fiction

Sky-Daughter (NaNoWriMo) – Support a Fellow Young Writer

Hey, guys, and thanks for reading Tween Fiction Girl! Today’s post is going to be a unique one, because I’ve never done a book review/human interest combo post. It’s going to be a book review, sort of, but you’ll also need a bit of backstory.

Remember last year, when I did NaNoWriMo? I wrote a book called The Juniper Tree that will never be published because I didn’t like it, but I also came across my fellow young writer Lily Sowell. I read the excerpt of her story on her NaNoWriMo account page, and we got to talking.
It turns out that her book went a lot further than mine. While mine remained an unfinished idea, she went on to publish hers on CreateSpace. I own a copy of it, and I have to say, for a twelve-year-old author, this was a stellar read.

And now for the review bit of the book review.

The book’s title, as you may have surmised from both the headline and URL of this page, is Sky-Daughter. (It sounds a bit ambiguous out of context, but it makes more sense once you read the story.) To give a simple summary, it’s a fantasy story, centered around three young women by the names of Ayanna, Gwynn, and Oriel, set in a place called Ajeda in a time during a long, hard war. (Actually, the e in Ajeda has an accent mark over it, but I can’t figure out how to make it on my computer.)

It’s not an adult book, but that’s understandable. It was written by a 12-year-old for a 12-year-old reading level. I’d recommend the story itself for an age group of about 8 to 14; it’s not too complex and not at all inappropriate, but it’s compelling enough to attract the attention of an older reader, too. I mean, even my mom enjoyed it, and, when it comes to books, she’s hard to interest.

The author’s writing style is brisk and dialogue-oriented, which leaves a lot about the details of the setting to the imagination. I like descriptions, frankly, but even more, I dislike lengthy and tedious descriptions, so I didn’t find this much of a setback. The writing flows, with understandable characters (which is definitely a plus, especially in stories written by younger individuals) and easy, casual dialogue. I made note of the fact that a good portion of the main characters are female. As it was written by a girl, it’s written for girls, even if that particular facet was unintentional; as I myself am an almost-teen girl, this didn’t bother me, but, despite the fact that this book is set in a war, I don’t recommend it for boys looking for a nitty-gritty action story.

A heads-up for anyone looking to purchase the book: it’s NOT flawless. No book is. It has as many flukes as anything I’ve ever written, I’ll admit, such as an accidental g tacked onto the word tightly in the last chapter in the book, or an extra “that night” in a sentence on the first page. As a whole, though, I’d recommend this to young readers who’d like to try out something a little different from the rest of the young adult fiction stories.

For a fun and fast-paced plot, memorable characters, and an interesting origin (how many 12-year-olds do you ever see publishing books?), but taking points off for a couple of grammatical errors and other small flukes, I give Sky-Daughter four stars out of five.

I don’t usually do this with my reviews, but since this book can currently only be bought in two places in the known world, here are the links to Sowell’s outlets.
Sky-Daughter at Amazon.com
Sky-Daughter at CreateSpace.com (by Amazon)

UPDATE:  Sowell released another edition of the book; she fixed the aforementioned typos.  (The webpage still says 1st Edition, but the interior of the book says 2nd).

Anyway, thanks for reading! I hope this was helpful to you.

~ Summer

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Movie Reviews: Inside Out

I went to see this movie with Celestia, aka this nerd.  We nearly went to see the new Terminator movie instead, but we changed our minds last minute.  (I’m glad we did, because neither of us have ever seen any of the original Terminator movies.)  I sat myself down with a large bag of Lifesavers and an even larger bag of Skittles and got ready.

I don’t know what I was expecting; I hadn’t seen many trailers other than the teaser one that they started showing really early on. I didn’t know much about the story other than the general setting: five emotions – Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust – that existed inside the mind of a girl named Riley.

I have to say, I thought (for a Disney animated movie) this was a very mature and thought-provoking story. It was a very visually attracting movie, with excellent detail in animation and graphics; if you’re looking to see it in theater, definitely go with the 3D showing, because it’s well worth it. The story itself was good, too – Joy and Sadness almost lose Riley’s core memories, the memories that shape her personality, in the vast library of her long-term memory storage, and they go on a (very metaphorical) journey through her mind in order to take the memories back to headquarters. I won’t offer any more spoilers, although I’d like to.

This, as has become Disney’s custom, was, in my opinion, a great family movie, because while kids may be less inclined to get a lot out of the story and climax than, say, a fourteen-year-old, it was nice just to watch. (Especially with a large bag of Skittles and Lifesavers on hand.) If any Disney animator or someone who knows one stumbles across this post, I’d like to say thank you for spending your valuable time making a movie as graphically lovely as Inside Out. Animating isn’t easy (I’ve tried it and couldn’t make more than a very glossy sphere), and this movie looked like it took a whole lot more than a free Blender trial on a ca. 2010 home laptop.

I have to agree partially with a friend of mine that said she felt the story dragged on for too long. It’s true, maybe they could have condensed it a little further, but I didn’t find it difficult to watch at all, especially with a mouth full of candy. Even if portions of it seemed to take too long, it was interesting in and of itself to wonder how Disney would portray another section of Riley’s mind. It was such an abstract thing to put into pictures, and I just love the creativity involved in this.

For outstanding graphics and a really sweet plot, I give Disney’s Inside Out a total of four stars. (I decided to just quit with the decimals. They did nothing but confuse everyone.)

As always, feedback and ratings are appreciated, as well as your thoughts on the article or topic. Remember, if you want to see a post about a specific topic, feel free to suggest one at the Suggest A Post bar at the top of your page.

Thanks for reading – I hope this was helpful to you!

~ Summer

The Feels: Why the Feels are the Best

Hey, guys!  Sorry I haven’t posted in a while; I haven’t been able to think of anything to write about for a while  *glares viciously at empty post suggestion page*.  Anyway, my inspiration from this post came from this Minecraft skin of mine I posted on Planet Minecraft for a contest.  The theme was things money can’t buy, and since I thought love and friendship were going to be overdone, I wrote a story about a guy and his dead wife.  It was ridiculously depressing, but I was (and am) getting good feedback from my writing.

But why would anyone enjoy reading a story that made them so sad?

Let’s look at the larger picture for a second.  Be honest – you’ve had the feels for a fictional character before.  Whether it was from a book, movie, or TV show, I’m willing to bet that you’ve felt an emotion for a story before, whether it made you happy, excited, nervous, scared, or flat-out sad.  You may not have enjoyed feeling so bad about a person that doesn’t even exist, but the truth is, you probably enjoyed it a lot more than a story that didn’t make you feel anything.

Why is that?  Probably because you like reading stories with relatable characters.  You enjoy reading about people with the same hobbies, interests, and characteristics as you.  It helps you get in the know of the story.  You can understand the characters well, and it makes you connect with them on a whole new level.

Chances are, you’re human (unless you’re a cyborg, in which case, you don’t even GET the feels, so why are you even reading this) and if you’re human, you feel plenty of emotions.  That means that emotional characters with real personalities are more relatable to you, too.  You like well-written stories, and well-written stories mean well-written characters.  Well-written characters mean realistic, relatable characters.  You need a story you can connect with.

But why are emotional roller-coaster stories the best?  You may disagree with me here (especially if you’re not into unhappy fiction) but I think that, if a writer can write a scene or story well enough and realistically enough that you – a living, breathing being – can feel real emotions for it even though you know it’s not real, then that’s a really good author.  They’ve portrayed their characters so skillfully that you feel what they feel, even though they only exist in words on a page.  You forget you’re reading fiction and get into a story like it’s actually happening around you.  And I, for one, think that’s pretty much the coolest thing ever.

So, writers, just remember – emotional, suspenseful stories are the best,  People enjoy them the most, and, I’ll tell the truth here, they’re the most fun to write, too.  The feels are never a bad thing to have in a story!  Invite the feels in.

Thank you all for reading!  Remember, feedback, comments, and ratings are always appreciated – I want to know what you think!

Until next post!

~ Summer

Character Development Sheet

Hey, people! I don’t know if anyone else has had this problem, but I’ve had a lot of trouble finding a suitable character dev sheet for writing down their information and stuff. They’re all either too short and too cryptic (e.g., name, age, personality, appearance) or wayyyy too long (seriously, who cares about their social security number?)
So I decided to write my own. It’s not perfect, but it works for me. If there’s anything you want to change on it, you can remove parts and/or add your own fields. Copy the whole post and paste it wherever you want it (notebook, microsoft word, etc).
Enjoy!!

—————————————

“Quote”
– name, book

Personal Info

Full name:
Age:
Gender:
Type of being:
Name origin:
Name meaning:
Birthday:
Astrological sign:

Physical Characteristics

Height:
Weight/build:
Skin color:
Eye color:
Hair color/style:
Facial features:
Striking/unique features:
Tattoos, piercings, etc:
Voice:
Characteristic gestures:

Personality

Temperament:
How others would describe him/her:
Describe in three words:
Sense of humor:
Positive traits:
Negative traits:
Fears:
Things that make him/her happy:
Quirks:
MBTI personality:

Romantic Life

Orientation:
Current significant other:
First love:
Exes:
Turn-ons:
Turn-offs:
Current love interest:

Death (Optional)

Time of death:
Age at time of death:
Cause of death:
Place of death:
Last words:
Resting place:

Personal Life

Address:
Hometown:
Describe his/her house’s exterior:
Describe his/her yard:
Describe his/her house’s interior:
Describe his/her bedroom:
Pets:
Favorite memory:
Worst memory:
Most important thing in his/her life:
Goals:

Family

Biological parents:
Adoptive parents, if any:
Siblings, if any:
Step-parents/siblings, if any:
Children, if any:
Birthplace:

Supernatural (if any for all questions)

Supernatural powers:
Strange or supernatural physical attributes:
Supernatural affiliations (can talk to dragons, raised by werewolves, etc.):
Supernatural beliefs:

Biography

Infancy (1-3):
Childhood (1-9):
Preteen years (10-12):
Teen years (13-16):
Young adulthood (17-26):
Adulthood (27-36):
Late adulthood (37-49):
Seniority (50+):

Relationships

Confidantes:
Grudges:
Friendships:
Enemies:
Others’ opinions of him/her:

In His/Her Mind

IQ:
Dominant brain (left or right):
Dominant hand:
Secrets:
Reason he/she kept his/her secret/s for so long:
Religion/life philosophy:
Favorite quote:

Universal Profile

Desired actor/actress or voice actor/actress:
Theme song:
Character inspirations:

Other Info

NaNoWriMo has begun!!

Hey, guys!! As you probably know, since November is here, the start of National Novel Writing Month is here as well!! I was going to post this yesterday, but I was just too busy writing. 😛

If you’re doing this, how many words did you do on your first day? I started at midnight and ended up with 4,277 on the first day. I’ve now written 4317 today. I’m pretty proud of myself, to be honest. My novel started out as a slightly augmented version of the AJ Story that was kind of a fail, but as the plot developed it’s not even a distant cousin anymore. The only thing that’s really similar about it is the personalities of my main four characters, Ayanna, Gwynn, Oriel, and Bell, who were originally going to be my new versions of Flora, Juniper, Lucky, and Crashing. Oh, and did I mention they’re all humans?

Post your thoughts on your NaNovel below; I’d love to hear them!!!

~ Summer 😀