Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them by J.K. Rowling

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them by J.K. Rowling | Screenplay book review

Title: Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
Author: J.K. Rowling
Published: 
November 2016 by Arthur A. Levine Books
Genre: YA Fantasy, screenplay
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary:

J.K. Rowling’s screenwriting debut is captured in this exciting hardcover edition of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay.

When Magizoologist Newt Scamander arrives in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when his magical case is misplaced and some of Newt’s fantastic beasts escape, it spells trouble for everyone…

My Review:

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It’s another Harry Potter story, so of course, I was bound to pick this one up.

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We’re thrown back way before Harry Potter’s time set in America where Newt Scamander is researching and trying to protect magical creatures. He keeps them all in his magical suitcase where they co-live in their own respective habitats. It’s not until some beasts get loose that there’s a problem.

With the help of Tina Goldstein, a former Auror, and the help of Jacob Kowalski, a No-Maj (or Muggle), they go on a journey to find the beasts and bring them back to the suitcase.

There is one more beast roaming around called an Obscurus and it’s because of that they get into pretty big trouble with the Ministry of Magic.

Together they have to rally all the beasts and help wizards and Muggles alike against the Obscurus… and maybe save that beast as well.

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All the characters were a love. Newt was especially my favorite with his quirkiness and Jacob was a wonderful addition to the cast since he wasn’t a wizard.

Tina took a little getting used to for me, but I think that was also because she was more trying to save her own job than actually help Newt for a little while. Queenie, Tina’s sister, was a fun character as well.

I found they had a well-rounded amount of characters for this story (and they picked a great cast for the movie).

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This too is a screenplay. It was quick and easy to read as there were lesser details in it than the average novel. Still, it’s fun to get to know a little bit about the screenwriting process (from a writer’s point of view).

The book also had little illustrations and designs throughout the book with I felt completed it. They were pretty and fun to look at and added a little more to the story.

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I saw the movie before I read this. This is the screenplay for the movie, so there were no surprises. Even still, this is one I would recommend seeing the movie first and then reading the book. You’ll get a little more out of the movie (visually so), but the screenplay is fun to read as well. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them by J.K. Rowling gets…
5-Star Rating | Book Review 5 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote:

“My philosophy is that worrying means you suffer twice.” –J.K. Rowling, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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5 Quotes by J.K. Rowling

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1. “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”

2. “Books are like mirrors: if a fool looks in, you cannot expect a genius to look out.”

3. “We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already.”

4. “I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book.”

5. “Is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me.”

Which one is your favorite quote from J.K. Rowling? Do you know any good quotes by her that aren’t listed here? Let me know in the comments below!

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Serious Pep Talk

Getting Down To Business…

So…yesterday was my birthday. And as I sat there on my birthday, I began to realize something serious. And I must talk about it.

I started this blog for an important reason. I didn’t start it because I’m in love with the Internet and is constantly on the computer whenever I have free time. I started this because I wanted to journal about my writing. I wanted to share my ups and downs of the process…the writing, the editing, the getting published…I wanted to share what I know about the process and things that I am just learning. I wanted an online journal to share with the world and others who are in the same position as me. I want to learn from other blogs, I want others to learn from mine. I may have been writing for 9 years now, but just because it’s been nearly a decade, doesn’t mean I’m an expert. I still have no idea what I’m doing.

I read others blogs about writing and I do learn a lot. Some people say one thing while others think differently, but then I have to choose which option I think is best for me. Which one I agree with. I read writing blogs and a lot of them say the same things, “I write this many pages every day; I write for a minimum of an hour a day; I just finished editing my novel; I’m getting self-published/published!” Well, of course that is great news for those people. But as I read that I think to myself, “I want to write that much a day and be in a routine; I want to have a novel completely finished; I want to be published.” See the difference? I want. They do.

I remember last New Year’s, 2011. I was at my friend’s house and as we waited for the ball to drop, I asked myself, “Is this the year? Is 2012 going to be the time when I at least fully write and edit a novel to send out places? Or maybe I will have a book in the process of being published by the end of the year?” Now that it’s been almost a year, I realize that I am in the exact same spot I started in. I haven’t gotten any farther.

Now, it’s not like I haven’t been doing anything the past year. I have been busy with homework and with work and babysitting and family issues as well as friends…I have done a lot in 2012 and I still have a few more months to go. But considering how much writing I have done, it makes me question my future.

My goal in life is to be a full-time author. I don’t want to have a day job as well as a writing job on the side as though it’s extra money. I want to sell as many books as I can and be able to call myself a full-fledged writer. I may not be the next J.K Rowling, but I sure hope that I make a name for myself. I have so many ideas to share with the world. I have to share them.

But sometimes I get worried and have to ask myself questions that no one will ever know the answers to. I write because I love to write. However, will I be good enough? When will I be good enough? I’m in school learning about education in case writing doesn’t work out…so am I doing the right thing or is school wasting too much time that could potentially be the next great best seller? Will I become a writer…or will I be teaching the rest of my life? If I become a teacher, is that because my books didn’t sell enough to give me the income I needed to use that as my only job or is it because writing just didn’t work out at all for me? If writing works, am I just going to leave my teaching past behind? And the big question…is writing in my future at all?

I wish I had a big crystal ball, but the reality is that I don’t. I don’t have any answers to any of those questions and I’m not going to until I start really trying. I need to try writing three pages a day…I need to work at editing a novel. I know the process is long and hard…but who knows, maybe if I work really hard the end of this year, 2013 will be my year. But we just don’t know…

My oldest sister and I are Sunday school teachers at our church. We went to the director’s house to get our curriculum books for the year and she informed us that she is stepping down. My sister and I are the new directors together. That’s one more thing I have on my plate this year. School, work, Sunday school, babysitting, homework, family, friends…but I will fit in a time for writing. Even if it’s five minutes a day. I have to. No more “I want.” It’s all going to be “I do” or “I did.”

So…here’s to another year older. Maybe not another year wiser. But hey–we’ll give it a shot. 😉 Cheers.

Anyone Can Do It

Easy as 1, 2, 3….

Anybody can write.  If you have a good enough plot that’s fresh and original, you know how to spell, great interactive and lively characters, and pretty decent grammar, anybody can do it.  Writing is, for the most part, pretty easy.

My cousins (Jackie, 10 and Katherine, 7) like to write stories about my cat, Hunter.  They also incorporate our neighbor’s cats, Socks and Mittens.  Plus, they made up a new character and named him Hunter Jr., who apparently is Hunter’s son.  Hunter is also apparently married; however, aside from “mom,” she is a nameless character who only appears in the story when she is nagging Hunter Jr. to clean up his room.

Ladies and gents, I introduce you to Hunter!

The two of them write their stories down on normal white-lined paper.  They draw illustrations to go with each page and then staple the pages together to look like a book and include an illustrated cover.  They actually come out pretty well.  I’m creative, but if I was their age, I would have never thought to put it in “book format” like that.  Actually, I’m 18 and I still wouldn’t have thought of something like that.

Their stories are all dialogue (yet no quotations), repetitive with “he said/she said,” each story is only about maybe five pages long (but with the illustrations, it’s technically less than that), and if you did not have the illustrations, you would have no idea what was going on in the story.  I will give them some credit: for the most part, you can make out where the story is going by just reading the words (even if they are spelled incorrectly), the illustrations are pretty good for a ten- and seven-year-old (better than what I would do), they definitely each have a creativity bone in their body, and they’re trying.

Now, whether you write like Jackie and Katherine or you write like J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter), you could get something published.  This is simply because of self-publishing.  I bet that if I took one of my cousins’ stories, edited it a little, and sent it to a self-publisher, people would buy it simply because little kids wrote it and it’s “cute.”  You could do the same thing-whether your story is good or bad-you could self-publish.  If it doesn’t sell, well maybe you haven’t promoted yourself that much…or maybe that novel just sucked.  Try again.

I don’t know a lot about self-publishing or big publishing companies or even getting an agent.  But I’m trying.  How am I going to do it?  I don’t know.  Where am I going to start?  I don’t know.  Will I become as big as James Patterson (Maximum Ride series)?  I don’t know.  There are a lot of unknowns in this world and believe me, trying to become a published author is definitely one of them.

I can’t stress this enough: I don’t know much about agents, publishing companies, or self-publishing.  One could probably say that I know little to nothing about it.  Sure, I have written and completed a couple of novels, but I am not published.  I have not gone on that journey to seek out an agent or gone through the process of self-publishing.  But based on my research, this is what I know.

Let me tell you something: I finished a young adult novel.  Good for me, right?  Yes, well, there is an accomplishment is simply finishing a first draft…actually, it’s quite a big accomplishment.  However, whether you are planning on self-publishing or looking for an agent or skipping over the agent to try to publish with the big publishing companies on your own, you need to edit.  And edit.  And edit and edit and edit some more because guess what?  Nine times out of ten, that first draft is going to be crap.

When I finished that novel, believe me, I was beyond excited.  I edited it once.  That’s right.  Just once.  I was so excited that I just said to myself, “It’s done.  It’s ready and it needs to be put on those bookshelves immediately.”  Of course I was wrong.  Due to my lack of knowledge on big publishing companies, I decided to look for an agent first.  I didn’t even consider self-publishing because I wanted my book to be published by a big name publishing company that everybody knew.  Like Harper Collins or Random House.  I also wanted my book to be on bookshelves in stores and not just sold online.

So, I sent this novel to about…ten agents.  I heard back from all of them.  Can you guess what all the answers were?  A big, fat no.  Was I discouraged?  Honestly, no.  I’ve heard the saying, “be excited when you get rejected” and in a way I was because I knew that I had tried.  I knew that the agent(s) have at least looked at it.  However, if I told you that I got discouraged, you all would think I’m some sort of cocky jerk.  Let me guess: you’re laughing at me right now.  You must think that I’m a big idiot.  In some ways, I am an idiot.  After collecting all the rejections, I looked over my manuscript and I thought the same thing: “I must have made myself look like an idiot in front of all those agents.  This novel is no where near ready!  What was I thinking?” I was thinking that because I actually finished something, it was the best in the world, every agent would want to represent me, the first publishing company we asked would fall in love with the book, publish it right away, and then I would be on the Oprah Winfrey Show because I wrote such an “amazing” book.  Or, to put it short and simple, I wasn’t thinking at all.

I have edited that novel a few more times and I’m still editing it.  I’m on the seventh draft.  Yes, you read correctly.  However, I can’t edit all the time and stop all my writing simply because of that one novel.  So, I wrote and completed two children’s novels and another young adult novel.  Have I tried sending any of them in to any agents?  No.  I want to make sure that the manuscript, whichever one it will be, is ready.  Really ready, not fake ready.

I have looked through books at Barnes & Noble listing agents.  I wrote down all the ones that would represent the types of novels that I write.  Then I remembered something…before I sent in that novel to all those agents, I researched how to write a good query letter.  Every bit of information I found on query letters said, “list previous publications.” And I say that if I had any previous publications, I probably wouldn’t need an agent in the first place.  So, all my query letters never listed my previous publications because they are non-existent.  I researched some more…specifically that question.  Apparently, most agents wouldn’t even think about representing you unless you have some sort of background in publishing.  It shows them that you can meet a deadline, your writing must be somewhat decent if it was published somewhere else, and you must have some sort of knowledge on publishing if you really did publish something.  Even if it was only in the local newspaper.

I looked up magazines.  I figured that I could write a short story, send it to a magazine and if they like it, they can publish it.  I might have written a couple of short stories to publish in different magazines.  That way, I would have something published and a little publishing knowledge under my belt.  Of course, magazines are a long process.  One magazine said to wait six months to hear back.  January 2012 ended the six months and I never heard back from them.  Of course, I’ll keep trying.  Write different stories, try different magazines…but then I had an epiphany.

Alright, so this “epiphany” is only from what my sister told me, but I sound smarter when I say I had an epiphany.  Anyway, apparently self-publishing is a great way to get your foot in the door.  I know a few people who have used a certain self-publishing company (I don’t know these people personally…they’re all from a writing website that I am apart of), but I at least know that this self-publishing company is legit.  However, I still researched it and some people like it, some people don’t.  Some people say it’s a scam, some people don’t.  Some people say it’s cheap, other think it’s expensive.

I’ve also heard the saying, “if they want you to pay them, chances are it’s a scam.”  However, self-publishing is a little different than publishing through a big company.  I still have to do my research and possibly take a look at other self-publishing companies, but my point is that I’m going to try to get a novel self-published (and/or a short story published in a magazine or something) before I start searching for an agent.  It will still take me a while to get an agent, but at least being published will increase my chances a little.

You’re probably thinking, “The title of this post says that anyone can do it, but all you’re doing is talking about failures of the publishing process.” No, I still stand by what I said: anyone can do it.  It’s a hard, long process, especially if you don’t really know what you’re doing, like me.  My point is, if you take it seriously enough and really try and believe in yourself…you could publish something all on your own.  From there, you could get an agent and sell a lot more things through big publishing companies, or continue self-publishing depending on how well the first one turned out.

I told you everything I went through with the publishing process (everything I went through so far, I mean) because if you really want to get somewhere in life with your writing, you can’t get discouraged at every little thing.  The road is long and you don’t know if you’re supposed to go left, right, or straight.  A lot of detours will pop up unexpectedly and you’re most likely going to make a few wrong turns here and there in which case you’ll have to turn around and go back to retrace your steps in order to get back on track.

You can’t let that stop you.  If you want it bad enough, believe you can do it, and keep at it, you’ll make it.  Get excited when you receive a rejection.  Take both good and bad critique to heart.  Don’t get discouraged so easily.  Certainly don’t give up.  You may make thousands of dollars off your novel(s), have your novels turned into movies, and/or just be one of those laid-back authors who make just enough money to get by, but aren’t that big.  Either way, you’ll make it because, well…anyone can do it.