Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I Need a Map

I'm having trouble properly writing the Chronicles and I know what the problem is.

I need a map.

Some of you might remember the map I posted a while back, declaring that it was the map for the Chronicles. Yeah. Not so much. As the story changed so did the idea of what the world looked like and so that entitled a new map. So I started on another one but wasn't satisfied with it and so I fiddled around with another one. But no. I can't find the right place.

Perhaps it's because nothing is truly matching the world I have in mind. It just isn't it you know? But I honestly don't think I'll be able to find anything that will match up and I'm just going to have to stick with one. It probably seems like I should just not do a map at all at this point but with a map, it could easily supply tons of information just by being there. Once I decide the place where my MC lives I could instantly know what the climate is like, if it's near a mountain, next to a river. . . And I can have a head start on what the places and people will be like in any other city because I'll know the surroundings.

So. . . I need a map. Call it procrastination or whatever but I call it planning and world building. The only problem will be finding the map. . .

Oh! I'd like to say yay! for Tahereh getting a book deal! That's totally awesome and I can't wait for it to come out!

And with the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan, I'd just like to say I pray that they recover from it, and for all those who lost friends and family due to the disaster. And I hope that the nuclear power plant gets under control soon, and that those who are trying to do just that will be safe as possible.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Don't Give Up

The first time I ever decided to write for pleasure and not because I had to was four or five years ago. What was it that made me decide to write? It was a book I had just read. This book was Eragon by Christopher Paolini and I loved it so much. I mean, there were dragons in there! That could be ridden! What could be more awesome than that?

I loved this story so much, loved the idea of riding dragons so much that I wished I could be in the book and that dragons were real and I had my own dragon that I could ride and talk to and how awesome it would be to have my own quest to save the world and everything. But since none of that was real and I didn't foresee any world saving quest coming my way I decided to do the next best thing.

I bought my very first journal for writing stories in and created a character and my own dragons and my own world.

Now, looking back on it, it wasn't very good, at all, but back then it was so awesome! It was so fun! I had a character, her name had changed many times, I think at first it was Esmeralda or something and by the end it had become Arza, my dragons were modeled after the Chinese dragons with manes and horns and everything. I drew a map, there were elves, and there was a country that was the dragons, there was an evil empire ruled by an evil dragon king and no one knew he was a dragon, a couple animal species that had human intelligence and speaking ability, and there was magic, of course.

Much of my first story was modeled heavily from Eragon, but even so there were some good original bits in it, though not many. And going back to read that stuff, it makes me cringe. Not just because of the story itself but the writing in general.

When I started writing I didn't even know I should put quotation marks around whatever my characters said. I didn't know where paragraphs should begin and end. And I'm pretty sure I didn't have a firm grasp on when to use a comma.

And even back then I knew I was doing something wrong. When I realized I didn't know how to start or end a paragraph, or even why a paragraph existed, really, I picked up some of my favorite books and reread them until I knew what a paragraph was. I realized I needed to put quotation marks around what my character say, I learned when to use a comma, I learned how to write by reading and it was probably the best thing I could have done to teach myself how to write. Picking up some book about grammar or something would have done little for me.

After awhile though, I started to come up with my own original ideas. It's funny that I can't recall what my first original idea might have been, I don't really remember when I started coming up with my own ideas. It seems like something I should remember. Perhaps I have it written down in one of my old journals somewhere.

So, in short, I was a terrible plagiarizing writer when I first started that didn't really have a clue how to write. But it was fun and I learned how to write by reading my favorite books. And now, I'm aiming to be an author.

So never be discouraged to write just because you're unsure how to write. Just do it anyway and you'll learn what you need to know. If you don't have original ideas at first, don't worry, they will come. You just have to pay a bit more attention to you're thoughts and daydreams.

Good Wednesday everyone!

Monday, March 7, 2011


That whole archery thing has cooled down enough for me to want to write again. I've jumped back to writing The Chronicles now, glad too, I missed it! The Journalist wasn't going the way I wanted it to, I couldn't figure out a proper way to start it without making writing it boring, so I'm taking a brake from that.

I'm doing a bit of experimenting with The Chronicles on POV. I mean, the main character is still the same but I'm messing around with first person POV, where before I was doing third person limited. I'm wondering if first person will be better or not for the story since I've got a major character arc to follow. I'll have to see which one works better, it's too early to tell anything.

I know that third person is supposed to give more freedom for the author, and I like the way third person reads with a narrator telling the story, but I also like first person because it's more intimate with the character, hearing the story straight from the character instead of having the story told to you by a third party. But there's also those annoying things like every paragraph seeming to start with 'I' and the character sometimes seeming to act whiny and stuff.

I have read first person done well though. The Name of the Wind, for example, was in first person and was, in my opinion, done incredibly well (plus it was awesome).

But I think, when you look at all the books, most of the good books are written in third person. Is that because it's more accessible for people to read? Is it because first person is harder to write well in? Do readers, in general, like having the story told to them opposed to living through the character themselves?

And when I think about it, it seems to me like first person should be the easier POV to write in, because it's the POV everyone lives in. When we talk about ourselves we say things like: "I went to the store today and got. . ." or "My sister told me I should go try this great restaurant. . ." Not: "Mrs. Black went to the store that day and decided to get. . ." or "Her sister had told her to try a great restaurant. . ." So shouldn't it be easier to write in first person?

I'll have to try and figure out exactly why third person is more popular than first person.

What do you guys think? What's the pros and cons for first person and third person, and why does third person seem more popular than first person?

I'm sending good writing vibes your way!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Something That's Not Writing

Three days ago I found a archery bow in the garage, long forgotten about. I managed to find some arrows and a target and have gotten back into archery. So, the last three days I've been doing little else than shooting arrows at a target and desperately trying to find a recurve bow for a reasonable price. I had somehow forgotten about everything else these last three days because of this. Including my blog and my writing.

This is what happens to me when something strikes my fancy. I seem to forget about everything else and devote my entire existence (for a few days or so) to whatever has interested me. And then the rest of my life starts to come back to me and I get into a new rhythm to accommodate my new interest along with the rest of my life.

So I apologize that I don't have anything else to say. I haven't written anything since my last blog post or done anything writing or reading related. And I don't think anyone wants me to suddenly turn this place into an archery blog :p

Please forgive me, I promise things will get back on track by Monday.