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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Writer's Update: 100%

First of all, I'd like to apologize for being absent from blogspot for the last little while. I'll come and read peoples blogs again soon!

Secondly, I'm proud to announce that I finished reading In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. While it was really had to get into, I ended up thoroughly enjoying it. I am studying this non-fiction novel for literature. It's the last text we study this year, and I will be doing a close analysis on it and some of William Blake's poetry on the exam. I'll recommend this book. There is a lot of seemingly unnecessary detail, but it's all part of the style and Capote's aim to communicate the facts of the Clutter family and their murderers.

Next, I'd like to brag: Remember how I mentioned that for my literature assessment after studying Haruki Murakami's short stories from the collection after the quake, I had to write a short story mimicking his style? Well, I got my results yesterday. I got 100% and I was over the moon about it. Literally did a bit of a happy dance and almost cried. Ha ha :)

In other news, I wrote another chapter of Katherine, accepted the fact that I need to put Evergreen away until I have more time to concentrate on the edits and started writing a new fanfiction for the first time in like, two years. Any Avatar: The Last Airbender fanfic readers out there? The link to my FanFiction.Net profile is in the Find Me tab.

That's all this little author has to share for now. What has everyone else been up to? Promising to come and read everyone else's blog soon!

- Bonnee.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Motivating Small Children to Write

Joseph Ramirez asked me to do a guest post on his blog about the three 'teachers' that have influenced my writing the most. Go check it out!!! :) 

Speaking of teachers... My mum is a primary school teacher and asked me the other night if I could print out old drafts and current drafts of some of my stories, including Evergreen, so that she could show her kids how a story develops, from initial writing, editing, rewriting and repetition of the process. The aim of this is to motivate them with their own writing work and encourage them to actually put some effort in when they proof-read, editing and rewrite.

She wants to read a chapter of Evergreen to them every week... At this point, Evergreen has a pretty poor sense of consistency due to the amount of changes I've made in the first chapter alone, and the lack of editing I've done in the rest of the story.

I wonder how this will turn out :) 

- Bonnee. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Writer's Update and the Liebster Blog Award

I found a bit of time today and yesterday to just WRITE! At long last... the downsides of being a writer in your final year of high-school. 

Yesterday, I wrote a short story in practice for my literature assessment task next week. This had to be done in the style of Haruki Murakami's stories as seen in his collection after the quake, and revolve around similar themes so that it could become part of the collection. In writing this, I also conceived the idea of a new, bigger writing project which I'm actually really excited about. Moments later, the lovely Mrs Goulding came up to me with entry forms and information about a novella competition for Australian high-school aged kids. Hello opportunity! 

But then I thought about it... the deadline is December 5th and this new idea is nowhere near ready to start baking. Oh wait, I'm already working on something! KATHERINE! So guess who wrote another chapter for Katherine? I did :) And if I can finish it by the deadline and keep it between 10,000 and 20,000 words, it can go into the competition. Wew! 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Be Inspired Bloghop Meme

Thank you to JeffO for getting me into the Be Inspired Bloghop Meme. I couldn't decide whether I wanted to answer these questions according to Evergreen: A Fallen Star, or Katherine, so I've decided to do both. Hope nobody minds, and if one doesn't interest you, ignore it and concentrate on the other! :)

1. What is the name of your book?
Evergreen: A Fallen Star
Katherine

2. Where did the idea for your book come from?
Evergreen - I always loved Asian cultures as a child, especially Chinese and Japanese, and I am slightly obsessed with anime. When I was originally writing fanfictions for Avatar: The Last Airbender, I ended up thinking of a completely new character who I made the childhood friend of one of my favourite characters from the series. In my head, I turned him into a character of my own and made them siblings, and then my brain continued working from there.

Katherine - I thought of how different some people live their lives compared to me within their family and saw that some people had it pretty rough at home. I wondered, what would that be like? What would I do if I was put into this situation, or that situation? I took parts of my own life and created some things I haven't experienced in reality, and put them into a character, and put her into a not-so-perfect life.

3. In what genre would you classify your book?
Evergreen - Fantasy, with a lot of adventure and family orientated business about it. For teens to young adults.

Katherine - In all honesty, I'm not completely sure what to classify this as. The story revolves around the issues of family and friendships and there is a touch of romance to it. Again, aimed at teens to young adults.

4. If you had to pick actors to play your characters in a movie rendition, who would you choose?
Evergreen - See, if this became a movie, I'd want it to be animated. I wouldn't have a CLUE who to cast for Chihiro in live-action OR for a voice actor... Zutto, I'd definitely had Dante Basco for a voice actor, but no clue who to choose for live-action. And Sakura... do you think I could shrink Hayley Williams to the size of a 13 yr old?

Katherine - No idea. They'd definitely all be Australian actors though, seeing as the book will actually be set in Australia.

5. Give us a one-sentence synopsis of your book.
Evergreen - The children of the Imperial Family embark on a life-changing mission to save the life-source of their world; the Evergreen trees, which keep the Middle Kingdom safe.

Katherine - An angry teenage girl learns the importance of friendship despite knowing she will always have to say goodbye as her family constantly relocates to start over.

6. Is your book already published?
I wish, goldfish!!!

7. How long did it take you to write your book?
Evergreen - First draft completed within 7 or 8 months of starting. Three years down the track and I'm still editing.

Katherine - Incomplete, so I can't tell you. I wrote nearly four chapters in two weeks when I first started though.

8. What other books within your genre would you compare it to? Or, readers of which books would enjoy yours?
I never say "people who read this book will like mine" because I don't believe it will necessarily be true. But I would compare Evergreen to... well, I'd compare parts of it to The Chronicles of Narnia and certain themes to similar themes in Harry Potter (though I can only dream of being the next J.K Rowling...).

As for Katherine, I think I'd compare it to The Story of Tom Brennan by J.C Burke. I haven't developed the ideas enough to tell you any more than that for certain.

9. Which authors inspired you to write this book?
Evergreen - To be honest, I couldn't tell you to be exact. Cornelia Funke enthralled me and I fell in love with the idea of writing fantasy, although I wouldn't compare my book to any of hers that I've read.

Katherine - I can tell you honestly that I was inspired to actually go ahead and start writing it after I read Love-Shy by Lili Wilkinson a few months ago. I hadn't had a chance to read inside the relatively normal life of a relatively normal Australian teenage girl before receiving a copy of this book. And as I said above, J.C Burke's story was a big boost for me too.

10. Tell us anything that might pique our interest in your book. 
Evergreen - There are some interesting twists along the way to saving the world, but I don't think I can explain this without giving too much away. There are witches, wolves and some interesting 'people' and a whole new world for the Imperial Children to explore, somewhere out there.

Katherine - Some of my characters have a thing for making raspberry and white chocolate muffins. Because I felt like making raspberry and white chocolate muffins when I started writing. So there.

Now I have to tag five people to participate in the Be Inspired Bloghop Meme:
Giora
Fiona
Mark Koopmans
Peggy Shumway
Rick

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Writing Like Another Writer - Murakami

My apologies for not being around to post or follow other people's blogs recently. I'm caught up with school and a performance of Oleanna which I'm starring in with one of my brilliant teachers and friends.

Meanwhile, in my Literature class, our assessment task is to write a short story that could fit in with the other short stories in after the quake by Haruki Murakami. In preparation, we were given the task of choosing one of the minor characters and writing something from their point of view, 600-800 words. The point is to try and adopt Murakami's style as best we can. My practice short story was about Frog from Super-Frog Saves Tokyo and it's set before the original short story.

It proved to be a bit of a challenge to me. I don't usually write out a plan for short stories; that's something I usually only do for chapter-length work. But it was a requirement for the class. Then there was sticking to the word limit. I'll say now, my practice story was NOT 600-800 words. It was over 1000. But my teacher said that was okay, it's just as long as when we do the assessment, I am able to write the full story within the time-limit (which is normally around 100 minutes).

What I found most challenging was trying to adopt the style of another writer. It's easy enough to start and end a short story suddenly. It's something many authors do with their short stories. But Murakami only describes certain things about the characters and we only really meet them at first on a surface level. Everything else he writes is really to the point and he doesn't pretty anything up. He writes about things as they are and it really pulls the reader in.

I think the actual assessment task will be much easier. I get to make up a character and a story myself, instead of using something Murakami has already made. I'm actually a little bit excited for this :)

Have you ever tried to write like another writer? How did you find it? 

- Bonnee.

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