Tag Archives: ramblings

My Theories and Hopes for The Ship of the Dead

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The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan is the third and final book in the Magnus Chase series. It comes out in six days, and I can’t stop thinking about it. Isis still hasn’t read the first one like I’ve been begging her to do for months, so I decided to make a post similar to her Ari and Dante post talking about hopes and theories for what will be in this next book. 

Disclaimer: I’ve only read the first three books in the original Percy Jackson series, and the first two of the Magnus Chase series. I have no idea what happens in the rest of the series, so if something ties into that I don’t know about it.

Also, there is obviously going to be spoilers below.

  • Alex and Magnus romance. In a perfect world, this would be extended to a five book series so that this romance could continue to be a slow burn. However, I think I saw Riordan say on twitter it is definitely three books, and I need Magnus and Alex to acknowledge the feelings they have in some meaningful way.
  • Blitzen and Hearthstone confirmation. I’m not usually so set on the romance side of books, but they are obviously together. I need them to confirm it very obviously in the text to be happy. Maybe with hand holding? An I love you? I don’t ask for much.
  • A conversation between Riptide and Jack. I want Annabeth and Percy to be shocked. It can last for two lines, honestly, it just needs to happen.
  • I know everyone is freaking out over Percy being in this book. I saw Riordan put on Twitter that it won’t be a big part. Honestly, I think he’ll be in it for one chapter, maybe three at the most. I see them talking, and Percy sending Magnus to talk to someone else as a way to help. Or giving him something, like the ship of the dead, that will help, and that’s it.
  • Speaking of the ship of the dead, does that mean that Hotel Valhalla is gonna be on this ship? Is T.J., Halfborn, and Mallory going to play a bigger part in this book? I hope so because I love the time they are present.
  • But if they are all going to be out that means that Ragnarok will happen? It seems likely, yet I hope not. I don’t see how it can happen and be all wrapped up in one book. Not in a satisfying way at least.
  • Sigyn, Loki’s wife. I think she will end up playing a big role in taking down Loki. I’m not sure if she’ll team up with Magnus or do something completely on her own, but I think she will be important.
  • I don’t think Andirson or Greta, Hearthstone’s brother and mother are dead. Or, at least, their deaths are more than what we’ve been told. I’m not sure what part this will play in the overall plot, or if it’ll be a part of the cursed ring keeping them from their journey.
  • Frey, Magnus’s dad. I think we will see him in person in this book. 
  • Sam will be in great danger with Loki, but she will overpower him.

There’s probably a very big plot point that I’m forgetting to even mention, but oh well. I realize these aren’t very creative, or even thought out in a big way but honestly I’m bad at that. I  just know I’m excited for this book, and wanted to list out a couple of things I think are important for this last book.

 

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Writing With a Ten-Year-Old

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Summer’s here, schools out, and with that I am back to watching my boyfriend’s nephew during the day. He’s ten, turning eleven in July. He can be what you would call a reluctant reader. Video gaming is his preferred activity, and he always puts up a fight when I make him read a little bit everyday.

Last year I actually managed to conjoule him write a “book” with me. It takes a little bit of time, but once we start writing or we start talking ideas he does enjoy it. I promise I’m not torturing him. Anyway, it was five pages typed about this duo who has a lot of powers and like to solve crimes. The plot is all over the place, there’s virtually no description, and he’s convinced he writes better than J.K. Rowling.

Yesterday we started on book two. We managed to plan a plot line from the first book to continue on with, have a nice little mystery we will solve, and planned out two more books in the process. In terms of actual writing, we only got around two hundred words, or one page, down before he was tired and wanted to play Call of Duty. I call it a success. It took a bit more than an hour or so, and most of that was deciding on a font and switching the color to the perfect shade of blue.

I’ve written before about my troubles with self doubt when writing. I tried to do Camp NaNoWriMo this year, and failed epically. I didn’t even do the final update. Since then I haven’t written on that project at all. I’ve thought about it a lot, but that doesn’t equal words on the page which in turn doesn’t give me progress. I only write with Isis on the project we do together. I still haven’t finished those backstories I talked about. I’m basically where I was when I wrote that first post almost a year ago.

Writing with this ten-year-old, I couldn’t help but think that I could really learn from him. He doesn’t ever think about writing anything that other people would enjoy. He wrote it, so obviously it’s amazing, and other people will love it too. Whenever I try to describe the setting or the weather or a character’s description or action during dialogue he always asks, “Nicole, why are you writing that?”

He’s very simple and to the point. If the characters are searching a house for information, they go into the drawer and find it. They don’t search the whole house first. They simply know where to go, and they go do it. There’s no character development here. They need to go to the police as the ending? You write, “They went to the police and told them all they needed to know. Then they went home. The End.” I’m sure he would make that even simpler. There’s no editing. You never second your first thought, and the scene will simply change as you get tired of it or get a new idea.

And you know what? It’s the best time I’ve spent writing in a long while. When I’m writing, I usually have a ball of anxiety nearly suffocating me. I have so many worries and concerns. I agonize over every sentence. It takes me hours to write a three sentence paragraph. On a good day I might be able to write five hundred words. And I never leave my document satisfied. I’m never proud of what I write.

When writing with him, there’s never doubt. After every sentence there’s a compliment of how good it is. Every new idea is met with a high five or a hug. There’s a lot of jokes and laughter, and at the end there’s no doubt that what we wrote is the best thing ever.

It’s very freeing, and something I really want to take into writing my own novels. At least in the first draft. Seeing as I never get to a second draft with my own books, this could only help me out. I’m forever seeing authors advise people to first write for yourself, but I always find it hard to take their advice. There’s always a voice in the back of my head saying, “Yes. That’s good advice for real writers,  but you aren’t a real writer.” There’s no doubt in this ten-year-old’s head that he’s a real writer and will be a best seller and he hates the idea of books and writing every other day.

Of course I don’t expect to write this, and have all my problems solved. But I do think I should think of this, and try to channel it more. It can’t hurt at least.

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Wanted to Give Up Writing This Time

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According to Nicole, I give up on writing periodically. It’s a vicious cycle. Something happens that sets me back, and I see no way out of it, so I tell anyone who’ll listen that I, Isis, am no longer a writer. I give up on all of my writing projects for a while, until I finally return to them. Then I realize I was wrong in giving up writing and start off once again with a positive outlook.

So, I wanted to really get to the bottom of this issue. Right now, I’m in the middle of my “Giving Up Writing” period. It’s the toughest one I’ve faced yet, and I want to talk about it.

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Self-sabatoging your writing

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I’ve talked briefly before about having a lot of self doubt when writing, but I wanted to expand on that today. Self doubt is a normal part of the writing process. Every writer has it. Most can get pass it and continue on writing. I’m not like that.

I used to be that way. I was writing pretty consistently. I finished my first book, finished a a first draft that I co-wrote with Isis, and started a second novel by myself. I had my doubts, but I was confident that with every word I was going to get better so I pushed through them. However, that has changed.

It started when writing my second novel. I loved the original idea of it and the characters, but when I had to develop more of the plot my enthusiasm waned. I still started writing it, but it wasn’t fun anymore. It started to feel akin to torture. So I stopped writing that. I got a new idea, so I developed the characters, but, again, I stopped when it came to the plot. Anything I thought of didn’t seem that interesting or original. I didn’t want my enthusiasm to wane with this idea too, so I stopped working on this idea. The same thing happened to my next idea.

It’s not just my problems with plot that have stopped my writing. I have tried to switch to short stories using prompts as a springboard, but I quit halfway through because I didn’t like my writing. I always think it is dull, and that no one will like it. I spend time looking at writing tips hoping those would help, but then I’m constantly thinking of those when writing and think that I am writing the wrong way.

I have been also writing some background stories for the novel I’m co-writing with Isis. The information is needed for us to move on with the actual novel, but I started thinking that it’s not good and I don’t want to mess up. Especially since it’s been so long that I’ve been working on it. I don’t want to hand it over and have the reaction to it be, “Really? You spent so much time on this trash?” So I haven’t worked on it in weeks.

I have tried to set deadlines for myself to force myself to write. But it’s a repeated cycle of aiming too high with not enough time to realistically finish it, and psyching myself out with excuses. One big excuse I use is research. I always think I don’t know enough about anything, and I want to portray people, places, and things accurately. So I have to do research. The problem is I am never satisfied that I have researched enough. I have to get everything exactly right, and that, in turn, stifles my creativity. The end result is always the same. No writing gets done.

I’m not sure how to fix this problem. Even writing this has taken me three days, and I have thought many times of simply scraping it and not having a post up for this week. Does anyone else have advice on this? Or simply have this problem too? Sometimes just relating to another person can help.