Monthly Archives: January 2014

Authors inventing new Words

Did you ever hear of the word Quidditch before you read the Harry Potter books? Or even muggle? No, you didn’t because author J.K. Rowling invented these words for her Harry Potter world. This is common for authors, who invent new words within their stories. J. R.R. Tolkien created the word tween, while Shakespeare created over several thousand new words, like bump, sanctimonious, gnarled and bloody.

These are only a few of the words that have been created by authors. 10 Words Invented by Authors, is another site that explores some more words that have been created by authors.

JMR

 

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The Forgotten Novels

How many times do readers hear of a famous author and read the novel that gave the author a name, and yet never read other novels by the same author? Is it because the others are not as good? Or are they overlooked because they have not been given much consideration in the literary world.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” This is the opening sentence in Jane Austen’s prestige novel Pride and Prejudice. Many who have not read the novel, surely know the name of Mr Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennet, because of the television or movie adaption. Austen published four novels during her life and two posthumously. Of these six novels, Pride and Prejudice, the second novel to be published, is her most well-known novel. But, what about her other novels, are they hidden behind the prestige of Pride and Prejudice? Northanger Abbey (1818) is one of Austen’s overshadowed novels.  The novel is a parody of Gothic fiction, as Austen turns the conventions of eighteenth-century literature on its head, with her literary allusions and plain heroine. But, despite this the story is cleverly written and comical, displaying an ordinary picture of a young girl, with a wild imagination and falling in love.

Another novel that has been pushed aside, to the forgotten to read books, is Charlotte Bronte’s Villette (1853). This novel is Bronte’s fourth, and is a favourite of mine with Bronte’s prestige Jane Eyre, (1847) her most commonly known novel.  Villette follows Lucy Snowe, who after an unspecified family disaster, travels from England to the fictional French-speaking city of Villette to teach at a girl’s school, where she is drawn into adventure and romance. Villette, is exceptionally written and provides a deep character portrayal of Lucy Snowe. It is difficult to say why Villette is overlooked by fans of Jane Eyre, perhaps because we had no idea what Mr Rochester had in his attic, that still astounds the readers today. But, Villette doesn’t disappoint, with its psychological state of Lucy Snowe, and the ambiguity of the ending as, Bronte stated as a “little puzzle.”

Overall, Austen and Bronte, are more commonly known for their one novel that made their name in the literary world. Even though they have other novels, which are just as well written, developed and classics, they are overlooked, by the prestige that is given to their more famous of novels. But, as readers, we shouldn’t forget the other novels that have been written by some of the greatest writers of English literature.

JMR

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How many Words?

Every new writer always asks the question of how many words should I write for my story? There are various answers and positions on how many, but overall it really depends on you. I was no different when writing my manuscript. I questioned how many words should I aim for, but when starting with your first draft there shouldn’t be an emphasis on word counts – just writing the story should be what you are concerning yourself with.

Though once that first draft is done, and you congratulate yourself, it is time for the next draft to be written where more concentration is on expaninding the story, fleshing some scenes out, more dialouge, and character development. This is usually when I pay attention on if my story is too short or too long. It is usely too short, sometimes.

National Novel Writing Month requires its novels to be around 50 000 words. But there are no firm rules. Whereas a novella is aimed to be around 17 000 to 40 000 words, and short stories under 10 000 words. It really depends on how many words it takes for you, as the writer to spin that beautiful story. However, for curious sake lets take a look at some word counts.

An adult novel, contemporary literature, around 80 000 to 90 000 words.

Science fiction and fantasy novels, are usually around the 90 000 words to over 100 000 word count.

Crime fiction 90 000 to 100 000 words

Mystery/Thrillers/Suspense 70 000 to 90 000 words

Paranormal 75 000 to 90 000 words

Historical 100 000 words

Young Audlt Fiction 50 000 to 80 000 words

These word counts are mostly guidelines to new writers, and basically set the bar for where the word count might be in the genre you’ve written. There are some books that do not conform to these guidelines, but it is nice to have a rough idea. It really depends on how many words it takes for you, as the writer to spin that beautiful story.

JMR

 

 

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Book Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent by Veronica Roth, is a must read for anyone who likes to read science fiction and dystopian. Divergent is about a sixteen year old girl, Tris who is forced to make a terrible choice. In a divided society where everyone must conform, Tris does not fit. Tris ventures out alone, determined to discover where she truly belongs.

Divergent had me captivated and kept me in constant suspense during the two days it took me to read it – I just couldn’t put it down. Divergent is well written and brilliantly executed, and a top debut novel by Roth. Tris, is the type of fierce heroine that is captivated throughout the whole story, which I love to see in young adult fiction. The characters are well developed, which just makes reading the story stronger.

Can’t wait to read book 2.

JMR

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I am a Writer

It was during high school when I first started to write stories. I’ve written a few short stories, but at the moment I am busy writing my first novel. The manuscript is half way through being edited.

Writing takes a lot of time and strength. You’ve got to keep at it. While I’ve been writing my manuscript, I’ve had some days when I couldn’t be bothered with writing and then there were days when I would do nothing but writing. Questions would plague my mind. Why am I doing this? Is this going to be good enough? Is this story ever going to be published? Overall most of the answers would be negative, but I’ve finally finished the manuscript and even though I still have doubts while editing through the eighty thousand worded manuscript, I am not afraid to be a writer anymore. Because that is what I am, even though I am unpublished, I’ve written that story. I’ve taken that time in my life and wrote that story that I’ve always wanted to create.

JMR

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The Beginning

Starting a blog is a very daunting experience, just like beginning to read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was, after years of waiting for the final book. You’re unsure of where it is going to take you and unprepared for what is to come, but you take courage and you start.

Ever since I was a child, I’ve always been reading and it has always been my favourite hobby. Reading became my life, as I read those words that were written on that printed page, telling a story that grasped my imagination and kept my nose in its pages till I came to the end. It was only until I began to write my own stories, that I began to consider just how important writing is. Any reader and writer must surely agree the importance that words have in our world today, it is how we express ourseleves, either verbally or written.

Reading and writing books is a way for us to have doors open – our imaginations are able to soar and travel with the characters, going on adventures and falling in love – all because of those words strung into a sentence that tells us a wonderful story.

JMR

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