From Book to Movie Adaptations: Harry Potter

I recently was watching YouTube videos on Harry Potter and I got the idea for this post. When the films came out, I saw every single one in cinemas. I adored the movies. But when I read the books, I fell in love with the world even more. It has been years since I last read the Harry Potter books. I remember certain differences between the films and books, but I didn’t realize how much was left or changed for the sake of film-making. Certain info on the book series I rediscovered through a YouTube channel, called MovieFlame. His channel discuss the series by going through key details that were missed or left out of the films entirely, such as character arcs, backstories etc. You should go check out his channel. This is the video that inspired me to write this post:

I always read the books before I watch the films, but the Harry Potter series was an exception. I hated reading when I was young. I would always avoid reading assignments in school and watch the films instead. But when I read Harry Potter for the first time, it solidified my love for reading. It is interesting to compare both the books and the films and that is what I am going to discuss today. The first thing to look at is:

Change in Characters

Overall, the characters in the films were vibrant and engaging, just like their counterparts in the books. However, there were some characters who were badly represented in the films or some were dumbed down to bring other characters up. Three characters that come to mind for me are:

Ginny Weasley 

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For Ginny, I completely forgot what she was like in the books. The Ginny I knew was the one in the films and in that regard, I had so many questions about her character. She was portrayed as Harry’s number one fangirl and the only girl amongst the Weasley siblings. One of my friends told me that one of their favourite characters was Ginny and that they hated how the films portrayed her. I couldn’t remember what she was like so I watched a YouTube video, going through the life of Ginny Weasley.

In the books, she was fierce, intelligent and a very skilled Quidditch player. At the beginning of the series, she was Harry’s fangirl. The films got that right, but they never delved into Ginny’s true character. The youngest of a big family and the only girl, Ginny had to fight her own battles at a young age, especially when she had brothers like Fred and George. She taught herself Quidditch at a very young age, by stealing her brothers brooms at night. She got so good, she took over for Harry as Gryffindor’s seeker, and even won a few matches.

She was very loyal to her friends, such as standing up for Harry against Draco, defending Luna against school bullies and stood by Harry’s side when the world called him a liar. In the films, the relationship between Ginny and Harry was never explained. As a movie goer, Harry started liking Ginny out of the blue. Before the Half Blood Prince, Ginny was Ron’s younger sister and a fangirl. All of the sudden, he likes Ginny. There was no progression or sign in the films that Harry started liking Ginny. Whereas in the books. J.K Rowling started developing their relationship since the 4th or 5th book.

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Harry started pushing people away, when he felt Voldemorts control on him in the 5th book. Ginny was the one who told him, he was being an idiot and that he should have talked to her about Voldemort’s control since she was possessed by him in Year Two.

“I forgot” Harry said.

“Lucky you.”

Ginny became more out-spoken with Harry, unlike what she was in the films. She showed off her skills in Quidditch, and her fierce personality, such as when Ron shouted at her for kissing Dean in public. Ginny retorted and said, Ron was just jealous because he has as much experience as a 12 year old when it comes to kissing. And when Ron kissed Lavender in the Gryffindor common room, Ginny came up to him and said “Youre a bloody hypocrite.”

Moments like this were excluded from the film and her character suffered due to these changes. She was reduced to a love interest to the main character.

Ron Weasley

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Ron is a great character in the books and films. However, on closer inspection, youll notice one thing about Ron. In the films, he seems to be a complete bumbling idiot. He is what you call the comic relief. I have seen videos on the internet, asking the question: did Ron need to be there? Was he necessary to the story or was he just a tool? In the film, he cracks jokes and acts as that character who will liven up a scene when it gets too serious. He is not as skilled of a wizard as Harry or as intelligent as Hermione. So what is he doing there? The one thing the films failed to show more of, is Ron’s loyalty.

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Ron will do anything for her friends. Scenes that showcased this in the books, never made it into the movies. An example of this would be the scene in the Shrieking Shack in the Prisoner of Azkaban. In the film, Hermione stands in front of Harry and says to Sirius Black, “If you want to kill Harry, youll have to kill us too”.

In the book, it was Ron who said this. He stood up on his broken leg and bravely faced Sirius Black. Moreover, it is more apparent in the books, that Ron is essential to the trio. Without Ron, Harry and Hermione would be lost. Ron is the glue that keeps the group together as shown in the Prisoner of Azkaban and the Deathly Hallows, when the trio was broken up. His bravely and loyalty were put on the back burner in the films and they made him more of the funny, idiotic character amongst stronger characters.

Luna Lovegood

 

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For Luna, she was very much the same in the film as she was in the books. However, the films showed more of her quirky side. When I first saw her in the Order of the Phoenix, she was a very odd character to me and I didn’t know if I liked her or not. My mother loved her instantly. But when I re-read the books again, I realised how much of an inspiration she was, which I felt the films didn’t capture well enough.

She was quirky and bubbly. She knew who she was and that is an amazing trait to have. She had this sweet innocence that no bully or force of evil could take away from her. In the books, Luna was bullied severely for her unique personality. Students stole her shoes which forced her, to walk around barefoot. Luna would put it down to nargles. She believed in a world that might have been false but it was real to her.

She was a bright student and an amazing witch. She may have attracted some hate, but she also found loyal friends in Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Neville. Friendship was a huge thing for Luna. When she found her friends through Dumbledore’s Army, she remained loyal to them. After the events of the 5th book, Luna became closer to Harry and the others. She even had paintings of them on her bedroom ceiling with gold engravings around them, saying in Latin, “Friendship.”

She was kind person, even with the people who made fun of her. When the trio used to make fun of her, she stayed kind. Even when Hermione and Ron made fun of her father’s magazine and Harry disregarded her, she still helped Ron with his owl off the Hogwarts Express. When the wizarding world turned against Harry, she came up to him and said ” I believe He Who Must Not Be Named is back and I believe you fought him and escaped from him.”

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I have a new found respect for Luna’s character. Even when everyone hated on her and bullied her, she stayed true to herself and found true friends out of it. She was a shining beacon of light in the books and the films didn’t portray that enough.

 

Story alterations

I understand when it comes to adapting a book into a movie, things have to change or be left out. But there were some things in the books that I wished were in the movies. Examples are:

Peter Pettigrews death

Death, yes. Im pretty sure he didn’t die in the movie. He just got stunned.

The beginning of this clip shows what I mean. In the book, Peter Pettigrew was killed by the silver hand that Voldemort gifted him in the Goblet of Fire. The last time Harry and Peter saw each other, Harry saved him from being killed by Sirius Black and Remus Lupin. So Peter owes Harry his life. And Harry cashes in on that favour in Malfoy Manor, by asking him to help them escape. Peter’s hesitation showed an act of betrayal and the silver hand murdered him for it. It was a good scene, a nice wrap up to the Peter Pettigrew’s story. But it was reduced to being stunned by Dobby the elf.

I mean why??

Tonks and Lupin’s pregnancy

The fact that Tonks was pregnant throughout the final book, was never mentioned in the films. Instead, they had Moody interrupt their announcement to Harry in the 7 Potters scene.

Moreover, we never heard or saw their child after the Battle of Hogwarts in the films. Moreover, one of my favourite scenes from the last book was the fight between Harry and Lupin in Grimmauld Place. Lupin had just left Tonks who was pregnant at the time, using the excuse that he had to go help Harry. But Harry saw right through it, and gave out to Lupin for abandoning his wife at this important time. This scene showed Lupin at his weakest point, thinking he put his wife at a disadvantage, by having a child with a werewolf. He thought she would be better off without him. Also this scene showed Harry not taking his shit and told him to go home. Hermione may have been mad at him for that, but I agreed with Harry.

Character Arcs never fulfilled

Petunia and Dudley Dursley – They originally had scenes filmed with Harry and the Dursleys before they parted ways. It redeemed Petunia, who we assumed hated her sister, Lily. The truth was she grieved for her sister and missed her. Dudley was redeemed when he said to Harry, “I dont think you are a waste of space.” We never got the closure from the Dursleys in the final version of the movie.

Draco – He had a redemption scene that was deleted, where he threw a wand to Harry to help him fight against Voldemort. That small detail was replaced by the awkward hug between Draco and Voldemort.

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We didn’t need this. Or the Ginny and Harry scene at the Burrow.

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Why, Warner Brothers?

Percy’s betrayal

The films never touched upon Percy taking the side of the Ministry of Magic, when they called Harry a liar. It caused a rift within the Weasley family, which showed that this family can have cracks in their foundation. I despised Percy for that period of time. He was so ignorant and blindly followed the Ministry. It is all, but removed from the films entirely. Percy was just reduced to a tour guide for the Hogwarts castle.

Bill and Fleur

Yes, this couple. They never got much screen time in the films. Bill didn’t appear until the final film, and Fleur disappeared after the 4th film. There was no build up of their characters or their relationship before we were present at their wedding in Deathly Hallows Part 1.

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There was never the awkwardness at the beginning of the relationship, because of Ron, who asked her to the Yule Ball in the 4th book. There was never that funny banter between the family or the trio about Fleur and Bill. They just appeared out of nowhere in the 7 Potters scene in Deathly Hallows and we are supposed to root for them or love them on the spot.

Overall thoughts:

There are so many things I could point out, but well be here all day otherwise. Even though I have been bashing the Harry Potter movies throughout this post, I still adore them. They are amazing on their own, and they were a central part of my childhood. The films got me to the read the books and the rest is history.

But if you compare the films to the books, you know who would get the superior title. That is the case for many books to movie adaptations; the books are always better. The actors did a great job of bringing the characters to life on the big screen, but they had to follow a script given to them and controlled by a studio, who helped create this franchise, and who are still releasing new movies to add to this world (Fantastic Beasts). However, there are other book to movie adaptations that succeeded in following the formula of the novel and creating a carbon copy of the book. Some have even been better than the original source material.

I may talk about that in later posts but for now, that is all I have for today. I hope you enjoyed this post. It has been a long time coming. I have been busy with work lately so I havent been posting much. My last post was on the 2nd of August….that definitely needs to change. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed and I shall talk to you in the next post x

 

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Poets in Music (YouTubers Edition)

Everyone listens to music on YouTube as a platform. It has easy access to your favourite artists. However, YouTubers have been known to release their own music and reveal their musical talents. These received mixed reviews and I, myself, never listened to music produced by YouTubers.

However, in the past year, I have delved into this side of YouTube and I was pleasantly surprised by a couple of YouTubers with their music. For this post on Poets in Music, I decided to focus on two YouTubers who I found their music to be insightful and entertaining as a tune. The one thing I look for in music, is brilliant lyrics. That is why I called this blog series “Poets in Music.” If your lyrics inspire me in anyway, even if the music is sub-par, I’m all in. And these two YouTubers music had inspired some works of my own.

Emma Blackery 

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There have been mixed emotions about Emma Blackery’s music. Truth be told, I avoided her music for a long time. I just wanted to watch her YouTube content. I guess I was being a little bit of a snob when it comes to music taste.

I had heard that people didn’t like Emma’s voice and among other things. But recently, she started making videos about her journey making her debut album. She revealed snippets of her new sound in vlogs she posted every week. And to be honest, I was intrigued. I wanted to hear what she had to offer. Then I heard her song, Nothing Without You.

This song has both amazing lyrics and an upbeat tune. It is a song about heartbreak. It tells the story about a love that fell apart and Emma is trying to move on. The upbeat rhythm behind the songs lyrics, makes the song amazing. Its similar to how Paramore’s sound is now. They write about the hardships of life and have an upbeat tune, playing over the sad lyrics. The beat brought me to the song, but the lyrics is what kept me there:

“If I had the chance to say
“I’m sorry for how things changed,”
‘Cause I would be nothing without you
Nothing without you.”

Another favourite of mine from her, is her most recent single, Icarus:

This had the lyrics I was looking for. I fell in love with the reference to Greek mythology in the song, but I also loved the story-telling in the song. How someone could go so far, that they have to fall back to earth eventually? “You’ve got to let go, cos you’re flying too close.” I can relate to this song, because I knew someone who would take things too far, that it would get to the point of a crash and burn. You need to let it go, to move on. Emma can write great lyrics for songs, such as with Icarus and with her other song, The Promise:

This song represents the great songwriting ability of Emma Blackery. It is a letter to her fans, to tell them that everything will be okay. I promise if you go, I will miss you. I may not know your name, but I’m telling you, you do matter and I love you.

“‘Cause I believe if you go
My heart would break, just hold on one more day”

This is one of Emma’s most famous songs, and it is understandable. The message of the song hits you hard and this song resonates with me deeply. I appreciate and love this song for the message she is giving out to her fans. Even with her change of sound, Emma is great with her turn of words in lyrics. Even using the terms sipping on or spilling tea in Dirt, she writes what she feels and I respect her for that. Check out her stuff if you haven’t yet. Her debut album, Villains is coming out on August 31st, 2018.

Gabbie Hanna (TheGabbieShow)

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Gabbie Hanna, aka The Gabbie Show, is one of my favourite YouTubers. I love her YouTube content and her personality. She tells some insane storytimes and talks about her mental health with her fans. Along with her channel, Gabbie delved into publishing when she published her poetry book, Adultolescence last year. During the promotion of her book, she released her first song called Out Loud: 

It was meant to be for the promotion of her book. However, it blew up. It went to number 3 on the iTunes charts, behind Taylor Swift. No one expected this out of Gabbie when she released it. I fell in love with this song for its lyrics. Her lyrics were based off some of the poems in her book. Out Loud tells the story of a relationship (it can be a friendship, a romantic relationship, whatever your interpretation of the song may be), where she constantly reached out for this person but they just drifted apart. Words unspoken left the relationship broken and unfixable.

“It’s time to let it go, you left me all alone
It’s holding me down, it’s burning me out
I’m begging for sound, but I can’t bring you back now”

When I listen to this song, I associate it with a similar situation that happened to me with a friend. To lose someone so close to a lack of words or just a drifting that cant be stopped. I was pleasantly surprised by the lyrics Gabbie produced in this song. But she brought it further with her song, Satellite:

Honest opinion: Her lyrics in Satellite are far more superior than Out Loud. This song hits closer to home, because it talks about isolation and the need for companionship. Gabbie’s lyrics talk about her feelings of isolation and how, at first, she is content with it. But by the end of the song, she realises she doesn’t want to be alone anymore:

“Satellite
I’m a satellite
I’m on the outside looking in
Want you to know just where I’ve been
Don’t wanna be a satellite
So, please let me in”

My favourite lyric from the song was “Need to know you want me here before I ask.” I love this one line, due to the fact that I understand this feeling. You want to be ensured of a want or need from other people. I want to know if people want me around, before I ever ask. I always just assume that no one cares if I’m there. I relate to this concept of being a satellite. This song was more personal than the last, and I think that’s why many people resonated with it. It didn’t hit the charts, like Out Loud, but many fellow YouTubers preferred this song. YouTubers, such as Shane Dawson and Ryland Adams showed their support for the song, through Snapchat and Twitter. Further news, Gabbie has started writing more music and in her latest video, she showed some more of her music talents.

It seems like a typical Roast me video but please, watch till the end. She shows off some exceptional lyrics. It was almost like I was watching some Slam Poetry. Please check it out. I cant explain it. You will just have to watch it. Here is a sneak peak of some of the lyrics in this video:

“It’s an interesting dichotomy of monetized sincerity
Stir up my insecurity with constant uncertainty
Generation of anxiety
The “look at me” society
Dubiety of piety
The gods all suffer silently
I’m sorry for my obsession with attention
I have ungodly fear of rejection
My apprehension and objection is the viral infection
Of dollars and followers in place of affection
What i need is a human connection”

I urge you to watch this video. It is so good. Those are the two YouTubers I looked at for this Poets in Music post. I hope you enjoyed. Please check these girls out. They have amazing YouTube content and music. I cant wait to see what they come up with next.

 

The Night at the Villa Diodati

Today, I am going to give you a history lesson. This blog post discusses a historical night in literature which produced massive works, such as Frankenstein and The Vampyre. I learnt of this piece of history in a Sensibility and Romanticism class I took in college. My professor told the class the brief tale of the stormy summer at the villa in 1816. After class, I watched a documentary she recommended, which discussed the events of that summer.

I fell in love with this piece of history, about these extraordinary, literary people and the works they produced. This post changes from my original content, from literature to history. However, this piece of history shaped our literature today. This night at the Villa Diodati shaped the horror genre into what it is today. Therefore, I want to talk about it. SO lets get into it.

In 1816, a tremendous storm rolled over Europe. Thunderstorms and rain hit the villas around the Lake Geneva in Switzerland. One of those villas was the Villa Diodati.

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Inside the Villa Diodati, a group of five people sat around a fire and told ghost stories. These people were:

Lord Byron, the famous writer and poet

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Mary Shelley, writer behind Frankenstein:

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Percy Shelley, famous poet and Mary Shelley’s lover at the time:

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John Polidori, writer of The Vampyre and Lord Byron’s doctor:

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And Claire Clairmont, Mary Shelley’s step-sister:

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These five people arrived at this location, for different reasons. Each had their own secrets and scandals, they needed to avoid. The Villa Diodati was a place like no other. a place for them to escape. As told by Mary Shelley, the area around the Villa Diodati was breathtaking:

“To what a different scene are we, now arrived. To the warm sunshine, and to the humming of sun-loving insects. From the windows of our hotel, we see the lovely lake, blue as the heavens, which it reflects, sparkling with golden beams. I feel as happy as a new fledged bird, and hardly care what twig I fly to, so that I may try my new found wings.”

Each member of the group escaped to Switzerland, which was a perfect location for these literary inspired people. People looking for some sensation, they found in the Alpine mountains, the forestry and lakes of Geneva, surrounding the Villa. It was perfect for the building storm, that was about to occur.

Lord Byron was a famous English writer and poet. Whenever he published his works, they were almost as big as the release of a Beatles album. People would line up to receive their copies of his works. He was the equivalent of a Rockstar, back in the day. Moreover, he was well known for being a ladies man, and living an exciting lifestyle through drugs and alcohol. One of his lovers, Caroline Lamb stated;

Byron was “mad, bad and dangerous to know.”

However, Byron’s lifestyle caught up with him, when he was accused of having an incestuous relationship with his half-sister, Augusta.

So he fled England, with his doctor, John Polidori. Polidori’s job was to keep Byron alive, as due to his lifestyle, Byron suffered from liver problems and had been diagnosised with gonorrhea. However, Polidori had his own ambitions, to become a writer and seeked Byron’s approval.

Due to Byron’s fame, he had many female admirers/groups, and Claire Clairmont was a huge example of one. She fell in love with Byron, slept with him and he had no interest in her after that. But that did not stop her from pursuing him. According to Claire;

I do assure you, your future will shall be mine. And everything that you shall do or say, I shall not question.”

She was determined to win him over, so she planned to follow him across Europe. Claire asked her half sister, Mary Shelley and her lover, Percy Shelley to accompany her on her journey. They accepted, as they were running away from their own scandal. Percy Shelley followed the expression of free love, which was frowned upon in the 1800s. Percy and Mary fled England, while Percy was still married to another woman.

The Villa Diodati was each persons place of refuge, but also a place for desires and inspiration to boil over.

The party had been at the Villa for a week, when the volcanic storm, caused by the eruption of Mount Tambora, hit Lake Geneva. The rain, thunderstorms and flooding was immense. The most terrifying storm the group had ever seen. It was a new thrilling experience for these people, who were highly literary and excitable. As Mary wrote;

An almost perpetual rain confines us, principally, to the house. The thunderstorms that visits us, are grander, and more terrific, than I have ever seen before. One night, we enjoyed a finer storm than I have ever beheld. The lake was lit up. The pines were made visible, and all the scene illuminated for an instant, when a pitchy blackness succeeded. And the thunder came in frightful bursts over our heads, amidst the darkness.

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The scenery and the storms, set the scene as, Byron began to read ghost stories to the group. Surrounded by a lit fire, Byron read passages from Fantasmagoriana, and Christabel. 

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These horror stories put the group on edge and Byron called for a challenge. Can they do better? Can each of them write a better story, more vivid and more terrifying than these? From this challenge, Byron produced an unfinished vampire story called Fragment of a Novel. Polidori wrote his own vampire tale, basing his vampire character off Lord Byron. Providing this Byron-esque quality, Polidori created the first aristocratic vampire in literature. His vampire provided inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

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There was nothing left of Percy Shelley’s story, however, his lover, Mary’s novel lives on. Desperate to prove her literary skills to Lord Byron, she worked at producing a story, more terrifying than any other story out there. Than one night, Mary woke from a nightmare, producing a vision that formed to idea for Frankenstein;

I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life and stir with an uneasy half-vital motion.”

She had found her idea. While at the Villa Diodati, she wrote the first draft of Frankenstein. These stormy nights at the Villa Diodati, produced two influential works, The Vampyre and Frankenstein.

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These two works, spawned a new wave of thinking and revitalization of the horror genre. Mary Shelley’s work analysed the world of science at the time, through the creation of the monster and externalized the actions and mistreatment from humanity. Polidori’s The Vampyre, provided a new look at the face of evil. Changing the formula of a vampire from a mythical monster to a respected aristocrat, his novel showcased the fear of the Other, walking amongst society. It was a focused look at the higher class in the 1800s.

However, the events at the Villa Diodati lead to its own tragedies. Claire Clairmont got what she desired and ended up in Byron’s bed. At the end of the summer, Claire discovered she was pregnant with his child. This led to Claire, Mary and Percy fleeing back to England, so Claire could have her baby in secret. Claire continued to write Byron many years later, however, Byron refused to see or speak to her. He would later call her, “a damned bitch.” Claire never got over Byron and never married.

As for Byron and Polidori, Byron fired Polidori and parted ways.

Polidori died in 1821, just short of his 26th birthday, from suicide by acid. Percy Shelley drowned the following year, on a shipwreck. He was not quite 30 years old. In 1824, Byron died of an illness, when he joined the cause of the Greek nationalists in their battle against the Turks. He was 36 years old.

Mary Shelley established herself as a writer, and lived till the age of 53.

This piece of history fascinated me, due to the effects of that summer on this group of people, the literary works that came from it and how it established the literature we read today. It was a small piece of history, but significant none the less. As Neil Gaiman said,

We know where the twin pillars of horror fiction, that we stand on today, began.

I got most of my information for this blog from the documentary called, Frankenstein and the Vampyre: A Dark and Stormy Night. If you are interested, check out this documentary. Check out these amazing writers works. I hope you enjoyed this post. Its a bit different, but I have always been interested in this event. Imagine, sitting in a room with other literary inspired people, bouncing ideas off each other, surrounded by the eruption of storms and darkness. A gathering like this, doesn’t happen very often, and thats what made it spectacular. If you found this post interesting, let me know if you want me to do more literary history pieces.

Hope you are having a wonderful day and Ill see you in the next post.

 

 

 

 

My Favourite Reads on Wattpad

In my previous blog, I spoke about my affiliation with Wattpad. I said I would make a blog post about Wattpad one day. Today is that day. Recently, I went back to my old account (WHY??!!!). But I will say, that I was pleasantly surprised to see the works I saved onto my Reading List. I didn’t read all of them, which is a shame. I did read some and it is those works I shall be talking about today.

Joking aside, I do appreciate my time spent on this website. It helped me in a time, where I felt I couldn’t share my writing to anyone. Wattpad was a fantastic outlet for me, to meet other writers and share my work with them. Moreover, they have fantastic works on there that have been traditional published as well. So, who knows, you could get published from the works you post on Wattpad (definitely not mine. My works were trash!!).

So the first on my list is:

My Wattpad Love by Ariana Godoy (cold_lady19)

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Synopsis: Julie has always been the shy type. Her world changes when she finds wattpad, a very popular ebook community. She becomes addicted to it and even starts posting her own stories. But are friends, fans and votes all she will get from this site? Or is it possible to find love as well?

I’m pretty sure that My Wattpad Love was the first story I came across on Wattpad, when I first joined. I fell in love instantly. The story was engaging and the premise was fun, due to it being based on using Wattpad. From what I can remember, the characters were delightful and funny. Because of this book, I fell more in love with Wattpad as a community. This book blew up and I think it got officially published afterwards. Following the success of My Wattpad Love, Ariana wrote its sequel, Growing Up. It was good, but nothing compared to the first book. If I was to look back at this book, I might have reviewed it differently. I dont care. The book was influential to me at the time, and well done to Ariana for making a great presence on the Wattpad community.

Disclaimer: These next two novels I never finished but I loved what I read so much, that I decided to put them on this list. If you like the sound of them, check these stories out. 

 

A Unique Kind of Love by Jasmine Rose (foreversmilin)

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Synopsis: Lena Rose Winter was the typical seventeen year old girl, or so everyone thought. She had a secret, something she hated talking about. She knew what love was, and she dreaded it. The cause was that she lost someone very close to her heart because of it.

Liam Christopher Black was far from your typical bad boy. He was a good guy, the one who would sit at the back of the class, not making a sound. They said that time healed sadness, but it was hard for him. Trauma by the news of his family dying in a car crash caused him his voice. He was mute. 

Becoming friends with someone was a risk, because you could always end up caring too much. Lena didn’t care. She fought for the boy and for his friendship. They ended up falling for each other; hard. It seemed as if the world put obstacles in their way before permitting them to truly be together. Because, of course, after rain, the sun comes out.

This may be a sappy love story, but it’s got just enough sappiness for one person. It is a story about finding love after losing all hope of being happy.

This book interested me, due to the idea of a love between two people, where one person cant talk. Similar to The Shape of Water, I was intrigued on how the writer could convey a love story with so little communication. To me, Jasmine did an amazing job. It was really well written and I fell in love with the characters. I was invested in the story and that was enough for me. However, I stopped reading due to a certain revelation, that I didn’t really appreciate. It changed the way I viewed the story. I wished I finished A Unique Kind of Love though. If I read the novel now, I would feel differently towards this particular revelation. Who knows, I may re-read again sometime. Jasmine’s work became well known and I just found out, that it was traditional published as well.

 

Paladin by Sally Slater (SallySlater)

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Synopsis: Sam is the most promising swordsman among this year’s crop of Paladin trainees…and knows it. Brash, cocky, and unbeatable with a sword (well, almost), Sam is the kingdom of Thule’s best hope against the violence wrought by demons. The only problem is that Sam is really Lady Samantha, daughter of the seventeenth Duke of Haywood, and if her father has his way, she’ll be marrying a Paladin, not becoming one.

But Sam has never held much interest in playing damsel-in-distress, and so she rescues herself from a lifetime of boredom and matrimonial drudgery.

Pity that Tristan Lyons, the Paladin assigned to train her, is none other than the hero of her childhood. He hasn’t recognized her as Lady Samantha–yet– but if he does, he’ll take away her sword and send her packing.

Sam is not the only trainee hiding secrets: Braeden is a half-demon with a dark past that might be unforgivable.

Sam, Braeden and Tristan set out for the western coast, charged with rooting out an infestation of demons that has made the West unliveable. As they travel, they uncover a deep-seated corruption of power that threatens to derail everything they stand for. Rebellion stirs, led by a rival faction of warriors who tempt Sam to join them with an irresistible offer. A war between men is coming, and Sam must pick a side. Will saving the kingdom cost her life — or just her heart?

Reminiscent of Mulan, but with a medieval fantasy twist, Paladin is a tale of adventure, action, and romance.

I adored this book. I never finished it, but from what I read of it, I adored it. A medieval fantasy tale based off Mulan…I’m sold. From what I could remember, it was brilliantly written and the story was intense. I loved the main character of Sam. She is badass but also funny. I remember a particular scene in the novel, where Sam and her comrades stopped by a brothel after a long journey. All the men were excited and having fun with the prostitutes. Whereas, Sam told her prostitute the truth and they talked for most of the night. It was a hilarious scene of her amongst men and having to explain to a prostitute that she was not a man. It was a fantastic read. I wished I had finished it. Sally is writing a sequel as well. I believe the first few chapters are up on her Wattpad account, but you can find Paladin on Amazon, where you can buy a published copy of it. (I just realised all my favourite books on Wattpad, are now published. Excellent).

 

Those were my favourite reads on Wattpad. It’s amazing that all these books I adored on Wattpad years ago, have been published. Damn, I need to step up my game. But no, I am proud of these writers I loved back in the day. But this is not the end of the blog. I have another novel you should check out. I never came across this novel, when I was on Wattpad. But I found it in my local bookshop and I bought it, to support another writer on Wattpad. It’s called:

The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles (@Reekles)

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Synopsis: Meet Elle Evans. Pretty, popular – and never been kissed. Meet Noah Flynn. Badass, volatile – and a total player. And also Elle’s best friend’s older brother…
When Elle decides to run a kissing booth for the school’s Spring Carnival, she locks lips with Noah and her life is turned upside down. Her head says to keep away, but her heart wants her to draw closer – this romance seems far from fairy tale and headed for heartbreak. But will Elle get her happily ever after?

Yes, you probably have heard of it, as it recently became a Netflix movie. I havent read the book or seen the movie, but I purchased the book when it was first published. It became my sisters favourite book. She fell in love with Beth Reekles’ novel and watched the film, when it first came out. I might still read it someday but I dont know. Check it out, if you are interested. I cant give my own opinion about this novel until I read it, which I may post on this blog one day.

 

That is it for my list. I hope you found something new to read out of this list. Check these authors out. They are great. Check out Wattpad. Who knows, you may find your next favourite novel there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Started Writing

When I started planning more blog posts, I realized I never talked about the beginning of my writing journey. You have to start somewhere 😂

My first memory of writing, was when I was eleven. I wrote a fanfiction based off my favourite game series, Kingdom Hearts. It was SO BAD!!! I tried to pretend that the whole novel idea wasn’t a carbon copy of my favourite stories. The character’s names were altered slightly from the main characters in Kingdom Hearts but it was obvious that they were still those characters. Instead of meeting Disney characters, my characters met Harry Potter characters. I cringe inside, just thinking about it. I learned then, I should create my own stories (mainly because my parents told my eleven year old self, that you would be caught for plagiarizing with my Kingdom Hearts based fanfiction).

 

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However, I learned from that first fanfiction. My parents claim I started writing even earlier than eleven years old. Thats impressive.

But I seriously started writing my own novels when I was thirteen. I remember that age because it was when I was a huge fan of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight books and I started my own vampire series (dont judge me!!)

But I actually feel like the story could have been interesting but I stopped writing, when I started despising the direction of my main character.

I planned and wrote many mini novels, as I didn’t know how to plot a real novel. I wrote them into my school copies which would have been around 150 pages in each. It was wonderful to have that avenue to escape. I found joy in my writing at that age.

I could make up brand new characters and place them in worlds I never dreamed of. It was wonderful, until other people got involved. My writing became a reason for people to play around and manipulate. Its really hard to explain, and I may talk about someday. But after a while, I had to hide my writing hobby from everyone. I wrote in private.

But, I hated that. I did love the privacy but I wanted people to read my stories. I wanted feedback on my work. So I set up my own Wattpad account. I know!!!

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I’m not going to tell you the name of my Wattpad account because it is too embarrassing. I dont want you to see that. However, Wattpad gave me an opportunity to share my stories with others. Also, I met many other people who shared my passion for writing. Some wrote short stories, others wrote poetry. Everything was at my disposal on Wattpad.

It was the only place where I felt I belonged. I was accepted as a writer on this website. I followed and read so many stories, that helped with my writing. (I may actually make a blog post about my favourite stories I read on Wattpad).

However, when I entered college, I found a new home for my writing: Stanzas.

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I have talked about Stanzas in previous blog posts. It holds amazing events for writers of all ages, to come and perform. This became my new home where I met so many other writers my age and I didn’t feel alone when it came to my writing. I made lifelong friends from Stanzas and they helped develop my writing skills. Since then, I’ve gotten a couple of my works published in Stanzas chapbooks.

Since then, I have kept writing in doses. Attending an English course in college, I never found the time to write. My blog helped with that.

 

Writersblockwhat gave me further practice, outside of college.

With my blog, I am attempting to further my writing career. Along with that, I am sending my works out to different publications. I am trying to better myself in my writing and hopefully, make a career out of it someday. It may be wishful thinking, but I’m going to try.

Thats where I stand, at this present time. I hope to see you in the next blog. Talk to you later x

 

Your Voice

I feel like I havent done an advice post for writers in a while. I was watching a YouTube video of a writer I admire talking about the voice in your novel or in your work. When I started out, I didn’t really have a so-called voice in my work…

I just wanted to be like J.K Rowling or Stephan King or any other authors I admired. The first novel I ever composited was a sort of fanfiction about Kingdom Hearts but I just changed the names of the characters to pretend it wasn’t inspired by Kingdom Hearts. (Btw it was really obvious that I based that novel on Kingdom Hearts. Instead of Disney characters, I put Harry Potter characters into it. I’m so sorry J.K Rowling).

Anyway, your voice….I didn’t really know my voice until I did a creative writing module in my college. I never found I had a specific voice or style. I just wrote for fun. However, my creative writing professor said in class that, she could tell which piece of writing was whose. She said, my style of writing is very descriptive. I agree with that because I feel when I write, I make the conscious decision to ensure that my character and the people reading my stories, are immersed. I dont want to present something as fake. I want people to imagine themselves into that world. If youre in a club, I want to describe the colours used, the crowds, every little detail I want conveyed in just a few lines.

However, I dont believe I have found my voice in my writing. I have a particular style that I stand by, but I dont have a voice that is consistent. Your voice is yours. It is authentic. It is the one thing that makes you a different writer, compared to J.K Rowling or Stephan King or any other writers. It is your way of putting words to paper and how you want to make your truth on the page. Your voice evolves through the different genres you will delve into as you go along. But, it remains your voice. The way you write the words, is your unique way. I dont know if I have found my voice yet. I dont feel I am experienced enough yet, to say that I have found my voice. I havent found what I want to say or how I want to say it. I still feel like I am imitating my favourite authors throughout the years, such as:

J.K Rowling

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Maggie Stiefvater

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Stephanie Meyer

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Sylvia Plath

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Oscar Wilde

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and many, many more.

Imitation is the greatest form of flattery but I need to find my own voice. What makes me stand out against the crowd? What do I stand for? Writers such as Louise O’ Neill who wrote Asking for It and Almost Love, take a feminist approach to her writing and write about difficult topics that are not addressed properly such sexual harassment and rape. I want to form my own voice and I feel Ill find it through the big novel I am working on. The thing I would say about finding your voice, is just keep writing. You will find your voice with time and experience. Keep a pen and paper on hand. Write everything down. Write your own experiences and that way, you will find your voice. If you want to know more about voice in writing, check out this article by Writers Digest.

http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/there-are-no-rules/voice-in-writing-developing-a-unique-writing-voice

I hope you are having a fantastic day and I love you guys for sticking by with my messy upload schedule. I have more planned for this blog, so stay tuned x

 

Just Thinking (Update)

Things are looking up.

 

I got excellent results in my college exams and that means I get to do my masters in September. Also, I recently got a job so I am feeling much better after my last blog post. Everything seems to be going well. However, I feel stuck. I am being told I need to go down one path for my career. You need to get a “real career” in order to have a great life. Start a family, get a home and then pursue your dreams. What does that even mean? Get a “real career”?! Does it mean for me to become a lawyer or a teacher? To follow the status quo and get a job just for the sake of security or what society deems a “real career.”

I want to have a career that is creatively stimulating. I just dont want to be stuck in a job that I dont want. And I feel like my plans for the future are going down that route. I watched the film, Still Alice and this scene resonated with me:

 

Recently, I feel like people are telling me what I should do with my life and a lot of their advice makes me feel nauseous. These future plans that are not my own. I just want to get out, get my own place, live my own life, instead of being told what to do.

One of my new years resolutions for 2018 is to send my work out and get published in magazines. I want to try and get published, establish myself in someway as a writer. That is my dream. I want to work as a full-time author which is an undesirable job. “You wont make money out of that”, “What if you are not good enough?”

Well I want to try. My journey is starting this year. As I work on the most important novel I have ever worked on, I am going to start sending out my work everywhere. I cant have this mentality that this wont work out if I dont, at least, try.

Thats what has been happening with me. I hope you are all doing well. It has been a bit of time since I last posted. The review took up too much time, so I decided to just post this. Let you know what has been happening with me. I shall have the review up in a few days. Thanks for being here. I appreciate it. Talk to you next time.

Format and A Slump – A Work in Progress #2

Hey guys.

I am returning to you with a new update on the novel I am working on currently. It is going extremely slow. I cant find any inspiration at the moment. I havent written anything in a while and that sucks. I need to get back into that mindset and the only way to do that is through reading. I need to read a lot more. I have the time for it. I have a book lined up, ready for me to read. Its called Asking For It by Louise O’ Neill. I have heard great things about Louise and her work. I had this book for a while but never got around to reading it. I’m looking forward to reading it. I may do a review on it when I’m finished. But don’t expect that post to be up for another while. (I am a slow reader).

Currently, I have been stuck trying to find a job. I’m applying for everywhere and anything. Nothing. I don’t have that much experience so it puts me at a disadvantage. No one will give me a second look. But I cant find my through line. What will get someone interested? How can I get them to take a second look and ignore my CV? It has been hard and heart-breaking. Since I finished college, I have started my search for a job. So I havent been in the right state of mind to write. My plan is to submit my work to magazines and competitions this year, so to give myself a chance at building a portfolio for writing. I would love to live out my dream of being a full-time author or to work on a creative team for the arts. But that’s not the world we live in.

Anyway, enough of the sad parts. Not only have I been busy with life, I have also hit a slump with my novel. I’m stuck on a particular character and the form of my book. I got this crazy idea a few days ago. What if my novel was in the form of numerous short stories that connected with different characters or a particular place. I find my strength in writing is through short stories and  in some way, I thought that a novel filled with short stories sounded like a good idea. Honestly, I don’t know if that particular format would work for the story I’m trying to tell. But it is definitely something worth thinking about.

As for the character, my story has many diverse characters with different struggles. However, this character has got me in a bit of a pickle. I feel like she is too one-dimensional. The idea for her came from the formation of a one-sided relationship. Her and a male character in the story share this strong bond, but she was always on the outside, looking in. She was forever out of his reach. They were close but also apart. For her character, I felt like she was coming off as a jealous and hateful person. Her whole character seems to centre on her male friend and that is not realistic. Her character just doesn’t seem to have depth and I know there is more to her. I just havent found her yet.

Struggles of being a writer.

I have been going through each character again to flush them out a bit more. I don’t want to just jump in and start writing when I have no idea where my characters are going. I have done that before and I failed miserably.

It hasn’t been a great couple of weeks. But somehow Ill get through it. The bad days will go and the good days will come back. This is just a slump that I will conquer. And I know writing will help. Just keep writing.

1001 Challenge

Hey guys!

Recently I have been thinking of trying out something. I watched a video by Emma Blackery where she had a book called “1001 albums you need to listen to before you die.” Now, music is not my forte. But reading and writing is. So I want to get the book “1001 books you need to read before you die.” Unfortunately I couldn’t find the book in my local bookshop so I may order it online. I think this would be a fun challenge for me to do. I call it a challenge because I have found myself in a reading slump. I haven’t read for pleasure in a long time and I want to get out of that. This challenge will help me get back into reading and read some of the classics I have never read. Or even introduce myself to books I have never heard of.

Itll be a fun challenge for me and it will broaden my reading tastes quite a bit. Until I get this book, tell me some of your favourite books or just any classic novels you have read. Even just recommend some books in the comments.

Some of the classic books I read are:

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

On the Road by Jack Karouc

And many more.

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Let me know your thoughts and Ill keep you updated on the classics I read for this challenge. Talk to you in the next post x

This is all we know

“You are disgusting,”

“You are vile,”

“Why don’t you just disappear?”

“Why don’t you just die?”

This is all we know.

Words so meaningless,

But escaping from the lips,

of you.

This is all we know.

Spitting out of spite,

Colours drained from,

Each other’s eyes.

“Kill yourself,”

“Just die.”

This is all we know.

War is seasoned,

Armies forged,

But battles ceased.

This is all we know.

Declaration of praise,

“You are the best,”

“You are amazing,”

“Don’t leave me,”

“I love you,”

(This is not what we know).

Take me back,

To the war,

To the backseat of your carriage,

Where words are so meaningless,

“You are not nothing.”

This is not what we know.

 

This is the first poem I have posted in a while. I cant remember when I wrote this. I associate this poem with a relationship so toxic. Words become punches and stabs. You no longer feel like yourself and those stabs just become normal. And when words of comfort come your way, you cant deal with it. You don’t believe them because all you have heard are the words, “kill yourself,” “you are not worth it.” Truth be told, I have these words replay in my mind all the time. Feeling of doubt, fear and mistrust. I have so many people in my life that I know I can trust, but there is always a part of me that is like, “There are no good people in this world” or “you are on your own.” I know I am in a ramble today but I don’t know. I just want you to know that you are not worthless or you don’t mean anything to anyone. I know that may sound cliché or derivative but its true. You mean a lot to someone and they will miss you when you are gone. I may need reminding all the time that I have people that care about me but I do know that I’m not always alone. When I need someone, I have someone who is there for me. I just wanted to post this poem because I just wanted you to know that you are worth it. You are not a nobody.

This post has been a bit all over the place. I hope you are having a great day and Ill talk to you in the next post x