How writing saved my life!

Posted on Posted in Lifestyle, My Blog

This post isn’t going to teach you anything about becoming a writer, it’s more of a short biography on why I decided to write in the first place. You see when most people get that dream of becoming a author, it’s mostly due to falling in love with books and finally finding the courage to step up and say “Hey, I think I have this great idea for a novel.” Well, my life story is similar in a way, with the love of books and the great ideas(Well I think they are great) but with the only exception that writing saved my life and I thought I’d tell you how.

But first let’s start with a little exposition…

Life is made up of a bunch of good and bad choices. Some we ignore and some we learn from in the hopes that we’ll be able to recreate them or hinder them from occurring once again. However, as humans, some of us foolishly believe that everyone gets a balance of these choices which is clearly not the case.

I believe this may be because choices can be so small, so simple; yet incredibly deceitful as luck, social standings, attitude, or a mixture of the three cause them to snowball in something more impactful down the line. Pretty much a choice is like a simple paper cut that has the ability to get an infection, slowly, silently spreading through the system until it becomes too late to find the cure.

For example, that simple choice of not asking that girl you like to the prom has led to someone else taking your place; and now you’re seated in the third row of their wedding, watching what should have been your bride walk down the aisle. Or maybe your aspirations to become a famous actor has altered your choices along the way as you take up offers from kind strangers while unaware of their nefarious intent; as your roles become more perverted along with your world.

Well, that was a bit dark… I guess what I’m trying to say is that my life was full of those small cuts.

You see I started out as a shy kid who was willing to help out whenever you asked and I believe that combination turned me into the perfect victim, to the point where I thought the people that bullied me were my friends. Some of you out there might know what it’s like when no one knows you by your name. But instead they refer to you by your weight, your height, by the colour of your skin or just by how disgusting you look to the world—But hey, at least they know you, right?

Well, that was me—and the only place that I could escape from that abuse, where I could hide away from the world and be safe was at home. I was so scared of the outside world that things people would have achieved when they were in high school; I’ve started to achieve them now. Most people get their full license at the age of 16, I got mine at the age of 24. Most people get their first job at the age of 17, I got mine at the age of 26. Most people get their first kiss in high school while I’m turning 27 next month and by today’s standards should have a grandchild by now.

And all because of the greatest mistake of my life, and that was the fact that I should have gotten help.

There are 7 billion people on this planet, there must be one person out there that must like me, for me? I mean I shouldn’t have suffered like this, no one should have suffered from the hands of bullies. But we do every day, every hour of the fucking week and all because of another bad choice we usually make and that is where we left it too late. I let bullies continue to bully me, continue to diminish my existence due to social media—something that has the amazing ability to make you connected and disconnected at the same time.

It’s weird watching Facebook posts of a girl who told me that "no one will ever love you." Get the perfect life with the perfect job in order to get ready for the start of their perfect family. While their bullying caused my depression. Where I have to find the energy, the willpower to leave my house every morning. I mean I can’t even look in the mirror sometimes because I finally see what they see.

But, eventually... I escaped!

I decided that loneliness was less painful than the bullying and had to focus all my effort on finding the joy in my life. One of them was writing where I could heal my wounds by creating worlds that I wanted to live in, to create societies and rules that fixed our current systems, or to make people that saw the world with their heart first, who loved each other without any prejudice or judgement. And the more I wrote the more I wanted to do this for a living so I could escape reality for a while and be somewhere else—somewhere safe.

Until I realised that writing made the real world safe, or that I started to understand it a bit more due to it. Such as the fact that if I was surrounded by negative people, I just needed to find positive people. So I thought I’d also pursue another passion of mine and that was Geeky/Pop Culture interests and hopefully, meet up with people who had a passion for them as well. Which I eventually did as I met new people, wonderful people that had a heart for things other than hate. Until I was finally able to trust the world once again and find more like-minded individuals who eventually became true friends that actually call me by my name.

And now I’m on to my next adventure of finding my soulmate. I might give Dating websites a go and let you know about my experiences with online dating… Or Dating in general as I finally find the courage to go out into the real world and all because I started to write.

And you can have that too.

I think after all this I could at least give you a little bit of advice to help you from both a writing standpoint and social standpoint and that is to cut out the negativity in your life and focus with all your might on the positive. Positive things, positive places, positive people—It may be hard to believe that they exist but they’re out there you just need to look.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The Hell that is Editing

Posted on Posted in My Blog, Writing Tools

So hello, it’s been awhile since we last spoke but I’m still alive… Well barely, I’ve just been editing my novel so I haven’t had time to post until now. I think the main reason why it's taking so long is because my heart isn't in it. You see when I write I write for me. It almost like a form of therapy where I deal with the world and it’s problems by writing them in my book(and usually killing them off in horrifically brutal ways).

While editing, on the other hand, is writing for someone else. Where I get the reader to understand my point of view on the world and hopefully inform or inspire them to do the same. But that’s also the main reason why I’m editing my work in the first place, so it remains ‘my words’ and if I ever get a professional editor to edit them, they need to do as little as possible with it.

The downside, however, is just like this is my first novel, this is also my first time editing one as well... So I have no idea what I’m actually doing. Yeah I’m meant to be looking for grammatical errors and logical inconsistencies, but do I focus on the grammatical errors, the logical inconsistencies or both; or do I just get my work to a readable standard and let others do all the work for me. But like I said before I want my novel to be in my own words and so I've been fixing every flaw I could find throughout my 5 edits while still keeping it to my style. Anyway here's a breakdown of what each edit has been focused on so far.


1. First read through - fix grammatical errors and jot down any plot holes.
2. Fix plot holes and check for last minute grammatical errors.
3. Second read through - check for any last minute plot holes and inconsistencies.
4. Fix flow of story/style along with last minute plot holes.
5. Eliminate unnecessary words and overused phrases.

So here’s my issue, I believe I mixed up edit 4 and 5 while I should have left correcting grammatical errors for a later edit. This is mostly because the last four edit usually take on average 60 to 70 saves. But this fifth edit of mine is nearly reaching 120 saves and I’m not even halfway through. It’s literally doing my head in where I’ve spent weeks on one paragraph rewording and editing it over and over again until I'm like 'fuck this shit' and go watch cat videos on YouTube.

Until this one video of this cat falling mid-leap as it gets its back legs caught in the window frame; not only represented an analogy for my journey towards my first novel but also reminded me that I’m on the internet. So I did a google search and found some great sites dedicated to editing. One of which revealed that there’s no set list on how or what you should edit, just edit your work until you’re happy with the final product.

-
-
-

That’s when I realized my actual enemy in editing wasn't my lack of experience, it was my disrespect of not finding the time to gain it

I want my first novel to be done so I can start on the other stories fighting to be freed. But at the same time, I want my work to be the best that it could possibly be by my hands. I’m probably reaching the 2-year mark on my novel and I recently had a meetup with a couple of writers who are 3-4 years into their books and they haven’t even finished their first drafts yet. Instead, they've been working on the timelines within their novels, the limitations and restrictions of the powers that could affect their characters or even the political and natural climates that their fantasy world relies on.

As for me, I've just winged it until now and sorted out the important details such as timelines and characters/world attributes at a later date. This might be because my world is just a futuristic, supernatural inspired version of our current world and I have books and movies to support my thoughts. Along with the fact that I have(well, I believe I have) well-developed characters that I trust to react to a situation correctly helps. However, after my little meetup, I learned a lot about how important sorting out one's ideas was and I'll definitely be using them for this novel and for future ones to come.

But I think for now I just need to stay focused and work on editing my novel to the best of my abilities. So this might be the last you'll hear from me until I finally decide to hand my work over to a professional. But for now, I hope you guys stick with me until the end of this strange journ-

Oh by the way here's some Advice

My post seems to be more of a rant than an actually guide on editing, so I thought I'd give you guys some advice before I make my leave. One tip would be to do a google search on editing, you will find a lot of great sites like WikiHow and Writer's digest but the one I found the most useful was...

http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/category/editing-your-novel

Not only did this site help me figure out how to edit, but more importantly, where to actually start as they post helpful hints on what key characteristics you and future publishers are on the look out for in your latest WIP.

Another thing you could do to help with your writing is to start or find a meetup group on Facebook or other websites dedicated to getting together with fellow writers. We may be solitary creaturess, but I've recently found out that there is nothing better than a group of newbie writers sharing their experiences and manuscripts with. They can help you find problems and solutions that we might not have realised before and a lot of us have no idea how useful that is sometimes.

Anyway, that's it from me good luck with your novels and I hope to write again soon.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

To Prologue or not to Prologue

Posted on 18 CommentsPosted in My Blog, Writing Tools

Ah good old Shakespeare, there for writers to appear sophisticated and intelligent as they quote or reword lines from the legend’s wonderful plays. I have great respect for the man because in a way I want to emulate his rise to success. People still cannot believe that a man with no prior experience or tuition in writing (well there’s no record of his training but for the sake of this post and my aspirations, let’s state he had no advanced training in the English language) was able to create several plays by the age of 28.

Many lack of a better word, fools believe that someone else must have written these beautiful plays, people like Francis Bacon or Edward de Vere the Earl of Oxford instead of an unknown novice. But if William had a dream, a desire to make some of the most beautiful stories the world had ever seen then he would study day and night, read the works that came before him or the ones that have recently started; learning how to start and finish a masterpiece.

Which he did, many times over.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my short prologue to this post where I gush over one of my idols and is also a nice segway to this week’s lesson. Prologues are an interesting part of a novel because a lot of people—myself included—skip the prologue and jump right into chapter one where the true story begins.

You see a prologue is there for one of two things.

A) Set up the history or gravitas of the world the novel is set in; usually used for Sci-Fi/Fantasy stories or those that are set in an alternate universe to our own.

B) A section of information that is important to the characters within the story but do not conform to the linear timeline of the novel; usually used in Romances and Dramas.

I think a lot of people write prologues for the main reason of letting their audience understand as much of the world they have willingly ventured into as possible. They don’t want their readers to feel lost or unaware of how the universe the author has created functions. For example, if your world has magic, can only a select group of people use it or can it be taught to the everyday man or woman; if so what energy or action is needed in order to perform this magic and so on and so forth.

However, I have learned two things on my journey to write a novel(Actually I've learned a lot of things, it’s just these two points can be applied both to writing a prologue and just a random point in your novel you are unsure about.)

The first is…

The Audience has an imagination, let them use it!

I’m still learning this lesson as I go about editing my book, I’ve finished editing it as an author now I have to edit it as a reader. What I’ve noticed is that authors have this fear that if the world is not fleshed out enough, forcing the reader to work in order to understand the words, then they will not like the book. So to compensate they write up heavily descriptive prologues and chapters in order for the reader to understand why the world is the way it is.

But we need to trust the reader, let them go on an adventure and discover the information on their own.

You see a book is sort of like a work of art, the imagery the genre and the art style the technique—even though each artist has their own creative flair that makes them unique. Anyway, too much description and control over the display of the world falls under the style of realism as we gasp at how a few brush strokes could take a snapshot of their surrounding life yet at the end of the day no matter how many times you look at it—a beautiful sunset will remain a beautiful sunset.

While less descriptive such as the works of Cubism and Minimalism takes away the author’s control of the world and hands it over to the viewer as they make assumptions about the design of your universe. However this is a double-edged sword, the reader could make a guess and enjoy the ideas that your masterpiece of a yellow dot on a blue background could be the sun…Or a pancake.

I’d suggest that if you had to choose a style of art to emulate, Impressionism would be the best.

Not only because of how they paint, but why they paint. You see Impressionists aim to capture the scene in the moment. They don’t care about perfection or making a point they just followed their gut, adding what they believe to be enough description and leaving the rest to the viewer as they wonder if they’re looking at a sunrise or a sunset.

Which leads to my second point…

-

When you criticize your work, ask yourself ‘Does the reader need to know this?’ If not, take it out.

We love words, we love words so much we decided to make a career from the use of them. So we tend to get addicted to their use such as overcomplicate mundane things for example…

We could describe the sky as…

“The morning dew cast a haze across the ocean of sky as if the perfect day was merely a façade, trying its best to hide the approaching storm clouds, licking the horizon.”

Or…

“The sky was surprisingly blue.”

Both are alright lines… well, I think they are, but does the reader need to know all that information. Maybe the mention of the word façade could indicate future events or characters altering their course within the story, an act of betrayal or the death of a loved one… Or it could just be a normal day.

So when it comes to your prologue you need to weigh up the importance of the information that the prologue gives. If the information has no sway on the reader’s mind or if the information could be learned or found throughout your novel, then take it out. If the information is important but disrupts the general flow of the story or the timeline of events then write a prologue; if it doesn’t disrupt the timeline or flow how about making your prologue, chapter one.

If I have to leave you with one bit of advice when it comes to writing at any point within your novel it would be to…

Trust your gut!

You know how all this works you were once readers, and now your love for words has forced you to create a few of your own as you venture into the world of writing. So when it comes to writing your story you need to trust yourself in the notion that you will do the right thing to create the best work of art that you could create. Maybe it will be finding the ability to separate your author side from your reader side and view your work from the different aspects of the two worlds as they weigh up skipping the prologue you have written.

But a lot of us find that difficult and so the best thing to do is to give your work to a fellow reader or if you’re rich enough and editor and you can discuss with them the next course to take on your prologue and future chapters within your world.

In fewer words—you know what’s right, so do it.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Guess who’s Back!

Posted on 18 CommentsPosted in My Blog

Hello old friends, it’s been awhile but life, the universe and everything in between decided to get in my way. You see I've recently figured out that when people dream they set up logical steps towards those goals when they wake up—But not me!

I just do!

I've had many dreams in this strange life of mine, first was to become an Animation Director(And in a weird way it still is, it’s just the next dreams were there to fund that goal). Another was to create movies, then comic books, then board games until I finally found my calling in my dream to become a future author.

Most humans stick to one and work out a reasonable plan to achieve that dream. Maybe go to University and study up on your specific aspiration. Maybe make friends with similar desires as you, or talk to established dreamers about the treacherous journey they've taken and create a map on where you should or shouldn’t go. Last but not least, actually work towards your dream and do something instead of wishing and praying that everything will fall into place.

I, however, have no plan, I just do until something feels right. The dream of becoming an author felt right—I'm on the fourth edit of my novel hoping to be my last, but I want it to be the best that it can be and it will probably need another edit before I bring in a professional. It's things like this; not rushing my work while constantly learning and developing my ideas and techniques by reading the worlds for others or by watching my favorite authors talk about their passion, proved to me that I was committed to this path and that I had finally found my role in life.

However, lifestyle blogging didn’t feel right.

For three months I wrote about my views on lifestyle and romance in order to build up an audience for my future novels. However as a wannabe writer, I really didn’t have a life. My world mostly involves sitting in front of a computer screen surrounded by half drunk water bottles, recently brought books and chocolate wrappers as I created artificial life on Microsoft Word. So in order to get an audience I had to bullshit about things like relationships, breakups, friendship and love while ignoring the thing that was truly meant to give me an audience and that was my novel.

I like blogging especially about writing, it sort of prompted up my views as one learning to write hoping to start discussions or arguments on if I was right, wrong or insane. But because of my lifestyle blogging, it took away that ability to learn, that ability to evolve myself into a better writer and thus I have decided to stop lifestyle blogging.

You’re probably wondering why or how I came to this decision… Probably not, but I’ll tell you anyway. Pretty much a recent visual showed me why I wanted to become a writer in the first place and it wasn’t for money or fame as some of you might think. Recently I went to watch ‘Finding Dory’ in the City which gave me the chance to go to my favorite book shop. In this day and age bookshops need to rectify the lack of demand for buying physical books by selling miscellaneous items while books are put on the sidelines; away from booklover’s eyes.

black-booksHowever this shop only sells books, this small and strangely orange shop surrounded by Asian restaurants, fashion retailers, and novelty gift stores reminded me of the bookshop from the TV show “Black Books'. But instead of not being greeted by the wine drinking, smoke stained Bernard Black and his mold ridden interior of a bookstore, you were greeted by a few female shopkeepers as they sorted out the best way to display the copious amount of books in the small space.

'Then I saw it!'

A table… Well, I assumed it was a table since it was covered in a pile of books, while larger hard-covered copies covered the sides of the furniture. Blocks of cover art shone under the dusty light bulbs above, inviting weary travelers to take a look inside—and I was one of them. I chose one, I don’t know why that one, maybe it caught my eye with its dancing colors disguised as cover art or its Fantasy-ish title written in embedded gold, but I chose it and I was glad I did.

I have this strange habit of reading a couple of pages from the middle just in case I was going to read it in the future and also I was there to learn; not to read. Stuff like sentence structure, grammar, punctuation and most importantly how the author used strange symbols known as the English language to tell their story.

'I was hooked.'

The author managed to get me involved in the story by just a few pages, It was something along the lines of learning about demons and how to defeat them; I had no idea why they needed to defeat them or what they did to incur their wrath, but I wanted to know more. Before the shopkeepers got annoyed at me I put the book down, forgetting to remember the name of the book or the author but what I do remember was the inspiration it gave me.

And that’s what I wanted all along.

3b6a6bb773e24bcd6945797107f4193a

I want to inspire, I want to stimulate the reader’s minds, I want to draw people into my worlds of zombie princesses and depressed superheroes. I didn’t care if I made a whole lot of money off my work or got an army of fans arguing over favorite characters. What I wanted was my book to be seated with its friends on a table, waiting for a wide-eyed adventurer to pick up my work and go on a journey.

After I messed up the mountain of fiction for the shopkeepers to sort out I went to their small section dedicated to writing. I was determined to buy a book to help me remember my path and found Stephen King’s book ‘On Writing’. Only for his book to tell me to get William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White’s ‘The Element of Style’ and just reading the first page showed me the error of my ways. Every writer needs this book, it’s not there to give you ideas, it’s there to sort out the ones you already have.

Anyway, In this day and age, publishers tend to support those with a good backing, either a strong Facebook, Twitter or already established fanbase. I thought becoming a lifestyle and romance blogger would help but it only hindered my attempts to create a novel. Also, I shouldn’t ‘Get an Audience’ I needed to earn it, I needed to show people that I am a viable writer to support and this blog here was meant to do that and I left it, I forgot about the world of writing I was meant to develop, that I was meant to create.

But now that I’ve learned the error of my ways…

im-back

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Writing a Cover Letter to a Publishing Company

Posted on 9 CommentsPosted in My Blog, My Writing, Writing Tools

Hey guys, long time no post, the main reason is that I’m working on editing my novel at the moment and any free time I have goes into writing for my professional blog at Pillowfights.

Here is a link to my latest post.

Don't try to be anyone other than who you are.

http://www.pillowfights.co.uk/among_the_shadows/item4403/Dont_try_to_be_anyone_other_than_who_you_are

The title was meant to be ‘Human Manipulation’ but I think the editor changed it.

Anyway, I’m so close to the finish line of getting my book published that I can already smell the new book smell… Or it might be the new books I just got… Might be the new books.

So yeah, sorry that my posts have been pretty late or haven't come at all. Ironically my second to last post was on tips for blogging and one of them happened to be 'post every week', which I sort of am but it’s on another website were people can’t follow. But it’s nice, I get to write about lifestyle and romance even though my life is mostly behind a computer screen staring at Microsoft Word, wondering if unicorns use their horns for fighting or attracting a mate.

Enough about my thoughts, I’m here to help you guys with completing your first novel and I thought It would be nice to show you guys my cover letter and how I went about writing it.

So here it is…

-
Dear (Name)
(Publishing Company)
(Publishing Address)

My name is Christopher V. Dass and I believe I have written a future bestselling novel — I mean it’s going to be world famous; the next ‘Harry Potter’ or ‘Lord of the Rings’. All I need is a publishing establishment that will make that future a reality, and with your various (accolades and achievement), I believe (you company) is the perfect choice.

So let me tell you a little bit about my first novel, ‘Origin – Old Gods’.

The novel is set in the future where Vampires and Werewolves come out of hiding to integrate with humanity, due to the popularity of fantasy books and movies. Yet through the years, the Supernatural creatures become the dominant race; either by converting the humans to their bloodlines or forcing them into hiding as the new world order shuns them for their archaic past.

Due to this propaganda — Elizabeth, a kind yet confused girl from the city of Fresno, who’s simple wish of becoming a Vampire leads to the awakening of the original Vampire and Werewolf — Ares and Anubis. Now with two lost and annoyingly handsome God’s in tow, Elizabeth has to teach them about the new world they have awoken to, as they try to grasp their minds around new experiences such as Flat Screen TV’s, Cheeseburgers, and Short shorts.

Origin – Old Gods is the first book of a two-part series(could become a trilogy if all goes well) consisting of 120 thousand words. The genre is mostly Sci-fi/fantasy… Sci-fantasy with hints of action, comedy, mystery and romance; as Elizabeth unravels the stories of the Gods and the true nature of the Supernatural world she wanted to be a part of. Influenced by the works of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett, my story takes a scientific yet humorous view on the world of Gods, Vampires, and Werewolves while mixing in a few brutal and gory battles for the kids.

I think that’s enough information on my story, for now, let me tell you a bit about myself, and how I got to this point in life.

I am a freelance artist and animator who wanted to create stories through moving pictures, only to realize I was using the wrong medium. Eventually, I got addicted to writing and became a content writer and blogger, both personal and professional.

My professional blog offers lifestyle and romance advice for a Website in the UK that reaches around 1.5 million readers yearly and is willing to promote my work once all the details are finalized. While my personal blog is a tutorial slash diary on my journey to become a future Author while helping other struggling writers in starting their first novel.

So yeah, first novel — A big step for a writer and an even bigger step for a publisher. But like I said before, I believe I have written a bestselling novel… Wait! I think every writer is going to say that. I have to back it up with evidence. I will send my manuscript with this letter and you can judge for yourself.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Yours sincerely,
Christopher V. Dass
E-mail: ****@gmail.com
Website: http://www.christophervdass.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CVDass

-
When I started writing my cover letter, the first thing I did was find previous letters to publishing companies and followed the format that they used. I found this great website that gave me a good example of a cover letter and how each section works in order to sell the book to the publisher. Here is the link.

http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/how-to-write-the-perfect-query-letter

Once you find a letter you like, add your own flair and personality to it. After all, a unique letter is better than a familiar one. I followed the pattern of the writer’s digest example but I added my own quirky and slightly geeky personality to the flow.

I didn’t do that to give the reader a laugh, I did it more to emphasize who I am as a writer and imply it in my words. A cover letter is like a snapshot of what you’re offering to the table, as the publisher will examine the writer’s style and influence and match that of previous works that they have distributed. Since I have no influence being a newbie writer with no works published, I made the audience focus on the fact that I am a reader, stating my favorite authors and books within the letter.

However you are not what is on sale — it’s your book and since your cover letter is just a mere snapshot you need to sell the shit out of your work and make it sound like it is the best book you have ever read… Even though you are the one that wrote it. Pitch your book as something never done before, like it’s the most original work of art that only angels have heard of. Yet at the same time show that it is marketable and that it relates to other works out there, cause after all the publishers aren’t doing this for free.

Anyway, if you follow these… steps I guess, just remember to work on it as much as you worked on your book, this is a very important piece of paper. Imagine your cover letter is a key that you have to craft yourself in order to fit the door of possibilities. There are many doors but they can all be unlocked with the same key, you just need to make it strong enough, constantly mold and shape it until it is perfect not alright.

My cover letter is alright, I need to edit it, and I have been editing it, even while I write this post. I believe it’s too long and it might show too much personality. Sometimes it’s a gamble; either be professional but be drowned out by the piles upon piles of other cover letters. Or be interesting and go against the norm and hope that they are entertain while not being annoyed at the lack of etiquette.

But in the end, it’s your novel that should do the rest of the work, the cover letter will open the door but your novel is what will help you on your journey through the other side. I wrote my cover letter since I’m on my last edit for my novel and this is sort of a waypoint towards my goal, a verbal checkpoint stating 'you have come this far only a few steps to go'.

So pretty much this was to boost my already inflated and mostly misguided ego, but I hope you learned something anyway, and I hope to get back to writing posts on my quest to become a future author.

See you guys later.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Conflict Creation

Posted on Posted in My Blog, Writing Tools

Hey guys! Sorry it's been awhile since I last posted on here. Been working on editing my novel as well as writing articles for Pillowfights which if you haven't heard of them, is sort of a mecca for lifestyle and relationship advice, as writers such as myself give you encouragement to face the chaos of the outside world.

Anyway here are some links you should check out.

Unleash your potential...Whatever that means!

http://www.pillowfights.co.uk/among_the_shadows/item4310/Unleash_your_potentialWhatever_that_means

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

http://www.pillowfights.co.uk/among_the_shadows/item4330/Beauty_is_in_the_eye_of_the_beholder

Create your own Freedom.

http://www.pillowfights.co.uk/among_the_shadows/item4356/Create_your_own_Freedom

Anyway, speaking of facing the outside world, conflict and environment creation is very similar to Character creation but I wanted to elaborate more on creating engaging and thought-provoking conflict within our stories. Without conflict your whole story is pointless. Your characters need to fight for something whether physical, mental and emotional, making your character more dynamic, more three-dimensional to the audience.

6CKidb0

But sensei how do we create amazing conflict and use it in our work?

Well good question my students, first let’s deal with the actual creation. If you have been following my blog so far all the tools I use are within, but I’ll go over them once again since I’m awesome. So for me, I started with characters and used them to build my story off of, but you can start with conflict first and draw your characters from that. So if you are starting with Conflict first, use the same method I used to create Characters but Research at the same time: stories, movies, and the internet are great sources to find conflict, and weave them into your own narrative.

For example, let’s say you are writing a mystery, read the Sherlock books and watch the Sherlock TV show and the Movie - Actually screw research, just watch the Movie for Robert Downey Jr. Maybe the Sherlock stuff isn’t to your taste maybe you’re more dark and brooding as unspeakable crimes haunt the criminals like the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Or more focused on the mystery instead of the characters as you compete in a race to solve the crime before the detective does like the works of Agatha Christie.

Once you have a firm grasp of the type of conflict you want to portray, use the method I used to create Characters and develop five random facts about the type of conflict you want. So for my mystery, I want to go with the style of Edgar Allan Poe since I’m dark and brooding like a teenage Goth. Anyway, let’s start with our five random facts.

1. Set in London England during the 18th century.

I’m no history enthusiasts so I don’t know much about the 18th century so we are off to Google. So during the 18th century was the start of The Industrial Revolution in England. We can use this to create a story, maybe the mystery could be around stolen blueprints or ideas about the next great thing to improve Britain’s way of life. Or maybe the good old inheritance story, where some old noble suddenly died right after he finished his will; handing all his wealth to that one suspicious relative.

2. The mystery revolves around a forbidden love.

Maybe add another genre to the mix. Maybe a romance something like Romeo and Juliet were one of them is the son/daughter of a wealthy businessman while the other is a child of a rival or a peasant. The relationship could be a crutch to hurt the wealthy businessman either financially or through reputation. This is starting to sound a lot like Crimson Peak… I’m obsessed with Tom Hiddleston.

3. The killer has no relationship to the couple.

Like all great mysteries, we have a twist. Instead of the killer being someone between the major characters, the killer is actually an external character - someone mention with no importance, maybe another disgruntled rival or former employee. The struggle between the characters, as they blame each other for the murders reach breaking point through the collapse of the couple’s relationship or an unexpected murder.

Let’s stop there I think you get the point, just use that beautiful brain of yours and with the help of Research and my 5 random facts device, you don’t even need five facts you could write three and put together the basic construct of your story. But it’s easy to create conflict, forbidden love, disgruntled employees, unrequited dreams but how do you actually portray conflict within your work do you start off with it straight away or do you build up to it until it appears at the end.

giphyConflict is quite hard to write and as a newbie writer myself I do not believe I can properly convey how one must go about creating conflict. However, that is not going to stop me from trying. You see writing fiction is not creating a new world and experiences but altering old ones. To twist a reader's assumptions to fit in with your narrative. Let’s say I wrote a story about a floating city, the reader would automatically raise questions on how is it floating? Why is it floating? Is the story set on earth? Or in it set in another part of space or time?

Then the writer comes in to answer those queries.

“Earth in the year 3016 has become a shell of its former self, the overuse of resources and damages to the earth’s environment has disrupted the core causing the land to erode. Scientists have come up with a solution to raise the major cities across the world through the help of Solarium. Concentrated Solar energy that disrupts a gravitational force on an object.”

So to create conflict all we need to do is alter our own experiences, how did you feel when you got your first rejection, how did it feel when you lost your phone, how did it feel getting into a fight with your best friend. All these conflicts can be altered, can be used and be weaved into your narrative; you just need to break down the emotions and study the process of how you dealt with them and then compare or alter the reactions to your characters personality.

So now we have the emotions that are created from conflict, now we need the process of portraying it on to paper. The best way to explain is with the ever convenient jump. A jump is a perfect description of the output of energy within a story. For example, let’s take the breakdown of a relationship. The idle pose is the start of the relationship everything is fine, two people happy to be together. Then the build up, the cracks start to appear, missed dinners, forgotten birthdays. The lift off, fights start to break out over the most mundane of mistakes.

Then we have the break up the height of the conflict, the couple goes their separate ways. The descent is the couple slowly start to remember the good times they had and the realization of how trivial their fights were. The landing is figuring out the problem, the world around them had built up these situations forcing the couple to focus on other matters and not on their relationship. The resting pose is coming to terms with the situation. Maybe they try to mend bridges, or they just stay friends and learn from the experience.

I think the best way to understand or position conflict within your work is to use a graph, that way you will be able to see the ups and downs within your work as well as comparing the highs and lows of several characters within your story. For example, maybe the couple above have reached the beginning stages of the jump, as small cracks appear in their marriage. Only for friends of the couple to break up, both unaware of the chaos in their friend's relationship. They decide to find a way to cure their marriage, either through counseling or taking a vacation from the struggles of life.

So, in conclusion, I’m going to leave you with more questions than answers for you guys to create or develop conflict within your work. Whether you are starting on the main conflict within the story or developing the subtle conflicts, then you need to ask yourself.

First, is there a reason for the conflict?

Has the reader fully grasped the gravitas of the conflict and how the impact of the event will affect the characters within the book and ultimately the reader? Your audience needs to get fully invested in these characters of yours and conflict is the best way to do it so you need to make sure your main conflict is strong while not being overshadowed by smaller conflicts.

and Second, have I built up enough tension or insight to support the conflict?

Has there been enough build up to let the readers learn about the characters and the events before the conflict occurs? Or if you choose to start with conflict is their ways you have set up to portray the damage of the event throughout the book. The graph is just another form of Outlining, it is a visual plan of the tension within your story and you will be able to get a grasp of if you have too much or not enough within your work.

Hopefully, you guys have learned something, another long ass post from me and I don’t understand most of it… and I wrote it. Hopefully, you will get something out of this chaos I called a post and my next post before I restart my quest to become an author is if a story needs a prologue.

See you then.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

5 Novel Writing Tips and how you can relate it to Blogging

Posted on 3 CommentsPosted in My Blog, Writing Tools

Hey everyone recently had to do a speech on Blogging and I'm a writer not a talker so I failed pretty badly, all I did was just read off my notes. Honestly, I thought once I finished University I would no longer need to do public speaking, Oh well, it's over now, what's done is done, hopefully, people will learn from my innate ramblings and if people didn't understand my speech I have turned it into a blog post so yay! But before I begin here is my latest post on Pillowfights, been so busy haven't been able to post on Sunday So here it is...

http://www.pillowfights.co.uk/among_the_shadows/item4284/Do_Opposites_attract

So let's start reading my amazing speech

Slide1

Hello everyone my name is Chris and I am an amateur fiction writer and blogger. I am on my third edit of my first novel at the moment, called ‘Origin’ and I thought it might be a good idea to make a blog about my journey on becoming a future Author. Hoping that other newbie writers could learn from my trials and tribulations. However while on my journey a website in the United Kingdom by the name of Pillowfights took interest in my writing style and offered me a part on their website and now I have a professional blog that offers lifestyle and romance advice, even I don’t know what they were thinking I was like me, really ok I’ll talk about my romance with cake. Anyway been one month with Pillowfights and once I get my monthly stats I can start finding sponsors.

So that’s me you can find out more on my website or follow me on twitter, I’ve already put my personal and professional blog websites on the meetup page so if you can’t subscribe or follow me now you can do it later, you better do it later. Anyway I should start on helping you guys out and I believe my journey into the world of fiction writing might give you some tips towards your blogging goals and I have created...

Slide2

Like all forms of creativity there is no defined set of rules, some rules can be followed and others can be thrown away, all forms of creative output are to give the creator a sense of freedom to express themselves and some of you guys have chosen to express your creativity through blogging. These tips are merely guides on your path to building up your thought process on unleashing that creativity and the best way to do that is to…

Slide3

Now a lot of you must be thinking what is this idiot talking about, write badly, I want to write the best that I can possibly achieve so I can get several subscribers and followers for my blog. True all of us want to perform at our best but like all goals we start at the beginning and whether we like it or not we are going to suck.

Ok, show of hands how many of you are new to blogging or have not even started blogging yet?

Ok, quiet a few I assume Some of you might have fears of not doing well, or don’t have the time or energy to keep a blog running, produce engaging and well-developed articles. But all bloggers are going to start at this point and they are going to struggle, some have struggled and given up because of the pressure of writing to a standard they cannot achieve yet. But if you know that you are going to write badly then you will remove that pressure you have placed upon yourself.

So my advice, Just start a blog what is the worst that could happen it’s not like you can get negative subscribers, and just write and enjoy, you will look back a year from now and see what you wrote and you will be like I can’t believe I wrote this man or woman I suck but you got better because you started and you…

Slide4

Again daunting, unachievable, an idiot is talking. I dislike the 'practice makes perfect' quote, there is no such thing as perfect… Well, there is Tom Hiddleston, ah Tom Hiddleston...

Anyway where was I, right I think the quote should be practice is sort of like exercise, whether you take a step forward or back you are going to lose weight. You learn from your mistakes and you develop your strengths through constantly writing.

On my website, I did an equation on how many words a novelist needs to write every day to finish a novel in one year and the total was 205 words for the average 75 thousand word book. So 205 words takes on a lazy day only 30 minutes to write could be done during or after breakfast, lunch or dinner, maybe before you go to sleep or on the bus, I have Microsoft Word on my phone and usually take the bus just so I don’t need to drive and can spend the time writing it is honestly a great tool apart from the time it didn’t autosave my work but still a great tool.

Anyway enough about my life story, writing every day will build up your abilities and posting every week will get people interested in your work as well as others that are willing to help with your writing, some might not be as nice but there are genuinely nice people out there willing to help, I mean there is this great Meetup and Facebook group dedicated to helping people with their blogs. And another great way to improve is by…

Slide5

The notion of a writer wanting to write a book and has never read one would be strange so wouldn’t that be equally strange for a blogger to want to create a blog yet never having looked at a blog. Tongue twister anyway Search and research blogs, take notes, or maybe send the blogger a message about the design and layout of their blogs or their writing style and ideas.

They could either be ‘insert bad word here’ and ignore you or worse mock you and your work or they could actually be helpful and give you advice on your blog and if they are nicer, actually subscribe and offer to check out your posts and websites as you develop.

Another place apart from this beautiful and wonderful group here is to search on Facebook and twitter and google for other blogging groups and websites that will help you connect with other bloggers and get you some followers in the process. One site that I’m on is called Bloglovin which is sort of a blog database that helps you connect with similar blogs so you can…

Slide6

STEAL IDEAS YOU MAD MAN

I would never do that. But you should. Sometimes it’s hard to create content for your blog, maybe we don’t know how to start writing several posts for our chosen topic. Or we want to be unique and copying a blog post or design another blogger has done would be insane if the blogger has done justice to the topic at hand.

But writers take ideas all the time and reword them into their own narrative. 50 shades of grey is a fanfiction of Twilight. Divergent is a fanfiction of Hunger games and the Japanese have their own version of Hunger Games called Battle Royale. So if writers can take ideas reuse them to create new and I use the word exciting very loosely works of fiction then why not bloggers.

I see a novel as a constellation and the stars are ideas, several constellations can use the same star but you have to make your own picture. Ideas are just a notion, a thought, like let’s take the idea Vampires, and examine the several stories around that thought. Blade a Vampire Superhero, Vampire Academy a school for teenage vampires, and last but not least Buffy the Vampire slayer the hot vampire slayer, and I mean hot, like whoa...

Ok carrying on.

We are allowed to take ideas, but we have to develop them, alter them to cater to who we are and we do that by…

Slide7

Whether you are going to write a Food blog, a Travel blog, a Fashion blog, a blog that offers lifestyle advice or a personal blog that just shows your day to day life hoping that your experiences will offer some help to the reader. Then there will be several other bloggers giving similar views and beliefs on the same subject matter, two visits to Beruit, two chocolate mud cake recipes, two L’Oréal makeup tutorials because you’re worth it.

So the only way we can separate ourselves from the other food and fashion blogs is to make our blogs unique. Maybe we can add our individuality to our blogs, what makes us, us. I am a hardcore geek, I actually run a meetup group called the Otaku Guild which is dedicated to geeky events such as Marvel Movies, Boardgames and casual chats on anime and video games but we usually go off into random topics as the night goes on.

Anyway enough about my shameless promotion of my group, I add my geeky, quirky behavior to my writing which has gotten me some good attention but still it’s not enough we need that edge, that niche that will make us stand out from the other blogs. With the help of tips one to four you will be able to find that edge.

Slide8

Maybe you can treat a travel blog as a food one, giving a recipe on the items you need to survive a trip to Moscow.

A dash of Warm clothes

A comfortable pair of shoes, maybe, some flats but if you don’t have any, sneakers will work.

And 2 duty-free bottles of Vodka to distract the locals.

Or a News blog that mocks traditional news and puts the most mundane and strange stories from across the world first giving a proper deadpan delivery to the story.

Breaking news

Man set to make $100,000 a year from drawing on bananas.

That ladies and gentleman is a genuinely real story which sucks any way you have to find those ideas yourself there will always be someone to help you out, give you tips and guide you on your adventures and hopefully I have been one of them but for now, that should be enough rambling from me, hope you guys have learnt something from my five tips and if you want to get more please subscribe to my twitter and website. They may be writing tips for future novelists but you can apply them to your blogging as well as other creative outputs and mediums so have a search around, learn some stuff and I wish you all the best on your journey into blogging.

Thanks for listening.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Batman vs Superman Review

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in Review

Hi, I just watched Batman vs Superman Dawn of Justice and I am deeply confused about the movie and its fans. I think I am suffering from cognitive dissidence where you can uphold two equally opposing views at the same time. You see the two contradicting views I have for this movie is this.

1. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, and if you enjoyed this movie then I am happy for you.

And…

2. THIS MOVIE WAS TERRIBLE, YOUR OPINION IS F***ING WRONG!

You see this is probably the first time the fans have pissed me off more than the actual movie, but before I talk about those *insert several bad words here* let me talk about the movie. The movie was a stitched together mess as if Zack Synder gathered all his information for the movie from Wikipedia. Which wouldn’t be a bad thing if he didn’t roll a dice afterwards to see which shots would go in and which wouldn’t? He tried so hard to build up several worlds into one sitting and failed, wasting his time and more importantly the viewers f'in time.

Seriously trying my best not to swear.

The upside for this movie was, that the actors were great! Ben Affleck who I was worried about did play a great Batman probably top three next to Keaton and Conroy. Maybe it was because my expectations were lowered, I don’t know, but he just pulled off a great Batman and an even greater Bruce Wayne. I’m indifferent about Henry Cavell, I like him as Superman but this movie had no development to him and his portray of the man of steel what so ever. Everyone else was awesome (Alfred was the best) except for Wonder Woman and Lex Luther.

First, let’s start with the worst of the two, and that is Lex Luthor. Jessie Eisenberg is awesome the last movie I watched him in was American Ultra and that wasn’t that good but that was him, that was Jessie acting. I honestly have no idea what he was doing or saying throughout the whole thing. I think Zack was like,

“I want you to be as vague as possible, the audience will think you’re mysterious.”

And Jessie was like...

“But shouldn’t I like give a reason for why I made this convoluted plan to get Batman and Superman to fight.”

And Zack was like...

“Wait, you think there is a story here.”

Of course, there was no story, I mean he just chucked in Wonder Woman as filler.

WONDER WOMAN IS NOT FILLER.

But here she was used as if she was something to display, hey guys look I’m being sexy, hey guys look I can fight, hey guys look I’m taking out money from an ATM. I know she was going to be used as filler, you can’t build three characters up in one movie, but if you bring Wonder Woman into a movie I expect her to be useful, not eye candy. I think Synder was using Wonder Woman to appease feminists to give the audience a strong female character to root for and idolize but her use had the opposite effect and for that Gal Gadot wasn’t bad she just wasn’t used right or didn’t have enough screen time to develop that strength that Wonder woman has.

So in other words, it’s Zack Synder’s fault, just all the scenes, and plot holes and just stupid things the characters did. Ok, guys time for spoilers not that I give a *bad word involving fecal matter*, so first thing Lois Lane is caught by the bad guy and you are Superman, the Man of Steel what do you do? Well, super speed, grab the gun, done or laser vision to destroy the gun, not tackle him through a wall. The only reason for that is to make him accidentally kill someone when he had several ways to stop the guy and not let anyone die. Then there is Batman when he was chasing the Kryptonite through the streets then all of a sudden Superman is standing there and makes Batman crash, stopping his chase for the kryptonite. Clark Kent was studying up on the vigilante bat and should know by now that he is going around chasing bad guys and you just let them get away with the thing that could kill you.

Batman could tell him...

“Hey those guys that I was chasing, yeah they have something that could kill you, I’d go after them not me.”

But then again he wanted that stuff for himself. Then there is Wonder Woman on the journey to delete incriminating photo’s that Lex had of her, so she decides to go to his fucking event to get them. No offense but Wonder Woman has no fucking disguise the ATM machine picked up her fucking face in the scan...

Screw it I'm swearing now!

Anyway, if Lex Luthor was looking for these superheroes then, voila, here is one of them. But then again Lex is a crazy man even though in the comics he is an intelligent individual that could compete with the son of krypton with only his mind. But in this movie, he is a crazy idiot who manages to somehow make superman bow to him and still he didn’t have like a shard of kryptonite to stab that mofo.

But no, his master plan was to create an ultimate wrecking machine known as Doomsday, which is explained well in the comics but does the casual viewer know why Lex cut his hand and merged his blood with General Zod and if that is the result of merging human and Kryptonian DNA together, Lois might need a caesarean. Speaking of the wonderful Lois which I loved in 'Man of Steel' because she was an actual bloody journalist and did her job now has lost all credibility. The spear, why did she throw the spear, I understand she wanted to protect her boyfriend but did she really think throwing the spear into a submerged building when these guys actual had a team in the beginning that dealt with the underwater situation would make anyone not go after it. Just leave it where it is it might come in useful and also, get out of the way you might get in trouble and Superman would have to save your stupid ass.

After all that, after all, the bitching and moaning I have done, the fans still love this movie and it pisses me off. The main reason being is when reviewers say this is a movie for Comic Book fans. Now I’ll try to say this in the nicest way possible…

FUCK OFF!

I’m a comic book fan, and I hate this freaking movie because I didn’t want to go to the movies to watch a comic book I WENT TO SEE A MOVIE. Imagine a movie is like an orchestra playing a song, the actors are the musicians and the story the composition, and last is Zack Synder the conductor. Now when a group of people enter a theater to listen to this “Masterpiece” we have three participants, the Enthusiast who has listened to this song done by several other artists, in different versions, in different mediums and now they get to see it played by a full orchestra. Then we have the Regulars, those who just love music, love the way all the instruments join forces to make a perfect melody as the music drags them away from their realities. And last is the music critic, a purveyor of music who has dedicated their lives to the creation of the art and which to tell others about good content out their.

Now imagine if a song was only made for the Enthusiasts, don’t you think the Regulars or Critics would be ripped off as the musicians don’t play in tune or miss their spot. But you don’t care about that, your song is being badly played for YOU who cares if things are wrong. That’s just selfish and sad, I expect everyone in the cinema to enjoy themselves, to be told a fluid story with engaging characters and well-developed conflict. Of course, there will be some diehard fans that would say that wasn’t in the comics or his character wasn’t meant to do that. Or diehard critics saying the editing is all over the place or there is no actual plot within this movie as they scribble down every subtle mistake within the first five minutes. But what matters is the majority of the cinema goers enjoying themselves the Enthusiasts, the Regulars and the Critics stuffing themselves with popcorn with eyes glued to the screen.

Now we are back to the beginning, my affliction known as cognitive dissidence. It is alright to have an opinion but when your opinion is wrong enough to disorient future movie goers that is terrible and you should be ashamed of yourself. If you are a true Comic book fan you put entertainment first. The amazing storytelling, the compelling characters and stunning visuals contained in the books you are reading should be portrayed to the viewer equally through the movie. But if your fandom is getting in the way of judging the movie properly then shame on you. Maybe it’s because of the sides, Marvel vs DC. Maybe the fans of DC can’t handle the prowess of Marvel to portray their superheroes properly but if you are a comic book fan you should be a fan of both.

I like both Marvel and DC, I like the stories more in DC, the ability to be whimsical, yet use that to portray reality, show the extremes through powers, characters who could destroy worlds while trying to adjust to the one they want to protect. Or superheroes with no powers, competing with the darkness of humanity and the darkness within themselves, hoping that he can use it against the planet destroyers. While Marvel has more defined characters, there struggles with surviving life as they wonder if their so-called gifts are a cure or a curse. Strengths and weaknesses more intertwined yet loose weaved as the characters suffer physical and mental problems such as a character able to read the minds of every human on the planet yet confined to the use of a wheelchair. Or a former prisoner whose powers could now destroy any confinement put around him unless the captors could make a prison out of plastic.

I like both, because they are entertaining and that is the key, and that should be the key to all forms of art, so was I entertained by this movie…

No.

This movie was terrible, the awful storytelling and editing brought down the great acting and awesome visuals. The movie tried too much to cram in several heroes and villains. Building up to many worlds for the story to handle as it tried to allocate enough time for each actor. Due to this, so many plotholes formed from the chaos as the several characters fought for reasons they themselves had no understanding of. I’m giving this a 2 out of 5 stars, I’d give it only 1 star but I saw 'Sad Ben' and it’s not his fault this movie was bad, so hopefully he knows he did good and he can have a star.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Character creation

Posted on Posted in My Blog, Writing Tools

Hey guys gonna be a long post since character creation is one of the biggest parts of writing a novel, I mean it's kind of obvious why. Anyway, before we start I just wanted to let you guys know that my second article for Pillowfights is out now on their websites. The topic is about how society and the media portray how men show off emotions and what reality is actually like, so please give it a read and tell me what you guys think. the link is below.

http://www.pillowfights.co.uk/among_the_shadows/item4248/Inside_the_mind_of_a_man

Anyway on to the topic at hand, we have developed our frame of mind and have sorted out and put together an array of ideas into a physical and mental plan for our story. But let’s take a break from our quest and talk about the various parts within out novels. There are three things one needs to create or should I say strengthen in order to get to the next step and that is character, environment and conflict creation.

So let’s start with 'Character Creation' first.

Pretty much went into a little detail on the way I created characters in my fourth step on my quest to become an author, but let me go into further detail. If you have been following my steps you would have probably learned that I let my characters lead me instead of me leading them. In other words, I have a basic outline and let my characters find a way to get there instead of writing an advance plan telling me how each chapter will work.

The best way to explain this is through animation. There are two ways an animator animates and the styles are known as straight ahead and pose to pose. Straight ahead is where you have a basic premise of the animation and just start drawing until you have the animation done. While pose to pose is where you draw the major poses within the animation and then slowly break down the poses until you have an animation.

22c96300086ae541c85d6ac96c61450d
For example, let’s say you want a character to jump from one side of the screen to the other. Pose to pose means you draw the idle pose then the crouch to build up energy, then the push off, then the height of the jump, fall, landing, settle into the landing and then idle. While straight ahead is more for experienced animators who know about physics and timing, character development and attributes to make the characters actions realistic yet unique. So they can do all the poses above cause they can visualize the action within their mind and put it to paper.

But inexperienced writers can use the straight ahead method if they have strong well-developed characters, and I’ll teach you how.

I think a lot of amateur writers create a character in the wrong direction, we start on the outside in, when it should be the other way around. As human beings, we are idiots, sorry it had to be said, we assume gender, race and religion define differences through stereotypes. But that is wrong, society was built to make those definitions and out of laziness, we believe them.

Sorry went all PC, but PC isn’t a bad thing, it’s just overused, I mean don’t complain, change. Anyway, I created characters from the inside out. I start out with five of the most mundane, random facts about the character and build a personality around those facts. After I’ve built up a strong personality connecting the traits gained from those facts, then and only then, I flip a coin and add a skin color or gender to the character.

Let me give you five random facts.
1. Favorite thing to eat is Sushi.

This could apply to any race, any gender, any religion, the character could be Japanese and love traditional cuisine, or could be from another part of the world and love different cultures, experiencing new things or just loves salmon and avocado.

2. Studying Medicine at Oxford University.

Smart, intelligent able to get into one of the prestige’s universities in the world. Studying medicine shows that they want to help others, whether it’s on the front lines as a doctor or in the lab finding new cures. Now out of laziness, we have made an assumption of this characters skin color and gender, but these two facts can apply to anyone.

3. Unhealthy obsession with Disney movies.

Loves cartoons and movies, could show a childlike innocence, kindness or loneliness as they spend most of their free time watching ‘Frozen’ then hanging out at a bar or pub. Or maybe they wanted to be an artist or animator and was pushed into this course in their life.

4. Has a tattoo of a bouquet of lilies on their shoulder

Could have had a rebellious phase in their teenage years or could have sentimental value for the character. Depending on if the character has more tattoos will imply different personality traits.

5. Sucks at sport and hates exercise, usually eats right (Sushi) to stay in shape.

Unfit or bad reflexes may affect abilities in University since the character is, after all, studying medicine. Or may just has no interest or no time to watch sports and do exercise to keep in shape since they are focused on studies.

So here are our five random facts, we start connecting these ideas, building up a personality of a character along with events and actions the character could portray within your novel. Once the personality is set, then I can add the exterior cause a house without an interior is pretty useless no matter how beautiful the exterior. So Macy Adams is a young woman of African descent, born in Surrey, England. If I started like that, laziness would kick in and you would build assumptions of the character but with the facts above we have something different, something unique.

miyukiayukawabasquash“Macy always wanted to become an artist but when her high school crush, Jessie got sick, she decided to pursue a career as a doctor instead. If she wasn’t at University getting the best grades in the class, she would be at home studying to find a cure for her girlfriend. But she did manage to find some time to hang out with Jessie, so they could watch some cartoons together, showing Macy the dream she should follow and stop torturing herself for her. But Jessie knows Macy won’t stop, she won’t quit until they can live a long and happy life together.”

Fleshed out characters will be able to pull themselves forward, instead of you needing to push them forward. Writing is such a wavering form to teach, there are so many ways to build characters and the way I have written above you are allowed to work backwards, you are allowed to start with skin, gender, religion and favorite smell, but all I’m stating is build up the characters personality and that way you will have little ticks to place within your work and make your story stronger.

Hope that helps you guys, next post will be on conflict development since environment development is pretty much the same as character and usually used for fantasy/Sci-fi based environments since obviously current environments are already set all you need to do is research. That’s it from me see you two weeks from now since this was a pretty long post.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Quest to become an Author: Step 05 – Too many Ideas?

Posted on Posted in My Blog, Writing Tools

So we are ready to write our novel, we have done an ample amount of research, collecting notes and ideas. Read stories and done references on historical or technological information. One example I can give you guys on my work is I had to recently find the Egyptian word for ‘mummy’, which is ‘Sah’ meaning ‘royalty’ or ‘nobility’ cause only high ranking officials were mummified. The more you know huh.

Anyway, now we have a whole bunch of ideas, pages upon pages of brainstorming and notetaking and now we have to sort them out and we do that through.

Outlining…

Again I buck the trend when it comes to Outlining, but first, let me explain what outlining is even though again the name is pretty self-explanatory. Outlining is pretty much planning your story, whether its bullet points of a list of events within your book or a general summary of each chapter. A lot of authors would tell the newer ones to Outline, plan your events out like you would directions to a location but like I’ve stated before if I know the location all I need to do is drive.

Now that may sound romantic, letting your characters follow their own paths but the reason for outlining is to avoid detours and getting lost. Everything in your books needs a reason for being there, character development, conflict development, relationship development and with planning, you will be able to avoid waffling (honestly thought this word had something to do with waffles TT_TT).

So in order to not Outline you must need two things...

First is the 'Destination' and second is the 'Preparation'.

Sticking to the driving analogy, no matter which way you go you will reach your destination and hopefully the drive will help bring in new experiences and events, unlocking new locations in your stories journey. But you still need a mental map of the location, and with the help of research and imagination, depending on the story you prepare. You set up waypoints you know about, smaller locations within your journey like the café you always get your morning coffee from or the movie theater where you had your first date. These locations are like major events within your story that lead to your target.

anime girl with car reading map

So, in other words, you need an Outline, at least, a mental one, and you must be super critical, you must have the power to know that you are going off course. I remember writing my story and wrote I think a 5,000-word flashback about one of my characters and I was like is this helping the story forward? Is this developing character, relationship or conflict? The story had stalled and there was only a hint of development for only one character when I could develop more characters in the 5,000-word space. I realized I had made a wrong turn, reversed and change course. I think that was a week’s work thrown away. So, if you lack the fortitude to be critical about your work, willing to throw away things that are not helping the story forward, then write an outline.

An outline would have helped me avoided my 5,000-word mess, but I learned from my mistake and that’s what I see my attempt at a novel, as a learning experience. I’ve stated before I’m saving my trump card story for when I get more experience, I need to develop and learn so much about the world of writing and I think I’ll use an outline on one of my romance novels, yes I have an idea for a romance, but for now since I’m writing a Sci-fi/Fantasy I can be more lucid and try to find my style of writing, my process and hopefully with the help of my blog you guys will find your process too.

Anyway, I wish I could be more helpful on this topic but if I’d had to give advice on Outlining I’d suggest if you’re writing a story you have a lack of experience in, such as the genre, and don’t want to make mistakes, Outline. But if you have a strong idea and understanding of the story and the genre, and are willing to make mistakes in order to learn and find interesting ideas through your own characters progress then don’t outline.

So if you choose to outline check out the website.

https://litreactor.com/columns/8-ways-to-outline-a-novel

They give you a better explanation on why you should outline and if you do choose the path of light, they give you 8 great ways to Outline your work. Maybe in my next story or on a later date I’d write a blog on the different processes so far I like the looks of Free Writing, The Visual Map, and Contextual Preparation. But for now, let’s continue to the next step, creating characters.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail