Beautiful People: July Edition

Hi all!

It’s been far too long since I’ve done a Beautiful People post! Hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In, this is a monthly writer’s meme – and for July the questions are all about the author process.

For more information on how my current work in progress is going check out the Writing section of my blog 🙂

How do you decide which project to work on?

Usually I only have one main idea at a time, but that project will just take over my thoughts until I write it! I will have one or two ideas that have been properly outlined, and they’re the ones that I work on.
How long does it usually take you to finish a project?

Hahahahaha what is finishing? But seriously, I always struggle to finish projects. I often lose motivation about three quarters of the way through writing the first draft, either because I think of another idea which I need to pursue ABSOLUTELY IMMEDIATELY, or because the story has become so convoluted I don’t know how to end it!

However, I have finished a few stories in my time; the most recent took about a year to write the first draft (which I blame on college), and now I’m starting to rewrite it before moving onto the sequel.
Do you have any routines to put you in the writing mood?

I hand-write my stories before typing them up to edit them, so I pick out my favourite notebook or the one that just feels right, find a good pen and sit down to write! I also listen to music sometimes, and if I’m writing a certain scene I’ll listen to the same song over and over again. (Is There Somewhere by Halsey was my go-to song for romantic scenes in my current WIP).

What time of day do you write best?

I really like writing in the early evening. Whether that’s my best writing or not is a different matter. I also sometimes feel inspired quite late at night, which can be annoying when I want to go to sleep!

Are there any authors you think you have a similar style to?

I’m always worried about being too similar to any author – I blame it on all the coursework I’ve had to do recently – so I’m not too sure! I’d hope that it has elements of stories that I love – characters as original as those in The Mortal Instruments for example – but I don’t think I could say who my style most resembles.

Why did you start writing, and why do you keep writing?

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This is such a good question! I think I started writing because I loved being imaginative, and I was making up stories all the time when I was younger; I used to make all these paper dolls and come up with elaborate backstories for them! As for why I keep writing, I think that writing nowadays is an escape and a way to relax, and I guess I still have stories that I want to tell. I’ve been writing for so long now that it feels like a part of me one I would hate to lose – I always panic when my inspiration runs out!

What’s the hardest thing you’ve written?

Well aside from all of the essays I wrote for my exams this year (hahaha I’m not panicking you are), I think my hardest piece of fiction I’ve written is my current project! It turned out to be a lot more serious than I had anticipated, and this is the first WIP where I’ve properly gone back and worked on it. I have to admit, I’m not thrilled about rewriting it, but I know that there are more stories to be told in this world and the characters’ journeys have only just begun, so I guess it’s got to be done!

Is there a project you want to tackle someday but you don’t feel ready yet?

This is another great question! I think there are a few ideas germinating in the back of my head that I need to write in the future, and my current WIP is stretching me a little so I might start another one and leave it for now.

What writing goals did you make for 2017 and how are they going?

I didn’t actually make any writing goals for 2017, but I did want to finish typing up my current project and start editing it, which I have done! I’m about seven chapters in, so there’s a while to go, but it’s great being back with all of my characters.

Describe your writing process in 3 words or a gif!

This is me all day!

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That’s it for this post! Tell me, why do you write? And how is your current work in progress going? Do you have a favourite genre to write in?

Thanks for reading 🙂

 

Bone Gap Review – Magic, Mystery, and Morals

Hi all!

Today I’m reviewing Bone Gap by Laura Ruby. I’ve been seeing lots of praise for this book, and for the most part I think it lived up to the hype. Ruby created an atmosphere as vivid and mystical as the cover – which honestly is so beautiful, this was a bit of a cover buy! – in the small town of Bone Gap, and some of the messages she conveyed were very powerful.

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Everyone knows Bone Gap is full of gaps—gaps to trip you up, gaps to slide through so you can disappear forever. So when young, beautiful Roza went missing, the people of Bone Gap weren’t surprised. After all, it wasn’t the first time that someone had slipped away and left Finn and Sean O’Sullivan on their own. Just a few years before, their mother had high-tailed it to Oregon for a brand new guy, a brand new life. That’s just how things go, the people said. Who are you going to blame?

Finn knows that’s not what happened with Roza. He knows she was kidnapped, ripped from the cornfields by a dangerous man whose face he cannot remember. But the searches turned up nothing, and no one believes him anymore. Not even Sean, who has more reason to find Roza than anyone, and every reason to blame Finn for letting her go.

As we follow the stories of Finn, Roza, and the people of Bone Gap—their melancholy pasts, their terrifying presents, their uncertain futures—acclaimed author Laura Ruby weaves a heartbreaking tale of love and loss, magic and mystery, regret and forgiveness—a story about how the face the world sees is never the sum of who we are.

My rating: 4 stars.

The Characters:

The characters are often what makes or breaks a novel for me, but I absolutely adored the main protagonist, Finn! He was kind, tried his best (even if it didn’t always work), and he STOPPED TRAFFIC FOR DUCKLINGS. Is that not the cutest thing you’ve ever heard? The only problem was, I didn’t warm to Sean much at all. I know we’re meant to feel sorry for him, and I did, but he was a little unlikable. 

Roza, on the other hand, was fantastic. There were so many important messages in each of her chapters which just made my heart sing. ‘ “She’s her own girl.” ‘ It was also really interesting to learn about her family and life in Poland (and all the food, which sounded delicious!), and I just loved her strength. It took me a while to warm to Petey, and I did think without the chapters from her perspective I wouldn’t have liked her. However, over time I did see how her character was important, and that appearances and reputations are never the same as reality.

The Plot:

The plot of Bone Gap  was really engaging! Throughout the novel there is the mystery of where and why Roza disappeared, but as the story progresses there’s also a romance developing (which was so cute!!), a family rift, the puzzling Charlie Valentine…Ruby manages to tie everything together wonderfully, and I was satisfied with the ending. My only problem is that it felt like there were a few things that could have been explained or wrapped up more solidly; however I think this was just because of the genre, as magical realism is more open-ended than a contemporary.

The Setting:

This was something that Ruby excelled at. Coming from a small town myself (seriously, I could walk the length of it in five minutes!), I loved the gossip of the people of Bone Gap, and it was a refreshing change for a Young Adult novel to be set in the countryside! Also I don’t know if this is a setting or character point, but there are loads of animals in this novel and I loved it so much, can someone please get me a Calamity Jane? (I mean, I technically can’t have a pet at university but I’ll work around it).

Final Thoughts:

If you’re looking for a town that teeters on the edge of the magic and normality in the world, strong women that don’t let other people bring them down, and a darling of a protagonist, then Bone Gap is for you! There were some downsides and I didn’t adore it as much as I thought I would, but this was still an enjoyable book unlike anything I’ve read before.

Have you read Bone Gap? What did you think of it? Do you have any other magical realism books I should read? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading 🙂