Top Ten Books that Influenced Me

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So, my CP Akshaya has tagged me in another challenge. Gotta say, I’m pretty excited about this one!

Here are the rules:

1. No two books by the same author!

2. But, you can count a series as one book!

3. Also, this isn’t really a rule, but we’re listing our books in chronological order, which I think is super cool!

think this is in chronological order, but I can’t be 100% sure. It’s roughly accurate, though! I also took my CP Janella‘s lead, and included some honourable mentions. Because it seemed neglectful to ignore those books… haha. Once again, all my writerly friends have already been tagged… if anyone reads this and wants to do this challenge, tag me when you post it! I love reading these things – so cool to see what other writers’ influences are.

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7/7/7 Challenge

Hello friends! This morning, I was nominated for the 7/7/7 Challenge by my lovely CP (critique partner) Akshaya. I’ve decided to start publicising this blog on social media a bit more, so this is potentially the first glimpse a lot of you will get of my writing/the reason why I pretty much live as a hermit outside of uni and work. Which is both exciting and weird…

Guidelines for the 7/7/7 Challenge

  • Go to page 7 of your WIP (work in progress).
  • Scroll down to line 7.
  • Share the next 7 sentences in a blog post.
  • After the excerpt tag 7 other writers (or however many you’re able to) to continue the challenge.

Excerpt from ‘Return Fire’, my futuristic urban fantasy

In this except, my main character, Neve, has just captured a mage, and is waiting for a pickup. In a very public location…

“Seriously?” I demanded. “You don’t have anything better to do than stare at me?”

I knew it wasn’t just me they wanted to see.

Mages were still a novelty. Still good to gawk at, and snap pictures of to show disbelieving friends and family members. And Hunters like me weren’t so different – we were also new and exciting. But we were still human, and the same couldn’t be said for the mages. Still, you’d think that eighteen months would be enough time for the public to get used to them.

My nominations

Seeing as many of my writerly friends have already been nominated, I think I’ll just bully a few people in my uni course about starting their own blogs… You know who you are.

Anyhoo, thanks for reading – hope you liked the excerpt/were intrigued by it!

Recent Read – ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’, by Sarah J. Maas

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The last YA I read was (the fantastic) ‘A Thousand Pieces of You’ by Claudia Gray. These days, I’m finding it pretty difficult to get into typical YA fantasy (i.e. new girl at school meets boy, boy is supernatural creature, girl and boy face terrible danger to earn their love etcetc). I’ve also never been big on traditional fantasy, but I love Sarah J. Maas’s Celaena Sardothien series, so I picked up ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ at Dymocks the other week. It sat on my shelf for a couple of weeks, until my critique partner told me I had to read it. So last weekend, instead of working on the essay I had due on Sunday, I decided to read a few pages. I didn’t stop reading until I finished the entire book.

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Advice: working with a critique partner

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Finding a critique partner can be an agonising experience. Speaking for myself, I had a couple of experiences early on that would – if I’d been a little less confident – have discouraged me from trying to find a CP. And that’s not the right way to go. For the vast majority of writers, a CP is a massively useful resource. They notice things you can’t, and can help motivate you to finish chapters. I swear – just having someone waiting to read your work can make such a difference to your productivity.

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Playlist for ‘Return Fire’

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Here is some of the music I listened to while writing ‘Return Fire’. I’m always interested to see what other writers listen to, so I thought it’d be fun to make my own list! I find music can be incredibly useful to put myself into the right mood to write certain scenes. Especially with my special noise cancelling headphones – I swear, music sounds ridiculously amazing when I have those things on.

1. ‘Ghost’ – Ella Henderson

I listened to this song over and over again while I was writing a very important scene between my two main characters. And the video’s also pretty great.

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Advice: opening chapters in fantasy

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In my opinion, there’s nothing quite so fiendishly difficult as writing the opening chapters of a fantasy manuscript. Specifically, incorporating worldbuilding into the opening chapters of a fantasy manuscript. On the one hand, I want to make the world I’m creating seem realistic by giving details about it. I want to give the readers enough detail that they understand my story, and have a context for it. On the other hand, I don’t want readers to fall asleep as I tell them all about my world. The tricky thing is finding the line between these two factors. This post outlines the main thing I keep in mind when I’m writing early chapters. And that thing is…

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