Monday, February 28, 2011

Working on Two WIPs

Last night I saw my partially written manuscript, The Journalist, laying on the table and decided to flip through it. Perhaps a mistake. Now when I say partially written manuscript that makes it sound long, it's only 35 pages long, and I read it all last night, and was taken over by the idea again. As I read more ideas came up on how to fix this or that and how to make it more complete and stuff and. . . well, today I find myself writing The Journalist instead of The Chronicles.

I feel like I should keep myself focused solely on The Chronicles and not give into the temptation to write The Journalist but why should I do that, really? Why should I waste this onslaught of inspiration? It's not like I'm going to abandon The Chronicles, I'll just work on them both at the same time.

But I still feel a bit guilty. I don't think I should though. I mean, what if this book will get me published? Quicker than The Chronicles could have? And that's quite possible with The Journalist being only one book long, while The Chronicles shall be three.

So now I find I'm going to be working on two WIP's at the same time.

Would you guys do this? Or would you work only on you're main project. Or just let the new (or old) idea sweep you away and only write it?

I hope everyone writer luck!

(Does this not give you inspiration?)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Irresistible ;D

Wow, I have been given a blog award.

It appears that I'm sweet.

Irresistibly sweet.

And now I want cake.

The award was given to me by Claudie A. Thanks so much! I'm glad you enjoy my blog!

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award. (look up ;)
2. Share four guilty pleasures that you have.
3. Pass the award on to six other blogs.

So. Guilty pleasures.

1. Fanfiction. Usually of the Harry Potter nature. I can be very obsessive when it comes to this, ignoring my writing, my towering in-the-middle-of-reading pile and the general things in life. I will stay in my room for days at a time if I've found a particularly awesome and long fanfic. Like I said, obsessive.

2. Liking the evil guys in fiction/movies. May not sound like a guilty pleasure, but when it makes someone give you a nervous or weirded out look that makes it so much fun! I like to play it up sometimes, eliciting even stranger expressions. The look my older cousin gave me once = priceless :D

3. Honey cinnamon toast. Oh yes, butter, drizzled honey and sprinkled cinnamon on toasted bread. . . I could eat that stuff ALL day!

4. Books. Maybe this shouldn't count, but I think it does. I spend copious amount of money on books, making me feel immeasurably guilty (thus guilty pleasure). I also hate getting second hand books unless they are in prime condition, so just about every book I get is brand new. And also, if I had the money, I would buy some old tome a couple centuries old in a heartbeat. Even if it was in another language and I hadn't a clue what it said.

And to pass on the SWEETNESS:

Margo Bendersen at Writing at High Altitude!

Misha at My First Book!

Jaime Reed at Write-or-Die !

Claire Legrand at Builder of Worlds!

Hyperbole and a Half!

And Sara at her three blogs In Shades of Scarlet, Fiction Fusion and The Random Life of Sara H.!

I enjoy all of these bloggers and encourage everyone to check out their awesomeness!

Have a wonderful Friday everyone!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Troll

Inspiration for stories is strange. I mean, it can come from anywhere. Or nowhere. Half the time I've no idea where an idea actually originated from, cause it's just so strange or something it just makes me go 'O.O?' Other times I see this tv show or movie and an idea strikes. But most the time, I don't have a clue what my brain is doing.

It's like there's some kind highly unintelligent troll in my head that just grabs random things and squishes them together. Then just chucks these blobs of randomness at me, expecting me and my muse to do something with it.
(The Troll)
I usually write most of these unusable ideas down, just in case.

And then the troll goes back to work.

The troll seems to work best when you're being entertained by a good book or show, using the information it's being presented with to put together some of the more usable blobs. And those ideas that kind of seem pointless. . . Well, he just couldn't find much material for use at the moment.

But those rare strikes of genius, the ones us writers live for, it's as if the troll had been working on a masterpiece, and sometimes this only occurs once in the trolls life. The troll isn't usually apt for genius.

The troll is more commonly known for throwing together some vaguely recongnizeable blobs, sending it to you and then passing on to the muse who tries to get something out of it, and convinces you to write on it for awhile before you both realize the troll has fooled you.

And he's laughing at you.

But even though the troll is a small, dim, sometimes unsavory fellow he works really hard, doing the dirty work by putting together the base of a story idea, before giving it to you and your muse to work on. Without him, there'd be NO stories.

And even if he's laughing at you, it was still an idea that you learned from, and something he can use for better material.

Perhaps for that masterpiece he's working on in the basement.

Happy Thursday


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Other Side

I found this cool blog post over at Write-or-Die that talks about the antagonist of the story and how important they are because they're what's really driving the story by giving the protagonist something to do. And she had a cool idea.

Somehow it had never really occurred to me to really get into what my antagonist is doing while the story goes on centered on the protagonist. I mean, I have vague ideas on what my villain is doing behind the scenes, but most of the time it's really blurry. The stories not centered on the villain so why bother, right?

I'm starting to rethink this. Outlining what the villain is doing throughout the story could bring up some good stuff that I hadn't realized before, and could add more depth to the story when I know precisely what's going on with both sides. Not to mention it could be downright interesting. And fun.

I wouldn't let this take over into a book of it's own (try not to, anyway) cause it would only be for reference on what's going on over there.

So what do you guys think of this? Writing about what's going on on the other side, what they're doing to get at the protagonist, how they're planning they're stuff and just general stuff like that? Only to know what they're doing throughout the book while your protagonist is doing his/her thing?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Just Writing

I have been terribly sidetracked from writing by some other hobbies. Thus, my writing is progressing slowly. I can only wonder how long my interest in this stuff will last before I return solely to writing again.

But, despite this, I have written nearly 5k so far, have three different versions of the prologue, and the first chapter. I'll soon be re-writing the first chapter to fit with the prologue I've chosen, though.

I'm really excited about writing this, I love writing it and wonder when this feeling will go away. Will it be like Nanowrimo, and three weeks into this I'll be all like 'Oh no! What have I done?! It's horrible!!!! D:' I sure hope not.

But, I don't think that will happen. Since, this time around, I'm not just focusing on quantity, but quality as well, giving into that inner editor some. It's really quite pleasant to actually think about the words I'm about to write before I start spitting them out. And going back through to reread and fix errors when I see them, satisfying and stress free. Well, mostly stress free. Lets not get into the actual plotting and planning.

And you know what makes me really happy? When I write a chapter and realize it was in the wrong POV or needs to be written in a future time frame or whatever, and I rewrite it, it all still counts towards my word count for the year and it's what I want! It's a win-win!

So in conclusion, while I dearly love Nanowrimo for the deadline and excitement and all, it's just been so wonderful to write without deadline or word count only in mind.

Do you guys feel the same way?

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Mission of a Chapter

Something should happen in every single chapter to further the plot.

Now, I already knew this before, but it's quite easy to slip your mind when you're actually writing a story. You get caught up in your character, the world, the story and just the general awesomeness of writing your book, and totally forget that this chapter is supposed to have something important in it. Happens to me all the time, happened to me earlier today. I was writing along and then was all like "Oh, wait. What's furthering the plot here?"

Now, I went to one of my most favorite books of all time to scan through the chapters and see does something very important happen every single chapter. I went through Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. And something important does happen every single chapter. Something that furthers the plot. Now, when I was writing earlier I was pretty much just thinking, "Okay, introduce characters, setting etc. until I get to the first twist, however many chapters that takes."

I can't do that though. I can't have chapters there just to be there. They have to do something for the plot. I can't have a chapter in my book just because it's interesting or funny, unless it furthers the plot. It's a bit frustrating for me but at the same time it makes things easier cause I know that each chapter has their own individual mission of getting the plot a bit further, instead of just acting as separators within the book.

When I forget this kind of stuff it makes me feel a lot like this:

Good day!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Plan First, Write Later

Well, I started writing The Chronicles today, starting with the prologue of course. So, I write 1,000 words of this prologue and am finding that. . . it's not needed. I mean, not in the way I was writing it. I introduced a character that would pretty much never come back into the book - not in the flesh anyway - instead of someone else. Which, I have heard more than once, isn't a good idea. People usually say you should introduce the main character at first. Makes sense. And, my MC is kinda in the prologue, but it's being told from another POV - or omnipresent - at a point before the real story starts.

I love the idea of this prologue but I'm wondering if it's necessary. Still, I think it is, it just needs to be done differently. Coming from a different POV, and set in the very near future from where I had originally written the prologue.

Anyway, this got me to reread some stuff on, namely the structure stuff. And, well, it reminded me of something I had forgotten. I have no idea why, but I was thinking that one of my early plot twists was the first plot point. Just a few weeks ago I knew exactly what the first plot point was but I had somehow forgotten. Good thing I remembered now, before I got passed the prologue.

I have to admit that I feel a bit foolish for running into some problems the first day I decide to write my book. But, if anything, this has reinforced my new 'plan first' strategy of writing, which I am admittedly struggling to follow. So, what am I going to do tomorrow? Why, go back to planning of course.

Hopefully though, it'll just be for tomorrow and I can get back to writing on Friday.

A word of advice: Don't do what I just did.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Going to Write My Book! (And a vid)

Okay. Tomorrow (or today, whatever), I think I'm going to start writing again. Even though nothing is really properly planned or outlined I can't wait any longer to get writing. Not to mention I'm also nearly 50k words behind my word count schedule. I think that things will probably end up rewritten before I even get a first draft out, as things become clearer and I go back and fix things.

And (because I'm too sleepy to really write a post, sorry), here's a video on how to write a book, by Kaleb Nation. He is probably the most inspirational person for me with my writing because he came up with his novel idea when he was 14 years old and worked on it until it was finished and published in 2009. His book is Bran Hambric: The Farfeild Curse and his second book in the series, released last year, is Bran Hambric: The Specter Key.

Enjoy the video!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Reading Stories While Writing Stories

Oops, look like Valentines day totally passed me by. I didn't even notice until I saw all the blog post popping up about it! I have to say I'm not much for the minor holidays like Valentines. The only holidays that I really celebrate are New Years, Easter, sometimes Halloween and Christmas. (And NaNoWriMo. But I don't think that's an official holiday. Yet. :p) So happy belated Valentines day to those who celebrate it!

And now, to the real post!

My story has been deciding to go in a vaguely different direction, especially in regards to the main character and the ending. Well, actually, I take that back. Everything is deciding to turn on it's ear. My main character is deciding that his personality will change some, the villain wants to be more powerful and sneaky, and much much more cunning than before. The ending can't decide whether it wants to be uplifting or depressing. Depending on which way the ending decides to be the character arc may have to be redone. But, these changes are for the good. I think.

I can never be sure though. Especially when I've been reading other stories. If I read things while I'm working on an idea the idea can morph into something laughable as I attempt to bring in some aspects of what I've been reading into what I've been writing.

Hah, you should have seen what happened when I was reading The Fellowship of the Ring! Poems - poems! - ended up all over the place! And, my gosh, there was even a song. A very horrible song that would make me embarrassed if I were to go back and read it. But thankfully I didn't waste all those thousands of words, for the more refined version of what is now The Chronicles of Siron came from there.

But, you see, this is why I'm wary of going along with these new ideas that are plaguing me. Are they really for the good? Or, three months from now, will I be looking at tens of thousands of words of garbage, wishing I had never went with those new ideas?

But I don't see the damage in these ideas. I mean, they're not poems, thank God! Just some stuff to make my story, my characters in particular, much stronger.

The ending on the other hand, I'm still very indecisive on that.

So, I've got some more stuff to figure out now, all because I decided to get back to reading a lot. . .

Sometimes I just wish I could stop reading completly until I was finished writing a story, but unfourtunately I would die.

Do you find that reading other stories does this to you? That there's just something you have to put in your story after reading so and so book? Have you ever regretted it?

Monday, February 14, 2011


I've been working on my magic system and, though I've been doing well, I am beginning to wonder if I can really do this at all. I mean, magic is such a vast realm I don't think I would ever be able to explore every corner of it, even for just my world. I am thinking that I will plan the general rules of the magics that will appear in my books, and probably a bit further, but there will be much that I won't be able to touch on. Some will just have to be left to the imagination.

I mean, take Harry Potter for example. The magic in there is very ambiguous in my opinion. But it still works. The reader is given just enough rules and structure for this magic while leaving a vast majority of it to the imagination. Some fans who write fanfiction for Harry Potter have come up with detailed amounts of rules and structure to explain how and why the magic in their fanfic works the way it does or even how magic exist and all that. They give more depth, more possibilities, whole new realms to build on what are already in the books. And, well, lots of it are viable ways for magic to work, even in the Harry Potter books themselves.

And this is because J. K. Rowling left a lot to the readers imagination.

Maybe she does have detailed descriptions for exactly why and how her magic works in a journal of hers somewhere, but if she does I haven't heard anything about it and so it gives fans something to fill in with varying theories. And that's fun. That is something I would love to give to my readers, heck, even to myself.

I mean, if I were to give rules and structure to every little single thing there would be no flexibility, no ambiguity, and without those I believe the whole appeal of magic kinda goes away. Cause where's the magic in that? At that point, it would kinda be reduced to science, I think.

So I'm going to plan what needs to be planned, keep blank what can be left to the imagination and give space for there to be many theories and ideas abound to any reader who comes across my book.

What do you guys think about this? Do you think that some stuff about magic should be left to the imagination? How far is too far when it comes to planning magic, in your opinion?

Thursday, February 10, 2011


So, how do these strange people come into existence?

Some people say that they burst into their minds, demanding that their story be told. Others have carefully crafted their characters to fit into the plot. But this, of course doesn't speak for everyone. There are undoubtedly endless ways for characters to be created. Maybe he or she started as a mere notion of a person, just knowing that they really liked dogs or something. Or maybe you saw some random person and liked the way they looked or acted and wanted a character that mirrored that, and so started to work on this character, possibly without even a story in mind.

To me, I believe that characters are wonderful, sometimes strange things. They are moldable, but not overly so. They are undoubtably their own person and cannot be overly changed into you're ideal character because you simply can't. Just like you can't just change the way your next door neighbor is like.

And as for how I create them, well, I think that's putting it too strongly, cause it doesn't often feel like I created them. Sometimes, it's the character that comes to me first, I get a feeling of what they're like, what their background and circumstances are and a vague notion of what their story (plot) might be. Like they are a person I am just getting to know. But for some reason, the characters that come to me this way are the ones that are jotted down in a journal and then forgotten about.

But then there are the other characters. These ones are birthed from the idea of a plot or world I have been thinking about. It almost feels like the character is coming to me, saying that he is the character in that story I've been thinking about. These are the characters whose stories get written, unlike the others.

But even then, sometimes it's wrong. Sometimes, it seems like I'm forcing my character to be someone they're not. This makes them very hard to write. And as I stop and start writing these stories it's like they reveal themselves more and more before they finally become who they were supposed to be all along, not the image I had in the beginning, but something totally different and unexpected. For some reason I fight this sometimes, believing that if I change the characters attitude or opinion to something else they just won't be who they were supposed to be. In these instances, I'm usually always wrong.

But these characters, even though they were born from the story and world, these stories are hugely character driven. The story simply wouldn't work if that character was replaced with someone else or if any one thing about them were changed. In these stories the character is equally as important (sometimes more so) as the plot.

So, how are your characters created? Do the characters influence you're stories or the other way around? Are they closer to people or tools in your eyes?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Author Names

It's probably way to early to be thinking about anything like this, but for a year or so now I've had an idea for my published author name. It's pretty much a shortened version of my real name but I like it. The only thing that keeps making me doubt it is that maybe it sounds a bit girly and that would make some people hesitate from picking up a book under such a name or buy it.

The name I have in mind is Tay Lyee Rose.

Is that too girly or something? Would you pick up a book by that author?

See, I didn't have much of a problem using that name before but then I read some stuff about how the author name may stop people from buying a book. And then I got to thinking, 'Oh great, my name sounds really girly doesn't it. Maybe I should change it.' But I don't really want to change it.

And are author names really that important? Because I haven't ever not bought a book just because the name of the author who wrote it. In my view, the name of the author has nothing to do with the content of the book, even if it's not their real name. In fact, I think it's kinda cool to write under a pseudonym as opposed to your real name.

So what do you guys think? Would a certain author name stop you from buying a book? How important do you think the authors name really is when it comes to selling?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Planning Progress

I have made much progress since deciding to get down and actually try to plan The Chronicles. I have finally - finally - figured out why the villain guy is after the MC specifically and not just finding someone else, that's been one of the largest holes in my plot that I've found so far and I had absolutely no idea how to fix it.

What's funny though is that I did not figure it out while actively trying to figure out that particular plot hole. I had been trying to figure out the process the villain used to become the villain that he is. Doing this has resulted in a new kind of magic for the book (one which I am excited about) and a whole system of stuff that has filled another small plot hole that I know of. While I was writing about this new kind of magic it suddenly hit me that this new kind of magic is what makes the MC so special and why the villain is after him and not someone else.

I really wish that I could tell you guys everything about this book because I'm so excited about it but I'm afraid to because I wish for this stuff to be published some day. And I'm a little bit wary about sharing my ideas on the vast interwebs where anyone in the world can see them. I hope you guys understand :]

Anyways, so far planning has been going good, still have tons of other things to plan though, like where in the fantasy world the events of this story take place but. . . I'm a little less daunted now! Though due to a certain fanfic that someone pointed out, the planning may go a bit slower because that story is just so addicting and hilarious! If anyone likes Harry Potter fanfic, try reading that, it's one of the best I've read in a long while.

And thank you guys for the advice last post! It helped me out and kept me from mentally drowning in the innumerable things about this story that are just overwhelming my mind :)

Friday, February 4, 2011


Well, I have to say I thought I would've been ready to start writing by the beginning of this month but I'm not. And while I would like to say this sorta sucks, well. . . it kinda doesn't. Because were I to start writing now the resulting story wouldn't nearly be what I wanted it to be.

I mean, I did plan. Really, I did. Maybe not as much as I was supposed to but I had a beginning to end plan on paper. At first I was happy. But then I looked at it, really looked at it and thought, "This is not the story I was supposed to tell." And that was a bad realization because what I had written down wasn't better than the way I see it in my mind, in fact I think it was way worse.

I wonder how that might have happened and I think it was because the planning was done too quick and was too forced. Yet on the other hand I didn't spend nearly enough time planning which I believe was largely the reason for this result. So, I am giving myself this rest of this month to do some serious planning.

I think the hardest part of all this is not knowing where to start. I know I need to create the back stories of all my major characters at least, and that I need to plan out the plot and the character arc of this book, and figure out exactly who my characters are down to their bare instincts, and the world itself needs to be figured out still. Does this story take place in a hot place? A cold place? What is the society and culture like there? What sort of things might be ingrained in my character from growing up in such place? And then there's the magic system, or lack thereof. And it's just a bit overwhelming. How do I plan this out? Do I start small and then go big? Do I start with what I know and then ponder the things I don't or do I figure out what I don't know first? And just which part of this whole mess do I start with first?

It's all just burying me alive and I feel very small and useless.

But I know I'll get through this mess. Somehow. I think I might start with some back stories and some magic structure. I've been working on the cultures some, but still not enough. For this whole month I've got to focus on nothing other than planning this thing so I can write it. Even if I don't have much of a clue where to start.

How many of you feel this way sometimes?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Using Writing as an Excuse to do Anything

Seriously. I do this all the time. You probably do it too. You see some book in a store about some kind of questionable content that you're curious about but wouldn't want people to know you're curious about it because they'd give you funny/worried/disgusted looks and question you're sanity/morality. But you get it anyway, firmly telling yourself it's research for your book.

Or maybe you decide to take karate lessons, not because you're just interested but because that side character in your book that shows up for one scene does some pretty awesome kicks and stuff and you need to know how to describe such things! So you have to take lessons!

Or you know that place in New Zealand where you're book takes place? How are you ever going to describe such scenery without having been there first!?

And that stuff you read on the internet in the name of research for your book. . .  Goodness help you and the poor soul who decides to look at you browsing history. They'd be sure to send you to a mental hospital despite your pleas of, "It was for my book!"

And it is for your book, really. A little. But not wholly. Lots of times it's purely excuse, others it's only part that. Like my reading up on witchcraft and alchemy. I had found myself wanting to glance around at those two subject in the bookstore but never did. Until I found the perfect excuse. You see, having trouble coming up with a magic system I saw that section of books in the book store and it hit me: witchcraft. Alchemy. Those might help me with my magic system problems!

See? The perfect excuse. I really am reading them for that purpose, but not wholly, some of me is just genuinely curious about it, and I'm using writing as the excuse to not get those funny looks.

But hey, it works.

So what have you used writing as an excuse for? Vacations? Musical instruments? Some really really old and expensive book so you know what paper and book binding was like back in the day because of that scene where you have to explain that?


Foreshadowing in Real Life

Something very disheartening happened today. The water heater broke. But by the end of the whole situation I realized something. Something that, amazingly, has to do with writing. But in order to explain, let me tell you what happened.

First off, it has been unexpectedly cold, extremely cold, which is the reason why all of this happened in the first place. Now then, last night, when I turned on the faucet on the separate side of the house a little trickle of water came out, then stopped. I knew the water had probably frozen and told my dad but he didn't seem to be concerned so I didn't worry. This morning the news said that the electrical companies wanted everyone to turn off things they may not be using to minimize the number of black outs that might happen, so the heater in the other part of the house, where the water had froze, was turned off. Later this afternoon I went to the pantry to make a sandwich for lunch and I heard some strange water-like noise from where the water heater is and immediately thought of flameable gas and the house exploding and stuff. Thankfully I was wrong, but the water heater had instead busted and was spewing water like a river. I hadn't even seen or felt the water I had walked over when I heard this (I was wearing slippers).

So, what does any of this have to do with writing? Well, this whole entire problem was perfectly foreshadowed! First, this cold front came in, foreshadow #1. Then the water had frozen, foreshadow #2. We turned off the heater in the back (which therefore made the water heater work harder at keeping the water hot, causing it to build up too much pressure), foreshadow #3. And then, boom! It busted!

It was so cool to realize that that it was almost worth it! I mean, come on. That, I think, is just like the foreshadowing leading up to Plot Point One. The water heater didn't just bust, there were all the signs leading up to it, and I can't call an event to mind where something like this was foreshadowed so perfectly.

I'm glad because this has shown me, to my face, how to foreshadow an event.

But on the other hand the other part of the house now has no water, so maybe I shouldn't be so glad.

Good day (or night), everyone!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Character Arc

Yesterday, Claudie A. posted about something she read in a book about writing. The book is Plot and Structure, and what Claudie posted about it is something that I've needed to know for awhile. It's a little tidbit about character arc. Now, you may not know this but The Chronicles, the whole trilogy, follows one big character arc, and a plot of course, but the character arc is just as important, if not more so, than the plot itself. I've been struggling with this because I'm not entirely sure how to drastically change a person throughout the course of the trilogy, or any length of time really. But this thing that was posted about character arc has helped clear some of the fog for me.

It's the four layers of protection that surround the core self-image everyone has of themselves. The four layers starting from the outermost to the innermost is: opinions, attitudes, values and beliefs. Change a couple opinions and an attitude changes, change a few attitudes and a value may change, change a couple values and a belief changes, change a few beliefs and, ultimately, the core self-image changes too.

That little bit of information has helped me immeasurably. I think I'll be getting that book too and see what else it has to say, and maybe look for a book or two specifically about the character arc. The funny thing is that I didn't entirely realize how badly I needed to know about the character arc until I read that post.

The way for planning this book is now a little bit clearer and I am so happy for this! Thank you Claudie.