Posted in Blog Post

Blog Post #35 – Update

Hey readers!

So it’s been a little under a month since my last blog post, so I thought today I’d write this quick update post letting you know what’s been going on.

My last blog post was Blog Post #34 – Life is short and hard sometimes, in which I complained about being busier and going back to school. Since then, life has got even busier, so that’s great. Hooray for tests, amirite?

Anyway, even though it’s been a month since my last blog, it’s not like nothing has been happening. We’ve finally been managing to stick to our name and actually post something weekly. There’s been a post entitled “Doumo Arigatou” dedicated to someone important to me, a joint post about two awesome YouTubers, Dan and Phil, and then a collection of Bookstagram Photos which were never posted on Instagram because we moved onto a new theme. If any of them take your fancy, please do check them out! There’s not been much proper writing recently, but before my last blog post Alice posted the first part of a new story on here (the rest of which can be found on wattpad). The last piece of writing before that was a gothic horror short posted a looooong time ago. (oops)

And now for the rambly book update part of the blog post (I’ll try to keep it short). This week, I’ve been reading two books. The first is Generation One by Pittacus Lore, and the second is The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. Generation One is a recent instalment in the Lorien Legacies series & collection of books that go along with them. Without giving too much away, it’s about what happens after the war. So far I’m enjoying it, however I’ve been reading it quite slowly, which is normally a sign that I don’t like the book. I guess I’m just finding it a bit hard to get into. I’ll keep reading and let you know my final judgment! The Sky is Everywhere is about a girl called Lennie who likes to play the clarinet and whose sister recently passed away. I picked this book up because the author also wrote one of my absolute favourite books of all time – I’ll Give You The Sun. So far I’m also enjoying this book, and I’m finding this one easier to get into too, although I will say between all those poems littered everywhere Lennie isn’t exactly helping to save the environment!

Sadly that’s all I have for this post today, as I have to go and write yet another essay then revise for yet another test, but there’ll be a new post coming next week and until then, you can always check our Instagram (where we’re most active). Recently we’ve begun using the polls feature on our story to ask what you guys want to see on our site and in or posts so we’re getting more feedback and (hopefully) adapting what we post to your wants! Our username is @writeaweek if you want to look us up 🙂 Thanks for reading

Bye!

~ April

 

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Posted in Blog Post

Blog Post #33 – One Year.

So – a year of writeaweek! Well, technically it’s more than that, as our first post was made in December of 2015, but it’s been a year since we’ve begun posting ‘regularly’, so I’m going to count this as one year. Is that fair enough?

Over this one year, I don’t think we’ve really been true to our name – writeaweek implies there will be some sort of writing – whether that be blog post or a story – weekly, doesn’t it? And the fact that we’re on blog post 33, and the fact that there’s 52 weeks in a year, seems to say otherwise.

Ah well.

So, as I’m looking back on this last year, I’m thinking that I really don’t want to say anything soppy or cheesy.  So I’m not going to. What I am going to say though, is what I say at the end of most of my posts, but never seems to happen. Please please please please please, if you have any requests/ideas for blog posts or stories or anything else on our site really, please do send them to us! We’d love some input (and some affirmation that someone is reading these) and we’d be more than happy to hear your suggestions. You can contact us in the comments of any of our posts, via our email (writeaweek@gmail.com), instagram (@writeaweek) or tumblr (www.write-a-week-wordpress.com).

So that’s all for this post! It’s just been a short one today, but you can check out our last post here, or you can click here for a masterlist of all our blog post and here for a masterlist of all the writing we’ve put up.

So, if you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading! And here’s to another year of semi-regular posting and lots of fun stuff! (man, I said I didn’t want to be cheesy, but here I am doing it now)

Bye!

~ April

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A reply to April’s post ‘confidence.’

Hello random reader, Alice here.

I’ve been ridiculously inactive and have no excuse whatsoever, so would like to apologise for that and thank April for keeping on going without me.

I’ve just read her most recent blog post, ‘confidence.’, which you should definitely read if you haven’t done already. It struck a chord with me, and really got me thinking.

I’ve known April for nearly nine years now, so confidence is not an issue for me (and hopefully not her either) when the two of us are together. We can be ourselves (generally rather odd, no offence, April) and everything is fine. I never worry about what she’ll think of me, or whether or not I can tell her something, knowing 100% that she will have my back.

With other people however, I am very different. April and I have a close knit friendship group, and most of the time with them, I’m completely fine and we can all have a good time. It’s when I’m with people who I don’t necessarily know as well that things change.

I’ve had rather a lot of very different ‘best’ friends in my life, but April is the only one who has really stuck around. With other people, as we’ve matured and gotten older, we’ve drifted apart, had an argument, or in one case, the other person just started blanking me one day. Maybe this is why I would consider myself socially awkward. Maybe it’s genetics. I have no idea, but around even the people who I once spoke to every day, when I find myself in a situation where I should talk to them, I get stupidly scared.

I know that some people find social situations so much than I do, but the confident, bubbly child that I once was is no longer recognisable unless you are very close to me.

I’m not that sure where I’m going with this post, and am writing it fairly late at night, so have no idea of its quality, but I feel as though there are some things I could share, on the off chance that it may help me, or even someone reading this.

Now, I am 15 years old and feel as though my lack of confidence is holding me back. I want to accomplish things in my life, and have ambitions, but know that I will never get anything done if I can’t pluck up the courage to take the plunge and try new things.

I’m writing a story at the moment (a book?!) and through the main character, Michael, I seem to be learning a lot about myself. For me, writing is a hobby and a release. Whenever I sit down and tell myself: ‘right, I’m going to do some writing now’, as soon as I am done, I feel like I could take on the world.

Other members of my family are practically oozing with confidence, and even as I know that some of the time it is an act,  I do wish that I could have a little of their natural charm.

School is just around the corner, and this year I want to take more risks and do things that I want to do, for me and nobody else. One of my other friends has been talking about ‘reinventing herself’ for the beginning of the term in attempt to make more friends. Although I will stick by her with whatever she does, it makes me a little sad that she thinks that she has to change herself in order to become more popular.

Popularity for me is not a big deal. I once was fairly popular, but now I am not. I’m not bothered. At our school, there are lots of friendship groups, not just a single ladder or hierarchy. Although my group isn’t at the top, being with the friends I have gives me the confidence I otherwise lack and makes me happy.

Of course, I have off days – who doesn’t? Sometimes (quite often) I wish that I could go effortlessly into any situation and get on just fine without so much as blinking. That would be great, yes, but I have amazing friends and I know that some of them will stick by me forever.

I want to try out acting, I want to keep blogging, I want to try radio (April, what do you think?!) I want to keep writing, one day (maybe) I want to try YouTube. However, most importantly, I want to stay with the people who make me laugh on a regular basis but who I could also trust with anything serious.

I’m not the most confident person in the world. I reherse saying ‘good morning’ as I’m walking towards someone in a corridor and kick myself afterwards for sounding like an idiot. Confidence is not something I have in an abundance, but it is something that I really, really want to work on.

Thanks to April for the inspiration for writing this post, and thanks to anyone who stuck around until the end. Writing on here is such a brilliant thing to do, so thank you so much to everyone who supports us.

Feel free to send us a message on Instagram (@writeaweek), or on any other forms of social media and online things we have set up, if you just want someone to talk to or maybe to tell us about your own confidence. It means the world to us when someone likes what we do.

Thank you again, and good luck for whatever your future holds.

– Alice

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Writing Games

Hey readers!

Today I decided to make this list of different fun writing games you can play with your family and friends, or just anyone really. I have played all these games before and find them quite fun, so I hope you’ll enjoy them too!

Consequences

Consequences is a really fun game which my cousins introduced me to a year or so ago, and I have played with lots of my friends since. It’s a really simple way of making very funny stories.

Consequences is best played in groups of three or above people, although it does also work with two players (but it’s not as fun)

To play, you have to sit in a circle. Or a rough circle of sorts. Well, you don’t have to actually be sitting in a circle, but you need to have a loop/order that you can pass things around in. Everyone starts of with a piece of paper. They write down the name of a woman on it – it can be anyone from a made up person, or a fictional character, or someone you know. They then fold the paper over so that the name they’ve written can’t be seen. Then everyone passes the paper on to the person next to them/next in the loop. Then they write now a name of a man on it and fold it over, and so on. The order of what you write goes like this:

– Woman’s name
– Man’s name
– Where they met
– What she was wearing
– What he was wearing
– What she said
– What he said
– How it all ended

Once you have completed all of the categories you can unfold the paper and read out your mish-mash stories. What makes this game funny is that no-one knows what the person before them has written, so it’s all jumbled up and doesn’t really make sense. This can be made especially funny if you use people you know as the characters, for example you could have your best friend running off with your elderly grandma while wearing a dress made of tinsel.

I hope this explanation has been good enough, but if not feel free to comment below or contact us using any method and I’ll try to make you less confused 😀

The Random Word Game

The random word game is another funny game you can play. It only requires 2 people, although you could adapt it so more people can play.

It is a very simple game. Person 1 picks some random words. They can be anything ranging from names to objects to actions to descriptive words. How many they pick depends on how difficult they want it to be – more words make it more difficult, less words make it less difficult. Person 2 then has to make up a story using all of these words. Note: they do not have to use the words in the order that person 1 says them in.

For example, Person 1 could pick the words “orange”, “lamppost”, “blue”, “nattering” and “genie”. Person 2 would then make up a story using these 5 words, such as “Once upon a time there was a genie, who liked nattering away to his friends. One day he was walking along the street when he saw a blue orange lying on the pavement. He was so amazed by this that he didn’t look where he was going and walked straight into a lamppost”.

The Three-Word Game

The three word game is another simple game. This game works best with three or more people, but it can also work with just two.

Really, the game is just what it says on the tin. The first person says 3 words. They cannot be random words, they have to make up a sentence or phrase or part of a phrase. For example, they might say “Once upon a”. The next person then says another 3 words. If they see where the first person is trying to go with their phrase they could continue that (eg “Once upon a time”) or they could do something completely different, for example “blue moon, there”. And so on. The game can last for as long or as little amount of time as you wish. Full-stops and other end-of-sentence-punctuation must be specified, but do not count as a word. For example the next person could continue “was a monkey fullstop.”

License Plate Game

The license plate game is a good game to play while on long car journeys. Whether or not it technically classes as a writing game is debatable, but it does make you think about different words in your vocabulary (I sound like an English teacher haha)

Disclaimer: this game might not work in all counties as the format of the umber plates might be different which means you cant do it. Sorry if that happens!

This game is a very basic game. First off all, you look for a car. This is why it’s good to play it on long car journeys because you’re often surrounded by lots of other cars on motorways, etc. Once you have found a car you look at it’s number plate, specifically the last three letters of it.

400px-british_car_registration_plate_labels-svg

This is where you might have to improvise, and not all countries number plates end in three letters. You might have to use the first three letters, or three letters that are in the plate, or just two letters.
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Looking at the last 3 letters, you have to try and think up of what these could be an acronym for (what they could stand for). For example, if the number plate ends in SMR, you could say it stood for “Stan’s Motorcycle Race”. The trick is you have to try and make it make sense as a sentence or phrase, but you only have 3 letters and they have to begin with certain letters. This game can certainly be tricky at times, but you can also get some very funny phrases!

– – –

And that’s exhausted my list of writing games! I’m sure there are many more out there in the world, but at this present moment I cannot think of them/do not know them. If you do have any more, then feel free to contact us! There are many method different methods you can contact us by:

Anyway, that’s all for this post. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading – bye!

~ April

Posted in Blog Post

Blog Post #27

Hey readers!

So, this week, nothing much interesting has happened. In English class we watched Sherlock (A Study In Pink) which was fun, but our lesson was 10 minutes shorter than the episode so we didn’t get to watch the end of it, sadly. A few people wanted to know what happened though, so Alice was left explaining it to them. And that’s everything worth writing about that happened!

I did finally manage to finish Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare though! It’s taken me a while to read, I’m not really sure why. It is a very big book to be fair, but it wouldn’t normally take me that long to read a book of it’s size. If anyone else has read it and is willing to discuss please message us, because I NEED to talk about it with someone and none of my friends have read it yet!!

After Lord of Shadows I moved on to two books. Firstly, I started re-reading Harry Potter ad the Philosophers Stone, for two reasons. Firstly, I got the new house copy and wanted to read it, but that also coincided perfectly with the Wizarding World Books Club (as they’re both to celebrate 20 years) so I’m kind of re-reading it for that too. Sadly, I’ve given up on the Book Club, as I don’t have twitter and my trying to follow it on Pottermore hasn’t worked out as well as I hoped it would. I was expecting more of a summary type thing at the end of each week on Pottermore, but I think I misunderstood something I read about it as I can’t see anything of the sort. Oh well – it’s been fun re-reading it anyway. After this one I might begin re-reading the whole series, as I’ve not read them in a while.

The other book I began reading is another Shadowhunters book – Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, by a number of different authors (Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson and Robin Wasserman). For anyone who had read the Mortal Instruments series – it follows Simon after the events of City of Heavenly Fire. So far I’m definitely enjoying it! It has the story of Simon at the Academy (oops, spoiler. Is that a spoiler? Nah, it’s in the blub, its fine) but also gives you quite a bit of Shadowhunter history as well. Exciting stuff, amirite? When Alice saw what I was reading she asked if it was another Shadowhunter book (she’s not read them) and when I said yes, her comment was “they really are sucking every last bit of life out of it, aren’t they?” I completely agree, Alice, but it’s not a bad thing!!

Anyway, that’s all for this post. It’s a short one, just because there’s not much for me to write about today, sorry! I’m planning on posting my Gothic Horror story that inspired my last post sometime this week, so keep looking out for that if you’re interested. If you’d like to contact us for any reason (please someone talk about Lord of Shadows with me pleeeeeeaaaaaase), then here’s how you can do that:

Thanks for reading – bye!

~ April

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Blog Post #26 – Gothic Horror

Hey readers!

So in our English class recently our task was to write a short story. Sounds simple enough, right? But as some of your probably know, neither Alice nor I are the best at keeping our stories short, to say the least. Last time we were asked to write a short story, I got a bit carried away with the opening and had to rush the rest of it… it was 12 pages long in the end.

So when I was told to write a short story, my mind immediately went to the only genre I can really write and keep it short: Gothic Horror. It sounds strange that a horror story is the only type I can keep brief, but I’m going to explain how.

The difference between standard “Horror” and “Gothic Horror” is that Gothic Horror is not gory. There are no disgusting murders or gruesome injuries, no slimed covered monsters or chainsaw-wielding demons. It’s more about the element of suspense, not really knowing what’s going on, vulnerable characters finding themselves all alone on starless nights in creepy Victorian mansions… you get the idea.

And, they lend themselves very well to cliffhangers.

I find that this means I can easily write short stories of it, as basically it’s just a big build up then BAM, unresolved ending (or ‘denouement’, if you want to be technical).  It’s as simple as that.

Now what I’m going to try and do is tell you how to write short Gothic Horror stories. Please bear in mind that I learnt how to write them a few years ago so I can’t remember exactly what my teacher told us to do, but I’ll try my best. If I’m wrong in any way, please do feel free to correct me, I’d be very grateful to know!

First of all, you need a protagonist (main character). Normally this character has to be quite vulnerable in some way, so it’s likely that they’ll be the one getting attacked. Maybe they’re alone and no-one else is around to see what’s going to happen – when I write Gothic Horror, that tends to be what I do. They also have to be likeable, so that the reader connects emotionally with them and feels pathos (yet another fancy technical word, ooh look at me). If they’re an annoying self-absorbed idiot who no-one likes, then no-one’s going to feel sad when they die, are they?

Secondly, you’re going to need a setting. Typical settings for Gothic Horror stories are creepy, abandoned, empty places, such as a graveyard or old building, and it normally tends to be night time too. I guess this is because at night it’s harder to see what’s going on, and it’s less likely that someone will see what’s happening. I find this the hardest part about writing Gothic Horror – trying to give a reason as to why the protagonist has found themselves alone in a creepy place at night.

Thirdly, you’re going to need an antagonist (bad guy). This is the fun part. In Gothic Horror, at least, in the short stories that I tent to write, the antagonist isn’t actually seen. Perhaps there will be glimpses of them here and there, some glimmering red eyes in the darkness, a shadow passing overhead. This helps to evoke a sense of mystery and tension, and makes you (the reader) wonder what’s going on. They also tend to be a more supernatural being, perhaps a shadowy creature or a ghost, rather than a chainsaw-wielding mass murderer (like I said earlier, Gothic Horror tends to be less about gore and more about the air of suspense that keeps you on the edge of your seat).

Now you have those three things, you’re ready to begin. All my Gothic Horror stories tend to follow a formula, I’ve realised , so I’m going to share that formula with you know (rather than trying to explain because I am terrible at explaining)

  1. Protagonist is alone somewhere creepy and dark.
  2. A bit of backstory as to how/why they found themselves there.
  3. Make the reader empathise and relate this them.
  4. Protagonist looks around – description of creepy surroundings.
  5. Suddenly they see some movement.
  6. Look over to where they saw it – nothing there.
  7. Try to put it down as nothing, just a trick of the light.
  8. Another movement.
  9. Growing sense of fear and worry in the Protagonist.
  10. Some weird goings on, eg a shadow passes overhead, there’s a rustling sounds in the bushes.
  11. Weird goings on continue and increase in frequency.
  12. Rising sense of panic in Protagonist as they realise something spooky is happening.
  13. Sudden jumpscare followed by cliffhanger – the end.

Now I know that isn’t very good or helpful, I’m sorry, but it’s the best I can do. Like I said, I’m not the best at explaining things. And I couldn’t tell you how to write Gothic Horror with a resolved ending – that isn’t my forte.

Now, there are a couple of other small things I can remember being told by my teacher when we were learning about this genre, so I think I’ll share them with you too. The first one of these things is foreshadowing. Foreshadowing, basically, is hinting at a future event without explicitly stating that that event is going to happen. The definition Google gives you is “a warning or indication of a future event”. It plays quite a large part in most Gothic Horror fiction, although personally I find it quite hard to work into my writing. But if you can get it in – do! There is nothing more pleasing than getting to an event in a book and realising how cleverly foreshadowed it was in the build up to it.

The other thing that my teacher told my class to use when writing Gothic Horror was Gothic Language. Using a certain type of language helps to portray the mood and set the scene. So if you wanted to write a Gothic Horror story, you’d probably used language such as ‘ominous’ and ‘shroud’ rather than words like ‘sweetie’ and ‘cutie pie’. Just so you know, though, if you type ‘Gothic Language’ into Google then it comes up with a lot of search results about an extinct Germanic language, which is very interesting, but not what I’m talking about here. For some good words, instead type ‘Gothic Horror Language’ into Google and look at the images!

Anyway, that’s exhausted my knowledge on how to write Gothic Horror! I know it’s not the best written blog post, I’m sorry, but I just wanted to say what I know so other people can also begin writing in this genre! As it’s not the best though, and I’ve probably missed some stuff and got some wrong (as I was taught a very basic version of how to write it so there’s probably lots more detail you can add in) I thought I’d provide you with a link to a page that describes in lots of detail different things that you can use in a Gothic Horror Story, and also provides a nice list of Gothic Words to use: http://www.virtualsalt.com/gothic.htm

Now, that’s the end of my blog post about Gothic Horror! If I remember to, I think I’ll post the story I had to write in the English class that prompted this, probably sometime in the next couple of weeks. But if you have any questions or queries or suggestions or subjects you’d like us to write about, please do let us know! You can contact us in many different ways:

Thanks for reading – Bye!

~ April

Posted in Blog Post

Blog Post #25 – Becoming A Morning Person

Hey readers!

So first of all, I’d like to apologise in advance for the lack of posts over the next couple of weeks. I honestly am trying to get better at posting regularly, I really am, it’s just that, as many of you will know, it’s currently ‘exam season’. This means, that like hundreds of other students at the moment, Alice and I have exams! So we’ve been busy studying and preparing ourselves, and will be for a few weeks more, so won’t have much free time to write blog posts (I am currently writing this on my 10 minute break from studying that is now entering hour 2 – justifying this by “I sat an exam today, I deserve a break”)

That actually brings me onto my next point for this post – exams. I had the idea of doing a “study tips” post – original idea, I know – but when thinking about what I’d actually write I had no clue. I’ve come to the realisation that I don’t have any tips to hand onto other people. I just sit down, write notes and work, really. The only thing that I might perhaps say is get started early so you’re not left cramming it all at the last minute (something I do because otherwise enter PANIC MODE and get nothing done at all), but other than that, I’ve got nothing.

However, just because I don’t have any exam/studying tips doesn’t mean that my studying hasn’t given me anything to write about. This is because during the time I had off school in which I was studying, I found myself becoming very productive in the morning. So that’s the topic for this post – becoming a morning person (yet another extremely original idea).

Before this year, I have never ever ever thought of myself as a morning person. I hated getting up in the morning, I was always tired and never wanted to do anything. But when I got some time off I made the decision that I wanted to become better at getting up early and getting stuff done earlier in the day – so being the 21st century person I am, I clicked onto YouTube and searched “how to become a morning person”.

So here is my list of tips and tricks to become a morning person that work for me personally, collated from a whole bunch of YouTube videos and various other sources. I can’t guarantee they’ll work for you guys too, but it’s worth trying them out if you really want to become a morning person.

  1. Establish a time to wake up. There’s no point trying to become a morning person, if you’re waking up at 6:30 one morning and 11:00 the next. You need some routine in your life. Decide on a time you’re going to wake up every day, and stick to it. I would recommend setting an alarm at first, although once you’ve been constantly waking up at the same time for a while your body will adjust to it and start waking up at that time naturally.
  2. Get enough sleep the night before. If you’re running off 3 hours of sleep, I don’t think it’s very likely that you’re going to be productive. In fact, in that case, it would probably just be better to stay in bed and catch up on your missed sleep! I think I once read somewhere that the optimal amount of sleep is 8-9 hours every night, so try and go to bed at a time where you can have that much sleep and still get up in the morning. For me that meant going to sleep at/before 10 pm, as I wanted to be awake by 7:30 the next morning (that’s 9 and a half hours, I know, but it worked for me).
  3. Put your devices/screens away at least ½ hour before you go to sleep. I was once told – quite a while ago so apologies if I’ve remembered wrong and this is incorrect – that if you go on your phone or computer or another device immediately before going to bed then it’s harder to fall asleep. I believe it’s something to do with the radiation that the devices emit, but I’m not 100% sure that that’s the scientific reason behind it. But even if it isn’t, I find that putting it away half an hour before I go to sleep helps me to relax and unwind so I get to sleep better.
  4. Put your alarm where you can’t reach it from your bed. From personal experience, if I can reach my alarm from my bed and turn it off without moving, then I just tend to roll back over and fall back to sleep rather than getting up and being productive. When my alarm is on the other side of the room, then to turn it off I actually have to get out of bed and move to turn it off I don’t go back to sleep and am actually productive.
  5. Have a drink. Again, this comes from something scientific I saw that I may be remembering incorrectly, but from what I recall the video I watched with this in said that if you have a drink of cold water when you first wake up in the morning it gets your metabolism going and makes you more productive, or something like that. Even if that isn’t scientifically correct, it’s quite refreshing to have a nice drink in the morning, and helps to wake you up.
  6. Make your bed. There is no scientific thing behind this point, but I’ve found that making my bed when I get up helps as I feel like it’s then been made and I’m not getting back in and that’s that.
  7. Have something to do when you get up. Don’t get up and have nothing to do. Have a purpose, something to do. For me, during my time off, it was studying. I would get up, study for as long as I felt like (I don’t like time restrictions), then went and had breakfast. It was a system that worked for me, but it might not be something that works for you! Maybe you need to eat immediately, or perhaps if you go and have a shower straight away it’ll help to wake you up. Just make sure you know what you’re going to do, so you can get started on it and be productive and not spent hours wafting around doing nothing because you weren’t prepared.

And that’s it! My simple 7-step guide to becoming a morning person. After about four days of doing this, I actually began waking up naturally at about 7:30, which I felt really good about (as it made me feel like I was making progress), ad started getting lots done in the morning.

Of course, there are plenty more methods to becoming a morning person and getting better/more sleep and becoming more productive etc. So here are a couple of useful YouTube videos that I watched and pulled some of these tips from:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdF7d7TdjfM (studyign on YouTube, also posts very useful stuff about studying and stopping procrastinating and being more productive etc.!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TLn_WoFTb4 (krist & yu on YouTube, posts lifestyle videos covering a wide range of topics and also a bunch of Japan Vlogs)

Of course, being a morning person is not for everyone, and that’s okay! Some people are really productive at 11:30pm at night and in 10 minutes can do all their studying for 3 exams and dust an entire mansion at that time, but personally at about 9:30 I shut down and can’t do much past that time, which is why I wanted to become better and getting stuff done early on

Anyway, that’s all I have to say for this post. I hope you have enjoyed this more structed post that has a clear topic rather than just my rambly ramblings that I normally post, please let us know if you do! You can contact us in the comments on this site (www.writeaweek.wordpress.com), via email (writeaweek@gmail.com), through tumblr (http://write-a-week.tumblr.com/) or on Instagram (@writeaweek)

Bye!

~April

Posted in Blog Post

Blog Post #23

Hey readers!

So for once I actually have something to talk about in a blog post (*party poppers “Hello Internet” style*), but before I begin I’d just like to say sorry for the absence of posts recently. I’ve not posted in… a long time, and I honestly have no excuse for that. I just lacked motivation, so no blog posts happened.

So, what I wanted to talk about today was a Writing Tool I recently discovered called Hemingway. Basically what it does is highlight all the ‘bad’ things about your writing/what could be improved on in it, such as sentences that are hard to read, or unnecessary words, or where you’ve written with a passive voice rather than an active voice, so you know what can be improved on. I’ve found that for me the most useful part is highlighting hard-to-read sentences, as I often do find myself rambling on for too long and overcomplicating what I write (aaaaand I just proved myself right there, didn’t I?) It can also give you a word count, a letter count, and an estimate time for how long it takes you to read it. This might be useful for when planning a speech or a debate or some other form of public speaking and you only have a certain about of time to speak for. Or it might be nice just for interests sake!

For example, I put the above paragraph into Hemingway (I have since edited the above paragraph slightly as I wrote it on a different day to the day this is being published, but the point still stands), and this is what it showed me:

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In summary, it was a bad paragraph.

Personally, Hemingway is the only writing tool that I use. I’ve seen things about another tool called ILYS (that hides what you’re writing so you can’t get distracted by editing until you’ve reached your word count goal) that looks good, but when I googled it, it turns out you have to pay money for it, and I’ve not actually seen that much about other writing tools. It doesn’t really matter though – I quite like being able to go back and read over what I’d written and edit as I go along, otherwise I feel restricted and lose motivation. What about you? Do you prefer to write freely and do what you want when you want, or do you prefer to have structured writing time dictating what you do and when?

As it’s been a long time (about a month) since my last blog post, I’d have expected myself to have read a lot since them, however, it’s not been as much as I would have liked to have done. This is for one simple reason: my TBR pile. I have found, over multiple occasions, that the predominant reason for why I get into reading slumps is because my TBR pile is too big. I think it’s just the fact that there’s a physical manifestation of how many books I want to read/should have read but haven’t, and it gets me down in the dumps, and as a result I just tend to… stop reading. However, to combat this, I have returned a bunch of books from my TBR pile to the library (but written the titles down for future reference) and hidden the rest of my TBR pile – made up from books that I own – under my bed so that I can’t see it. Problem solved!

So, now for the rambly part of the blog post where I talk about the books I’ve read…

I’ve managed to finish Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan which I’d just begun when I wrote my last blog post, and I really enjoyed it. One element I really liked was how it told the different stories of multiple different people, but how they all linked together somehow. It reminds me of a story I began writing a while ago – about the same time that Alice began writing her now novel-length story, in fact. In that there were several different characters who all lived completely different lives, but as time went on their lived began to overlap. That reminds me, I really wanted to finish that, maybe I should go back to it?

After Two Boys Kissing I read a book called The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, and let me tell you, it was AMAZING. I have a confession, and that confession is that I only decided to read it because I saw a bookstagram which posted about how many Harry Potter references it had in it, but I am honestly SO glad that I did. I LOVED IT. It’s a book that I’ll definitely recommend to everyone – however it does have longs of swearing, and it all about a murder and justice for the murder and guns and shootings etc. so it might not be for everyone. But I thoroughly enjoyed it and along with hiding my TBR pile it’s recently helped me out of the reading slump.

Now I’ve moved onto Perfect, by Cecelia Ahern. IT FINALLY CAME OUT. Alice leant me the first book – Flawed – back around Christmastime, and immediately after finishing it I messaged her to ask if I could borrow the sequel mentioned at the end, and got the sorry message back that it wasn’t going to come out for another 4 months. But now it has come out, and I am reading it! Hooray! I’m about halfway through now, and I love it so far. So many twists and turns and unexpected events!

Anyway, that’s all I have to say for today, so this is where this blog post it going to end. If you have enjoyed this post please do let us know via the comments on here or our Instagram page (@writeaweek). Also, if you see any free writing tools we could try out, or have any book recommendations, or there’s something you’d like us to write about, then also let us know.

Bye!

~ April

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Hello Again & Things to Say

Hello Readers,

It’s Alice, and I have quite a lot that I want to say, and here is where I’m going to say it:

So, school started again last week, after the christmas holidays, and it already feels like we’ve been back forever. Since it started, both April and I have been drowning in homework and tests (fun, not) and that’s my excuse for not posting as often as I’d like :s

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So, I wanted to tell you something reading/writing related. Just before the start of 2017 (literally a couple of days), I started writing a story, because the characters popped into my head and demanded to tell their stories. I’ve been writing quite a lot, but have been limited by the stacks of homework (ugh). Despite this, I have written almost 19,000 words and am only just getting into the story, meaning that if I finish it, which I really want to, it will probably be novel length! I have decided that my new year’s resolution is to finish a story, so hopefully there won’t be quite so many loose ends as there were last year…

The story is mainly focused around three people: Michael, who is grieving from the loss of his family, Henry, who is Michael’s god father and is looking after him now his parents have gone, hiding the secrets of his past, and Emily, who along with her own problems, is inexplicably tied to Michael mentally.

I’m really excited about developing this story, and when I have edited it (and written more), I’ll post some, if not all of it on here for you to read!

faulkner

 

Also, April and I have entered a book photography contest on our Instagram (@writeaweek), so be sure to check that out!

Also, I’ve been writing poetry – don’t groan, poetry is good! I used to hate everything to do with poetry, but now, I really love how you are in charge of everything and you don’t have to follow the regular rules. If you’ve ever got something nagging at the back of your head, or you’re feeling particularly sad or happy, or even just normal, pick up a piece of paper and a pen and write whatever comes to you, even if it is truly awful. I’ve found that it helps me focus, or get my thoughts in order, and maybe it will do the same for you?!

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Happy reading,

Alice x (sorry for the inactivity :/ )

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Acesta este un blogul în Română!!

Hei cititori!

+ Acest lucru este Alice si Aprilie aici, scriind un post pe blog comun împreună. Acum, s-ar putea să nu fie înțeles acest lucru, așa cum este scris în limba română (nu vorbesc limba română, am folosit Google Traduceți, deci scuze dacă este foarte prost scrisă română). Ne-am decis să facem acest lucru pentru că în octombrie am luat o pereche de vedere din România, așa că ne-am gândit că ar fi frumos să scrie în limba Română. (De asemenea, doar pentru a vă anunța paragrafele cu + la începutul sunt scrise de mine, Aprilie, iar paragrafele cu Directiva pentru – la început sunt scrise de Alice)

–  Alice aici – am de gând să fiu sincer cu tine, aceasta a fost ideea tot din aprilie, astfel încât să puteți mulțumesc ei dacă încă lectură, adică. Așa că hi! Mi se pare personal foarte greu să ne imaginăm că există oameni din întreaga lume (acordat un număr foarte mic, dar totuși …), care de fapt, ia timp pentru a citi ceea ce am postat. Așa că, vă mulțumesc pentru a face asta, ne face atat foarte foarte fericit 🙂

+ Da multumesc! Am luat chiar unele puncte de vedere din America o dată! Din păcate, nu putem scrie în american, deși, Google traduce nu pare să aibă această opțiune pentru un motiv oarecare…

– A fost aprilie încercând să fie amuzant … ^^^

+ Da, cuvântul cheie fiind “încercarea” xD

– Recent, noi (mai ales pe mine) nu au fost foarte active deloc, atât de rău :/ Eu promit că vor exista o mulțime de mai multe blog-uri regulate și posturi – de fapt, noi scriem o poveste cu tematică de Crăciun în ultimele câteva zile pre -christmas, scriindu-l așa cum am scrie acest lucru, de fapt. Asa ca, cu siguranta se uite pentru că unul, și va fi mult mai multe vor apărea în curând, așa cum am fost amândouă fac o mulțime de scris recent.

+ Da, ca Alice tocmai a spus, asigurați-vă că pentru a verifica unele din lucrurile interesante care le-am luat planificat. Sunt într-adevăr așteaptă cu nerăbdare să toate de el și așa ar fi foarte recunoscător dacă ați putea da o citire! 🙂

– Sper cu adevărat că acest lucru a lucrat traducerea în mod corespunzător, dar dacă nu, și pentru cititorii noștri vorbitori de limba engleza, am atașat o versiune în limba engleză de mai jos, care, gândindu-mă la asta este un pic inutil cu adevărat. Acest blog a fost ceva dintr-un proces, așa că, dacă vorbesc limba română și acest lucru are sens pentru tine, vă rugăm să ne anunțați, prin e-mail: writeaweek@gmail.com, instagram: @writeaweek, sau Tumblr: @write-a-week

Pa!

(translation below)

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