By: Fairouz Tamer

Have you ever asked yourself what your last day would look like? Have you wondered what the memory you want to leave after your last goodbye is? Have you ever wondered what your next day would be like? And one last question: “If someone asks you about your happiest memories in life right now, what would it be?”.

All those questions crossed Samantha on a seemingly normal day for the protagonist, popular 17-year-old Samantha “Sam” Kingston. On February 12, known as “Cupid’s Day”, Sam carries out the day like normal with her three best friends, Elody, Lindsay, and Ally. That night, she attends the party of Kent McFuller, an unpopular boy at their high school who used to be her best friend, but whom Sam now treats badly despite them both knowing he has feelings for her.  Moreover, Juliet Sykes, a girl who’s bullied by Sam and her friends, shows up at the party and calls Sam and her friends “bitches”, who react by pouring alcoholic beverages on her, calling her names, and shoving her around. Juliet runs out of the house. Later that night, Sam and her friends are driving home when, at 12:39AM, there’s a “flash of white” and the car veers off the road and crashes into a tree. Sam dies.

Such a tragic, overwhelming ending; but it is such an awakening, beautiful book to read one thousand times (as I did). Here is what awoke me:

“So many things become beautiful when you really look.”

“A good friend keeps your secrets for you. A best friend helps you keep your own secrets.”

“It’s funny, isn’t it? When you are young you just want to be old, and then later you wish you could go back to being a kid.”

“The whole point of growing up is learning to stay on the laughing side.”

“Things change after you die, though, I guess because dying is the loneliest thing you can do.”

“It strikes me how strange people are. You can see them every day, you can think you know them and then you found out you hardly knew them at all.”

“Hope keeps you alive.”

“Some things are better left buried and forgotten.”

“Nobody ever said life was fair.”

“If you cross a line and nothing happens, the line loses meaning.”

“It’s Connecticut: being like the people around you is the whole point.”

“You should only fall in love with people who will fall in love with you back.”

“Everyone just wasting time because they have so much of it to waste, minutes slipping by on who’s with who and did you hear.”

As you can conclude, everything changes in the blink of an eye when she dies in a car crash but then magically wakes up to find herself reliving the same day over and over again. As Samantha tries to untangle the mystery of a life derailed, she must also unravel the secrets of the people closest to her and discover how the power of a single day can make a difference.

Of course, you might have stopped once and asked yourself: Am I a good or bad writer?. The truth is you will never know until you actually start writing. But what if you want to start and you want to know whether you are obtaining the characteristics of successful writers or not? That is okay. We got you.

A good writer shall have the following qualities:

1. Attention to Detail

Great writers are observers, always taking mental notes and noting subtle changes around them. This attention to detail not only makes them fantastic editors who can spot the smallest grammatical error during a read-through, but it adds a special touch to their writing, too. No descriptive detail gets left behind.

2. Discipline

Writers who excel are familiar with frustration because re-writes, edits, and improvements all come by maintaining a disciplined approach to writing. Great writers are devoted to constantly re-evaluating their work, no matter how small the task may be. They focus on their craft and are constantly working to get better through intense discipline.

3. Clarity

An effective writer can distill complex thoughts and ideas into simple, clear language that’s quickly and easily understood by others. This valuable quality helps them tackle even the densest subject matter by breaking it down into uncomplicated pieces.

4. Strong Vocabulary

No one likes to read the same words over and over again, so a strong, robust vocabulary is an asset to any good writer. Incorporating interesting and unusual words into their writing, this skill helps them maintain a reader’s interest and allows them to communicate more effectively by accessing the perfect word for any situation.

5. Open to Changes

Being open to external edits and suggestions is key for exceptional writers because it enables them to improve their writing, even though it might damage their ego in the meantime. Open-mindedness allows them to see their work through the eyes of others and improve weak points.

6. Passion for Reading

Voracious readers often make great writers, because being immersed in a world of words helps one better understand the nuts and bolts of writing (like syntax, tone, framing, etc.) The more one reads, the more learned he/she becomes on all of the different writing tools and stylistic angles that exist.

7. Multi-Talented

Multi-talented is the most common characteristic of a writer as they are also indulging in other activities of book marketing, editing, and be present in the book launch.

A writer has a vast knowledge of book promotion and marketing as well as social media promotion and marketing.

A personal figure voice generates more sales than a brand voice, which always seems monotonous demanding only sales.

And nowadays the writes have to do Live videos on Facebook as well as on Instagram to reach more audiences.

They are now growing rapidly and independent from book publishing houses for generating sales.

Now they can sell their books by themselves.

This, in turn, has given rise to Self-Published authors.

And self-published authors and writers are more multi-talented than those who always rely on traditional publishing.

8. Patience

As a writer, you will have to have lots of patience.

A writer has to face a lot of rejection before getting published for the first time.

J.K. Rowling was rejected many times for publishing the Harry Potter series. But she hasn’t lost hope. She had the patience and had complete faith in her work.

Apart from that, there will be a time when you absolutely nothing to add to your manuscript. Or days when you realize the end is far away and the only thing preventing you from finishing is white space.

And when you are patience then only you can finish your manuscript.

This is how a writer survives in this competitive world.

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“Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.” I think starting with this quote is enough to make you wonder for a while, and think of the people you know and love. You might also ask yourself “Am I with the right group/person or not?” You might find it difficult to find an answer at first, but gradually you will have the answers to such important questions. You should be with someone who completes you, and you, them. And that is what is crossing Jack Masselin’s mind all the time.

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her grief. 

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a neatly kept secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool.

That is until Jack meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counselling and community service. At first, Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then, later on, they are surprised, because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. 

I will leave it there though; but here is a list of my emotionful conceptions from this wonderful book:

  1. “We’re all weird and damaged in our way. You’re not the only one.”

  2. “People are shitty for a lot of reasons. Sometimes they’re just shitty people. Sometimes people have been shitty to them and, even though they don’t realize it, they take that shitty upbringing and go out into the world and treat others the same way. Sometimes they’re shitty because they’re afraid. Sometimes they choose to be shitty to others before others can be shitty to them. So it’s like self-defensive shittiness.”

  3. “We don’t ever leave that old world behind. We just create a new one.”

  4. “We can’t fight another person’s battle, no matter how much we want to.”

  5. “You might not want to burn your bridges when you’re standing on an island.”

  6. “We never know how long we have. We’re never guaranteed tomorrow. I could die right now, right here.”

  7. “Everyone has a moment in history which belongs particularly to them, and them alone.”

  8. “If you walk away, don’t come back. You don’t get to do that and come back.”

  9. “However scary it is to go after your dreams, it’s even scarier not to.”

  10. “As for the rest of you, remember this: YOU ARE WANTED. Big, small, tall, short, pretty, plain, friendly, shy. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, not even yourself. Especially yourself.”

  11. I want to say, “It’s okay to be human. We’re all afraid, we all get hurt, and It’s okay to feel hurt. You’d be so much more likeable if you just acted human.”

  12. “The bad moments always have a way of coming around again, way too soon.”

  13. “You know, that’s what you’ve been doing in a way, coming out, coming out of your room. Coming out of your house. Coming out of your shell.”

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