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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Australian Literature

So I graduated last week. Classes are finished and school is out! Over the first 19 days of November, I will sit 5 exams which will hopefully give me the score I need to get into my first-preference course at Deakin University next year.

I've been doing a lot of thinking about what this summer will hold for me, and I've narrowed it down to four main things: Reading, Writing, Working my ass off and Socializing. Of course, I've already made a big start of that second one, as I told you in my previous post about what my NaNoWriMo endeavours are. But yesterday, I decided to kick-start the reading aspect. It was a toss up with what to read first: The Hunger Games trilogy, or the 7 books of the Tomorrow series. Considering I'd already read the first of the Tomorrow series (three or four years ago, admittedly), I decided to pick up the second book and start reading that.

I heard about the Tomorrow series around the same time I heard about The Hunger Games, but before THG became a big thing in Australia. After talking to some of my international friends, I realize that a lot of you probably have never heard of Tomorrow, When the War Began or the other books in the Tomorrow series, but they are bloody amazing, Australian-written books by a great author, John Marsden. In short, the Tomorrow series is about a group of eight Aussie teenagers who go bush-bashing (camping) one week over their summer break, and return home to find that their town and country has been invaded by an unidentified foreign nation. The series follows this group of teenagers through their fight to avoid being killed or captured while they try to do what little they can to fight the enemy, guerrilla style. I loved Tomorrow, When the War Began, and now almost 150 pages into book two, The Dead of the Night, I'm eager to finish reading the whole series this summer.

But reading this series makes me think about literature written and set in Australia, by Australians. And especially when it focuses on aspects unique to Australia: our cities, wildlife, climate, etc. Some of these things, I hope to incorporate into Katherine, but that isn't the focus. Katherine is focused on issues that are can be experienced all over the world. Then I thought, there's nothing stopping me from writing something that has a bigger focus on Australia as a setting after I finish the things that are already on my to-write list. I am an Australian, living in Australia. There is plenty I could write about and share.

The question is then, what do you guys want to read about if I write about Australia? Do you even want to read about Australia at all? Or do you think I'd be better off making other Australians my target audience?

- Bonnee.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

NaNoWriMo

Who's participating in NaNoWriMo this year?

Most likely, I'm down for the count. My exams are during November... sadness. However, there's only five exams and they're over by the 19th. There is certainly nothing stopping me from doing a buttload of writing anyway. My first endeavour is to finish writing Katherine, which is a perfectly achievable goal. Considering the lack of detailed planning I made, I'm severely impressed that the first draft has gone this smoothly so far. Hopefully, I'll be able to keep it under 20,000 words and it will be eligible for a novella competition.

Second on the agenda is my goal to transform a fanfiction I am writing into a full-length original novel. It's not quite finished in it's fanfiction form yet, but there are many things that will be different by the time I'm through with it. So I'm excited.

What are your NaNoWriMo goals?

- Bonnee.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Workshop Result

After reading the criticism I asked for the other week on a massage I shared, I reworked the excerpt with everything in mind, picking out what I agreed and disagreed on changing. It's safe to say that I am much more satisfied with this short piece now. So a big thank you to everyone who gave me feedback! Though there were some points I had to disagree on because it clashed with style, etc, your input was much appreciated and a great help!

They walked back, around the perimeter of the school. The rain had let up and sunlight was breaking through the clouds, reflecting off puddles and the wet cement beneath their feet. Between the tall buildings and meticulously planted trees, the walls surrounding the city stared at them: a constant reminder of the too-structured society which smothered them: the same society that kept them safe from the dangers of the outside world; dangers that his father was causing, dangers that her father was fighting. 

Now I'd like to ask for everyone to look at it again. There are a couple of specifics I want to ask you about.

1) The second sentence. 'The rain had let up and sunlight was breaking through the clouds, reflecting off puddles and the wet cement beneath their feet.' I still think this is a little choppy, especially after the comma. What do you guys think? Do you agree or disagree? Any suggestions? Throw them at me :)

2) In the original excerpt, Giora pointed out that my last sentence was too long. I agreed. But in editing, I've only been able to make it longer. Now I'm reluctant to shorten it again, but I feel it is necessary. I've used two colons and a semi-colon to break it up though, so I'm not sure if I'm just being too critical or whether I'm right in feeling this need to change it. Reading it, I love the way it reads. I just don't feel comfortable with the length. I'm considering breaking it into a second sentence at the colon '...which smothered them: the same society...' and simply playing around with words to start the new sentence properly. What do people out there suggest?

If there are any other points of criticism you'd like to bring up, please feel free, though I'd appreciate new stuff rather than a repetition of comments from the previous entry.

Any snippets you'd like to share?

- Bonnee.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Rainbow Highlighters Make EVERYTHING Better

I'm still alive, nobody panic! I've just been studying (procrastinating) and completing practice exams despite the fact that the past two weeks have been school holidays. My real final exams are less than a month away, and wow, where did the time go? I am so nervous, but so excited. Cannot wait to be finished with high-school!

Anyway, I brought my awesome packet of highlighters into my English and Literature practice exams because I knew there were passages we'd have to read and analyse and write an essay for... It wasn't quite as fun on the English exam, but I went to town and had a ball with the Literature exam :) 

Let's just say, the exam paper was a lot more colourful when I gave it back than it was when they'd first given it to me. 

What's everyone else been up to? Writing much?
- Bonnee. 

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