Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tip for March 31, 2010; Fragmented Sentences

Do you think this post will be about correcting fragmented sentences? Wrong. This is all about using fragmented sentences.

Fragmented sentences can be used to add suspense into a novel. Say, if I say something like, "The man's behavior was very odd.", I can also put it like this; "The man's behavior was odd. [different paragraph] Very odd."

Although this was a terrible example, I hope you get was I was trying to say. I'm going to give a better example from my own novel in a moment, but I need to say something first; this part in my novel was shortly after the characters had found a secret message in a note from the King. If you don't know this, this excerpt won't make any sense.

The first night on the road is an exciting on for young adventurers, even if the stakes are high, and feelings are tense.

Aron thought that this was the cause of his sleeplessness that first night, but something was gnawing at his brain, something beyond recall, something about King Ladar's note. He couldn't quite remember, though.

Around midnight, Aron finally began to relax. His last thought before falling asleep was that the hidden message in the note was too obvious.

Far too obvious.

Do you get what I mean now?

One more thing before I wrap this post up. This way of adding suspense should be used VERY sparingly. This isn't a thing that I use every other chapter. It depends on the length of the novel, but at the most, you should only use it once.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Review; The Wilderking Trilogy

Young Aidan Errolson of Longleaf Manor longs to be a warrior and adventurer in the service of King Darrow of Corenwald, but instead, the 12-year-old boy spends his days tending sheep on his father's vast estate. Adventure beckons when he befriends one of the "feechiefolk," Dobro Turtlebane, a member of a wild nomadic tribe that travels the rivers and swamps. Bayard the Truthspeaker, Corenwald's greatest prophet, is confident that Aidan is the Wilderking. Aiden only has one question; is Bayard the Truthspeaker a prophet or a madman? (Book description taken from

I checked this book out today from my church library, having read about it and actually tried a sample. I was slightly wary at first, as this book is a fictionalized retelling of the story of King David from the Bible. After all, I figured, why read a book if you know how it'll end?

I was soon swept up in Jonathan Roger's well written and humorous story, completely forgetting all of my previous doubts. Jonathan Roger does a good job of writing the story with his own spin on it, making the book completely different then the original King David story, yet keeping the essence of the story. Rated 8.5 out of 10.

As book two opens, Aidan is living in the court of King Darrow. He has become best friends with Darrow's son Steren, and he enjoys great favor among the courtiers. But King Darrow's suspicion is growing and his insecurity causes him to hate the young man who saved his kingdom. Concerned about his king's spiral into ever-darker moods, Aidan asks what he can do to help. Darrow sends him on an imposible adventure to the recesses of Feechiefen Swamp, thinking he is sending Aidan to his death. Afterall, no Corenwalder has ever returned from Feechiefen alive. But Aidan's fate is not sealed yet for Aidan has allies among the feechiefolk who know him as the hero Pantherbane. (Book description taken from

Jonathan Rogers manages to pull it off again in The Secret of the Swamp King. This book spirals off slightly the King David theme, but keeps the surprises coming and the action rolling. Especially feechiefights.

This book was just as excellent as the previous, and I was glad I had all the books in front of me as I sat on the couch and plunged through them. From the capital of Tambluff to Bearhouse Island, this book is sure to deliver. Rated 8.5 out of 10.

In book three of the acclaimed Wilderking Trilogy, civilizer Aidan returns home from three years in Feechiefen Swamp to discover that a party known as the Aidanites has arisen among his fellow Corenwalders. They believe the Wilderking Chant makes reference to Aidan, and that he is destined to overthrow Corenwald's tyrant King Darrow. Aidan has no intention of leading any such rebellion. But when the Corenwald kingdom continues to weaken, and the enemy Pyrthens threaten to invade, it's clear the Aidanites are the only army his people have left. What soon transpires among civilizers, feechiefolk, Corenwalders, and Pyrthens alike, no reader could predict. When all is said and done, who will be the Wilderking? (Description taken from

The Way of the Wilderking is a terrific end to a great trilogy. If you want to know what this book is like, take a look here;

Imagine a good book. Then add a biblical foundation to the book. Add a fantasy twist next, and a huge, all-out battle with terrible enemies with black and red colors. And at the very last, put in the mystery of New Vezey and the Wilderking.

See the picture? It forms together to make a wonderful conclusion to the Wilderking Trilogy, a bright and colorful picture of the Corewalders' fierce desire to stay free. Rated 8.7 out of 10.

(And PS... The 'Kindle Edition' logo beneath the book's pictures is not intentional. It was the only picture I could find, though. :) )

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Tip for March 27, 2010; Editing

Although I don't mention them much while posting on Teenage Writer, I have written two other books, although I haven't finished editing either. I'm almost done editing with the first book, but I haven't touched the second since I finished the epilogue.

My dad likes to remind me, "If you don't like editing, you need to learn to. Editing is an essential part of a making a good book," or something along those lines. And he's right.

Anyway, editing is essential. Sometimes, after writing a chapter, I go back and read it again, looking for mistakes and adding clarification. This helps me in the long run, after I finish the novel.

Sometimes, when I read books, and I see a rather awkward paragraph or sequence of words, I think, How could I correct that? Sometimes, that's not a good thing, especially if you're absorbed in an excellent book. :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Tip for March 26, 2010; Anticipation

I had been waiting two years to read a certain book.

It was The Dark Foundations, by Chris Walley. I had read the first book in his Lamb Among the Stars Series, although then it was two books, The Shadow at Evening, and The Power of the Night. Both were well written, Christian sci-fi books.

I was disappointed that he hadn't written any more books in the series, even though the second book had ended at a crucial point.

It was a year later when I discovered he had moved to a different publisher and written another book. I was elated. It was late January of the year before last year, and I didn't get a chance to get the books until my birthday the next year, that is, last year.

I recieved a gift card from some of my relatives on my birthday. I had almost forgotten about Chris Walley's books, but I remembered as I pondered on how to use the money.

I went and bought a shiny, hardcover first edition of The Dark Foundations. I waited for several days as Amazon shipped it. Finally, it came.

But there was an obstacle. I had to do a large amount of schoolwork (I'm homeschooled) before I could read it. I worked hard for several days, and finally, that weekend, I picked up the book and opened it to read.

That book was one of the best books I had ever read, sweetened by the wait and work I had put into it.

What does this have to do with a writing tip, you ask? Everything. And nothing, depending on how you look at it.

Anticipation is one of the powerful tools I sometimes use when writing. Anticipation in a novel sweetens the end and helps your reader think, "Wow, this was worth buying." Anticipation, along with a combination of other tools, makes a book memorable. The most memorable books are talked about, written about, recommended, and so on.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Recommendations; March 25, 2010

Okay, I find I have a lot of great books I want to write reviews on, and tell the whole world about, but I find I don't have enough time, especially with spring break gone already. Okay, maybe it was because of spring break that I didn't have enough time. :) Anyway, I have a slew of books I want to recommend to all fantasy readers, or for that matter, anyone who can read at all.

The Door Within Trilogy, by Wayne Thomas Batson;

When his family moves to Colorado to care for his ailing grandfather, Aidan thinks his life is ruined until he discovers three ancient scrolls in the man's basement. They tell of a world where the knights of Alleble fight to keep the warriors of Paragory from gaining dominion over the Realm. When Aidan reads the last line of the scrolls, Believe and enter, he is swept into this strange land. His role there is to become the 12th knight of the King's Elder Guard. Their mission is to travel to the kingdom of Mithegard and convince its sovereign not to sign a treaty with the evil Paragory. (Description taken from Rated 9 out of 10.

Isle of Swords by Wayne Thomas Batson;

A young lad awakens on an island, alone and injured, with no memory of his past. Captain Declan Ross searches for riches that will free him and his headstrong daughter, Anne, from the piracy business forever . . . Bartholomew Thorne, an infamously ruthless pirate, seeks to destroy Ross and any who stand in his way of the legendary treasure hidden by a mysterious order of monks. With these intriguing characters and many more, Wayne Thomas Batson weaves a spell-binding adventure filled with high-seas drama where battles rage, storms brew, a long-dormant volcano awakens, and a sea creature slithers in the deep as pirates race for a cliff-top fortress. (Description taken from Rated 9 out of 10.

Isle of Fire by Wayne Thomas Batson;

"A great explosion rocked the crowded harbor. Flaming debris screamed into the sky and then rained down into the burning water below. The ferocious blaze engulfed ship after ship expanding the circle of destruction in mere heartbeats. The fire rain had been unleashed."

As Cat's memory returns, he realizes that he has lived two very different lives: One as the son of the ruthless Bartholomew Thorne; the other as the recipient of friendship and kindness from Declan Ross and the crew of the Robert Bruce. Now Cat must choose whether to return to the ways of his notorious father and join the evil Merchant, or defy the Merchant and risk his life to save his friends. (Book Description taken from Rated 9 out of 10.

Rise of the Dibor by Christopher Hopper;

What if Adam and Eve never sinned? Would Satan be back? A perfect world untouched by evil and ignorant of death is secretly invaded by an ancient enemy that threatens to destroy their way of life forever. At first any signs of Morgui's vile presence are subtle, but slowly even Creation itself heralds the impending doom that awaits as the summers grow cold and certain of Dionia's inhabitants go missing. As more and more people are strangely taken, the Kings of Dionia decide take precautionary measures. Luik son of Lair is summoned to join an elite group of warriors known as the Dibor, sworn to protect their Kingdom against invading foes. But when a sinister plot to dethrone the Kings and flatten the capital city of Adriel is discovered, the Dibor are summoned along with the rest of the men of Dionia to defend her walls. It is here that Luik and his army face Morgui's Prince as well as the unending ranks of the demon war-host known as the Dairne-Reih, engaging in an epic saga to keep their world from following the same fate of one that has gone before it; earth. (Book description taken from Rated 9 out of 10.

The Lion Vrie by Christopher Hopper;

What if all you knew was lost? What if destruction surrounded you? How would you rebuild? And where would you turn for help? Luik, now son to a dead King, finds himself injured and headed for Tontha in the north of a besieged Dionia. Here he sorts through the trauma of the recent past and attempts to piece together the whereabouts of his fallen Dibor and his friends Fane, Hadrian, and Princess Anorra. As work begins on fortifying Mt. Dakka, now under his command, Luik journeys south to the wreckage of Adriel in the hopes of discovering anything that might help him find his missing friends. But he uncovers far more than he had ever anticipated. (Description taken from Rated 9.5 out of 10

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tip for March 24, 2010; Finding Titles

I find it hard to find titles, even working titles, for my novels. Two out of the three novels I'm written/writing are unnamed. I've only found a name for my third novel recently.

To find a title, I take a mental look at my novel. What is the main theme? If I can't derive a title from there, (which I find I don't) I take a look at some of the major events that happen in the book. What happens that is extremely important that has a huge impact on the end of the book? This is pretty much where I found my title for the third novel I have.

Now, to find titles for the other two.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Review; Going Classic, Part Two

Yep. It's time for classics, part two.

From the Earth to the Moon concerns a group of obsessive American Civil War veterans, members of the Baltimore Gun Club, who conceive the idea of creating an enormous cannon in order to shoot a "space-bullet" to the Moon. They prepare to send three daredevil men- from the earth to the moon!
(Book description taken from
Yeah, Jules Verne managed to show up again. This book, and its sequel, Around the Moon, are great books, despite the fact that America didn't arrive at the Moon via 'space bullet'. They're enjoyable books that aren't the least boring, even if they aren't realistic in modern day. Verne's writing is descriptive and funny, and the characters are memorable. I give this one a 8.1 out of 10 rating. Yes, I can do that.

When a man is murdered in a graveyard at night, only Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn (better known as Huck) know who the murderer is. Their consciences begin to bother them when an innocent man is jailed in Injun Joe's place, and when Tom goes on a hunt for a treasure worth thousands, it puts him and Huck in Injun Joe's path once again. Tom Sawyer is a tale of white-washing, playing hookey, and Saturdays.

Despite all the stuff about murder in the book description, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer isn't violent at all. It's a great book for children and adults alike. Mark Twain vividly captures the childhood of boys in the 1800s with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Rated 7.5 out of 10.

The Three Musketeers tells the story of the early adventures of the young Gascon gentleman, D'Artagnan and his three friends from the regiment of the King's Musketeers - Athos, Porthos and Aramis. Under the watchful eye of their patron M. de Treville, the four defend the honour of the regiment against the guards of Cardinal Richelieu, and the honour of the queen against the machinations of the Cardinal himself as the power struggles of seventeenth century France are vividly played out in the background. But their most dangerous encounter is with the Cardinal's spy, Milady, one of literature's most memorable female villains, and Dumas employs all his fast-paced narrative skills to bring this enthralling novel to a breathtakingly gripping and dramatic conclusion.
(Book description taken from
The Three Musketeers is another of the world's most known classics. It's a story of action, adventure, and danger. It's one of the more action-filled classics, and it's sure to not disappoint.
Rated 8 out of 10.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tip for March 18, 2010; Suspense in Plans

Have you ever read a book where the character made a plan, but the author did not tell you what the plan was? This is suspense in plans. (Notice I didn't say 'planned suspense', because all suspense in a book is planned. :) )

It's very helpful if I want to build suspense in a story, because it keeps the reader wondering what they're going to do, and because it is very simple to do.

When I do this, I give a couple hints as to what my characters will do. A thought, a small event- it makes the reader more eager to find out what will happen.

The reader reads on, and the plan unfolds before his or her eyes.

Suspense in plans keeps the reader interested, and makes he or she want to keep reading, and that's one of the best things suspense in plans does.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tip for March 17, 2010; Short Term Suspense

Suspense. A state of mental uncertainty, to use the dictionary answer. In writing, suspense is making the end of the book uncertain.

Short term suspense is making the end of a scene uncertain. Here's an example from my own writing;

Aron crouched, just outside the Satpaba camp. He shrugged his shoulders, feeling the unaccustomed weight of Satpaba armor on his shoulders, taken from a fallen enemy.

A low whistle rang out; Aless's all-is-ready signal.

Before Aron was a small pile of branches and kindling, and in his hands was a flint. In order for the plan to work, Aron had to light a fire.

"This better work." Aron muttered.

He gritted his teeth, and then struck the flint. It showered sparks on the kindling, but it didn't catch fire. It surprised Aron; he hadn't taken into account that the fire might not light. Come on, this wood must be the dryest in Aleorendos!

Whether it was just the dawn air or some spell of the evil place, the kindling wouldn't light. Aron struck the flint again, harder this time. One of the men nearby jerked up his head, hearing the sound.

"Come on..." Aron urged the kindling, blowing on it softly.

The man walked slowly toward Aron's hiding place, listening.

One of the sparks burned slowly, without flame. Aron blew on it, causing it to grow slightly.

The man walked closer...

The small spark winked out. "No!" Aron hissed. "Come on, Saar, help me! Light!"

Whoosh! The entire pile of kindling suddenly burst into hot flames. Aron scrambled backward to avoid the fire, and the man leaped backward with a curse, shouting to his comrades.

See what I mean, now? The kindling in the scene wouldn't light, and a man from the enemy camp was approaching. This is called (at least by me) short term suspense.

I was trying to make the reader think that the fire might not light. If I can successfully do that, I can probably pull it off with long term suspense.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Review; Going Classic, Part One

Yes, classics CAN be good reads. I've ready plenty of them, and most of them were really interesting. Go ahead. Read some classics. Here are some good ones;

Here is the enthralling tale of five men and a dog who land in a balloon on a faraway, fantastic island of bewildering goings-on and their struggle to survive as they uncover the island’s secret.
(Book description taken from
This is personally my favorite Jules Verne book of all time. Mystery, survival, and a volcano eruption thrown in for spice = A good book. The Mysterious Island satisfies the action reader; this book is complete with gunfights and pirates- and the mystery reader; who IS the mysterious being on the island?

Athough most people don't know it, this is the sequel to the well-known novel by Jules Verne; Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. It may be over 700 pages, but it's well worth it. I recommend this book 8 out of 10.

A shipwreck; a deserted island; a single family, wondering if they can survive. Rich in suspense and surprises, Swiss Family Robinson entices young readers to come along on a wonderful adventure, where each moment brings a new thrill. Featuring amazingly resourceful characters and a wondrous landscape bursting with exotic wildlife and plants, it’s an irresistible tale of ingenuity.
(Book description taken from

This is probably tied for first for my favorite survival books.
It's based after Robinson Crusoe, but it expanded beyond Robinson Crusoe and became a classic itself. Terrible storms, monkey raids (no, really!), and a tamed buffalo: it's all in this book. Swiss Family Robinson is an exciting book of ingenuity, resourcefulness, and survival. It's a great book for all ages. Recommended 8 out of 10.

Join the infamous Sherlock Holmes as he solves baffling mysteries with Dr. Watson by his side. From A Study in Scarlet, to His Last Bow, these are the most beloved mysteries of all time.
Sherlock Holmes.
Yeah, really. The adventures are actually really good, and Holmes is awesome. The more scary adventures send shivers up my spine, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle pulls off every mystery masterfully.
Sherlock Holmes is probably one of the most recognized figures in literature, and it's for a good reason.
Arthur Conan Doyle's books are historical landmarks for mysteries, and every single story is an adventure from front to back. Also recommended 8 out of 10.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Tip for March 15, 2010; Description with Action

Description and action. They go together.

You see, when I have action, I need description. My reader needs to know how hard my character is trying.

This is a paragraph with a minimum amount of description:

He swung his stick at the man that was attacking. It was dark, so he couldn't see. He heard the stick hit the man. The man's attack stopped, and he [the character] ran away.

Not the best thing I've ever written. Now, I need to revise it, putting in more description.

First; the stick. It isn't a very descriptive term, so let's try stave instead, which also makes more sense in the context.

Second; the man. It's kind of awkward at times, and since the man is attacking, we'll call him mostly the attacker, or in other places, the unseen attacker.

Another thing; the sentence 'It was dark, so he couldn't see'. It is rather off the subject, so instead, I'll imply that it was dark by putting in the word 'blindly' where the character is swinging his stave, and unseen before the word 'attacker'.

Next, I'll replace the words hit and ran with the words strike and scrambled. Before scrambled, I'll use the word quickly. I'll also replace the word swung, from the first sentence, and replace it with lashed out with.

The sentence 'He heard the stick [now stave] hit [now strike] the man [now attacker].', needs to be revised further. I'll do this by adding 'and he was rewarded with a grunt of pain.' to the end, and 'with a smack' after the word attacker.

I'll replace stopped [third sentence] with slacked off.

And the final paragraph now looks like this;

He blindly lashed out with his stave at the unseen attacker. He heard the stave strike the attacker with a smack, and he was rewarded with a grunt of pain. The man's attack slacked off, and he [the character] quickly scrambled away.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tip for March 11, 2010; Flawed Characters

When I say flawed characters, I mean that the character isn't perfect. Have you ever read a book where the main character was just too good? Too perfect?

Characters need to have vices. A temper, snappy attitude, bossy attitude; all of these are flaws. A character needs flaws for it to appear more human, so the reader will actually care about what happens to him or her.

A character needs to make mistakes, too. A wrong decision, a painful mistake; these are also things that need to be used in order for a character to seem human.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tip for March 10, 2010; Roadblocks

Roadblocks. It's something that messes me up all the time.

Roadblocks are basically things that mess up a novel. There are (in my opinion) two major kinds of roadblocks; Plot Roadblocks and Slow Plot Roadblocks. I'll be focusing on Plot Roadblocks today. (See this post to find out about Slow Plot Roadblocks)

Plot Roadblocks are mistakes in the plot where you can't seem to fit in something important. An example would be from my writing yesterday.

I wanted my character to be able to get something he needed (A special sword, actually), but at the moment he was in the middle of a forest fire, and in order for me to fit that scene in, he needed to have a lengthy ceremony in a city just about on the other side of the country. See the problem? I knew that once he was out of the forest fire, he would be able to safely travel to that city. But I had been planning on -and counting on- being able to move into part two (it was one year later) of the novel as soon as he had escaped the forest fire. In order for me to fit that scene in, I'd have to write a long, boring section of the story that I was unwilling to do.

Now, pause. This is where the solution comes in.

There is almost NO problem that can be solved with a little thinking. Just think your dilemma over, and then find a solution. If you can't, well... then you might have to drastically modify the plot.

Here's how I solved my problem.

I thought it over while in bed that night (which is a great place for peace and quiet). And finally, around 11:30, I struck on gold- or rather, a solution.

I went straight to my computer the next day (that is, today), and it worked out wonderfully. Do you want to know what the solution was?

It was simply this; I closed part one as planned, and I added the scene in as something my character remembered. Perfect. And no drastic modifications.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tip for March 9, 2010; Humor

When writing a novel, humor is an excellent tool to have. It can loosen up your reader, make a story more memorable, and give memories for your character to look back upon.

However, when you are using humor, there are two things you shouldn't do; do not use weak humor -humor that isn't really funny- and do not overuse humor. Both of those can ruin a book and make it seem rather cheesy.

In a novel, humor is best done with events. An example would be a comic insult battle (those are really fun to do). Others are easy to make up, but again, I warn you; do not overuse it.

Humorous characters are another way to express humor. I once read a book where one of the characters was extremely vain, and was constantly complementing himself on all of his qualities.

All these, and others are great ways to express humor, but for the third and last time, do not overuse it.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Why I Became Writer

I was very much a reader before I became a writer. I devoured all the good books I could get my hands on.

I think the idea of being a writer started about 3rd Grade, although I had attempted to write 'books' before (but they were really just short stories). Somewhere along the way, I decided I wanted to write books just like the ones I read everyday. Writing fascinated me, and so I began to write a little bit more, but none of my 'books' were ever finished, except for one. It was a whopping 7 pages long, but I won't go into the description.

My 'books' began to get a little longer. Late in fourth grade, I had written about 20 pages in my notebook in another 'book', but again, as the others, it came to nothing.

Finally, about two years ago, I embarked on a journey. Actually, my characters did, but the novel that was born started me on the big road of writing.

I worked on it off and on for the next two years, and finally, about six months ago, I finished it. To my surprise, I was actually rather disappointed that it was finished. The feeling was not unlike the feeling I have when I finish a good book and I don't want it to end.

Of course, that's why sequels were invented. I threw myself to work in my sequel, and I finished it only a couple weeks ago. Now I'm hard at work at the third sequel in a trilogy I formed, and even more novel ideas are swimming through my head even now. My father sent me a quote by text a week ago that read, 'Writers never have a vacation. They are always writing or thinking about writing.' This is very true, I have discovered.

For those of you out there who might be a writer that is reading this blog, you probably understand this next paragraph;

An idea for a novel is full of wonderful possibilities. When I think of an idea, I shiver with excitement. I can't resist the prospect of writing another when I've gone through it once already. Leaving the reader in suspense almost makes me laugh. Meeting an old character again is like seeing an old friend. In short, writing is an inexpressible and irrisistable experience. THAT is why I became a writer.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Review; The Wingfeather Saga

When the three Igiby siblings find a mysterious map, they embark on an adventure to discover family secrets about the father they never knew and a hidden treasure that many have long desired to find. Leeli, the youngest, can sing with a beauty that captivates dragons; Tink, the middle sibling, has the makings of a king; and Janner, the eldest, possesses a bravery that will protect them all. But the children's curiosity get the entire Igiby family into trouble with the Fangs of Dang—frightening, scaly-skinned, lizard creatures that drip venom—who have ruled the land of Scree since the Great War. Soon, the Igibys are scrambling for their lives.
(Book description taken from

This was a good Christian fantasy book. I found it very entertaining, and I laughed out loud at some of the points in the story. It was a humorous book, but it had plenty of action to keep me going. There wasn't a chapter in the story that didn't have a interesting footnote or a funny piece of wordplay (the title, for example), and there was all sorts of unexpected events. There were a few short battle scenes, and I'd recommend not letting children under 8 seeing the drawing of the toothy cow ;). All in all, the rating of this book is probably 8 out of 10.

The second book in the Wingfeather Saga begins where the first left off; in Peet the Sock Man's tree house. After barely escaping a surprise attack from the Fangs of Dang, the Igibys flee north, to seek refuge in the Ice Prairies. First, though, the Igibys have to avoid the monsters of Glipwood Forest, the theiving Stranders of East Bend, and the dreaded Fork Factory. But even more dangerous is the jealousy and bitterness that threaten to tear them apart.

This one was even better than the previous. It has a lot more action and suspense than the last book, and the entire book was pulled off masterfully. There were a few more fighting scenes than the last book, and a bunch of terrifying animals, despite their cute-sounding names. This had plenty of lessons as well as action, and I highly recommend it to all readers. Rating; 9.5 out of 10.

Tip for March 7, 2010; Doing the Unexpected

My favorite books are the ones where the plot takes a sudden turn, and you end up wondering what is going to happen next.

This is called doing the unexpected, and it is an essential part for a successful and exciting book. My own novel has plenty of obstacles and the like (see previous post), but my character acheives his goal easily enough. I need to go back through and do the unexpected.

How would I find something that is totally unexpected? Take a look at the plot of a novel. What would happen that would be totally unbelievable, something that would leave a reader wondering, I can't believe that just happened. Found it? Do it. Yes, even if it's painful. If it is too severe, than tune it down a bit, but do it.

Everytime something unexpected happens in a book I'm reading, it throws the end in shadow. Will the goal really be acheived? I wonder.

Most of the time, you want the goal to be acheived. But since your reader is probably expecting the story goal to be acheived, get to the story goal in a way that is unexpected.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Tip for March 6, 2010; Little Action in a Lot of Time, or Vice Versa

What do you do when you have very little action in a large amount of time? (An example would be a long journey). Or vice versa?

First of all; Little action in a lot of time. There are no definite remedies for this, and it doesn't necessarily need a remedy. However, there is a couple things you can do.

One; Look for certain places where you could expand on a subject. You can take a short sentence, like this one;

They lost their way several times, but they managed to travel 20 miles before dusk.

And turn it into something like this;

Earl thought he heard people talking, so he and the rest of the company went to investigate. After attempting to find the source of the voices, the only thing they found was that they were lost. They wandered for about an hour, but with a little help from Gerry, their tracker, they managed to find the road again and continued on their journey.

You can expand that even further, but it is advisable to avoid short diversions from the plot like this, if it doesn't add something needed to the main plot. However, you could write a chapter in which they get lost and find something that will effect the ending, such as a new character, a strange, ancient tablet with undecipherable writing on it, or the remains of a sharp-toothed Kreer.

Another thing one could do is make more obstacles. The obstacle is completely up to you, but it would be good if they followed along these lines;

-The person (or something else) causing the obstacle does not want your character to achieve his goal.
-It should threaten your character's mission
-It should be mostly unexpected (I'll post more on that later)

On a side note; Your character's goal should be plausible. In other words, the goal should be worthwhile enough that the reader wants your character to achieve it.

What about a lot of action in a little amount of time? This usually isn't a problem, but if you have more than one POV (Point of View, where there is a different character narrating), you may have a problem switching around POVs during a hectic scene, which is why that is not advisable for first-time writers to use that, including me. It also may be better to use first person to narrate, which will remove the possiblilty of multiple POVs.

So, a summary of this tip (for those of you who either skip to the bottom or just skim through it), would be; When you have a little action in a lot of time, try expanding on certain subjects, and creating more obstacles to delay the character from his/her goal.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Tip for March 5, 2010; Emotion

When you think of emotion, what do you picture? A funeral? A reunion? A little girl crying in the store because she can't get that expensive Barbie?

I'm writing this because I am at fault; I typically don't use a whole lot of emotion. And emotion is a writer's best friend.

In order to write emotion, you need to ask yourself, "What does my character feel about this? What does he think about it?"

And again, I admit freely that I have trouble doing this. I greatly admire writers that are so skilled that they can cause emotion in me, not just the character.
Here's an example of how not to do it;

Johnny was feeling sad and sorrowful over his grandfather's death. He had cried a little. The funeral was the day after tomorrow.

Not the greatest of paragraphs. Most likely, that didn't make you feel any emotion, and I poorly (on purpose, of course) described what Johnny, my character, was feeling. Besides that, the sentences were choppy and didn't flow smoothly.

A little side note on description; (I learned it from my father just yesterday;) Never use a long word when short ones will do. In other words, what is the use of using a long word if the person reading your book doesn't know what it means?

Anyway, back to emotion. Besides what the character thinks and feels, he/she can express emotion through dialogue and action. Two examples would be stammering (to show fear, embarrassment, etc.) and crying, (to show sorrow, happiness, etc.). Now, I'll give a better example as to what I think would be a good way to put it;

The heat of the blazing fire all around Jado made him feel as if he himself was burning. He wanted to leave the burning house, but the struggling shape of his father held him still.

'Father!' he cried.
Jado's father was trapped beneath a fallen support, struggling weakly to get loose. A look of pure panic and terror filled his father's eyes as he writhed.
'Leave the house!' Jado's father managed to say.'
'No, I can't leave you!' Jado shouted helplessly, tears running down his smoke-stained face. 'I don't think I could live if you die!'
The next words Jado's father said were burned into Jado's soul for the rest of his life.
'You can always get back up again,' he said, looking deep into his son's eyes, all fear gone. 'No matter how far down, it's never too late to get back up...'

He slumped forward, breathing his last.

Hopefully that stirred a little more emotion in you. Several times, if you could see it, I told what Jado, the character, was feeling, and he verbally told his father what he was thinking. I hoped that helped you. It actually helped me, and I'm the one writing this!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Hello, everyone, and welcome to Teenage Writer! Teenage Writer is about- as the title implies -my writing, tips, reviews, recommendations, and more. If you want to learn more about Teenage Writer, there is a link below the header titled, 'About Teenage Writer'. If you want to contact me, please check out the Contact Me page.

Okay, so here's the main scoop on Teenage Writer. If you want a summary of this, you can check out the About Teenage Writer page.

Number One; Tips
This basically means that, after my day of writing, I will try to post a tip that I used during the day (Inspired by Donita K. Paul's writing blog. Thanks, Mrs. Paul!) I am in no way an experienced writer. In fact, the way I get these tips is not because I knew them beforehand- I aquired them after making a mistake!

Number Two; Reviews
This happens when two things come together; writing, and a good book. I will try to write at least one review every week. As a prewarning, my favorite genre is completely and absolutely fantasy, so be prepared for an onslaught of fantasy reviews. If you want to suggest a book for me to review, please look at the About Teenage Writer page for more information.

Number Three; Recommendations
When I feel like I don't have time to write a review on a book, I may recommend it. In other words, I'll take a book, write a short summary of it, put a picture of it, and put my recommendation on a scale of one to ten. Of course, I wouldn't recommend a book if my rating wasn't over at least 5, would I? ;).

Number Four; My Writing
This is one thing that will happen only every so often. On occasion, I may either post something from my own novel, or I post when I reach a roadmark; such as a high number of pages, the amount of words, and/or when I finish one of my novels. (I've written two, and hard at work at the third).

Number Five; More
This is the part where you come in. 'More' is a completely open term, which means I'm open for expansion into another part related to reading and writing, although I can't really think of anything at the moment. If you would like to suggest something, you can see the Contact Me page for more details.

With that, the introduction to Teenage Writer is done. Let the writing begin!

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