Friday, December 19, 2014

On Writing Fantasy: Keeping a Reading Journal

The digital age and Internet provides tons of information for people all over the world. To process this information, reading is still a necessary skill to possess since there is plenty of text to sift through every day. People who want to be writers need to read for their chosen art.
Reading is an important part of a writer’s skills set. From reading various things, a writer gains ideas, knowledge and inspiration for their endeavors. Also, reading is a major component of research for projects. Therefore, it is necessary for a writer to keep a reading journal for many reasons. Keeping a reading journal is helpful for writers on two levels. First, a journal helps improve a writer’s craft through analyzing and study of other author’s works. Next, writers need to be readers in order to keep filling the creative well. A journal helps the reader to remember books, how they affected them and to keep information for possible later use. A journal is helpful for research where notes can be stores to be used in a book or story.
Where does a person start? It is easy. You can use a bound fancy journal, notebook or keep a file with entries on a computer. You can find nice journal at I like this journal for my fiction reading ( because it’s small and compact. I use a notebook for nonfiction.
Information you will want in your journals in case you don’t use a ty0pe of journal like above follow.
Things to include for fiction:
  • Date read, title, author, genre, etc.
  • Quotes with page numbers
  • Take notes while reading.
  • Record what the author did like point of view, etc.
  • Thought on how book affected you.
Things to include for nonfiction:
  • Bibliographical information
  • Synopsis of book or article
  • Quotes and notes
  • Personal thoughts on information
Some other articles to check out:

Reading journals for fiction and nonfiction are important for writers to keep. Journals can help with creativity, research for writing projects, provide ideas and improve a writer’s skills. Reading is an important part of being a writer. With so much information in the world available, keeping track of the information in a journal is helpful. Happy  journal writing. May it help your writing.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Review: _Treasure at the Heart of the Tanglewood_ by Meredith Ann Pierce

Forests hold a fascination over people. There is something about deep, dark woods filled with old trees that appeal to people in a mythic way. Stories taking place in mysterious forests with magic are a part of the Fantasy genre. _Treasure at the Heart of the Tanglewood_ by Meredith Ann Pierce is such a book. Published as a young adult novel, the book is entertaining for adults too with many things to entice them. A wonderful story is told through appealing characters, an entertaining plot and vivid setting.

Ms. Pierce provides appealing characters that a reader can sympathize with throughout the book. Hannah is a young girl living in a wintry land. She has drab clothing and hair with plants growing in it. Living in the Tanglewood, Hannah lives a simple life with her talking animal friends of Magpie, Badger and young fox pups. She visits the wizard once a month, but does not like him too much. Her worst problem is her amnesia along with her friends, so her past remains in question. Hannah grows throughout the story by the author’s weaving of slow changes for her.

Next, the characters help the entertaining plot keep readers hooked. Hannah brews a tea from the flowers in her hair for the wizard each month. This leaves her feeling weak every time. People come for healing from her, which leaves questions in Hannah’s mind about the wizard. She watches mysterious young knights disappear into the forest all the time. After the wizard plucks all of her flowers one month, leaving her near death, she learns a terrible secret about the  forest. She meets the young knight Foxkith who sets her on a quest in order to save him.

Finally, the author creates a vivid setting to bring the book to life. The characters move through the setting in a change of seasons. Hannah starts out in winter living in the dark, cold Tanglewood forest. Spring changes her dress to green as she runs across fields that come to life in her wake. Summer finds her in a town paying homage to the goddess of the season. Toward the end, Hannah finds herself on the island of the sorceress queen. Ms. Pierce blends the seasons in with places to give the story a vivid life.

_Treasure at the Heart of the Tanglewood_ by Meredith Ann Pierce is an entertaining Fantasy book. Its appealing characters, entertaining plot and vivid setting brings the book to life for readers. Marketed as a book for young adults, older readers will find a pleasing story with mythic elements in it. For an exciting adventurous read, try a quest into the Tanglewood forest.