NaPoWriMo – A Belated Happy Birthday, Shakespeare!

I forgot to say this yesterday,
But it has been 450 years
Of poetry, sonnets and plays,
So happy birthday, Shakespeare!

I have only studied Shakespeare twice,
One, Hamlet, and two, The Tempest.
But to realise he set so many foundations for the English language,
Is amazing – when you see how it has progressed!

Lines like “To be or not to be”,
Many people, it does amaze.
You have provided many with entertainment, and study opportunities,
So again, Happy Birthday!

Liam

University Progress | Why I Love Spreadsheets

About less than a month ago, I went to Nottingham University for a Higher Education Fair (read the post here!) and returned with a heck of a lot of prospectuses!

OK, so to simplify things quickly, I hope to study journalism at university. Since next year (Year 13) will be occupied with exams, we are being advised to start having an idea of the top universities we wish to go to (even when the person may wish to go on an apprenticeship) now.

So I did a quick course search and collated all the universities into one big spreadsheet. From there, I included other information such as accommodation costs, the cost of the course, distance etc. From that, I managed to eliminate a few.

Eventually, (and the stage which I am at now) is that I have 12 universities left. It won’t be long before I have my top 5 and it’s all sorted!

So that’s where I am with that at the moment, but I have to say that conditional formatting on a spreadsheet is so useful for me when comparing universities. Overall, spreadsheets are underrated.

Liam

NaPoWriMo – Thoughts on eReaders

I always like to chat to others about books,
Like what genre of books they like to read.
But when it comes to eReaders,
I’m not really that keen.

Firstly, books are ever-lasting,
They come from trees!
Unlike e-readers, they often run out,
Because they run on batteries!

Then comes the fact that eReaders
Do not carry the old book smell or aroma.
This is not to say that I hate eReaders,
I just criticise them for humour!

Liam

Musical REdiscovery: After the Fall by Kodaline

So this is going to be different to the normal “Musical Discovery” posts. On this occasion, I thought I would talk about a song that was released a while back, and now I have “rediscovered”.

After the Fall, by Kodaline, was released back in 2013. In particular, I found it after it was promoted by iTunes as their “Free Song of the Week”. I then liked the preview, and got the song!

So the song itself combines a fast tempo with relaxed piano melodies and a powerful drum rhythm. The vocal talents of the singer also add to the overall soul of the song.

The reason for my rediscovery is that recently I have used the song as a warm-up for when I have a drum practice. The quick drum fill at the end of every bar in the chorus, along with stylistic development in the verses, mean that I can practice a range of techniques before starting on my grade pieces.

I’ve now realised how great the song is as a whole, as well as for drumming practice. But what do you think? Comment below!

Liam

NaPoWriMo – Why I’m not a Football Fan

So there has been quite a lot of football news,
In current affairs recently.
But I’m not really a fan of football,
So it doesn’t bother me.

When it comes to learning the rules of football,
I haven’t given it much thought.
In fact I often just answer with “England”,
When I’m asked what team I support.

I do not play football,
As well as watching it on TV.
So overall, I can safely say
That football isn’t for me.

Liam

3 Top Tips on Character Dialogue | A Guest Post by Loving Life in Wellies

Today sees something I haven’t had in a long time happen on my blog – a guest post! Everyone, please welcome Chelsea from Loving Life in Wellies to The Life of a Thinker!

I blog over at Loving Life in Wellies and here you’ll find the occasional post about book writing, as I happen to be writing one myself! Which brings me on to today’s blog for Liam. I’m talking about dialogue, and some of the tips that I’ve picked up so far. I’m no expert, so if you do have any tips please drop me a comment.

1. Quit the he said – she said

The he said – she said is a really easy trap to fall into and if I’m just sketching out a quick scene with dialogue then, I do fall into it because it’s time efficient! Of course it won’t make it into the final version.

Before
“See I told you I’d get them!” Tracey said to Brain.
“You’re kidding right? I don’t believe you!” Brain said to Tracey.
“Here!” Tracey handed an envelope to him.
“It’s probably empty.” Brian opened the envelope to find two tickets to Thailand and grinned at Tracey.
“See – I’ve hand friends in high places. Didn’t you know? Tracey laughed.

After
Notice that it’s very repetitive. The reader knows that there are two characters named Tracey and Brian, and they don’t need to be reminded all of the time.

“See I told you I’d get them!” Tracey said to Brian.
“You’re kidding right? I don’t believe you!
“Here!” She handed him an envelope.
“It’s probably empty…” opening the envelope, he found two tickets to Thailand. He grinned.
“See – I’ve friends in high places. Didn’t you know?

The same can be said for words such as: exclaimed, retorted and replied. They can be over used and 9/10 you’re stating the obvious by using them.

2. Add description to make it flow

Watch two people having a conversation. It’s very rare that they’ll stand completely and utterly still. Body language is a big giveaway when it comes to what’s really being said. So let’s write this unspoken language in.

“See I told you I’d get them!” Tracey waved a white envelope in front of Brian’s narrowing eyes.
“You’re kidding right?”His eyes fixated on the envelope.
Thrusting it into his hands, a self assured grin spread across her face. “Here – see for yourself.”
“It’s probably empty! “ His fingers traced the outline of the envelope. Carefully unpeeling the envelope, a grin appeared on his face, as him name was on one of them!
“See – I’ve friends in high places. Didn’t you know?” Flicking her hair she laughed.

3. Avoid too much description

If you’ve a book that contains a lot of dialogue then it’s wise to hold back on the description. By this, I mean avoid telling the reader every time a character has spoken whether they’ve: smiled, laughed, and blinked etc. It gets tiring. Readers will mentally fill in the detail so remember, less is more!

Chelsea Louise

NaPoWriMo – Final Days

So I have contributed to writing a poem a day
For a month – with 9 days to go!
We are now into single digits,
So I hope you enjoyed my response to NaPoWriMo!

Also, please let me know,
If you have participated too!
I love a little bit of poetry
So would definitely have a look!

Hopefully, as I near the end,
I will have better inspiration.
And poems should come to me easily,
Without much contemplation!

Liam