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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

An Explanation

I suppose you all deserve to know why I have not posted in a verrryyyy long time. First of all California happened, which was great and amazing and wonderful for people watching (a favorite past time of mine).

Thennnn I got back home and I was planning to start up blogging again.


But then I sort of got in a car accident. I was driving alone, lost, and late picking up my friend, and I got t-boned from the passenger side and life sorta tipped upside down and all went screwy and I couldn't write for a long long time. I'm just getting back into the groove of things and the accident was the end of May.

I sort of felt crummy and went through a lot of panic attacks and then finally talked to a counselor. I'm doing much better, though I do still have nightmares and the occasional flashback/panic attack, but writing and keeping up schedules has been kind of a struggle and this blog lay dormant for a lonngg time.

Soon I will start up a new blog, and I'll post again to let you all know the new URL when I do, but yeah, that's it.

-Ranger

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

One-Shot Wednesday

 .
"Go to the stone lion." They said. "Find the sword." They said. "It'll be good sibling bonding time." They said.
I wanted to punch my brother. I wanted to punch him into oblivion. I wanted to shove him in the mouth of the lion.
The raven arrived and the cloaked man appeared out of the forest like the myths said. My brother placed the shield. It had to be a male who placed the shield for some reason. I thought it was unfair, but my brother just argued.
Finally the cloaked man arrived and handed him the sword. There was no going back now.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Star Wars and Stereotypes


Happy Star Wars Day!
(May the fourth be with you. Eh? Eh?)
Ahem. Anyways.

(As a note, I am not dissing Star Wars. If you like Star Wars, I will not judge you. I like it too, it's just stereotypical.)

As much as Star Wars is amazing, and I do not deny it in the least, the story was mildly irritating.
Luke, in particular, annoyed me greatly. He was the stereotypical good guy. Orphaned, living with his aunt and uncle, special powers (because what protagonist doesn't have special powers?), a mentor (who dies. Shocker.), and is prophesied to save the world.
Yipee.
Anyhow, I know there are several protagonists who fall under this category. Right off the top of my head, I know Harry Potter and John Weaver from the Vortex Entrance. I'll be honest; all my protagonists started out that way, and who's don't? They're cool! They have amazing powers! They'll save the world!
But then everyone elses' protagonists are just the same. It makes things boring.
Also love triangles.

Even though the triangle was resolved when Luke was discovered to be Leia's sister (awkwardddd), it still existed and ew. Just ew. Yuck.
Anyhow, this type of protagonist can be pulled off, if you try very hard, but I wouldn't recommend it. It's rather overused in fiction today. From what I've heard from all your stories, you don't have protagonists like that. Congratulations! Yay for you!

Do any of you really like Star Wars? What do you think of Luke Skywalker? 
 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Minor Announcement

From May 7th to 17th, I'll be going on vacation to California. *shudders at flying*
Anyway, the chances of my being able to post is variable. I don't know how much wi-fi/time I will have. My post on the 4th and possibly 6th should be up just fine, but I don't know how much I can promise for those ten days. It'll probably be about a week of wild cards. Also, my usual post on Monday, the 18th, I believe, might be delayed until Tuesday because of jet lag. I'll have to see what I'm up for/what I have time for.
I shall see you all Monday (and Wednesday)!



~~~
You thought that was going to be the end of the post, didn't you?

I have other news, that's really big and amazing!

My dear friend down at Sylvan Dreamer has gotten a poetry book published!! YAY!

 Here is a link to the book if any of you wanted to buy it. She announced on Facebook yesterday (4/30/15) that it will be available on Amazon in 3-5 business days and in bookstores in 6-8 weeks. So, if you like, pop on over and send her a congratulations! She's been talking about it for several months and she's quite proud.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

One-Shot Wednesday

 "My friend's a murderer you know."  She leaned back, showing her masked companion. "I wouldn't recommend making her angry."
I came upon the two not more than an hour ago. Kylie, the curly haired one, was rather sweet. She shared her food and water with me, even though I tried to decline several times. Shaia, however, was much quieter.
"Of course we don't mind if you stay with us!" Kylie had said. "It'll be nice having a new face around."
Shaia nudged her.
"Oh, I should tell you about Shaia. She's a murderer, after all." She leaned back as her masked companion leaned forward. "I wouldn't recommend making her angry."

Monday, April 27, 2015

One Year Adventure Novel


 (This was not sponsored by them, I'm just enjoying it. This is sort of a review, in a way)

I've heard several things about the One Year Adventure Novel, practically all of them good. When my mother offered to buy me the curriculum, I wanted to see what it was all about, so I accepted.
There's pros and cons to this curriculum, with my writing status. Since I've written quite a bit, I know quite a bit about POV, theme, and plot. Unfortunately, this curriculum assumes that you don't know anything about that. The way he introduces the lesson is deciding what kind of story to write. His story writing process is something like this (this is with my commentary):

1. Decide what kind of story you're going to write, adventure (Lord of the Rings), romance (Pride and Prejudice), or self change (A Christmas Carol).
2. Decide the POV (First or third, second is awkward. For the curriculum, you're supposed to write in first person because it's easier.)
3. Choose your hero (You're supposed to create your hero to be within two years of your age. For me, the hero would be 15-19. Ulysses is twenty. Um.)

(For comparison, my writing process goes something like this:

1. Come up with a concept
2. Create the protagonist. Usually for me, the protagonist and the plot come together at about the same time, as one usually influences the other.
3. Write out a brief (verryyy brief) idea of what's going to happen in said story. Choosing POV often happens after I start writing.)

That's as far as I've gotten so far, sadly. Needless to say, it is for beginners, but maybe that's where you are in writing, and that's okay! If you can get the curriculum, I highly recommend it.

Would you like to use a curriculum to write a story? What does your story idea process look like?

Friday, April 24, 2015

Third Drafts: What would you do?

 (I apologize if you saw this when I accidentally posted it before I'd actually written anything. I swear my blog isn't haunted)




It's Friday again, and Fridays mean I get to talk about whatever I want. Which is almost always writing, but you get the idea. Today is a bit different: Today, I pose a question to any of you writers out there who read my blog.

Third Drafts: What would you do?

I just finished the second draft of Murder on the Red Line, my book about Ulysses.  The first draft was, well, a first draft. Sort of crappy in characterization, plot, and writing. The second draft I just finished helped improve the plot. I removed several characters and plot points. Last draft, Stocker died. Needless to say, that changed. I couldn't kill the guy. Not yet, anyway.

Ahem. Moving on.
My question to you is this. How do you get started on third (or second or fourth or fifth...) draft? Do you plan ahead what you're going to change or just start writing again? Do you have any methods that I don't know? Do you summon the ancient spirits of writing your third draft using marshmallows and a stray cat hair?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

One-Shot Wednesday

This one actually turned out to be about Ulysses. I realized this after I started writing it. Enjoy!


dialogue prompt


I certainly wasn't expecting a horse in the hallway this morning. It was the smell that hit me first.
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" Two or three people crowded around me and the horse, throwing a bit of confetti. All of it landed in my hair.
Great. I knew I'd forgotten something, but my bloody birthday? 
"We got you a horse!" A rather small, round man held the lead out to me. Now, I appreciated the beasts just as much as the next man, but never had I given the smallest hint that I'd wanted one.
"But I never asked for a horse!" My voice cracked with the shock. What in the name of all things sane would I do with the thing?
A woman that rather matched the man with body type and size stepped forward.  "I used my brilliant powers of assumption!" She puffed her chest out with pride.
I couldn't help but groan. "Don't you mean deduction?"
"...no." She shook her head. "But happy birthday!"
 

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Ultimate Character Sheet



As some of you are aware, a good way to develop characters is to use a character sheet. However the quality of said character sheets isn't necessarily always the greatest. A lot of them have rather obscure questions like 'what is their favorite song and why?' I can't think of any of my characters' favorite song. Along with that, some of my characters live in places where songs might not be available. For example Mordecai, a Scottish rogue living in medieval times, probably wouldn't have access to music beyond drinking songs and the occasional bard.
My point is that not all character sheets are good character sheets. Sure there's the basics, like full name, age, height, weight, etc. But do you always really need to know their favorite song? Maybe you do. I'm looking at Starlord here. He can't live without his music player, which I know that's technically several songs, but my point is this:
If something is important to their character, write it down. I don't recommend using pre-made sheets to be perfectly honest, just write down what's important. I don't mind if you make it in a character sheet format, but I recommend just using your instinct.

(Insert 'feel, don't think' Star Wars GIF here because I couldn't find one) 

If their favorite song is important to their character, write it down. If it matters what their favorite childhood food was, write it down. 
The ultimate character sheet is one you create yourself.

Do any of you use pre-made character sheets? Do you make your own? How do you develop your characters?

Friday, April 17, 2015

Reading is Research



I'm sure you all know that to be a really good writer you should read. However, this sounds really broad to me, so I'm going to expound on it a little.

Backstory: I got a book out of the library (and later for my birthday) called "Jack Reacher's Rules."
This is the cover.

It's an amazing book by the way, you should check it out. Even though most of the 'rules' are meant for people like Jack Reacher (hitchhiking ex-soldier who solves cases when he can), some of the rules are applicable to life, such as "hope for the best, plan for the worst." That one's applicable in almost any situation. I really enjoyed the book, and it did have a lot of good advice for detective writing.

As a result, I got some Jack Reacher books from the library. Specifically, "A Wanted Man."

The cover
I'm on chapter 7 as of when I wrote this Thursday evening and I'm enjoying it immensely. However, as I was reading it, I realized something;
I was doing research. Even though I might never write the certain mystery that's taking place in the book, it was still wonderful research. The detail with which Lee Child described Reacher's environment (currently the inside of a car) was stunning. Though it was a lot of minute details, Jack Reacher got a lot of information from it. It was really fascinating to read. I took a lot of notes (in a notebook since it was a library book) about the writing and what he put into the story.

I suggest you do the same. If you're writing fantasy, get a fantasy book out of the library and take notes. If you're writing contemporary, get a contemporary book, etc. etc. My prediction is that it could help a lot.

Reading books in the same genre as the book you're writing helps you to be more aware of good (and bad) things that happen in the genre. You can make it different, new, and exciting!
I really love reading for research. It's my favorite way to do it.

Do you read for research? What kind of genres are you reading now? What kind of genres are you writing now?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Beautiful People: Siblings Sort of

(Yes I am aware that Aimee's title for the linkup is very similar but I don't have any sibling characters that I have written within the past few years that aren't completely terrible so I'm going with it. Also Sky and Cait said that you can use characters with a sibling-like relationship so there.)

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Today I'll be writing about Thursday and Stocker. They're as close as I can get to siblings in my current projects.
Anyhow, these guys, though not as well-developed as I would like in this draft through Murder on the Red Line, they'll be more properly developed and not act like some characters I slapped in there so Ulysses didn't steal the spotlight. Oh wait.
Anyhow, let's begin.

The Questions

1. What is the first memory they have of each other?
Well, Ulysses and Thursday were friends in college and high school (see I told you he'd steal the spotlight). Once Thursday settled into his own apartment, Stocker was his next door neighbor. Now they basically share the two apartments between them. Their most prominent memory right now is Thursday wanted to break a door between the apartments, but Stocker stopped him. 

2. Describe their relationship in 3 words
Usually relaxed together

3. What kind of things do they like to do together? 
Thursday and Stocker are both serial binge watchers. They watch a lot of old movies. Stocker likes classics and Thursday likes campy sci-fi.

4. What was their biggest fight?
Poor Stocker is rather sensitive and Thursday sometimes forgets. He called Stocker a yellow-belly as a joke and Stocker took it to heart. He wouldn't speak to Thursday for several days, and even after that he was rather cautious hanging around Thursday. He still is.

5. How far would they go to save each other?

Stocker's the kind of guy who would lay down on the wire and let the other guy crawl over him. He'd go quite far, even risking his life for Thursday, even if he is somewhat insulting at times.

Thursday's kind of the same way, he would do practically anything to save Stocker's life. It's pretty adorable.

6. What are their pet peeves about each other?

Stocker is very set in routine. Everything has a routine. Waking up, eating lunch, going to bed; everything has it's own routine.  He hates it when Thursday messes with his routines too much.

On the flip side, Thursday is rather spontaneous. It bothers him when Stocker is so set in routine that he won't try something different for once.

7. What are their favorite things about each other?
Stocker appreciates that Thursday tolerates his sob stories sometimes. Also, Thursday doesn't care if Stocker has a grumpy day. He has grumpy days sometimes.

Though Thursday isn't a huge fan of Stocker's routine all the time, he loves that Stocker is dependable, even if he's having a grumpy day.


8. What traits do they share? Mannerisms, clothing, quirks, looks, etc?
They look practically nothing alike. Thursday is built rather thin and small, while Stocker is built somewhat short and a bit stocky (that was not on purpose I swear). They probably have very similar speech patterns though, that happens when people hang out a lot.

9. Who has the strongest personality?
Thursday.
No questions asked here.

10. How does their relationship change throughout the story? 
Probably not much to be painfully honest. Since they're not main characters they don't change a lot, but not to say that Thursday does get a little more sensitive to Stocker's needs and Stocker does toughen up a bit. It's kind of sweet, to be honest.

There you have it folks! There's a bit more about Stocker and Thursday. Are any of you doing the linkup this month? What's the best sibling pair in your stories? 


Monday, April 13, 2015

Plotting vs. Pantsing



(If any of you watch Steven Universe there may be spoilers, I watched like 50 episodes last week and I want to use GIFs)

Plotting vs. Pantsing is a question long debated among writers (AKA me and some of my writing friends). I am a plotter. If I don't know where my book is going I'll end up writing nothing, or the equivalent of nothing. If often looks something like this:

And then the dancing french fries...


Needless to say I need at least some structure to make things happen. It's just how I roll. Even in life I need to know what's happening. I really hate spontaneous responsibilities. Just spontaneity in general is undesirable. So. Yep.
Anyhow, I do see some benefits to pantsing it, your characters can run along and do whatever they want, but sometimes they run off into uncharted territory and do something you weren't expecting.
You...really didn't need to do that...

Generally I leave a little leeway for characters to do what they like, but not too much, as I try to develop them and their personalities before I write them. Short stories and character sheets are good for this. Sometime in the future I might post a character development sheet with some questions that I think really matter to character development. Once I get around to it, you can request adding questions or taking them off.

Back to my original thought, since I got off track.
Which is better?
I'm going to be up front about this.
Neither of them.
It depends on your personal preference. While I prefer plotting, some prefer pantsing. It's personal to you.
I cannot think of a legitimate reason to post this GIF of Garnet riding around in Amethyst as a car but it's funny and I laughed at it so.

 

Enjoy.

Are you a plotter, a pantser, or somewhere in between? Do you think you could write a novel in the opposite way (ie. Pantsers plot or plotters pants)?

Friday, April 10, 2015

Book Review: The Vortex Entrance Part Two

Because once wasn't enough

 WARNING: This post is GIF heavy.

It's gotten worse, guys. Much much worse.
First of all the writing hasn't improved. There's been a lot more careless mistakes and, to be honest, it looks like a NaNo novel to me (not dissing any WriMos out there, being one myself, but please for the love of all things pure and holy edit before you publish). There have been sentences in this book that physically hurt to read. I do not comprehend the lack of editing that has gone into this book. At one point there must have been five consecutive sentences that started with "I."

The only (slightly) well-developed character seems to be hated by everyone for no legitimate reason. Sure, he's an alcoholic and not exactly the most sensitive person, (I've judged him to be IxTP by the way) but wouldn't any of you be that way after fighting a war? I certainly would. Not an alcoholic, but definitely harsher.

Alright everyone, pop quiz! What is the best way to reason with an alcoholic?
A) Calmly and reasonably without blaming him for all your problems
or
B) Yell and scream at him, take all his alcohol away, and blame him for everything
Give you a guess as to how John (The main character, ESFJ) reacts.
Now, I'm not saying alcohol is a good thing at all, no sir. It smells bad and tastes TERRIBLE (yes I had a sip one time don't judge me). But if I were addicted to cheeto puffs and you were trying to reason with me do you think taking away all my cheeto puffs would be a good idea?

Anyhow, to me, it's getting to the point where even the characters are so stupid that I don't even want to finish reading it. For your sake I'll finish and post one more final review so you can see the final score.
Like really they ran from police after the villains ("Vanishers" clever name, no?) burned down a library. They had nothing to hide and they ran from the police.


Also then after running a few laps around a gym they ran thirty miles in like six hours.
 
Then they got right back up and walked another half mile to another town.


After that there was an abrupt change from vacant desert to dense forest.
 

Following that, after an attack by Vanishers, one character is flung through the forest and returns without a scratch.


A person with a concussion falls into a coma and wakes up fine the next day.


If you learn anything from this please do research.
Please.

Do you ever want to read this book, even for humor purposes? Do you have any questions about the book that I didn't answer *wiggles eyebrows at ask box because shameless self-promotion*? Have you ever found errors in a published book?


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

One-Shot Wednesday

 "Guys, I think he wants to help..."
They always kept humans and cyborgs on opposite sides of the walls. When we were dumped on the wrong side after our plane went down, we thought it was the end.
Most of them just stared at us as if we were freaks of nature, which, to them, we probably were. Pure and human, unlike them. Hybrids of man and machine, stronger, faster, and smarter than all humanity combined, but over half of them were severely disabled. Silenced, deafened, or blinded by invasive procedures. Some of them couldn't even move--trapped in paralysis forever.

We'd been walking for days when one stumbled towards us. He waved his arms, his mouth opening and closing, his eyes wide.

"G-Grind it, run!!"

The three of us ran into a holding cell. The thick glass would protect us from-

...what was he doing...?

He breathed onto the glass and started to write.

C-O-M-P-E

"...Compe?" I leaned forward as I whispered the word. A small smile crossed his face as he nodded.
"This isn't a good idea." Max muttered, biting at his fingernail. "Don't talk to him."
"But guys..." I scowled. "I think he wants to help!"

Monday, April 6, 2015

Announcements!

As you can see, I've changed the way the blog looks. I'm changing things around a bit and making it all look a bit fresher and cleaner (Spring cleaning I guess?). Anyhow, I'm adding a new feature to help my blog improve a little.
Introducing...

Obligatory Drum Roll GIF


The Ask Box is a way to send in your writing and reading questions for me to answer on my blog!

Things I will answer from The Ask Box:
  • Questions about writing
  • Questions about reading
  • Book review requests
  • Beta reading requests
  • Ideas for Wild Cards
  • Ideas for posts
  • Prompts for One-Shots
  • Requests for slaying dragons
Things I will not answer from The Ask Box:
  • Questions that have nothing to do with reading or writing
  • Why is your cat doing that
  • Why is your dog doing that
  • Why is your fish doing that
  • Why are dragons attacking your house
  • What is wrong with that glowing orb above your head
So you see, I am afraid I cannot help you with those kinds of things. Nonetheless, if your character has dragons attacking their house or glowing orbs over their heads, I'm happy to help. If you have a question for me, or heck, for my characters, do be a dear and type it in the little box to the side, thank you very much! I'm excited to see how this turns out!

Do you think this sounds like a good idea? What do you think of the new blog layout? Any changes you would make?

Friday, April 3, 2015

Camp NaNo Confession



So I didn't post on Wednesday because Camp NaNo started and I was busy writing. So I'm working on part four of my original NaNo novel, since I didn't finish it in time to start a second book.
*sighs at life because it really does get in the way sometimes*
Anyhow, to be fully honest, I'm really insecure about my writing. All my writing. My blog, my stories, everything. It's really silly to be honest, but sometimes I worry that maybe my blog/story/whatever isn't good enough.
For who, even? Who's judging? No one, really.
To be perfectly honest, it's a silly idea. I'm writing for fun, why should it matter whether or not people like it?
Well, this turned personal quick.
Nonetheless, it is true. I get jealous and upset when people write more than I do, mainly because their stories seem much cooler than mine. As much as I do like writing Ulysses, I get nervous that people are tired of him. I haven't even heard solid evidence of this, but I do still worry. It's an irrational fear though, hopefully. From what I've heard, everyone rather likes Ulysses. Even still, with all the positive feedback, I end up worrying. It's really silly.
To be perfectly honest I'm trying to ignore the people I'm jealous over, but that is extremely hard to do.

How do you deal with insecurities? Do you have insecurities? Are any of you doing Camp NaNo?  

Monday, March 30, 2015

Urban Fantasy



Hello!
I apologize for missing my Friday wild card, but I was away from the house from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm and I was tired and didn't want to.


Anyhow, I had a really good idea for a story that I wanted to share with you all.
Imagine a detective with the power to talk to the dead. I'm sure you all know I'm writing a detective story already, but I am rather prone to mysteries. So. Yep.
My original idea was a detective, but then I realized Ulysses does not need an army of zombies, thank you very much.
I changed it a little since then, but it's still in the works and subject to change.
Now it's a sort of punky kid with necromantic powers. After a string of murders, the police hire him to figure out who killed them and why.
That's all I have so far.
Most of what I know is there's a lot of 'street magic' like magic graffiti and charms kids learn in school and lots of fun magical magic. I might do it for the next camp NaNo if I don't have another Ulysses book ready. We'll have to see.


What do you all think of urban fantasy? Love it? Hate it? Donate a piece of your soul to it once a week? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

One-Shot Wednesday

 
The wolf boy's been watchin' us fer awhile now. I'm a mite scared of him; He don't ever stop watchin'. Just sittin' there and watchin'.

Pa says he's a wild spirit, come to haunt us ever since we killed that wolf somethin' 'bout a month ago, but I don't think so. I think wolf boy's wearing that poor critter's pelt. I think he owned that wolf, and now I think he wants revenge.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Antagonists: Who are they really?



My dear friend Karissa @ The Senseless and Sparkly wrote a really interesting post about villains, and I wanted to expound on something she said. I shall quote it below:

"[My character] was sick. One of the sickest characters I've ever written, but he almost convinced me that he was the good guy."

That is the key to writing a believable antagonist. They are the hero in their eyes. Let's go over some examples.

 Ronan: Guardians of the Galaxy
 Ronan's motive was to fight the Xandarians. He was a Kree fanatic and didn't accept that there could be a peace treaty between them. He thought it was in his best interest to attack Xandar. To do that, he needed the infinity stone, and therefore, Starlord was getting in his way. In his eyes, he was the hero.

Ms. Grunion: Mr. Peabody and Sherman
(Yeah, I liked this movie, shut up)

Ms. Grunion worked for child services. After Sherman bit a girl in a fight at school, she decided that Mr. Peabody, a dog, could not be a suitable parent for Sherman, a boy. Throughout the movie, she tried to remove Sherman from Mr. Peabody's care. I will leave the end unspoiled, but considering this is a children's movie, I'm sure you can guess how it ends.
Jim Moriarty: Sherlock
 
Moriarty is...*ahem* special. From what I can see, he knows he's evil. He knows he's a criminal, but he revels in it. He's evil and proud of it. Moriarty is a special man and a truly scary villain, but he doesn't try to convince us that he's the good guy. He's the villain we all love to hate. 

What do you think about your antagonists? Do they try to paint themselves as the good guy or do they revel in their evilness?


Friday, March 20, 2015

Meet the Side Character: Patrick Thursday



As some of you might recall, a week or so ago I did something called 'Meet the Side Character.' I was going to do one last week, but to be painfully honest, I hadn't been able to develop my other side characters enough in time to do it last week. I've got beta reading for Morgan @ Back to the Drawing Board, working on my own manuscript, a sci-fi rewrite of Beowulf for school, and a chapter in a Supernatural comedy that I'm co-writing with Natalie @ Scriven Madness and Karissa @ The Senseless and the Sparkly (you should check them out by the way. They talk about childhood stories as well as writing and they're really entertaining).

Anyway, point is that I haven't had a lot of time to work on characters, but I finally got some time in to do this!

Thursday is an ESFP. He's a bit of a wild child, but if someone needs him, he's there. 

His big old handsome face
Full Name: Patrick Rohan Thursday
Age: 21
Hobbies: Computer coding, watching action movies
Role in the story: He's Ulysses' hacker and social media consultant. He monitors how much publicity Ulysses is getting and deletes any incriminating information.
What he would do with $1,000,000: Probably buy a really fantastic TV and sound system, then save the rest. Or spend it on things he needed. Or parties. Probably parties.
~~~
Hey there! I'm Patrick. Or Thursday. Or Thurpat. Or whatever you want. I respond to basically anything that isn't exceedingly rude. My life is pretty sweet, working with Ulysses on stuff, though I wouldn't wanna be him. He has to deal with all the crap we put Chicago through 'cause he's the leader and all that. Oh well. I ain't complainin'.

How do you all develop your characters? Would you like to see more of these in the future? Would you like either Stocker or Thursday to come back?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Beautiful People: Ulysses takes over


Well, today Ulysses is taking over this blog post.
There's another Beautiful People Linkup that I'm participating in, I found out through Aimee @ To the Barricade! that it was going on. I probably could have been a lot more diligent in finding out myself, but at this point it's too late, isn't it?
Now, the questions this month are rather deep, and Ulysses isn't much of a touchy-feely person, so we'll see how it goes. If he doesn't answer the questions, I will. So there.
Without further ado, here are the questions!

(Side note: Aimee posted pictures of her characters. I can not for the life of me find a picture of Ulysses that really looks like him.)


 What is their secret desire?
Ulysses: Well if I told you that, it wouldn't be a secret, would it?

(He really wants to admit he's in a relationship with Erin, but being the stubborn little sillyhead that he is, he wouldn't dream of ever actually doing it.)
  
What is the best and brightest moment they experience in the story?
 Ulysses: Well, best, probably solving the whole bloody thing, not after being tossed in the air like a wet rag though. That was actually fun, despite the painful aftermath.

(I'm so stoked to write this scene, you have no idea. Also this is true. He's very proud of himself when he solves things)

What are the emotional places your character is afraid to go?
Ulysses: *sighs* Why are you asking me emotion questions. I don't do emotions, they're silly and take you places you don't want to end up. Though, if I must get deep, I suppose I'm a bit nervous to let Erin know that I really would like to...*fidgets with his sleeve* Well, you know, ask her the question...
      (*flails because he didn't tell me this before just now*)

Is there a place/city/room they will never go? Why?
Ulysses: No, not really. I don't really feel like moving back to Pembroke, though, it was boring and life was boring. Nothing really beyond that. I try not to make emotional connections to places.

If they were leaving town, what would they easily throw out? What would they refuse to part with? (Why?)
Ulysses: Well, I can't think of anything in particular to be honest. I don't have much that's really important, though my phone and laptop are nice. Plus I really do like my coat. It's leather and it smells nice and I wouldn't want to give it up. 

What do they want (consciously and tangibly)?
Ulysses: Well, I really do love solving cases more than almost anything, so solving this stupid train fiasco would be nice. Also for Stocker to quit whining. He whines a lot.

On the other hand: what do they need (on the emotional, subconscious level)?       
  Ulysses: I dunno, nothing really. Solving the thing I suppose?
(He needs to get over his fear, yes I said fear, of his emotional connection to Erin and just ask her the questiooonnnn)

If they could change one thing about themselves, what would it be?
 Ulysses: Hmm. Not being so tall would be nice every once in a while. It's hard to fit six feet three inches of anything into a small space, wouldn't you agree?

What is the most humiliating event of their life?  
Ulysses: Well that's a toss-up between having to fake infatuation of this one lady and Erin full out kissing me in front of my friends. The whole shebang, right on the lips. *clears throat* Yep.

What things do they turn to when they need a bit of hope?
Ulysses: Well, Erin, probably. She's pretty good at that sort of thing.

Anyhow, there's a bit of a deeper look into Ulysses! What did you think? Would you like to see more of him?   
 





Monday, March 16, 2015

Writing is your Job



On Saturday, I had the privilege of hearing Ms. Mindee Arnett, author of "The Nightmare Affair," "The Nightmare Dilemma," "Avalon," and soon "The Nightmare Charade" speak about writing. She spoke about a lot of good points, covering everything from query letters to what college degree you should get (any, really, you need a day job as a writer). One of her best topics, at least in my opinion, was her take on writer's block.

Writing is your job. There's no such thing as writer's block.
Doctors don't say "I have doctor's block, I don't think I'll diagnose anyone today."
If you look at writing as your job, which I have started doing, it makes it a lot easier to sit your butt down in your chair (or stomach on the floor or however you sit) and just write.

A lot of her advice was "just write." A kid asked how he could improve his writing.
Her answer?
Just write.
Write, write, write.
Writing is your job.
It is your job to give this world the best book ever.
Ever.
So if you sit down, don't think about how you're stuck, concentrate on how you're gonna write the best book this world has ever seen.
Writing is your Job.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Book Review: The Vortex Entrance

 

Where do I even begin with this book?  It sucked. Really it did. It was written by a 14 year old. Now, not to say that being 14 makes you a bad writer, as evidenced by my friend Aimee @ To the Barricade! who is 14, but when I was 14, my writing sucked. Any self-published book must be taken and read with the reminder that there could have been no editing involved in the process.
There was none with this book. 

I was a little worried when my grandmother first alerted me to the existence of the book, as she often nags me about publishing and writing. I was worried that I'd get hammered with "He's 14 and published, why aren't you?"

Originally I was planning on annotating the book to see if there was anything worth learning. Because clearly any 14 year old who's published knows a thing or two about writing.
I was wrong.

Oh, was I wrong.

I have started editing his book. 

The first sentence was "I sit on my bed, a tired wreck, since I've been up for hours."

Not too great, but not entirely hateful. Now, a few side notes, I've always mildly disliked present tense. If it's written well and I like the story, I don't mind it, but if the story and characters are mediocre, it stands out not unlike a sore thumb. That was my original problem with Divergent, to be honest, I didn't like the main character. She whined too much and it was written in a tense I don't particularly like. It makes for starting out on the wrong foot.

Fortunately, the main character has almost no personality, so I didn't have anything to worry about there.

If I went on about all the errors I found in the book, we'd be here forever, but I will say I found a to/two/too error. "...where do you go home too?"
Yeah. It's bad.

Anyhow, after I found that, I wanted to check out the publishing company he used: Ink'n'Beans Press.
(That comic sans)

Go ahead, take a look. Stare. Stare in horror. Then run. Run far, far away. Please never ever let them publish anything of yours. Ever.

Anyway, the book was terrible. The characters were flat, the plot was cliche, and the writing was atrocious, but guess what?

He's coming out with a sequel!!

Have you ever read anything by a young author? What do you think about Ink'n'Beans press? Is the song stuck in your head now?