What I’m Writing: March, 2019

Progress on my YA urban fantasy novel continues. I recently joined Scribophile to post my chapters and get feedback from other readers and writers. So far, I’m happy with their services and would recommend it to other writers. Earlier this week I put up the first chapter of the novel and was happy get critical feedback from four different readers. Yay! Each reader pointed out different areas that need improvement and the challenge is to consider which advice to follow and which to ignore. It reminds me of the writing advice I heard a long time ago when it comes to receiving feedback from other readers: “Reader A will think one thing, Reader B will think another, and Reader C will think somebody farted.”

One thing I noticed was that many of my sentences sound alike and are repetitive. I’m glad someone caught onto this so that gives me a goal to work towards. I also need to focus on pacing and adding more sensory details to paint a stronger image for my reader.

In addition, I’m also starting an epic fantasy series that I hope will last at least three books or longer. I’m excited about starting this story because the characters and plot have been floating around in my head ever since high school. These ideas have evolved and changed over time, but the essence has remained the same. I’m happy to have finished a rough plot diagram for the first book and to have started writing the first chapter.

Looking forward to sharing more of my writing progress next month!

What I’m Reading: March 2019 (part 2)

Finishing Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale reminded me of the time I finished reading Orwell’s 1984 in high school. I was sucked into the bleak dystopia and unable to put it down until I reached what I believed would be a bitter end. However, unlike Orwell’s novel, Atwood’s book ends on a hopeful note, reminding you that no empire lasts forever. The focus of the book was on the horrible treatment of women, but I wonder how the children in this world are treated and raised. Another critique I have is about the historical notes section at the end. It seems repetitive and doesn’t offer much, but otherwise the book is still a pleasure to read.

As much as I enjoyed Atwood’s novel, I don’t want to stay much longer in Gilead’s totalitarian state and will continue my reading of Matthew Farrer’s Enforcer trilogy. Next on my list is Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, an anthology of American Fantasy and Science Fiction, plus a collection of Marvel graphic novels featuring the Human Torch, Ares, and Ebenezer Scrooge in a Zombie retelling of a Christmas Carol. I’ve already finished The Torch #1-8 by Alex Ross and Mike Carey and was impressed with the exciting action and intriguing storyline with a super hero I don’t follow very much. I remember watching the BBC Neverwhere miniseries back in the late 90’s and enjoying it, even though much of the context was lost on me as I was in my early teens. I look forward to finally reading Gaiman’s novel now that I’m an adult and wonder how the two will compare.