newcomer | creative writing

2017, lifestyle, photography, student

It had been a few days since she arrived and things had settled down a lot – she’d integrated well with the group and we were all going back to the work we’d done before her arrival without her really getting involved, so she wouldn’t find out about anything we hadn’t told her.

I can’t pretend that my main observation about her so far isn’t that she’s absolutely gorgeous and in an apocalyptic world where showers are sparse, that’s not always easy to find. I won’t lie – she appears to tick all my boxes, at least at face value, but I don’t know her and we don’t have time for anything like that right now; we have other priorities.

So basically, ignore it. Please.

“Do you read much then?” I asked. Jinx spun quickly to face me, her fists poised for a fight and the book she held aimed to damage.

After her immediate rush to combat and the consequent jump when she realised it was only me, she caught the book a fraction of a second later than it left her grip and put one hand over her chest, as if to steady her surprised heart.

Not that I’d tried to make her jump or anything.

“Jesus, Jack – you scared the living daylights out of me.” She breathed.

“Ooh, I’ve not been referred to as the Sun of the All-Mighty before. ‘Jesus Jack’ has a nice ring to it doesn’t it!” I teased. “So, reading?” I grabbed a book from the shelf and waved it around, reiterating my question.

“Yes, I like to read. Most people like to learn things that way and educate themselves.”

“Dickens or Brontë?”

“What?”

“Dickens or Brontë? Simple enough question.” I shrugged, I couldn’t help the teasing smile I wore – her reaction when I jump-scared her was priceless.

“Which Brontë?” She asked, returning the sarcasm.

“Take your pick!” I gestured my arms wide at the books we were surrounded by – how many Brontë books had seen their time inside these walls was astounding.

“Charlotte Brontë, easy.”

“What? No way! Oliver Twist is one of the best books in all of history.”

“No way, Jane Eyre is the book for women’s independency. It’s the first book I read on my own, it’s my favourite book of all time ever and you will not spoil that.” Jinx stood, putting her book back on the shelf and walking away. I think she was sulking.

Of course I had to follow.

“So what’s your second favourite book?” I asked trivially, partially because I think it was annoying her and partially because I didn’t want to stop talking to her.

“I don’t have one – I don’t rank books meticulously. What’s your favourite book?” She smirked, slinking round the corner and down another aisle of books.

She sounded really fed up of me but she asked me the question to continue the conversation, so I followed her.

“I don’t like to choose – the other books might get sad.”

“Oh, what a gentleman you are, Sir!” She put her hands on her cheeks in fake surprise, the sarcasm dripping from her every word.

“I like reading but it’s not as fun when you can remember every word of every book you’ve ever read and listened to, it does take the fun out of it a little bit.” I shrugged.

“Oh you’re the one with the memory. I figured I’d meet someone with a Hyper High Functioning Memory in whatever you want to call this world we have left. Zed’s the one with the incomparable brain power, you’re the memory, Neg’s the war veteran slash bomb psychopath, Chang’s the historian and XP’s the Future Generation and a bit of a game nerd – sound about right?”

“A bit generic to label us like that. But, essentially, yes.” I shrugged.

“So what does that make me?” She asked, that all too familiar smirk making its return.

“Right now, you’re a question mark. We’re still trying to figure you out.” I narrowed my eyes slightly, as if I was trying to figure her out visually but she just turned around again and continued to peruse the books.


Hello!

I’m actually unreasonably excited for this piece of creative writing because this is actually an excerpt of the third draft of the book I first wrote in 2012 when I was 16! I hope it makes even just a little bit of sense as an individual excerpt but also doesn’t give too much away from the book that I can only dream I will hold in hardback one day.

As I’ve said in previous creative writing posts, I’m really struggling to find time and motivation to write creatively – everything in my life feels like I’m just saying ‘everything will settle down after XYZ’ over and over again – it’s after Glastonbury (long story short my friends have all got work experience there and I have not and it hurts and they’re back on Monday), then after NASS, then after we move, then after my job at home, then after my mum’s visited and I know even more things will crop up, I just don’t know how to organise my life to include time to write and work on the book I love so dearly without sacrificing my blog or YouTube channel or work or anything else.

God forbid I have to make time for uni as well! (That’s not till late September)

But for now, I want to share an excerpt of my baby, the thing I’ve loved and cherished for five years – I want to put it into the world.

I’m going to stop doing creative writing posts on my blog I think, maybe encourage myself to write creatively outside of the internet instead.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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Books for 2017!

2016, Uncategorized

Hello!

I’m trying my best to make it part of my routine that I read before I go to sleep at night (recently it’s been a lot of Pokemon, but that’s because it’s the Christmas holiday) but I really enjoyed the couple of book reviews I wrote last year, so I thought making a list of books I want to read next year will motivate me even more, so here are the books on my shelf that I got really excited to read and haven’t read yet!

I’m currently reading On The Other Side, by Carrie Hope Fletcher – I bought this book because it’s Carrie and I’ve been a fan of hers for so long and I love fiction, so I got really excited when a YouTuber was writing a fiction book (that wasn’t Girl Online). So far, On The Other Side is a bit more romantic and idealist than books I normally read but the concept is really exciting and I’m very intrigued as to where the story will go.

And then these are the books I really want to read next year:

Billy and Me: Giovanna Fletcher – similarly to Carrie, I watch Gi on YouTube and considering her main career is as a writer, I feel like I need to read one of her books! I’m not sure Billy and Me is for me but I need to read it to find out.

Where She Went: Gayle Forman – I read If I Stay in three days and absolutely adored it so I really want to reread the book and find out what Forman did with the sequel. I never saw this film either but it’s another one to add to the list!

Love, Rosie: Cecelia Ahern – this is another book which is a bit too ‘romantic drama’ for me and a little bit melodramatic I find but I do tend to really like the male characters, even if the female characters really irritate me. However, the film adaptation of this book is Sam Claflin and Lily Collins and I love Sam Claflin so I’ll use that as my reward system when I finish the book.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl: Jesse Andrews – I saw this book whenever I went into Waterstones and I wasn’t sure about it, then I saw the advert for the film and my mum asked if I’d read it and I thought I’d give it a chance – stories that cover more taboo topics, such as children dying of cancer, tend to intrigue me so I’m glad I’ve written this post to remind me why I bought these books!

We All Looked Up: Tommy Wallach – I’ll be honest, being back at home and this book is in Southampton, I can’t remember what it’s about but I remember the cover is really pretty and that’s enough for me.

Carry On: Rainbow Rowell – I loved Fangirl and it’s currently it’s got the glorified position of ‘My Favourite Book’ at the moment, so to read the fanfiction written by the protagonist Cath in a full book form based on a version of Harry Potter? Yes please!

All The Bright Places: Jennifer Niven – I saw this book around book shops and on the kindle store for ages and then I bit the bullet and actually bought it and now I need to actually read it.

I also want to read more nonfiction! This past year has really highlighted how much I used to love learning and how good (?) I was at it and how I’m really not using that now. I miss doing GCSE maths and that’s saying something, so I want to get books on aspects of history I’m interested in, space and maybe some science stuff? I don’t know, I miss learning.

I have goodreads, which is another nice motivator because it tells me what percentage through my book I am and that makes me feel accomplished. If you want to follow me there, you’re more than welcome – I’m not too sure how the website works so watch and learn with me? I don’t know, here’s my profile!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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Finding my productivity | Update Monday

2016

Hello!

August has been a much more productive month so far than July was – I keep forgetting that it’s only the 8th because it feels so much later in the month because I’ve done so much! I uploaded my May vlog at the end of July, June was uploaded yesterday and July will be uploaded before I go to London for Summer In The City. I don’t want to have any more backlog on these vlogs!

But these updates aren’t about editing vlogs, they’re about my writing and workout progress!

Writing started well at the beginning of the month, but as the week went on I found it more and more difficult to push through – I didn’t naturally want to write so it was really difficult to push through it.

I’m currently at 31,019 words. At this point, I ‘should’ be at 62,907 words or 41,631 words, it depends how I’ve recalculated it at this point but to finish on time, I have to write 2874 words which at this point is feeling someone achievable. Writing blogs definitely helps me feel more motivated but I’ve also been having a lot of headaches and not feeling very well recently, which doesn’t help!

I’m about to start Chapter 10 (I often write a whole chapter in one go and I don’t like leaving it in the middle of a chapter).

Again, there are a couple of high points that I’m excited to write but it’s the bits in between that are feeling like a bit of a drag right now. It doesn’t bode well for anyone reading them but hopefully I’ll push through!

It is looking more and more likely that I won’t hit 100,000 words by September first but I’m slowly coming to terms with that. Probably not a good attitude to take, I should feel motivated and inspired to get the words down on paper (virtual paper) so I can start the edit and actually do something with it but here we are. Not rushing too much!

In terms of workout, it’s a much brighter story! I worked out six days consecutively this week from the 1st to the 6th and I’ve really noticed some actual progress! There’s one stretch that I’m meant to use a resistance band for but I find that asking Lucas to help just pushes me a lot more than if I tried to do it by myself.

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So as a night point of reference, it’s more like 10 than 5, when 5 is what I’m meant to be doing every day.

Days 1 to 6 were really successful, but on Day 7, yesterday, Sunday, I went to Bournemouth to see my sister for the day and I let myself get really dehydrated and I felt kind of sick and it really wasn’t a very nice feeling and I went to sleep before midnight for the first time in literally weeks. I collapsed.

It works out quite well in my favour though because Day 8 is a rest day for the ab workout, so I’ll do day 7 for that, I’ll do day 7 and 8 for flexibility stuff because it isn’t as taxing as the ab stuff. I’m yet to do my workout today so I’ll let you know next week how that goes.

I’m hoping the second week of August will be as productive as the first, but I’m going to London on Thursday so I’ll be working out in a hotel room for a few days and then there’s trying to write around the YouTube convention but we’ll see how it goes. That’s the point of Update Monday – so I can see how it goes!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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August 1st | Update Monday

2016

Hello!

Today is another update day and also the first of a new month.

It was meant to be the day that I feedback on how my fitness July went and I started my second month of 50,000 words towards finishing my novel.

Neither of those were achieved, but today isn’t a completely negative post! Let’s start with the writing.

At present I’ve written 25,507 words and I’ve not done any writing today. If I’d stuck to the 1,617 words a day I would currently be on 51,616 words but to reach 100,000 by the end of August, I only need to write 2,481 words a day, which I think is achievable.

That’s in a world where I’m motivated and happy every day, I’m not sure how many words I’m going to get done today realistically but I’m trying to convince myself I can still do this.

I’m about to start rewriting Chapter 8 of 30, so considering I’m at a quarter of my word target and I’ve written more than I need to (in terms of reaching at least 3334 words per chapter – I did a lot of numbers planning) I’m not actually doing too bad.

I’m feeling okay – Chapter 4 was where the book really picked up as a crucial character was introduced but Chapters 7 and 8 are a bit more like filler chapters so whilst they’re still fun and contribute to the story arc of the whole novel, they’re a little bit more tedious to write.

Working out in July didn’t quite go to plan – I hit a rut and I really wasn’t in a place to save it and yesterday, I was actually quite looking forward to starting the month again and doing my best in terms of weight loss before my birthday but it’s not going very well. My head’s been a bad place today.

There still time for me to do Day 1 and I think I’ll do it while dinner’s in the oven and then Lucas and I are going to go Pokemon hunting tonight so that’ll be at least a 5km walk which is a good way to start and I’m thinking I might go to the gym tomorrow too. I’m trying to find little ways to motivate myself, but at present my anxiety about my sudden weight gain is festering in a desire to comfort eat and not incentive to lose the weight again.

I’ll be honest, I’m struggling right now but I’m still trying; I’m still fighting.

Thank you for reading, any motivational words would be greatly appreciated,

Sophie xx

 

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Why I want my book published!

2016

Hello!

I’ve had a few ambitions in my life, like I’ve wanted to be a very different things when I grow up, but being a writer has been something I’ve wanted for a very long time. I have vivid memories of wanting to be a writer as a child but, as I was a child, I got no further than writing out my own ‘Learn your ABCs’ book repeatedly and trying to draw pictures of apples and bees.

I’ve thought of five reasons (or motivations) as to why I’d love to get my book published, and hopefully soon.

1) Holding a hardback copy of my book – I love hardback books, they just feel so important and precious and to hold my own work, published in hardback for all the world to read would be such an honour. I would cry so much

2) I want people to love and hate and discuss and speculate and care about my book like I do – I look at fanbases like Harry Potter and how they’ve expanded on the universe of Harry Potter as much as JK Rowling has and the franchise lives on despite Harry’s story reaching it’s ‘end’ (is Harry Potter ever really going to end?!). I’d love it if people could love and cherish my book and the universe I’ve created as much as that.

3) Just imagine the fanfiction! I love fanfiction as an art form – I love people expressing themselves and writing some really, really incredible work about a franchise they really love. I’ve already had fanfiction written of my book by an old friend and I can’t wait to see what other people do with my characters. I’ll read every single one. Well, most of them.

4) Seeing my own book in a shop window or on a shelf next to other established, real authors would be such a dream come true. I’d just randomly go into book shops and sign some for fun like sneaky sneaky.

I’ll probably also stroke the covers a bit and cry. Just for personal reasons.

5) I just can’t wait to share my story with other people – I’ve had this whole story with characters that feel almost like people to me in my head for so long, it’s been mine for so long and I really can’t wait to share it.

Thank you for reading (I better get back to writing!),

Sophie xx

 

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Back on track! | Update Monday

2016

Hello!

This always happens – I have a bad week, I mope about it and then I get my ass in gear.

Now this isn’t a complete 180 – I’ve made some decisions and still not been 100% in my goals and I’m still finding it really difficult to motivate myself but I’m working on it. I’m trying to prioritise my mental health over my debilitating fear of failing.

Also I’m writing this super late because I’ve been playing Pokemon Go pretty solidly for two days.

In terms of workout updates, it’s mostly a case of I’ve been to the gym once since last week’s blog post which is okay, I think – at least I went! And I’ve decided that rather than trying to maintain this challenge every few days, I’m going to start again in August and do it properly. I’m going to make myself have a more structured routine and I found that when I did the challenges on consecutive days I really noticed the difference and felt stronger because of it but it doesn’t have the same effect when done intermittently.

August begins a week today, so I’ll let you know how that’s going in terms of Day 1 (where I won’t be moving this month!) next Monday!

Writing is where the exciting news comes in – I’ve actually done a lot of writing! Am I going to hit 50k by this time next week? Probably not, but I’m a hell of a lot closer than I was a week ago.

I’ve written 15,054 words! (And I’ve not started writing tonight, I do most of my writing between midnight and 2am which isn’t healthy but gets the books rewritten). In terms of ‘if I’d written 1613 words everyday’, I should be hitting 40,325 words today so I’m not too close to that. But compared to the 2,382 words I’d written last week I’ve come on in leaps and bounds and I’m really proud of myself for pulling myself out of this rut.

I’m just about to start writing Chapter 5, so my sixth character has made her appearance and the plot is really starting to pick up the pace like a toddler who’s just learnt to walk.

I don’t know where the simile came from, I think I just really cheered myself up by actually putting in writing how much I’d done.

I’m feeling excited about the rest of the rewrite and almost excited about writing 35,000 words in the remaining six days but it’s a challenge I’m willing to accept – I’ll try my best because it will make August a hell of a lot easier! Writing 1613 words a day will be so easy.

Everything seemed a bit hopeless last week, but I’m getting there – next week should be even better. Fingers crossed!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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Why do books need drafts?

2016

Hello!

I follow a couple of writers on YouTube and they quite often acknowledge at what point in writing a book they’re at, but at face value they only ever seem to do one draft of a book. Sure they have editors et cetera but I’m on the third draft of my book and I’m only now starting to think it’s done.

The reason I’m redrafting my book, is that it’s been almost 4 years since I first wrote the book and my writing style has changed a lot because I’ve been writing for about eight years now – there’s been a lot of room to change. It doesn’t help that I was 16 when I first wrote it and at almost-20 I know a lot more about the world and life than I did then.

So the book needs updating a bit!

Having taken a couple of years break from this book, it’s easier to reread it and approach it from an angle where I’m prepared to actually rewrite it (where in the past, the thought of trying to write the book again hurt my heart a lot).

Another difference that having a rather large break from the book means I can spot all the flaws. All of them. So many flaws.

But writing a book takes a lot longer than reading one – sometimes it takes rewriting it or another person reading it to realise a word has been used really repetitively or there are continuity errors riddled throughout it. Writing this post just makes me realise how many flaws and mistakes there are in my book.

But I am really enjoying writing the book again! Since writing the update post on Monday and realising how behind I was I have started to catch up! I’m loving that I’m actually making it better because I feel like this might actually be the last draft of Type 3: Hyper-Intelligent. I’m so excited!

At present, I’m still at NASS but I’ve already planned to keep up with my Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule and I’m writing down ideas all the time!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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