Writing Update: Connecting the Plot

Admittedly, I’ve left my latest book idea to ‘ferment’ or develop for a little too long. But, with school, exams and revision stopping me from working on it, I did have more important things to deal with and I had to prioritise.

However, now I’m on study leave, school’s finished and I have more time on my hands. So I have balanced the time between revision and breaks, and in the breaks I’ve been working on my book. In particular, I have tried to finish my synopsis and planning. With one character timeline sorted, I now need to work on the protagonist’s timeline, as well as joining up parts of the plot together.

So far, the links in the plot have been made, but creating the pritagonist’s timeline has been difficult. Hopefully I can work on it over the next few weeks as I finish my exams in the middle of June.

As always, I will let you know how I progress…

Liam

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The Future Library and Prospective Readership | The Friday Article

With 2015 being the year which Marty McFly travels to in Back to the Future, sci-fi fans and armchair critics quickly poked fun at how inaccurate the film is at predicting the future world.

But we shouldn’t really judge work created in the past – it isn’t really fair on the work itself. However, with Katie Paterson’s idea of ‘The Future Library’, we can’t help but wonder what future readers of the 100-year-old manuscripts will think about the 21st century. Will they be as cynical as we were of the prediction of a hoverboard?

Probably not. As excited as we are to find historical artefacts from history, future readers of ‘The Future Library’ may read the work with similar enthusiasm.

However, we are unaware of what the future holds and that is the beauty of the artwork itself as well as why it can be categorised as art – it provokes thoughts on the future as well as exploring the idea of different interpretations.

This cannot be anymore true with the work of ‘The Future Library’, where the people of the future will be surrounded with a context that will prompt different interpretations. For that reason, Katie Paterson’s project provokes questions about future generations and readership in a style similar to that of Roland Barthes’ essay, The Death of the Author – and that is to be applauded.

Liam

N.B. In a style different to the normal, journalist reports of The Friday Article, I thought I would do an opinion piece this week. Let me know what you thought of this post in the comments below.

In Pursuit of a More Challenging Read

After taking a while to complete The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson, I was quick to get back into reading. At home, I have a bookcase full of books I need to read. In particular, there’s books on there from Young Adult series I haven’t read for five years or so. Eager to power my way through my to-be-read pile, I picked up The Sacrifice by Charlie Higson – part of The Enemy YA series.

However, with me reading the first three books in the series so long ago, I struggled to remember the plot details and characters from the series. As well as that, I feel as though my reading age and preference has changed since then. Whilst I used to be interested in books about teenage spies (CHERUB) or a group of teenagers surviving a zombie apocalypse, now I am interested in the latest crime fiction novels. For example, I am now reading The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling.

Of course, I could read these YA novels even when I am outside the ‘teenage’ bracket. However, the language is different, and I want something different and more challenging. I look forward to reading more of The Cuckoo’s Calling.

Have you found that your reading tastes change from time to time? Comment below!

Liam

Musical Discovery: ‘Waiting for Love’ by Avicii

After a break from music, Swedish house producer Avicii (real name Tim Bergling) has returned with an uplifting and vibrant track, Waiting for Love.

From the beginning, the track begins with upbeat piano riffs, before Simon Aldred’s (from Cherry Ghost) vocals are introduced along with a powerful, driving drum beat. Shortly afterwards, the chorus is introduced before it builds up to Avicii’s first musical interlude, which is admittedly a bit slow to progress.

However, the first melody has a synth style similar to Martin Garrix, which could explain listeners falsely claiming the song was written and sung by Garrix and John Legend respectively. Despite this, the melody mimics the vocal tune, as well as being mimetic of Avicii’s previous works such as You Make Me and Hey Brother.

Although Bergling may have taken a brief break from music, with his latest return it’s clear that the DJ will be exploring some new avenues in the future, as well as maintaining some of his old, original styles.

Aside from the audio, the video for the lyric video also carries a vibrant and positive feel similar to that of the song. In this video, a dog travels across battlefields searching for his owner who has gone off to fight. The video is an emotional tale about love – quite fitting to the song as a whole.

What do you think of Avicii’s return? Do you like Waiting for Love? Comment below!

Weekly Update: The Streamlined Process Begins!

So I’ve said this before in a lot of previous Weekly Updates, but now that my exams have begun, I’ve got a nice streamlined process – plus a lot of spare time – leading up to September.

First off, I have exams until the middle of June. Then comes a nice, relaxed summer before I start university in September.

So what will I do across that summer period? I’m not entirely sure. But with a book idea currently lingering in my mind, I’ll hopefully finish planning at the novel at least and get writing if possible. As well as that, I hope to return to reading after taking a weird hiatus from it (I slowly made my way through The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson in two months – which is too long)!

But with school finished, I’ll have a lot of time on my hands. As those close to me will know, I’ve always been a person that likes being busy with regular tasks and jobs to complete. So, with all of my commitments from extra-curricular clubs and school no longer applying now I have finished Sixth Form, I have time – and that’s scary!

Anyway, speaking of summer plans, what are you planning to do this summer? Comment below – I’d love to hear them!

Liam

Thoughts on the Exam vs. Coursework Debate

Recently I’ve come to realise that my blog has lacked my “thoughts on” certain topics. So, in order to include this more often, I thought I would share my thoughts on the exams vs. coursework debate. After all, I had my first exam yesterday, and it is exam season.

Firstly, I’ll begin with my belief that exams – in most instances – only test memory, whilst coursework tests comprehension. I appreciate coursework can be longer, but with that you get the chance to improve through a constant re-draft process. With an exam, although it is only one instance, the procedure of spending weeks – if not, months – learning information again to pass exams isn’t really a good practice, is it? Surely we should value our ability to comprehend information (coursework), rather than recall information at will (exams)?

However, there are also examples where the pressures of an exam are appropriate – most likely for its ability to be confidential or unknown. The best two cases of this are so-called ‘unseen texts’ in the A-Level English Literature exams, and the ability to “write on demand” when it comes to Creative Writing. In those cases, the use of an exam is fair enough.

Lastly, with coursework, there is no pressure, which means you can focus more. Basically, the idea of coursework should be encouraged and used more often. Either coursework needs to replace exams completely, or exams as a method of testing needs a complete redesign.

What do you think? Which do you think is better: exams or coursework? Comment below!

Liam

This post is a bonus post after I forgot to write a post on Wednesday – sorry!

BREAKING NEWS: Liam finishes school life! | The Friday Article

In breaking news, lifestyle blogger Liam O’Dell, who blogs at The Life of a Thinker, has finished school and is preparing to start university in September.

Liam has been studying for his A-Level qualifications, and once he has completed the exams, he wil be free for the summer period.

“It’s a scary experience – the fact that my school life is over.” Liam said.

The blogger, who is also a crime writer, hopes to write and complete his first novel over the summer.

“Hopefully, with all that time on my hands, I should be able to get some work done.” he added.

Liam promises to update his blog followers on his progress.

Liam