Tag Archives: dystopian

Perfect Your Dystopian World in 5 Easy Steps

DystopiaI’m obsessive. Once I get my little fishhook fingers into something there is nothing I won’t consume about a subject.

That’s why I’ve obsessively read books since I sung my first ABC and it’s why I write just as obsessively now.

One of my biggest obsessions, is the concept of dystopian worlds. I heart everything about them. I want the t-shirt, the fan girl moves, the merch and ALL the books. ALL OF THEM.

But right now, as a writer, I’m more interested in how to get them right. What do you need building bricks do you need to include and what key factors do you need to make a dystopian world realistic.

I’ve just finished reading Jane Dougherty’s Abomination. It was both a fantastic read and an exceptional example of an apocalyptic and dystopian setting.

Here are 5 steps to perfect the dystopian world. Continue reading

5 Lessons in First Person POV

5 First Person POV lessonsI made a promise I would review every book I read, and I will but, you know me – rule breaker! So I thought I would do this one a little differently. I am going to dissect and share what writing lessons I learnt from this book: Breathe, by Sarah Crossan. And I hope whilst I am doing this, it forms a kind of review.

This book is written in a unique way using the first person POV, so the focus of this lesson review will be on perfecting the first person POV.

Continue reading

Adultland Part 3

Adultland Part III - Sacha Black

A few weeks ago I wrote a piece of flash fiction which I called Adultland, the story continued in Part II, but today, I bring part III. You can catch up on all the past instalments here.

We left Lou, pacing outside her parents flat building, waiting for the mist and Hunters to come and kidnap her parents. Can she save them? Read on to find out. Continue reading

Adultland Part II

Adultland Part II

Last week, I wrote a piece of flash fiction in Writespiration #55, about a city in which the adults were kidnapped by Hunters. Several of you asked me to finish the story, something which blew me away I was so shocked. But I’ve written on. I decided to name the story Adultland. If you would like to read Part I, it’s only short and you can do so here. Or here, where I will collate everything I write. I can only apologise that part II is so long, I’m currently a plotter writing in a panster world…So I don’t know where this story will end up, or how long it will be I have never ‘just written’ without a plan or a synopsis so if this ends badly, be kind! Here goes an adventure into the unknown… Hope you enjoy the ride. Continue reading

5 Top Tips for Writing Chapter One – Lessons from the YA genre

5 Top Tips for Writing Chapter One - an examination of YA fantasy/dystopian fiction

There’s something wrong with my opening chapter. I’ve edited it eight times, two of those were major overhauls, the rest tweaks. But still… just plain wrong, and the closer I get to the end of draft one (and I am real close now) the more preoccupied I become with the first chapter. I figured the best way to work out what was wrong, was to study the masters. Examine the books in my particular genre that have made it, and see how they do it. And you know what… They have a formula. They all have a set of things in common. I’m not suggesting I need to follow their formula exactly, I still want to be unique, but I can at least learn from it. Continue reading

The Lost Art of Penmanship – Evolution or Regression?

Penmanship

I made a point recently about the lack of ‘actual’ writing I do. You know, with my hand and a real life pen. The post discussed Distributed Cognition, a concept that debates where the boundaries of thought are and one example is the use of a pen. Does the physicality of using a pen change your thought process through the action of writing? Where do your thoughts end, and the pen and ink begin, and what is the reciprocal effect of the thought, hand and pen interacting.

Why am I talking about this again? Well, in my author interviews, I ask a provocative question making a point that the publishing industry is in decline (I don’t actually think it is, but it tends to provoke an interesting answer). That question got me thinking, is penmanship in decline? Continue reading

End of Days By Susan Ee – Book Review

End of Days

I’ve been waiting for the release of this book for the best part of a year. End of Days is the last instalment in the Penryn and the End of Days trilogy from Susan Ee. I’ll admit I felt like a kid, but I had to have it on pre-order as soon as it was available, that’s how much I wanted to read it! Continue reading

Book Review: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld


Uglies Book Review

It has taken me an inexplicably long time to read just one book. I am actually a reasonably fast reader I can sink a few books in a week if I have the time. Alas, baby Black has prevented this from happening, and shamefully, not only is this the first book I’ve finished this year, but worse this particular book has taken me way over six months to read. Tut. But huzzah I have finally finished it.

I have only (from memory) written one other book review, for A Disturbed Girl’s Guide to Curing Boredom, because I loved it so much I felt compelled to write about it on amazon and goodreads and such like. Continue reading

Writing Tips #7 don't become a snob

snob

I feel like these writing tips are becoming more like ‘heres a bunch of lessons I learnt from all the mistakes I’ve made’ as opposed to actual tips. But hopefully someone out there appreciates them anyway.

The lesson I learnt this week comes from a place of frustration. I don’t think there is actually anything I can do about it. Let me explain…

When I started writing, I didn’t appreciate that it would affect my reading. And it has. In a big way.

I have shamefully become a snob. I used to be able to muddle my way through anything, even if I didn’t like it, I would persist and find something to like. But now…Now that I am super critical of my own writing, and I am trying to pick up all the intricacies of the super famous or spectacularly fantastic; when I come to read the books of anyone less than exceptional I find myself getting really REALLY annoyed. Take the book I’m reading currently. Uglies, by Scott Westerfield. There is nothing wrong with this book, its fairly infamous, and written reasonably well, obviously well enough to be published and selling books. BUT It’s annoying the shit out of me, for reasons I will tell you all about in another post.

My point is, under normal circumstances I would adore this book, it’s exactly the type of genre I love, it’s YA, fantasy, dystopian and a trilogy or actually more like 5 books or something. BUT, because my stupid brain is trying to absorb all the tricks of the trade, I now find myself deconstructing books, reading line by line for descriptions, techniques, characterisation, POV, scene setting and foreshadowing techniques.

I have lost my ability to read for the sake of reading. For the enjoyment. For the love of a good story.

My dream of being a writer, is utterly ruining my first love – reading.

I’m not sure what the lesson is here – because if you want to be a writer, you need to read.

But if anyone has the answer – Please for the sake of my sanity tell me how to stop this snobbery!