Inspired by a book on my December TBR, I decided to write a list of all the reasons I have ever not finished a book. (If you watch my videos on YouTube, you’ll find out which book soon enough. Confession: I only made it to Chapter 5.)
As a writer, it’s important to look for these issues in my own stories, but even more important is to remember that one person’s DNF (Did Not Finish) is another’s favorite book ever. Take these 16 Reasons Why I Have DNF’d A Book with a grain of salt, but hopefully a much larger grain of amusement:
1) The language is stunted or too flowery and I can’t jive with it. (Also, this isn’t a vocab test. I don’t need a GRE word every sentence.)
2) I don’t root for the Main Character.
3) I actively dislike the Main Character.
4) I want the Antagonist to kill the Main Character and plant their head on a spike, parading them around town, ending the story and thus my misery.
5) Actually the Antagonist kind of sucks too. Weak, empty threats, and I don’t believe their reasoning? Pass. Hard pass.
6) The characters have really weird names for no earthly reason and I haven’t figured out how to pronounce them and each page is a struggle for me not to rename them to Bob or Job or Clob or Whatever-Their-First-Initial-Is-Ob.
7) Why is this one guy the best that ever was? Has he trained? No? He was just born this way? He’s never practiced his power a day in his life but is somehow the absolutely best warrior in all the land? Stop.
Part Beauty and the Beast, part One Thousand and One Nights, and wholly amazing, THE WRATH AND THE DAWN by Renée Ahdieh blew me away. It’s the best fairytale retelling I’ve read since the Lunar Chronicles series and promises a sequel just as entertaining as the first book.
Here’s the Goodreads, non-spoiler summary:
Before we jump into the details, can we just all bow down to the writing goddess that is Renée Ahdieh? Seriously. Her words read with the rhythm of a beautiful song, all velvety smooth and immediately attention-grabbing. Even the dialogue, which is so specific to each character I think I could tell you who’s speaking without attribution, manages to fit within the flow of the narration. It’s such an outstanding feat that even writers and readers who aren’t as obsessed with YA literature as I am would benefit from reading this book. Three cheers for Renée Ahdieh, we are not worthy!
OVERALL RATING: 4.5/5.0
Will I reference Disney again before this post is done? Probably.
If you haven’t ventured over to the About Me section, and you’re extra confused about who I am and what I do and you’re wondering “why do you even have a blog?” then this post is for you! If you have read my bio and you’re just curious where the best place to get bubble tea is because you, too, have an addiction verging on the unhealthy, then this post is also for you!
The quick and easy version is I’m an aspiring author. I’m also a lot of other things, but the writer-bit is why I created this blog.
See, for years (a decade, even), I’ve wanted to be a professional writer. In fact, in researching for this blog post, I found the first time I ever wrote “The End” on a story. It was Harry Potter fanfiction when I was in the seventh grade. I still remember this story in great detail and it can actually be found floating around on the internet, but I think I’ll keep its whereabouts secret for now.
(I’m not alone in testing out the waters in the ocean that is writing with fanfiction. Meg Cabot, The Queen of YA – well, one of them, if we can allow a kind of Polyarchy of YA – says that she first began writing with Star Wars fanfiction.)
But I quickly learned that there was more to writing life than just fanfiction because of NaNoWriMo. It’s been a yearly ritual for me ever since to ‘compete’ each November — but more on that later.
With several NaNoNovels behind me, my writing life changed when I got into college. Instead of keeping my writing a secret from everyone besides my family and closest friends (I mistakenly told a doctor that I wanted to be a writer when I grew up and they laughed at me and said they hoped I had a back-up plan…I was twelve.), I joined the local writing group and then, with the help of a few people I met through that group, formed an on-campus writing organization through the university! That group is still trucking along, amassing more members than I ever saw from the two years I led it, and I couldn’t be happier.
We’re almost coming to the present day, so I’ll keep this bit short. I graduated with a more technical degree and worked at a Fortune 100 company for three years as an Account Manager. The best way I can summarize this time period is “fine and occasionally fun” but ultimately not what I wanted out of life.
So now I’m a full-time writer! And I’m hoping within the next couple years, I can change that to “Published Author.” I’ve completed five first-drafts of stories, but the editing process is still something of a mystery to me. This blog will be a documentation of all the trials and tribulations (and successes and joys!) I experience on the road to publication.
Now, given that I just wrote about ten paragraphs above, all centered on writing, you can guess that this blog will focus on that. But! It will also focus on books I’ve read (because writers love to read!) and places I’ve been to! I’m a huge fan of traveling and have at least one overseas trip planned in the next year and four different trips to The Place Where Dreams Come True in the next five months! (I know, I know, I’m obsessed.)
Enough about me! If you’re a YA reader, who is your Queen or King? And if you’re a writer, is publishing your dream goal? Leave a comment or feel free to email me and let me know!
(By the way, the best place to get bubble tea in San Antonio is Tealicious!)