Tag: writing

Stephen King Writers Retreat

 

Image Via Flickr

If you love Stephen King and his terrifying novels and adaptations, then you’ll be thrilled to know that you will soon be able to visit his house in Bangor, Maine – the same location where his novel IT took place. King is opening up his home for a writer’s retreat. However, the house is still under development for it to be ready for tourists and writers and there is not a set date yet. In the meantime, just imagine yourself getting to write your own haunting tales in Stephen King’s house!

Just do not expect Stephen King himself to be welcoming visitors into his home. People will only be able to make appointments in order to visit the Maine mansion and only five writers will be able to participate in the writing retreat.

 

Image via bangor daily news

King’s mansion is the perfect retreat location for people who love to write horror! The house is the best setting for writers to get in the zone. With its crimson red paint and gothic style, it’s easy to see how the King of horror comes up with his novels. If you’re a King fan, like us, you do not want to miss out on the opportunity to stay here!

 

 

Featured image via Reddit 


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Will Birds of Prey Soar at the Box Office?

Sometimes, I’m excited for Birds of Prey And (the Fabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) and other times I’m not. The trailers show the new Gotham DC is creating, and it looks fantastic. Although reminiscent of Suicide Squad it has a newer, brighter style. With the pinks and yellows and the fashion. Harley Quinn especially looks great with her clear jacket and funky sleeves.

Image via Screen Rant

But I’m afraid that the style of the movie will be all it offers. Harley Quinn is a CHARACTER, so you need a world to match. Around Harley, you introduce other interesting characters like Black Canary and Huntress who are getting their big screen debuts and who can easily fit into Harley’s world.

But that was one of the reasons why Suicide Squad fell flat for me. It focused on all the wrong things. With the heavy stylized editing, we meet each character but we don’t get to really know any of them. Sure Deadshot has a kid he wants to see, Harley is love with the Joker, Diablo killed his entire family by accident, Katana’s sword stores the souls who are killed by it including her husband’s, but some of the others like Killer Croc and Captain Boomerang don’t characterization at all. We learn these facts like we are reading cliff notes before a test in the morning. We are supposed to follow these characters through the entire movie we have to see genuine growth.

 

 

There are a lot fewer characters in Birds of Prey so hopefully, this won’t be much of a problem. But I am still worried that there won’t be a lot of chemistry between them. In Suicide Squad they were forced to be together and by the end, it didn’t seem believable that they actually liked each other let alone that they felt like family. In the new movie, Harley gathers them as a team and again since there are fewer of them we might actually get to know them instead of their plot point important right then.

Obviously we don’t need to know everything about them but it’s presenting itself as a character-driven story. So we have to know more. And in trying to show off each character the actual plot of movie was lost. The Enchantress and her brother wanted to take over the planet which is a generic story beat we’ve seen but it doesn’t add anything to it to make seem new. The antagonists have no qualities but they are bad because the story needs them to be.

Image via Ain’t It Cool News

I really do enjoy the idea of Birds of Prey, it’s scaled-down so we are only focusing on Gotham and the heroes and villains in the city. People are coming after Harley after her split with the Joker, simple. Other women are going through the same thing so they team up to solve all there problems, love it. There aren’t any world-ending plots or portals in the sky just a simple story. I have hope so we will see when it comes to theaters this February.

 

 

 

Featured Image via Screen Rant

 

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Bestsellers of the Decade: In Every “Shade” Of Color

The end of the decade is upon us, people. We’ve read good books and we’ve read bad and surprisingly they are all on this list. So here is the top ten list for the bestsellers of the decade according to The NPD group.

 

 

1, 2, and 3 : Fifty Shade of Grey Series

 

Image via Today Show

 

Your eyes do not deceive you folks. The entire original Fifty Shades of Grey Series holds the top three spots on the top sellers list. This infamous fan fiction series author E.L. James wrote sits pretty, having sold nearly 35 million books including physical and e-book copies.

 

 

4: The Hunger Games

 

Image via Target

The first book in The Hunger Games series written by Susan Collins sold 8.7 million copies. In the height to the dystopian novel with teens, this series was the one to read.

 

 

5. The Help 

Image via Amazon

One of the best books on this list, in my opinion, written by Kathryn Stockett, The Help sold 8.7 million copies. This book is heavy, dealing with topics like racism. Even though we learn the plight of black maids, this book is filled with humor and hope.

 

 

6. The Girl on the Train

 

Image via Peonies and Pancakes

Written by Paula Hawkins, it sold 8.2 million copies. If you haven’t read this book yet, this mystery will keep you guessing. It’s about past love and betrayal but more importantly, MURDER.

 

 

7. Gone Girl

 

Image via Target

Written by Gillian Flynn sold 8.1 million copies. This is a book about a marriage going downhill and wife playing a sick, yet incredibly smart game with her husband who is unaware of it intrigues you, this one has a pretty great reputation.

 

 

8. The Fault in Our Stars

 

Image via Impression Blend

Written by John Green sold 8 million copies. This sweet yet so sad book follows a young couple who both struggle with cancer. You WILL need tissues.

 

 

9. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

 

Image via Amazon

Written by Stieg Larsson sold 7.9 million copies.  Doesn’t everyone love a good revenge story? You’ve got one right here.

 

 

10. Divergent

 

Image via Amazon

Written by Veronica Roth, it sold 6.6 million copies. Another dystopian teen read that will surely give your imagination something to gnaw on.

 

 

Featured Image via ABC 7 San Fransisco 

 

 


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The Marginalia Controversy

What a topic. People will get MAD about this, but they’re all wrong. Only I’m right, so listen to me. Don’t tell me where you land. People I very nearly respect believe in writing in books. But let’s actually talk about this, book lover to book lover.

Marginalia used to mean really crazy drawings around hand illuminated passages from really crazy books. And all those snails. Look it up, what weird stuff.

Image via Twitter

 

Me either, medieval knight. These days, margin notes are mostly something students do to try and avoid losing their minds. And maybe pass some tests/write some essays. I know very few people who DON’T write in their books. Some of them underline on the subway. It’s horrifying to see. The lines are so inconsistent. Half of the quote is always crossed out. It’s a horror movie. I don’t have photos. I try not to even look. But here’s an example of some notes that are still better.

Image via Columbia University Libraries Blog

 

At least these are color coded, though that one crossed out quote makes my blood run cold. It’s a mess. different sizes of notes, undecipherable handwriting, a ton of stuff is covered, but does that mean margin notes are bad? Yes! They’re always bad! Listen. Past me didn’t know anything. And past you didn’t either! If I don’t like the book I’ll give it away, and that’s just rude. If I do like it, why would I want it written on forever? When I read that book, if it was for school, I definitely hadn’t slept. The writing probably IS messy. I probably DID write it on the subway. Also, most of my notes probably aren’t interesting, aren’t smart, and don’t make any sense.

Image result for book with margin notes
Image via Entropy

 

An actual photo of my hypothetical margin notes. I joke! Who would just use red? But my point is, I would want to throw this away the SECOND I finished the essay. And you should never throw away books. Recycle them! I’m joking. Please don’t do that either. But if I take notes on another page, or on a post-it? They’re GONE. I never, ever have to see what I thought about Hamlet when I was a freshman.

Image result for book with pencil margin notes
Image via Research Teacher

 

I’ve been talking about margin notes you can never get rid of, in pen, but pencil is SO much worse. It’s worse! It’s messier, it’ll smudge like crazy, they can’t be color coded, and are they really erasable? Consider it. Maybe you’ve got a good eraser, and you’re going to be careful, but you’ll have swathes of fuzzy, muted text, with the inscrutable indents where the writing used to be. It’s time consuming and ridiculous, and it makes me angry.

Image result for book margin notes post its
Image via Colleen’s Blog

 

Notes should always be on tabs. Always! There are so many benefits. How do you know where your margin notes are? How do you know? Just flip through every single page until you see something smart? If you write on a sticker, you can leave it poking out. Want to pull a quote? Just check all the tabs you left above good pull quotes. You’re organized. You’re in and out. Color code. Live your best life. Just don’t write in books.

Image result for tabbed books
Image via Books Are Friends, Not Food

 

 

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Featured image via Let’s Do

NaNoWriMo Is Over… Now What?

With the month of November drawn to a close, so too does NaNoWriMo end. NaNoWriMo, for those who might not be familiar, is the month-long writing challenge that pushes writers to write 50,000 words in thirty days. For some, this is a good way to help crank out first drafts of projects. For others, the act of writing so much is exhausting and it will only end in burnout. This challenge is not made simpler by the fact that November is by no means an easy month. For students, this month means working on final papers for class or preparing for exams. For folks working in retail or any position that is holiday sensitive, this is an extremely stressful time of year as well. If you are both a student and an employee, it gets even more difficult. If you happen to be a parent, a student, an employee, and anything else, NaNoWriMo becomes a serious task and commitment to take on.

 

 

All the same, that doesn’t mean that NaNos can’t keep pushing onward and continue working on their projects.

 

So where do NaNos go from here?

 

Well, there are several directions that NaNos can take after November ends. NaNoWriMo was originally meant to help writers create first drafts for projects that they would like to pursue for the remainder of the year. For the writers who completed their drafts, the months following NaNoWriMo are meant typically intended for rewriting, revising, and reworking their current projects. The hardest part for some writers, after all, is getting words onto the page, and that is why NaNoWriMo encourages the idea of writing with abandon. So now that these writers have made it to 50,000 and completed their stories, now is the time to review and revise and decide where to go from there.

 

 

BUt what about the writers who didn’t finish their drafts?

 

Image via yale herald

 

Just because a NaNo didn’t complete her project doesn’t mean that she can’t opt to start a new draft or begin to edit what she already has. It isn’t uncommon for a draft to not be completed prior to a writer beginning another. It also isn’t uncommon to edit as one works on their story either. Writer Zadie Smith edits as she works on her stories, so it isn’t unheard of to take what one currently has and edit it as it is. For some NaNos, that might be exactly what they need to do. One of my dear friends started a project this past November, and she decided that she didn’t like the direction that the story was going. She knows that now, and she can now begin the process of reworking her draft when she feels ready. She can either edit what she has, or she can start anew. Regardless, she knows what things to avoid when she begins her new draft.

 

 

Regardless, this is a time to consider where your story is going and if any changes need to take place

 

Image via hbs digital initiative – harvard business school

 

The end of November is the prime time to review what one has written and consider the direction that one would like to take from there. Do you like where your story went? Or would you rather the plot go another way? Maybe you found out that a character that you thought would be extremely insignificant would make an amazing protagonist and a new point of view to follow. Based on that, you can choose to restructure your story in a way that appeals to you more than it may have originally. Perhaps these decisions will lend a new level of complexity to your narrative, and in doing so, it will help you craft a story that is more well-rounded. This is the ideal time to sit back and ruminate on your story and make a plan of action (if you are a planner when it comes to writing).

 

 

Remember: it is okay to set a story aside

 

image via youworkforthem

 

NaNoWriMo is really good for writers (like me) who have a hard time finishing the projects that they start. We have a clear goal in mind and a month-long window set to complete it. However, I will be the person to say that you, as a writer, will probably not finish every story you start. And that is okay. You might get halfway through your idea and realize that it has no foreseeable end. You might realize that this project doesn’t make you happy. You might have another more promising idea grab you by the wrists.

That’s okay.

Just because you opt to not complete a project doesn’t mean that you have failed. In her book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, writer Elizabeth Gilbert tells her readers that there are going to be stories and projects that they start that will never be finished, and that is okay. 

Does this mean that you, as a writer, should abandon every project you start? Absolutely not. This also doesn’t mean that you can’t take these early ideas and incorporate them into another story later on. What it does mean is that you have permission to put an idea on hold or, again, recognize when a story isn’t going anywhere.

 

 

The most important thing is to keep writing

 

image via Scripps college

 

Your work is important. Your ideas are important. You may have no plans of ever sharing either with another soul. You might want to get it published. What matters is that you keep writing. The NaNoWriMo website isn’t only available during November, after all: you can create a new goal and use the same interface to work towards it in the coming months. Ultimately, you should take what you learned from this last month and make something of it. That doesn’t mean take the same project that you had for this year and run with it, especially if you realized that you didn’t enjoy working on it, but it does mean sit back and consider what you liked about the process and what you disliked. What would you change? What worked best for you? Now that you have a better feel of things: keep writing.

And don’t forget: Camp NaNo takes place twice a year (during the months of April and July). So if your November was hectic, maybe Camp NaNo will be a better alternative? After all, you get to choose your writing goal during these months, so you aren’t beholden to the 50,000 words that NaNoWriMo challenges you to reach.

It doesn’t matter if you another month or if you another five years to complete a project: keep writing.

 

Featured Image Via the Irish Times

 


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