Know The Novel: The Changeling and the Wolf

Can you believe that next month is NaNoWriMo? I’ve been doing Inktober all month so I’m not sure my brain is quite ready to kick into gear and think about a completely different challenge just yet.

But, nevertheless, I’m here to introduce (or…uh reintroduce ) my NaNoWriMo novel for 2022. I’m going to be participating in the Know The Novel linkup, which is now five years old. Absolutely wild, I remember doing it for the very first time, so that makes me feel very old now. Anyway, let’s move on!

Introducing…

If you’re a dedicated reader of my blog, you may recognise this novel as my project from NaNoWriMo 2020, known then as “The Darkest Night”. Because yes, for the first time I am actually working on an established novel rather than a brand new first draft!

However, I’ve obviously developed this draft quite a lot since I pantsed it back in 2020, with absolutely no outline or anything. So I’m taking a second crack at this story to work on it some more and hopefully get a complete second draft (that has a more coherent plot line, fingers crossed).

Anyway, if you want to check out my original Know The Novel post for The Darkest Night you can find that here, and if you want to check out Christine Smith, who created this link up, you can do it here.

Let’s get into it!

What first sparked the idea for this novel?

The first inkling (pun intended) of this story came from listening to a YouTuber (I can’t remember who it was, so sorry about that) talk about and read excerpts from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings sequel, which he called “The New Shadow”. Unfortunately, Tolkien found the story bitter and depressing (fair enough) and abandoned it 13 pages in.

The story revolves around the land of Gondor, over a 100 years after the downfall of Sauron. Aragorn is dead, and his son now rules. But men have forgotten the true evil of the time when the Lord of the Rings ruled and have grown complacent, which disturbs the main character, Borlas.

Essentially, Borlas and a much younger man, Saelon, get into an argument about the true nature of evil, and Saelon mentions that a cult dedicated to the worship of orcs (and I suppose Sauron or Morgoth by extension) is now rising. Borlas immediately concludes that Saelon is part of this cult, which offends Saelon. Saelon invites Borlas to come to a clandestine meeting that night. Borlas is one of the very last people left who can remember life before the Great Peace, as it’s known, and he believes he would be able to recognise the scent of evil, so he agrees to come.

When he arrives at his home after his argument with Saelon, Borlas steps into his house and is immediately greeted by a “dead silence”, and he smells the old Evil “and recognised it for what it was”.

And there it ends.

Obviously that was not good enough for me, so I decided to finish it.

Continue reading “Know The Novel: The Changeling and the Wolf”

The Stars Fill Infinity Character Playlists (but it’s just classic rock songs)

I finished my first semester of university, and also my Certificate IV in Auslan, which means that, for the first time all year, I actually have some spare time! I’m hoping this will mean a few blog posts for all you lovely people, before I go back to uni in July! I’ve got some great plans coming up, including the first instalment in my Disability in Fiction critique posts and also the ever faithful mid year freakout book tag, but today I wanted to ease back in with something a little bit quirky and fun.

I grew up listening to classic 80s and 90s rock and not much else. My mum loved the Christian rock bands, like Petra and Whiteheart, and rock operas like The War of the Worlds and Jesus Christ Superstar. My dad liked more mainstream rock, Bryan Adams, Midnight Oil and Bon Jovi.

Anyway, all this to say that recently I’ve been enjoying listening to all those 80s and 90s classics. And as I’ve been listening to them, I’ve been comparing them to some of my characters. So today, I’m here to present you with character playlists for my SFI characters but it’s all 80s and 90s music (and not all rock, contrary to the title).

(A few years ago I did a normal character playlist, which you can check out herehttps://anordinarypen.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/character-playlists/)

Let’s get into it!

Continue reading “The Stars Fill Infinity Character Playlists (but it’s just classic rock songs)”

Disability Representation in Storytelling: A New Series

A country road stretching towards a bend in the early morning sunrise, with trees on either side. A boy and a dog are walking along the road silhouetted against the sunrise.

Hello everyone!

I come to you today from the depths of university disability studies with a proposition for a new blog series.

Namely, as it says in the title, a series that examines disability representation in storytelling.

My favourite unit at uni so far has been one called Perspectives on Disability and it focuses on critiquing the representation of people with disabilities in media. My major assignment involves writing an examination of a YouTube clip from an X-Factor audition a few years ago.

I’ve really enjoyed the critical thinking aspects of this unit, but I felt a bit limited by the assignment. I wanted to branch out more, dig deeper into some of this representation. So, what better way to do that than with a few blog posts on the topic! I’m super excited to dig into this more, and raise some awareness on disability and also provide a guide for writers’ who are looking to add more diversity to their novels.

I already have a long list of characters, movies, and books to examine (way more than I’ll ever be able to actually write about), but if you have a particular topic you think would make a great instalment let me know!

Anyway, thanks for your time today, hopefully I’ll be more active on here, especially since I’ve convinced myself that “it’s uni work!” I’ll see you around!

How has life been for you, my friends? Are you studying at the moment, and if so, what? Who is your favourite disabled character in media? Any suggestions for topics in this series? Also, are you currently doing Camp NaNoWriMo?

The Bookish Blog Tag

Hello all! Today I wanted to just do a fun post, and I haven’t done a tag in a while, so I thought we’d do the tag all the cool kids seem to be doing, aka The Bookish Blog Tag. There’s not much to say about this one, except that I have no idea who created it (if you know, let me know and I’ll add credit!) and no one tagged me, I’m just a pirate and stole it. I also won’t tag anyone, if you want to do it, you can steal it.

All right, these are some fun questions, let’s go!

What are 1-3 of your favourite books of all time?

After years and years of anguish, not knowing what my favourite books were…I finally decided on my top three books a few years back.

The Lord of the Rings: Look, I’m pretty sure LOTR is just the perfect book. The characters are perfect, the story is perfect, the setting is something beyond perfect, and the writing is meandering and beautiful. I just love it so much, and it’s my comfort read, the book I keep going back to time and time again.

Continue reading “The Bookish Blog Tag”