Sunday, December 2, 2012

Is Grammar and Spelling Important In Novel writing?

Is Grammar and Spelling Important In Novel writing?

Sumtimes I read the noosespaper. (Good story, bro, tell it again.) My Dad reads it every weekend, or tries to, at least. When I was younger, he would pull my Sister and I up and show us a typo. This would also happen for advertisements when we were out and about; I have a keen eye for such grammar mistakes and typos because of that, which has become my jetpack for jettisoning over the grammar pitfalls of writing.

How can it be that people whom are paid to write can have a published piece out in the wild with grammar problems and typos? I suppose the first thing to consider is this: no one is perfect, least of all the entirety of humanity and computer programming.

I could write a novel (yeah, I can!) and not do any spell-checking. Let's also assume that I don't know how to write with mostly correct grammar, and also, let's say that I didn't use the spell-checker to mitigate (in most cases) the problems.

So, the piece gets out there, because that's how the world works. (If you didn't know, all you have to do to become a famous righter is get your piece “out there”. Pretty simple, dummy.) People then pick up your piece and become enthralled by the miraculous story and diction-talent that you possess. It becomes a popyoular book! That's amazing, and all u had to do was right it. Yeah, you rok.

Xept, I don't believe that ever actually happens. It can't be write that righters can just pen/type out a potentially mind-blowing piece and push it to the world and actually get somewhere off just that. It will never happen that way. (And if it does, feel free to strip me of my jetpack.)

But, you might say that not all diealogue is in correct grammar. Oh, yeah, for sure, but that's usually fine. Why? Well, dialogue is when the character is speaking. (Is that how it works? I had no idea, thank you!) So, if the character is speaking, then the dialogue should represent their dialect.

Back to the point of the article. Why will peaces that are poor in their grammar and spelling never make it big? Because people generally hate to sift through those missedakes for a long period of time, myself included. I find it frustrating, and more so if I paid for the work. Njoyment is usually what I want from reading a book. The act of reading it shouldn't force me to think two hard about the actual words yoused. If it does, perhaps it was the dictionary? Hey, it could be.

Think of it from another point of view. You have a phone. It's awesum and does phone things (smartly, I'm sure). But, its slow when loading “apps” and you can't change all of the settings to your liking. After some time, using the device gets on your nerves for at least sum of its functions. But, u have that two-year contrack; good luck with that.

We shouldn't put it up with overly unedited writing, unless we are editors! For the most part, though, buks are published with at least the paulish of correct grammar and lack of signiphicant typos. What a great feet and I'm happy that we have accomplished that much! But, I'm not so sure that will last. Our world is becoming less formal by the deckade...will I be a stalwart in twenty years because I right more correctly than another writer?

I find it important to right with an eye for correct spelling and yousage of grammars. What do you think? Are you a writer or a reader?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

What happens when I ____?

When I first wrote the title to this post, I had the concept of a "What happens when I <insert curse-word> up?"

However, that's actually a narrow perspective, therefore this post will cover the great eff-ups and successes, and how the author (you/I) should deal with them.

An author can force a story to deteriorate in more ways than should be allowed.

I can pull on that one thread and suddenly I wish I'd left it all alone because now I have one long spaghetti of story. Certainly, you can put it back together...but it may not be easy.

Was that chapter really necessary? What did it do for the character, for the reader?

I spend the entire story building up the character's personality and desires, and I don't want to screw up! Perfection is ideal. Attainable? No.

But, back to that chapter example. There has been at least on time where I wrote an entire chapter that I then threw away. I can divulge this one thing quite easily: it was not enjoyable. I spent a good hour on that thing. Sure, it was the first draft and it wasn't a long chapter, but come on! I wrote the scenes, had some ideas for the next chapter, and then with some thought, I realized it was for naught. Perhaps my whims had caught up with me: I can't write the perfect list of chapters on the first go anymore. Normally, I'll add chapters on later drafts, but remove in the first? That's not how I thought I'd do it.

So, what happens when you screw up? You fix it. In my case, I removed the virus chapter and replenished the story with a better one that gave the story the direction it needed. It was actually surprisingly easy, once I realized I had the second chance. Still, I didn't really plan out the replacement, but I was in high spirits. And I got some comedy out of it...always a good thing.

To summarize: when you make a big mistake, bring out your critical eye and take a sip of I-can-do-better. And perhaps add some sugar. Find a better way. Take your story as a whole and work through it!

Onto the optimistic side:

When I do well I get giddy. Woot I rock at writing! I want a slow-clap. Now.

I got through the tough passage and the character is up against a huge block that they have to surpass. Yeah, it's a good time to be the writer: how will it go down? I just set up the story for that amazing thing? Yeah, I'm awesome.

The gotcha? Don't get complacent. Most likely you're not finished with the draft. If you are, then move to the next draft, else hire an editor.

If you have more writing to do, be happy for what you did, but move on. As most of us know by now, one day you'll feel ravishing about your accomplishment, but the next downright dreadful. Take it in turns and be strong, you Writer.




I read an interesting article a few weeks ago. (What, you didn't?)

If I find the URL for it, I'll post it up, but for now I'll go into the summary, and my thoughts on it, in a practical sense.

Novelists have a hard time; we have long pieces that need to hold the reader, build up conflict in a somewhat well-measured time, and keep a look-out on the end from the get-go. Short-story writers don't have that same problem. As far their problems go, that's not for this piece.

So, if we have such a hard time keeping things in-line, understandable, and interesting, how can we know we've done such things? It's not easy, as I subtly alluded to above. And, the article goes into the following methods for helping out the novelist, using short-story methods:

  • write from multiple POVs (point-of-views)
  • Break up the major arcs into sub-arcs that are more or less self-contained
Hey, that's work! Or, hey, I already write out the POV of a few/several main characters. (I normally don't do multiple POV, but perhaps that will change.)

 It's important to have an idea of the flow of the story at every point. That may mean that, at least for single POV stories, that you, the author, write passages of the other characters. In this manner, you can fill plot-holes, and understand your characters, the world, and events better. Isn't that a good thing?

It's this re-draw that I find interesting. My, what if you actually like what you write in this stage? Maybe that means the next draft actually uses those bits? Why not? It's your story, write it how you find it best.

I'm planning on doing just that, I think. I still am working on the draft, but I am closing in on the ending, and once I've taken my break from the story, I'm looking forward to this incredibly in-depth method. Sure, it's going to take a long time, and my frustration level is going to rise. However, the idea is that my story will be better off for it in the end. Want to try that yourself? Go ahead! I doubt you will be disappointed for the effort.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Enthralling, Forworn Tale of Eragon

The Enthralling, Forworn Tale of Eragon

Christopher Paolini, the author of The Inheritance Cycle, is a New York Time's Best-selling author. He gained his claim to fame with Eragon, which he originally drafted at 16. Almost a year ago, he published the last of the four book series, the final of which was named Inheritance.


Eragon, although a sophomoric tale of the protagonist, Eragon, was an interesting read by an author so young. Paolini took his love for literature, and fantasy in particular, as inspiration with this book, and of course, the series as a whole.

The first book showed many signs of Star Wars. (I should probably cite my sources, but you can either peruse Wikipedia, articles in print or on the web, or read the books yourself. I will do my best only to stake claims from reputable sources I have read, as well as those that I believe to be true -- it is up to you, the reader, whether or not to believe them.) Is it bad to love Star Wars? Some may say so, but that's not the point, here. And, of course, I don't say whether it's wrong to use, subconsciously or intentionally, inspiration from the stories one loves. As I have mentioned in previous posts, as well as Kyle, it is nigh impossible to create a genuine story anymore.

Had Eragon been written with less childish diction, though, perhaps the writing would have been able to stamp out some of the claims that Paolini had only re-stamped his name on certain stories.

Eldest, the second book, only gave more fire to the plagiarism claims. There are many implied and informal references to popular stories, both in literature, as well as film. Even so, I was not bothered by that so much because there were still cases of the realm Paolini had developed where originality and quality writing broke through. He began to find his way in this book, I believe. In the end, though, I found the book to be longer than it should have been. However, at 19 years old when I read it (and having not read an enormous amount of fiction), I wasn't yet bothered by the hefty book.

Brisingr, the third book, was supposed to be the final one, but Paolini laid down the law and promised he would be able to finish the series in four. He said that he made the story larger than he'd anticipated, and thus one more would be the most appropriate way to conclude it. This book took a leaf from Eldest, such that it showed Paolini's best effort in terms of creativity so far. His most avid readers, though, were able to see through certain mysteries (Eragon's true father, for instance). After I had time reflect upon the story, and discuss it with my bro-in-law, we both had come to the conclusion that it was long and that the characters had seemed to dredge on about Galbatorix this and Galbatorix that, as if the reader was not painfully aware of by now whom the major villain was. As far as adding in the Drwarves political affairs...well...that only added to the length.

Inheritance, the final book, is where most mysteries come to an end. Much like Eldest and Brisingr, though, I found it to be far too long. You may not feel the same way. Paolini was able to take his creativity and passion even further into places I didn't know he could go. However, while reading this book particularly, I became frustrated and weary as I continued on. Some chapters were amazing, while others felt pointless. I felt that Paolini never learned how not to describe something in its entirety. There are just too many words, and not enough braincells to take it all in even three times in some places. It is a shame because the story is quite entertaining overall, if given the time to read and time to reflect. The actual ending wore me down. A few parts sparked my interest, but overall I was already so worn-down by the book and series as a whole that I continued to read nearly just to finish it.

Let me state this once: Christopher Paolini is a very talented author.

Did his editors give him too much room? I believe so. He was a popular author who made Knopf of course they only gave it enough to make it readable and as relevant to the reader and story as possible.

Paolini showed major strengths in writing multiple POVs. That was also one of his greater weaknesses as a creative author; sometimes we just need to move on with the story, without directly involving another important character where the author feels it is absolutely necessary.

The ending was quite pleasant, which I supposed shouldn't have surprised me. I say that because by the time the book had ended, most of the copy-cat lines people had stated about the work, at least in my mind (since I haven't read all of fantasy), were not nearly as important to the work as they said. He made it his own, and that is something of which to be proud.

Would I recommend the series to someone else? It depends on their taste. Is it a waste to read? No. Does it bring anything divine to the world? You be the judge.

I love the Harry Potter books. Book 5 was too long, but even so, after having read it many times, I still the love the dang thing, even if I might skip some paragraphs now and then. Would I re-read The Inheritance Cycle? Tough call; only time will tell.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Keep it fresh

Kyle and I have been busy, it seems. We've taken time away from this site, but here is a "quick" post to jump start us, hopefully.

I'm far in DAHDBB, my main folklore, fantasy, sci-fi, novel. I have pride in that. Sure, I wish I was finished with it, so that I could edit and move on to trying out agents. But, that's not how it is, yet.

Why do I have pride? Because the last novel I wrote was for NaNoWriMo, and in some ways I wish that was the case with this one. I want to have a draft done in a month. It's a good feeling to know that the word count is there and that I can edit all the faster. I've been writing DAHDBB since September. I came up with the original first chapter last May, let it fall into the abyss, until I snatched it up again and thought, "Hey, this could be really good." So, I have pride because I'm writing despite my wish that I could go faster. I'm continuing to push to the end, no matter how crappy the first draft may be.

Now, to the "Keep it fresh" theme.

Don't get complacent.

The second that La Escritora, Ha Sopheret, The Writer, thinks that she has no problems writing her story, or editing her draft, is the one where she will fail herself.

Fail herself? Eh? Say what?

It's nay impossible to write a wholly original piece, today. Try to write a decently original story and there will be an audience clamoring for more. The only time a rip-off story will be popular is when the initial cycle of audiences has never read fiction, or fiction in the category you've written, so they don't know any better. Sorry to say, but that's happened to me, especially with Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle (Eragon books). I still haven't read the last one, Inheritance. But, that's another post.

If I can't write a completely original story, why shouldn't I just rest on my literary laurels and steal from the greats? Because that's illegal, for one, but also I wish to become a great writer off of my own talent and eager, excited fan-base.

Thus, Keep It Fresh. Put those veggie plots in a new place in the fridge, or introduce a new delectable food to the cold place. What do you have to lose? Cutting it out later if it didn't go well, or editing the shit out of it till it works? So, time, really. But, to gain? A more promising, enriching story. That's what you want.

I keep thinking that I will not strengthen my weaknesses as a writer, and boy I know what they are. I ask for feedback and criticism, so I'm not exactly avoiding unpleasantries.

But, I'm still trying. At every chapter, I ask myself what is interesting, what is confusing, what is boring, and what will this do for the story. Some times I'm wrong, or I don't see it, yet. I'm sure that's happening with DAHDBB. Yet, that doesn't deter me from trying out new ways to tell my story -- even if it means I have to surprise myself, sometimes. That usually means a character does something and it makes me wonder why and what it might mean. And the consequence of such an occurrence is only as far-reaching as my imagination. Hey, they're my characters. Kill 'em off if I don't like them. Or, better yet, have them lead the protagonist into a trap. Yeah. Do it.

Henceforth, your goal and mine shall be to dice up those fresh greens and bag 'em up in different places. See what happens. You just might like the result.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Word Clouds

I found an interesting site that creates word clouds out of any text. I wanted to share the results here.

First the word cloud for Seven Heroes Books:

Now here is the Word Cloud for the draft of my book Fates

I will be eradicating the words "back" and "face" now.

And the draft of Jason's book, Daniel and his Dead Brother Brian

Wait, who is this book is about?

I think this might actually be a good writing exercise. When I edit my next draft, you can bet I'm going to be on the lookout for overused words. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Making some good changes

I graduated college last month and began obtaining my freedom into the land of adulthood where dreams flourish and...pigs fly. Well, as a writer with a sudden increase in free time until I start my new job, I've been making some changes.

"I'm Writing a Novel, Officer!" --Weird Things I've Googled For Something I was Writing
If you take a glance at my web browsing history after I finish a writing session, you are likely to come away with three conclusions:
  1. I can’t spell “beaurocracy” (bureaucracy as it turns out), often not even close enough for Google to figure it out.
  2. A Good portion of my time “writing” is actually spent on Tumblr, Facebook, and Pandora.
  3. I might be planning to commit some pretty God-damned serious murder. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

"Fantasy" is NOT The Same Goddam Thing as "Scifi"

Every time I walk into a bookstore or library, I usually make a brief stop in the section labeled "Science Fiction." Yes, yes, I'm a nerd, but if you'll stop snickering now, I'm going to make a point of literary taxonomy that may just blow your mine; Goddamn dragons and swords and magic and scantily clad amazonian warrior women do not belong in the goddamn "science fiction" section...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Review: The Demonata By Darren Shan

Darren Shan, best known for his Cirque Du Freak series, finished his ten-piece Epic Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and horror-ridden series The Demonata in 2010.

A friend of mine recommended the story to me, lending me her copies of the first four books. The first, Lord Loss, although possibly slow at times for me, was a delightful read overall, and I was quite curious to continue.

I wasn't let down as the story came to a close. There were many plot points that surprised me, and since it is a fantasy piece primarily (with strong Sci-Fi later on), that is a good thing. I don't like being able to figure out the plot of a story hundreds of pages in advance, and with The Demonata, I was rarely able to guess how things would go until toward the end of the tenth book.

Darren Shan has a wonderful talent for horror, guts, humor, and dialogue. The last two may seem out of place, and that's fine.

One of my biggest points of contention was in the number of books. I don't think it needed to last ten. Given that, the actual events were nearly perfect for the story. I wouldn't remove any of them, again, just the number of books. Books seven and eight could have been merged into two parts of the same book. The same could be said for 9 and 10, but then again not everyone loves to read epically long books.

I find that I want the story to continue. I finished it half an hour ago and I miss many parts of it. Darren Shan reached his goal for me: he entertained me, and taught me some life lessons (or at least reinforced).

To learn more about Darren Shan, please visit his website:

Till next time,


Monday, January 2, 2012

One Year, Baby!

Today at Seven Heroes Books, we are celebrating our one year anniversary. Quite exciting! And, this event provides us with some sort of requirement to summarize what we have done in the past year, and what we may have learned.

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