Tag Archive | Lauren Oliver

A Little Bit of Writing, And A Little Bit About Books

I was planning on getting 1k words done over the weekend. I wasn’t really sure how I was going to fit it all in, but I knew I had to – if I didn’t, I thought I was never going to get back into the habit of writing regularly.

By Monday afternoon, I’d not written anything. Poo. But I decided to write while I was cooking dinner and uploading photos to Facebook (have you noticed how long it’s now taking? Over an hour yesterday!!!). Not an ideal situation, but I have to take what I can get! I sent the boyfriend upstairs to watch TV and set about writing the scene I’ve been doing the last few weeks.

By the time dinner was ready, I was 615 words better off. Not  the 1,000 I wanted, but not a bad effort. We then had to travel back down to London, so I couldn’t do anything else.

Today, I decided I didn’t need to go out for lunch, that I’d get some from the canteen upstairs, and then do some writing. 358 words later I’m done.

It means I’ve still not reached the 1k total I wanted over the weekend, but it does mean I’m 973 words closer to writing those magic little words ‘The End.’ I need to be positive about it, not negative, so I’m giving myself a pat on the back!

I’d like to try to get some more done tonight, but I’m going out for dinner, then when I get in there’s loads of washing and stuff to do from the weekend. I’m not making excuses, I’m just being realistic! I’m also out for dinner tomorrow night, so I’ll try to get some writing done at lunch again. I may have to pop out though to do some dry cleaning and stuff, but I’m sure I can get in 10 minutes or so.

If I can do that tomorrow and Thursday, I’ll be somewhere near a regual pattern and that’s nothing but good!

And on to books.

I’ve just read something that reminded me Lauren Oliver’s Delirium was out in paperback at the beginning of the month. I read Before I Fall last year in prep for writing a YA novel for NaNo, and loved it. I know I say that about a lot of books, but I loved it enough to keep it rather than passing on to a friend, or giving to charity or something. I don’t do that with many books.

I knew then that I’d read anything else that Lauren Oliver wrote. Hence my now excitement that Delirium is out in paperback (incase you don’t know, I hate hardbacks, I find them way too hard to read, and way too heavy to carry around everywhere, which is what I do)

The only problem with this is that I’m still on the A to Z Challenge. I’m now on letter R. That means I have 8 1/2 books to read before the end of the year to complete it, and only really 3 months to do it (I generally don’t let myself read anything in November – I don’t really think I have time to NaNo and to read). That really means that I don’t really have anytime to read anything else. Damn. Maybe I’ll ask for it for Delirium for Christmas and it will be one of my first books next year to read.

But honestly, I don’t want to have to wait unit next year to read it. I hate this challenge 😦

More importantly than the A-Z challenge goal, is my ‘Holiday ‘ goal. It’s pretty much 2 months until NaNo, which means I have pretty much two months to finish the novel. Writing 615 words a week  (only 808 last week!) really isn’t going to get me there is it!

Will try harder this week. Honestly!

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Trying to Get Better

I love it when I check out my stats and stuff for the day and I see that people found my blog by searching for ‘Newtowritinggirl’. He he. Someone’s searched for ME. I don’t think it’s ever happened three times in one day before today. Awesome.

Whenever I go home (as in home to the parents), I always moan at my Mum for not going to bed early enough to get the sleep she needs. I realised today that I’m guilty of the same. I planned to go to the gym after work today, but once I’d been to the library to take a book back (at the other end of London) I couldn’t be bothered cause I was so tired. Of course it’s probably also adjusting from ‘working’ on reception to actually working. I’m not complaining – it’s nice.

Since I decided to do a YA novel for NaNo (12 days and counting), I’ve been reading YA books. I totally loved Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, but since then I’ve read one and a half that I didn’t love so much. The difference is amazing, when you consider the MC in all three are 16/17. BIF is what I’d consider an adult book, but with younger MCs – the writing was grown up etc. The other two, I presume are for younger teens – the writing is more basic, and ‘cooler’ (with loads of slang etc). I actually can’t stand the book I’m reading now – I think I’m going to give up with it (something I very rarely do). It’s quite hard to read cause every second word is some ‘cool’ word that teens would use (it’s not the pic on my ‘currently reading’ image, that particular one was pretty ok).

I’ve got a couple of cousins who are 17 and 19 and have been thinking of asking them what they and/or their friends are reading/have read recently. I don’t think the library helped me with it, cause there was just a ‘teenage’ section, it didn’t split young teens from older teens. I guess from the covers of the books I should have worked it out. I know they say don’t judge a book by its cover, but I always do. Most of the time I’m right to pick up the books I like, but then I guess I don’t know if the ones I haven’t read cause I didn’t like the cover were any good or not.

I don’t want to be too negative, but I really don’t think I’m going to get the plan of my NaNo novel ready to send off as my next writing course assignment in the next couple of days. They say all assignments will be returned within 10 days, so I know I’ve got to send it tomorrow or Thursday to guarantee it back by 31st. Maybe I’ll do that instead of writing for NovelPI for the next few days. Would that count I wonder? Maybe I’ll sit at my desk for lunch the next couple of days instead of going out! That would work pretty well! If I can force myself to do that.

I’ve just had a little search for Lauren Oliver. I thought I’d see if she’s got any other books out (she doesn’t – but has a new one out next year, that’s so going on my I WANT IT NOW list). I actually don’t have a I WANT IT NOW LIST (I think it deserves capitals), but I think I’m going to start one. Item 1: Lauren Oliver – Delirium. Funny, from just one book, I’m desperate to read her next one. I love it when I find an author like that.

Anyway, I’m digressing. I also found Lauren Oliver’s blog. I’ve really not got too much time to look at it too much, but from what I’ve read I think it’s going to be a very useful resource for me as a writer. Go have a look!  

Ok, now I’m really off to write. After I clean the bathroom. NO, write. But it needs cleaning. Agh! This is why I never get anything done – I spend too much time debating what I should be doing (or stress I’m not doing something else!).

Catch Up from the Weekend

I’m being a pretty rubbish blogger at the moment aren’t I? And it doesn’t look to get any better this week – eek! I’ve got good excuses though!

On Saturday I had no plans. None, nothing, nada. I decided I’d stay in bed in the morning reading, then go shopping (clothes shopping, my favourite!) in the afternoon. I’d started Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall on Friday (I think, maybe Thursday) and was really enjoying it so it sounded like  a great plan.

So I started reading when I woke up, I got so into the book I forgot about breakfast. About 1pm I decided I really should get up and go shopping. I forced myself to put the book down (FORCED – I was loving it) and had a shower. When I got back, I picked up the book, and said I’d read one chapter before getting ready and going. Uh, yeah. That didn’t happen. About 5/6pm I finished the book. I literally spent the whole day reading. Loved it though. I don’t know if I loved the fact I could cause I didn’t have anything else on, or the book more. Either way, I totally recommend Before I Fall, I’d been wanting to read it for ages, and it totally didn’t disappoint me. Was great to be reading a YA novel when I think I’m going to do one for NaNo.

Sunday was race day. I did the Run 10k race down in Crystal Palace. I’d never done anything like that before, but came in at 63 minutes. I could not be happier about that. Sunday I had to take a reprieve day for NovelPI. Luckily every 5 days solid writing you do, you get a reprieve day (I think you start with one too). I literally had no time to write, I got up, went for the run and then… um… went to the pub. For the rest of the day. Hey, I deserved it!

Monday was rubbish. I had the day off, and did nothing. Literally nothing (the hangover wouldn’t allow anything). UNTIL about 10.30pm when I decided I wasn’t going to let a measly hangover (it wasn’t measly in any shape or form) get in the way of my writing, so although I had another reprieve day I could’ve used for NovelPI, I forced myself to write. And I got about 270 words. Which isn’t too bad.

Which then leads to today. Today I started my new job (YAY). New job that I’m actually going to have to work at, so probably not have time for blogging during the day. BOOOO! Or writing DOUBLE BOO! I think when I get into a routine, I should be able to fit in some time at least at lunch, but at the mo I can’t – there’s too much going out for lunch with new colleagues/old colleagues etc. I’ve now got lunch and after work plans for the rest of the week. Normally I wouldn’t complain about having such a hectic social life, but seriously, when am I going to write? OR blog?

I went to the library to get some books today (funny, I’m sure that’s what people do at libraries!). I NEED some more YA books to read before I start mine in November. So, I got: Love Letters: Message in a Bottle by Jahnna N. Malcolme, Are Those My Basoomas I See Before Me? by Louise Rennison and Avalon High by Meg Cabot. The library is great and all, but it doesn’t have many NEW books. These three were the newist I could find that seemed romancey for the age group I’m aiming for. I’m planning on finishing all three before the end of the month. Hopefully that’s an achievable goal!

I think that’s all I have to say for myself right now. Hope you guys are having a good week. Just think a lunch time tomorrow, we’re halfway to the weekend – woop!!!

Late Thursday Blog – Writing, Reading and Running

Ok firstly – really excitingly, it’s my last day at work tomorrow. Woopie! That means today I did absolutely NOTHING. In fact I spent a whole hour reading my book this afternoon. Result. Tomorrow looks like it will be filled with the same – especially as all our computer systems go down at 16.00 (ready for a data centre to move over the weekend) and I work until 18.00. I’m well looking forward to those two hours!

Almost as exciting as that is that I got Before I Fall in the post today (thank you Amazon for offering a FREE next day delivery trial). And, due to all the reading today, I’ve finished my current novel so can start it straight away! * dances round the room in excitement *

I went through a load of emails last night to try to put together all my ‘Holiday’ documents. I think I’ve lost some of them. Possibly two bits. This is what you get for not writing a novel in order, but jumping around doing which ever bit you fancy on that day!

I discovered the loss when I was writing yesterday and what I was typing seemed familiar. I thought I’d written exactly the same thing before. In that scene. But, I couldn’t find it anywhere. Thinking more about it, I realised there was another scene I remember writing, which I can’t find. Oh dear. I’ll have another look tonight. Maybe they’re just not titled Holiday, so a search doesn’t bring them up. I need to get more organised!

I’m still doing well with NovelPI. Really well. So well, I’m thinking of unofficially upping my daily goal. I’m hitting over 300 nearly everyday without too much trouble(409 today), so think I might increase it to 500 – to myself anyway. 300 isn’t stretching me, it’s getting me into the habit of writing, but 500 would stretch me. Although do I really want to be stretched when I’ve got NaNo round the corner? I’ll think a little more about that.

I’m getting more and more ideas for my NaNo novel. It’s def going to be the YA novel I’m calling DD at the mo. One of the possible titles I’ve thought of is the same as a movie that came out maybe a year ago. Does that mean I shouldn’t use it? It’s a saying, so it’s not like it’s unusual or anything (I’m not thinking of stealing a title that’s original – this title is totally not original. Maybe that says it all.)

Off the topic of writing, I had my last practice run today before my charity 10km run on Sunday. I did 4km, in a time I’m really happy with. Considering I’ve been injured recently, if I even complete it all running I’ll be happy, if I can do it in a decent time I’ll be ecstatic. I’m running for cancer research, a really worthy cause I think. If anyone fancies sponsoring myself and my two friends (collectively known as The Three Helens) this is our fundraising page: http://www.run10ksponsorme.org/helenwilkinsonandhelenjackson

Ooh, I’ve done my Fiction Friday piece for tomorrow already. Very proud of myself. I hadn’t planned to do anything this week cause the prompt didn’t fit in at all with Holiday, but an idea came to me and I couldn’t shake it. I HAD to write it. I wonder if I’ll like it as much tomorrow!

Without FB & Twitter… What Am I doing?

It’s 4.30 PM. Now I don’t have Twitter or Facebook at work, you’d think I might have done some writing today wouldn’t you. Uh… No! I have no idea in fact what I have been doing. How does that happen?

For the last 20 minutes I’ve been doing something pretty productive. I’m kind of plotting one of the ideas I’ve got for NaNo. I’ve got a couple of ideas for the title, so until I decide on one, I’m going to call it DD. This is the young adult one. At the moment I’m loving the idea. I think it could really work.

I think it’s going to be 1st person again and the MC is 16, maybe 17. I’m getting her worked out in my head. And her best friend. The other girl that’s going to hold a pivotal role in the novel, I’m not so sure about. One of my problems with her is that she’s American. Language and slang are going to be a problem. I wonder if watching hours of American TV could be classed as research…? Friends/How I Met Your Mother here I come. Ooh, I could probably watch the Gilmour Girls too, that’s got a teenager in. Oh! And Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Or maybe I should find something more modern, with teenagers, so the language is up to date. Or, maybe I shouldn’t use TV at all?!?

I’ve not started on the plan for the other novel, maybe I’ll get as excited about that as this one, but at the moment I doubt it. I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing this one in November. I think I decided that at the weekend, but I’m not sure. Not 100% anyway. Not yet.

This does mean that I need to read some YA novels before November. I don’t have any at home to be read… so I think I need to visit the library. Woo hoo. Uhm, I mean, oh no!

Well, that and… buy a new book! I just snuck off to buy a book (hooray for Amazon). It’s Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. There was a lot of hype about this when it came out, and I really wanted to read it, but never got round to buying it (or wouldn’t let myself with such a huge TBR pile of books at home). Now I have an excuse. Excellent.

On Amazon I also stumbled upon a book called Before I Die (by Jenny Downham). I nearly bought it, but then told myself buying two books that revolve around death probably isn’t the greatest move. Maybe I’ll get it next month or something.

I’m really enjoying Summer Dreams, Winter Love. I thought that it might not be as great as an adult as it was at 13, but I think it is. It’s really good to be reading just before I write a YA novel anyway. It’s shown me that there’s not that much difference between YA and adult romance (except some of the things the characters do!). It’s all about emotion and falling for someone. That’s almost the same however old you are. You still get the rush when you see them/kiss them etc. It’s just how you handle it is different.

It’s now 17.30, and I’ve still not done any writing today. I should be shot, seriously! I’m going to do some now, then when I get home later too. Or maybe I’ll do some plotting (for Holiday) instead. I think it would be easier to start writing if I knew what I was about to write! Who would have thought I’d be a plotter not a panster when it comes to writing??