My writing: an introduction

Hello everyone!

Like a lot of readers, I am also a big fan of writing my own stuff, and I definitely want to talk about both writing and reading on my blog so I thought I’d start with an introduction before I throw you in the deep end with my ramblings.

I have two main types of writing I do: fiction and poetry.

I have always wanted to write a book, and it is one of my dreams to have a novel published. I always have loads of random ideas swirling around my head, as well as my phone notes which are full of random words and sentences which popped into my head, and when I found out about National Novel Writing Month 2019 (NaNoWriMo) I impulsively decided to start writing the YA fantasy novel that had been hanging around my head for a couple of months. I unadvisedly decided to do this the day before NaNoWriMo started, with literally just a couple of plot points, one character and a vague sense of the world. I did the young writers challenge and set my goal as 30,000 words in November, which sounds like a lot and honestly, I’m still shocked that I completed it!

NaNoWriMo is great, and I would highly recommend it if you just want to take the plunge and start writing, but you feel like something has been holding you back. For me, I basically built the world, characters and plot as I went along. This was good in some ways, since I wasn’t worrying over whether I was sticking to a non-existent plan, but definitely had some downsides since I kept (and keep) forgetting details and what I had named my characters. I set myself the goal of writing about 1000 words a day. Some days I wrote more, and some days I wrote less but it averaged out and I completed my goal. One of my main motivations was the goal count bar chart on the homepage of the NaNoWriMo website, which allowed me to track my progress in a very satisfying way. It had lots of other features as well, but I mainly focused on inputting my word count each day.

After NaNoWriMo ended I kept writing, albeit a lot less. It’s very hard to find time every day to write, especially around Christmas! In the new year I returned to sixth form college and since I have the habit of spending lots of time in the library, I started writing a bit more again. I had no idea where my first novel was going to end, but I came to realise my ideas were certainly not going to fit in one book. On Friday (January 31st) I finished my first draft, realising that my story had come to a natural conclusion in its first part. I now have a first draft of 73,000 words, so the next step will be editing. I’m going to leave it for a week to give myself a modicum of objectivity, then print it out and begin the edits. Scary. That pretty much sums up my novel’s journey so far, apart from that short interlude a few weeks ago when I had a great idea for a different novel and spent a couple of days noting it down, before forcing myself to return to the first story because I was so close to the end it would be ridiculous to stop now.

So, what about poetry? I am a big fan of poetry, especially as I’ve gotten older. My favourite type of poetry is probably haikus, mixed with spoken word poetry. My favourite poetry is either on nature, or social issues such as being LGBTQ+, feminism and diet culture. I used to write poetry whenever inspiration struck, but I wanted to get into a more regular poetry writing habit, so I now write a haiku every evening, just to keep myself going. This does mean that some of them are completely terrible and will never see the light of day. My poetry tends to be very personal, written with lots of emotions especially when I’m sad or angry.

To conclude, I like writing. Thank you for reading about my writing, and I hope it was interesting. If you have any questions or queries about writing or reading or anything feel free to email me or get in touch over social media, and I would love to hear what kind of writing other people do!

January 2020 Round-up

Happy January Everyone!

I can’t believe that January has gone by so quickly! It seems crazy we’re already a month into 2020, with only 11 to go when it seems like Christmas was yesterday. I’ve read 26 books this month and I’ve definitely got lucky- I’ve enjoyed every single one of them! There’s been a good mixture of fiction from authors new and old as well as some nonfiction, mainly medical because that’s one of my favourite nonfiction genres.

I’ve also done some writing, by which I mean I realised that I needed to finish my first novel there and put the rest in a second novel, then realised that it’s now a bit limp because it doesn’t have the rest of the plot so  I need to do something about that. And right as I was about to finish the novel I came up with a new idea for another novel and got side-tracked, so am now in a bit of a writing-related mess.

So, without further ado I am going to give my top 5 books of January 2020, in NO PARTICULAR ORDER because choosing an order might kill what’s left of my sanity and lead to me being a mad, reclusive bookworm. Or more accurately a madder, more reclusive bookworm.

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

What I liked about it: the unique format, gripping action and fast pace

What I didn’t like about it: my local library does not have the sequel

My favourite character: Hanna, a rich girl turned badass

Position in series: 2/3

Genres: sci-fi, young adult, fiction

Wool by Hugh Howey

What I liked about it: well thought out world building, lots of plot twists, every detail enriches the story in some way

What I didn’t like about it: too big to easily carry around

My favourite character: Jules, an all around legend and mechanics genius

Position in series: 1/3

Genres: sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, fiction

Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

What I liked about it: rich culture, awesome magic, vivid characters

What I didn’t like about it: the sequel hasn’t even been announced yet

My favourite character: Zelie, a magic wielding, realistic emotioned maji

Position in series: 1/3

Genres: young adult, fantasy, fiction

This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

What I liked about it: genuinely funny, well explained, honest and emotional

What I didn’t like about it: the lack of funding to the NHS, which is amazing

My favourite character: Adam, an ex-doctor

Position in series: standalone

Genres: nonfiction, medical, autobiography

For the Winner by Emily Hauser

What I liked about it: stunning setting descriptions, epic depiction of Ancient Greece and mythology, strong female character

What I didn’t like about it: nothing. Please write more Emily Hauser.

My favourite character: Atalanta, a bow wielding, powerful princess of Ancient Greece

Position in series: 2/3

Genres: historical fiction, fantasy, ancient Greece

Honourable mentions go to The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave for beautiful, lyrical writing, and to Renegades by Marissa Meyer for being fresh and all around excellent.

So that brings us to the end of my January top 5. It’s not a long read, but it certainly took me long enough to try and decide which five books to choose, and in the end I cheated by adding some honourable mentions at the end anyway! I hope your January reading has gone well and you’ve achieved any goals you wanted to! Get in contact and let me know or leave a comment below 😊