Yet Another Book Excerpt for the Story With No Name

Post: Chapter 12.

Reasoning: I’m alone and I’m bored.

Hey, so…That excerpt I posted on New Year’s Eve? This won’t make much sense if you haven’t read it. Actually, this is a while later in the story and a lot of things have happened that I’m not going to even begin trying to explain.

Long story short, though, all you need to know to read this is the information from “Second Book Excerpt! (Untitled)” and a few things I’ll go through very quickly.

  1. The general lied to Cowen when he asked him about his real name, telling him it was Taylor
  2. Ms. Stone is a woman who runs the orphanage Cowen spent most of his life at. It’s called Stone Family Orphanage; I know, I’m very creative.
  3. General Gonosz went to that orphanage early on in the story to get some information on Cowen, but he didn’t really find anything important except for his birth date and little things like that.
  4. In addition, I’m a teenager trying to write in the point of view of a full grown man, and I don’t know how that’s going for me.

I guess I’m just putting this up because I had fun with this chapter, and also, I don’t have much to do at the moment. Here it is-ta-dah.

After the past few days, Gonosz felt the need to just go take a walk. He wanted to clear his head. Once he got outside, the fresh air greeted him, rolling by him and instantly making him feel better. He looked over to the nearby village, and figured he had time to go into town. The general really had to get away from the place.

Where he walked, everyone’s heads turned. All of the villagers did their best to put as much distance in between them and Gonosz as possible. Some people went into buildings and shut the doors, others made sure to take wide detours around him, and many adults shielded their children behind themselves. In addition, Gonosz felt as if the town had become much more silent after his arrival. Not very calming in the least bit.

Gonosz slipped into an alley. He wasn’t going to be able to go through with all of this, not if he was walking through town to take his mind off of things. After a few moments of hesitance, Gonosz took off his mask, and slipped it into his inside jacket pocket. He checked his clothes; average enough. There was a lump where the wooden mask stuck through but no one would suspect what it actually was.

The general went out of the alley and looked around. The villagers were still a little on edge, looking around as if wondering where the dreaded General Gonosz had gone, but none of them paid any attention to Gonosz himself. With a small smile tugging at his lips, Gonosz walked around the village like a normal person with the wind blowing in his face like it hadn’t for years.

For the most part, Gonosz glanced into the windows of all the shops to keep occupied and occasionally rolled his eyes at the daily tasks of the townspeople. Everything seemed to be going fine and then suddenly a woman shot out of a building and randomly grabbed his wrist.

“Please, sir, I’m in dire need of assistance!” she yelped, pulling him inside. Gonosz stumbled through the doorway, looking around. A sense of familiarity settled over him. He was in the Stone Family Orphanage and, yes, there was Ms. Stone in the flesh beside him.

The caretaker winced. “I’m so sorry to bother you, sir, but there are too many of them and none of the other staff are here and-”

“Wait, wait, wait,” Gonosz said, holding up his hands, still disoriented. “Slow down. Too many of who?”

“Children! I can’t handle them all on my own. Please, sir, please look after some of the kids for a moment and I promise I will pay you afterwards.”

Gonosz paled. This was what he got for strolling around without his warrior mask. Out of all the people in town, he happened to be the one walking outside of the orphanage when Ms. Stone rushed outside. The atmosphere there still bothered him, and it seemed to be closing in on him. Gonosz took a few steps back towards the door.

“Miss, I’m afraid I am the wrong person for the job,” he told Ms. Stone, reaching blindly for the handle. “I don’t really do children.”

“They’re no trouble at all, it will only take a second of your time,” Ms. Stone rambled.

“You’d really trust to put a bunch of kids in the hands of a stranger you picked up off of the street?”

Ms. Stone hesitated, then smiled weakly. “Well, I mean, you can’t be worse than a palace soldier, right?”

“Ha. Right.”

There was a sound like something smashing in the back room, causing both Gonosz and Ms. Stone to jump. Ms. Stone was obviously desperate. She turned back to Gonosz and clasped his hands, looking at him pleadingly.

“I really need help. Please, sir. All you need to do is watch them until I find some of the little rascals that have run off. Please?”

Gonosz opened his mouth, about a hundred replies racing through his brain. Most of them weren’t very kind. The one that ended up coming out, though, wasn’t rude and wasn’t one he had been expecting.

“Alright,” he said to Ms. Stone. She beamed at him and led him through another door before he had time to change his mind. Gonosz found himself in a room full of children from ages five to about sixteen. Ms. Stone clapped her hands, and soon all eyes were on the general.

“Everyone,” Ms. Stone said with a warm smile. “This is…”

“Taylor,” Gonosz supplied. If it worked with Cowen, it would work then, too.

“Taylor. He’ll be watching you while I go get Tina, Carter, and Ally. Be good, okay?”

“Yes, Ms. Stone,” the kids chorused.

Ms. Stone turned to leave, smiling at Gonosz and mouthing, Thank you. Soon enough, Gonosz was alone with approximately thirty children, all of them still staring at him. Gonosz straightened his shoulders, sat on a seat in the room, and stared back. No way he was going to let a bunch of little tikes bother him.

Slowly, some of the older kids peeled their eyes off of him and continued chatting with each other over several varying topics. The younger ones sat down on the carpeted floor with their eyes riveted on him. Gonosz cleared his throat, giving them pointed looks that in his opinion were quite clear: Go back to what you were doing or else there is a spanking in your future.

This didn’t have quite the effect he wanted, though, so he chose to directly speak to them. “Is there something you lot need?”

“I’ve never seen you in town before,” a nine year old said.

“I’m new,” Gonosz answered, mildly irritated. “Go play.”

“Where are you from?” asked another kid.

Gonosz chose a kingdom at random. “Teiallha.”

“Where’s that?”

“It’s down south. Is there anything you want to do besides play twenty questions with me?” Gonosz was beginning to wonder if all of the orphans from that place were the same level of annoying.

“What’s your favourite colour?” asked a shy little girl, barely making eye contact. Gonosz groaned internally.

“Twenty questions it is then. For the sake of forwarding this conversation, red, I guess. Anyone else have something they just absolutely need to know?”

Sarcasm was apparently lost on the group. A little boy raised his hand. “Can you tell us a story?” Gonosz paused, frowning.

“A story?”

“Yeah!” The first kid put her chin on her fist. “Pretty please tell us a story.”

Right. A story. Why not? It wasn’t as if he was a cold-blooded general who didn’t specialize in telling fairy-tales to little children. Gonosz looked around as if searching for a way out and his eyes settled on a stuffed dog clutched tightly in the shy girls hands.

“What’s the dog’s name?” Gonosz asked, pointing at the plush toy. The little girl looked startled, lowering her head to study her dog.

“Anna,” she squeaked, holding the stuffed animal up in front of her like she was shielding herself from anyone’s gaze.  

“Anna,” Gonosz repeated, all the while thinking to himself, What the heck do I think I’m doing. “Well, it just so happens that I knew a dog called Anna like yours back in Teiallha.”

His listeners all watched him with wide eyes, excited to hear a story. Gonosz just hoped he could tell a valid one, or at least part of a valid one, before Ms. Stone got back. How long did it take for someone to find three kids in a village that small?

“She lived with her owners; Ben and Sarah. They always took little Anna out on walks around the countryside, letting her run through…Fields. With flowers, and sunshine.”

This is horrible. I can’t believe they’re eating up this garbage, Gonosz thought, amazed.

“Life was good. Anna had everything a pup could ever want. But, one day, when she was exploring out in the woods on her own, something terrible happened.” Gonosz paused for dramatic affect and let his audience gasped. “Anna was chasing a, uh, butterfly or something when she came to a large stream. The water was fast and always moving. Anna thought to herself, I’m a long way from Ben and Sarah and I should get a drink before I go looking for them.

“Anna leaned over to sip some of the water. She was very small, though, and she slipped. Anna fell into the water and got carried away through the forest, away from her owners.”

One of the kids cringed. “Oh no.”

“Was she okay?”

“What happened?!”

Gonosz held up his hands to calm them down. “She found herself far outside of the kingdom. Anna was even more lost than she had been before. She tried howling, barking, and trotting along the edge of the stream to get someone to help or to find her way back, but nothing worked. She was stuck.

“Anna spent the next few days alone, sleeping in the shelter of a small cave and eating whatever food she could find. A little kitten came along and found her-”

“What was the kitten’s name?”

“Bob,” Gonosz said, saying the first name that came to mind. Why did it have to have a name, exactly? Before any more questions could be asked, Gonosz rushed on. “Bob took Anna in, helped her into a nearby village where the kitten’s owners were. She was given proper food and a place to sleep, then the owners of the ca-Bob put up lost dog flyers.

“Ben and Sarah came to find Anna and took her home, and they all lived happily ever after.”

Gonosz cringed at his own storytelling and waited for a booing or rotten tomatoes or something. However, the next thing he knew, the children were clapping their hands enthusiastically and cheering for Anna’s return to Teiallha. They chattered to each other about whether or not all of the stuffed animals had real life counterparts that went on adventures, or why the kitten’s owners chose to name him Bob. The group got into a very detailed conversation about this and Gonosz couldn’t help but shake his head in exasperation.

To his relief, Ms. Stone walked back in along with three more orphans, who were red in the face. The caretaker stared at the kids gathered around Gonosz, while he smiled in relief and got up.

“Glad you found them,” he said, trying to slip out of the room. “I guess I’ll be going now.”

“Bye, Taylor!” exclaimed one of the children, waving to him.

“Thanks for the story!”

  Gonosz frowned in confusion. He brought up his hand and gave a small wave back as Ms. Stone scolded Ally, Carter and Tina, telling them to go to their room. She closed the door to the room Gonosz had been in a second ago, then faced him.

“Thank you so much for watching them. They seemed to like you,” she said, fishing around in a bag for money to pay him with. Ms. Stone brought out some coins but Gonosz shook his head.

“Don’t bother, it was no problem.”

Ms. Stone hesitated, nodding to him. “Thank you again, Taylor. You know…Something about you is familiar. Have I met you before?”

“I don’t think so,” Gonosz lied, opening the front door. “Goodbye and, ah, good luck with those kids.” Ms. Stone chuckled.

“Goodbye,” she echoed, closing the door for Gonosz once he was outside. He studied the orphanage for a moment, then began heading back to the palace, the mask heavy in his pocket.

(Okay, I enjoyed putting Gonosz in that situation far too much. And the dog story is credibly horrible. Yay.)

Spoiler Alert! They All Die in Chapter 27

I’m a pro at killing off characters.

No, wait. That’s a lie. I’m not a pro at killing off characters; I hate it. Whether it’s the protagonist or the villain or the supporting character, generally I don’t enjoy killing anyone in my books. That’s why for the most part everybody survives by the end of the story.

Congratulations, me. You’re a wimp and love your characters too much.

Sometimes it may be necessary, but as of yet I haven’t really found a good enough reason to kill my characters anyway. Is my opinion because I’m an amateur writer? Well, perhaps. However, here I’m still basically going to explain why characters should or should not be killed.

One of the reasons people die in stories is to add emotional impact. I believe it’s called pulling at the heartstrings. A lot of series, books, movies, or TV shows have deaths that leave the readers/viewers (to put it lightly) upset.

Some people might not go as far as to sob for a day straight over a fictional character, but the emotional impact is still there. Nobody feels good after the death of a character. Unless, of course, a character you hate dies. Let’s be honest, though, the ones we hate are never the ones to die.

There are many ways to pull at heartstrings, so I don’t go as far as death when I write.

Another reason a character may be killed is to convey risk. The death of someone, it doesn’t matter who, can show just how much danger there is in whatever situation.

Yes, I get that. Even so I don’t kill characters for that cause either. I’ll think, The world is splitting and slowly crumbling, I’m sure it’s very apparent that there’s risks.

(I literally did find a couple of pages of a book I started writing where planet Earth was splitting apart. Apparently seven year old me loved drama.)

Then there’s the times when a character dying is necessary to the plot, which is about the only occurrence when I even consider killing off someone.

Generally speaking, I have a very in-depth plan of every character’s life and how it ties into the story, making it move forward. Many characters are still needed to make the book work. I’m not going to kill them, or else they can’t play their part and that “part” just won’t work.

If the time comes for their part to be dying, then I’ll have to suck it up and kill them off. I definitely won’t enjoy it. Actually, it would probably impact me more emotionally than anyone who ends up reading it.

No one’s death helps the plots of my stories at the moment. So, “You get to live, you get to live, you guys get to live, you all can go live your magical fantasy lives.”

Then there’s the instances that people pull a Marvel and bring the character back, but that’s another story altogether.

That’s…Yeah, that’s all I have to say. Goodbye, I guess. Or goodnight. It really depends on how I’m feeling at the moment.

Things Writers/Readers Need on Hand at All Times

From personal experience, I would say that this is pretty accurate. And I’m as much of a writer and a bookworm as you can find. So, here we are: Things we all need on hand, all the time. Do try not to fall asleep.

1. Pencil

That, or a pen, marker, etc. Literally anything that can be used to write with, although a pencil or pen is easier than using a marker or a crayon. I think you understand what I mean.

When I write, I write everywhere. At home. School. Restaurants. Appointments. Other houses, on a bus, you name it. Obviously, I’m going to need something to write with, leading to the conclusion that-guess what-I’m gonna need a pencil.

I get that there are people who prefer to digitally write their books, whether on a laptop, a tablet, a phone, or some other form of technology. Obviously I don’t write on paper to make this blog. However, writing isn’t exactly the only thing I use a pencil for.

I’m not sure if I’m the only person that this works for, maybe I’m not, or maybe I’m just weird. Anyways, when I’m nervous in any situation it helps me to have a pencil in my hand. For reasons not quite clear for me holding a pencil calms me down. It’s probably because writing is how I unwind or something like that, but I’m not about to delve into my own psychology.

Just trust me; pencils are good things to have.

2. Paper

With pencils you need paper. I don’t know what else you want me to say.

3. YOU NEED A NEARBY BOOKSTORE

No one is going to disagree with me on this, right? If you love books, you need a bookstore. Sure, you can order books online, but there’s nothing like walking into the store, smelling the scent of the paper pages, and buying your very own solid copy…

Okay then. Um. Bookstores are great, alright? I shop for books the same way some teens shop for clothes. If I didn’t have a bookstore (or library) close to where I live I swear I’d go insane.

It doesn’t matter which one you have, I know there’s a bunch of different bookstores out there, they’re all usually amazing and one of my favourite places in the world. I could spend hours in a bookstore without even buying anything.

4. Bookmark

Naturally. Whether it’s your traditional bookmark, a piece of paper, or some random scrap of cardboard, it’s good to have a marking place in the book you’re either reading or writing.

Unless you enjoy trying to memorize the page you’re at and attempting to flip through the book and find it the next time. I know I don’t.

(Note: You need to keep a close eye on your bookmark, too. They always go missing over the course of time you’re reading.)

5. A Book

Well…Duh. This should be a given. If you like to read books, you’re going to have books. If you’re anything like me, you bring books pretty much everywhere when you have the chance.

6. Another Book

I’m just saying, you never know when you’re going to need a backup.

I mean, if you finish the first one, what do you do? You don’t have anything else to read. If I’m going on a trip or if I think I’m going to finish reading the book I’m on at any point in the day, I bring a second book around with me. Just in case.

The extra weight is often worth it, truthfully.

And Finally, 7. A Gift Card or a Library Card

In the situation that you come across one of the aforementioned libraries and/or bookstores.

 

Top Five Books of 2017

Exactly what the title says. I don’t think I really need to elaborate, but I will. Note that I basically loved all the books (the number of which are far over five) that I read last year so I can’t accurately “rank” them. I figured, though, enough about my books; I’ll talk about books by other authors that I obsess over.

#5: Worlds Collide by Chris Colfer

This was the sixth and final book in The Land of Stories series. Even though it wasn’t my favourite, I still loved it.

Chris Colfer (you probably know him from Glee) is a great author. Seriously. The fairy-tale world in his books is so well put together, I mean, he combines all of the fairy tales so well.  He makes the stories tie into each other, he recreates the characters in an entirely different way, and the series is just pretty good overall. Yes, it’s a nine to twelve year old book, but still very good.

Let’s talk about Worlds Collide, though. I laughed so much. Not because it was horrible, but because I loved the humour and story in it. Colfer handles all of the many characters he brought onto the scene well and ties up the books while technically leaving it open. No stories really end, though.

If you’re into fairy tale books, I highly suggest reading The Land of Stories series as a whole. (Also, I thought you’d like to know that this site wanted me to change “Colfer” to “Golfer.”)

#4: The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan

Yes, yes, here comes another Percy Jackson universe rant on the internet. But, come on, can you blame me? Rick Riordan’s books are really engaging, so much so that I’ve read through all of his series.

Except for Magnus Chase. I was waiting for it to be over so I didn’t have to go through another set of cliffhangers on top of all the other ones I have to deal with, however I just got the first two books at Chapters today.

We’re not talking about Magnus Chase, though. We’re talking about Trials of Apollo here. I have to say I liked this one more than the first, The Hidden Oracle. I don’t know why. I’ll neither confirm or deny that Leo being back had something to do with it.

No, it’s not just because of Leo. I have to say that even though Apollo can be extremely annoying in this, he’s gotten a bit better and I have been enjoying his narrative. Rick Riordan is as hilarious as ever with his writing.

Go read it. Shoo. Go on.

#3: Night Watch by Terry Pratchett

Recently, meaning a little over a year ago, my mom got me into reading Terry Pratchett. He was just an amazing writer all around and if you’re considering checking his books out I’d say go for it. Only, prepare to not understand a thing.

Discworld is so out there and it doesn’t help that Terry Pratchett didn’t give much explanation of the world. You just fall in headfirst. It’s likely that you won’t comprehend the first book you read and you’ll forget it, like I did. Once you get into it, though, they are some of the funniest books out there.

Onto Night Watch-I’ve been told this one is very good and it really was very good. Like…Ugh. I’m not sure how to describe it, it has no words. Another time travel book, where Commander Sam Vimes goes back in time and teaches himself everything he knows.

I loved this book. This is another one people should read. The writing was awesome in this and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

#2: Going Postal by Terry Pratchett

Another Terry Pratchett book. Yay. Seriously, though, it was awesome.

There’s letters, patricians, golems, postmen, golden suits, and…Well, you’d have to read it. I can’t really explain it exactly. Again, Terry Pratchett’s writing was amazing in this, and Moist’s character is great. Also, the book is obviously hilarious, so I’d suggest checking it out.

The book takes the post office, which most people wouldn’t think would be an interesting thing to read about, and makes it extremely entertaining. Very weird, admittedly, but entertaining. For the life of me I can’t get over the fact that one of the character’s was raised by peas. (You heard me.)

#1: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

The title is probably enough to turn most people off. It shouldn’t, though. Considering this book ended up in first should be enough to prove that I thought pretty highly of it.

It was beautiful, it was amazing. The writing was amazing. The world, the plot, the characters were amazing. Like, you’ll obviously try to not get attached to the characters, but you will fail. They’re so well written and so real. I’m sure I cried at some point over this book.

Basically it’s set in a world where a thing called “Death Cast” calls you and tells you that you’re going to die in the next twenty four hours, and there’s a Last Friend app so you can spend your final day with them.

It was sooooooo good. Don’t let the title stop you from reading it. Yes, it’s definitely a sad story, but coming from someone who usually doesn’t go for the sad stories it was amazing. Did I say that already? Probably.

Congratulations, Adam Silvera. I really enjoyed (and at some times hated) this book.

 

There’s my list. Like I said, I could go on and on about every book I read last year, but I won’t. I don’t have the time or energy. Go and check out these books for yourself; maybe you’ll like them just as much as I did.

 

Characters Are More Annoying Than Real People

Hello, everyone. Let’s play a game called I’m Bored So the World is Getting Another Post Whether it Likes it or Not. In this one I’ll be talking about how-as you probably have already guessed-imaginary characters are more annoying than real people (well, sometimes).

Any story needs a lot of building blocks to make it good: solid setting, solid plot, solid theme, and so on. Among these things, something that is very, very important is having a good, solid character. Unless your character’s, like, a ghost or something.

I feel like this is one of the things I struggle most with for the majority of the time. Picture this. You have an amazing story idea, one of your best yet, and you’re getting really excited about it. You’ll craft the entire world, what has to happen, plot twists, everything. Except for one tiny piece that will make the entire thing fall on its face.

The characters. The fictional characters can be non-fictional pains in the neck.

If the main character is under-developed, then it all crashes down. I’m serious. Nothing will work because the character is simply not well created, uninteresting, blah. Every book on writing I’ve ever read insists on you “making the readers care about your characters.” And when the character is barely a character at all, NO ONE IS GOING TO CARE ABOUT THEM.

At least, they won’t if you don’t give the character their personality traits. Mold them, sort of. This is so difficult sometimes that I’ll take a break from even trying for days on end.

I’m not sure why it’s so hard. Sometimes the character isn’t really turning out well, or they’re too much like a character from a previous book I worked on, which also happens often. I’ll still be in the mindset of the last book’s main character and it takes a while to get out of it. When I find that I’m being repetitive with my characters, it straight out bugs me.

Do you see how they’re annoying yet? They never work the way you want them to. Characters, like I mentioned, are one of the most frustrating parts of writing for me and-

And then there’s the times that they turn out well. Then they make the story better, and I enjoy writing about them and how each of them react to different situations. Writers can get attached to their characters, yes, and when a lot of the times they’re “annoying” the ones that aren’t so much that you get especially attached to.

Here’s what I do nowadays: I pick a few of my favourite characters from other books or movies or shows that I like. I pick the traits I like about them, then I dwindle it down into a character that works for the story. I give them some other unique qualities, too, and presto! I’ve got a main character.

I think I’ve made it pretty clear that it’s not as easy as the previous paragraph makes it sound. All in all, just know that it can go one of two ways. So, the character is, uh, “blah.”

Or you’ve got a memorable character that you and your readers will treasure forever.