Tag Archives: plot

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

THERE WILL BE SPOILERS!

The last fiction book I read was “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig. 

I’m not sure if I have ever mentioned this before, but I rarely read much fiction at all in comparison.  So when I find a piece of fiction I like, I like to talk about it.

I’m not anti-fiction, because I write fiction, but I often worry that sometimes fiction from other authors can scramble themselves up into my mind and confuse me about what I have read and what I have thought of myself.  Some authors will say that is the yumminess of reading fiction, it adds to your uniqueness, your reading experiences can become new tales, fresh in the way that only you can tell.

But that is where the imposter syndrome drives me insane the most.  Just how unique would I be in my own writing, if I have read lots and lots of fiction rather than non-fiction?  Well anyway, that is just me and it is probably way too complicated to talk about further, so let’s get on with this review!

As much as I loved this novel for its very insightful paragraphs and pep talks for life, there were many flaws to the plot I found and that made me itchy, irritated somewhat.  Let me explain;

Nora feels that she is a failure at life, that she isn’t needed, she is desperate to have something to do, people to take care of and one day she wakes up to find that hardly anyone needs her anymore and her cat died to top it all.  So she decides that it is best for everybody that she kills herself, so she tries to and when she tries, she wakes up inside a library staring at her old school librarian Mrs Elm. 

She discovers that every book in the library are books of lives that could have been if only… Mrs Elm invites Nora to take a glance at the book of regrets and choose which regret she would like to work on – when she does so, she gets to experience that life and if that life is too disappointing for her, she then comes back to library to try again, but as long as the clock remains at midnight and not a minute past it, she can try as many times as she likes, fail to choose a life in time and she may lose her chance at life altogether!

What irritates me about this plot is this… each life she enters, she enters with complete amnesia about her past between that past regret and the years that lead to her current time span now, meaning she doesn’t know these new people that entered her life between now and then nor has any memories of any events that lead to where she is now.  This only gets better after several weeks in those lives IF and only IF she feels happy with that life and she seldom does!  So basically most of the plot of the book is a story about the main character going around in a permanent state of confusion, fear and amnesia and seeking out what the blazes happened to her, but is usually side-tracked by the busyness of life!  Very irritating, this book could have been a lot more better and gripping if it weren’t for that major flaw.

To then put icing on the cake of disappointment, Nora finds a life she is happy in, yay, you think and you are happy for her, because she went through a lot to get to that happy state, but that life wasn’t meant to be, because just as she decided she wanted that particular life, the library goes into wreck and ruin and she has to choose to live the life she left originally or die.

So for me, it was a lovely book, full of life quotes I loved enough to stick in my art journals and a promising all round plot, but lots and lots of irritation and disappointments – especially when you never get to see how she actually lived her life after this event.

Pfft basically.

But that’s my two cents.

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

Sunday Word Count 2

Sunday word count time!  Drum roll please…

14987

This is what I have accomplished since last Sunday, getting better, much better.

Here is how it has been broken down, day by day, with excuses in tow, even though there are no excuses really for bad days!

28th July – 2437 – good

29th July – 1456 – better than bad

30th July – 3039 – writing like my old self again

31st July – 3100 – Oh yes, I am back in the flow, just like my old self again for sure

1st August – 160 – what the blazes happened here?  4 hours sleep and a migraine, darlings.

2nd August – 4329 – Making up for lost time huh?  No, just an excellent day!

3rd August – 466 – what happened here?  Tired and was distracted by library books!

Notes for the week –

I am writing towards three novels at once because I get twitchy if I am forced to work on the same thing over and over, variety is the spice of life right?  I am going to name them for you as subject and number with main characters name because I don’t really know what the titles should be and I tend to write about the same subject a lot.  So my current projects are…

Vampire story 1 – Rhea

Fantasy adventure 1 – Maud

Horror 1 – Johnny

But in February I had a dream and you know what they say about authors who dream their story plots don’t you?  Well neither do I actually, but the ones who had written stories based on a dream tend to become classics – I doubt mine will, but I was surprised when the dream came to me.  The dream left me until Thursday night, when it came back with more details and then again last night, it doesn’t want to leave me alone, so I have been trying to fight the urge to add a fourth book to the list of working projects, but I am fighting a losing battle, I am going to have to include a fourth book in the works.

This book will be known as werewolf story 1.

I have put a mermaid story on the back bench as I have to fall in love with it again.

I am trying so hard to stick with three ideas, but if you want me to be completely honest with you, it is so hard, because I have too many ideas and sticking to just three is literally torture, so I do sometimes sneak in titbits of other stories.

Maud and Rhea are very nearly finished actually, so around Christmas they shouldn’t be a problem anymore, well Maud should be done in the least.  

Once a first draft is written I do what Stephen King suggests in his book “On Writing”, I put the story away for about three months and then come back to it with fresh eyes, it works wonders because you tend to forget what you’ve done – seriously, you do!  You get to read it as a reader, not the creator and you see more mistakes and weaknesses in your story if you do this.

Maud though is not a first draft, the draft I am working on is the fourth attempt and there will be probably be a fifth as I had noticed quite recently two characters which are following the main character around are adding literally nothing to the plot, so I have to write in more interesting stuff for them or just wipe them out from existence; which would be a shame because I really want those characters to work.

I must admit, all blog posts, poetry included are first drafts, I don’t bother polishing my work here, it is not that I don’t care about my blog, it is that I care more about my novels and stuff I want to send to publishers more.  If I became persnickety about my blog, the other stuff would never be done.

Further word count scores will be posted up every Sunday, I noticed it does motivate me to write as I don’t want to go the wall of shame like I should have last week – I will actually start doing that I think, if I write less than 10,000 words in a week, I will wall of shame myself. 

Could I bare the humiliation of another last week?

Good luck with your own writing!  But more importantly, make sure it is fun, if it is not fun for you it won’t be fun for your readers.

Leave a comment

Filed under About my work

Daily Prompt 11

Today’s daily prompt – A knight – Falling in love – A Cadillac – A policeman – A cleaner

Some stereotypical fantasy prompts there today but definitely with a modern twist, what can you make of it? 

Have fun.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Brain Drain

The Watch

I do not claim any rights to this image.

What fantasy fan would be complete without venturing into the genres of science fiction, comedy and horror occasionally?
As a Ben Stiller fan, I wasn’t too disappointed with this movie although it’s not his finest moment, but it was very funny nonetheless. Ben Stiller’s character Evan is the solid citizen of a small town in Ohio. Evan worked as the manager of Costco supermarket and one of his employees got murdered mysteriously one night whilst on security duty. Evan being very close to his employees felt that he must do something about it, so he sets up a neighbourhood watch group with which only three other local men became a member (all oddballs in some way or other).
Things turned out pretty strange for Evan and his group members as they accidentally ran something gooey over, they found a strange metallic sphere and took it home with them having no inclination that it was other worldly.
Strange people start entering the groups lives, particularly Bob’s daughters life and things get out of hand – alien sightings happen, more murders and the group becomes more and more determined to make the town safe.
The movie isn’t without its drama and ups and downs despite it being mostly a comedy, foul language rages rampant in this movie with plenty of sexual innuendos, a mass alien shoot up and twists in the plot.
By and large it was a good, if somewhat weird movie that had a very “scary movie” feel to it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

Reading deadline met June 2013

My reading list has gone down a lot; although I will be adding time on three books I’ve borrowed from the library because I haven’t finished them yet.

I finished “Testament of a witch” by Douglas Watt, it was a very good read but I found it a little too predictable.  The plot to me seemed to have been given away very early on in the book.  I enjoyed the prose like scenes and the descriptions very much, I was also impressed by the writer’s ability to understand and know what went on during those times.

The Rudolph Steiner school book I was reading helped me to determine that perhaps Steiner isn’t the best sort of school for my children as well as I used to think, but I am thinking about further research on the schools; I hoped they’d be good for my children because of their encouragement for spiritual and individual development matches what we believe a childhood should be like, so I was disappointed when I found perhaps it wasn’t suitable after all.

I liked “The Dork Diaries” but I am a little unsure where to go now, whether I should read the whole series or whether or I am best to leave them on the shelves of the library; because again, the plot in the first book seemed too predictable and also found it a little too cruel for a teen book.

“Cult Fiction” never actually told me what cult fiction was in so many words, but it did give me insight to popular writers I’ve never heard of before and gave a name to many art forms I was familiar with but never knew the names of.  This book was definitely mind broadening and I recommend it to people who aren’t too adept at art and literary terminologies.

“Pam Ayres, the works” was also a good read, very comical but I wouldn’t have expected anything less; I found her work to be very good, but not good enough to go out and add to my personal collection unfortunately.

“My dad is ten years old” by Mark O’Sullivan, was frustrating and I threw the book across the room, how many times does a writer need to empathize in the first three pages of a book that a person was running?

Along with all these books I added some more to the pile in the past three weeks and didn’t announce them on here, those books were; “Bible proven and 666 solved” by Erik Lee Giles, “101 corporate haiku” by William Warriner and “Miss Abernathy’s concise slave training manual” by Christina Abernathy.

The first book “Bible proven and 666 solved” by Erik Lee Giles was very good, very informative and shockingly accurate to my own beliefs.  I would love to engage in further studies of this subject, everything about the biblical revelations and doomsday attracts me.  I have many planned novels for various dystopian tales, apocalyptic landscapes and lifestyles caused by an array of disasters both religiously oriented and naturally oriented.  I rated this particularly book a five star on goodreads.com

The second book “101 corporate haiku” gave me insight to what I can personally do with my own haiku’s, it didn’t teach me how to create haiku’s it merely showed me by the writers own art form of his own work.  I read this book in less than ten minutes because it’s so small and quick to read.

Thirdly, I read “Miss Abernathy’s concise slave training manual” this book is about consensual slavery for those interested in a long-term, live in BDSM situations.  I find this book interesting for two reasons; one I am personally involved in this kind of lifestyle and secondly I also write erotic fiction based in and around BDSM.

The last book was very interesting; it opened my mind to a gentler approach and helped to advise me on how to socialise in the scene outside of the internet, albeit in America.

I’ve been to the library today and collected two pre-ordered books called “The Lady’s Maid” by Rosina Harrison and “Cuckoo” by Julia Crouch.

I have also added the first three books of DragonLance to my reading pile “DragonLance chronicles 1-3 written by a team of fantasy writers, notably Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman; it’s a large anthology of the collection of which I’ve actually bought from Amazon and I am collecting them alongside the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett.

Needless to say, the last few mentioned books are the type of books I am planning on getting noticed for, alongside dystopian stories and erotica; despite this blog portraying me mostly as a poet. 

I am also reading “The Gothic” by David Punter and I am still reading “The revolting peasant” by Robin Page and a few other books I’ve mentioned since three weeks ago.

But I’ve read eight out of the eleven library books I’ve mentioned last month and my deadline was to read half of the eleven books by the 30th June which isn’t at all bad is it?

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under About Me