All posts in the questions category

100 book read in 1 year. A challenge. Week update.

Published September 8, 2013 by claire2903

You maybe wondering what the hell happen to week 4’s update. Well quite frankly so am I! šŸ™‚
I have been mega busy with back to school / nursery, birthdays, jam making and inventing, and of course reading.

I have only managed to read the one book in all this time, o ooh no, lagging. But i have been working on my own books so I guess its ok as this challenge is all about improving my writing skills so that my book can be awesome, so if inspiration hits me ( at 3 am most times, thanks! ) Then surely I should write huh?

Anyway I have read The Dwarves by Markus Heitz and heres my review:

The Dwarves – Markus Heitz

I’ve wanted to read this book for sometime, actually ever since seeing it in Waterstone’s book store. Its a big black book with a dwarf on it. It looks mysterious and inviting to a nosy parker like me, as it gives nothing away. Plus for all the fantasy books I’ve read, lots of them including dwarves into the story, I knew very little about dwarves. And these creatures fascinate me!

So I got this book and started it with a great keenness to read it. Now it is a little slow going at first I’ll grant you, but it so worth hanging in there and keeping going! The story is very good and well planned out. The book had me guessing and second guessing all the time. I learnt so much about dwarves from the story. But also the others in the dwarves world, like Ā elves and just why the two races despise each other. And the Alfar, man oh man you don’t want to meet one of those bad boys, ever!
There are some quite gruesome and possibly scary parts of the book, as it draws you in and you get involved, so much so that when reading it in the bath and your pens rolls off the side and clatters to the floor you have a mini heart attack! Yes this was me, at around 2/3 am one evening.
It did also keep me up reading as I needed to know what happened next.

The book met my expectations and possibly passed them, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and look forward to the next installment.

My score for this book Ā 5/5 Ā Well written, got me reading until late in the night with this hunger for more. Definitely recommended.


This is my next task……. wish me luck, and I’ll see you in about month hehehe šŸ˜‰
But on a serious note I will be hopefully writing my review of the first of these books next week ( 12th Sept ), so adios amigos!

100 Book Read in 1 Year Challenge – Week 3 Review / Update

Published August 25, 2013 by claire2903

This week I have been on holiday… Camping.

This past time is NOT asĀ conducive to reading as one may think! Especially when you have 2 young children, and 2 dog’s.

Anyway I have managed to read 1 of my 3 chosen books so I will now review it, tally up how many I have read and how many to go, list the next bunch of books I propose to read and work out how many books a week I now have to read in order to complete my challenge!


I’ve seen Trudi’s books many time in the book stores and always said “I’ll read them one day” well I’m glad I’ve started. This book is not as grand as GRR Martin or Pat Rothfuss, but it definitely held my attention (often until 3 am!)

This story is wonderfully simple to follow and understand, it draws you in and keeps you reading. It has a lovely way of setting the picture of the world which these magicians exist, their culture and history. I assume the other books she has written are all based in this world and quite frankly I can’t wait to read more of them!

My score for this book Ā 4/5 Ā Well written and a great introduction to the world Trudi has created.

This book brings my total to 4 so far. Which means I have 96 to go.

This works out to still be just under 2 books a week (1.9 to be exact!) I will try to push myself into reading more than the specified 2 books a week, I’d like to have Christmas off šŸ˜‰

I am part way through the Assassins Apprentice – Robin Hobb, so that will be the first book of this new week, I’ve also been to see mortal instruments at the cinema. The film wasn’t half so bad as I expected, in fact I actually really enjoyed it. Its not so much Twilight as its more like Blade, underworld, Van Helsing and others of the nature. I have also been told there is a series of books that have inspired this film. So the list will be:

Assassins ApprenticeĀ (farseer trilogy)

Royal AssassinĀ (farseer trilogy)

Assassin’s Quest (farseer trilogy)

Ship of Magic (liveship trader trilogy)

The Mad ShipĀ (liveship trader trilogy)

Ship of DestinyĀ (liveship trader trilogy)

Fool’s Errand (tawny man trilogy)

The Golden FoolĀ (tawny man trilogy)

Fool’s FateĀ (tawny man trilogy)

Dragon Keeper (the rain wilds chronicles)

Dragon HavenĀ (the rain wilds chronicles)

City of DragonsĀ (the rain wilds chronicles)

Blood of DragonsĀ (the rain wilds chronicles)Ā – Robin Hobb


The Dwarfs

The fate of the Dwarves

The revenge of the dwarves

The war of the dwarves – Markus Heitz


The NoviceĀ (black magician trilogy)

The High LordĀ (black magician trilogy)

The Magician Apprentice

The Ambassador’s Mission (traitor spy trilogy)

The RogueĀ (traitor spy trilogy)

The Traitor QueenĀ (traitor spy trilogy)Ā – Trudi Canavan


City of Bones (Mortal Instruments series)

City of AshesĀ (Mortal Instruments series)

City of GlassĀ (Mortal Instruments series)

City of Fallen AngelsĀ (Mortal Instruments series)

City of Lost SoulsĀ (Mortal Instruments series)

City of Heavenly Fire – 2014Ā (Mortal Instruments series)

Clockwork Angel (Infernal Devices series)

Clockwork PrinceĀ (Infernal Devices series)

Clockwork PrincessĀ (Infernal Devices series) – Cassandra Clare


That seams a lot of books for one week, and your right šŸ™‚ I will pick 2/3 books from all of the above!

You will have to forgive me for listing them all but I need to get them all down or I will forget them, and more over forget what order they go in to read, as they are all trilogy/series books.

Anyway thank you for reading and see you next week if I don’t see you before šŸ™‚


Revelations – (possible spoilers if you’ve not read the books I mention!)

Published August 19, 2013 by claire2903

Well as you know if you follow my blog I have undergone the challenge of 100 books read in 1 year. (Daft sod I know šŸ™‚ )


Well I have been learning some new things, or realising old knowledge that hadn’t been confirmed.


‘Hang on, What?!?’

I hear you, I’ve not gone mad. I’ll explain what I mean by putting down what I realised/re learnt about writing stories.


Things like:


All fantasy stories have conflict, or struggle between two factions.

Lord of the Rings – Elves and Men ( and Dwarves ) against Orcs

Song of Ice and Fire – The North against The South, dragons versus lions, wolves against lions, in fact pretty much every one against lions, including some lions!Ā 

King Killer Chronicles – Kvothe versus Ambrose, the Chandrian, himself.


As far as I can see all fantasy stories have one or more heart rendering moments.

Those moments you feel so sad, possibly even cry because of the shear despair of the story.

A desperate situation, where the character has to make a horrid choice, the lesser of 2 evils perhaps.

Or where someone the main character loves dearly dies, or even a character the reader loves dies ( G R R Martin, I’m looking at you! )


They all, almost always have lots of what I call OMG moments.

Remember I said so and so’s dead? well Surprise their not! OMG!

Or so and so isn’t so and so they are actually whats his face! OMG!

Or it wasn’t that fella you’ve hated since page 5 who killed everyone, it was the real bad guy and the fella you have hated all this time is actually a good guy! OMG!

Or vice verser the good guy just went mad and killed everyone! OMG! (and what the hell)


The good ones have a twist or reveal something really exciting.

Ever read a book, or indeed watch a film, and your certain of something all the way through then right at the end you go OMG, no way, I didn’t see that coming! That’s what I mean.

Films like Sixth Sense, Prometheus, even the last Twilight film did it!

I guess this point could fall under the OMG moment point, but I thought it deserved its own point.


And lastly they mostly have the YES! moments.

Those moments when you just have to hiss or shout yesssss! Generally making everyone around you stare at you ( yes I have done this on more than one occasion )


The moment Joff dies in Song of Ice and Fire.

When Kvothe sets Ambrose’s room on fire.

Those lovely moments when karma is restored and that annoying little sod gets just whats coming to him, or when your favourite character has battled against everything and everyone and succeeded even though all the odds where against them.

You know that moment when you just think HA! with defiance.


G R R Martin has spectacular command over the 2nd and 3rd points, ***SPOILER ALERT*** I mean killing off basically all the main characters in the first and second book, totally threw me. But it made me read more and more. Then bringing them back to life was like WTH!!! Mind just went POP!


But anyway you may all have known these things, and well so did I but what I didn’t realise or think about is just how much influence they have over a story, or in fact a reader.

When used correctly they make you read, look at Harry Potter (kids book, yeah right) and Twilight, utter teenage tosh some would say, but they both had me crying at certain points in the book and OMG’ing. So if these not so ‘epic and legendary’ books can do this with these simpleĀ techniques shall we say, just image how spectacular my book could be, as I am writing a more seriously fantasy book.


And well its exciting, and really helps to stoke that writing fire. I know a lot of interesting ideas came to me after thinking on theseĀ techniques and how I can use them.


Well I just wanted to share, possibly inspire, and give any budding/struggling writers something to think on, some fuel for their fires.


Until next time, adieu šŸ™‚


Training, tension and tears.

Published July 30, 2013 by claire2903

It’s been eight days since my last post and oh my what an eight days!

There’s been several trips to the vets with various animals,

Milo (st Bernard) went to meet the vet an have a sniff, then back again to be weighed (nearly 15 st!!) and injections (booo)

Sadie (puppy weimaraner) to be checked out then back again for her jabs šŸ˜¦

And Shadow and Shade the kittens to be checked. Good job we went with these two as Shadow is apparently a boy, after I was told by the person I bought them from they were both girls. Good job I picked a unisex name huh?

The summer holidays are now upon us also, so I have an 8 yr old and a 2.5 yr old at home, so my house is quite literally a zoo šŸ™‚

I’ve also been gardening, with the help of my younger brother. He’s not half bad at gardening, but he doesnt want to do it as a living go figure šŸ™‚

So my garden is now a lot neater, and I can actually think about getting fairy lights to wrap around the trees and hang on the privet (nasty horrible green stuff!)
I have a strong dislike for privet, but unfortunately I can’t pull it down…. Yet!

But none of this has stopped me from working on my books though, in fact my books are my escape from the madness that surrounds me!

I’ve been working on place names and the map of my little world. This isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Firstly i had to decide on a collective name for everywhere sort of like a country name or continent name.

Then I drew out a map, looks more like a pissed spider fell in the ink pot and wobbled across the page but hey, I understand it!. This helped me work out how many names I would need.

Thirdly I have, had to work out from the continent name to the country names to the regions, counties, boroughs to towns and villages. And the seas, lakes, forests and mountains.

I must admit this is still being worked on, but at least I had an idea of what goes where and that it needs a name. I think this is important for me, in my story writing as it helps to keep a degree of consistency in the story.

It also helps with building back stories for characters, especially once I’ve put some thought in to what regions look and sound like, I can then describe characters that come from there better.

I’ve also been thinking about the type of characters I want, as in elves and pirates. I’ve always loved these types of characters dearly.

Plus I’m wondering can you write a serious type of story that has some all together unserious parts in it?
I’m think you can, if you take the lord of the rings and the hobbit for example. There are some very serious bits in that (the wraiths, Mordor, Frodo’s capture and Sam’s heroic rescue of him) and some very comical bits too (Bert, Bill and Tom deciding how to cook the dwarfs and Mr Baggins)

Tolkien made this work beautifully, but I haven’t seen it much else where, I admit I may not be reading the right books but still.

I wondering if you can get the comical, and slightly sarcastic humor of a Disc world books to mesh well with the seriousness of the Paksennarion books or Song of Ice and Fire books?

I’ve also been pondering how people would react to changes from the normal, like friendly trolls that are semi intelligent, or stupid elves, pretty orcs etc etc, basically turning everything people know and believe about fantasy characters 180 and doing the opposite or ‘unexpected’.

Would it make for an interesting riveting read? or just annoy and bore?