The worst writing advice I’ve ever seen

Winning the commonwealth writing competition is a huge deal. Thousands or maybe even millions of people compete and only one person per region emerges as a winner.

So, I checked out the winners’ writing tips. All but one of them were amazing.

Yet, there was one that made shivers crawl up my spine. It read that you don’t need to write everyday.

Sure, you don’t need to write everyday. I mean, if you’re on your deathbed, strapped to life support, the last thing on your mind would be ‘where is my laptop?’

You aren’t on life support? Then you must be in a high security prison where a laptop, much less pen and paper, is hard to come by.

If you aren’t in either of these situations, then I assume you must be suffering from some brain damage or dementia. Because, I cannot justify any aspiring author neglecting to write every day.

As much as I hate Lady Catherine De Bough, I have to admit that I agree with her on one thing. Excellence cannot come without constant practice.

Why Israel-Palestine is not a conflict

So if you don’t know, the Israel-Palestine conflict was all thanks to some pompous old British thinking they can give inhabited land away.

Okay, I know we feel sorry for the Jews because they just faced a HOLOCAUST and they are in no way safe from another attack. People have been killing Jews for centuries and it wasn’t just Nazi Germany. Hungary, Tsarist Russia and even Medieval England have been known for their blatant anti-semitism. And I can understand why the Jews needed their own homeland. They needed security.

But that did not mean that Britain should have conquered some other nation and then handed it over as a Jewish homeland. They said Palestine had no people yet what do they call all the Arabs living there?

Ok, maybe colonial British didn’t view the citizens as people but isn’t that exactly the sort of racism that the British fought the Nazis for?

Besides, what if the British and the Americans side with Palestine? They don’t want people to get their land back. If they did, wouldn’t the Native Americans, Abrogines and Moari people demand their land back? And wouldn’t they be obliged to hand it over.

And I’m not against Israel and its people. Trust me. I think the Jewish and their culture should be protected at all cost.

But if Britain wants to hand over land to anybody, why don’t they take a part of their own unconquered land and give it away?

Will LGBTQ+ fiction ever make it past censorship

I love romance novels. Which is why I often comb the internet looking for great love stories.

When I came across Will Grayson, Will Grayson, I was shocked to learn that there were people who considered it an abomination. Why? Because it had homosexual romantic themes in it.

I tried looking for more LGBTQ fiction only to learn that the publishing market is dominated by hetrosexual romances. There is nothing wrong in being straight, but it made me wonder why several bookstores refused to stock LGBTQ fiction.

Part of the answer lies in the politics of the early two thousands when conservative president George W Bush advocated for censorship in media.

Bush has openly disagreed with gay marriage and diversity in sexual orientation and argued for censorship. But we do have to give the guy a break don’t we. He’s old. He may have ‘misunderestimated’ gay literature.

However with more liberal policies, LGBTQ fiction is making its comeback although it does have a long way to go of it needs to be on par with straight fiction.

For example, many schools and state libraries still refuse to stock LGBTQ books since it goes against their ‘Christian values.’

Yes, apparently gay fiction prevents them from loving their neighbours.

While the rise of ebooks and online purchasing has made fiction more exclusive than ever, it would be nice to see a little more inclusivity in school libraries and bookshops

The worst Bridgerton

Although I hate Daphne Bridgerton for all her husband-raping ways, her vileness could never compete with that of her brother.

We first meet Anthony Bridgerton in the first book, ‘The Duke and I.’ And guess what? He was a misogynistic, control-freak who almost shot his best friend.

I’m serious. He almost killed Simon for something he and Daphne both consented to. But that doesn’t matter to viscount Bridgerton. His sister was his property until she got married. It was his job to keep them (though not himself) pure.

Then we move on to the second book where Anthony is interested in Edwina Sheffield and that’s only because she’s pretty. Oh, and the fact that he finds himself duty bound to have a son.

And in the midst of all of this courting, his rudeness to Edwina’s older sister, Kate, is horrifying. Sure, he’s attracted to her but insulting someone to get over your feelings for them is no excuse.

This man, ladies and gentlemen, is the worst of the Bridgertons.

Why you should watch book to screen adaptations

People often complain about how the movie adaptation of the novel was inferior to the novel itself. Some time ago, I came across a blogger who was upset that Cara Delevingne was cast as Margo from ‘Paper Towns.’

‘Margo is supposed to be a curvy girl, not a Victoria Secrets angel,” the blogger said and yes, that’s true. Without Margo’s insecurities about her weight the Lacy-Margo conflict would never have happened.

But that doesn’t mean that TV adaptations are evil. You know why? Because watching the movies helps us improve something that most writers struggle to develop; our dialogue.

You’d be surprised what a good movie with subtitles can do. Especially, if the studio has hired some amazing screenwriters.

Although, I have to agree, not all movies are written well. Remember the Harry Potter movies? Well, Steven Cloves was a huge Hermione fan so he made her perfect, giving her epic lines that Ron, Harry and even Dumbledore said in the books. Other characters like Ron and Ginny Weasley were completely written off and made to be unlikable.

But again, the quality of character dialogue was beautiful.

So, don’t complain. Get watching.

Feminist reads one shouldn’t ignore

I believe in equality for all genders, which is why I identify as a feminist. Yet, equality may be something hard to come by in literature. Remember the misogyny in Peter Pan when girls are said to ‘talk to much.’ And remember when Ron Weasley says that ‘a girl going dateless to the Yule Ball is just sad.’

So if you, like me, are fed up with sexism, I’ve got some good books that do highlight the beauty that comes along with fairness.

1) The diary of Anne Frank – The diary of Anne Frank is a diary of a Jewish teenager who was forced to go into hiding in Nazi-occupied Holland.

In the diary, Anne details her frustrations at patriarchy and speaks openly about her sexuality. Despite being written in a more conservative time, Anne Frank’s diary shows us that intelligence and progressiveness never go out of fashion.

2) Pride and Prejudice – This Regency-era romance has one of the most memorable quotes. “Loss of virtue in a female is irretrievable. Her reputation is beautiful as well as brittle.”

Although, Mary Bennett probably meant to be sexist. This quote highlights the double standards that men and women face with regards to expressing their sexuality.

Also, who wouldn’t want to see the sexist Mr Collins get rejected.

3) Harry Potter – The Harry Potter series is packed with Ron Weasley’s sexist comments. But what we also see is the fierce opposition against his sexism. Remember when Ginny tells Ron off for slut-shaming her? Or when Hermione doesn’t wait to be picked by Ron at the Yule Ball? This book has the most amazing cast of females (Umbridge excluded) and it would be a pity not to read it.

4) Sense and Sensibility- Jane Austen is a true genius. Remember when Willoughby tried to slut-shame Eliza Williams instead of accepting his failures? Yeah, Elinor Dashwood quickly calls him out, reminding us that she is the big sister that we dream of having.

The best kids books that still hold us spellbound

When I was a kid, I used to love Enid Blyton books. Maybe because that’s all that was read to us. Yet, as I got older I was absolutely horrified that I read such sexist garbage.

Yet, there are books that I loved as a child that still touch my heart today. Remember, R.L Steins ‘Goosebumps’ series or Judy Blume’s ‘Fudge’ series. They were magnificent and the best thing about them is that you’d have no shame in reading them as an adult.

I also loved ‘How to train your dragon.’ That and Meg Cabot’s Allie Finkle Series were things that kept me alive.

And like that girl in the babysitter’s club, I liked Nancy Drew books too. ‘Babysitters Club’ wasn’t too bad either and I admit it, I love Marianne with all my heart.

As I turned eleven I started an obsession with Meg Cabot. I loved ‘The Princess Diaries’ and any of her other books. I still do and I read them constantly.

Am I ever ashamed of reading these? No. Will I ever deny liking them? No. Because these books have grown up with me and will hopefully stay with me.

Why Umbridge is the best and most hated villain

Dolores Umbridge is the worse character that has ever graced English Literature. Yes, she outperforms Voldemort, Darth Vader and Napoleon at being despised but I want to look at what makes her such an intolerable character.

The first time I read ‘The Order of the Phoenix’ I was blown away. No, it wasn’t Harry’s moodiness or the fact that Dumbledore was such a dick.

I hated the woman who called herself ‘The High Inquisitor.’

One of Umbridge’s first lines was that one must ‘prune practises which ought to be prohibited.’ This established her as a somewhat authoritative person. Her need for control is sometimes seen in the strictest of parents, teachers, bosses and sometimes law enforcement. It can even be seen in our friends.

Also, when you look at those words, notice that she says ‘ought to.’ Isn’t that an indirect way of showing that what should be pruned depends on her opinion?

So, we get an impression that Umbridge is an egocentric, controlling bitch with a plan to bring a place that’s truly magical under her control.

We also see her intolerance towards other magical creatures like centaurs and giants. She is intolerant of other seemingly normal behaviours such as playing pranks and contact between the opposite sex, merely because it goes against her values.

Remember when Demi Lovato tried to go after a frozen yogurt shop because their sugar-free food triggered her. That’s Umbridge behaviour.

Her words ‘I will have order,” shows her desperate need to control the things around her.

I think why Umbridge is so hated is because we’ve come across one or more Umbridges in our lives.

I mean, not many of us have come across a Voldemort. Not many of us know how terrifying he is. But we do know how aggravating an Umbridge is and therefore we hate her more.

Does writing really pay the bills?

Are you tired of people telling you that writing isn’t a real job? Or worse that writing is just a hobby which you should put on hold? Because obviously tiny brains can’t comprehend how writing could ever earn like being a doctor or an engineer.

Well, I’m going to tell you a few ways in which writing can pay your bills and go you can brush off the haters.

1) Blogging/ Vlogging – Book bloggers, writing gurus and motivators are very in demand. Just think of Alexa Donne or Jenna Moressi (I sincerely apologize if I have spelt their names wrong). They not only monetize their content but also help build up their brand. Alexa Donne’s books are in huge demand because of all the fans she has on YouTube. So what are you waiting for, get busy.

2) Writing articles – Writing can either get you a full time job at a magazine or you can even contribute to literary magazines like ‘The New Yorker’. Sure, it’s competitive but hard work is all it takes. Plus, writing for a renowned literary journal will give you attention from literary agents and make attracting a following easy.

3) Online publishing sites- Online publishing sites like Wattpad also pay their writers (not all writers get paid though) . I got a offer from Webnovel for a fifty percent royalty rate contract for my book. Unfortunately, I turned it down because I still want to be published by a big publishing house.

4) Other writing jobs like screen writing, copy writing, ghost writing, speech writing and etc. There are vacancies for these kinds of things everywhere. You could even have these jobs as side gigs to earn that extra cash.

5) Teaching – So many college and high school students require tuition. So why not put those language skills to good use and teach English, English Literature and/or Creative Writing. You’ll be amazed at how much you can earn.

6) Publishing books- Finally, the goal every writer strives towards; publishing. It’s hard work to be noticed by an agent, an editor and then an audience. But with the hard work and dedication you can make it happen. And guess what, the look on your doubters face will be priceless as you win your first spot at the New York Times bestseller list.

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