35 Thoughts I Had While Reading Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind

Patrick Rothfuss is a fantasy writer. A good one. A great one even. I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about his work. And since I’m currently working on building a fantasy series, I decided to give his first book The Name of the Wind a read. Here are 35 thoughts I had while reading his book.

*SPOILERS*

  1. Man, I love fantasy. Time to get lost in another world.
  2. Wow, he uses a lot of similes.
  3. Is this omniscient POV?
  4. Hmm, this is starting out a little slow. I’ll keep going, though.
  5. Demon SPIDERS? Juuussst great. I hate spiders…
  6. Oooo, I like Bast!
  7. Wait, wait, wait, don’t tell me the guy is called Chronicler and he’s a SCRIBE? *sighs* Please tell me he has an actual name later on…
  8. Chronicler has an actual name—yay!
  9. Of course Chronicler is going to write down this Kote/Kvothe’s story. It’s the perfect vessel to have backstory on this character.
  10. Wait, THREE DAYS? This guy’s a bit full of himself, isn’t he? This isn’t going to take forever is it?
  11. Ughhhh, I don’t want to know Kvothe’s backstory anymore! What about the demon spiders? What’s going to happen to this little town? Put me back in the present!
  12. Abenthy is pretty cool, though.
  13. Learning magic is hard…and a bit tedious to read about. Hmmm…
  14. So this kid’s a child genius then? Okay.
  15. Ooo, I stand by my earlier liking of Bast. He is EVEN COOLER! Some kind of Satyr creature? I love it.
  16. Man, I want to skip these backstory parts and just get to the present already. But no, Rothfuss wrote this story specifically like this so I will continue reading.
  17. Cute family and such, but let me guess, this whole trope AND the parents are all going to die?
  18. Yup.
  19. Why can’t there be a main character who has a good backstory, with great parents and friends and family who don’t die?
  20. Okay, so maybe the backstory is interesting.
  21. I like this guy’s descriptions! Like poetry. Or, like music. Rothfuss = new writer goal!
  22. Don’t really like how the women are being portrayed in this.
  23. Amended #22: Danna’s pretty cool, though.
  24. Okay, I get that he’s obsessed with her already.
  25. So apparently “nice young ladies” without families can only be the servant-type of character? Hmmm…
  26. Okay, gotta love the descriptions. Sometimes they’re repetitive, but I don’t mind at all at this point.
  27. So after making light of common story-like instances and then intentionally going the opposite direction, he just manages to find Denna, the “only survivor” of this horrible attack? I call bull!
  28. Sometimes calling attention to the “story-like instances” and then deliberately going the opposite direction, makes the times this story is like other stories way more apparent. I like it and I don’t like it.
  29. Exciting times for this kid! And he is just a kid, a teenager, so I can forgive him for his horrible mistakes.
  30. Dragons! No, of course not dragons. I wish it were a dragon.
  31. Ughhh, too many similes, dude! Stop it!
  32. Nice flourish of an ending to the backstory, though. A bit too quick of a summary of the fall term but not bad.
  33. Oooookay, so Bast is my now my FAVORITE character of the WHOLE BOOK!
  34. Overall, this is a good story. I can appreciate the hype. Nine out of ten stars.
  35. Well played, Rothfuss, well played.

Honestly, I had a good time reading his book. It’s an unusual (but almost classic) format, with interesting characters, and a twisting plotline.

Should you read The Name of the Wind? Yeah.
Will I read the next one? Of course.

I hope you’re having a lovely Friday evening!
Warm regards,
Kellie

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Throwback…Friday?

Sometimes I like reading my own blog. It’s like a journal, and I like seeing how far I’ve come. Plus, it helps me figure out what I want to write about. This is a post I did on February 22, 2014.

I like it, so I’m sharing it again.


When I was younger and imagined my life as an writer extraordinaire, I figured I’d have creative breakthroughs every single day. Every. Single. Day. That every one of my thoughts would be my next best seller. That I’d be typing happily away on my computer – in my office, in a coffee shop, in the library – many GREAT THOUGHTS would hit me, I’d pick one, write the others down, and be set for that day.

I figured since inspiration is everywhere, the GREAT THOUGHTS would just come to me… easily. Simply. Without stress. Without pain. Without the hours and hours of time dedicated to it or agonizing over it.

I, of course, was wrong.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I have many great thoughts… that one time I figured out how to fix a footer in a pesky Word document that no one could quite figure out all by myself, that brilliant idea for a Full Moon Event involving glow sticks and a Frisbee, that time I paired cottage cheese and eggs and discovered the most amazing breakfast food of all time. Those are great thoughts…but just not the right ones.

Truth be told, GREAT (writing) THOUGHTS don’t come around very often.

Sure we have a pack of GOOD IDEAS sneaking around our ankles, and two or three INTERESTING CHARACTERS tugging at our hair… but GREAT THOUGHTS?

GREAT THOUGHTS tend to travel by themselves. They are rarely seen and, once had, hidden away, locked in a cage in our mind until we nurture them enough to let them see the light. (And by nurture, I mean feed them our souls in little chunks, let them drink our time away, and claw at our imagination for fun.)

GREAT THOUGHTS rattle their cages until they make us uncomfortable enough to share with others – tugging at our creative ropes, wanting to join the fray with the undeniable ARCHES, the handy PLOT TWISTS, and tumble with ALL THE FEELS. Enough to make us share them with OTHER UNKNOWN WRITERS who are just as desperate to find that one GREAT THOUGHT as we once were.

But sometimes it takes… well… time for GREAT THOUGHTS to come around. For a few writers, GREAT THOUGHTS appear regularly – and if you’re one of those writers, I’d love to know your secret – but for most of us, the breakthroughs just won’t come that often. It may not happen for years.

But the secret to writing, I’ve found, is that we can’t wait around until that GREAT THOUGHT shows up. Follow those GOOD IDEAS down the creative path for a bit. Spend some time with the INTERESTING CHARACTERS and ALL THE FEELS to discover what works. Be mindful of the ARCHES in other books and craft some PLOT TWISTS that would make even the smartest of reader fall off their seats in shock.

Just keep writing.

That one GREAT THOUGHT will come sniffing around soon enough.


Somedays I wonder where all my GREAT (writing) THOUGHTS are, but I’ve still been writing, too, so in the end, that’s what counts.

Have a wonderful weekend! Try to stay cool out there.
Warm regards,
Kellie

Starting the Next Novel

One of the most exciting things an author can do is start working on their next big thing, whether it’s a novel, a poem, a short story or flash. Even working on a new article is thrilling. You get to start all over again – or as my case would have it, continue on with the story since I’m working on a duology – and create something from nothing, tackle the white space on a page, form new characters with new backgrounds, loves, loathes and everything in between. There’s a new plot to be created, new twists and turns, and a setting that has to be vibrant and fresh. And, if you’re writing articles or non-fiction, you get to interview all new people, share their stories, and interweave them together into one coherent knowledgeable piece. It’s literally a start-over, a chance to do whatever you want to in the story realm, to break rules and make new ones, to just… explore and see where you land.

It’s one of the best feelings in the world, in my opinion.

But it can also be the scariest.

All that white space, all those new characters, all those new people, plus not to mention all the words, paragraphs and pages that need to be written and the edit-and-revise process we’re all so fond of… well, it can be daunting. A lot of work goes into the written word.

But this morning as I was walking from my warm car to my relatively warm work building I noticed something different about my little town of Eagle River. A fresh coat of white sparkled and covered everything, from the streetlamps and roads to the pathway to my building. My breath clouded before me and a chill raced up my spine. It had snowed. And everything looked new again. I even had to blaze my own trail to work. In that momentary frolic, I realized that whatever path I decided to take, whether it is a straight line, zigzagged, or circular, as long as I got to the door it would be the right path to take. It’s the same for working on a new piece – whatever you decide to do will be right, as long as you finish it in the end and are proud of what you created.

So while starting anew may be a tad bit frightening (yes, there will be times I sit up late at night over a cup of tea and think Oh my gosh, I’ve written myself into a corner! How can I ever fix this?) try to focus on the fun of it, the adventure of it, and the love that you have for writing. It’ll be much more exciting that way.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Warm regards,
Kellie

Updates and Crosscurrents

This week I’ve decided to give an utterly random project update…

1) The first half of my novel is done!
2) I’m officially onto the second half of my novel!
(yes, I realize this reiterates my first point but I’m excited so I’m throwing the usual writing guidelines into the wind)
3) My novella has a first sentence!
My novella has, thus far, only been a seedling in my mind. It hasn’t had the chance to develop and push it’s tendrils onto the page… until now!  (Cue scary, unintended, music here.)

And tell you all about the Crosscurrents event that I happened to attend…

It was awesome. Yes, awesome. Held at one of our museums in town, Crosscurrents is an event that only happens a few times a year. 49 Writers, the local creative writing organization, invites authors to come up to Alaska and speak about their books, how they made it big, and what inspired them to write. I have only attended this one time but quite a few people showed up considering it was a random Wednesday night.

Two authors stopped their hectic lives to chat with each other (and all of us) for an hour. They covered aspects like why they decided to write, how they got into writing, what degree they each received, how often they write, why they wrote their novels, and how to really get into the setting and world (among other things).

The back and forth was enlightening but the one aspect that really stuck with me is this… in response to a ‘how did you make it big?’ question the author of The Snow Child said roughly the following: “The stars aligned. Really though, nothing could have prepared me for it, I did nothing special to get it. I wanted to write this story and so I did.”

Do you know what that all boils down to, fellow readers and writers? You can write about vampires, you can write about werewolves, you can write about magicians with a lightning scar. You may cater to the current wave of fierce magical and fantastical elements in the literature trend today. You may get published. You may make it big. And you may not. When it all boils down to it? Write the story in your mind, get it down on paper, solidify the characters, know the plot, describe the setting, do your best to tell the story the best way you possibly can – write what you want to write. In the end, as long as the story is told, you did good. The piece of advice spoke to me, it’s what I’ve been writing about (and thinking about) these past few blogposts and I’m glad that others feel the same way.

I was wondering, though, have you been involved with a discussion such as this? If so (or if not, for that matter,) what is the best piece of advice you’ve gleaned about writing?

Warm regards,
Kellie

Postscript – By the way, I encourage everyone to attend the writing discussions in your own area, don’t say there isn’t any around – there’s always something somewhere. You just have to look for it. It’s a lovely experience, really.