The Yellow Hoods Book 1 Review

The Yellow Hoods is a cute romp with a nice twist on a well-loved fairytale. Its main protagonist is Tee, a spunky 12 year old who likes to invent things with her grandpapa and go as fast as she can in her sail cart. Along with her friends, Elly and Richy, she goes on an adventure to save her grandpapa from the dreaded LeLoup, or the Wolf. Along the way, there was some nice character development for Tee. I especially liked the bit with the “lala’s.” I felt that it was well done.

The setting was well realized and the steampunk aspect fit right in believably. The best part was the grandpapa’s house, full of secrets and surprises. It was so well described that you could see it easily. Following that was the tree house on the mountains, complete with its own pulley system.

Interestingly, the book has aspects of a fairytale embedded within. Specifically, the three little pigs and little red riding hood. And it works, as the embedding was done quite cleverly. It took me a while to figure out that the Cochon brothers were the three little pigs, I have to admit. (Cochon literally meaning pigs)

The pace was just right and kept the pages turning.

And that ending! Definitely makes me want to read the next book!
4 out of 5 stars 😀

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NaNo 2014: It Begins

Well hello there! Guess what? It’s NOVEMBER! Do you know what that means? I know you do! IT’S NATIONAL NOVEMBER WRITING MONTH!!! XD

I’m crazy and gonna do it while in school. And by school, I mean college. So far, it’s working.

The first day, I didn’t get any words written, but that was okay, because I usually just outline where I want the story to go and I’d already done that. And besides, Saturday was crazy anyways.

I think I *might* have written 3,000 or so words that Sunday night, so I’d pretty much caught up on missing the first day.

Yesterday, I had an hour and a half bus ride, so I wrote lots and lots of words, completely catching up to where I needed to be. So that was good. 🙂

Today is one of those “do it all” days. Basically, I’m editing and writing while I have the chance. Oh, and I’m probably beta’ing too. (With hot chocolate of course, because IT’S COLD!)

I’ll check in later, with progress on all the things. And I’ll try to be better about posting. After all, it is NaNoWriMo.

How has your NaNo been going? What’cha writing? Got any helpful hints or tips? Let me know in the comments. Oh, and I’m ebthompson on NaNo, so come be my writing buddy! Because, really, the more the merrier!

Happy writing!

My Writing Process Blog Tour

I was tagged by D. Emery Bunn, a writer and editor who’s always around if you need help. Seriously, he’s amazing and so is his blog, so go check him out!

 

What am I working on at the moment?

I like to work on multiple projects at the same time. Right now, I’ve got three things going on, that I know of, all in varying stages of completion.

Unwanted Gods is a sci-fi (with hints of fantasy) that’s currently being rewritten. Also, I’m debating on leaving it sci-fi or making it purely fantasy because it doesn’t seem to want to make up it’s mind. So what is this about? It’s about a society that’s so old and powerful that they’ve become ‘gods’, and nuisances. When enough gets to be enough, the people decide to overthrow them and send an unlikely champion- a girl with no legs.

Cursed is, well I don’t know what it is, I’m calling it urban fantasy. Yeah, urban fantasy. It’s about a group of children who are dying of various causes (cancer, car accidents, etc.) that are offered more time in order to complete their last wishes. IE) Make-A-Wish. But! A group of these children decide that it’s not fair that they must die and run away, taking their extra time with them. But when Ink runs away, then becomes disillusioned with life itself, what will happen? Hopefully, that makes sense. Anyways, I’m currently editing this one, adding more details, and making it have journal entries instead of chapters. Because, reasons. 😀

Which brings me to Crystal. This one’s with the betas, so I’m not actually working on it right now. I’m just biting my nails (not really), pacing (also not really), and trying to keep myself from telling them to hurry it up (okay, so this one’s true). Crystal is the prequel to Starling and tells the story of how the Starlings and the humans parted ways. It’s also a story about star crossed lovers.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Confession time: I had to have help from one of my betas to answer this question. But said beta was very helpful because honestly, I just write the things I write and don’t really care how they are different or similar to other works of its genre.

So, what do I do that’s so different?

Well, I use a point of view, close omniscient, that most people don’t. I do this naturally, but people like it because I get into the heads of everyone at some point in the story. Which is always cool, getting to see everyone’s thoughts and motivations. And, I have a tendency to hold onto the mystery until the absolute last second, meaning that I tell something when you need to know it. So basically I worldbuild as I go and don’t info-dump, because, boo!

Also, said beta said this and it pretty much speaks for itself: “The Starling world has this feeling of being much older than it truly is, similar to Lord of the Rings and yet its medieval society seems more modern than our own medieval society was. You have a great tendency to meld a half-dozen concepts together that haven’t been tried- Mother Earth + appointed agents to represent her and enforce her will- but on top of that, a racial tension of the silent, seemingly pretentious protectors and the literal down to earth humans where both sides are justified in their views. (He’s talking about Crystal.)”

Why do I write what I do?

I write the stories that keep me up at night, the ones that nag on my brain until I put them to paper and share them. There’s really no other reason. 🙂

How does my writing process work?

Um, I have a writing process? This is news to me!

Kidding. Mostly.

I start with an idea, which I write down and promptly lose. It’s a good thing that the ideas beg to be written because that way I don’t forget them! I write this story down, which usually takes anywhere from a month to a year, depending on how distracted I am and how many other projects I’m working on at the time.

Once I’ve written it, I type it up and give my hand a much needed break. Yes, I handwrite my first draft. Free edit when you type it up! Plus, there’s just something about putting pen to paper.

I let it fester, er…simmer on the backburner for a while, usually two or three months. Then I print it out and begin editing. That’s always fun. I go through and look for plot holes, inconsistencies, and things that need more explanation. In general, I flesh it out. And when I feel like I can’t do anything more to it, I send it off to the betas.

When I get it back from them, I go through all their comments and address them (or ignore them) as I see fit. Then begins line editing! After which, I send it out again to catch typos and grammatical errors I’ve missed.

And then, publishing!

 

Next week’s amazing bloggers:

So…I’m going to do something different because I’m nosy and incredibly curious. Instead of posting which three blogs I’m passing the tour onto, I’m passing it onto YOU, the readers. So! That being said, write up a blog post answering the four questions in bold, and post it on Monday the 12th. Don’t forget to leave a link in the comments so I can read how your writing process works! I can’t wait! 😉

A Question About Chapters

Okay, so I’m curious.

I keep seeing (on Twitter) that a lot of people write chapters. They literally sit down to write their stories chapter by chapter. I don’t understand how they do that. When I write, I write the story completely, then go back and add the chapters in at logical points. Usually breaks in time, scene jumps, ect.

So my question is how do you write? And why?

I’m on Goodreads!

Well hello!

So my big accomplishment of the day was setting up a Goodreads Author Page. Kinda confusing at first. Definitely time consuming. If you have any tips, tricks, advice, whatnot, I’d love to hear it! Also, if your book is on Goodreads, let me know! I’ll read it and review! Because new books are awesome and so are reviews 🙂

 

On another note, I’m going to write a short story for Valentine’s Day. Just for fun. But! I want to write something you guys want to read. So go to this post, Valentine’s Day Question, and leave a comment on what you think I should write. (You could also comment here. Whichever works better) Cheesy love story? Fantasy, scifi. etc. slant? Realistic? C’mon guys, I don’t bite! The idea with the most comments gets written and posted on Valentine’s Day itself. In the event of a tie, I will do my very best to post them both, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

As always, I love hearing from you!

Books and Amusing Typos

Hello! It’s been awhile, hasn’t it?

I’ve been busy, which is no excuse of course. Part of that being busy is publishing Starling, which is now up on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Smashwords, and others. Here’s the links, if you’re interested. And please, if you do read it, I’d love to hear what you think. What you like, what you didn’t like, what was confusing, what could be done better, etc. Helpful criticism is always welcome! Also, I know some of you readers out there are writers too. Are you published? If you are, I’d love to know! I want to support fellow indie authors and I’m always looking for books to read. Because books are awesome. 🙂

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/393580

Barnes and Nobles:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/starling-eb-thompson/1118020918?ean=2940045553384

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Starling-E-B-Thompson-ebook/dp/B00HMT87X4/ref=sr_1_15?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1389624952&sr=1-15&keywords=starling

Apart from that, I’ve also been working hard on the next book, Crystal. Editing mostly. I’m sure you know by now that I have a love-hate relationship with editing. I know you have to do it to get better, I just greatly dislike doing it. I abhor fixing grammatical errors and adjusting for clarity. What I do like is getting to write extra scenes, because it’s writing, and also, I like finding amusing typos. Some of my favorites?

-Larkyn and his companion drew their words and advanced on her.

It should be swords, but when I first read this, I thought of some sort of debate, where they pull out dictionaries or something!

-relieving the day

Reliving! It should be reliving!

-Sparks flew and a few caught on the leaf litter, ignoring and roaring into a blazing fire that would consume everything in its path.

I have never seen a fire ignore something. It should have been igniting.

-“But how did they get up here?” she asked. “No one can enter unless I allow them.”

“Maybe it was someone with an advanced knowledge of your king.”

Yeah, it should have been kind, not king.

Those are the best typos I’ve found so far. What are some of yours?

One of my Favorite Things

One of my favorite parts about writing, other than the actual writing itself, is getting to create characters. Sometimes creating them is easy. I’ve always known exactly how AnnaLydia was going to look like and how she was going to be personality-wise. But sometimes creating them is actually really hard. The character of Etae, for example, was one of those hard characters. She started out as a goody-two-shoes on a council dominated by men before ending up as devious double agent who spied on said council and sold them out to the ‘bad guys’. Yep, she was one tough character to create. Even though she, and many others, were challenging to create, I still had lots of fun creating them.

But I suppose part of that fun evolves from being able to fully flesh these words on paper into full realized people. They aren’t just characters to me. They have names, they have personalities, they have friends and enemies, crushes and loves, they have quirks and they have a history. They aren’t there just to serve a purpose in the plot (well, maybe just a little). They have lives. Good or bad or in between, they have reasons and motivations that guides their actions even if the readers aren’t always aware of them. Actually, sometimes, I’m not fully aware of their motivations until later on when either I’m thinking about it or inspiration suddenly strikes. Usually, inspiration strikes at really bad, inopportune times, but that’s another story. For example, there’s a character who has bright orange/red hair. AnnaLydia has dubbed this character ‘carrot-head’, something he (obviously) despises. But not for reasons that one would think. He doesn’t mind being called a carrot. Well, I mean he does, but that’s not the reason why he hates the name. I wrote the entire draft of Starling not knowing why he hated that name. Then, when I went to flesh out his character for the next round of editing, I realized/came up with/discovered the reason. No one in his family has that hair color. Nobody. And while today we all know that red hair is recessive and can appear even if no one else five generations back has it, back in the world of medieval fantasy, no one knew this. They thought red hair was evil and unnatural. So for his entire life, he was bullied and looked down upon because of his red hair. No wonder he’s a little touchy!

When I create characters, one of the most frequently asked questions is something along the lines of, “Do I take people and put them into my books?” Well, no. And yes. I don’t just pick up a person I really like and just plop them into my book as a character. But if someone has a good trait that I really like or admire, I might use that. My siblings and I like to banter a lot and I tried to have several characters who like to interact with each other the same way. But I didn’t take my siblings nor myself and use us as characters. Just the tendency to banter. So no, if you read my stories, you won’t find yourself in it.