Sunday, October 17, 2021

Finding the Best Writing Method

The word writing itself is a little outdated. Or shall I say generalized? Yeah, that sounds better. After all, many different forms of writing don’t involve the physical act itself. Sometimes it’s typing. Sometimes it’s speaking aloud and allowing a device to type for you. Sometimes, yes, it is writing by hand.

In other words, writing refers not so much to the act of putting pen to paper but the creation of words, whether it be an essay, blog post, or story. But which is the best method of creating?


 

Handwriting

Once upon a time, I read somewhere that the best way to write a novel is to write it all out by hand, then type it up and make corrections from there. So I tried and failed. Miserably. I got halfway through the book before I couldn’t take it anymore. My brain works faster than my hand, and I need all ten fingers to type. What’s more, the story stunk, so I ended up scrapping the whole thing.

Besides, there’s no Ctrl + f (find) in something that’s handwritten! How am I supposed to find a certain scene or name if I can’t remember where it is? At least I don’t need to worry about Ctrl + s (save)…

I also keep one of those little notebooks in my purse because somebody said you should write down ideas as they come to you. I never do. Sure, I may pull it out sometimes when I’m bored, but I don’t really use it to outline or keep track of quotes or anything useful.

Every now and then, if I’m out and feel the urge to write, I may use a scrap of paper to start a scene, but that’s no longer my primary method anymore. I like to keep a journal in a physical book, but that’s about it.

 

Google docs

Whenever I have a scene that I want to jot down really quick, I prefer to use Google docs on my phone. That way I can access it anywhere, and I don’t have to worry about tracking down a random piece of paper. Besides, it’s a little easier to copy and paste words than it is to type each and every one.

The last time I was traveling, I had a lot of fun writing on a Google doc because I didn’t bring my computer. Besides, I was writing poetry, so I didn’t have to worry about the paragraphs looking huge on my screen.



Microsoft Word

Ah, my favorite method of all! Complete with the ability to type with all ten fingers. Ctrl+f and Ctrl+s. The ability to create chapters and manipulate fonts. Copy and paste. Word counts. Pages. Italics. Chapter formatting. You name it!

Now, I have incorporated some methods from other pieces of unhelpful advice. Like that type up the second draft bit? Yep, I rewrite everything when transitioning from draft 1 to draft 2 instead of simply copy and pasting it so that I can catch more mistakes while typing everything out rather than reading over it.

Blogging is slightly different, though. I’ll type everything up on a Word doc, copy and paste it on Blogger, then proofread it from there.

 

Other methods

4theWords/Wattpad/Scrivener

There’s plenty of online resources for writers, I’m just cheap and never invest in any of the paid options. 4theWords is a fun one where you can level up your character by defeating monsters by typing a certain number of words in a certain amount of time. I enjoyed using it during NaNoWriMo. The only thing is, I’m that kind of person who would rather study and tame a monster rather than kill it. What is it with our world and killing things?

Wattpad and Scrivener are also options I’ve heard of, but I’ve never tried writing on those sites.

 

Dictation

There are also options where you can say the story aloud and allow a computer program to type it up for you. My sister uses an app on her phone for that method, though I’ve never tried it myself.

 

Typewriter

You know that stereotype where the writer is so obsessed with the aesthetic of writing that they go out and buy a typewriter? Yeah, no, I couldn’t do that. I like my backspace key, thank you very much, and used it maybe 500 times writing this stupid paragraph.

 

The Best Method

You may ask, What is the best method? I would say, The one that works best for you at the time. That method may change from story to story or even from time to time within the same story, and that’s where trial and error come into play. For me, it’s Word, but that may change.

 

Let’s chat! What’s your favorite writing method? Am I missing any? Does your writing process change, or do you have a tried and true method?

 

***

 

Similar posts: 5 Reasons to Attend WriteOnCon, How to Balance Multiple Writing Projects, and My Process for Writing Poetry

Sunday, October 10, 2021

7 More of my Go-To Authors

Do you ever have a certain mood you want to read a book in, so you pick a particular author? I know I do. For example, if I want to read a story with a curios twist on a common trope, I’ll pick Neil Gaiman. Or maybe I’m looking for compelling characters and unpredictable plot twists: Brandon Sanderson. This method has also led me to know which authors I avoid, but today I’d like to focus on the ones whose works I enjoy.

Authors are organized by last name.

 


1. Megan Bannen


Does it count if you’ve only read one of their books but you liked it so much you can’t wait to read the next one even though it’s not a sequel? Eh, who cares. It’s my blog post. I particularly enjoyed her debut, The Bird and the Blade, so much so, that I eagerly awaited her latest book Soulswift. My library finally bought a copy, and I’m currently reading it!


2.   Susanna Clarke


She only has three books out. Who am I kidding? Only three books?! That’s so cool!!! I’ve enjoyed the ones I’ve read so far. I read her beast-of-a-book Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell back when I was living in England, and I particularly liked the way Clarke connected the fantasy elements with the British culture.

The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories was also quite entertaining, especially the one that took place in the world of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust. Crossovers, anybody? Yes, please! I haven’t seen many crossovers outside of graphic novels, so this was a pleasant surprise.

I look forward to reading her latest book, Piranse.


3.   C. G. Drews


I first started following Drews on her blog where she writes as Paper Fury. One of the ways I like to determine if a book is worth reading is by reading her reviews. They’re great.

So are her books, of course! A Thousand Perfect Notes stole my heart with its characters, and her second book The Boy Who Steals Houses was even better. Though they took a while to release in the US (they’re finally here!), I liked to buy them online at Book Depository.

When will the publishing industry give us another one of her books? I know she’s written some! I know you can’t rush publishing, but I can dream.


4.   Neil Gaiman


I know, I know. I’ve only read three of his books. How could I possibly say he’s one of my go-to authors? I highly recommend his speech “Make Good Art.”

Though I wasn’t a particular fan of The Ocean at the End of the Lane, I found Norse Mythology to be quite fascinating. Of course, I’m slightly obsessed with Stardust, especially when it’s the audiobook read by the author.


5.   Hannah Heath


It’s not a proper list if I don’t list an indie author. Heath is one of my go-to indie authors because she always includes some sort of disability representation in her stories. That and she writes fantasy and sci-fi, so of course that’s a plus! Her story “Vengence Hunter” made me hate vampire stories less because she puts an interesting twist on the trope. Her story “So I Accidentally Killed the Chosen One” on Wattpad is quite comical. So far, I think “This Pain Inside” from the anthology Strange Waters, is one of my favorites. I look forward to her next piece.


6.   Jack London


As a kid, I used to pick up a lot of animal stories, and I used to listen to the audiobook of White Fang a lot. When I reread the book as an adult, I remembered why I enjoyed the story so much. Of course, his others books and stories can be good too, though I’ve never particularly cared for Call of the Wild. It has been a while since I’ve read it, though.

I particularly like how his stories include the beauties and wonder of nature and humankind contrasted with its deadly nature. No romanticism here.


7.   J. R. R. Tolkien


When I was a kid, my dad once read The Hobbit to my brother and me. Of course, I loved it! I can’t say I’ve read everything by Tolkien, but I grew up enjoying Lord of the Rings movie marathons, and I later dove into the books.

The last time I attempted to read The Silmarillion was when I was studying English lit. So yeah, it’s been a while. I’ll have to give the book another try at some point.

 

Let’s chat! Who are some of your go-to authors? Have you read any books by the ones I’ve mentioned?

***

Similar posts: Don’t Judge a Book by its Author, or Should You?; 7 of my Go-To Authors; and Let’s Agree to Disagree: Reader vs. Author Opinion

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Poem: Reading Glasses

Since I haven’t had a lot of time to write lately, I’ll be sharing an older poem.

Yes, my style may change over time, but I like to think that even the older ones can be fun sometimes. Here’s one of my favorites from a creative writing course in college. I was once a proud reader who didn’t need glasses to read. That is until I read too much…


 

Reading Glasses

Two owlets perch on a wing.

Hooked beaks on plump fools

stuffed with heaps of mice.

 

Two boxes crammed

with clocks and calendars

and leaves to the brim.

 

Two attic windows side by side,

overlooking an owl’s nest,

boxes stacked to the sills. Here

until the house burns.*

 

***

 

Let’s chat! What did you think of the poem? Any fellow readers out there who wear glasses?

*The final sentence sometimes gets left out because it changes the entire mood of the poem. Personally, I like it because it adds a touch of mortality to what would otherwise be a lasting building.

Similar posts: Do Not Dissect This Poem, Origins, and Pine Trees

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Writing Update: To Sequel or Not to Sequel?

Hey, guys! It’s been a while since I posted a writing update, so here I am to talk about some of my latest projects. I’ll try not to get too in depth, especially since some of my projects with great aspirations never made it past the querying stage… *looks longingly at two novels I set aside*

That being said—stories! I love ‘em. The fun thing about being a writer is that you don’t have to stick with one story. Once you’re past the proofreading stage, it’s time to move on to the next project. The main question then becomes, what next? And of course, should I write a sequel or not?

 

 

WATER SPRITE: Definitely a Sequel

The title is not going to stay, guys. It’s just the best I have right now. I decided to rewrite this book as a novel in verse and completely fell in love with the style. I hope my critique partners like it as much as I do. Speaking of critique partners, if anybody’s interested in helping me tear this novel apart, I’m looking for readers (see 7 Facts about Critique Partners and Current Stories for more info).

As for the plans for a sequel, it won’t be so much a sequel as much as a companion novel. Technically, if you look at it chronologically, it would be a prequel. Why would I be writing this one second? I’m not. I once tried my hand at this companion novel before, and it was a complete flop (I tried writing the novel by hand and hated every second of it). So I set it aside, wrote a different story, and now I’m coming back with a completely different approach.

Even though my current writing order is book 2, book 1, book 3, I particularly like these stories because each one has standalone potential. It’s not so much a trilogy as a collection of books with some crossover.

 

EDGE OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM: Probably a Sequel

I still hate this title. Especially since it’s something that carried over from draft one but no longer applies to the latest draft. *shrugs* Titles are hard.

Anyway, whether or not I write a sequel depends on two factors: 1) how I end the book and 2) whether or not I can find a literary agent to represent it. Now you might be wondering, you already sent it off to your critique partners, shouldn’t you already know how you’re ending the book? Hahahaha! No. These things change.

Also, yes, I can totally write a sequel without a literary agent, but from a career standpoint, I don’t want to spend 2-3 years on a project that will never see the light of day when I could be working on something else that might have better success at getting published. Besides, even if the first story does get picked up for publication, it will probably undergo even more changes.

But how do I know what will happen? I don’t. That’s why I want to wait and see.

 

THE CHOSEN ONES: A Sequel?

Hey, wait a second, I’ve never talked about this story before. It’s still in the writing process. Keep it secret! Quick! *cue screaming*

Since this spring, I’ve been trudging my way through a short story with a twist on one of my least favorite tropes: the chosen one. Can I pull it off? We can only wait and see…

 

There you have it! A glimpse at what I’ve been working on and what I plan to be doing in the future. Some of it depends upon the publishing process, but not all of it. I always look forward to future stories. There are so many plot bunnies out there just waiting to be written.

 

Let’s chat! Readers, do you prefer standalones or series? Writers, which do you like to write? What’s your least favorite trope?

 

 

***

 

 

Similar posts: “Would You Rather?” Writing Tag, How to Balance Multiple Writing Projects, and Writing Update: Between Publications

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Don't Judge a Book by its Author, Or Should You?

Hello, dear readers. I’m baaaaack!

Boy, I’m glad I took a summer hiatus. Having two jobs has kept me incredibly busy, especially since as summer came to a close. That and Ive been dealing with some family stuff. I haven’t had the time to write. 

I feel like the world is more political now than when I was growing up. Or maybe as a kid, I just didn’t notice the political atmosphere. *blech* Either way, it seems that everybody has an opinion on just about everything.

Readers’ opinions of authors are no exception. Some authors are likened to heroes while others are despised. When did art become about writers and not the books themselves?

Sure, buying an author’s books or checking them out from the library supports the author. As an indie author, I get it and often enjoy supporting fellow writers by buying their books. But where do we as readers draw the line? In short: it’s complicated. Here’s why.

Side note: I’m not going about to write about politics. Personally, I like to keep my political opinions separate from my author profile. I will occasionally write about controversial topics, but this post is not one of them. As a result, I will be writing about some real examples and some hypothetical ones.

 

 

The Dangers of Hero Worship

You may have heard the adage, “never meet your heroes.”

Now, I haven’t met many authors, so I can’t say I’ve had negative experiences meeting them. Actually, the authors I’ve met have been inspirational. (Hi, Lisa!)

At the same time, though, I’ve seen the dangers of hero worship. People, even those you admire, will at one point or other let you down. That’s not to say that you can’t admire certain authors, just that it’s not wise to put them on a pedestal. Authors are people too.

 

Authors with Different Beliefs from their Readers

Here’s a tricky one. What do you do if you believe one thing and you come across a book by an author who believes something different? As a Christian, I come across this situation quite often, from authors who are atheists to others who are Mormon. I don’t read much Christian speculative fiction because I tend to find the genre rather limiting (see Controversy in Fiction: Christian Fiction).

I don’t take my beliefs from fiction, either, though there are times when reading will challenge me. Without reading other perspectives, how would we grow?

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” –Unknown (often mistakenly attributed to Aristotle)

 

Amazing Writing, Terrible Lifestyle

I remember one time I was sitting in a book club, and some of the other readers were talking about one author (I can’t remember which one) who was an absolute dirtbag, but they liked his books. For that very reason, I respected my fellow readers for their discernment and their ability to acknowledge that even though they didn’t like the writer’s lifestyle, they could appreciate his work.

I know there are several painters whom I’ve shared a similar opinion, but I can’t think of any writers off the top of my head.

 

Separating the Author from the Book

I like reading the acknowledgements in a book and the author’s bio, but that’s generally where I stop. I read so many books that reading about each and every author would take up a lot of time. If I’m really into a book or another, I may look up more info about the author, but it’s rare.

Generally speaking, I try to focus on judging the book for what it is, not for who wrote it. Yes, an author’s beliefs can influence their writing, but I also take on the idea that once a book is published, it doesn’t wholly belong to the writer anymore but to the reader.

 

Let’s chat! What’s your take on judging a book by its author? Have you ever met any of your favorite authors in person?

 

***

 

Similar posts: 7 of my Go-To Authors; Let’s Agree to Disagree: Reader vs. Author Opinion; and Controversy in Fiction: Christian Fiction

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Poem: bricks

Hello, dear readers!

I know I’ve been neglecting my blog lately, but I have been writing a lot. Just not here. I’m recently finished rewriting the climax to one novel, and I’m trying to finish the second draft of another before the end of May. Oh yeah, and I’m also thinking about submitting some poems for publication, and I’m developing a short story which may or may not turn into a series. *cue distant screaming*

Soooo, I’m taking the summer off from blogging, maybe longer, until further notice. In the mean time, here’s a poem I wrote during a writing sprint with friends.


 

bricks

 

brick-red, the russet hue

that clung to calloused hands

and corroded like crumbs,

coated fingers like chalk

 

brick-yellow, the sunburnt shade

that smelled of asphalt and wind

on a summer’s day—petrol

and the singe of a magnifying glass

 

brick-gray, the mind’s matter

that can’t quite recall

the thrill of the path i carved

when i scaled these walls

 

brick-white, the bleached blanket

that coated the face like foundation,

but didn’t quite belong where the dirt

stained its skirts brick-red

 

***

 

Let’s chat! What did you think of the poem? Do you have any writing friends you can do writing sprints with?

Similar poems: The Smell of Earth; Seeking the Song of Time; and Concrete Forest, Paper Meadows

Looking for more reading material until I’m back from my hiatus? Check out my books: Dandelion Symphony and Last of the Memory Keepers.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

My Latest Writing Desk

I’ve written a post about my writing desk before, but that was three years ago, and I have moved since then. (Am I running out of blogging ideas? Never! Yes, actually I am. Send help!) Not only that, but I actually bought a new desk, this one with plenty of shelves for books plants. The plants are taking over!


 


Laptop

Where all the writing happens! Well… most of it. Sometimes I use my phone or scraps of paper when I’m on break at work.

Once upon a time, I owned the world’s worst laptop that would crash every time I used it. Not so with my latest one! I did a ton of research and got a touch screen with a detachable keyboard, so it also acts as a tablet when I feel like having watching a movie online with friends.

Not to mention, it has a high-definition screen for when I’m working on things like drawing (I’m not so good at this bit, but I’m learning!), internal book art, and cover designs.



The Essentials: Hydration, Light, and Pens

Sure, I have an overhead light in the sunroom, aka my study. But I like the lamp for the aesthetic. That and I used to keep Thorin in this room, so when their lamp went out, I didn’t want to wake them up, so I used a lamp. Even after I moved the tank for Xephyr, I never moved the lamp.

As for the pens, 50% of them may be decorative, but they’re fun!

 

Plants

Even writers need oxygen, and it if can be aesthetically pleasing too, why not? ALL THE PLANTS!!! With spring in the air, gardening season has picked up again, so of course, I’m excited!


 


Shelves for Books, Projects, and MORE Plants

First, I have my TBR shelf (above), which is made up of some books I own and some from the library. My latest reads have been novels in verse for poetry month! I’ve already read Like Water on Stone, Clap When You Land, and Planet Middle School. Next up: Long Way Down and The Crossover.




Then there’s books on writing, poetry, and those random astronomy books that don’t fit anywhere else.



Last but not least is the latest addition of shelves, which is why it looks so bare. Featuring my books, a couple shade-loving succulents and flowers, and Xephyr’s feeding tank. Cleaning is sooo much easier when I keep all the bugs in a separate tank from his living space.



The View

Over the winter, I brought my ferns inside and hung them in the windows, and they shed leaves everywhere. Never again. Not in my workspace anyway.

Since spring has hit, I have enjoyed watching everything green up. We don’t trim our lawn very often to allow the wildflowers to grow. Right now, the daisies are blooming, and the bees are happy. There’s even a strip of fields across the river that is blossoming with yellow.

 

Let’s chat! Spring is an inspirational time for me. How about you? What does your writing space look like? What’s on your TBR shelf?

 

***

 

Similar posts: “Would You Rather?” Writer Tag, Recommended Reading: Novels in Verse, and My Current Writing Desk

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Poem: Blue

Many people don’t like the idea of “jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.” But, as my dad once said in reference to his paratrooper days, “There’s no such thing as a perfectly good airplane.”

Personally, I have a fear of heights, but I’m also a bit of an adrenaline junkie. I enjoy high ropes courses and rock climbing, and I’ve even been parasailing and paragliding. Perhaps one day, I’ll get the chance to go skydiving. But it is not this day!

Once again, I borrowed this prompt from Julia Garcia’s blog Drops of Inspira. This time, I borrowed the prompt “the color blue” from February.

 


Blue

I’d almost forgotten
the sky was that color
                        once

back when I was a child
somersaulting in the grass
wondering what it would be like
                        to fall up

until I couldn’t take the thought anymore
and wandered to where
a servicemember stood
                        in his uniform

Do you know which one
is my dad?

I asked, watching the parachutes
drift down
                        like helicopter seeds

Kid, I wear glasses,
not binoculars.                

He had a point.
I shuffled back to the
bleachers and sat by Mom
until the last of the parachutes
                        deflated

now I wonder
if we’ll ever get a break
from this popcorn ceiling of gray
and what it must be like
                        to touch the blue

one day, perhaps,
I’ll find a clear day
to strap on a chute and board
a plane with the sole purpose
                        to find out

 

***

 

Let’s chat! What did you think of the poem? If you had the chance to go skydiving, would you?


Similar poems: GoldPine Trees, and Goodbye Again

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Book Review: Elatsoe

In the last couple months, I made a wonderful discovery. Audiobooks! More specifically, I discovered Hoopla, an app available at my local library, which has a plethora of audiobooks. With work picking up again (I’m exhausted but enjoying it), audiobooks have been particularly nice.

My only warning, if you’re like me and want to read all the books at once, watch your number of checkouts. Hoopla only lets you use five checkouts a month.

That being said, Elatsoe was a delight to listen to! I’m particularly glad I listened to this one so that I could learn how to pronounce the name, eh-lat-SOE-ay. Though apparently the book contains illustrations, and I missed them!

 


Book: Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger
Genre: Young Adult, fantasy, mystery, contemporary
My rating: 4.5/5 stars
Mini description: ghosts versus vampires

 

The dog doesn’t die in the end because the dog is already dead. Kirby is Ely’s ghost dog, whom she brought back after he died of old age. I’m not going to lie, I want a ghost dog, or even a ghost beardie! I’ve lost pets over the years, and it would be a delight to see them again, even if I couldn’t pet them.

Yet there are still limitations in this fantasy world. Animals may make great ghost companions, but human ghosts, as the story often reminds us, are terrible things. And the vampire curse, as it’s called, may have its advantages for the young but grows more difficult with age.

I particularly liked the way the story wove Native American mythology, particular Lipan Apache, with what is to me, familiar fantasy elements. The cultural aspects were also quite fascinating, and I appreciated reading about a perspective I don’t normally hear from.

Then there were the mystery elements to the story. Early on, readers get the who in the who-done-it. It’s the why that kept me guessing, and I hadn’t figured it out by the big reveal.

I also enjoyed the way the narrative contained stories within the main story. They weren’t just flashbacks but stories within themselves. I was incredibly pleased with the book as a whole.

In all, I gave Elatsoe 4.5/5 stars for an excellent narrative and characters. I only wish it were a little longer. I’d recommend the book to anybody interested in creative contemporary fantasy. I look forward to reading more of Darcie Little Badger’s work.

 

Interested in the book? Have you read it yet? You might also enjoy these fantasy novels: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, and The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow.

 

Let’s chat! Have you read Elatsoe yet, or has it made it to your TBR? What are some of your favorite contemporary fantasies?

 

***

 

Similar book reviews: The Ten Thousand Doors of January, Fawkes, and The Snow Child

Sunday, March 21, 2021

"Would You Rather?" Writer Tag

I enjoy coming up with absurd scenarios. Here’s one—pick a fictional character. Got them? Good, now imagine you’re stuck in an elevator with them for 5 or more hours. How dead are you? I usually pick ridiculous characters like Loki, so I’d probably be dead.

The following questions are some would you rather scenarios from the generic to the ridiculous. Enjoy!

 


Would you rather be outlining or writing?

Writing. I don’t really like outlining because I inevitably over-world build and then don’t include all the exciting details. And for whatever reason, outlining never feels like real work because, even though I’m a plotter, it doesn’t seem like I make any measurable progress. There’s no real moment when you have to stop, which drives me crazy.

 

Would you rather be writing or editing?

Editing. Or rewriting. I don’t really like working on my rough draft because I’m consciously aware of how terrible it is while I’m writing it! I’m such a perfectionist. I prefer rewriting where I can go back and change everything or editing where I can really make that sentence shine, even though I sometimes reach that point where I’ve stared at a word long enough that it no longer looks correct.

See my informal Twitter poll. I was surprised (and yet not?) that so many people choose screaming.


 

Would you rather meet the antagonist or the protagonist of your current WIP?

My YA novel doesn’t technically have an antagonist, so my sci-fi novel it is! In that story, I’d rather meet my protagonist, Cory. Definitely protagonist. It would be nice to meet somebody who’s also staring out in their career journey as a linguist/investigator instead of somebody who would probably arrange my kidnapping. No, thank you.

 

Would you rather have a movie based off your book or write a book based off a movie?

Movie based off my book. Even though they have a reputation for being terrible, I still find the idea appealing, and it just grows an audience! That and I like the idea of originality and coming up with my own stories. There’s something about movie to book adaptations that I don’t care for, even though I haven’t quite figured out what it is yet.

 

If you became a super rich author, would you prefer to have your own private island or castle?

I’m going to go with castle. While I enjoy the beach, especially tropical ones, I’m more in love with the idea of secret passageways, creaky floorboards, and the howl of the wind on a cool autumn night. Even if it was just a ruined castle where I could camp out and have a wild garden, that would be awesome.

 

Last but not least, pick one of your fictional characters. Would they rather be stuck in the middle of a bank robbery or onboard a sinking ship?

Hmm, I’m going to go with Haebinna, the profiler from my sci-fi novel. The space colonies don’t really have cash in a system where most currency is digital, but imagining a similar scenario, Haebinna would probably go with the bank robbery. She deals with criminals at her job anyway. She’d probably psychoanalyze the robbers while coming up with a plan to stop them. Somebody would definitely get shot.

 

There you have it! Just a few fun scenarios. As for my fellow bloggers reading this, I tag you! Feel free to borrow the questions and add some of your own if you’d like to participate in a “Would You Rather” Writer’s Edition post. Happy writing!


Let’s chat! Readers, would you rather have lunch with one of your favorite authors or one of your favorite characters? Bloggers, for those who don’t want to write an entire post, feel free to answer any of the questions in the comments.

 

***

 

Similar posts: “Never Have I Ever” Writer Tag, Confessions of a Bookworm Tag, and The Bookish Q&A Tag

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Recommended Reading: Novels in Verse

As some of you may know, I recently attended WriteOnCon, an online writing conference, where I attended a wonderful session by Megan E. Freeman on writing novels in verse. For a while now, I’ve been in love with the style, as is evident from my previous post, 7 Reasons I Enjoy Novels in Verse, and I would like to some day write one of my own.

For now, though, I thought I’d share some of the ones I enjoyed in hopes of convincing more readers to fangirl/fanboy along with me. My recommendations are by no means extensive, and some readers may argue that some novels might have been better in prose rather than verse, but I enjoyed them for their form.

The following books are organized by authors’ last names.



1.   Audacity by Melanie Crowder (young adult; see book review)

You will lose,
I say
if you try to strike
on your own without us.
[...] It is only by standing together
—men and women—
that we can ever hope
to outlast them.

Personally, I find it easier to learn about historical events when I can connect with the people and their stories. This book focuses on the story of Clara Lemlich, who fought for women’s rights in the workplace. I may be making the book sound dull, but the story is far from it.


2.   Somewhere Among by Annie Donwerth-Chikamatsu (middle grade)

A story about American citizens set in a foreign country? Yes, please! Though I’m not Japanese and haven’t been to Asia just yet, I could still relate to the characters, especially when it comes to the difficulty of time zones. Not to mention the story is also historical fiction set during 2001—wait, did I just call something that happened in my lifetime “historical?” Please excuse me while I have an existential crisis.


3.   Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton (MG; see book review)

“On this clear and moonless night,
Mama and I wrap up in our winter clothes
and go outside to watch and listen.
The trees beyond our backyard form a torn-paper line
between the snow and this sky
filled with stars.”

Of all the novels in verse I’ve read, this one is one of the most memorable. A delightful story about Mimi, a young girl who dreams of becoming an astronaut and moves with her family to a new town. Not to mention the gorgeous imagery, which is one of the many reasons I love poetry.

 

4.   Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai (MG)

“Would be simpler
if English
and life
were logical.”

When I see people recommend novels in verse, I tend to see this one recommended all the time. Not to mention, it’s a Newbery Honor Winner, so of course it gets a lot of attention. But it’s sooo good, so I won’t complain. The story focuses on Há, a young immigrant who moves to America from Vietnam with her family, and how she struggles to learn how to adjust to a new country and the complexities of the English language.

 

5.   Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough (YA)

This book was probably the most intense, so much so that I almost didn’t finish it, but it was ultimately worth the read, at least for me. The story focuses on a poetic interpretation of the life of Artemisia Gentileschi, a historic Italian painter, whose work often emphasizes empowering women. I learned a lot about history, injustice, and overcoming.

 

6.   Saving Red by Sonya Sones (YA)

This book was the first novel in verse I ever read, and it got me hooked on the style. After all, what’s not to like about the way stories combine with imagery? You can’t have purple prose if it’s not in prose. When I first started reading novels in verse, I found I also liked the style because the chapters were so short, and before I knew it, I’d finished more than I might have if the chapters had been long.

 

This April, I plan on reading a novel in verse a day (during weekdays only because let’s face it, work is hard). I gave up social media for lent, but after Easter, you can follow me on Instagram to see exactly what I’m reading.

Here are just some of the novels in verse on my To-Be-Read list:

  • Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
  • The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
  • Bull by David Elliot
  • Alone by Megan E. Freeman (top of the list!)
  • Planet Middle School by Nikki Grimes
  • Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
  • Butterfly Yellow by Thanhhá Lai

 

Let’s chat! Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned? When’s the last time you read a novel in verse? Have any favorites?

 

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