I’d be a Terrible Character in a Novel

I read a LOT of (mostly young-adult) books, of numerous genres, and so I’m familiar with the stereotypical characters you get in each. The feisty, doesn’t take shit from anyone heroine; the poised, beautiful but deadly girl who’s witty, charming but who is insecure about her abilities; the tough one who realises it’s okay to express emotions, that you don’t have to have your guard up all the time. I’m guessing you’d know a fair few people who could fit into the ‘typical’ mould of a protagonist. You could even fit yourself into that picture.

Then, there’s me.

With my, errm, unique personality traits, disposition and tendency to be paranoid, not believe anything people say to me, unflinching curiosity and the ability to get annoyed easily, I would simply be a disaster waiting to happen in a novel.

I will show you. This mainly consists of dialogue – enjoy!

Dystopian

The first meeting of the Dissenters was held in the abandoned Arena. Almost crumbled to ruin, outside the jewelled City walls yet unravaged by the Pillagers that frequented this side of the Divide, it was a perfect place to meet as not a soul would suspect this little group of going out of the Gates, or of daring to step foot in such a decrepit building. Standing, awkwardly in the centre of the room was Elm, clothed in the traditional wear of the Aschians.

“Erm, she muttered, shuffling her feet. “So, we’re all here today and I’m glad we could all make it…”

“Yeah yeah,” one of the people standing in front of her called. “Do you actually have a plan?”

“Of course I BLOODY WELL have a plan!” Elm suddenly screamed, hands clenching into fists in front of her. “You think I’d actually risk my entire life coming out here, when we might die – have you considered that? Have you thought that we’re going to fucking die one day and there’s nothing we can do about it – our Termination Date is set; you can’t escape that, and even if you could, you’d just die anyway! So NOW you ask me if I have a plan? Of course I do!”

“Elm?” murmurred another person. Please, calm down… You’re getting stressed, and that’s not good for the morale of the people-”

“Ha, you take me for some sort of leader? Yeah NO; I can’t even lead a herd of sheep and that’s why they put me on Conformity duty!” She breathed heavily, eyes narrowing.

“Sooo… You have a plan, then?”

“If I didn’t, we’d be screwed – and yes I will tell you what it is; I’m thinking; be patient! Bloody hell I wasn’t even stressed earlier – I was fine – oh Upholder, this is going to fail!”

“Just calm down! Please!”

Science Fiction

If the spaceship had been any more decadent, it would have been visible from Earth, with its apparent turrets and inner light, from a mysterious source which eminated from the heart of the monstrosity. Corridors echoed with the clamour of unfamiliar machinery, sounds of the ‘life forms’ trapped in ponds on the ceiling, and panicked exclamations from those who had vocal chords. It was a pity, then, that Elm couldn’t really see the bustle around her: only a few flashing lights, the blinding white of the floors made of an indefinable material and the what seemed to be red, fluctuating energy which spread out from a square object in front of her.
She extended her hands, cautiously, flinching back as a strange sensation caught her fingers. “What the fuck is that?” she yelped, staggering back a step.

“That would be the Preson Generator – is that what they call it?” The voice to her left startled her, so much so that she whirled, hands coming up and forward to jab at her supposed assailant. “Woah! Woah, it’s only me; you’re safe!”

“Safe?” Elm snapped. “Right, so you expect me to believe it’s you? Yeah, I can’t see you and you know I don’t care about that but it’s the PRINCIPLE of the matter! I don’t know where I am, I don’t know what these sounds are so I’m sorry if I get pissed off at you because I don’t know what’s what any more!” Breaking off, she took in a lungful of recycled air, choking a little.

“You alright?” The figure stepped forward, gripping her arm. She stiffened.

“Yeah I’m fine, just tired, you know?”

“You always say that! Either that, or you’re tired for no reason; if you say that it’s irritating I’ll kill you!”

Elm sighed. “Right anyway – what does this thing do?” She gestured vaguely behind her, coming into contact with the substence again and shrieking in pain.

“Stop! We’re in the middle of a crisis and you’re not panicking for once – that’s an achievement! But just get away from the thing; I don’t know what it is – don’t touch it!”

“Oooh it’s so cool! Look I don’t know where to go, so I’ll just stay here…”

“Elm… Oh hell, I give up.”

Contemporary Romance

The girl stood in front of Elm, wringing her hands nervously. Elm seemed just as perturbed, her hands twisting in complicated knots, her face slightly pale.

“Look, the girl whispered. “I needed to tell you… I love you, Elm.”

The only response she got was silence, followed by a slightly crazed laugh. It grew, crescendoing into a guffaw so loud that it bounced off the walls, tears of mirth sliding down her cheeks. “You… What?!”

“I-I love you. I needed to tell you before we left.” She only began to notice the vaguely unhinged look in Elm’s eyes when they were – by chance – pointed directly at her.

“You love me? Why – why would you?” Her voice was incredulous.

“Because… Because of your personality. And you’re pretty, and-”

“What specific part of my personality though? What makes you like me? It’s not like I’m anything special, and also, I’m short, and my voice sounds like a horse!”

“Your laugh is cool, and you’re helpful to others!”

“I have feelings for you too but I’m pretending I didn’t say that – and also, bullshit – I’m sorry, how can you though? It makes no sense!”

“Yeah, it does – why won’t you just relax?”

“Because I can’t – EXCUSE ME! But are you sure you like me? Love me?”

“Yes of course!” The girl was looking slightly annoyed, lips pursed, glaring at the other in front of her.

“But how do you know? What if I do something stupid? What if-”

“Aaarghh!!!”

So, there you have it. Me in a novel would be… Interesting.

How do you think you’d have reacted if you were in that situation?

From Elm 🙂

I Never Told You How Much I Love Books

When I was 10, I met both Patrick Ness and Ruta Sepetys at the Carnegie Awards.

AND I WAS NOT ShRIEKING, like I would be now if I met them. I was ridiculously excited, but that was because they were famous and NOT because of the books they wrote. NOW, I’ve read one Patrick Ness book and plan to read more because I love his writing, and I’m about to read Salt to the Sea. I’m kicking myself because when I was 10, I wasn’t in the SLIGHTEST bit mature enough to appreciate the books they wrote and that irritates me to no end. ARGH!!!

I’ve never really mentioned how much I love books. I might have in passing, but I’m not a book blogger so it doesn’t come up much. I’m a horrific book reviewer – this amazing blogger asked me earlier what Illuminae – possibly one of my favourite books – was about, and I couldn’t articulate myself.

So, BOOKS. Let’s talk about ’em, and hopefully, in later posts, I’ll be talking about them MORE (I sense a new category being created).

My Favourite Books of All Time and a Terrible Explanation of Them

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
This is the only book that has EVER made me cry with happiness. There was this one scene where tears were running down my face, but it was so GOOD and AMAZING. The book is set in 1959 Virginia, and is about two girls: Sarah (who, along with a few others, is being integrated into a previously white-only school) and Linda (who’s father is a prominent segregationist). It explores racism and sexuality all at once, and is the BEST THING I HAVE EVER READ. Okay calm.

Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill
You have to read this book to really experience it, because anything I say regarding the plot will spoil it. It’s set in a futuristic world, where girls are kept in schools until the age of 16, after which they become one of three roles: Companions (wives), Concubines (prostitutes) and Chastities (teachers). I have never read anything that has terrified me so much, or made me THINK so much. The book follows Freida and Isabel, two girls who grow up in the Eurozone, and the scariest part about this book is that a lot of the girls are similar to people I know.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Oh my GOD, this book fascinated me. Written entirely in emails, instant message conversations and transcripts, it tells the story of an illegal mining colony being attacked by a huge corporation, with some of the population being rescued by the Alexander and Hypatia – two ships that were nearby to the attack. I have never been so drawn into a story as with this one, and possibly my favourite character is AIDAN (the psychotic insane loveable shipboard computer).

The Atlantis Grail Series by Vera Nazarian
Aaaaaaaaarghhhhh this series is (the third book’s coming out soon, don’t know when) bloody fantastic. It’s set in 2047, and an asteroid is on a collision course with Earth. Conveniently (that part is addressed in the book and questioned), spaceships from the ancient civilisation of Atlantis appear over Earth just in time to rescue 10 million teens in a process of Qualification, and the detail and process of it was explored SO MUCH that I more or less shrieked with happiness. The main character of the story is Gwen Lark, who is so far from perfect that I LOVE her: she’s just an ordinary teen with no special powers apart from her intelligence and she’s portrayed VERY realistically. The world building of Atlantis, their culture and technology was the best thing I have come across in terms of getting a real idea of the society.

SO, THOSE are the kind of books I’m into, as well as more thought-provoking books, fantasy, sci-fi, etc. I NEED to talk about books more, because I follow so many book bloggers it’s ridiculous, and I find so many amazing books from them.

What are some of your favourite books?

From Elm 🙂

I Want to Write a Book Like Right Now

OHHHH my HOLY

Okay. The title explains it, but I have just had the blooming idea for a book and I CAN’T, oh god, I have ideas for TWO books! YES!

Phew. Calm down.

I’ve been thinking about this book for a while, and I’ve not got the plot fleshed out, but the motivation to write it came just now when I wanted to find some good LGBTQ young adult books. I’m in the mood for having a light read, because I just read some dystopia and then an AMAZING Sci-fi book called Qualify. Even though that was so amazing, I needed something to tide me over – maybe even a new series. I posted on my twitter, asking if anyone had any recommendations, and then I said:

“Or should I write my own?”

And BANG. The ideas formed. Not the characters, not the idea FOR the book – because I’ve got that figured out – but how I’m going to write it. What will the characters be like? Their voices, their personalities, how they tick? Chapters with names or numbers? Past or present tense? Love triangle or no love triangle? (Figured that one out already HAHA).

I need to write it. But how? HOW do I put this all together?

And, most importantly, would you like to read it?

I’m a teenager, wanting to write a book. What am I doing?! Ah, well; let’s see how it goes.

From Elm 🙂