Always Learning

The Mind is a Wonderful Thing

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Hey guys!

January is almost over, less than two weeks left and I realized I hadn’t posted yet this month. A once-a-month posting schedule, I think, should be good, yeah? I may post more, but once a month is guaranteed. I said this last month, but I think it’s good to reiterate. For as well as for me.

Anyway! Onto the meat.

Your mind is wonderful! It’s what produces your ideas. It’s working on your ideas even when you sleep. And you know what I’ve found out this month? The more you write, the more you want to write. The more ideas you get. The more ideas you get, the more you want to write, therefore the more you write.

It’s a wonderful, wonderful cycle. Take advantage of it.

How do I know this? It’s happening to me. I’ve been writing this month. A lot. Not as much as I would like. But more than I was doing before my chat with S.M. Boyce last month.

Though I didn’t write over the weekend (weekends are difficult because I work ten hour shifts on Saturday and Sunday), I wanted to. And once I post this, I will be back at it again.

One more thing that I’ve noticed. Since I’ve begun writing again, I don’t get stressed out at either of my (2) jobs as much. I’m not sure how much sense this will make, but it seems as though Writing is my job, while what pays the bills is a non-important side thing. This could just be me, but if you can get yourself in the mindset that Writing is your REAL job, maybe that’ll help?

It certainly will keep you going through the rough patches.

Writing isn’t all sunshine and daisy’s, but that doesn’t mean you should stop,

Cheyenne

Bad Books

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…well, that’s a bad title, but it’s accurate.

I was indecisive between that title and “Still Learning…”

So, I finished another set of books recently. These were… Eh… not so good. It was the Aberrant trilogy by Ruth Silver.

Now before you get the idea in your head that this is a post with me bagging on her and saying the books are bad, they’re not. I mean… not really. I like the story, it’s why I read all three books. However, the story-telling is… well, I wouldn’t have held back had I been a beta reader. I’ll list some of the problems I had with the books, and ways you (and I) can hopefully avoid making them.

Episodic

Now, if you’ve read as many “How-To” books on writing as I have… you’ll have come across this term.

It refers to when events in a book don’t flow organically from point A to B to C.

The way to fix this, is to make sure Point A CAUSES Point B, and so forth.

Flat, Two-Dimensional Characters

You know what these are. The characters who are just there. They don’t change, they don’t learn, they just DO. And they grind at you like no other when you’re reading. Honestly, I cared more about the six-year old child than I did for the two 18 year-old main characters.

Hell the Female Main Character almost felt like a Mary Sue. And the male a Gary Stu. Mary Sue’s are easy to write, because they’re basically a blank slate. The reader imagines THEMSELVES to be the Main Character. It’s good for fooling readers. Not so good when your readers are also writers.

Simple way to fix this. Give your characters dimensions. Short-term goals, long-term goals, goals not related to the Main Plot. Likes, dislikes, idiosyncrasies.  Many things that Ruth Silver’s characters didn’t have.

Unclear Writing

Reading her writing was… almost painful, in certain areas. Let me see if I can find an example.  Here’s a good one. It’s from Isaura, the third book in the trilogy. I’ll type the short passage, and then explain my issue(s) with it.

I tried to think. Tried to reason where Craynor would go. We’d destroyed his home. He wouldn’t be stupid enough to travel back to Genesis. I doubted he had a vehicle, unless he commandeered one in Torv. The nearest town to Torv was Haven. It had been destroyed months ago, and though I hadn’t been back there, I couldn’t fathom that anything remained standing. Maybe I should consider checking it out.

“How?” I shook my head in confusion. He wasn’t one of the representatives of Torv. He was my father.

“You’re asking for volunteers, right?”

Now, aside from the poor writing over all, which I’m not going to get into, before in this scene, there has been no indication that the MC is anything but alone. Then suddenly, her dad is there talking to her. Things like this happen continuously in the books. Also, another similar thing, often she’ll skip weeks or even months, without even a scene break. Just… new paragraph, seven months later. Dun-dun! Like it’s no big deal.

Oooh.. and exclamation points. Gah! Just don’t use them. She didn’t use them THAT much, but she even used them in the narrative. I mean, Jesus. Honestly, they’re not needed. Surrounding sentences/words and the scene itself should lend enough to the tone to know when something has an understood exclamation point.

Anyway

I think that’s enough of my harping about what is (in my opinion) sub par writing. Like I said though, I enjoyed the books because of the story and the idea behind it, if the execution was somewhat lacking.

Also, do you have any idea what a huge kick in the pants it is when you read something and go “That’s just bad.” Because there’s that part of your mind (well, my mind anyway) that goes “Well how many books do you have published?