Friday, 26 September 2014

The Silent Type

I don't know what's going on with my main character. 2,955 words in (I know it's not a lot, I just started, shush), and only 49 of those words are his. Yes, I counted. What's more, 13 of those words are him parroting back a phrase he's heard a million times. 7 more are him stumbling over his own tongue and really not saying anything. So he's only said 29 words so far. I guess he's just not a talkative guy? Or maybe I just don't know him well enough yet. I have a feeling he'll perk up a bit more once I get him out from under his father's shadow. Maybe.

this came from pinterest, and before that...idk.

Ok, ignore the bird. The bird has nothing to do with anything. There is no bird. If you like trying to find a picture to capture the essence of your character, you'll know: . . . it's hard. But this is by far the best one I've come across for Rolf. But he doesn't have a bird.

UPDATE: no, he still doesn't have a bird. BUT, he just said five more words! WOOHOOO! LOL don't worry; I won't tell you every time he opens his mouth. That could get old. But tmw I'm going to write him having a conversation, if he'll cooperate. ;)

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Beautiful People - A Villainous Edition

So, the fine ladies over at the Notebook Sisters and Further Up and Further In created and cohost a blogging event every so often. It is called the Beautiful People meme. Basically, they ask or use user-submitted questions that you must pose to one of your characters. This is incredibly useful for exploring and discovering the true nature of your character, because you might not have known it before. This time around, they're doing villains!

There are a few villains in my story, but after much deliberation, I settled on the main under-villain . . . . . if that makes any sense. His name is Amadan, and he--well. . . It's Gaelic, look it up and it'll explain a lot. Anyway, to begin our foray into this aspiring villain's mind:

1. What is their motive?
Pride, greed, anger, a bit of hurt. I'm not going to say just what it is he's done or exactly why, though. That would be telling. ;)

2. What do they want, and what are they prepared to do to get it?
To be fair, he really only wants what's rightfully his, it's just that he doesn't DESERVE to receive it. He's prepared to do pretty much anything to get what he wants, but that just proves his unworthiness.

3. How do they deal with conflict?
He gets mad and self-righteous, then goes running to my main villain to whine. Real attractive there, Amadan.

4. Describe their current place of residence.
A castle, in a floating city. For all you gamers out there, think Cocoon from Final Fantasy XIII. For everyone else, think. . . Elysium? And then add elves.

5. If they were writing this story, how would it end?
Well, he would be on the throne and basically ruler of all, they MIGHT be at war (not yet sure where he stands on that one), and he could do whatever he wanted with no one to tell him nay.

6. What habits, speech patterns, etc. are unique to them?
Well, he seems to have a strange inability to think entirely for himself. And while being homicidal isn't unique, being passive-aggressively homicidal might be? What I mean by that is, he won't act on his vengeful feelings until someone else *coughmainvillaincough* gives him the means to do it.

7. How do they show love? What do they like to do with/for people they love?
He loves like any person does--or should I say, loved. He gave her his every attention, whatever she desired was hers immediately. She was the only one who he could be entirely selfless for.

8. Do they have any pets?
His horse, Trua. A finer steed there never was. That horse is probably the last thing he truly does love, anymore.

9. Where would they go to relax/think?
He doesn't do a whole lot of thinking. As for relaxing, either in his bedchamber, or out on a ride with Trua.

10. What is their weapon of choice? (FYI: words, eyes/looks, and fists count as weapons too.)
He's a dab hand with a sword, and he's not shabby with a bow. Other, less physical weapons would be his power to exile, jail, or execute you. Your level of innocence is directly proportionate to how much he (or the main villain) has to wheedle the royal council. Or how much of a "trial" you actually get.

He's not all bad, though. As Tom says:

Thanks Tom. You may be right about that.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

When Your Characters Just CAN'T EVEN

I don't know about you, but this happens to me more often than not. I try to write a scene, and I can just be going along, fine as you please, until SOMEONE just GOES OFF and does something I ABSOLUTELY DID NOT PLAN ON, something I never even thought of until the very second they pulled a monkey wrench out of their own BUTT and threw it into the works. And this can be either a good thing, or a bad thing.

I know, I know; how could a wrench pulled out of a butt be a good thing? Well, it can give you inspiration, maybe that little bit of extra excitement, extra plot substance that you needed. How would you have know the Count was actually the MC's long-lost brother who married the MC's ex-girlfriend if your secondary character hadn't wandered over to that old mill and found all those buckets of paint?

On the other hand, it might not give you anything, and it might just confuse and stump you. There is really no point to the MC wandering around in that library, he's supposed to be in a bar fight right now, he'll never get there in time, how do I get him out of here without this being totally pointless? Do I have to delete everything I just wrote?

But what's even worse than characters that run around like toddlers with ADHD is when they WON'T. DO. ANYTHING. You don't know what it is, but they're really upset about something, and they're giving you the silent treatment. Is it their name? Their job? Their personality? Their background? Their home life? You don't know yet, but until you fix it, you can't make them do diddly squat. Nothing they say or do seems right. Their character is flat and lifeless, like a sad little stick figure.

I--what's that you say? I'm the author, I created and control these characters, I should be able to make them do whatever I want? *laughgigglesnort* yeah, sure, whatever.

While it's true that we have some measure of control over our art, oftentimes our subconscious takes over, and takes us to places we didn't expect. We try going in one direction, but our minds paint a picture of something else, even if it's something just a little bit different, and we can end up going in a different direction--or at least, taking a long time to get to where we wanted to go in the first place. Maybe our detour has a pertinent point, or maybe not. But we have to explore it to find out.

And sometimes, there is one small aspect of our character that we're not quite 100% in love with, and we try to convince ourselves that it's OK, but we can't seem to throw ourselves into that character's role and bring them to life until we change that aspect.

So you see, in some sense, our characters control us.

That being said, what can we do when these things happen? Well, I like to roll with it. Go to that underwater jousting arena, bored businessman! Change Happy-Fred-from-the-coffee-place-down-the-street to Ghalahagen-the-Bold-who-has-a-crippling-fear-of-moths. Build a bonfire on the school roof to signal those aliens that really weren't supposed to be a part of this story. See what happens.

On the other hand, it's equally acceptable to reign your characters in. Make them stay on dry land and go to that boring meeting where something actually awesome is going to happen. Make Happy Fred's tragic backstory WORK for him. Keep those kids off the roof and immersed in their tween drama like they're supposed to be. As long as YOU love your characters, and YOU love your story, then that will come shining through your words, and everyone else will love it, too. :)

My First Story - The Family That Got Mad

Or something like that. It's hard to remember the specifics. Hello! and welcome to this late-night blog post, whenever you happen to be reading this.

Last post, I gave you the list of every book I can remember starting, and I promised I'd go into each of them in detail. So, I thought I'd jump right in and start at number 1, which is of course, my first book ever.

I don't remember how old I was when I wrote it, so I always just say 4. It's my go-to age for things that happened when I was really young. Anyway, the "book" was made of regular lined paper, and I think I got one of my parents to staple a red construction paper cover onto it. It was four or six pages long, written in crayon, and half the pages were pictures. I think it went a little something like this:

Once there was a family. They loved each other very much. Then one day at supper, they got mad. They threw all their food on the floor and poured their drinks in the toilet. Then they weren't mad anymore. The end.

I'm paraphrasing, but that's about the gist of it. I'm sure the spelling and grammar weren't as good, though. XD
I'd write down the exact words if I had them, but it's unlikely that my little story survived the many spring cleanings through the years. I could maybe look through the dusty old boxes in the basement, but . . .

There might be spiders down there.

THE POINT IS: Little Me was an odd, entertaining duck.
Speaking of Little Me, I was going through some old books of ours today, and found my and my brother's baby books! It was equally adorable, hilarious, and embarrassing, haha. Apparently I used to call dogs "ra-ra-ra"s, and before I was even 2, I asked "How was your day?" The best one was when I was like 2 and a half:
"I'm mad!"
"Why are you mad?"
"Because that Philistine almost hit me with his sword!"

I suppose that was a side effect of learning the story of David and Goliath at a young age?

And in my brother's baby book, there was a page where you could put who all was in the household and family at the time the baby was born, and under "pets," they put, "Rachel's invisible kittens." I don't know what that means, but it sounds like me.

ALSO, in my baby book, there was a page to list my first friends, and one of them was a boy named Easton, who went to the same babysitter as us. I remember that kid, but I didn't remember his name and now it's making me laugh. When we get around to number 8 on my book list . . . you'll understand why. Also apparently he was a year older than me, and "mushy" (that's what it says in the book), always trying to hug and kiss me. I don't remember that either, but it sounds adorable.

OK, so that's enough rambling for now (I ramble a lot, fyi). I just found all that really entertaining, and thought, Why not share it? haha! But I'm done now.

Until next time! Toodles!

P.S. The friend list also listed one of my bffs from kindergarten, Colin, and there was a note in parenthesis that said "future husband, maybe" and I absolutely DIED laughing. XD

P.P.S. Hey Sunny, there was a picture in the book of the whole kindergarten class, and we were standing next to each other and I was like AWWWW WE SO CUTE. X)

Saturday, 20 September 2014

The List of Every Book I Can Remember Starting

Because dang flabbit, I just love lists! They make me feel so organized . . . so calm . . . so in control . . . so put-together! *purrs in delight*

Ok, so, I should also mention, I'm TERRIBLE at titles. My good friend *cough* Sunny (you can find her here at A Splash of Ink) once told me that it's often a good idea to wait until the end of your story before naming it, so you can think of the best name possible. Sounds good to me, except--as mentioned in my last post--I've never actually made it to the end of a manuscript. As a result, my titles are somewhat . . . lacking.

Also, you might be asking yourself why I feel the need to post such pointless and personal information. To that, I say:
"Shhhhhhh. Don't ask silly questions, and don't question a silly mind."
So! Here it is, my list of halfhazzard stabs at a page.

1) That One I Wrote When I Was Four FINISHED (I assume)
2) Matthew Squeakly
3) Adventures in Tanthona
4) Philip and the Missing Artifact FINISHED
5) That One About Fairies
6) The Mysterious Man in Black
7) That One About the Invisible Island of Dragons
8) Destiny and Dakota (one I attempted with a friend who actually isn't even that into writing)
10) Another One with the Same Character as #9 That I Actually Don't Remember At All
11) The Ebony Book (I would often just refer to a book by it's main character)
12) One I Only Vaguely Remember
13) Joe and The Mysterious Mystery
14)Top Secret File
15) That Jeff One
16) The TOTALLY AWESOME (well kinda, while it lasted) Phoenix & Caden Book
17) The Adventures of Billy Bob (it was just a random little story) FINISHED
18) The Book (yes, that has been it's working title for like 5 years, possibly more. A joint effort between me and my two aforementioned friends.)
19) The Unnamed Book of Awesomeness (which turned into)
20) The Gypsy Story (which turned into)
21) Something of Stars (which turned into)
22) Basically the Same Book But With Key Differences.

So yes, right now I'm working on a story that has been completely recycled four times. Shush.

I'll go over all of them on here at some point (yes, even 9). Except 10, because as I said, I don't remember it at all. BUT I KNOW IT EXISTED ONCE UPON A TIME!! Also I don't know if I ever even started 15, but I plotted it in-depth. Also, some of these "stories" are LITERALLY JUST TWO SENTENCES. I excel at this whole writing thing, clearly.

Anyway, there they all are, all the writing attempts I can remember from over the years. This doesn't include fanfics, which we are never, EVER, going over.

This may not seem like a lot to you, but I tend to start on a story, work on it for a few months, then leave it for MONTHS AND MONTHS AND MONTHS, and then maaaaaaaaaybe do some more in it, leave it for a while more, and then chuck it and start plotting a new one. And I'll plot for maybe a month or two. And then the cycle starts all over. So based on that "routine", 22 book-starts in 19 years isn't too bad, hehe.

Well, I hope you enjoyed that peek into my brain, life, and writing routine. I know I enjoyed ranting about them, and will do again in the future! Now, as Tigger would say;

"TTFN! Ta Ta for now!"

Go Teen Writers 100 for 100 Challenge

If you're a fan of writing, then you may have heard of the Go Teen Writers blog. If you're a fan of writing and you haven't heard of them, then you want to go check it out now. Go on. I'll wait. And if you're not a fan of writing . . . then what are you doing here, really?

Anyway, the fantabulous people over at Go Teen Writers came up with a contest a few years ago, called the 100 for 100 Challenge. Basically, you commit to writing (at least) 100 words for 100 days. Sound tough? Well, kind of. I did it the first time they had the contest, tried and failed the second one, missed the third one, and am now attempting the fourth one.

Its a great way to get yourself in the habit of writing a little bit every day, and, BONUS PRIZE, you'll have 10,000 more words in your story by the time you're done! Sound less tough and more AWESOME now? Well, you'll have to wait to enter until the next time they hold the contest, because admissions (submissions? I'm not sure of the word to use right now. How un-authorly of me) are closed at this point. Sorry. BUT!! That doesn't mean you can't try it out yourself right now, anyway! Do it, do it, do it, it's great.

I'm doing good so far, but it's only the end of day 6. Sooooo . . . not really indicative of how well I'll do overall. Still. I feel good.

Since the story I'm working on now is a slight remake of my LAST story, I've already got most of a plot nailed down, but I'm still pantsing a bit more than I usually do, I think.
Oh, I should mention . . . I've never actually finished a first draft of ANY story I've ever started. Except that one I wrote when I was 4. And that other one I wrote when I was like 7. But those were both half-baked, underwhelming and idiotic. Also hilarious to reread. MY POINT BEING: don't take any writerly advice from me unless I link to someone else's blog/website to corroborate it. Yes.

So, to recap:
1) The 100 for 100 Challenge over at Go Teen Writers is epic and you should do it, and
2) I have no follow-through, don't use me as a role model.

Thank you, that is all. Until next time, my loverly (imaginary) readers! Toodles!

Welcome, and a Bit About Me

Hello! And welcome to this, my blog. My outlet for all things writerly and otherwise random. I shall be posting here with my own interpretation of "regularity," but for the time being, lets just start with some basic information, yes?

First off, I should tell you a bit about myself. My name is Rachel, I live in Canada, and I am an aspiring teen writer. 

I've been writing books my entire life, usually (but not always) in the fantasy genre. I actually made a list of all the books I can remember writing (more on that list--and my love of lists in general--later). There were 20 that I could remember. That didn't seem like a lot, until I remembered that I'm only 19 years old, and there tends to be months in between my writerly bouts. So yeah. Maybe that still doesn't seem like a lot to you, but take comfort in the fact that I KNOW I'm forgetting some. 

I made this blog because, recently, I've felt like I needed a place to put my thoughts on writing, even if it's just a short observation on plotting versus pantsing, or a two-page long rant on how my characters are JUST NOT BEHAVING THEMSELVES GET OUT OF THAT TREE WHAT ARE YOU DOING UP THERE!?!!


So yes, this blog will basically be a sporadic glimpse into my mind and my storyworlds. Even if no one ever reads this blog, even if posting here is just a SHOUT INTO THE VOID (The Fault in Our Stars reference whoops), I think I'll have fun posting here. If you're seeing this, well then . . . I hope you have fun reading it, too.