Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Book Review: This Dark Endeavor

So, I'm about 20 pages from the end of this book but I thought I'd blog about it now. THIS DARK ENDEAVOR by Kenneth Oppel is a prequel (of sorts) to the life of Victor Frankenstein (based off Mary Shelley's character in FRANKENSTEIN). In this novel we get to follow the young sixteen year old, his twin brother, a family friend, and a cousin through an adventure to find three ingredient to the elixir of life (to save his brother's life). Victor is passionate (in a scary way), jealous, selfish, competitive, and loyal. An all around great character (I both like him and dislike him). The supporting cast is pretty amazing too. I love Oppel's writing style and can't wait to read more of his work, including: HALF BROTHER. (I think I blogged about it being on my reading list, but I had to return it to the library before I got a chance to read much). I was easily pulled into THIS DARK ENDEAVOR and can't wait to finish it. It's definitely one that I got lost in (something I was craving). I do recommend it. It may be a part of a series, which I'll definitely follow. I'm now a Kenneth Oppel fan and can't wait to read his other work (he's pretty prolific). I actually want to read Mary Shelley's novel now. I suppose it's one of those that I should have read already... and might have in high school. I really can't remember much of those assigned books from English. I should make a reading list to go back and reread all that "boring" stuff (as I saw it back in the day).

In the past few days I've been on vacation (at home in Nebraska) and bought LES MISERABLES... now that is a LONG novel. I hope to read it, but I'm not sure when I'll get to it. I haven't made much editing progress since I finished up with my nook editing. I have to find my rhythm again and I already know that sitting on the couch with my lap top, while watching TV, isn't going to work.

Update: Finished the book! It really is excellent in my opinion. The ending is fitting to how the whole story plays out. I feel inspired by this book. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I have Halloween fever!

I really can't wait for Halloween. And this video was pretty damn amazing and funny! Enjoy.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Finished with Nook editing!!

Today I finished putting my Nook edits into the computer! That's one big hurdle jumped. I'll have to go back to the halfway point and start reading out loud, but at least that's nearing the final stage. Now I have about 290 pages to read out loud and edit (hopefully trimming down excess words too). For my Nook edits I cut 4,200 words (rounding up a bit) and I think that's around 10 pages. [However, I just realized that I've actually cut 100 pages total from the first draft. I forgot that I reorganized it to end in a different spot. So, that's actually tons of progress.] I'm trying to remind myself not worry too much about length. I just want a tight story. So, yay! I'm one step closer now.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I'm on a roll so far...

I just reached chapter 29 (of 40) on my Nook. And a lot of that happened in the past few days [this new computer rocks!] I'm entering these edits like a crazy woman, let me tell you. Unfortunately I still need to go back to chapter 16 where I stopped reading aloud (which is often my final round of editing for most stories). After that, I feel like it's be pretty close to being done. I'm still a bit worried about a few large-level things, but I don't think there will be any plot-crushing gaps. We'll see, I suppose. I've "killed most of my babies" as writing advisers say--but one still remains. I do not want to kill him at this stage. Sure he plays a bigger role in book 2 and 3, but I feel that it's important to introduce him here. My worry is that he doesn't show up enough for people to care. Oh, Colin. *sigh*

Sadly, I know that this novel will have more edits to come in the future. The important thing right now is to get it down and to move on to something new. It's really time for me to start writing book 2. It'll be good to start something new I think. My mind needs a bit of a break--I feel like I've got a bit of cabin fever going on. Too bad I can't multitask and write and edit at the same time. It just doesn't work for me.

MODEL LAND update: I'm on page 73 (I think) and I'm pretty positive I'm going to set the book aside for now (maybe forever). I mean it took me 10 days to read 73 pages! Some of the craziness is thinning out, but there's still a lot of.... I don't even know what to call it. It's just too much at times. Too Tyra. I don't think it's poorly written. I'd say it's about down the middle in regard to most YA writers that I read. It's taking me too long to get into it. I'll try again tonight, but if something doesn't grab me about this main character then I'm likely done with the book. I guess I'm just not really into modeling culture. At this point, I'm not sure if Tyra really deserves some of the negative comments I've seen from people.

I'm not sure what to read next, although THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER is calling to me. I'm not sure what it is about this book that's draws me. The cover is pretty nice. It may have something to do with how the main character wakes up in the hospital with no memories. Anyway, this book may be my first Nook purchase over .99 cents. All I know is that I'm ready to be lost in something. I need a page turner. Maybe it's finally time to read HUNGER GAMES. I don't know why I've waited so long to read that series. I hear nothing but amazing things about it. I'm sure I'll love it. Still, I feel like I want to wait a little longer. Maybe until I'm done with SURRENDER. I'm not worried that they're the same, only that I'll feel discouraged with my own writing.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

New Computer!!!

I'm typing this post from my brand new laptop! I've been in the market for one for about a month (with a lot of disappointments along the way). I'm writing this post from my bed. (Gosh, I've missed the portability!) The best thing about this is that I'll be able to write from wherever now. AND I'VE GOT SPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED! I'm hoping that this means an increase in productivity in regard to my novel(s). We'll see though. Now it's a lot like playing with a new toy.

In other news, my copy of Tyra Banks' MODEL LAND (it's supposed to be one word, but the double L makes me crazy for some reason) came in to the library today. I placed a hold on this book not because I was excited for it to come out; no, this is more about curiosity. There seems to be an onslaught of celebrities jumping into the YA field. Starting with that girl from The Hills (her clothing line at Kohl's is nice), then Hilary Duff, and now Tyra. Hilary supposedly had "assistance" and Tyra's claiming to have done it on her own (says that it took five years from conception to final draft; and that it was initially 1000 pages. I guess I need to stop worrying about my page length for SURRENDER). She's been getting slammed in reviews (both Barnes and Noble and Goodreads) and I'm curious in how much of it comes from haters (who are put out that she probably used her celebrity to get published. I'll admit that I've got my toe in this pool of thought.) and how much of it is legitimate gripes about poor storytelling/writing. I'm scared of what I'll find in the pages of this book. I secretly want to love it and cheer her on (cause it's gotta be hard to be taken seriously), but I'm already finding things to dislike. And then....... the main character is named Tookie de la Creme (not lying) and the first seven pages is told from some unseen narrator who says "dahling" a lot. It could be good and it could be very bad. I'll try to make it through the first chapter at least and will report back. I have my doubts... and I'm a little bothered that she has six pages of acknowledgements in the back of the book (it's in small font so it could be more). I always read the ackloweledgments to learn a little more about the authors (and to see if they drop agent names!). Six pages seems a bit self involved (especially since she's thanking Greece at one point). Sigh.

Oh well, I still love Top Model. I don't watch it for Tyra... the girls are always interesting.

@Jammi: What did you think of Supernatural this week? Let's discuss!