Life Takes Charge

Sorry for not posting much lately! I am not ignoring this blog or abandoning it. Life has got in the away once more. My job search has had to take a priority as well as a few other personal issues, not through my own personal choice, and it has meant certain things have had to suffer, such as this blog and my own personal writing. I am trying to re-address that balance but it may take a little time. I am determined though that NaNoWriMo will not suffer; that it will generate blog posts and, in turn, get this blog active again.

Just because I haven’t been posting does not mean I have run dry on article ideas. I have toyed with the idea of writing a post on the use of schools as settings and plot devices in books, why they are such a common setting at least and why there is not actually that much in the way of having colleges or universities as setting in books or even any focus on teachers as main characters. At least, in my experience, I have not actually come across any book with these elements. Film and TV, yes. Books, no. If you have any insights on any of these issues, I would love to hear from you.

My job search may yet generate blog posts as well as I am contemplating becoming a freelance writer and becoming self-employed. Again, if anyone can offer any help on this front in any shape or form, I would be grateful as it is a scary prospect for me but I think it would suit me to the ground. It is still very early days and life may yet decide that my path leads elsewhere but it is something to at least being having a think about.

I am trying to read where I can too but, as you might have guessed, that has taken a hit too. I recently managed to finally get my hands on the latest Benedict Jacka book, Hidden, so will be trying to read that as fast as I can so I can get a review up here as soon as possible. I am also re-reading Steven Harper’s Writing the Paranormal Novel, partly for help as I edit and rewrite a novel but also to try to get me back in the writing frame of mind so I can get more writing done than I have done.

So sorry again, I am not abandoning the blog and I am aiming to get this blog more active. Thank you guys!

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Book Review: Writing the Paranormal Novel by Steven Harper

So as well as reading the Auto-Correct book, I have read this book.

Writing the Paranormal Novel is about exactly that, writing a paranormal novel. This book does focus mostly on Urban Fantasy and covers everything includes what makes a novel a paranormal or fantasy novels, working out what magical elements are going to be in the work, if the paranormal elements are secret in the world or in the public domain and if the magic is persecuted or dominates lives, magical culture, research, whether to have clichés  keeping the magic/paranormal real, plotting, fight scenes, dialogue and a whole section on getting published.

This book was the first one I ever bought on Kindle and so far, it is proving to be some of the best money I have spent. Written in a way that is easy to understand without condescending, it provides excellent information on world and character building and gets a writer (often addressed as you and yours in the book) to think about the things that they may not have considered before, such as about the economy of the magical world and fight scenes, especially if you have characters like werewolves. It also covers the use of clichés and how to craft and handle those when creating the magical creatures in the novel. Whilst some of the information is available in other how to write books, this is completely focused on the paranormal novel and crafting the elements in that book. It also looks at the idea of story arcs, in books and across series as well as general plotting.

This book definitely covers everything possible and is all-encompassing, which I have not found with any other how to book I have read or looked at. I am trying to think of anything negative with this book and finding nothing to say. I know, I know. It sounds bad to say, I know, but it is the honest truth.

I could not recommend this book highly enough as a must have and must read for anyone wanting to write paranormal stories (short stories or novels). It is certainly a reason I keep my Kindle nearby when writing so I can dip in sometimes to find what I need when I need help.