Writing A Novel… Kind Of

For years, I have worked on various projects that I hoped would develop into novels. I have participated in National Novel Writing Month without any real idea of the direction I wanted my piece to go. I have created countless character profiles in an effort to get to know my (frankly generic) characters. Over time, I let the projects sit, simmer and eventually trail off, and now they are in a folder that I labelled ‘Current Writing Projects’ maybe three years ago.

Well, the time for that is over.

One of the assessments for my creative writing course is completing a writing project of 8,000 words. It’s not much compared to an actual novel but for someone who’s primarily written short stories, it’s kind of a lot. I chose to write an extended fiction piece, possibly an excerpt of something that could go on to be a novel. In the beginning, I was very excited: I would finally get a proper chance to work at a longer project! I would finally take a step out of the short story/flash fiction world!

Continue reading “Writing A Novel… Kind Of”

Reading Experiences

Sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone is rewarding.

I recently read two books whose writing styles are quite different from the books I usually read. The first is called The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter, which is a collection of stories. The second is Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. In the case of the first book, I didn’t have a choice; it was part of my English course. Although the stories themselves are a little difficult for me to understand, and are not really the genre I usually read, I quite like certain aspects of the writing style. Some parts, such as the changing perspectives and tenses, are not ones that I particularly like, although I have to admit that they add to the mood of the stories. On the other hand, some of the imagery and literary devices used are powerful, and effectively add to the reader’s experience of the story.

I still remember one line from one of the stories: “Her hair falls down like tears.” I think that is one of the nicest descriptions I have ever read! In such few words, it makes me imagine hair flowing gracefully like a river, the strands running down like rivulets and falling fluidly along the back. The mention of tears also adds a melancholy to the description, and reveals a bit more about the character, while hiding just enough to keep the reader wondering. It really opened my eyes to the endless possibilities that can be used, when writing, to describe something beautifully and uniquely. There are other examples I could use, but this sentence has stuck with me since I read that particular story. Although I must say that the stories themselves are not quite my taste, the writing style itself is often beautiful, in my opinion.

Continue reading “Reading Experiences”