Academic Writing .vs. Creative Writing

academic vs creative writing

Academic

Blog

Formality is required in every aspect Can be as formal or informal as you want, it all depends on what your purpose is
Structured layout and clear Should also be clear, but layout is your choice
Typically five paragraphs As long or short as you want it to be
Topic is usually chosen for you Topic choice is yours and usually based on something that interests you
Must use words like ‘it is’, ‘cannot’, or ‘would not’ Can use ‘it’s’, ‘wouldn’t’, ‘can’t’, and whatever other contractions you want
Feedback is formal and (hopefully) constructive Feedback (if any) hopefully gets a conversation going
Deadlines are set for you and typically set in stone You set your own deadlines and then feel guilty when you miss them

Now I want to hear from you!

What were the biggest differences you experienced between writing for school as opposed to writing for fun?

Let me know down below!

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*Once again, picture at start is not mine. Found on Google through searching “writing”*

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Writing Playlist

Writing Playlist - Music Notes.jpg

Journey. Beethoven. Sinatra. The Avenue Q Soundtrack.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to music options in 2018. Which is good because everyone has different taste and different things they enjoy.

And for writers, we all have different things we like listening to when we work.

Now, I work in a music store so I’m literally surrounded by music pretty much all day, every day to the point that I can’t work in silence. I’m listening to Louden Swain’s, Sky Alive, album as I write this.

I’m also a big movie watcher and the way music affects a scene and the mood of the story is something that has always interested me.

For this reason, it’s always super important for me to have music on while I’m writing.

Now, I have different playlists for each of my projects. I used to listen to the same things for everything I was working on (usually film scores), but found this really didn’t help as all it did was make me want to watch the film.

By having different playlists, I can pick the music I listen to for each project and the songs on each of these playlists really helps me get in the right mindset for what I’m working on.

When I’m working on Brave Young Boys I listen to a lot of songs about war and loss. Carrie Underwood’s, “Just a Dream”; Dean Brody’s, “Brothers”; and Rise Against’s, “Hero of War” are just a few.

It’s not the most cheery thing to listen to, but it definitely gets me in the perfect mindset for working.

Kind of on the opposite end of the spectrum, I have a different writing project that involves two people going on a road trip. This playlist consists of (mostly) happy, fun songs.

“Beat This Summer” by Brad Paisley; “500 Miles” by The Proclaimers”’ and “mmmbop” by Hanson are three songs I listen to a lot when working on this particular story.

However, not every song directly relates to a theme of the novel.

In some cases a song will remind me of a character. Or I’ll hear a song and go “oh my god that’s perfect.”

Two instances where this has happened are with “Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett and “Lost Boy” by Ruth B (for two very different writing endeavors).

Everyone likes music. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who didn’t like music. It’s a universal thing, something that, even if you don’t speak the language in the song, you can still bob your head to the beat.

As a writer, different types of music inspire both my work and myself. I find it helps keep the story moving, gives me ideas for different things, and gives me a connection to my characters. It’s a language that transcends the usual barriers of most other languages.

Now I’d like to hear from you! Do you listen to music when writing? Is there a particular style of music you prefer to listen to, whether in life or when working?

Let me know down below and also let me know if you want to talk more about writing playlists!

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*Image at start of post does not belong to me, it was found on Google*

Goodreads Readers Choice Awards 2017

Goodreads Readers Choice Awards 2017

Goodreads

Best Fiction:

Little Fires EverywhereLittle Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng

You can read more about Little Fires Everywhere on Goodreads

Runner Up: Bear Town, Fredrik Bagkman

Buy Little Fires Everywhere on Amazon

Buy Bear Town on Amazon


Best Mystery & Thriller:

Into the Water, Paula Hawkins

You can read more about Into the Water on Goodreads

Runner Up: Origin, Dan Brown

Buy Into the Water on Amazon

Buy Origin on Amazon


Best Historical Fiction:

Before We Were Yours, Lisa Wingate

You can read more about Before We Were Yours on Goodreads

Runner Up: Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders

Buy Before We Were Yours on Amazon

Buy Lincoln in the Bardo on Amazon


Best Fantasy:

Fantastic Beasts.jpgFantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, J.K. Rowling

You can read more about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay on Goodreads

Runner Up: Norse Mythology, Neil Gaiman

Buy Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay on Amazon

Buy Norse Mythology on Amazon


Best Romance:

Without Merit, Colleen Hoover

You can read more about Without Merit on Goodreads

Runner Up: Come Sundown, Nora Roberts

Buy Without Merit on Amazon

Buy Come Sundown on Amazon


Best Science Fiction:

Artemis, Andy Weir

You can read more about Artemis on Goodreads

Runner Up: Waking Gods, Sylvain Neuvel

Buy Artemis on Amazon

Buy Waking Gods on Amazon


Best Horror:

Sleeping Beauties, Stephen King & Owen King

You can read more about Sleeping Beauties on Goodreads

Runner Up: Final Girls, Riley Sager

Buy Sleeping Beauties on Amazon

Buy Final Girls on Amazon


Best Humor:

Talking as Fast as I Can.jpgTalking As Fast As I Can, Lauren Graham

You can read more about Talking As Fast As I Can on Goodreads

Runner Up: I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons, Kevin Hart

Buy Talking As Fast As I Can on Amazon

Buy I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons on Amazon


Best Nonfiction:

How to be a Bawse.jpgHow to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life, Lilly Singh

You can read more about How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life on Goodreads

Runner Up: Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Buy How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life on Amazon

Buy Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions on Amazon


Best Memoir & Autobiography:

What Happened, Hillary Rodham Clinton

You can read more about What Happened on Goodreads

Runner Up: Hunger, Roxane Gay

Buy What Happened on Amazon

Buy Hunger on Amazon


Best History & Biography:

Radium Girls, Kate Moore

You can read more about Radium Girls on Goodreads

Runner Up: Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann

Buy Radium Girls on Amazon

Buy Killers of the Flower Moon on Amazon


Best Science & Technology:

Astrophysics For People in a Hurry, Neil DeGrasse Tyson

You can read more about Astrophysics For People in a Hurry on Goodreads

Runner Up: Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong – and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story, Angela Saini

Buy Astrophysics For People in a Hurry on Amazon

Buy Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong – and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story on Amazon


Best Food & Cookbooks:

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It! Simple, Scrumptious Recipes for Crazy Busy Lives, Ree Drummon

You can read more about The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It! Simple, Scrumptious Recipes for Crazy Busy Lives on Goodreads

Runner Up: 5 Ingredients, Jamie Oliver

Buy The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It! Simple, Scrumptious Recipes for Crazy Busy Lives on Amazon

Buy 5 Ingredients on Amazon


Best Graphic Novels & Comics:

Big Mushy Happy Lump, Sarah Andersen

You can read more about Big Mushy Happy Lump on Goodreads

Runner Up: Wonder Woman, Volume 1: The Lies, Greg Rucka

Buy Big Mushy Happy Lump on Amazon

Buy Wonder Woman, Volume 1: The Lies on Amazon


Best Poetry:

The Sun and Her Flowers, Rupi Kaur

You can read more about The Sun and Her Flowers on Goodreads

Runner Up: Depression and Other Magic Tricks, Sabrina Benaim

Buy The Sun and Her Flowers on Amazon

Buy Depression and Other Magic Tricks on Amazon


Best Debut Goodreads Author:

Hate U Give.jpgThe Hate U Give, Angie Thomas

You can read more about The Hate U Give on Goodreads

Runner Up: Caraval, Stephanie Garber

Buy The Hate U Give on Amazon

Buy Caraval on Amazon


Best Young Adult Fiction:

The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas

Runner Up: Turtles All the Way Down, John Green

You can read more about Turtles All The Way Down on Goodreads

Buy Turtles All The Way Down on Amazon

*As Angie Thomas’, The Hate U Give, won two of the reader’s choice categories (congrats Angie!), information given here is listed for the runner up novel


Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction:

A Court of Wings and Ruin, Sarah J. Maas

You can read more about A Court of Wings and Ruin on Goodreads

Runner Up: Lord of Shadows, Cassandra Clare

Buy A Court of Wings and Ruin on Amazon

Buy Lord of Shadows on Amazon


Best Middle Grade & Children’s:

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Rick Riordan

You can read more about Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard on Goodreads

Runner Up: The Trials of Apollo, Rick Riordan

Buy Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard on Amazon

Buy The Trials of Apollo on Amazon


We're All WondersBest Picture Books:

We’re All Wonders, R.J. Palacio

You can read more about We’re All Wonders on Goodreads

Runner Up: Malala’s Magic Pencil, Malala Yousafzai

Buy We’re All Wonders on Amazon

Buy Malala’s Magic Pencil on Amazon


Congratulations to all the winners, runners up, and everyone who had a book featured in the Goodreads Readers Choice Contest for 2017!

All the pictures included in this post came from Goodreads. Make sure you check out the books on this list and if you’ve read any of them let me know what ones you think are worth the read!

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World Building: Deciding the Type of World

There are tons of blog posts out there that talk about world building. There are entire books that discuss the different aspects put into creating your own fictional world and all the intricacies of it.
So naturally, because it’s been done so many time before, I decided to add to the madness and give you my thoughts on world building in this new series of posts.

World Building is still a process I’m figuring out for myself so I thought through these posts I could share with you what I’ve learning about the different elements of creating your own fictional universe.

The first and most basic step is deciding on what type of world you’re going to have.

Is it a dystopian world? Utopian? Conformist or evolutionary? Medieval or fantasy?

This is the most basic thing you need to determine because the type of world you’re creating will literally affect every single thing you write and decide for your story.

If you’ve got a dystopian society, the world you create isn’t going to be bright and colourful. It won’t be full of rainbows and people won’t be skipping down the streets. It’ll be dark and gritty and you’ll use a thesaurus to find every variation of the words “dark” and “gritty” to describe the setting.

On the flip side, if the world you create is a utopia then there probably will be rainbows and skipping involved. Your characters will probably be happy with their lives and things will seem good.

Now obviously neither of those descriptions are set in stone and there is always the possibility of a light at the end of the dystopian tunnel or of a dark underworld side in your utopia. But you get the general idea.

Choosing the type of world is just the first step in world building. It’s the first layer of a very elaborate cake. It’s the base for many different things that will happen in your story and happen to your characters.

The world you build does not have to fit exactly in to description box of the world you choose. But you can’t choose to have a totally normal story and then, five pages before the end, a dragon suddenly appears and eats everyone.

I mean, sure, that would be really cool, but it’s not really plausible when the rest of your story was set in a normal, average, every day town where, previous to those last five pages, there were no dragons.

And if you do choose to do that, you better have a really cool sequel lined up and ready to go.

Now, as I said before, this is only the first step. There are so many other aspects to world building that turn it from an idea into an actual thing. The people, the history, all the stuff that doesn’t necessarily make it into your book, but is still so important to your story.

In the coming months I will be talking about world building and the various things that go into it.

If there is anything you would like talked about or anything you would like to add let me know down below!

And let me know: is there a type of world you prefer writing over others? Do you prefer a fantasy universe? A dystopian world? The possibilities are endless and I want to know what you think!

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Back at it Again With the Blog Posts

Guess who’s back? Back again? Are you singing, cause I was as I typed that.

Have you ever briefly lost your motivation to work? And then as you get your motivation back, you become overwhelmed by how much you need to do. Then you lose your motivation again as a result of that overwhelming stress? Yup, that has been my life for about a year now.

I’ll keep my reasoning brief here. There was a lot going on in 2016 that made me lose all my motivation for writing.

I was working at a job I hated, then that place closed down, a new store opened up and I was helping to get the place ready so majority of my time was spent at work.

I’d come home and I was tired and the less writing I was doing, the more overwhelmed I was getting by how much there was to do.

I was putting out half attempts at blog posts and even worse fanfic chapters. I started getting some really negative reviews, especially on one of my stories. Not like, “hey, didn’t enjoy this chapter that much”. More along the lines of telling me I should quit writing and that I was terrible at it.

I try not to let it get to me. It’s part of the business right? Not everyone is going to like your work and that’s totally fine. But I was already feeling overwhelmed and stressed and all these things combined was really making me lose my love of writing.

So I decided to take a step back. I focused on work and myself and really figuring things out.

The place I work now is fantastic, best job I’ve ever had. I’m going back to school in a few weeks and I’m beyond excited. I didn’t think I’d ever go back to school, but I decided it was the best choice for my life and my future and I can’t wait.

And I started writing again. I’ve been rewriting the old chapters of my fanfics to a level I am much happier with. I also continued working on my novel and have been writing blog posts that I actually enjoy.

I found it was becoming too much about the numbers and what other people thought and less about what I liked and what I thought.

This time away has definitely been beneficial. I feel refreshed and excited to be back and I can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store.

Thanks for sticking with me!

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Life Update

Do you ever get so overwhelmed by how far behind you are and how much work you have to do that you just don’t do it? And then you get even further behind and it stresses you out more so you just continue to avoid it and this horrible cycle continues.

That has been my life for several months now. I don’t mean I’ve been sitting around doing nothing all the time. Quite the opposite actually. I’ve been working a lot since Christmas and when I’m not at work I’m at home desperately trying to get things done.

I’ve been writing blog posts and book/film reviews; I’ve been working on fanfiction chapters; and I’ve been making progress on my book. But I think all of you can relate when I say there just aren’t enough hours in the day!

Seriously, sometimes it feels like I never stop and yet it never feels like I actually got anything done.

I used to get a couple posts done or a couple chapters written and I’d start to get back into my routine of posting regularly, but then I’d fall out of it again and it was like starting back at square one.

So, since I’ve been MIA for quite a while now I figured I’d post a quick update just so anyone who reads this blog doesn’t think I’ve fallen off the face of the Earth.

I am very excited for things coming up later this year. I’m attending Fan Expo and the Supernatural Convention again and I will be blogging about those. I’m desperately waiting for Fan Expo to post it’s schedule so I can start making arrangements and figuring out if I’m going to be getting any photos or autographs this year (let’s face it, I probably will).

I will definitely be returning to the blogosphere and the fanfiction world. I can’t say exactly when just because I don’t want to make any promises or guarantees and then not stick to them.

Other than that my life right now consists of working, reading, and, as of today, playing Pokemon GO. I’m sure downloading this game will be absolutely no help in my trying to get back to writing on a regular basis. However, I think it will help with the lack of exercise I get (or rather, don’t get).

So, thank you to any followers of this blog for your patience. I look forward to rejoining you regularly very soon!

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Things Read in 2015

2015

When I was younger I would read all the time. Literally, just one book after another. I carried one with me everywhere (still do) and even when I wasn’t supposed to be reading, like, during class for example, I did anyway.

Now, being older, I don’t have nearly as much time to read as I would like, but I still try to read as often as I can.

That being said, way back in the summer of 2007 (it’s actually quite a while ago if you think about it), I started keeping a record of how many books I’d read and how many pages they were.

It started being divided by the summer and school years, but then I just started doing it by year. So, now that I’ve babbled on and explained (poorly) how this system worked, here is a list of the things I read in 2015!

The Walking Dead Books 1-4 (Issues 1-8), Robert Kirkman

TWD Books

I was a fan of The Walking Dead show before reading the comics, but after hearing repeatedly how different the comics are from the show I decided I had to read them. I’m not going to get too much into what I thought of the books as I reviewed books 1-4 last year.

I will say that so far I’m thoroughly enjoying the storyline both on the show and in the comics. I plan on reading at least books 5-8 this year (hopefully more, depending on if I can get them from the library).

 

Death Note Black Edition I, Tsugumi Ohba

black edition i

The only book I read this year that I haven’t reviewed yet. Not because it wasn’t good, but because I wanted to read Black Edition II first.

I’d already watched the anime of Death Note before reading the manga novels and I absolutely loved it. I knew immediately that this was something I wanted to read and when I discovered the Black Editions I was even more excited.

The Black Editions are basically two of the novels in one. Instead of spending twice as much and buying the books separate, you spend a couple extra dollars and get two of the books.

Death Note is amazing and I’ll definitely be posting a review of it this year as I recently bought Black Editions II and III.

 

F*ck! I’m in My Twenties, Emma Koenig

Fck Im in my TwentiesThis book is brilliant. I had wanted to read it for ages and was so glad when I finally did. Emma Koenig perfectly captures the feelings that come with being in your twenties, whatever stage you may be at.

I read and reviewed this book back in February and it is crazy how much changes in a year! Last year I wasn’t in school, had no job, and wasn’t doing too much. Now I feel like I hardly have time to slow down!

It’s absolutely insane how quickly things can change and I definitely need to read this book again to see just how different things are.

 

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Reptile Room, Lemony Snicket

Reptile Room

I still haven’t finished this series! I started it like a year and a half ago and I still haven’t finished. I’m not going to say I’ll finish it this year cause I think we all know if I say that then it won’t happen.

However, I will say that I’m excited to read it again and actually finish it this time because all of these books, not just The Reptile Room, but all of them are amazing and enjoyable.

 

Handle With Care, Jodi Picoult

Handle With Care

This book still gets me even when I just think about it. I read this book in a matter of days and to this day I would say it’s probably in my top ten favourite novels.

I loved this book, but to this day the ending gets me sooooo angry. If you’ve read it you’ll know what I’m talking about. If not, read this book. Read it because it’s beautiful and wonderful and Jodi Picoult is truly a literally marvel.

And then I want you to come back here and tell me what you thought of the ending and if you were raging for days while simultaneously existing in a state of shock like I was.

 

Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse FiveThis book is one I need to read again simply because I still don’t think I fully got it. But, like I said in my review (which wasn’t really a review), I think not fully understanding the book actually just makes me like it more.

This is definitely one of those books where even if you don’t fully understand it you’ll enjoy it. This is also one of those books where if you’re a book nerd you should read it. It’s not like the great novels of our time now. There’s no magic or great battle against an evil, superpowered villain.

But there is a story and at the end of the day Slaughterhouse Five is exactly what all great novels start out as and what they all end up being.

I love reading. When people ask me what I like doing the first two things I always say are reading and writing. It’s been like this for as long as I can remember and, even though I don’t have as much time as used to, I don’t doubt it will stay like that.

I look forward to reading many more books over the course of this year. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish all the books I started at the end of last year and more. My reading goal every year is to do slightly better than the year before.

Total Books Read: 9 (technically 14)

Total Pages: 2595

But I want to hear from you! What did you read last year? Have any reading goals for this year?

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