I've recently received some valuable feedback regarding the plot of Shadow Embraced, so I've been in major revision mode. But, along the way I've had to make decisions as to what to change and what I really want to keep.
During my edits, I've had to be very selective about which advice I follow. So, what I learnt during this process is:
Writing, and reading, is very subjective. One person may hate something, some element of the story, while another may love it. I have learnt this by being a part of a critique group. Not everyone is going to love the story.
So, how do you make the tough decisions when it comes to writing? Do you have anyone reading the story before it's complete?
That above picture explains it all. I've had my final stretch of uni wrapping up (as well as a new class starting), not to mention work finally kicking into top gear, so I haven't had time for much lately.
What I got done:
8 weeks of readings I'd fallen behind in and posted a comment on the forum (in 2 classes)
2 essays & 1 research project on how children learn
Working over 30 hours (while still studying)
Doing a Shakespeare test without having read the material (boy, that was fun)
30,000 word (so far) major edit to Shadow Embraced, thanks to some fantastic feedback I received for it.
That's my previous couple of weeks. I'm now back (with only 1 course to go until I graduate), and I'm not going anywhere.
Synopsis (From Goodreads):Beatrice "Tris" Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth's dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place in mortal danger. Veronica Roth's young adult Divergent trilogy launches with a captivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extreme circumstances.
Veronica Roth has created an interesting world in Divergent where everyone is divided into five distinct factions based on five personality traits (brave, selfless, intelligent, honest and peaceful). When Beatrice is put through the standard test to identify which faction she must "choose", she discovers that she's a Divergent. She is one person that has the ability to choose from a number of factions, she also is told that if anyone were to learn her life could be in danger. When it comes time to choose her faction, she has to decide between her Abnegation family (selfless) and that of Dauntless (brave). What she chooses suprises everyone. She chooses Dauntless.
As the initiation starts, Beatrice (who decides to change her name to Tris) has to prove that she is as brave and strong as the others who only sees her as a Abnegation stiff. She soon learns that being a Divergent helps her succeed in the trials, but she has to learn why being a Divergent is so dangerous and who, if they found out what she was, will stop at nothing to kill her.
Divergent is a compelling debut that shows a structured dystopian world and the power struggle that could play out if one group would be given all the power. Tris and all the other characters all come alive. Just like the different factions, she is strong, brave and selfless (even though she doesn't think she is). Four is also a strong character who, even though he does things to pick on and make Tris stand out, really cares for her, and their rollercoaster relationship is compelling.
The faction of Dauntless, there's no other word but, wow... the scenery Roth has painted inside the mountain and the actions, mostly which include jumping on and off speeding trains and jumping off cliffsides, really provided a thrilling read. Put that with the dangerous mystery of what Divergent really means, and why those who have been named it often are found dead, makes Veronica Roth's Divergent a page turning thriller. Anyone who loves Dystopian novels will definately love the atmosphere that Roth creates. I look forward to the next in this new trillogy.
2011 YA Reading Challenge: #26 of 50 2011 Debut Author Challenge: #12 of 20
Rachel at Rach Writes has posted the first challenge of the campaigner challenge. The goal is to write a flash story of 200 words or less using the opening phrase of "the door swung open". I've decided to challenge myself extra hard and (a big surprise) my story came up at exactly 200 words.
The child The door swung open, revealing a small silhouette standing on the doorstep. A small girl in a white dress stepped forward. Rain dripped from her chestnut braids.
“Are you okay?” Danielle asked. A flash of lightning illuminated the sky. There were no cars or any sign of how this small girl ended up here at this hour. “Are you lost?”
The girl walked straight past Danielle. Her bare feet left wet footprints behind her. “It’s coming,” the girl whispered in a barely audible voice.
“What?” Danielle followed the girl down the hall. A crack of thunder echoed around the corridor, making her jump. “Do you want me to get you some help?”
“It’s coming.” The girl stopped in front of a closed door. Her small hands, turning the knob with ease, pushed it open. “You can’t hide.”
Danielle flicked on the light and looked into her room. Nothing out of the ordinary.
The girl moved over to the mirror.
Danielle couldn’t take her eyes off the reflection. The rotted flesh hung from the white bone of the skull. Sunken sockets, with no eyes, stared back.
“I’m coming!” the girl whispered as the lights flicked off and the door swung shut.
* On my bookshelf, just waiting for me to get around to reading.
Okay, so I have more on my bookshelf than I've read. I've really got to get around to reading all the TBR pile that keeps growing and growing and growing. I think they need to stop putting out new, fantastic books so I can catch up.
So, how many books have you read from the list? Which books are you dying to read but just haven't gotten around to?