There’s no right or wrong way to write a book (OK maybe that’s not true because I think what I’m doing now, which is not writing at all, is the wrong way to write a book) but everyone has a different way of going about it. There are people who plan every chapter and character, and people who start writing with nothing more than an idea and a blank Word document.
Those are the two extremes, you may be a mix of the two (which is where I think I am). This post isn’t to discuss the right and wrong ways to plan a WIP (like I said I don’t think there is a wrong way), but in the run up to NaNoWriMo I want to talk more about writing and WIPs to help me get my head back in the game.
Plotting and Planning a WIP
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I’ve spoken a lot (a lot a lot) in the past about all the bookish tropes I hate. In fact if you’ve been following me long enough you’re probably already aware of a few of the tropes I can’t stand; insta-love, love triangles (unless they’re done right and honestly how often does that happen?), and girl hate are the main three.
However while there are tropes I can’t stand, and it’s the same for everyone, there are plenty of tropes out there I can’t get enough of. I talk so much about the tropes I can’t stand but I rarely talk about the tropes I love and why it is I love them so much.
Why I Love Bookish Tropes.
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I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the best at including trigger warnings in my reviews, but I’m trying to be better at it because it’s so important that readers are aware of the dangerous parts of certain books that could make their reading experience an uncomfortable one. Granted I don’t know if it’s possible to encompass everything that could be a trigger, but I guess that’s what the rest of the review is for.
The only thing is, how do you include trigger warnings that count as spoilers? Sometimes the part of the book that could trigger someone happens at the end, or it’s what the story and character development have been building up to, and for someone who isn’t triggered it would ruin the book. How do you navigate that dilemma?
Why Trigger Warnings are Really Important
Fair warning; I talk a fair bit about topics that could be considered triggering in this post, mainly suicide.
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There are a lot of expectations when it comes to book to film or TV adaptations. We spend so long imagining the story, the characters, and the world in our minds that sometimes it can be a disappointment when we see it on the big screen and it’s not all we’d hoped it would be. There are exceptions, The Book Thief and Stardust are two of mine, but I feel like there are far more disappointments out there.
I’ll be one of many talking about movie adaptations I’ve hated, or about new book editions with the film poster as the cover which I can’t stand, but there are positive for every book to film/TV adaptation even the terrible ones (here’s looking at you, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief).
Why I Love Book to Film/TV Adaptations (Even the Terrible Ones)
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When it comes down to it we can’t all love the same books, and even the most hyped up releases, the incredible stories people seem to see nothing but positive reviews for, will have a few negative reviews here and there. We all like different things, we all take the books we read in different ways, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Personally I don’t mind reading negative reviews for books I’ve enjoyed. Even if I’ve really loved a certain book or series it doesn’t mean I expect everyone to, and just the fact that someone else hasn’t enjoyed my favourite book doesn’t mean I then enjoy it any less (OK, there are a few exceptions but I’ll go into them a little later). Does that mean though I don’t worry about expressing my opinion when I’ve not enjoyed a book everyone seems to love? No, it doesn’t.
Do You Ever Feel Nervous about Posting a Negative Review?
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Part of being a book blogger, it seems, is having a TBR list so long that you doubt you’ll ever be able to conquer it. There are plenty of different things that make us add books to our TBR list, but before we know it we’ve marked hundreds, maybe even thousands, as ‘to-read’.
From amazing series that have been out in the world for a few years to new releases with insane hype surrounding them there are so many books out there, and most of them end up on our TBR list and soon forgotten about. That’s when the question becomes how do you keep on top of all those books, because if you’re anything like me you’ve forgotten what you’ve added and have tried to mark books as ‘to-read’ more than once.
How Do You Manage Your TBR List?
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When I write my reviews I split them into parts, focusing on the different aspects that make up the story; the plot, the characters, and for sci-fi and fantasy books the setting. It’s not something I look for in contemporary books, but seeing as I mainly pick up fantasy releases the setting is really important to me.
If I go back to why I read in the first place one of the reasons is to escape, and I can’t do that if I’m constantly being dragged out of the story because the world building is too flat. For me, for a book to get more than a three stars rating, it needs to have an incredibly developed world, one that I can fall into, lose myself in.
Why World Building is So Important to me in the Books I Read.
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There’s no denying it, books are really expensive. For a hardcover edition of a new release I’ll be paying anywhere between £10 and £15 and while it’s slightly better for paperback releases, I’ll only pay £5 or £7 for paperback editions, when you consider all the new releases we rave about in our blogs, all the new releases we can’t wait for, it adds up.
I spend a lot of money on books, most of us do, but there are lot of other things our pay checks have to go towards, and books are more of a luxury than anything else. But when you’re blog hopping you see book hauls or monthly recaps from people who have managed to buy tons of books and you just wonder ‘how?’ Well, I do at least.
Do You Feel You Have to Buy Books to be a “Good” Blogger?
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A little while back I did a Top Ten Tuesday post talking about my favourite morally grey characters, and a lot of the comment and responses I got from other bloggers were talking about how their favourite characters weren’t the heroes of their favourite books, but the anti heroes.
And I’m the same. While I loved characters like Ezra in Illuminae, or Kell in A Darker Shade of Magic, I always preferred scenes with AIDAN in, or learning more about Holland’s past. I sometimes enjoyed reading about the morally grey characters more than reading about the heroes, and the more I thought about it the more I wondered why.
What is it About Anti Heroes we Love So Much?
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We’ve all done this, I know I’m guilty of it, and maybe they’re not so much lies as they are best intentions gone awry but it soon becomes a habit. Now, for me, these have become phrases that have practically no meaning anymore because of how many times they just haven’t been true.
After all, despite me saying a book is next on my to read list I normally never get around to it next, possibly the pitfalls of being a mood reader, and despite me going into bookshops or looking through Amazon with the intention of just looking, not buying anything at all, more often than not I come out with at least one brand new book if not more.
The Little White Lies Bookworms Tell
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