October Announcements

October

Alright, so I am making this post because October is going to be a crazy busy month for me and I am so excited!

First, I will be going to Torcon which is the Supernatural convention in Toronto! I will be blogging about my weekend on jcarsonreviews and I am incredibly excited about this. I love Supernatural, I’ve gone to the convention for the past couple years, but only for one day so this will be my first time going for the whole weekend.

If you or anyone you know is going, let me know because that would be amazing!

More on the topic of Supernatural. Season eleven premiers on the seventh of October and I will be starting to review the show and I am definitely looking forward to it. I’ve been really invested in the show since high school so it’s going to be great getting to share what I think of each episode with so many other people.

Superanatural

Finally, the last Supernatural related thing and something I am really excited about is that I will be reaching the one hundredth chapter in my Supernatural fanfiction! 100 chapters!

This is the longest fic I’ve written thus far and I am so incredibly happy with it. To celebrate, I will be counting down my top eleven (because they’re on season eleven) favourite episodes of the show over on jcarsonreviews!

But that’s not the only countdown I’ll be doing next month! Starting on the first, over on jcarsonreviews (it’s a really busy month over there), I’ll be counting down my top ten favourite episodes of The Walking Dead. This is all leading up to the season six premier (which I will be reviewing) on the eleventh!

The Walking Dead

Now The Walking Dead returning may not seem like announcement worthy stuff, but I have literally been on the edge of my seat waiting for season six so it has to be celebrated!

Also! The Amazing Book Is Not On Fire is coming out next month! What is TABINOF? It’s the book written by the one and only Dan and Phil! Dan and Phil are two Youtubers (you can find them on danisnotonfire and AmazingPhil respectively) I have been watching since I was in high school. I am a major fan of both of them and they’ve actually been a huge inspiration in a lot of the things I do.

TABINOF

I think the only other time I was this excited for a book was when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was being released. I remember exactly where I was and what time it was when Dan and Phil released the trailer announcing their book. I got home a couple hours later and preordered my copy online.

Now, after months of waiting, it’s almost here. I will definitely be talking about this book on this blog, probably multiple times because I’m so excited for it and I’m so proud of Dan and Phil for writing it and everything else they’ve done.

All these things are so very exciting! And while majority of the things on this blog will be remaining the same, all these things did have particular influence over one weekly thing I do: Names of the Week.

This month the names will be those of Youtubers, characters from The Walking Dead, and actors/characters from Supernatural. Normally I only post five names each week, but October knows no bounds and some weeks there’s definitely more than five names.

So much is happening in October! When filling out my calendar and writing my lists of things to do, it looks slightly intimidating and yet also exhilarating. While it looks like a lot of work, it’s writing and it’s writing about things I love so I can’t wait for October to get here so I can celebrate all these amazing things with all of you!

Thank you so much for sticking with me so far and I look forward to celebrating what definitely looks to be a wonderful October with you!

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Fan Expo 2015: Sunday!

Fan Expo Book

Oh boy, I thought Friday was amazing and then I went back to Fan Expo on Sunday. Insane! Best day of my life.

The first panel I went to on Sunday was The Walking Dead panel with Norman Reedus, Chandler Riggs, and Lennie James. I was in the same room as Norman Reedus, Chandler Riggs, and Lennie James. What.

I showed up early that morning and was glad I did because I got to the room the panel was going to be in just shortly after 10am (the panel was at 11) and it was already packed! One nice volunteer helped me find a seat (right smack in the middle of a huge group of people, that was fantastic). However, once they came out it didn’t matter where I was sitting. There they were. Three cast members of The Walking Dead.

Walking Dead 2

It was like the heavens had opened up and angels were singing. To some people that might sound stupid, but keep in mind I only bought my ticket a week before this all happened. So literally a week before the idea of seeing the cast of Walking Dead live was just a far off “off day” dream for when I could hopefully afford it.

The panel was amazing. From the sounds of it there’s lots of exciting things to look forward to in season six as pretty much every answer Chandler gave was that we’d have to wait for season six.

Walking Dead 12

Lennie James couldn’t say too much about his character as obviously we’ve only seen him a handful of times so far, but he did say we’d probably get to see how his character went from the crazy guy we saw in season three to the zen master he is now.

Walking Dead 24

Norman Reedus described season six as being like “season one on Viagra”. From anyone else I think that might have sounded weird, but from him it was just hilarious.

Walking Dead 20

All three guys were so polite and funny throughout the panel, answering each question as best they could without spoiling anything. It was so great and I’m so glad I decided to go.

I’m also glad I decided to buy a photo op with Chandler Riggs which I went to right after the panel. Since I’d already bought a couple things on Friday I hadn’t planned on really buying anything on Sunday. Maybe I’d get the Murphy McManus Pop Vinyl so I’d have both twins, but then I made a spur of the moment decision that morning before leaving for the train.

I bought a photo with Chandler and it was both terrifying and amazing and I couldn’t stop shaking. He was so polite and he thanked everyone for coming and it was one of the most amazing moments of my life.

Photo Op with Chandler

I watched a few episodes of The Walking Dead a few days after Fan Expo and I just sort of laugh because I watch it now and all I can think is, “I’ve met him.”

From that photo op I went to a panel called “How Fanfiction is Taking Over the World” which was hosted by Wattpad. This was so awesome because I’m a huge fanfiction writer as many of you know so it was cool to see a panel of people who have written or currently write fanfiction.

It was also really cool to meet other fanfiction writers and hear about what they write and how they got into it. I loved it because I don’t know a ton of people in real life who write fanfiction. I know a couple who have written a couple things, but no one who writes a lot like I do so meeting fellow fanfic writers was fantastic!

Once the panel was over I actually got to hang out with one of the girls I had met at the panel and we wandered around in the vendors area in the South Building which, until she brought me there, I didn’t know it existed. Yes, I’ll definitely remember that for next year instead of attempting to figure out my map.

We eventually went our separate ways as I had another photo op to get to and this is where I have a story.

I bought a photo with Sean Patrick Flanery. I’m a huge fan of his, I love Boondock Saints, he was great in Criminal Minds and I have a ton of other movies he’s done. Needless to say, I was incredibly nervous to actually meet him.

I’m standing in line and the closer I get to the curtained off area the more I start shaking. I am mere minutes, seconds, from meeting Sean Patrick Flanery. This was terrifying for me! It had been several hours and I still hadn’t recovered from meeting Chandler so the fact that I was about to meet SPF just sort of hit me all at once like a train.

Closer and closer, there’s now only a couple people in front of me. I finally make it to the curtained area with only one person in front of me and the fact that he’s mere feet from where I’m standing is now making me shake harder.

Then I look just slightly to the right and who is standing there? Norman Freakin’ Reedus.

Really?! I’m going to assume if you’re reading this then you’re laughing cause that’s what everyone I know did when I told them.

I was already beyond nervous to meet Sean Patrick Flanery\ and then Norman Reedus is just chilling about three feet away. Yeah, I forgot how to function. To make it even worse (better) SPF was hugging everyone he took a picture with.

Photo Op with Sean

I was prepared for the arm around thing, I can do that. Me and hugging in general is a struggle so this just increased inability to function.

Also, I’m so glad these are the first two pictures of myself that I’ve ever shared on this blog. Nothing normal or professional looking, but two times in one day where I was nerding out so hard and forgot how to function properly.

So yes, I thought I was close to The Walking Dead cast that morning and then that happened. It was wonderful and scary and wonderful and amazing and scary.

Honestly though I had a fantastic time at Fan Expo Sunday. Best. Day. Ever.

There will be other conventions I go to and other photos I’ll buy despite not really being able to afford things, but nothing like this. Nothing will ever be like this.

Thank you to all the people who run Fan Expo and to all the celebrities who attend! We all appreciate it very much and it definitely made it the best day of my life!

It’s definitely made me want to go again next year!

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Fanfiction: How Can it Help You?

Fanfiction-For-Dummies-feature-image2Last month I made a post talking about my six years on fanfiction and I realized just how much fanfiction has helped me in my writing. So today that’s what I’m going to talk about.

How can fanfiction help your writing?

Now, before I go any further, I just want to say that the word “fanfiction” shows up an obnoxious amount in the post and I also cannot guarantee 100% that this post will actually be any help at all, despite the title sounding like a self-help flyer.

Fanfiction is a lot of things. It’s a way to develop your writing skills, learn how to write different characters, it introduces new environments and situations that maybe you wouldn’t deal with in your own writing.

A lot of people have a negative perception of fanfiction. Why is this? I have no idea. I know some people think all fanfiction is like 50 Shades of Grey (it’s not), but whatever the reason, fanfiction seems to have gotten a bad rep with some people.

But it actually is a good thing! I swear!

Writing fanfiction has given me the chance to do so many things. Writing characters from various countries, time periods, and even planets isn’t something I normally would have done. But through fanfiction I’ve done exactly that.

It’s not just taking someone’s work and copying it. People are so creative in heir fanfics!

College AUs, Werewolf AUs, Alpha/Omega Elements, Kid!fics, Sick!fics, and so much more. Don’t know what some of these are? That’s how creative fanfiction is! There’s this whole world people don’t know about. Fanfiction writers have their own language to help them know what a story is (AU, Slash, Drabble, Lemon, OC, OOC, OTP, PWP, R&R, RPF, etc.).

You can do whatever you want with the characters and the universe to make it your own. Now, obviously this is exactly what writing your own stuff is, except then it actually is yours. So why bother with fanfiction?

Do you ever get those days where the creativity just isn’t flowing right and you’re stuck on your story. You could try writing a short story or poem to get that creativity back OR you could let your brain relax a bit. Take some characters that have already been created and have fun with it

Because yes, fanfiction is a lot of work; no, it’s not all like 50 Shades; and yes, it is fun!

I love writing my own stuff, but fanfiction is something I love and something that has helped me so much and I think it could really benefit all writers to try it.

Go check out fanfiction.net! There’s so many stories there, you’re bound to find something you like! And if not, check out the numerous other fanfiction websites!

Do you write fanfiction? Do you find it helps your writing?

 

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Six Years of Fanfiction!

fanfictionSo I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I am an avid fanfiction writer. I love fanfiction. Well, today marks exactly six years since I joined fanfiction.net. Six years since I took up the screen name: OwenHarpersGirl. In that time (as of 11:59 last night) I have:

 

84 Stories
275,007 Words
982 Reviews
448,819 Views
1,512 Story Favourites
1,013 Story Alerts
149 Author Favourites
157 Author Alerts
Included in 12 Communities
Have left 119 Signed Reviews
Read in 158 Countries

To celebrate six years, I updated every ongoing multi-chapter story I have posted so far, as well as uploading three new things.

But why is fanfiction so important to me? Well, before discovering fanfiction, writing was something I had always done for fun. It was a hobby. And when I say always, I mean always. I found some old notebooks from when I was four to six that I had written in and they contained stories I had made up about Pokemon and Digimon characters.

OwenHarpersGirl is like a second name to me now. It’s the name I use on all three writing websites I’m a part of (ff.net, AO3, and Wattpad) as well as my deviantart, NaNoWriMo, and tumblr. It was even the name on my Twitter and Pinterest up until I created this site. While at first it was a name I created because of my favourite character in a tv program, now it’s literally become like a part of who I am.

Writing fanfiction has changed my life. I never thought six years ago, when I first signed up, that I would have almost 100 stories with readers in 158 different countries! I have made so many amazing friends and learned so many new things through fanfiction and it’s crazy to think that my life could be totally different right now if I hadn’t signed up that day.

A big thank you to anyone who has ever read any of my fanfiction and I look forward to many more years of fanfiction writing.

If you haven’t you can check them out by scrolling up and clicking on my Fanfiction Page.

Do any of you write fanfiction? Why or why not?

 

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Rewriting Brave Young Boys

First TimeRewriting. This is a word I have come to dread, but unfortunately one I cannot avoid. Last year I finished my first round edits of my novel, Brave Young Boys. I was so happy. Not only had I written a novel, but I’d also edited it! However, my celebration quickly ended as reality came crashing down on my head. Now I was editing, I had to {dramatic pause} rewrite!

Now, this doesn’t sound all that difficult or like a reason for a dramatic pause. However, this art of the novel writing process has filled me with so much dread that Brave Young Boys has sat on my desk, untouched, for moths. But why? What on Earth is so bad about rewriting that I had temporarily abandoned my novel?

Well, at first it was that I didn’t know where to start. Once I was done editing, I was suddenly left with this story I had written and then torn to shreds while editing. There were plot holes, character names to change, characters to possibly eliminate, major timeline issues, and so many new scenes to write. I was staring at those pages covered in highlighter and sticky notes and it was completely overwhelming.

But I pushed forward anyway. I actually managed to get through the first two and a half chapters before hitting a wall. I was blocked, no clue what to do, and had all these questions in my mind.

Should I rewrite certain parts first?
Should I focus on certain changes first?
Should I be rewriting the whole thing?
Should I just change what needs to be changes?

Should I, should I, should I. So many questions! And there I was with no answers. So I put it aside. I focused on my 2014 NaNo novel, blog posts, fanfiction writing. I knew if I kept trying to rewrite while I was frustrated and confused then the rewrite would probably turn out worse than the original. So I stepped back, did some research, got some perspective and had a much better idea of what to do when I returned to it.

Start with the big stuff: writing new scenes, deciding if all characters are needed, and fixing the timeline so everything makes sense. Then, fix things like plot holes, rewriting them so they make sense. Finally, focus on the smaller things: punctuation, grammar, and spelling, and changing/fixing the names of characters. If any of what I’ve read is true, not only will this make rewriting easier and more organized, but I won’t feel so stressed out about the whole process.

How do you go about rewriting? Do you have any tips for others?

 

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The Excitement of First Words

First WordsWriting the first words of anything can be both exciting and terrifying. It is exciting because you don’t know where those first words are going to take you. It is terrifying because you don’t know where those first are going to take you. Whether you are writing an essay or a novel, those first words are undoubtedly the beginning of a great adventure.

When we learned about essay writing in school we often heard the same thing every year from every teacher. The beginning of your essay needs to ‘hook’ the reader. While this is obviously true as you want your reader to be interested enough to keep reading, the idea that you need to ‘hook them’ puts a lot of pressure on you, the writer. When I would try to write an essay the beginning was usually the last thing I wrote. I would work on the body paragraphs and the conclusion and then figured out my ‘hook’ at the end. The reason for this was because I always found the beginning to be the most frustrating aspect to write. There was so much pressure to make it good; to make it interesting enough that people would want to continue reading. This is why I always waited until the end to write the beginning. If the rest of the essay was done then there seemed to be less pressure on writing the beginning. The hook would come easier once I knew what the rest of the essay was talking about. Of course, writing first words is not always such a chore.

As someone who spends a significant amount of time writing fanfiction, I find that the first words can also come quite easily. Sometimes I will be watching something and an entire story will form itself in my head. I will have the first words all ready to go and I will be excited about it. This is a case where the first words are exciting as opposed to terrifying. Whether I know where the plot is going or I have no idea, those first words are the start of something great. Similarly, when I start writing a novel, after the outlining and the planning is done, the first words I write are the ultimate adventure.

Unlike writing an essay or fanfiction, writing the first words of a novel is an exhilarating feeling. While you may plan and outline for days, maybe even months, there is no certainty that you will stick to that exact plan. Once you get started, and those first words are on the page, there is no telling where it may go from there. Those words might even change. You might decide they aren’t the right words, I’ve done this many times and kept everything I’ve written except the first words.

There is no real way of telling how your essay or story might go. When you write those first words it may be one of the most exciting things you do or one of the most frustrating things you do (I find this also depends on your reason for writing. An essay for school is significantly less exciting than fanfiction). Whatever you are writing and whatever your reason for doing so, I can assure you that that it will be a great adventure.

How do you find it when writing the first words? Is it more exciting or scary?

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Where Do Your Ideas Come From?

IdeasWhere do your ideas come from? When JK Rowling first got the idea for Harry Potter, she was on a delayed train heading to London and she wrote her ideas on napkins. I’m betting that she was sitting on that train, scribbling down her thoughts about a boy wizard with round glasses and a lightening scar, she had no clue what would come of it. The same way you don’t know what will come of your ideas.

All great works of literature started with an idea. It may have been an idea for a character, an idea for a specific part, or even an idea for a place. These ideas may also come from different places. Maybe, Like JK Rowling, you dreamed up your idea. Maybe you met someone while you were out and they inspired that character. Maybe you went on vacation somewhere and the place inspired a whole new world for you to write about. Wherever you got the idea and whatever the idea may it be, the question now is: what do you do with it?

What do you do with your idea? Well the first and simplest thing is to write it down. You may not be able to do anything with your idea right away, but having it may lead to something great in the future. Of course, this itself can be a problem. Say you write down each of your ideas. You now have this list of things that may or may not be connected and may or may not make sense. While each individual idea might not make sense, if you connect it with a couple of your other ideas you may just start to get something solid to work with. This is where the next step comes in.

You’ve got all your ideas written down and you’re trying to connect them so now you need to organize them. I like to think I’m an organized person. My books and movies are in alphabetical order and my clothes are arranged by colour. However, when it comes to my writing I like to refer back to the saying that is, “There’s a method to my madness.” I have so many ideas written down and so many things in progress that sometimes it is a little hard to keep track of. However, this is always a way to have organized chaos if you assign things categories such as: ‘complete work’, ‘in-progress’, ‘future ideas’, and ‘ideas that came from dreams and I have no clue what it means’. Organizing your ideas can be a major help in figuring out what you want to do with them.

Well, now you have your ideas, you’ve written them down, you’ve organized them, now what? Now you write. Write a news article, a poem, a short story, or even the next great novel. Take your idea and run with it. Right now it may seem like just a bunch of scribbles, but those scribbles could just end up being the next number one best seller.

Where do you get your ideas from? How do you organize them?

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