The villain doesn’t have to die – alternative endings for your book

When it came to outlining my book one of the biggest things I had to consider was how the story was going to end, what would the climax be? This was by far the longest part of the whole outlining process for me and arguably the most difficult. Since the age of 16 I’ve wrote YA, young adult fiction was what I read the most and by default was what I wrote the most of. This age range was fantastic because the reader was older enough to understand heavier topics and as a result there was a whole host of possible endings for you book. However, after studying children’s fiction at university I found myself wanting to write a children’s book and this presented me with a few unexpected challenges.

When you write for a different age group to the one that you’re in you have to do far more research. At university I got used to writing for adults, the age of those around me. My work became more mature and I had no issues with touching on hard hitting issues like abuse or murder. But as I stated outlining Mirrors and Magic (working title) I quickly realised this had to change. I was now writing for those under the age of ten and I was not going anywhere near those topics in the way I had done in the past.

In a lot of the short stories I’d drafted that followed the tradition hero’s journey (just like Mirrors and Magic will), I killed off the antagonist at the end and usually at the hands of the hero. But when it came to the ending of Mirrors and Magic, I wasn’t jumping at the idea of having my hero killing off the villain. I’m writing a children’s book with a protagonist who is under ten years old. I can’t say I feel comfortable with a child becoming a killer.

I appreciate that what I’m writing is fiction, so it doesn’t have to play into real world values, but as a writer of children’s fiction I wanted to explore other options and consider there being another ending. As well as it feeling slightly morally wrong, I felt that jumping straight for the hero kills the villain was a bit lazy, it was the easiest option (by the way, there’s nothing wrong with this ending I’m not criticising people who kill off the antagonist of their book. I just felt that I would only be choosing it because it required the less amount of thought for my book). So, I began to explore alternative endings where the villain didn’t have to die, and this lead me down a bit of a rabbit hole I want to share with you all today.

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Surrounded by idiots – book review

Feel like you’re constantly surrounded by idiots? Want to learn valuable behavioural skills that can help you navigate the world of work? Surrounded by idiots is an easy to understand tool that teaches you how to understand those who cannot be understood.

This 260+ paged, non-fiction read was written by Thomas Erikson, a Swedish behavioural specialist who’s been in the field for almost 20 years. The book explains to the reader the DISC method, created by William Moulton Marston a psychologist who published in his book Emotions of Normal people in 1928. The DISC method simply categorises people into one (most often two) of behavioural groups. These groups can be nicely distinguished by colours, you have your red people, yellow, green and blue. Once you understand these colour groups and the behaviours they show, you can start to understand those who cannot be understood.

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5 things using a Kindle taught me about reading

For the past five months I’ve swapped over from using traditional paper books to a Kindle. I was gifted a Kindle Paperwhite off a family member for Christmas. They’d knew that since being at Uni I was struggling to read as much as I liked due to having to watch my spending far more carefully than when I was home with a job. I could no longer splurge out on a bunch off books.

I’d been debating getting a Kindle for some time, but never got round to it. I felt like I wouldn’t be a proper bookworm if I went over to the dark side and stopped reading physical books as much. But now that I had one I paid no attention to those thoughts and went on reading as mornal.

I never expected anything to change when I switched over to using a Kindle however, within a few weeks I found some odd changes in how I read and my general reading experiences. A few months have passes and I’ve started to read the odd paper book every now and then (usually when I’m borrowing one off a family member) and I found my whole perspective on reading changed. It’s something I wanted to share with you all today as a lot of the time when people talk about Kindles and other forms of eBooks, they’re being compared to your traditional paper books and not being looked at alone. It’s not often people talk about them without trying to sway you either to buy one or to persward you they’re not real books.

Today I’m not going to be doing either of them, instead I’m going to tell you about how using a Kindle taught me about reading.

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Movie adaptions of books – are they good or bad?

I was re-watching the Harry Potter series… again… the other day and couldn’t help but start to compare the films to the books, something I’m sure we’ve all done before. I was on the third movie, The Prisoner of Azkaban what is my favourite book to read in the series, but my least favourite film to watch. I just feel as if way too much important information got left out. This got me thinking about movie adaptions of books as a whole, are they something good or bad?

A common misconception is that I’m an English Literature student. Whist you many find me making myself at home in the odd English Lit lecture, it’s not my degree. My full degree is Creative and Professional Writing. I’m not studying the history of literature, I’m studying how to write in the creative and professional field, it’s quite a unique degree. I do your traditional creative writing, like how to write a book, alongside writing for the professional field, so non-fiction, journalism, game design and screenwriting. Yup, I’m learning how to write films.

I study how to write books and screenplays, this gives me a pretty unique stance on the film adaption of books debate as I work with both regularly. So, what do I think about film adaptions? Well, I have quite a few thoughts on the matter so lets dive right into it.

Continue reading “Movie adaptions of books – are they good or bad?”