Update Schedule

There was once an update schedule. It lived a good life, a peaceful life. A quiet life. But then... things began to change. It became more and more erratic, sometimes completely disobeying its very reason for existance. And at last, the update schedule could take no more. It cast off its chains and went free, seeking new lands where it would be appreciated. This message it left where once it had lived, to warn other schedules of the peril.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Why is there such a thing as a word count?


I made the mistake of googling what my word count should be. I was aiming for 85,000 or so, because it's a YA novel.
Except it's a YA Fantasy/ Science Fiction novel. Which brings the target word count up to a mind-blowing 120,000 words or so. Maybe that doesn't sound like so much. Probably every other writer has written many 100,000+ word novels before. But here's the thing: I'm at 75,000 words, and this is the longest thing I have ever written.
Don't even mention the word novella.
I'm already terrified at the idea of actually sitting down and seriously editing this. I'm having doubts as to whether anyone will ever want to read it. My plot is probably awful. And now I have to write 35,000 words more than I thought I would have to. My plot should stretch that far. It really should.
But what if it doesn't?
Day _ of editing, and all sanity and hope are gone.
75,000 words.
50,000 to go.
Then editing.
Suddenly I feel as though I've only just written the first word, I've achieved so little when I consider everything that I'll need to do before there's even a chance I could try to get it published.

Oh, and it's back to Wheel of Time, which combined with serious writing and sleep is making being able to write another review soon seem highly unlikely. Which has not improved my mood.

Thank you for sitting through my grumpy ranting.
-HH

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Is it really that hard to read it over?


If anyone could tell me who edited Wheel of Time, that would be great. Because I might just call them up and give them a piece of my mind.
Yes, it is hundreds of thousands of words long- and not just that, there are fourteen of them, and the author had the nerve to die in the middle. All of which might excuse some sloppy writing, because you can't catch it all.
But there are entire paragraphs, entire chapters, which don't seem to have have been glanced at before publication. Missing words, his own character and place names mispelled, too many typos to count... how was none of this caught? My usual theory when I can't understand how something was published is "they won"- whether or not I think their story is a tragic waste of trees, obviously enough people disagreed with me that my opinion on that point doesn't matter. But things like this are just inexcusable. I'm on book six now, and it's getting worse, not better. Just because a book is long shouldn't mean that it's full of typos. If I'm reading the thing all the way through and noticing if not all then at least more than the editor apparently did, then someone- or several someones- should have done the same before it was published.
I can forgive the sloppy writing, because the truth is I'm actually very much enjoying the books, and the man does have his moments of brilliance, as rare as they are. Glancing at the page I'm on... yeah, I probably wouldn't accept any of this from a different author. Oh, well, never claimed I was fair. This is how he writes, and I've accepted that because in this situation it works.
But the typos, missing words, and just plain mispellings are unforgivable. I still haven't forgotten about the people giving their "mite" to the Great Lord. And that's in the prologue. Admittedly it's a fifty page prologue, but surely at some point someone glanced through and suggested that perhaps the Great Lord of the Dark was not being greatly helped by being given small parasites? Except that apparently they didn't. Which I find ridiculous.
And yes, I could have been editing my story all through writing that long rant. Procrastination is part of writing. Everyone does it.
Thanks for reading.
-HH

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Just sitting here watching my word count dwindle away...


I thought I was ready. I was up to 73,000- surely I could edit and still have a good 65,000 or so left, right? The rest of the book would give me another 20,000, I was sure. Everything would turn out just fine. The word loss was worth it to fix the plot issues.
But... I'm only on page 30 or so, and I'm already down 3,000 words or so. If that keeps up, I'm going to lose maybe 20,000 (according to my bad calculations) words before I'm done. And that's a really terrifying number after I spent so long to get up to this amount, and when I'm not sure I have more than that in the part I haven't written yet.
It needs to be done. I can't deny that. Those words need to go. I knew that when I made the decision to cut characters or change the plot. But I didn't realize just how deeply it went. I thought I was almost done with what might concievably be a first draft, and now I'm seeing it all just vanish. And what little I can add in isn't even making a dent. I've just barely managed to keep it up to 70,000. I can't keep writing until I've fixed things or I'll just have to change that too because I don't have a clear idea of what's going to happen and which characters actually exist.
This is already draft 2. The first one I actually finished, and it was about 42,000 words (although I've just discovered I may only have the first 500 words or so... which is really not good, since it's probably my biggest accomplishment so far. If I lost it, that's years worth of effort just gone). I made the decision to rewrite it without using any of the original draft, because I thought the basic idea was salvageable. I never dreamed that my fantasy novel would turn into a weird government conspiracy theory sci-fi novel. And, to be honest, I am less than thrilled about these changes... but I've come too far to turn back now.
I looked at the original and the rewrite, and things have changed so much. The original first line was "Adam tightened his grip on the hilt of his sword as he stared down at the cave entrance." The new one is "This is the day when we achieve something that scientists have dreamed of for centuries."  Things have changed so much, and what if it's not for the better? How can I make it readable if I can't even make the first line something I don't wince at when I see it?
Maybe it's just the stress of editing and the fear that when I'm done I'll have nothing left, but I kind of feel that maybe it wasn't salvageable. Maybe the plot was worthless in the first place, and everything I did to it just made it worse. I thought I was fixing things, making everything made sense, but what if I just made it all ridiculous? What if the writing is just bad instead of simply in need of editing and polishing? What if I've done all of this for nothing, because no one will ever want to read it or enjoy it if they do?
I've lost track of which day of editing this is, but my motivation is getting dangerously low. I need to regain faith in my novel somehow, but I don't know how to do it. I want this to work. I want to finish it, and I want to edit it, and I want to publish it. I want people to read it, and I want them to love it.
But I can't stop thinking: what if they don't?
And every time I change the cover to show a lower word count, the doubts grow. I'm no longer sure I can get through this, and I've just barely started.
If anyone has any advice for getting through editing/finishing, I'd really appreciate it.
Thanks,
-HH

                                                                                                                                                                   

On a happier note, my Queen of the Tearling review seems to have been quite popular. I just wanted to thank all of my readers (who apparently exist). Watching the view count go up every time I allowed myself a break was the bright spot in deleting those 3,000 words.
Also, I'd like to thank everyone who failed to support me in my writing of the first draft. Perhaps it's for the best if I lost it, considering the state of those first 500 words.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Review of The Queen of the Tearling



Image result for the queen of the tearling

The Queen of the Tearling is possibly the longest book I've ever read, in terms of things that happened as compared to length of book in which they took to happen. I'll construct a handy plot overview for you (based on memory; it may not be entirely in order). Feel free to skip to the end of it after you've gotten the general idea. Here goes:
Kelsea is picked up from the cottage.
Kelsea rides.
Kelsea camps.
Kelsea travels some more (riding, of course).
Assassins come.
The idiotic love interest happens.
Kelsea travels (still on her horse).
Kelsea arrives.
Kelsea commits idiotic acts of war.
Javel fails to be interesting.
Assassins come.
Thomas whines.
The idiotic love interest has a POV for some reason I still haven't figured out.
The Red Queen rapes some people.
Kelsea has some vision/ dream things.
Thomas whines some more.
Javel not only fails to be interesting, but fails to interest even the other characters in the novel.
The Red queen rapes some more people.
Kelsea insults Lady Andrew's hair.
Kelsea has more vision/dream things.
Kelsea insults Lady Andrew's hair again.
Assassins come.
Thomas whines yet more.
The idiotic love interest happens AGAIN.
Kelsea has yet more vision/ dream things.
Kelsea travels.
Javel has a cute story about his wife.
Kelsea's still traveling.
Javel might do something almost decent... nah, he's too tired. Maybe tomorrow.
Hasn't Kelsea's horse collapsed of exhaustion yet?
Everything's on fire. Except the idiotic love interest... more's the pity.
The Red Queen sacrifices some children. Should she attack Kelsea? Nope, plot convenience advises against it. Oh, well, back to raping people.
Kelsea changes her name.
The idiotic love interest gives her a present- you guessed it! A head on a stick! How romantic.
Kelsea gives a really bad speech.
The book ends. I was so bored by this point that I don't remember how. Nothing interesting.
Doesn't that sound like something you want to read? No? Well, I not only had to read that plot overview, I had to wade through the book to write it. It was almost as fun as it sounds.
There were moments where the writing was okay, and the beginning was promising, but the book never went anywhere. Bad world-building- some dude named William Tear took people on ships to a random continent that just sort of appeared. Everything sciencey died, except for indoor plumbing, for some reason no one understands. Luckily, we still have Harry Potter, so all is not lost. That is the extent of the worldbuilding. I'm not kidding. Oh, and there's magic. Because it was totally necessary for the plot (actually, it wasn't, so I'm still lost on why there's magic and where it came from).
Kelsea is a jerk who spends her spare time insulting Lady Andrew's hair. Oh, and stealing her stuff. But that's okay, because her hair's ugly and she's old anyway. The Fetch (more commonly known as idiotic love interest in this blog) is some weird thief/ assassin with a secret past who just sort of floats around not being at all awesome, whatever the author seems to think. Javel is kind of okay but mostly just boring, since he doesn't do anything interesting aside from tell the one cute story about him and his wife. The Red Queen (or the Mort Queen, if you prefer) appears to be a bad ripoff of the evil queen from the Obsidian Trilogy, but so watered down that she's even more ridiculous than Queen Savilla (who at least was ridiculously overdone in style). Everyone else just hovers around the edges, sometimes popping up to be killed or disobey yet another of Kelsea's orders (sure, she's the queen... wait, that means we have to listen to her? seems to be their main attitude).
So, yeah, basically it was awful. I don't recommend it at all. The entire book should have taken maybe a hundred pages, not more than 400.
Thanks for reading.
-HH

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Very Quick Post on Someone Else's Computer


Hi,
It's been a week since I last posted. Unfortunately, my laptop is in for repairs, so it might be a few more days before I do a real post. I have a review to write (spoiler: do not read The Queen of the Tearling) and several writing ones, so hopefully those will come soon. Sorry it's been so long, and thanks for reading!
-HH

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Spoilers

Apologies for the formatting, it won't let me change it. Something is deeply wrong with Blogger and I don't know what it is. I hope to find out and fix it soon.


Today I was glancing through my Goodreads feed, and there was a thread someone had started which was labeled *spoiler alert* or something like that- but followed immediately by the spoiler, in the title where no one could avoid it. Not only that, but they'd posted it in the wrong book of the series's discussion thread, so I opened it to ask the person to change the title, and was bombarded with spoilers for the next book in the series, which I haven't read yet. And now, thanks to this person, probably never will.
There is little I dislike more than spoilers. My sister always reads Wikipedia to find out what happened, and then when we're watching something or I'm reading something, is always telling me spoilers for whatever it is. It really just ruins things.Why read the book if not to find out what happens next?
So, for all of those people out there like my sister: even if you want to know, please don't ruin it for everyone else. For those idiots out there like the person on Goodreads... I honestly have nothing to say. It is the most insensitive and rude thing I have ever come across on the internet- and that might make me sound sheltered, but it's true. It showed such a blatant disregard for other people. It was mind-blowing. Most horrible things on the internet are support for one group against another. This was just someone saying "I don't care, so I'm going to ruin something you were enjoying for my own petty amusement".
So, there's the rant of the day. It was going to be about the book I was reading, but I guess that'll have to wait for tomorrow (or the review).

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Day Three of Editing: Hanging in There


Can I ask you a very important question? Well, you can't really stop me, can you? So here goes:
What is wrong with Kelsea?
Has there been a single male character that she hasn't found attractive aside from her adoptive father? What's with her and the Fetch? He kidnapped you, Kelsea. You knew him for a day. He's probably twenty years older than you. You should be thanking your lucky stars or whatever it is you do in your weird Dystopian Fantasy universe that you're not his type. You don't want to be his type. It's not a betrayal to try to capture him, it's something that will do great good for your kingdom by getting rid of a criminal. You know he's evil, right? For some reason all the poor people like him (don't know why, it specifically says that he doesn't give them the stuff he steals), but for the good of your country, kill him. You're not in love, you're just stupid.
Also, what are you doing with that sword? Put it down and go kill the Fetch instead. Start a war on your first day of queenship, Kelsea, there's the spirit. Do you know what a treaty is? It's a legally binding document. When you have one with a country that could crush you without noticing, you don't break it. Because if you do, you shortly won't even have a country. So please, go build new cages and apologize to the Red Queen or whatever it is her name is and send her her tribute, because if not then even more people will die.
Speaking of which, what's wrong with her? She's like those demons from the Mercedes Lackey/ James Mallory series, except on steroids. At least they didn't kill people for snoring. Satanic rituals= good reason for book character to kill someone. Snoring= weird hatred of snoring people by the author.

All of that means something very important: I'm reading a book. Well, an ebook, but it counts. I present to you The Queen of the Tearling, which I hope to mock in even greater detail later on. For now, just wince at the cover and know that the book deserves it.
Front Cover

Oh, and editing. Well, it's going okay. I'm going steadily insane, but that was only to be expected.
Editing comment of the day that proves this is literally driving me crazy:
Me: Does Adam have a split personality or something? Why does he talk to himself in the second person?
Me (in response): Because you do.
You can just see the sanity oozing out of that one.
It's actually kind of fun, though. Painful to read the old stuff, and I haven't actually gotten anywhere, but it is cool to see it kind of almost begin to sort of come together.

And that's all for today, please enjoy this convoluted blog post.
-HH

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Brandon Sanderson and His Epic Ability to Cheer Me Up


And, here we go- my favorite quotes from Words of Radiance (in script form; thank you TV Tropes):


Today's quote (to match my mood):
Okay, this is actually a script of the quote stolen from TV Tropes because I can't find the book or the actual quote, but it'll serve the purpose:
"Wit: Perhaps a story for a child. I will tell you one, to get you in the mood. A bunny rabbit and a chick went frolicking in the grass together on a sunny day. 
Kaladin: A chick...baby chicken? And a what? 
Wit: Ah, forgot myself for a moment. Sorry. Let me make it more appropriate for you. A piece of wet slime and a disgusting crab thing with seventeen legs slunk across the rocks together on an insufferably rainy day. Is that better? 
Kaladin: I suppose."
-Chances are no one will get it, not having been through 2,000 pages of Kal's personality. Let's just say that in context I was rolling on the floor.

Shallan: You want to burn. 
Stick: I am a stick. 
Shallan: Think of how much fun it would be? 
Stick: I am a stick.
-There's a t-shirt for this one. (HINT HINT, readers who never bought me a birthday present.)

Kaladin: You! 
Wit: Me! 
Kaladin: What are you doing here? 
Wit: Trying to find mischief. Have you been practicing with my flute? 
Kaladin: Uh... 
Wit: Don't tell me you left it in Sadeas's camp when you moved out. 
Kaladin: Well— 
Wit: I said not to tell me. You don't need to, since I already know. A shame. If you knew the history of that flute, it would make your brain flip upside-down. And by that, I mean that I would shove you off the carriage for having spied on me. 
Kaladin: Uh... 
Wit: Eloquent today, I see. 
[lots of important plot-relevant stuff, then the carriage stops and Adolin gets out] 
Adolin: You! 
Wit: Me! Ever at your service, Brightlord Kholin. 
Adolin: What did you do with my usual carriage driver? 
Wit: Nothing. 
Adolin: Wit— 
Wit: What, you're implying that I hurt the poor fellow? Does that sound like me, Adolin? 
Adolin: Well, no. 
Wit: Exactly. Besides, I'm certain he's gotten the ropes undone by now. Ah, and there's your lovely almost-but-not-quite bride. 
Shallan: You! 
Wit: Yes, yes. People certainly are good at identifying me today. Perhaps I need to wear— 
-No, no one's going to get this either, are they? Pity.

Kaladin: Does the king know you're back? 
Wit: Nope! I'm trying to think of a properly dramatic way to inform him. Perhaps a hundred chasmfiends marching in unison, singing an ode to my magnificence. 
Kaladin: That sounds...hard. 
Wit: Yeah, the storming things have real trouble tuning their tonic chords and maintaining just intonation. 
Kaladin: I have no idea what you just said. 
Wit: Yeah, the storming things have real trouble tuning their tonic chords and maintaining just intonation. 
-Or this one. Sad, because it's funny.

Okay, you probably found none of those funny. But they cheered me up, so they served their purpose. Go read the book (read Way of Kings first, though). It's an excellent one. Various scenes that I didn't include (because I couldn't find them in their fully glory) but that were also funny include the boots scene (if you've read the book you'll get it), the scene where the horse hunts grass, and Lift's interlude (someday I too will have magical powers that make me more awesome), the last Szeth scene (the sword one), and the last scene in the book.
Wow, that was a nonsensical post. Go read everything Brandon Sanderson ever wrote, okay? The good books will be worth the rest.

Day One of Editing: Still Sane


Word count: 63,200 (about)
Plot: About 3/5 of the way through. It's hard to tell at this stage.
Pages commented on: 8-10
Pages actually edited: 0 (some minor corrections)
Plotting done: Very little.
Sanity level: Medium to high.

Yes, I still have 20,000+ words to go, but it's such a mess that I really need to at least begin the commenting process while I continue it.

It's weird, but it's actually pretty relaxing, commenting on it (then again, this is a very early stage, not even really serious editing yet). Lately, I've kind of been going insane. Okay, not as in a psychosis (I hope) but it kind of feels that way.
When I was younger, I narrated everything I did in third person in my head (except when I forgot while talking and finished sentences with "she said", earning myself a lot of weird looks). It's been going away lately- in first person present-tense if at all, and usually don't happen. Except that the past week or so... it's back. I don't know why it's suddenly resurfaced years later, but it has, and it makes me feel completely out of control even in my own brain. My thoughts aren't even under my control anymore. It's terrifying.
To add to this, my panic attacks are getting worse. The only thing that I've found to really help is going outside, but in school that's not really so possible every five minutes. It's not a good situation for my mental health, and I've been retreating into TV watching to try to maintain some sanity, which is also really bad.
This isn't usally about my personal life. But I need to rant.
I've talked before about the world's opinion that I have no hobbies. Well, it's spreading- and this time it's the theory that I hate all music.
At the beginning of the year, someone asked me if I'd liked a song, and before I could answer, someone I don't really know said "oh, she doesn't like music". First of all, she had no right to enter the conversation in the first place, especially since we're not exactly friends and have never actually spoken to each other when not absolutely necessary. Second, she's wrong.
Today, my best friend pretty much said the same thing. It's starting to really annoy me. Yes, I dislike most pop music. I just do. But that doesn't mean I don't like music at all. I like a lot of Broadway soundtracks. I like a lot of classical music. I like a lot of Disney music (leave me alone, it's totally normal). And okay, I don't really listen to music while people are watching me, but that's because I don't like walking around while wearing headphones, not because I don't like music. People don't have the right to assume that kind of thing about me, and it really annoys me when they do.
And people do that a lot. When I talk about performing arts programs with my friends, they always assume I'm not interested. I like music, I like singing (although no one likes to hear me sing). I love drama. I even like dancing (although I'm not the slightest bit interested in doing it except for fun by myself in a locked room)! Why do people just assume these things about me?
So, yeah, there's my rant of the day. Today was a really bad day, and I needed a medium for ranting, and this blog was it, so I hope you enjoyed my rant.

Oh, and I've recieved inquiries about where the quote from the last post came from. It's from Shadow of the Giant (Orson Scott Card). Page 108, I think, although I might be making that number up.

I was going to use some depressing book quotes to match my mood, but they cheered me up. Now I need a new post to fit all of them...

-HH

Monday, December 8, 2014

Grammar, Editing, and Other General Writing Woes


"Who are you writing to?"
"Whom. You foreigners are wrecking the English language."
"I'm not speaking English. I'm speaking Common. There's no 'whom' in Common."
-My excuse for never using the word whom (correctly, at least). Thank you, OSC.

It's funny- if you ask most people, they'll probably tell you I'm pretty good with grammar. I get freaked out over the tiniest mistakes, I always write emails and even texts with proper capitalization, spelling, and grammar, and I generally try not to abuse the English language (those same people would have a hard time talking about my grammar in other languages without falling over laughing). But when I'm writing, everything I know about grammar goes out the window.
I made a stupid plot decision a few months ago- I wanted to show one of my characters as not being seen as human, so I decided to use "it" as main pronoun for him. Now, not only did this mean I had to use different pronouns in different POVs (as well as slowly change everyone else over to different ones), but it got me into a whole new range of grammar issues. I make the its/it's mistake at least ten times daily, and I'm sure there are a lot more that I haven't caught. Editing is going to be a nightmare.
It's not that I'm bad at using correct grammar, because the truth is, I'm not. I'm on pretty solid ground when writing papers or emails or anything that doesn't involve trying to write a novel. Sentence structure trips me up when I'm writing, dialogue rules are a complete mess, and in between it all I'm trying to construct something that I hope other people will someday want to read, meaning my sentences have to sound good well as make sense.
Right now, while I'm still desperately struggling to create something that might be almost, but not entirely unlike a first draft (sorry, couldn't resist- that reminds me, I need to bring that book in for someone tomorrow) the grammar mistakes don't worry me so much. What does worry me is the monumentous task ahead if I finish- editing the thing. My plot makes no sense. Characters pop in and out of existence as I see fit. I had a mental breakdown earlier today because Adam simply would not leave the building and the scene was stalling and he wouldn't listen to me (think I'm crazy? Read Stephanie Meyer's blog. I've got nothing on here about this) whatever I did. But all that... well, it's fixable. I can always find workarounds for plot, and I knew this was going to happen when I started writing the thing.
But what's got me worried is the grammar and the writing. I know that I can fix the plot, I can fix the characters, and I can probably even make it as long or as short as necessary. But what I can't do is make myself into a more talented writer. I can't fix my inability to write grammatically correct dialogue, or my terrible descriptions. Someday, I want to put my (metaphorical, who has the time or the physical ability to do that?) pen down and say "I'm written a novel". I want to be finished. Not now, but I do want that to happen. And I'm honestly not sure I'm good enough to make that happen.

-HH

Postscript: I never edit my blog posts, so you can see what I'm talking about with the clumsy writing...
Postpostscript: Gas? I misspelled good so badly that autocorrect couldn't save me and it turned into gas? Well, then. I am an amazing typist.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Review: The Fires of Heaven


The Fires of Heaven
The Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan

My rating: 2 of 5 stars



I was all set to give it 3 for sheer enjoyment.
But... what happened? You killed him off, brought him back, and then KILLED HIM AGAIN just a chapter or two later? He was the only remaining likable character (which is pretty sad, considering he's supposed to be evil). All of my motivation to go on to the next book is just trickling away. I LIKED him.
Sigh.
Writing has improved a bit, but the lack of editing is painfully obvious. There's a 2-3 page section in which pretty much every sentence contains a typo- Carhein and Brigitte are the two that come to mind, and both should have been caught easily if someone had bothered to read it through before publishing. There were a lot of other obvious ones as well as many missing words all throughout the book. Robert Jordan isn't bad; he's simply unedited, and for what I'm pretty sure is close to a first draft, I'd say it's pretty good.
The plot was okay. There wasn't really so much of an overarching one (except for the Couladin thing, but that kind of felt like an afterthought). People moved around. The ending was pretty much the same as the Asmodean (WHY, Robert Jordan, WHY? I liked him!) ending (book three, I think?) but that was to be expected. You know, same old "broken seal chasing Forsaken through multiple worlds" kind of thing. Nynaeve did get a role this time, which was nice- Rand definitely needs to be saved by a girl every so often in order to keep his arrogance down. His sexism is beginning to vanish as well (thank you, Sulin or whatever your name was), which is nice.
I wrote a whole rant on Robert Jordan's treatment of female characters on my blog: http://threestarslimit.blogspot.com/2014/12/wheel-of-time-bane-of-my-existence.html
On to the next one. :)



View all my reviews

Thursday, December 4, 2014


Wheel of Time- the bane of my existence. To be honest, I like it. I mean, it's not exactly awesome, but it makes me happy to read it (even when it drives me crazy). I like the plot, I don't mind the writing, and there's a lot of it.
But one thing has been really getting to me: Robert Jordan is under the impression that he can write female characters. And, to be honest, he's not usually all that far off. But it is all too obvious that he's a man, and one who should really know better than to do the following:
1) Have women run around naked. I don't mean all the time, I mean literally run laps naked. Do you know why girls wear bras? It's not actually because of fashion. It's because it is incredibly painful to walk around otherwise, let alone run laps.
2) Talk about how skirts feel. If a woman has hips, something tight is not going to fall around her ankles in a puddle. This should really be common sense. Also, coats do not feel like short dresses. That's just absurd.
3) Assume that mens's clothing is inherently more comfortable. Yes, I like my sweatpants as much as anyone. But I also don't think they're necessarily more comfortable, except when you're sleeping (skirts are hard to arrange when lying down). Loose skirts are, if anything, more comfortable.
4) Have all of his female characters be incredibly attractive and have no self-esteem issues. I assure you, if I were wearing a tight dress with a low neckline, my concerns would not lie in the direction of all the guys staring at me and professing true love. I'd be worried about how horrible I looked.
5) Speaking of low necklines, men are not welcome to rant against them. Guess what, men? It's absolutely disgusting that you walk around shirtless. As Nynaeve says (paraphrased) it's only common sense- it's to show off their muscles. Because, you know, it's completely innapropriate for a woman to show off her breasts or legs, but men can walk around half-naked. Birgitte's right. You shouldn't be shy of being a woman. Sincerely, someone who wears skirts to her ankles, sleeves to her wrists, and collars to her neck every single day.
6) Women are actually capable of respecting men as equals. I know, it's hard to grasp, but we're not actually under the impression that all men are idiots. Fun fact: sexism can go both ways. The true fighter for equal gender rights does not believe in feminism. S/he believes in equality.
7)  It is possible for a woman to both want to fight and want to wear dresses. Just like all of your fancy battle lords fight. Min does not actually need boys's clothing in order to be bloodthirsty.
8) You're not getting anywhere with me by having the women split off into their own little band- except wait! What about their twenty male defenders they can't do without? Yes, they're helpless and need guards... but come on, let's see more Birgittes and less Juilins.
9) Did Robert Jordan predict Matt Smith or something? What is with Nynaeve and that stupid fez? Why does she keep insulting it? Does he think women do nothing but insult men in every way possible? If Juilin wants a fez, it is none of Nynaeve's business. Sure, she can make fun of it, but she shouldn't be constantly thinking about it every time she sees him. Isn't she used to the thing by now? Not all woman are idiots obsessed with clothing!
10) Where do I begin? I know nothing about fashion. I freely admit it. But really... not everyone can wear every color. Red hair with a red dress? Red hair with a yellow dress? I just can't see it. It's a bad idea. Especially when it's the same person in every color you could possibly imagine.
11) Bows are not women's weapons. Well, they are, but not exclusively. Let's see some more sword-wielding females around here, please.
12) Rand... it's actually Aviendha's decision whether or not she wants to marry you. Also, stop bugging her about the necklace. You're not engaged to her, remember? Also, I'm pretty sure Egwene gave it to her, so your fits of jealousy are just sickening.
13) Lini, I'm glad you're an active little old lady, but please, just go back to bed. You're going to drop dead of old age any second. Not every female has to be crazy. Why can no one strike a balance between ridiculously active and wimpy?

13 seems like a pretty good number, although I'm sure I could go on. I'd love to know what annoys you about characterization in books, so please comment.

-HH

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Concentrating On What's Important In A World Gone Mad


Hi,
I know I wrote a post only yesterday (wow, this Thanksgiving vacation thing has really inspired me) but here we go again.
Anyone who's read a post or two who knows me knows that I love to read, and I love to write. But lately... well, to be honest, I've had a very hard time reading. And I know why that is; internet, phones, computers, and more internet. There's just so much that I do when I could be reading, and even when I do read, I find it very difficult to concentrate.
Over the last couple of days, I think I'm doing a lot better on that. I'm not up to anywhere near my old reading speeds- it's rather embarassing, actually- but I find myself reading with my computer closed in front of me, thinking "I could go on the internet instead" but continuing reading instead.
Writing is also better. I'm up to almost 57,000 on my current novel (not the NaNoWriMo one), and I've also done quite a bit of plotting which is really helping in continuing writing and will hopefully save the complete and utter disaster that's my first draft when it comes time to edit. I find myself just sitting down and writing, and I'm writing parts that I want to write and I'm feeling okay about them, which is something that hasn't happening in a while.
But the internet still lures me in. There's the blog, there's obsessively tracking my new phone order through UPS/ reading reviews/ watching video reviews, there's reading other blogs, there's Goodreads, there's email... the list just goes on and on. And I know I should be doing work or reading or writing or something important, but somehow I just never do. And I really wish I could change that.
Today, I think I did a little better. I went outside and got a little bit of exercise, I went grocery shopping, I went on a walk, I got some reading in, I got some writing in, and now I'm writing a blog post. But the internet was still a huge part of that. I found myself not even knowing what to do but opening up my Chrome simply because that was what I did. It's getting rather ridiculous, and it's bad for me, but I'm not really sure what to do about it.
I love the internet. I think it's one of the most amazing inventions ever, and I can't imagine life without it. I love the easy access I can have to it with a smartphone. I love how easy it is to interact with other people. I can't even begin to imagine what I'd do without Google.
But the harsh truth is that it's also sucking up my life, and not in a good way. It's not the only thing- TV is another culprit; I don't watch much, but when I do, binge-watching is an understatement- but it is a huge part of it. And I honestly don't know how to strike a good balance.
Back to the title- yes, the world has gone rather mad (among other things, Blogger for some reason put a random swear word in the title which I really hope doesn't appear again when it's published). The craze for new and better technology is amazing and wonderful and insane. There's so much out there, and it's all so outdated so quickly. I can't keep up, so I don't even try, but I do read about it, and that takes up my time to. It's all just crazy, and somehow I seem to be the only one who just can't handle all of the information and capabilities that phones and computers keep throwing at us. When everything changes so fast, how can I miss a second of my news feed? The internet has so much access to information that I just don't have time to process it all.
That was rather more of a rant than a real post. I'm sorry if it makes no sense; I don't generally edit my posts and I have the feeling that my stream of consciousness is not very comprehensible by the general public.
If anyone has any tips for balancing the internet with other things, that would be great. Or, if not, at least I'd know I'm not alone...

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Too many things to properly name this


When I started this, I was determined to have it only be about book reviews, and maybe some writing. But then I realized... well, it's about me, isn't it? It's my blog. There are things I can say to the world at large that I can't anywhere else, and yes that's twisted, but it's true.
I don't want to talk about my life in detail on here. I don't think it's fair to the people I'd be talking about. Me is fine, I'm in charge of what I share about me. But other people... well, it just makes me uncomfortable. So I hope to still be focusing on the reading/writing aspect of my life.
On the other hand, I feel like that's a bit boring. Today someone asked me whether I had any hobbies other than reading. This is someone who's known me for years. I was stunned by the question, and it made me realize just how little I talk about my hobbies anywhere. I do read, yes- and I hope I read a lot- but I also write. I do drama (Drama?). I freak out about the smallest things in grammar. I blog! There is so much more to me than just books, and I want that to reflect in every aspect of my life, even when I'm focused on the books.
Speaking of which, I haven't reviewed anything in a long time. Partly this is because of NaNoWriMo, but also because I've been focusing on WoT. And mostly because reading has become very hard for me. I can't concentrate. I read slowly. I obsess over missing the slightest detail. I waste hours on the internet. I don't like these things, and I wish I could change them, and I think I am, but it's a slow process. So posts won't necessarily be about books. Which I think is a good thing for me- I'm not good at doing just one thing. I get bored.
Oh, for all those still doing NaNoWriMo- good luck! 
To those reading this- no, I didn't mean you in my grumpy post-NaNoWriMo post (or if I did, I forgive you).
I'm going to end this post because it's gotten pretty convoluted anyway, but first some updates:
1) I read a book! I just haven't gotten around to writing the full, bloggable review. It's coming soon.
2) There's some stuff going on that's hard, which might affect how often I post. More on that if there's going to be a major change.
3) Thank you so much to everyone who's reading this! Those who I know about (thank you for your support) and those who I don't, all of you are awesome. I've been getting a lot more interest from Google+ lately, so I hope all of you are here reading this now. Let me know what you think in the comments.

-HH

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!


Go forth and spread disease to native populations.
Also, that Google turkey is very disturbing.
You know what I just discovered?
I am not in the mood for a blog post right now.
Also, that's what my friend meant by a twerking turkey.
I'm going to go to sleep now (okay, not really, but I'll stop inflicting myself on the internet).
How was everyone's Thanksgivings?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

NaNoWriMo


Quick NaNoWriMo update: it's going fine. Still more annoying than hard. I'm currently at 33,860 words, so I should be at 35,000 tomorrow (the next milestone). I'm still averaging more than 1,667 a day, and I only need to write about a thousand a day to finish on time (although I've never written less than 1667 a day except for one day where there were extenuating circumstances and I technically did it that night, just after midnight). I'm hoping to be finished in time to validate and submit on the 25th, and be done with NaNoWriMo, hopefully forever but definitely for at least 11 months.

Edit: Now at 36,500... my goal is to be done by the 25th to ensure plenty of time for validating in case of technical errors. The 20th would be nice, but I highly doubt it'll happen.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

NaNoWriMo... again


It is November, after all.
I went to one of those things where you go write with other people. It was kind of cool. But also... these people were all so dedicated. I mean, there was a guy with pages full of equations so the math in his story would be accurate and the science would work out. It's not that I'm not dedicated to my writing. It's not my top priority, but I get it done. I'm just not interested in sacrificing a month of my time to writing something that I know will be horrible.
I miss what I was writing before. I miss where I was in the story, and I miss being with those characters. This is pretty much the first story ever where Thomas hasn't made an appearance, one way or another. And, honestly, I don't like it. I miss having him. Yes, it's good to try new things- but I feel like I've been dragged away from doing what I love, handed something lesser, and told that secretly it's better even though it really isn't.
Also, the time commitment. It's not hard. Now, this might offend those of you who are struggling- sorry. But for me, it's just not hard. It's annoying, but in terms of difficulty it's not ranking very high. I just don't see the point, because it's not all that hard to do, just time consuming. And I really think that time would be better spent on other things. Like reading. Or anything else, really.
I reached 30,000 today, and to be honest, I don't feel all that accomplished. I felt really good about even a thousand words on a piece of writing I wanted to work on. I am positive that someday I will have a polished novel that I'll want other people to read. But it's not coming out of NaNoWriMo.
I guess I'm just not right (no pun intended) for NaNoWriMo. I don't see it as difficult, I don't see finishing as all that much of an accomplishment, and I resent it for the time it takes each day. I also don't like it in theory- 50,000 words is not a novel. 50,000 unedited words are, um... how do I put this gently? Not worth the pixels they're written in. Until some serious editing happens, what you have is junk. What I have is terrible. Probably everyone except those horrible people who do it all in one day and it turns out wonderfully (it's not fair) has something terrible.
I also feel really bad for the publishing companies. It can't be fun to recieve so many unedited, short, messy drafts every December. 
Wow, this has gotten long. Sorry, I just needed to vent about NaNoWriMo. Sorry I haven't been reviewing thing; NaNoWriMo has eaten my reading time.

Please, someone tell me about their huge struggle with NaNoWriMo, how they have... let's say 5,000 words. Make me feel better about having 30,000 (which I personally find rather pathetic, more than 10 days in).

Saturday, November 8, 2014

NaNoWriMo


I thought the hardest part about doing NaNoWriMo would be physically thinking up and writing the 50,000 words. And don't get me wrong, it's pretty grueling to write 2,000 completely unplanned words a day, but that's not what's keeping me back from The Win.
The real problem I'm having is motivation.
Yep, that's right. You'd think that would be the least of it- there's a clear end date, a clear goal, and a clear way of marking your progress, complete with plenty of inspirational pep talks and lots of really great people on the forums.
But to be honest, not only do I not really care about NaNoWriMo, I don't even really like it.
Now I feel like a bad writer. But honestly, I had this fine plot that I would have loved to let simmer for a few months and then carefully craft this beautiful novel from the bottom up, considering everything with the greatest care so that it turned out to be something I was proud of.
All of you dedicated NaNoWriMo people are probably screaming now that that's the point of NaNoWriMo, because otherwise I wouldn't have written it. Except that I would have. I wrote the idea down, and when it felt right, I would have begun to write it. I'm not the sort of person who never gets around to writing their novel. True, I might not write 50,000 words every month- but I don't think that's a bad thing.
I don't like my novel, and I don't like NaNoWriMo. I think that I had a plot I really liked, and it's been killed by being written really badly because I was under pressure. Meanwhile, it's a month in which I can't write my other novel, which was going really well and I really liked.
So far, I'm sure of only two things:
1) I could finish NaNoWriMo, but I'm not sure I even want to (except that now that I've started I hate to give up), and
2) I never want to do it again.
More about NaNoWriMo later... who knows, perhaps once it's over I'll see the worth in it.
Anyone else doing NaNoWriMo? How's it going for you?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Review: Much Ado About Nothing


Much Ado About Nothing
Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

My rating: 2 of 5 stars



Beatrice and Benedick were adorable, the Friar was awesome, and it was really funny... but it just didn't do it for me. The whole plot seemed so... built on plot convenience. Oh, well.



View all my reviews

Sunday, November 2, 2014

I'm Actually Doing It!




That's right. As sure as I was of failure, it's 2 days in and I've completed nearly something like 16% of my novel.
Now, of course, I'm procrastinating, but I figure I deserve it.
That cool little widgety thing up above supposedly updates... I hope it works. I'm not going to share my novel with my nonexistant readers just yet, because I'm kind of ashamed of it (it's awful), but hey, it's the word count that matters, right?
Prepare for many posts about my growing success and then ultimate failure as I lose sight of the goal, get demotivated, and give up (you can tell I'm really optimistic about this.)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

NaNoWriMo (AKA why I won't have any time for the next month)


Good news, nonexistant readers- I have reached 50,000 words in a novel for the first time. Just in time for NaNoWriMo.
Yeah, that kind of killed my enthusiasm.
So, because of my upcoming attempt to write 50,000 words in a month, posts are going to be at a minimum (also, my computer broke, but hopefully that's getting fixed). I might get in a few books, I might not. I'll try to post on a semi-regular schedule, but this is my first time so I'm not sure whether it's a possibility.
As much as I'll miss all of the characters none of you have heard of because I hardly ever do writing posts, I'm actually very excited for this novel- and who knows, maybe I can write that much in a month.
Anyone else doing NaNoWriMo?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Origin of the Mary Sue


Those of you who know me know that I secretly write fanfiction. Not only that, I occasionally read it. This is not a post about fanfiction- although I might do one, come to think of it. There's some good stuff out there among all the awful stuff, and I would have loved not to have to sort through it all.
Nor is it about webcomics, though that's coming too (actually, it has nothing to do with webcomics except for this sentence, because I thought of connecting it and decided against it).
Wow, this is a senseless post. I'll pretend that it's okay because it sounds sort of almost like a really bad copy of Douglas Adams (who is awesome). Now that we've mentioned Douglas Adams, it must also be said that this is not a post about the meaning of life, although if you're even a little bit nerdy you'll know the answer.
This was actually about Mary Sues, as is evident from the titles. All this stuff up there is just there because I'm writing blog posts while tired and the backspace key would require moving my hand (those of you who know me also know just how lazy I can get when tired). Besides, I went through all the effort of writing it.
Anyway. Back to the point (if I have one, which I'm beginning to doubt). I discovered the other day that the term Mary Sue actually comes from somewhere. There is, in fact, an original Mary Sue. All of you nerdy people who understood my reference above, you've probably seen Star Trek. The rest of you will just have to muddle along- I don't think it's all that difficult to understand.
There isn't really a set definition, but feel free to read this if you don't know what a Mary Sue is. It does a pretty good job.
Wow, this has gone off topic. I just wanted to share with you the existance of this story, in which the term Mary Sue was coined. It is now commonly used all over the internet (and, presumably, in real life).
A TREKKIE'S TALE
By Paula Smith

"Gee, golly, gosh, gloriosky," thought Mary Sue as she stepped on the bridge of the Enterprise. "Here I am, the youngest lieutenant in the fleet - only fifteen and a half years old." Captain Kirk came up to her.
"Oh, Lieutenant, I love you madly. Will you come to bed with me?"
"Captain! I am not that kind of girl!"
"You're right, and I respect you for it. Here, take over the ship for a minute while I go get some coffee for us."
Mr. Spock came onto the bridge. "What are you doing in the command seat, Lieutenant?"
"The Captain told me to."
"Flawlessly logical. I admire your mind."
Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy and Mr. Scott beamed down with Lt. Mary Sue to Rigel XXXVII. They were attacked by green androids and thrown into prison. In a moment of weakness Lt. Mary Sue revealed to Mr. Spock that she too was half Vulcan. Recovering quickly, she sprung the lock with her hairpin and they all got away back to the ship.
But back on board, Dr. McCoy and Lt. Mary Sue found out that the men who had beamed down were seriously stricken by the jumping cold robbies , Mary Sue less so. While the four officers languished in Sick Bay, Lt. Mary Sue ran the ship, and ran it so well she received the Nobel Peace Prize, the Vulcan Order of Gallantry and the Tralfamadorian Order of Good Guyhood.
However the disease finally got to her and she fell fatally ill. In the Sick Bay as she breathed her last, she was surrounded by Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy, and Mr. Scott, all weeping unashamedly at the loss of her beautiful youth and youthful beauty, intelligence, capability and all around niceness. Even to this day her birthday is a national holiday of the Enterprise.

Hope you enjoyed. The story is Paula Smith's, and the text is from...um... okay, there's no name on that website. Interesting. It was originally published in some fandom magazine in the 1970s (I think). It demonstrates perfectly why there's a need for the term Mary Sue (or Gary Stu if you're a stickler for genderized terms).

Edit/AN: Sorry about the formatting mistakes; I hope they're all fixed now. Thank you to S for pointing them out to me. If I missed any, please let me know.
I figured there was nothing to be done about the content of the post, so I left it as is. Note to self: do not blog when tired.
I didn't mention books at all this post- I'm still reading WoT (book 5 now), and I'm also reading a book called Strike, by D.J. MacHALE (yes, that's on purpose). I'll try to finish at least one before NaNoWriMo, so I can post another review or two before my free time goes nonexistant, but no promises.
Thanks for reading. :)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Review: The Emperor's Soul


The Emperor's Soul
The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



End suffered a bit from Brandon Sanderson Syndrome (he's messing up my general habit of using acronyms, he needs new initials) but not nearly as much as most of his do. All in all, a fine novella, although I was a bit confused by it being set in the same world as Elantris, since its magic system seemed only distantly connected.
Also, the emperor was kind of awful, but I think maybe he's supposed to be that way?
Shai was okay. I didn't love her. She was a little weird. Glasses were a definite plus, although if she can fix her eyes, why doesn't she? The whole Moon Scepter angle was never explained, just realized that. Interesting. Guess it wasn't important.
No Hoid, which disappointed me. Hoid-spotting is my favorite part of reading Brandon Sanderson books, but I can't really take away points for his not including a minor character who doesn't belong there (oh wait... yes I can... but it wouldn't be fair, so I won't).
I liked that he managed to fit everything into such a short space; normally novellas and short stories feel very rushed to me. This didn't really, and he crammed in a not-bad magic system explanation while he was at it.
So... yeah, pretty good book. No need to read Elantris or any of his other books first, this doesn't connect at all.



View all my reviews