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Reviews

A Difficult Read

I’m currently reading a book which I hope to finish by the end of this week. Unfortunately, I’m having a tough time finishing it. I just wanna take a moment and talk about why this book has me dragging my feet.

So, I would like to exclude the title of this book for now because it might still blow my socks off. Although, you might already know the title if you read my reading list post previously. This book might yet turn things around and surprise me. Also, this book is by no means all bad. In fact, I first want to talk about what this book has right.

The World-building Is Great

The world building of the book is both curious and compelling. The book deals with an individual caught up in a coma dream. The world of dreams is explained in depth and seems to run alongside our own. Also, the ability to see or influence dreams is tied into real-world history for explanations. So, this books seems almost urban fantasy, but with a much younger protag than a YA book would be sporting. I am definitely curious to see what will happen and what impact the world of dreams can have.

The Stakes Are Set

It was relatively late for my taste, but the stakes were set clearly in around chapter 9 (I believe). The main issue is that the parent fears that the protags will die if they enter the world of dreams. So, the parent is doing their best to keep them out of the world of dreams. Motivations have been set.

The Issues

All that being said, I have 2 large issues with the text so far. Issue number one is that there are a lot of pieces of information given in the way of info-dumps. That wouldn’t be terrible if this was a book focused on adults. After all, as an adult myself, I can read through a well placed info-dump. However. It seems like the target audience is children, based on the ages of the protags, and there are just so many info dump scenes for that to be the case.

My second issue runs along with the first. The second beef I have with this book is that there is far too much telling and not nearly enough showing. Perhaps these are the same thing, but to me they are slightly different. You can have a dialogue-based info-dump and still have a lot of action prose surrounding those statements. However, in this book, not only do the dialogues take up paragraphs, the surrounding paragraphs don’t show me anything about the world. It feels empty. Like I’m expected to know exactly what the world looks like. There’s no sound descriptions, or smells, or other details. It feels bland.

Not Finished Yet

Like I said previously, this story could still wow me away. I’m nowhere near finished with it yet. However, if things continue as they have, this book is likely to be an amazing conceptual work that falls short on execution. I’m still enjoying it, though.

Have you ever read a book where you enjoyed the concept but felt the execution fell short?

Categories
Reviews

Gideon the Ninth Review

Des and I both loved this book. Here’s the video if you’d like to see our complete explanations. However, in summary, these are the three reasons why we thought Gideon the Ninth was an amazing title:

  1. The characters were each distinct from each other
  2. The world-building was gradual but also deep
  3. The tropes were twisted in satisfying ways

If you liked this video, don’t forget to check us out on our YouTube channel every Monday for new posts. Have you read Gideon the Ninth and what did you think of this title?

Categories
writing

Why To Write The End At The Beginning

Have you ever started a project you didn’t finish? The idea wasn’t bad but you found yourself out of steam after only 10 or 20 thousand words? Well, you aren’t alone. I’ve seen plenty of posts saying that actually finishing the project the first time is the hardest step (I’m not sure if I agree yet, but it seems to line up with what I’ve seen so far). So, have you considered that your work doesn’t have to be completed in order? This is why to write the end at the beginning.

Foto profissional grátis de abstrato, alfabeto, azulejos, conceito

Write With The End In Mind

I’ve heard “write with the end in mind” many times over the years but I never actually considered writing the end first. At least not until I realized how much easier that made the writing. When I knew exactly what I wanted from the ending scenes, everything was written to that eventuality. Everything fell into place.

So now, even if I don’t write the end first, I do have a summary of what takes place in the final chapter because otherwise I don’t finish the book. It peters out usually around 20,000 words and dies off entirely. It’s just so hard to wrap up all the random threads I’ve thrown in by that point.

Foto profissional grátis de afirmativo, afro-americano, alegre, alegria

I’m not saying it’s not doable, but knowing the end from the beginning will save you many a head ache as a writer. If you don’t believe me, check out this article 7 Extremely Good Reasons To Write The Ending First at Writers Write.

Writing The End Is Complex

There are so many things to keep track of with the ending. Everything that the writer has poured into this story has to come together, for better or for worse, at the ending. And that’s hard. Here’s a YouTube Video which is geared towards the movie industry, but also relates to storytelling.

Finding the ending that fits your story can be hard, but it’s certainly worth the investment because nothing is more satisfying than seeing the world either 1. fall apart due to character flaws or tragic circumstance or 2. the characters finally resolve the issues that have plagued them throughout the story (both internal and external).

What do you think? Is it better to start writing from the end? Have you had a project in which the opposite was true?

Categories
Friends

Reading List Update

I’ve read two of the books on my reading list and I’d like to add a few more to keep me plugging on. So, this post will discuss the two I’ve finished as well as add two to the upcoming reads.

1. Warrior of the Wild

Warrior of the Wild by [Tricia Levenseller]

I read this one and did a review of it. In case you missed the article, you can check it out here at Book Review: Warrior of the Wild.

2. Gideon The Ninth

Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb Trilogy Book 1) by [Tamsyn Muir]

I heard this one described to me as lesbian necromancers in space. I was of course like bring it on. I was not disappointed. Also, I’m waiting anxiously for the sequel to come out in the month of August. That one will surely be at the top of my to read list as soon as it’s out. If you would like to pre-order Harrow the Ninth you can get it on Amazon.

Books I’m Adding To My List

1. There Will Come A Darkness

Amazon.com: There Will Come a Darkness (The Age of Darkness Book 1 ...

I’m hoping that this book will live up the expectation I have set for it. It seems like it will have a fun cast of characters. My only worry is that since there are four or five main protagonists that they may not get adequate time to build up those characters. Fingers crossed, however, that this book will not disappoint.

2. Tess of the Road

Amazon.com: Tess of the Road eBook: Hartman, Rachel: Kindle Store

I’m not going to lie, the incredible cover art is what drew me in on this one. But I’m hoping that this (presumably) adventure dragon-girl story.

Categories
writing

A Villain: At Odds With The Hero

It should be said that conflict can make or break a book. So, in a book where the villain is the main conflict, it’s important that they really sing to us. It’s important that they permeate every page (or almost every page) of the text. It’s important that we know not only that they are there, but also that they live up to being worthy of punishment or absolution by our protag. So, here are tips to writing your villain as someone who’s at odds with the villain.

The first biggest and most important tip to writing a villain is to make them believable. And, nothing is more believable than a person with their own motivations and goals. Especially when those goals come at odds with those they’re facing. Thus, a villain as a hero opposed to the protag is strong and feels entirely real.

Perhaps they aren’t the villain? Perhaps they’re trying to do something good for the world? However, they are at odds with your POV character. And that’s what makes them the “villain” of your story. What are some stories you’ve read with a compelling villain who was ambiguously a villain?