Saturday, 9 August 2014

Top Ten Weird Words

Ah, words. A writer's best friend. But, while most are useful and help you craft amazing stories, there are some that are incredibly bizarre. Below is my top ten picks for weirdest words. In no particular order, let's get on with it.
10. Yclept
This means 'By the name of' or 'called'.

9. Wanweird
This means 'Misfortune' or 'An unhappy fate'.

8. Honourificabilitudinitatibus 
This means 'With honour'.

7. Pogonotomy
The act of cutting a beard.

6. Runcation
Meaning 'the act of weeding'.

5. Gongoozler
This means 'an idle spectator'.

4. Zenzizenzizenzic
Meaning 'A number raised to the eighth power'.

3. Abecadarian
Meaning someone who is learning the alphabet.

2. Adoxography
Skilled writing on an unimportant subject.

1. Hippopotomonstrosesquipedalian
According to the Urban Dictionary, this pertains to a very long word.

You may, of course, go ahead and use these in your writing, but beware. Most people won't have the faintest idea of what they mean. Which can be both awkward and hilarious.

What's your favourite weird word? Had you heard of any of these before? Comment below and let me know!


Thursday, 31 July 2014

Story Cafe: Defying Expectations.

(http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavorazione_a_maglia#mediaviewer/File:Frans_Koppelaar_-_Mother.jpg)


See, here's the thing. When writing a character, you need to defy expectations. Whether it is by writing an interesting damsel-in-distress, or a knitting needle-wielding granny, you want your characters to pleasantly surprise the reader.
Let us take our knitting needle-wielding granny, for example. We'll call her Rosa. Rosa likes to knit. In fact, she is a champion knitter. World renowned. But in the night-time she puts those skills to a completely different use. Assassination.
How much more interesting is that, than a simplistic grandma that spends her days (and nights) knitting and being a sweet old lady who'd never hurt a fly? Significantly more. That's the answer. I want a story about Rosa, not that lady. Rosa naturally creates a conflict in the story. Whether she is the protagonist or the antagonist, she'll drive that story.
That's what your character should do. The conflict in the story should react to them, not the other way around. They should drive the plot.
Of course, that doesn't mean that there can't be conflict that our main character just happens to land in. However, they still have to drive the story. They have to be in charge.
Take Katniss Everdeen, from The Hunger Games for example. Yes, the Hunger Games have gone on for years without her. No, she didn't start it. But her conflict began because she volunteered for the Games. And that's interesting. Because it defies expectations.
Would you really expect a teenager to volunteer to go into a killing game? No, you would not. You understand that isn't normal (unless you're a Career, which is a completely different thing) so when Katniss volunteers to take her sister's place, it matters much more.
Even after she volunteers, she drives the story. Her actions control what happens in the plot. I won't give away any more spoilers, however.
It can be the character defying expectations in that way, or just in personality. Or in their job, like Rosa. You can have so much fun with it. And it doesn't have to happen at the beginning of the story. Sure, that pulls the reader in, but you could have a character that didn't defy expectations right up until the last minute. It might be difficult, but it'd be cool and unexpected.

So what are your favourite characters that defied expectations? Did you agree with what I said above? Comment below, and let me know! 

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Bout of Books

Hello readers! This month I shall be doing the Bout of Books Read-a-thon. This is basically a challenge to read more than I normally would in ten days. I'm starting a little late, but it shouldn't take me too long to catch up. It was supposed to start on the 12th of May, but I'm starting on the 13th. It will end on the 18th of May.
Below is a basic layout of what I'm going to do, using the template provided on the Bout of Books blog. Here's the link: http://boutofbooks.blogspot.co.uk/p/faq.html#GoalTemplate

Time Devoted to Reading

Everyday, hopefully. 

My Goals

I will be reading three books. I would have more, but I have four exams next week, so I shan't have much time. I will aim to update this blog everyday, with how far I've gotten in the Read-a-thon. 

Books to Read

  • 'If I Stay' by Gayle Forman,
  • 'Severed Heads, Broken Hearts' by Robyn Schneider 
  • 'Out of the Silent Planet' by CS Lewis

Friday, 3 January 2014

Short Story


So I was given a few words as a prompt for a short story. This is the story that was build from that. Hope you enjoy it. 





Words:
Love
Knife
Battle
Pain
Sunlight

Dya shifted the bag slung over her shoulder, as she squinted through the sunlight at the ground. Stepping carefully, she managed to get past the mud without too much trouble.
She kept her eyes on the ground though. If she didn’t, she would see It.
She felt a hand on her shoulders, and glanced up. Hal was watching her, his brown eyes gentle.
“You okay?” he asked cautiously. He had every right to be cautious after he almost received a knife to the face.
When she had awoken following the battle, he’d been there. And he’d been the one to tell her that her brother was dead.
She hadn’t meant to throw the knife. It had left her before she realised what she was doing. Then she’d cried. A lot. She’d scared him. She knew that well enough. All she could think at the time was that her brother, that she had loved so much, was gone. And it hurt. It really did. It still did. But she couldn’t let that stop her.
She was here to do her job. To save the lives that were still able to be saved. To save other people’s brothers.
She sent him a nod.
She turned back. She raised her eyes to look. She wished she hadn’t.
It wasn’t the sight of the other healers rushing back and forward. Or even the broken standard lying on the ground.
It was the bodies.
So many bodies. None were alike. They ranged from very young, barely more than children, to old. It wasn’t surprising. Death doesn’t differentiate.
And the blood. It had mostly soaked into the ground and dried now. It was still visible though.
Dya felt sick. She could barely stand to think of her beloved brother falling alongside all these others. What had it been like, she wondered? Had he died quickly or slowly? How many of his friends would he have seen die? How much of the battle had he seen, before his death?
She shook those thoughts out of her head. They would do no good to anyone. They certainly wouldn’t help her grief. And they certainly wouldn’t help any of the wounded.
She scanned the battlefield.
Her eyes were drawn to an old man, maybe sixty, lying facedown in the mud. She didn’t what drew her to him, as he wasn’t moving, but she was drawn.
She knelt by his side, and sighed in relief as she spotted his chest moving. Up and down. Up and down.
She placed her bag down and opened it, pulling out bandages and various other medical implements.
“Hello?” she asked gently.
He didn’t answer.
“I’m just going to give you a quick check, that alright?” she said. She remembered what her teacher had told her about unconscious people. To keep talking to them.
So she did.
Later she found out that he was a grandfather. And the sight of the joyful reunion between the man and his family, made her own pain feel better.


Word Count: 500