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Genius and Thievery!

16 Sep

Hi everyone! I have been super busy today, and still have a ton of homework to do before I head into school tomorrow. So, for today’s post I’m totally cheating and re-posting an awesome idea from Brigid’s blog My Life as a Teenage Novelist. After you read her awesome advice below go ahead and check out her site!

Fun with Wordle

Howdy, y’all!

So, if you don’t know what Wordle is, let me briefly explain how it works. It’s a nifty little website, where you can enter a bunch of text, and then it creates a “word collage” based on what you enter. The more frequently you use a certain word, the bigger it is in the collage. Fun, right?

But not only is it fun, it’s also a useful tool for writers––because it shows you what words you might be using too much.

For example, here’s what happened when I entered the entirety of my book UNRAVELING:

 
Uh wow, the word “like” is freakin’ HUGE! Same with the word “know” … and there are a lot of other words that are relatively large. 
 
Now, this is what happened when I entered six of my books at once:
 
 
The results are actually pretty much the same. Looks like no matter what I’m writing, I use a lot of the same words. Particularly “like” and “know,” for some reason.
 
Well, I take this as a sign that I should go back through my manuscripts and take out some of those words that I’m using way too much. 
 
So, my question of the day is: What are some words that you use too much? Have you ever used Wordle to find out––and if so, did the results surprise you?
Isn’t she a genius? Check out her site!
Re-posted from My Life as a Teenage Novelist
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They were the Hipsters before Hipsters.

15 Sep

Friend: “… and thats what a hipster is.”

Me:, “I’m sorry but you just described every writer I’ve ever known.”

The soap box is coming out folks because this whole ‘hipster’ business, it’s ridiculous. These people were totally are  just copying writers! They just made up a new name for writer and decided to be ‘deep’ out from behind a desk. Think about it.

People say hipsters are (for one) apathetic/lazy. That’s every stereotypical writers ever mentioned! All writers do is complain and laze about until they absolutely force themselves to write something down. They work in their pajamas for heaven sakes! It doesn’t get much worse than that.

Second of all hipsters read and then apply what they read to sound ‘deep’ and ‘philosophical’. W.R. I.T.E.R. Writer. All writers do is read and then pretend they have any clue at all about what they are read. Then they write it down slap a stamp on it and send it out to other people to absorb their genius!  Actually I can’t think of a group more apt to sit down with a stack of books, meditate on it, and then philosophically or ironically (another characteristic of hipsters) discuss them than writers.

Then you have the denial aspect of ‘hipster culture’. Anyone who is a hipster supposedly denies their hipsterness. HELLO!!! Writers have been doing that for eons before the word hipster swung around the block. You ask someone if they are a writer they will usually say “no, not really, I write but I’m definitely not a writer.” I rest my case.

Of course hipsters hang out in cafes and drink herbal tea and no one does that right? Uh no, not except writers! Writers have been lining Starbucks and every other teashop and coffee house in the nations pockets since cafes existed! In fact writers will sit there for hours and work in mysterious silence sipping their drinks till they go cold. Or even better letting them go cold next to them because they are just being so philosophical that they can’t pull themselves away from their screens. Top that hipsters!

And so, my dear readers let us give a round of applause to those who were hipsters before hipsters:

Lois Lowry (The Giver) Not only is she sporting an edgy non-mainstream hair cut ,but she’s also wearing over-sized glasses, a turtle neck, and she has a shelter dog with her. She is so much better than any hipster that It’s just unspeakable!

Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter) Flaunting his mustache. Wait people had facial hair before hipsters!? No way. O.o

Jane Austen… Sporting a vintage hat. That’s right hipsters she wore a hat before you!

I hope I have brought to everyone’s attention that hipsters a totally just copying writers! Any Hipster want to take that up with me? Or am I too philosophical for you?

 

*I really hope everyone took this as a joke about hipsters haha

 

3 Writer’s Essentials

14 Sep

Post: 4/17

I’m so tired from this week, and so I’m just going to be a bum and make a list for today’s post. 3 cheers for my level of motivation! So here are three writer’s essentials.

1.Post it Notes. Why? Because they are genius! You can stick them in your car/bag/locker/notebook/planner and darn near anywhere else and instantly be able to have a place to write down ideas! On top of that they are colorful and who doesn’t like colorful paper squares? Crazies, that’s who.

2. A Fancy Pen. I feel like all writers need at least one fancy pen. It makes you feel all professional, and on-top of that it might make you like editing! (Yeah that’s a lie.) Even if it doesn’t, at least you can carry it around and look like you know what your doing, because honestly I rarely do. It just makes you feel writerly!

3. A Comfortable desk chair. I only say this because my pretty staples desk chair( of 4 years) broke and so I’m using a fold-able right now and my back has no support. This is no condition to sit in folks, especially when you are falling asleep at your desk. I never realized until now how much I desperately need a good chair. Thus, you need one too. If you’re spending hours in that chair it better be good!

That is all. Continue about your day citizens.

 

My Feelings about Matched by Allie Condie

13 Sep

Post: 3/17

So Yesterday I wrote a post about books people love that I hate/hate that  I love. In that post I brought up the book Matched by Allie Condie, who you probably know got rave reviews and bunches of hype for her Matched series. I hated it and said as much. One of my readers asked why and I began to respond in a comment and then realized that it was much too long, and so you get what you see here today.

Where to begin with this…

I’m sorry, if you loved this book because I’m going to have to rip it to shreds right now. I apologize in advance.

To start off, the whole book just ticked me off because I love Lowis Lowry to death. I have read The Giver six times and it’s amazing and she’s amazing and… yeah. You get it right? So when I read Matched I wanted to go club whoever let it out of the slush pile because I saw so much of the work being dead on The Giver. It’s a society where your job/mate is choosen for you, the fact that you have to take ‘pills’ to suppress your natural emotions and sedate your brain. Anything half way decent in that book was ripped right out of the giver and then basted in Condie’s particular brand of bland.

Besides this ,Condie decided to spice things up with a little forbidden reading/books (*ehm* also from The Giver). The MC’s only redeeming quality is that she likes poetry but the reasons behind this rebellious behavior are hidden in the soup of Allie Condie’s pacing. For some reason she throws in Dylan Thomas’ poem “Do not go gentle into that good night” and okay I guess I get it (its a dystopian, the poems about not submitting to authority), but… just WHY? WHY! Why did you throw a piece of (really overused in the first place) literature. It was like throwing a pretty dress in the mud because you thought it’d make the mud look better. All you’re doing is ruining the dress.

On the same note with the fact that the poetry is completely irrelevant since we have no reason other than the MC’s grandfather’s death*(if i remember correctly) for her to like it  we equally have no reason for her to like Ky over Xander. It made less than zero sense to me! The only reason she starts to like Ky anyway is because the ‘society’ has a glitch in her Match card (that tells her about her match) and so it totally defeats the purpose of her rebelling since the idea came from the society in the first place! Besides that, why would Ky’s information even have been in the same pool to match with her if he was a lowly worker? It doesn’t make sense. There’s no way that the computer/matchers (or whoever matches people ,I forget how it happens) would have those two sets of data in the same place. So, yeah, GAPING PLOT HOLE!

Then when Ky and the MC do get together I just found the romance so BLAH. I didn’t really like Ky in the first place. Xander was obviously a better choice. Neither of them had much personality, but at least Xander was kind of happy go lucky! Then Ky is banished or sent away and the MC is all: boo hoo! Then the Peace keepers (or whoever the law enforcers are) come in and are like, “take these pills now!” and so she hides her pill and doesn’t take it. OOOOHHHHH rebellion! Not really, keep reciting your poetry dear.

Anyway I just really hated it and it made me beat my head against my desk and cry wondering how she got a million dollar contract for THAT.

Now, for those of you who loved the book, feel free to yell at me and tell me why I am wrong! I love a good debate 🙂

*The euthanization of old people, yeah, that’s from The Giver too. Just saying.

GoodReads is a Paradox

12 Sep

Post: 2/17

There are few things in life that consistently shock me over and over again. That incredibly short list has a large star next to finding out someone hates a book I love. It baffles me. How anyone could hate a book that I love t is just bizarre. You have to wonder what goes through their head as compared to yours. Is it even possible that someone could disdain a  piece of literature as much as you love it? It’s likely the most dysfunctional paradox ever.

The reason I bring this up is because my dearest bookish friend just finished FIRE by Kristin Cashore the other day. And oh my goodness I am absolutely in LOVE with that book. I love everything about it; the characters, the plot, the moral, the world building. It’s all simply genius and I was so excited to have my friend read it. It’s a beautiful piece of writing and I couldn’t wait to rave and rant about it with her when she was finished.

So, I decided to GoodReads creep today.

And what I found was astonishing. She’d finished the book… and she’d given it TWO STARS. TWO STARS! Was that even legal? I was sure she’d miss-clicked, but no, her review said she’d given it as much. When I asked her about it she just kind of waved it off, “It was alright” she said. And this is where I’m dumbfounded.

I just think it’s funny how one book, the SAME book can get such opposite reactions from two seemingly similar people. My bookish friend is indeed quit similar to myself. In fact we are often told that we are “the same person” (jokingly of course) it doesn’t help that we say things in unison at times or finish each others sentences. And it’s like that all across the board. People all have a varied reaction to every novel. Matched by Allie Condie for instance. FAILURE. JUST FAILURE if you ask me, but there were plenty of people who gave her a five-star review!

Why?

Because readers bring something to a novel that the author can never expect. An X factor that changes with each one. A readers past experiences, values, and knowledge, all effect how the book is read and in turn experienced and received. The reason people hate books you love or love books you hate is because they see something you don’t or don’t see something you do in the text. When people say it’s all about how you look at things they are right as rain.

This my friends, is why GoodReads is a Paradox.

So go ahead and tell me about books your friends hate and you love or vice versa!

17 Days of Posting to Come!

9 Sep

Hey all… oh… you aren’t here still? Crap! Could it be because I’ve locked up shop for sometime? It does look rather dusty about here, oh my… there goes a spider.

Sorry about my long absence guys. I know I say this every time I ditch you all (and I honestly don’t mean to… it’s more like drifting really) but life got in the way! I began school (junior year haza!) and am taking really ambitious classes… college classes. UGH. Dumb idea if you want to have a life. With school comes all the introductory club meetings (NHS, NAS, FBLA, Grace Kelly Girls, and the like)! So as you can see I’ve been busy.

But no more!

My birthday is coming up this month, September 28th to be exact. And in honor of my amazing ability to age another year I shall be posting and writing 17 days in a row leading up to my s17th birthday! *yeah Ally*

Please hold your breath so that I will feel guilty if I don’t post, because I wouldn’t want anyone to suffocate!

Anyway,  beginning Tuesday I will be back up and running with NI and catching up on everyone else’s blogs who I have missed! ( Gabb’s, Juan, I’m talking to you!) So if anyone else wants to toss in their hat onto blogs that I should frequently obsessively visit do so now.

I’m really excited to be back, I’ve been all antsy with the inability to write/blog lately and even now I can feel my stress level slipping down.

So as I was saying: TUESDAY, YOU, ME, this BLOG? It’s a date right? Good.

*commence breath holding*

Why I Left, and Why I’m back.

6 Jun

Wow, embarrassing this absence has been. (Yikes Yoda sounding! ) I think it’s time I explain myself.

So, it’s mostly because I was sacred. Scared out of my freakin’ mind. I was in a slump and a bad one at that. I have been for something like 3 months now.  I’d written scarcely anything and the longer I went without writing the more scared I got that I couldn’t do it. There was no way I could write, could get words on paper like I had before.

I spent every afternoon staring at a blank screen for at least ten minutes, and the closing it down. It was too empty. There wasn’t any way for me to fill that page, it would just swallow all my words up! 3 MONTHS… 3 MONTHS! I felt useless.

Then I would open WordPress, but I couldn’t write a post. How could I write a post to you all when I couldn’t even write a simple paragraph in Word? I can’t tell you how many drafts of posts I have piled up on here, 6 or 7 I think.  I would start one but I couldn’t finish. I felt like a hypocrite. Here I was trying to tell you all how to write, when somehow I wasn’t even a writer anymore.

Then yesterday, around 5PM I opened up word again. I began writing my new novel (forced myself too,no matter how bad I knew it would be), but something was wrong. I couldn’t get into that ‘writing groove’ you know the one. The one where once you find it you can just roll along indefinitely in it, with words flying everywhere. So, instead of closing down that document I opened up some old files. I went through the second draft of Before This Ends as it now stands (unfinished), then I stumbled around some other files until I found last years NaNoWriMo disaster Ablaze (an unfinished first draft that involves phoenixes, fire, and castles). And suddenly I got that shine in my eye. I could feel it.

This piece that I’d given up on, it wasn’t so bad. Actually, it was… dare I say, kind of good ( in a first drafty way of course)? So, I started. I had left off right in the middle of a conflict. I don’t remember what pulled me away, but I just started and then I was going, just going. I didn’t want to stop. It was like all the writing had built up in me and I was just flying away at the keys. Why had I thought this was going to be hard?

Granted my writing skills are a bit rusty, but a little elbow grease and a couple thousand words can fix that! So yesterday I pumped out something like 4,000 words and am quite happy with myself. Yeah Ally! You aren’t in the writing pit of despair anymore.

My point: Novel Ideas will be getting better because I no longer feel like a hypocrite. See, I’m writing this post right now! :)) So for those of you reading this (if there are any left… haha) thank you so, so, SOOOO much for sticking with me. You will never know what your support means to me.

And for those of you in a writerly slump. Believe me when I say I understand, and it WILL get better.

 

Update:

When I published this post this is the quote WordPress gave me:

The desire to write grows with writing.

-Desiderius Erasmus

Ironic.