"Shameless" Season 8 And What We've Seen So Far

"Shameless" Season 8 And What We've Seen So Far

St. Francis has come to make amends.
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"Shameless" is a television show I started binge watching on Netflix less than two weeks ago. I immediately became addicted to it, and it just so happened to be the perfect time, as season eight is now airing. "Shameless" has done a good job every season of making enough problems for the characters to keep the audience entertained.

So let's talk about a couple of the highlights that closed out season seven. First, Monica died, and with that came grief; most of which was felt by Frank and Ian. Secondly, Fiona bought a laundromat, succeeded in making a profit and moved on to the greener pastures of apartment buildings. Lastly, after Monica died, the Gallaghers found out the she left them a very special inheritance -- seven pounds of meth.

Season eight is seven episodes in so far and I think my patience with Fiona is running thin. She claims to do everything she does for her family, but it has become evident that she's not being honest. Throughout the new season, her apartment building has become more and more important to her. She is fixing it up, increasing its value. While that's all well and good, she also did something not so admirable.

Ian started helping the kids from the homeless shelter and has been working with Trevor to find them a more permanent place to live. When they finally did find somewhere, the church, Fiona took it upon herself to accuse Ian of being the selfish one. The reason Fiona didn't want the kids staying in the church as a shelter was because it would lower the value of her apartment building. Not all about money, Fiona?

This sparks a whole feud between the two that seemed to have ended with the last episode. The way their feud ended also made it seem as though there may be something wrong with Ian besides the problems with Fiona.

Fiona isn't the only Gallagher who wants money however. With each of the family members being gifted a pound of meth from a deceased Monica, Carl is given the task of selling each bag. While the money is good, there is another problem the Gallagher's soon learn about. Someone else who knew about Monica's stash and wasn't so happy to find that it was "stolen." Suddenly, the Gallagher's find themselves in a graveyard, digging up Monica's corpse. Why? Oh yeah, Fiona hid a couple bags of Monica's generosity inside her casket.

Monica's casket ends up fittingly crashing to the ground with her body flying out of it. Monica, someone who wasn't loved when she was alive and on the show, but now the effects of her death and being felt. Frank seems to be finding his own way to cope, however.

Make amends, St. Francis. Frank has been making his way through this season trying to make up for all the bad things he has done in his life. Now we all know he'll probably die before he finishes this task but I have to say, I am enjoying his new personality. If anything, he is more comical now that he thinks he is a good person.

"Shameless" has high reliability so if you're ever feeling bored, head to Netflix and start back at season one with old pals like Jimmy-Steve, and all the drama of Sheila and Karen's household. "Shameless" airs on Sundays at 9/8 PM CT on Showtime.

Cover Image Credit: We Eat Films

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The Key To Ending Your First Draft Blues

Or at least getting through the next chapter with your hair intact
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Ah, the first draft. We’ve all been there as writers. The day we decide to turn a blank word document into a 70,000 word (or more) masterpiece. Or, at least, that’s always the aim. Often as first-time writers, we go into the experience blind, learning as we go, and never really knowing whether what we’re doing is right or wrong.

It can be frustrating at times, as most first drafts are a test of sanity. As somebody who had written ten first draft books (nearing eleven) in six years, I have had my fair share of ups and downs when it comes to first drafts.

My first book ever took me four years just to write it, I started at the age of sixteen and finished by the time I was twenty. A year later I had written another. I then wrote one in thirty days, and nowadays I write about three to four books a year.

My point is, there is no science to writing. It is all about learning how to do it, and finding the methods that suit you best. I just wish I could have had someone to tell me all of that when I started.

With that in mind, here are my five pieces of advice on how to write your first draft:

#5 Embrace the Terribleness

The first draft is always the worst version of any story. The sooner you accept it, the easier it is to move forward with your work. So you misspell a few words so bad that even Word can't help you. That shouldn't stop you from going with the flow. Your dialogue will feel hammier than a "Star Wars" film, but you'll clean it up the second time around. You're not expected to create a masterpiece on the first go, so just enjoy the ride.

#4 Suffer for your Art

Writing can be hard. I've said it enough times already, but it's true. You have to be prepared to suffer for it. The reason my first book took four years to write was because I didn't commit to it. The reason I wrote 80,000 words in thirty days was because I committed myself to write at least 1,000 words a day. Now I average 3,000 daily. Is it painful to force 3,000 words to the page every day? Yes, but that's what you have to do to get the draft finished.

#3 Take your Time

Now I know this goes against what I just said, but it's important that you go at the pace you want to. I was happier writing 1,000 words a day, but I was eighteen then. At twenty-three, I'll never get everything done going at 1,000 words a day. Commit yourself to writing every day, even if its only 200 words. Writing is a marathon, not a sprint. You'll get to the finishing line quicker if you jog a steady pace rather than adopting a sprint and rest mentality.

#2 Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Yes, it's important to remember what colour your character's hair is, which one is taller, and what weapon they are carrying. Although with that said, it is important to keep going forward. In my editing, I go over everything with a fine comb, often with a character profile at my side. Don't get bogged down giving every little detail the first time around, you'll have time for that later. The hardest thing is getting it down the first time.

#1 Keep the Story Going at All Costs

This kind of goes without saying, but it is by far the most important step for me. You have to keep moving forward. It doesn't matter if you have to use the biggest Deus ex machina to get your plot going again, you can always edit it away in the re-draft. I use a technique called automatic writing, which means that I don't plan every detail of a chapter. I simply write it as I go. This allows me to give my characters natural reactions as events often come as a surprise to me too.

Obviously it is good to have a rough idea of what is meant to happen, but as long as you can get your characters from A to B, then you are half way there. The other half will be polishing it to the point you can see your reflection.

Good luck, and happy writing.

Cover Image Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Writer%27s_Block_I.jpg

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4 Steps To Writing a Haiku

It's Fun I Promise
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You've probably had to write a haiku for English sometime in your school career. You most likely found it boring, or difficult, or just plain stupid. I am going to try and show you a more fun way to write a haiku.

1. The Basics: What You Should Know

In case you don't know, a haiku is a Japanese poem that is only three lines long. It is usually taught that the syllables in each line should go 5-7-5. But really, as long as there are 17 syllables or less in the three lines, it's a haiku.

2. Write to Get a Reaction

When you write a haiku, you are aiming to get one of three reactions: Aaaahhh, aha!, or ha ha! For example...

Aaahhh: Laying in bed/dog next to me under blanket/my furry heater

Aha!: Life is too short to love people/who do not deserve/your whole heart

Ha ha!: I'm on the toilet/and my stomach drops/the roll is empty

3. Create an Image

In your writing, you want to create a new image in your readers mind with each line. Take my first haiku for example. I first talk about laying in bed. Then, I say there is a dog next to me under the blanket, so you picture a lump under the covers. In my last line, I call him a furry heater so you imagine a heater covered in fur. The image you create is more important than the syllables.

4. Performing

Lastly, you need to think about performing your haiku. As always, when you're speaking in front of a room of people, you need to project so the whole room can hear you and you need to make eye contact. Another thing to remember is the tone of your voice while you are saying your poem. Dramatic pauses can keep people on the edge of their seat, waiting for what you're going to say next. You also have to remember to be confident! And if you're not confident, fake it till you make it!

Cover Image Credit: Imgur

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