Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Rant (Creative title, no?)

Do you know one of the hardest things for me, personally, as a writer is? Actually, it is probably linked more to my personality, and being an introvert, but it does have something to do with writing so I'll use it as a blogpost here.

One of the hardest things for me. Any guesses? No, it isn't having trouble sticking to a story and finishing it. Nor is it editing, though that is a difficult thing.

Okay, here it is: Talking to people about my stories. Not just the usual dread that comes with someone asking, "So, what's your story about?", but actually really talking about a story.
There are actually a few levels to this, so I'll go ahead and get started explaining.

For the first level, I merely wish to make a point that I deliberately don't talk about certain stories at times. When I'm writing a rough draft in particular. There are a few reasons for this... One simply being that I don't want to create expectations for the story that are going to either give away plot twists, or put unneeded pressure on me because as I'm writing, I'll be thinking, "Oh, I said that it is going to be like this, and I said this was going to happen, and I said... so I have to make sure that happens...". Of course, pressure can be good at times (I typically work best under pressure, in fact), but other times, not so much.

Second level; I truly have trouble talking about stories with people, both because I'm just clumsy at explaining things about stories in general (even ones that are not my own), and because I'm afraid it could reflect negatively on how people view me. Yes, I know. If you're reading this, and you're fairly well acquainted with me, you know that I rarely worry about what people think of me. I'll go to Wal-mart in a ninja outfit, or some other costume or weird get-up, if I feel so inclined. And I actually take enjoyment in people giving me strange looks and/or laughing at me.
But, when it comes to my stories, I do worry. I'll say it right here; in my most recent, and better, stories, the main characters have fairly major issues (mostly emotionally), and the story in general leans toward being more on the dark side. Not dark as in "There-is-no-hope-in-the-world,-and-you're-going-to-want-to-kill-yourself-after-you-read-this" kind of dark; I make a point of giving my stories happy endings, but they aren't predominately light-hearted, happy fluffy stories.

Right. The third level, and the one I'm most having trouble with today, is actually having someone I can talk about my stories with. Don't get me wrong, I have online friends who are quite helpful when it comes to stories, and I'm very grateful to have them. But sometimes, I want to talk and rant about my stories to someone who is right in front of me, in person. Someone who won't think I'm crazy when I talk about the storyline running away from me without so much as a, "May I?", or about characters refusing to listen and in fact doing the opposite of what I want them to. I've gotten very strange looks from people after stating that my characters are being annoying, and received questions of, "You created them, you can just *make* them behave!" or "Why don't you plan out your stories more before you write? Then things wouldn't get away from you so much!"
( Just for the record, the answers to those two questions are 1) Though I created the charries, that by no stretch of the imagination means that they always do what I want them to, and 2) I have tried totally mapping out a story, and the results have been a. Story withering and death, b. Forced, unnatural, and stiff sounding prose, and c. Outline being forgotten and/or completely ignored. )
And, probably most importantly, this person has to be willing to listen to my ranting/repetitive enthusing and complaining/and brainstorming. Of course, a major plus is that while they're voluntarily listening to this, they're not thinking I'm completely off my rocker because of what I write about, or how I talk about my charries and stories.

So... there is my rant. As I said, today especially I am wishing that someone I regularly see, in person, was story rant-able. It is times like these that I wish I weren't the only serious fiction writer in my house. Typically, I'm rather spiffed that I alone get the title of "Writer of the House".

Well, I feel much better now, after ranting. Points to anyone who read this whole ramble-y, complaining post. I promise such posts as these will be rare. =P

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Fine Line of Writing Foreign Characters

One of the novels I am currently editing, Faerlocher, has several foreign characters, ranging from British to Japanese. And, I'm finding that there is a very fine line in writing their dialogue to reflect their background.

One character, a dragon named Loch, is British. His is probably the easiest for me to write, as I read and watch many British movies and TV shows. The most important thing for me there is to drop in some English sayings, then I just mention that his accent is British. Because everyone knows what a British accent sounds like!

But, on the other hand, I have two characters who are Japanese, named Cheri and Faerlo. For them, I can't just say something along the lines of, "They spoke in Japanese accents". Why? Because very few people in the US know what a Japanese accent sounds like! And if they do, it is doubtful they have such a grasp of it that they'd be able to hear it in a book. Also, since it is a different language entirely, there is the whole sentence structure thing to deal with.
What I don't want to do, is make it painful to read their dialogue. I remember times I have read books that completely spelled out a person's accent in their dialogue. I remember both liking, and disliking it, as it tended to confuse me. So in my novel, I don't want to have Faerlo say something like, "Milk-u refrigerator-o inside-i is-i." That sentence structure is taken exactly from how the Japanese would structure it ("Miruku wa reizoko no naka desu."), and Japanese do tend to stick some vowels after syllables/words that don't end in a vowel. But to read a sentence like that in a book? It'd look a bit weird, and probably be confusing to read.

Along those lines, I also have a German faerie named "Sage". I could write her dialogue, "Da meelk ees een da reefreegahrator." or somesuch. But again, that looks like it'd be a pain in the neck to read. Not to mention, there is a lot more pressure if I wrote it like that. A lot more room for error.

So how to balance it out? How to get across that the character has an accent, without simply stating that they have an accent once, when they first meet the main character, while not making things confusing to read? Honestly, I'm still finding that out. Any pointers in that area would be welcome! And once I get it figured out, perhaps I shall make another blog post about it.

Until next time!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Progress and Points of Interest

Well now, look at that. I'm posting here again! Hurray!

All right. Story related updates are as follows:
I finished chapter four of Nightmare yesterday. I don't believe I've said much, if anything, about this story yet... It is actually rather complicated. A couple different storylines mushed together.
It's a Fantasy, set in modern times. The main character, Cashmere, is a child counselor. She has recently completed her training, and taken up her first patient; a five-year-old girl named Jodi.
Very soon, Cashmere finds that there is much more going on than just "speech impairments and emotional and behavioral problems". Cashmere is pulled into a supernatural battle, between two far from normal girls, and a whole other aspect concerning her own past and fears, which haunt her in unnervingly real nightmares which seem somehow connected with little Jodi.

Well, that's a very rough sum-up, anyways. I'm horrible with synopsis, but ah well.

Aside from Nightmare, I've been editing and revamping Faerlocher, which is a novel containing dragons, faeries, an overly imaginative girl named Annebelle, and a troublesome boy named Harvey. And I've been puttering around editing and fixing Unmasked, which is the story I wrote for 3-Day-Novel.

I've also been struggling to not be distracted by another clamoring story idea that has recently risen. Ah, the horrors of writing.

Stories aside, my praying mantis' egg sac hatched, and I now have baby praying mantises! They're adorable! Of course, my first worry upon seeing them was, "What on earth am I going to feed them?", as the smallest cricket I've seen is twice the size of these little critters. After Googling the question, however, I found that you can feed them hamburger! So, I'm trying that. We'll see if it works!

I also decided to get my nose pierced. Which hurt horribly, and I wouldn't do it again, given the chance.

I'm continuing work on playing Moonlight Sonata on the piano. I've completed the first and second movements, and can play them without the sheet music, and am currently halfway through the third page of the third movement. The third movement is probably the hardest piece I've played, mostly because it is so fast, and I'm having trouble finding patterns in the music to help me remember it.

And... that's about it!

Until next time!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

August 15th

Post title look familiar? Believe it or not, that was the last time I posted on this blog! Why? Because I've been eaten by a giant mutant snail? Because I've been frightfully busy getting published?

Sadly, no. No, the real reason is much less exciting, and actually, a bit embarrassing. I completely and utterly forgot I had started this blog!

I know, rather a "fail" moment, right?

Ah well. I'm back to revive things! And, and update is in order.

First off, I'm not working on Avesolitus anymore. No, it wasn't working very well, and I've decided to let it rest for a while. Instead, I'm working on Nightmare, which is a working title. I'm on the fourth chapter, and it is going much more smoothly than Avesolitus.

Second, the Three Day Novel went well! I wrote Unmasked, which turned out quite a bit better than I thought it had, though still needs major work. It ended at about 30,000 words. I also finished Raven; Book Two, during NaNoWriMo, which wrapped up at about 45,000 words.

So, this year, I've written three novels:
Fusion through the Flood
Raven; Book Two

It's been a pretty good year! Though not as good as the last, when I wrote four new books... Ah well.

I've gotten several more story ideas. Yeah. Like I need the distraction right now. And have entered a contest that, should I win, would mean consideration of publication, and $800! Nice, right? Those results are announced on the nineteenth, so, of course, I'm eagerly awaiting that date.

And... Well, that about wraps up the updating writing-wise!

Watch out for another post soon!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Random Day of Intense Writing

So, yesterday, after arriving home from church and finding that we were not going on our weekly geocache, I was a bit bummed.

For me, geocaches are a breath of fresh air (literally) and I absolutely love them.

For those of you who don't know, geocaching is treasure hunting done with a GPS ("Global Positioning System"... or something like that). You go to the official geocaching website, type in where you are and how far you're willing to travel, and voila! It gives you a list of coordinates to nearby geocaches that you can chase after! They have easy ones that you drive up to, step out of your car, and find without really looking, and they have ones where you have to hike five miles through woods, briars, creeks, etc.
They get pretty interesting-- Especially when your little brother about falls off a cliff into a creek, or when you have to climb through connecting trees to cross said creek. Or there's always when you get dizzy and start seeing things for lack of water. (Yes, my family tends to do things the hard way, don't let it scare you off)

Anyways. In the end you find a plastic container full of (usually) useless plastic toys. But what you find isn't the joy of it, it's how it is found! Who wants to stroll down a paved sidewalk, look over your shoulder, and say, "Oh, there it is." When you can crawl under fences, tramp through nettles, climb through trees, and then, with great relief, at last turn over that special rock and shout, "FOUND IT!!!!"
Sure, in the extreme temperatures, like Summer and dead of Winter, easy caches are the way to go. But otherwise? Easy caches are for the weak of heart.

Plus, there's all the listening to music and chatting on the way to the cache site.

...That was a rather long rabbit trail far off what I was going to talk about. Ah well, you can see, I love geocaching.

And yesterday, we didn't go, and I was a bit sad over.

But then it occurred to me that I had an awful lot of writing to get done. See, on September 3rd, 4th, and 5th (Labor Day weekend), I am going to write a novel. A complete novel.

Yes, I'm insane, no need to tell me.

And I would very much like to have the current novel I'm working on ("Avesolitus") finished by that time, which gives me about three weeks. And on top of that, I would very much like to finish "Avesolitus" by the 31st of August, so I have some no-writing time before the 3Day Novel, to recuperate and think a few things through. And, before yesterday, I was only partly through the first chapter.

Yeah. Problem? I think yes.

So, instead of moping about no geocache, I decided I would write. A lot. As close to 10,000 words as I could get.
At 12:00pm, I started. I finished chapter one, zipped through three more chapters, and then, most of the way through chapter four, I ground to a sudden and final halt.

It seems you can run completely dry on creative juices. I'd not experienced it so potently before, but it happened yesterday. After seven and a half hours of writing, I just couldn't think of a single interesting thing to write.
I was a bit worried that I had used up all my creativity in one day, and wouldn't have anymore for a week or so.

But, the mind is a wonderful thing! After a cup of tea and a night of sleep (albeit not the most restful sleep), it has refreshed itself and is chafing at the bit to start writing again.

So, off I go!

Oh, and in case you were wondering, and are still reading this very long blog post, my final word count yesterday was 8,500 words.
Leaving me with a total word count of 14,166 words for "Avesolitus".

Yes, you may now be amazed.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Avesolitus Update Two

So, this is... Day seven of writing "Avesolitus" (estimated).

Including the chapter I wrote that I am rewriting, and some random scenes from other places in the book, I've written 5,684 words. Hoping to get some more work done on it before bed...

I'm eight pages into the first chapter. I've totally changed the beginning. Well. Actually, pretty much the whole chapter. I think it is coming together better this way though, so I'm hopeful that I won't have to rewrite this chapter for a fourth time. Currently Nichol, my main character, is in a... kind of hospital-type place. And of course, not very happy about it.

Anyways, there we go! An update! I'm going to try and update as often as possible, to hopefully help keep me on the ball with this. And with editing "Faerlocher", which I didn't get any work done on today.

'Till next time!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Current Happenings in my Imagination

Okay, so in the last post I gave a pretty broad overview of my writings and such. Here, I'll cover what is at hand.

As I mentioned, I'm editing "Faerlocher" and writing "Avesolitus".

Faerlocher progress is going... All right, I'm working on the second chapter, and it is going notably slower than the first chapter, mostly because I have three or four new scenes to write and add to chapter two. I'm making a pretty major change to the story: Adding a whole new character. So this will be a very interesting experience... I've probably never done this much major editing since I wrote Ravenhollow, and rewrote half the story. But, despite going slowly, it is going well.

In Avesolitus, I've finished chapter one, but am rewriting it. For the third time. Thankfully, I think this time will do it. I actually got inspiration at ten o'clock last night, my official bedtime that is often stretched because story inspiration loves to strike right around that time. Anyways, I wrote nearly a thousand words in thirty minutes, which was refreshing and, of course, exciting! Now I just need to read through it and see if it turned out as good as I thought it did last night.

Aside from those two stories, I'm determined to write a short story, eventually. I hate writing short stories, quite honestly, but it seems that is the best way to get noticed in the story writing world, so I'll just have to deal with it.

And, I'm developing the characters for "Einmaesquet" and "C.G.", which is my favorite part of story making. Characters are just plain awesome and so rewarding to get to know! I shall definitely have to make a post about my charries sometime...

Until then, farewell!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Greetings and Salutations, People of the World

Well... Hi!

After some thought as to what to use this blog for, since I'd started it on a whim without really knowing why I was starting this, I have decided to use it primarily for writing motivation.

So there you have it, what this blog is going to be about: My writings. I'll post updates about my writings, and probably some short stories too.

Now, who on earth am I? Good question...

I'm an aspiring writer, who writes primarily Fantasy/Sci-Fi Adventure novels, but also enjoys writing some Adventure novels that aren't Fantasy or Sci-Fi. I hope to get published one day, though I don't necessarily want to become really famous to the present day. Getting some notice now, enough to earn some money off of, then having my books last for a while after I'm dead would be awesome.

Aside from writing, I enjoy...

Music. I play piano, ocarina, drums, voice, and a little guitar, and have a lot more instruments I want to learn.

Foreign languages. Though I'm far from fluent in any language but English (and sometimes I really wonder how well I speak even that), I've played around in many languages... Latin, Greek, Bulgarian, Russian, German, ASL, and Japanese. I'm currently focusing on Latin, due to my current novel.

Dance. I've had experience with a number of different dance types. Ballet, Square, Swing, Drill, and HipHop... Really enjoy that, much to some peoples' amazement, since I tend to be the more introverted type.

And, of course, I love to read. "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins, "The Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Narnia Chronicles" by C.S. Lewis, "Deception" by Randy Alcorn, and "Sherlock Holmes" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are some of my favorites.

So. Since this is primarily going to be a writing blog, I suppose it would be a good idea to give you a brief idea where I stand, writing-wise.
I've come up with stories ever since I can remember, wrote my first story when I was around ten, and after that started several stories. I only finished two short stories, whilst all the rest of my ideas meandered on into nothingness, until I found "The One Year Adventure Novel" curriculum. With the help of that and National Novel Writing Month, I managed to finish my first novel in 2008: "Ravenhollow", a story about a school that housed and taught highschoolers with superpowers. Fantasy Adventure novel set in the modern world.

After that, I didn't write anything else until exactly a year later, instead I focused on editing and revising "Ravenhollow", which needed a lot of work.
But, in 2009, I began and finished "Secrets Rise", which was about a street girl caught up in the midst of a conspiracy. Adventure novel set in the modern world.

Then, I really started writing.
In 2010, I wrote four novels and novellas:
"Raven" (a Fantasy Adventure novella set in a medieval world, about a girl who controls shadows)
"Lost and Found" (another Fantasy Adventure novella, set in the modern world this time, about a girl with bird wings from an institution that does experiments on humans)
"Faerlocher" (a Fantasy Adventure novel [my longest novel up to date] set in the modern world, about a girl who finds dragons and faeries in her barn)
and "Hidden" (a Mystery/Fantasy/Adventure novel set in the same medieval world as "Raven", about a woman trying to figure out who or what is behind the mysterious deaths of people in her village)

This year I have only finished one novel: "Fusion through the Flood", an Adventure set in the modern world about a group of spies.
I've been focusing more on editing/revising/polishing a novel ("Faerlocher") to prepare it for publishing.

Not long after deciding to focus on "Faerlocher", I found that I cannot go without writing something new for long, so I took up my idea list, and am now in the midst of both editing "Faerlocher", and writing a new, currently unnamed story that I am simply calling "Avesolitus" at the moment. I would tell you what it is about, but honestly, all I know is that it is Sci-Fi/Fantasy, set in the future, about a group trying to save an almost extinct species. Sounds really boring, I know, but this nearly extinct species is a group of warriors with flying squirrel-like wings who speak Latin... well, it is a bit more interesting. At least, I hope so.

Aside from "Avesolitus", I'm soon going to be writing two other stories, both unnamed, but at the moment being called:
"Einmaesquet" (Sci-Fi, Adventure)
and "C.G." (Sci-Fi?, Adventure)

And no, I'm not saying much of anything about those two. Mostly because I haven't the slightest clue what they're going to be about. All I know is the characters, as is usual when I start working on a novel. So you don't get to hear how awesome they are.
Or maybe you're relieved you don't have to hear me ramble about them.

Now... this post has gotten a lot longer than I thought it would be, so I'll wrap it up. And possibly shorten it if I read through it on the blog and decide I don't want to completely bore anyone who stops by right off the bat.

If you're still reading, thanks for doing so! Hopefully I'll actually pay attention to this blog instead of forget about it...