This has not been a very good month unfortunately. A couple of years ago I hurt my back, it took months to recover, and a couple of weeks ago I managed to twinge it again. I’m in pain all the time and had to take a few days off work because I just couldn’t sit at my computer. That also means I’ve not been able to do as much blogging as I had planned and missed several posts that I had planned to write. It’s slowly getting better and I am able to spend some time at my computer now so will be back to blogging a little more regularly again, though I am still in pain.
At the beginning of the month I finished The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins, a prequel to the Hunger Games trilogy. I was excited to return to this world and it was one of my most anticipated releases of the year. While it was good, I didn’t love it as much as the original trilogy.
I also read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, which I have had waiting on my shelf for several months, as I don’t read much contemporary fiction. I’m very glad I finally read it as it’s a very powerful novel. I had no hesitation giving it 5 stars.
Fear is the fifth book in Michael Grant’s Gone series. I have been working my way through this series quite slowly, though that’s more a reflection on my reading than enjoyment of the books! This book was good but I didn’t enjoy it as much as the previous ones. I’m still excited to read the final book though.
I just had to read The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White as I love King Arthur legends. This retelling has a really interesting concept that Guinevere is not the real Guinevere, but has taken her place as fiancé to King Arthur so that she can use her magic to protect him. Although I enjoyed it, I only gave it 3 stars. I think perhaps the style was not quite to my taste and there were a lot of unanswered questions still at the end of the book. But I liked it enough that I will definitely be reading the sequel.
This month was quite a quiet book buying month for me, which is probably a good thing as I have many already on my shelf that need reading! I received a Word Cloud Classics edition of Emma for my birthday. And bought The Story of King Arthur and His Knights by Howard Pyle as part of my research for my next novel. It’s a lovely leather-bound edition with illustrations.
My back pain also put my novel planning on the back burner for a bit unfortunately. But I am still ready to write my King Arthur retelling for the July edition of CampNaNoWriMo! I’m excited to get writing as I am so excited for these characters and this story.
What books did you enjoy reading this month? Let me know in the comments!
The July 2014 session of Camp NaNoWriMo (Nation Novel Writing Month) finished yesterday and I’m pleased to be able to say that I was a winner as I reached my goal of 50,000 words. I am so pleased that I managed to do this and I still can’t quite believe I wrote so many words in such a short time frame! The book isn’t finished yet though so I will be continuing to do lots of writing in the next couple of months to get it finished.
Well done to anyone else who managed to reach their targets this month!
The next session will be NaNoWriMo (the original) in November 2014.
The July Camp NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is just around the corner, so I thought I’d share a few little bits of advice from having done NaNoWriMo twice before.
1. Pick a project you love. You’re going to be working on the same book for a whole month so you need to pick a story which you have fallen in love with and desperately want to write or you could lose interest or give up.
2. Pick a realistic target. One of the plusses of Camp NaNoWriMo is that you can pick your word count goal, whereas the original November NaNoWriMo is fixed at 50,000 words. So if you’ve got a lot of work on or you have exams coming up and there isn’t really any way you could reach 50,000 in that month just set yourself a lower target! Don’t try to aim high, aim for what you can realistically achieve in that month. 10,000 or 20,000 might be a realistic and amazing achievement for some. I was over the moon when I managed to write 18,000 words for my first NaNoWriMo in 2011!
3. Plan. I know not everyone likes planning, but in the case of NaNoWriMo I would say at least some planning is essential for success. If you’re writing a book over a few months or even years you have the luxury of being able to dip in and out and plan as you go along if you wish. With NaNoWriMo if you don’t plan and get stuck you could lose a day or two writing time while you’re trying to figure out what will happen next, whereas if you plan all you have to do is actually do the writing part! Obviously you might still get stuck even if you plan, but I’ve found it’s the best way to approach NaNoWriMo.
4. Don’t fall behind. It’s easy to think ‘oh it won’t matter too much if I miss out today since I’m quite busy or I feel a little tired’, but missing out writing for just one or two days can make you massively behind, and then you’re left with a mountain to climb in the remaining days. Try to at least write something every day, even if it’s only a couple of hundred words because then at least it’s not nothing and it won’t be so hard later on.
5. Try and get ahead! If you have a day where you have lots of spare time don’t limit yourself to your daily word count goal. This may sound obvious, but when you get to it it’s very easy to think ‘I’ve reached my word count goal for today so I’ll do something else’ but if you have the time that day then writing extra can be very beneficial. Then later on if you have some days where you don’t have much time you won’t need to write as many words that day because you’ll have written extra on previous days.