Posted in Ghostwriting Advice

Ghostwriting Advice: Being Happy With Your Product, Even When it’s Hard.

I think a lot of writers suffer from impostor syndrome. It happens when you have the seeming inability to internalize your own successes and are petrified of being exposed for the horrible fraud you are.

I feel this way every time I put my fingers to the keyboard.

I’ve ghostwritten nearly twenty novella/novel length books, so why do I still feel this way? A little bit of it can certainly be attributed to low-to-moderate self-esteem. Another fraction of the blame can be laid at the feet of my perfectionism. I’m type A, and I like things to be just so. I have high standards, and I think that most people have the same high standards I do.

The funny thing is, most people don’t. Yes, the average reader is going to notice if your grammar is off, or your document is rife with misspellings, but they aren’t looking for the things that you the writer are. The average reader is not looking for minor plot discrepancies, and will only notice if you’ve left a plot hole you could drive a school bus through. The average reader doesn’t think your dialogue reads as stiff or stilted. The average reader doesn’t think your plot is predicable and that you should really just retire from the writing business altogether.

Those thoughts are all yours. And do you know why they occur? Because you’ve been over this story a million times in your head. You know the ins and outs of it, and it seems as predicable to you as the sunrise. The reader has the benefit of fresh eyes and doesn’t know where the story is going. If you’ve done your job right, they won’t know what to expect.

Now all the above could also apply to regular writing as well. How can you be happy with your ghostwriting? Here are a few tips.

  1. Keep in mind you’re on a deadline- Most of the stuff you turn in is a glorified rough draft. Most people who hire you for ghostwriting give you only a month or three to finish a book. That’s quite a task, and you should be proud you’re able to do it. The first draft of a story is never as good as it can be. If this is what you’re required to turn in, keep that in mind. It’s not perfect. It might be ugly. To paraphrase Mary Shelley, the story you wrote is your brainchild. So be proud of your baby, even if it’s ugly.
  2. Most Writers are Not Editors- Contrary to popular opinion, most writers aren’t particularly good editors. I know that I myself have a tendency to misplace commas. I also think that spellcheck and Grammarly are a godsend. I always run my stuff through a text to speech converter to catch minor errors, and entrust it to my husband for a rough edit. I try to make sure that nothing goes to my client with egregious mechanical errors. If you can afford it, hire someone to edit your stuff. You don’t have to be a super editor to be a good writer.
  3. Tell your internal editor to shove it- Your internal editor, critic, or screaming lunatic will be loud. It will tell you to go back this instant and change that sentence or revise that chapter. Shove a sock in its mouth and keep going. If you stop to fuss over every chapter, you are never getting done with your project. You’ll find in time that the editor will only send you into a spiral of self-loathing about once a month if you ignore it for long enough. And lastly…
  4. It’s not actually your work- You should always strive to deliver the best product you can. Keeping the above in mind that it’s never going to be perfect, this one can actually provide a lot of peace. At the end of the day, it’s not your name going on the book. You will not have to look back with embarrassment at it when you eventually write something you want to publish.

Loving your writing, or any other art you make, can be hard. Artists are usually their own worst enemies. Today, I’d just like anyone who’s struggling with their projects to know they’re not alone. I hope that my tips can help someone to accept their own work.

As always, if you have any more questions about ghostwriting, you can feel free to subscribe or to contact me. If there’s a topic you’d like me to cover next, I’d be happy to look into it and hopefully post about it soon. Thank you for reading.

Posted in Ghostwriting Advice

Ghostwriting Advice: Working From an Outline Vs. Creating Your Own

My first three ghostwriting projects I was given a very specific set of instructions. I knew what events were supposed to happen in each chapter. The names of the characters were neatly delineated at the top of the page. I knew their hair color, their eye color, their motivations, and what was driving the plot.

Then I entered into a contract with my first long-term client. He gave me a genre–and to a lesser extent the sub-genre–and said go. There was very little oversight, little communication. “Do you like this?” I’d ask.

“Sure.” They’d say. “Do whatever you like. Just tell me what direction you’re going.”

And so, I had to outline myself. It wasn’t the first time I’ve ever had to outline. I do it quite a bit for my own work. The only exception was a paranormal romance I’d written. It was poorly done I admit, and it was a lesson in why I should always have an outline.

So how does this apply to ghostwriting and writing in general? Well I’ll give the pros and cons of outlining in a ghostwriting setting first, and then explain a bit on why I think these rules should (mostly) apply to your own original writing as well.

Pros of an existing outline

  1. An existing outline gives you all the pertinent information up front. You know what is expected, and exactly what the end product should look like. You can dive into the project immediately. Given the time constraints placed on ghostwriting (in my experience, you have to complete and edit 40k+ words in a month or less) this is beneficial.
  2. If there is something missing from the story, you can point to the outline for proof. “See? That plot point wasn’t in there.”
  3. The story you’re telling is not yours. (This can also be a con, depending on your view, but if the story sucks–and some do–you have to make the best with what you’ve been given.) At the end of the day, you did what you could. You can at least say; “At least it wasn’t my idea.”

Cons of an existing outline

  1. Most of the clients I’ve had the opportunity to work with have been very good. They’re flexible on deadlines, especially during flu season. They check in with me and answer questions I have. But that will not always be the case. Some clients will fight you on every detail. Clients who want you to follow a preexisting outline to the letter, are a pain. Adaptation is necessary to some degree.
  2. Some outlines aren’t specific. Sometimes a client has a lot of ideas and no clue how to marshal them. So they toss word salad at you and expect you to figure it out. At this point, it is almost like writing your own, with the added stress of worrying that you’ve left something crucial out.
  3. Writing from an outline can feel stiff and unnatural, especially if you’ve never written for someone else before. The lack of control will chafe, but you don’t want to back out of a contract because you didn’t get to plan the book.

Now that I’ve gone over existing outlines, let’s discuss writing your own. This task can feel especially daunting. You’re staring at a blank canvas, not sure what you want to paint yet. If your contractor is non-specific, or will be happy whatever you turn in, then you have free reign. If you’re especially Type A, like myself, this can petrify you.

Pros of writing your own outline

  1. It promotes better communication between yourself and the client. I usually take a day or two to hammer out a crude outline before I even begin writing. I send it to my clients before I start in on the project. Why? Because it shows I care about their input. There’s no use starting a project if your client will demand it be changed. I’d rather make changes to a two thousand word outline, instead of being forced to revamp a story I’m already fifteen thousand words into.
  2. You have (almost) complete creative control. The canvas is yours, do what you want with it. You build the world, the characters, the plot. You dictate everything. The world is literally your plaything. As long as it doesn’t go up in fiery Armageddon you can do what you want.
  3. It gets you into the habit of doing so for later works. Many ghostwriters like myself have aspirations to publish under their own name someday. Outlining for ghostwritten projects will prepare you for the process in later works.

Cons of writing your own outline:

  1. It takes time. As I said above, it takes time to write an outline. If you have thirty days or less to pen a novel, you’re going to resent using that one day to plan. I’d argue it saves time in the long run. You’re not tripping over your plot points, trying to figure out what you said about the worldbuilding three chapters ago. But I understand the sentiment. I don’t have time to plan, I have to write!
  2. That level of creative control can be petrifying. You don’t know where to begin. The thoughts that first pop into your head will feel cliche. You may not be sure what is motivating the characters. You realize that you’re in way over your head and you want to crawl into a hole until it all goes away.
  3. The story is not yours. Ghostwriting books is pretty much selling talent for a flat fee. If you get overly attached to your characters, it can be hard to sell them to someone who just wants to make money off of them. You will never be able to slap your name on that idea. You have to consider what you want to give to your client, and what you want to keep for your own original work.
  4. It will hurt more if your work is not well-received.

Why is outlining good for your own work? It gives you milestones to track your progress. Many writers throw up their hands in defeat after they get stuck with dreaded writer’s block. Projects sit on the shelf and collect dust for years, if they’re continued at all. Writing the ideas down while they are fresh preserves that first flush of excitement and will allow you to remember details you want to include.

It will keep your continuity straight. There are many readers who only pick up a work for the entertainment value. These people set the book down after it was done with a mild opinion about it one way or the other. These are the silent majority. But there is another type of reader. They are very invested in your world and they become apoplectic if something is out of place or contradictory. These are the readers who post scathing reviews online. I am admittedly the latter. When a book offends my sensibilities they go on a list to appear on this blog in a chapter-by-chapter review of how awful they are. This is why I’m extremely hard on my own writing. I have high standards for myself as well.

And finally, writing an outline will act as a springboard for your writing. You’re going to grow out of that outline, I guarantee it. You can use your outline as a spitballing session. You can decide what to integrate into the story and what you can discard.  You have he skeleton of the house prepared. You’re going to add to it, make it pretty, and paint it different colors. But you have to start somewhere. Isn’t it easier to have a starting point?

As always, thanks for reading this article. I hope this has helped some of you. If there’s a topic that I haven’t covered on this blog that you’d like me to go over, comment below or contact me on my linked social media pages.

Posted in Ghostwriting Advice

The Ethics of Ghostwriting

Now that I’ve covered the topic of what ghostwriting is, I thought I’d dive into how ethical it is. There’s a lot of debate on this, and I can see both sides. Given that I am a ghostwriter and write professionally for other people, you can take this post with a grain of salt. I am, without a doubt, biased.

I’ll go over some of the reasons why a lot of people don’t like ghostwriting and consider it unethical. Most writers work through a freelancing site which receives millions of jobs annually. The vetting process for these jobs isn’t very thorough. Of course jobs can be flagged as inappropriate and the matter can be dealt with internally, but they’re often not. Why? Because someone out there needs the work.

Reason Number one: Plagiarizing Papers

Plagiarism is rampant in freelance ghostwriting jobs. It seems like every time I go shopping for a new job, I come across at least one (usually multiple) jobs asking for an essay or paper to be written. These jobs are usually posted by lazy or overwhelmed students who want an A. The budget is nil, the description is furtive and vague, and there are usually proposals for it. Why? Because someone needs to make twenty bucks.

Now I’m not saying that all, heck not even most, ghostwriters are like this. But there are some who will take jobs writing someone else’s papers, theses, or what have you. I do believe it is morally wrong to knowingly assist someone else in a deception or help them land an A they didn’t earn. I believe in the integrity of the school system and understand why this type of ghostwriting upsets people.

Reason Number Two: Copyright Violations

Going right along with plagiarism, this is another reason why ghostwriters can also get a bad rap.  Turnaround times are tight on freelance writing. I’m normally given four weeks to turn in 40,000 words, and I juggle several projects a month, which means I have even less time. The shortest turnaround time I was asked to do was a 30,000 word paranormal romance in just one week. I did it in ten days, and gave him an additional 10,000 words for his trouble. My point is, there is a lot of pressure and some very inflexible clients that don’t care if you got run over by a car, you promised the damned story would be in by the 18th.

So sometimes people take shortcuts, stealing quotes, premises, characters, and other stories. This is robbing them of their intellectual property and is also morally wrong. Until a work is in the public domain, it’s the author’s property and only theirs to profit from. It may save time, but it costs both worker and client. The worker gets a bad reputation and loses out on work if they are found out. The client could be facing a lawsuit.

Reason Number Three: Poor Writing

Like I said, turnaround times are tight. Often I don’t have time to edit my stuff before it is due. I delegate that task to my wonderful husband known on this site as SlayerLord.(Thank you honey!) Ghostwriting someone’s book is often a rush job, if you’re forced to do it in a month or less. Your clients want these books out now. Most clients you work for have never had any experience writing novels. That’s what they’ve come to you for. It follows then that they have no idea how long it takes to write a book. Some people spend years working on their magnum opus.

I can maintain a pace of 5,000 to 7,000 words a day if I’m healthy and invested in a project. That means for an average book I can complete the manuscript in 8-10 days. But that’s assuming everything goes right. Even when writing is your full-time job, things can still intervene. I say that in one month I can put out an impressive first draft of a story, but that doesn’t mean that its perfect.

Most clients want to get the book out as soon as possible so they can start rolling in the money from the amazon purchases. That means that often books are not edited and go to print full of mechanical and grammatical errors. This does not impress readers.

Now I’m not going to pin the blame solely on the clients. Sometimes people take jobs without being a native speaker of the language they are writing. This can result in really piss poor writing. Also, any joe schmoe can put pen to paper and claim he’s a writer. Sometimes people who have no business writing do so because, again, they need the money.

Reason Number Four: Broken Trust

Most people trust a brand of some sort or another. Maybe you swear by this deodorant, that brand of clothing, that makeup, this soup, or that computer model. Most people have at least one brand they trust implicitly. Well how would you feel if you found out tomorrow that those brands had misrepresented themselves? That isn’t real chicken in the soup. That sweater isn’t 100% cotton, its a poly-blend. That deodorant is made with children’s tears. Whatever the reason, it would upset you, right?

Well an author’s name is their brand. When it comes out that an author hires ghostwriters to do some or all of the work, it can cheapen the experience for some readers. They want to know who to attribute praise or criticism to. It feels like a friend has lied to you.


After all of that it might seem like ghostwriting is really unethical right? Well, I don’t really think so. I don’t think that a few bad apples taint the whole barrel. Most ghostwriters are honest, hard-working people, who pay taxes and vote. Most of us just want to write and make money doing it. Here are some of the reasons I think ghostwriting is beneficial.

Reason number one: It’s really good practice

No matter if you’re ghostwriting songs, books, or blogs, you’re getting experience. This writing isn’t done under your name, so it isn’t your brand on the line. You should still strive to be better and deliver the best product, but ghostwriting is a useful stepping stone on the road to becoming a published author.

Just like I said in my Professional Fan Fiction posts I don’t necessarily believe that fan fiction is a bad way to start writing. Likewise, I believe ghostwriting is the logical next step on the road to becoming a published author. Fan fiction allows you to build your writing still in a pre-made world. Ghostwriting lets you branch out into original writing and world building, without the shame of falling flat on your face. Think of it like bowling with bumpers.

Reason Number Two: It boots your confidence

If you’re any kind of artist, you’re often told you will never succeed in the world. There aren’t jobs, your field is saturated, no one will pay to see this, why don’t you try something a little more reasonable? People quash your dreams and don’t take you seriously. Every job seems like a drag because it isn’t what you want to be doing.

It is true that its going to take you awhile to pen your magnum opus. Take your time on your own work. Work on someone else’s project in the meantime. It is a huge confidence boost to see your work in print, even if it doesn’t bear your name.

Reason Number Three: You’re helping someone else out

Many celebrity books are ghostwritten. Talented though they may be in other areas, a lot of big personalities are not writers. So it falls to someone else to take their stories and make them readable.

A lot of people who hire ghostwriters are excellent at business, marketing, appealing to an audience. They have everything a good self-published author would need…except for the writing part. That’s where ghostwriters come in. Ghostwriters work for people who have ideas but no idea how to execute them. You’re helping someone’s idea to become a reality, and most people pay accordingly for that help.

Other clients do have writing talent but cannot keep up with demand. Think James Patterson or K.A. Applegate. Their ideas are profitable and good, but they don’t have the time to meet the demands of their publishers or their fanbase. Carefully selected ghostwriters meet that demand by allowing the author to work on another project.

Reason Number Four: It builds valuable skills

Ghostwriting will teach you skills you’ll need to succeed on your own. How to self-edit, how to sell yourself in a job interview, how to maintain good professional relationships, time management skills, and much more.

When I was completing a journalism degree in college I was amazed at how many of my classmates demanded deadlines be extended. Um…what? You’re in a field that specifically demands deadlines to be met. No other options. If it doesn’t get out by a certain time, it isn’t newsworthy. You’re fired. Bye-bye. It was very strange to me.


Ghostwriting similarly demands deadlines be met. I am often found hunched over my computer working to complete a book before deadline. Time management is a much stronger suit of mine than it used to be.

I compare ghostwriting to stretching before the marathon. Writing day in and day out keeps your muscles limber. Often, you’ll refine the writing process and find you can produce content faster than you ever thought possible.

And that’s it. That’s my list of pros and cons. I still do believe that ghostwriting is an honest wage, but I understand why other people don’t see it that way. I will hopefully continue this in another post when I can think of something more to add.

As always, if you have questions about ghostwriting or writing that I’m not covering in these posts, please message me or contact me on my social media sites and I will try to address them. Thanks so much for reading.


Posted in Ghostwriting Advice

Ghostwriting, what is that?

Oddly enough, I encounter this question a lot. When I tell people that I make most of my money ghostwriting, I’m met with blank stares and politely bemused questions.

It really baffles me that more people don’t know what this is. I was aware that ghostwriting existed from the time I was in middle school. I was avidly consuming K.A. Applegate’s Animorphs series and began to notice that she’d begun to credit more than her husband and children in the beginning of the book. When I learned that not all of the series was written completely by Applegate, it didn’t bother me unduly. Scholastic had a tight turnaround for books, and life happened. They were her ideas, so what if she needed help?

The ethics of ghostwriting are a topic for an entirely different post, but suffice it to say I might be a little biased on this point. The point is, ghostwriting has been around for awhile. Ghostwriting can be found not just in fiction, but just about anywhere that writing exists. Songs, fiction, self-help books, and blog posts are often ghostwritten.

Ghostwriting, simply put, is selling your hard work and talent to someone for a flat fee. Authors like James Patterson, K.A. Applegate, R.L. Stine and have the selling power of a name, but don’t always have the time to finish the story in time for a deadline. That’s where a ghostwriter steps in. A ghostwriter accepts a fee for the work they do and agree to give up rights to the work and any royalties. That might seem unfair if the work gets a lot of attention but them’s the breaks.

A ghostwriter may write some or all a work. Sometimes ghostwriters are tasked with working from an outline, and sometimes they are given a genre and free reign to do as they please. Both have their pros and cons. But again, that’s a topic for another post.

Ghostwriting is usually a pretty well-kept secret. If you are a regular consumer of literature, you have undoubtedly consumed something that was written in part or totally by a ghostwriter. If you feel a burning need for recognition then ghostwriting is not a profession for you. Ghostwriting is an often thankless job, and your work will go often go unlauded. But if you need the money and have a passion for writing, this is a good way to cut your teeth on the business.

Many sites like Upwork or put you in contact with employers who want your skill. If you have a good grasp of the English language and at least the basics of storytelling under your belt, then ghostwriting might be a worthwhile endeavor.

With the boom in self-publishing, there is increased demand for ghostwriters. Everyone has heard the story that you can make it big a’la Fifty Shades of Grey. While this is not entirely true (many, many factors contributed to the Fifty Shades series becoming so popular, some of which can not be duplicated, and frankly given the horrible writing shouldn’t) there is still money to be made. There is a demand, and people rising to meet it. I am one such person and if you’re reading this post, maybe you are too.

So to recap, what can you tell the average person about ghostwriting? It’s selling your work. It’s writing part or all of a story and letting another person put their name on it. It’s a great way to keep in practice. It keeps your writing muscles limber. It’s work experience under your belt.

I’m going to keep posting advice for new writers and aspiring ghostwriters. If there are any topics you want discussed that I’m not posing about, please let me know in the comments or on my social media pages and I’ll try to get to them as soon as possible.

As always, thank you for reading my eccentric ramblings and I hope that I’ve helped answer some of your questions.

Posted in Home

So an update

I’m pretty sure that my last post was a promise to be better about updating…which I promptly failed to do. Things have been rocky of late. (Isn’t that just the story of your twenties though?) I had a hell of a year. Within the space of a few months my parents divorced, I lost the first long-term job I’d had since completing college, and I lost my first pregnancy to a miscarriage. It isn’t any wonder that this blog has been the furthest thing from my mind. I apologize to any of the people who have followed this blog and were disappointed about the lack of posts.

The good news is that I’ve made the transition to a job I like much better. I’ve started my career as a freelance writer. This comes with the challenge of having to file taxes quarterly, which sucks, but you win some, you lose some. I’m making the transition to talk more about my advice about ghostwriting for those who are interested in joining this field. I cannot go into specifics about who I’ve written for (NDAs are a big deal!) but I will be giving my advice on certain topics.

If anyone has any specific questions they want answers to, feel free to ask me in the comments or send me a message on any of my linked social media pages.

I’ll still be reviewing books when I have time, but expect the chapter by chapter sporkings to be a little less frequent. I’m considering going the route of Das Sporking and similar channels and incorporating counts and more humor when I do finally resume tearing the shit out of bad books.

That’s all for now and as always thanks for listening to my mad ramblings!

Posted in Reviews

New Moon Review: Chapter 1

We open in a dream that is so obviously a dream that even our protagonist can tell it is, in fact, a dream.

She dreams about what she thinks is her grandmother. She has a mild panic attack when Edward steps into the sunlight in front of “gran.”

It’s a dream. And the payoff for it is almost non-existent, since it hardly impacts the plot of this book at all. This comes back to one of many “Meyerisms” as I like to call them. Meyer likes to get a lot of exposition out through dream sequences. I get the idea of the subconscious knowing things the brain does not. But it seems like Bella’s subconscious knows a lot more than her conscious mind does. It takes Bella an infuriatingly long time to realize things that are blatantly obvious to someone with even half a brain. Bella is constantly hailed as smart, but there’s little to back that assertion in the books.

In Bella’s dream she begins to notice that “gran” is mirroring her movements. She becomes aware of a gilt frame around her grandmother and suddenly everything clicks.

She mimicked the movement exactly, mirrored it. But where our fingers should have met, there was nothing but glass.

With a dizzying jolt, my dream abruptly became a nightmare. 

There was no gran. 

That was me. Me in a mirror. Me–ancient, creased, and withered. 

Edward stood beside me, casting no reflection, excruciatingly lovely and forever seventeen. 

He pressed his icy, perfect lips against my wasted cheek. 

“Happy Birthday.” He whispered. 

Good grief. This is more of the “wah I’m so old” stuff that I commented on in Twilight. Bella’s freakouts over her age are so asinine. There isn’t much, if any, visible difference between a seventeen year old and an eighteen year old. Even three or four years wouldn’t change her face that drastically.

Speaking as someone who is having a birthday as she types a commentary on this drivel, I find this a tad insulting. I’m twenty-four now. I’m not too worried about how old I am until I hit the big 3-O. Maybe not even then.

The crux of the matter is that she’s older than Edward. Even though people repeatedly tell her that it makes no difference, she insisted on getting really pigheaded about a teensy year. Edward is over a hundred years older than Bella. So the point is moot.

And it just drags on, and on, and on…

And now that it had hit, it was even worse than I feared it would be. I could feel it–I was older. Every day I got older, but this was different, worse, quantifiable. I was eighteen. And Edward never would be. 

Bella then starts looking for wrinkles on her face.

Image result for if you don't stop I'm going to hit you

Edward and Alice are waiting for her at school. Bella is ungracious about the party and gifts the Cullens get her. I know I myself am not a good gift receiver, but if someone spends money on me, I try to accept it with good grace. It’s just rude to do anything else.

Bella concedes the point that a few years is not a big deal, but makes the caveat in her brain that she’ll only accept aging a few more years if she can be guaranteed sparkly immortality before she turns twenty. Cause twenty is sooo gross, right?

Edward tells Alice to expect them at seven, so Bella can watch Romeo and Juliet. Because it will have supposed plot significance later on, and we need to get our lame-ass Chekhov’s guns on the mantle now.

Bella goes on for about a page and a half how she hates gifts and attention. And how she doesn’t deserve them anyways.

But how could I let him give me things when I had nothing to reciprocate with? He, for some unfathomable reason, wanted to be with me. Anything he gave me on top of that just threw us more out of balance.

So I want to be a sparkly vampire. Because being a bloodthirsty immortal will somehow fix my deep seated inferiority complex and low self-esteem.

Meyer expressed in her post about writing New Moon that Bella had to realize that Edward is hers as much as she is his. Honestly I don’t see it. Bella remains insecure until the moment she becomes a vampire. If Bella’s insecurities had been a character flaw, and painted as such (author awareness is important on that point,) and it had been resolved through character development, it would be one thing. This is never really addressed or changed until Bella gets what she wants.

So they get through the day, and she and Edward go home to watch the movie. Edward criticizes Romeo, which raises Bella’s ire.

“What’s wrong with Romeo?” I asked, a little offended. Romeo was one of my favorite fictional characters. Until I’d met Edward, I’d sort of had a thing for him. 

Which is stupid, because Romeo was really nothing to be admired. He was impulsive and a a bit of an idiot. I’ll address this here, since the parallels to Romeo and Juliet are all over the place.

Meyer loosely based each of her plots on a classical novel. And she missed the theme of every single one of them. It’s a mistake I see a lot of people make with Romeo and Juliet. They are not relationship goals. I know a lot of girls who find the relationship romantic for some reason.

Romeo and Juliet acted on infatuation, made bad choices, and each died at a tragically young age. The tragedy is that it took the senseless death of two young people to reconcile their families.So if  you want to parallel to be right, you’d have to have Charlie Swan and Carlisle Cullen in some sort of blood feud. Which honestly would have been a more compelling story than New Moon. 

Image result for charlie swan vampire hunter

Edward whispers the lines of the play into Bella’s ear until they reach the part where Romeo commits suicide. He makes a comment about envying him.

“She’s very pretty.” 

He made a disgusted sound. “I don’t envy him the girl–just the ease of the suicide.” He clarified in a teasing tone. 

Bella freaks the hell out about him having thought about suicide, even though she routinely throws herself into harms way for no freaking reason.

Edward gives us some additional exposition about the Volturi, since they’re going to be competing for the title of series big bad. He explains that the Volturi are an old family that act as something of the ruling body, making laws and dispensing justice.

Here’s an example of Bella’s hypocrisy. These lines happen within a paragraph of each other.

“You must never, never, never think of anything like that again!” I said. “No matter what might ever happen to me, you are not allowed to hurt yourself!” 

And then:

“What would you do, if the situation were reversed?” He asked. 

“That’s not the same thing.” 

He didn’t seem to understand the difference. 

Because there is no freaking difference. What is good for the goose is good for the gander Bella.

When they get to the Cullen’s house the place is done up. Bella doesn’t like it. Surprise. Bella gets a car radio from Emmett, Rosalie and Jasper. Emmett installs it so she can’t return it.

She protests when Alice gives her the gift from her and Edward. Possibly because she can feel the inciting incident coming on.

Bella gets a paper cut unwrapping the gift and sheds a single drop of blood.

All hell breaks loose.

Jasper tries to attack Bella. Edward pushes her into the table full of glass plates, and it makes the situation worse, cutting her arm up and spilling more blood. Now Bella is in danger from the whole family, not just Jasper.

And even though its the end of the chapter review and I’d like to end it, I have to call bullshit once again. The entire family managed to resist Bella’s blood at the end of Twilight. And that’s when she had a gushing head wound. A paper cut should not have set Jasper off.

Some fan theories hold that Jasper felt the collective hunger of his family, and it drove him to attack, but that’s not right either. If that were the case, he should be attacking people right and left when his family is hungry. And again, we have to go back to the ballet studio. Why didn’t he attack her then? This plot point falls apart upon closer inspection.

This would have been better if it had been Edward, not Jasper who had attacked. The guilt would be more justified, the danger presented more real to Bella and the reader.

So that’s all I have for this review. Join me for chapter two wherein we discuss religion.

Posted in Reviews

New Moon: Preface and some background

So when I was a teen girl, I actually sort of liked Twilight. Blasphemous, I know. But all the same, I found the story rather, well…romantic. And it was vastly different from anything else I had read thus far. The series I liked at the time were mostly science fiction fare like Animorphs. Which I thoroughly intend to put on a my recommended page, as well as on my top list of science fiction books for kids.

I was also very different from my brief brushes with vampire fiction. At the time I liked Annette Curtis Klause’s The Silver Kiss and Amelia Atwater-Rhode’s Den of Shadows series. Twilight’s vampires hardly adhered to vampire canon, and I thought Bella and Edward’s relationship was compelling.

And all that being said, I was also fifteen. I had never dated or really had a male friend. I really had nothing to compare it to. So as I entered my twenties and started dating, I began seeing everyone’s point about Twilight. The relationships are possessive, nigh abusive. It was not an example I’d want young couples to find acceptable or to aspire to.

And as I took many writing courses in college, I also began to see the story telling flaws in Twilight. The purple prose. The flat characters. The weak plot and non-endings that Meyer favors. So in short I became a book snob in college.

On top of all that, New Moon is just freaking miserable. Even when I was reading the series, I thought it was a major bummer, and didn’t think it fit in well with the tone of the rest of the series. And that’s because Stephenie Meyer didn’t originally intend to write it. Don’t believe me? Check it out. 

Originally Twilight was just a pet project Meyer was working on. So after finishing it, she began her next book, Forever Dawn, or as the rest of us know it, Breaking Dawn. Yep. The books in between weren’t really planned for. She began writing them only after it was clear Twilight was going to be published.

Originally we wouldn’t have gotten the only good thing that came out of this book. Namely, Jacob Black. And boy does it show that the middle two books weren’t intended canon. This book barely furthers the plot, doesn’t do any favors for Bella’s character, and is just plain depressing.

So let’s get started on it, shall we?

We begin with the mandatory vague prologue. Bella is running.

But this was no dream, and unlike the nightmare, I wasn’t running for my life; I was racing to save something infinitely more precious. My own life meant little to me today. 

Image result for quadruple facepalm gif

Ah the return of the martyr complex. And on the first page too. Don’t pretend any differently Bella, your life means little to you every single day. Dating a vampire that has a raging death boner for you is proof enough of that.

Bella keeps running, spouting ominous phrases about an enemy we haven’t met yet. Sounds thrilling right? Be prepared for an anti-climax. The baddies are nowhere near bad ass enough for this intro.

As the clock began to toll out the hour, vibrating under the soles of my sluggish feet, I knew I was too late–and I was glad something bloodthirsty waited in the wings. For in failing at this, I forfeited any desire to live. 

Good lord. As a survivor of a suicide attempt I can’t even begin to express how melodramatic and insulting this sort of thing gets in the book. I’ll wait to drag out my soapbox another chapter.

Thankfully the prologue is short. Unfortunately, the rest of the book is not. See you next chapter.