Today, for their Road Trip Wednesday question for bloggers, YA Highway asked: If you could be reincarnated as any fictional character, which would it be?
What about regenerated instead?
I've been waiting a long time for the BBC to bring in a female timelord, and I guess I'm stepping up to the theoretical plate now. Because if I could be anyone, anyone at all, you can bet I want to be the alien who can travel through time and space.
Now I can't wait to see what everyone else picks, especially if I'm going to be joined in the TARDIS by a few other timelords-to-be!
Roan, a regular commenter and member of the forum, left a compelling question there today that I felt needed it's own blog post:
If you could be transported to the world of Pokemon (any platform, any generation), which place/region, and with which Pokemon?
That's right, guys. We're having a POKEMON post. Because I love Pokemon and so do all the cool people in the world.
Here's Roan answer, which I thought was wonderfully inventive and strategic:
I'd choose an Igglybuff that would come to me as an egg so I can breed it myself, and the region I'd like to explore the most would be the Orange Islands.
And mine, which was much less original:
Pokemon Yellow [the Gameboy Colour game from the same generation as Red and Blue] was my first and favourite, so I'd have to pick Kanto with Pikachu. After beating the Elite Four, I'd use the money to buy a falling-down little place outside of Lavender Town. I'd head into the city to buy cakes and tea regularly as well as to catch up on events, freaking out the townspeople because I have a freakin' Mewtwo with me.
And now, of course, I want to know your answer! So drop it in the comments. :D
I'm back online! But only for fleeting moments, alas, as we prepare for our trip to Glasgow to see Avenue Q! Excitement!
Our regularly scheduled reviewing hijinks should resume in a week or so. =)
Today, for their Road Trip Wednesday feature, YA Highway asked: What's the best book you've read this month?
I just have to given this to my critique partner's manuscript which kept me reading away during my internetless week. When it's eventually published, I will tell everyone I know about it, because it is awesome.
Last but not least, have a funny and honest video about female armor as seen in video games, fantasy movies and the likes.
Hello Emma! I am in the middle of yor first book, and I have to say it is very interesting. I'm in the middle of writing my own novel, Im 14 and I've been writing mini stories also since I was around 10 also. I would like to have some tips from you on how to keep moving foward and what happens if you get writers block? Big Fan!
Experiencing a 'block' - when you can't think of what to do next or when everything you try to doesn't feel right - is part and parcel of any creative career, from writing to music and art. Sometimes it lasts a day, sometimes it can last months. Sometimes you'll get it once or twice, sometimes every other day.
It sucks, but there are a few ways to get through it. Here are my Golden Rules for Avoiding Writer's Block.
Keep At It - There's this little thing called the 'inner critic' that most authors have. It's good in small amounts - being overly egotistical can ruin your work - but it usually comes in large amounts, which is when we need to switch it off.
When you're writing a novel the first step is getting it done. It's a big project, and if you're stopping to change things around, to edit and re-edit your opening and ideas, to fix up continuity and perfect that one troublesome paragraph, you're going to get bogged down and you will grind to a halt. If you find yourself getting stuck perfecting it all, just stop and keep on going.
If you're not happy with a scene, mark it and leave it. Get the first draft done, and then you can go back and start working on making it perfect. If you don't finish the first draft that perfect opening chapter won't be much use.
Mix It Up - If your chapter just isn't working out, skip to a scene that does work. When I'm working on a novel, I try to keep it linear, but if I get stuck I'll start fleshing out that future moment that I know is going to be awesome. In the process, sometimes I'll figure out something about the characters that'll make that section easier to complete - either way, I'll be one step closer to the finish line.
In a more extreme example, I used to have a habit of switching projects entirely - so I'd be working on entirely different stories at the same time. If this works for you, go for it. I do it sparsely now because it slows down my progress and can get confusing, but it was fun for a while. One thing to watch out for is that, if you're enjoying a side project a lot more than your main work, sometimes it can be better just to put your current piece inside and write what you'll properly enjoy.
There's also switching mediums - I like to sketch out character designs and key scenes to break up the writing, but the more musically inclined might like to create their own soundtrack for their works.
Be Inspired - Take some time off and read some books, watch TV and movies, play video games and listen to music. Getting a good experience of what's out there, what works and what your enjoy is essential to understanding how creativity works, and will help shape you into a good writer (as long as you don't let it drain away all your time, I had to cut down on TV and gaming to have more productive hours). Not to mention going out there and being social - things like having a good ear for dialogue and writing convincing characters mean going out there and understanding how people work, and how they interact.
If you get ideas for your story from all of this, all the better. Plagiarism (lifting stories and ideas straight from other sources) is a no-go if you want any kind of success as a writer, but giving your own spin on concepts is what this career is all about. Writer's don't just pluck ideas out of the air - it's a bit more like cataloging everything you see, hear or experience and using it to understand how to make characters and stories, before shaping it into your own ones.
Personally, I like to listen to songs with a relation to my work and play through scenes in my head that match the music - I get a lot of very visual ideas doing that. I'll also watch some TV shows with similar themes, or read books related to the idea. Right now I've got I've got a big reference book on religious mythology to leaf through, and I've been reading some Stephen King for some help with writing clean, believable first-person narrative.
Last but not least, relax. There's no such thing as permanent writer's block, or 'losing' your talent. Maybe you're just pushing yourself too hard, or there are some other factors in your life that are getting in your way - stress and illness can wreck your creativity, as odd as that may seem. Spend some time with friends and family and take some time off, it'll all come back to you soon enough.
This question was asked anonymously on my Formspring, but it deserves a full answer...
In the event of zombie outbreak - what's the plan?
Okay, so my current place of residence, the lovely seaside town of Nairn, is awesome in a zombie outbreak. It's got a reasonable enough population to handle a mass outbreak and is isolated from any major cities by a fair stretch of fields or ocean.
If a zombie outbreak started, it would probably infect the major cities before hitting the Highlands, and that might alter the order of events a bit, but when it reached my plan would go like this...
- Grab weapons. There's a butchers nearby, and quite often construction work, and if they're worth their salt they'll have massive knives and chains in the butchers and lots of heavy construction equipment on the street. And hopefully chainsaws, because everyone needs chainsaws.
- My house is down an alley, so it's reasonably easy to barricade off. If possible I'd detonate an arch at it's top to block things off with rubble, but off not I'd resort to a good old-fashioned 'thrown anything in a huge pile' barricade. Maybe start with the chicken coop, or grab some of the many abandoned sofas that end up by the river.
- It's also off the High Street, so if we're assuming the High Street is overrun by zombies and unusable without a bit of risk (and the Streetscape is probably still ongoing, so if you didn't grab one of those huge drills then all those big gaping holes won't be helping) then I can probably just sideways through the back alleys and into the back doors of shops to loot supplies.
- Now armed with weapons, food, and other survival supplies (hopefully an electric generator!) I'd have to completely secure the rest of the alley, then the house, then block off the entire ground floor and hole up in the loft.
- Should the undead still make their way through, there's still a nice opportunity for escape out of the loft onto the roof, and from there onto other roofs and eventually to the ground, and maybe even to a vehicle.
So basically my plan revolves around defending, defending, defending and hoping for rescue. Which isn't the best plan if rescue never happens, but I guess I'm an optimist? I know a few people with more exciting offensive strategies who'll hopefully stop by with a comment.
Do you see any flaws in my plan?
If your hometown was suddenly overrun with zombies, what would you do?
Leave a comment and tell us!
Interview's up at the Brownville Herald. xD
Surprising lack of quote-mangling in this one, except for the VIRTUAL DRAGINZ that appeared because the journalist didn't like my on description of things: "Usually, if I’m asked about Dragon Tamers, I blush and force the questioner to change the topic - but this is an interview, so I guess I can’t pull that one off. I’d want it to sound as cool as possible, so I’d probably tell them something really dramatic and exciting, like… “It’s about a universe evolving out of control, and the lost souls who get caught up in the collapse of reality and thrown into a fantasy world. They new purpose in life is to escape this video-game based world with their lives intact, fighting against monsters of all kinds in a messed up new world - but on the bright side, they’ve got dragons on their side.”"
YOUR FACE, BROWNSVILLE. :P
I did like how I got to end the article, though. :3 *happy dance* I GET THE LAST WORLD, HAHAHAHA. And I was kind of surprised my vicious 'god no' to the 'next JK' label was left unedited, rofl.
The interview used, in it's raw uncut 'I did this at 8am with no sleep' glory is below if you haven't already read it.
THAT IS ALL :D
Just for you guys, an interview for the Brownsville Herald, unedited and reaching your eyes a week in advance. It was an article about the next JK Rowling, which isn't usually a good match for me since I tend to groan at the mention of Ms Rowling's name in comparison to me, but hey... it was a good interview, I hope the answer's don't get too badly ruined in editing, haha. I feel bad about having to voice my dislike for Paolini, though. I have this fear he will find out and hunt me down, at which point I will discover he's actually a pretty cool person apart from the intent to kill me. :P
And even though it's no interest to you, this interview is reaching you at 7.15am and I haven't slept. Sleep is for sane people, after all.
When did you decided to start writing?
I've been writing stories ever since I learned how, early on in school. It had always been short stories I'd worked on, though - it was only around 2001 that I started seriously considering writing a novel.
When did you decided to start writing?
I never really 'decided' to write at any point, it was just something I'd always done and deeply enjoyed doing. I'd spend so much free time on it, racing through classwork just to find free time to write in. I know why I write, though - since I was very young, I've had books affect my life, keeping me smiling. When I started writing, my aim was simply to make people smile through what I wrote... though nowadays, I'm a much darker person, and my aims when writing aren't only to make people happy, but to affect the reader's emotions in any way I can.
How did you come up with your idea?
If I knew where my ideas came from, they'd probably be a lot less fun to be struck by. They just come at me out of nowhere - there will be ideas hinted at in movies, comics, songs or random conversations that I'll like and run with, like virtual reality. Or I'll just find a starting point and go anywhere from there. I don't even try to figure out how it all works now, I've sort of accepted there are parts of my head I'm never going to understand.
If you were talking to someone who never heard of Dragon Tamers, how would you describe the book?
Usually, if I'm asked about Dragon Tamers, I blush and force the questioner to change the topic - but this is an interview, so I guess I can't pull that one off. I'd want it to sound as cool as possible, so I'd probably tell them something really dramatic and exciting, like... "It's about a universe evolving out of control, and the lost souls who get caught up in the collapse of reality and thrown into a fantasy world. They new purpose in life is to escape this video-game based world with their lives intact, fighting against monsters of all kinds in a messed up new world - but on the bright side, they've got dragons on their side."
When did you publish each book? How old were you at the time?
The first book was released in 2004, when I was thirteen, and before long demand required over 50,000 copies of it to be printed; the second came along six months later and a year older. It meant growing up far too fast, and the pressures of it almost killed me, but it was worth it.
What do you think about people calling you "the next JK Rowling" or calling your book "the next Harry Potter"? Do you like that idea, or does it bother you? Why?
God, I loathe that title. Writing is about originality, not how many big names you get compared to. Aside from that, the book's nothing close to Harry Potter in content, and my style is in no way influenced by Rowling. I respect her work, and the fame it's gathered is amazing - but the comparison paints the writing career under as one of fame and riches, and that couldn't be further from the harsh reality of the field. But I'm still going to be buying the last book the day it's out, and hiding in my room so nobody can spoil the ending before I finish it.
What do you think about being compared to Eragon?
Nobody's actually compared me to Eragon to my face, which is probably for the best. I'd never heard about the series and the author until I was given the book at a singing, so comparisons get shot down on the spot - and I've heard too many tales about Paolini's attitude towards readers to be comfortable being compared to him. That said, I'll probably end up meeting him at some point and having all my reservations about him proven false, but I'll keep ahold of them until that time comes.
What do you hope to do next?
Right now, I'm working on a wide variety of novels, to prove to my fanbase that I deserved all the support they've given me and showcase the my vastly improved writing skills. After I've left school, I'm planning to get out and explore the world. Ideally, I'd like to do that traveling in support of my books - for instance, I'd love a chance to prove myself in America, I've never been there in my life and the scope of my plans would work well over there. All I know is, the future is going to be fantastic - I'll be doing what I've always done: fighting to bring my ideas to life and introduce some insane, exciting things to this world, and enjoying life.