is really quite good. There's a strong sense of intrigue and danger to her position that is only really brought to the forefront because Margaret is so aware of how delicate her position is, and the later portion of the book really is quite heartbreaking, though it has it's tragic moments throughout.

I'm not really surprised that I absolutely loved this book. Margaret perhaps isn't my favourite protagonist of Gregory but the way this book has written really outshines a couple of her others; it's well paced and exciting, and I've always loved the way that she explores the possibilities of certain historical rumours/legends were they true (such as the curse of the Tudors, funnily enough). Although it doesn't make for the most accurate book it definitely gets the reader thinking. Another solid effort from my queen of historical fiction!

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