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Saturday, January 31, 2015

In which I was Terribly Clever


So I got this book out of the library called "Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars: The Fall of the Amazing Zalindas."
This is the cover, by the way

As I was reading, I came across this:
"...the support Pole..."
and I was quite confused. 'Pole' wasn't someone's name, and there was no point in capitalizing it if it isn't a name or the beginning of a sentence, so I wrote it down on a scrap of paper. After flipping through the rest of the book, I did find a code. I felt so proud.
I'll put what it said under the cut in case you want to find out for yourself.

What are you all reading these days? Have you ever found a code in a book?

-Ranger

(Message is here)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

One-Shot Wednesday + New Page!

I'd always known Jerod's stupid tricks were going to get us in trouble. I'd called it from the very beginning and Rachel insisted on bringing him along.
Jerod's latest antics had earned him a rather strong nosebleed. He thought running headfirst into a door to get it open would be 'cool.'
"Michael?" I looked at Rachel as she pointed at Jerod.
"Why is he bleeding?"
"Because he's an idiot."
"I didn't know idiocy caused people to start spontaneously bleeding from the nose."
"I think it's a new phenomenon."
I smiled a bit as Jerod held a tissue to his nose.

(Also, either late this week or early next week, I'll be starting a new page called the Ulysses Manifesto. It's my protagonist of my WIP's code of conduct in a way. I'll post to that as often as I think of anything new. Should be entertaining.)

-Ranger

Monday, January 26, 2015

A Letter to my Dead Laptop



To my dead laptop,
Thank you for falling on the floor a while ago. You gave me the motivation I needed to start up a second draft. I will miss you terribly, along with the old veyniacs sticker I had on your back, but in all truth, it was time for you to go.
You were an old fart. Like 7 years old. As much as I enjoyed using you, I didn’t appreciate how hot you got or how you shut down randomly when I was trying to skype or play minecraft. For that matter, you often started up again way too slowly.
I don’t miss your low battery life either.  Just saying.
I will miss some of the old work I put on you, my first NaNo draft, a few other bits and pieces, but I’m excited to move on with this new machine. I have my second draft in progress on Scrivener, and keeping my old one there caused me to hold back. I was nervous to touch the thing to be honest. Not putting the first draft in Scrivener was the best mistake I ever made.
Thank you for working very hard, but I’m very glad to move on.
Sincerely,
Ranger

Saturday, January 24, 2015

INFJ-isms (Or "How accurate are those posts, really?")


So a very long time ago, a friend of mine made a post about how she was Meyers-Briggs type ESTP (you can read it here). I've been meaning to make one for a very long time, so here it is! Now, mine's going to be a bit different in that I'm not going to post flat out facts. Though I will talk about myself a bit. So here we go with that.

I'm Meyers-Briggs INFJ. I'm a quiet little sensitive person who kind of wants to cry when she gets reprimanded.
It's silly, I know. I think it's silly.
Often times INFJs (read: I) take criticism personally. That being said, I still take constructive criticism. It just makes me sad sometimes. As long as you don't present me with a list of "15 REASONS YOUR BLOG SUCKS" I won't be sad. So. Yep.

INFJs have to think about everything they say before they say it. Is there a way to say this better? Will someone be hurt if I say this? Does this matter to the conversation whatsoever?
I don't know. If it doesn't, I'll probably keep my mouth shut. Which I often do.

We are often mislabeled as ENFJ.
We're the outgoing introverts, to be honest. For the longest time I was labelled an ENFJ and then I entertained myself by reading and generally doing quiet things. That's the thing about introverts. We can be outgoing, sure, but downtime is needed before doing too much.

So that's about all I can think of. I'll add more INFJ-isms as I comment on the pictures. I have 5. I hope you're ready.
All these are my perspective, and who knows? Maybe this is true for other INFJs, but this is my opinion on these things. 

 >.>
This depends. People don't tend to do things where I would need to stick up for myself very often. But when they do, the sleeping dragon which is Micah Karr awakes and fries their little butts to a crisp. Part of this is that I took martial arts for like 7 years. I can defend myself if they fight back. That could be a factor.
For example - I like to plan the crap out of a vacation and then, once the traveling starts, I let it all just happen as it may.
Nope. Nope nope nope nope. I am easygoing, and that's an INFJ thing, I think, but I get very flustered if plans change. I hate spontaneity. Hate it.
Bullshit

Good gracious is this true.
"I shouldn't be bothered that *insert really petty thing here* but I AM."
That's a fun cycle.
CS Lewis Quote Typed on Typewriter and Framed by farmnflea on Etsy, $13.00
This is just...really...overdramatic...so...yep.

This happened last week at 7:30 a.m. going to work, my anger overwhelmed me and I started crying.
This is also true, but at the same time really overly dramatic. Sometimes when I think about old (angering/saddening/upsetting in general) memories, I get upset again. I feel it again. Things that make me upset tend to stick in my mind more.

So there you have it? What questions about INFJs do you all have? I will he happy to answer them for both curiosity and character accuracy needs.

-Ranger

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

One-Shot Wednesday





I didn’t expect to almost get stabbed by my girlfriend. The blooming punk slipped in while I was sleeping and stabbed the knife into my pillow.
I was rather shocked.
I sort of screamed, kind of, since you know, knife, but then I kind of noticed it was my girlfriend.
I was really shocked now.
Crap.
“Not a word, Leo.”
She smiled as she twirled the knife in her fingers.
“I have to kill you.”

-Ranger

Monday, January 19, 2015

Amateur Editing with Firefly




So I recently began rewriting my NaNoWriMo book. Several of my friends who are all amazing writers have rewritten stories before, so I figured the best course of action was to ask them. My best friend (Meyers-Briggs ENTP if you’re wondering), basically told me to do it how I wanted. Which was really a big help. Not. At least it wasn’t at the time. Now it sort of is. She does give good advice though, she knows when I need is a smack upside the head because I’m whining.
I digress. She’s not what this post is about, but I might make one someday. 

Anyhow, after I dropped my laptop, the only copy of my novel that I had was carbon. The copy I had on Scrivener (my favorite writing software ever), was gone. That actually ended up being the most helpful thing going into this first rewrite. And you might ask, Why in the world would losing your first draft help? Because I didn’t have to look at it and go “Aw, my baby novel. So perfect. Nothing needs changed.”

That’s why.
So I’d like to share my editing process, or what there is of it so far, illustrated by GIFs because GIFs are cool.

PRE STEP 1:
Looking at it 
 I look at my printed novel. A huge stack of paper.  Yep.

STEP 1:
The read-through
This is when I go back and read through the hulking behemoth that is my first draft. It’s awful. Almost apocalyptic. Continuity errors everywhere, and the writing, as amazing and as beautiful as I thought it was a few weeks ago, now is crappy and honestly the descriptions. 
Oh right. That would be me.


STEP 2:
Ignore it for a while
Basically just go off and do other things for a while. Like play with dinosaurs. 

STEP 3:
Actually start rewriting
 

So what do you guys think? Any editing/rewriting tricks you use?
Comment below! 
-Ranger   

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

One-Shot Wednesday

The raptors. The raptors poured from the tower. Denver walked slowly down the street, letting his Scrivener's cloak flow out behind him.
The raptors. The raptors swooped down lower and lower, scouring the streets for the last of them. The Scrivener. Denver.
The raptors. The raptors, agents of Fijord, were coming. A shiver passed through Denver as he heard two men whisper. 
"The raptors are coming."

-Ranger

Monday, January 12, 2015

How to Kill a Character



Let's all be honest here, killing characters is fun. It breaks the ones who are still alive, and who doesn't love writing a death scene?

But we must ask, is killing the character necessary? We don't want them to die just for shock value, though some writers can pull that off, it's usually best for horror. I have a list of reasons why you should or should not kill a character for you.
How to Kill a Character: The Checklist Infographic

I'm going to go into a bit more detail with these.
Advancing the plot can be a good reason to kill a character, but it's not necessarily the best reason, in my opinion. You can advance the plot in other ways, not everyone has to die. Character motivation can be a good reason for a death, but pleeeaaaaseeee for the love of all things good and holy do NOT put a character in JUST for the sake of killing them.
I figured Moriarty was appropriate in this post.

Seriously.
Don't.

This does, however, lead me to my last comment about the 'why you should' side:

A killing should not just remove an extra character. You shouldn't have extra characters you should be killing.
This does get addressed on the other side, but if a character gets killed because he shouldn't be there, he shouldn't be there. Period.

I pretty much agree with the other side of the list.

Long story short, be careful with killing your babies characters. It needs to have a legitimate reason.

Have a good week everyone!

-Ranger

Friday, January 9, 2015

Short Notice

As some of you may have noticed, today is Friday.
If you haven't, either your schedule is messed up or you're living somewhere without a schedule. Both ways, I pity you.

However, some of you might have noticed that I didn't add to either of my ongoing stories. I do have an explanation for that. Beyond that I'm a secret agent and if I had uploaded anything today my house would have been a target for terrorists.
But you didn't see that.
*ahem*
I dropped my laptop this morning and it died. So. Yup.

Fortunately we had one that no one ever used, so I just claimed it. It's mine now.
*lightning strikes*
*maniacal laughter*
*etc.*
Anyhow, I spent all day re-installing software on the new one and sort of forgot about adding to the stories until about ten minutes ago. I'll probably post something tomorrow or Sunday, but until then, stay warm out there all you little peoples.

It's bloody freezing.

Have a good weekend, ya'll, and don't drop your laptops!

-Ranger

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

One-Shot Wednesday



 "Excuse YOU feline, I am the overlord. I will not be hindered by your impertinence."
"Excuse you feline scum." Leomund stopped in his tracks as the defiant thing crossed his path.
The offending kitten looked up at him with large yellow eyes.
"Move, or I shall be forced to move you myself." The creature blinked.
He set down his bag of groceries (hey, an overlord's got to have decent food, even if it is a load of microwave dinners), and wrapped his hands around the cat, who protested quite loudly.
"Silence, fool." He set the cat aside in the grass and continued on his way.
Once again, Overlord Leomund had triumphed.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Descriptions

It's freezing outside. If you can avoid going out into the icy inferno, please do.
I went outside in shorts and sandals, my only protection from the elements being a light jacket.
The ice on the ground made every step crackle. My fingertips ached with the cold.
So I thought I should talk about describing things.
When describing anything, it's a good place to set the mood. For example, I could describe the cold as 'crisp' or 'biting' depending on how I wanted the reader to see it.

Here's another way of looking at it. Look at the difference between these two Frozen trailers.

This one and this one
(I don't own either of these, copyright, copyright, blah blah blah)

It's the same movie, only in a much different light.

Now, description can be very good and show your reader what your story is going to be like, but it can also bog the story down. Looking at you, Lord of the Rings.
 
That's an infodump.
The way I would infodump this morning would be something like this:

It was cold. The bushes were frozen, the grass was frozen, the trees were frozen, even the swingset was frozen. I was freezing. My flip flops crackled against the icy ground. Crack Crack Crack. I shivered. I was freezing. My skin crawled with goosebumps as I made my way back to the stairs.

Or something like that.
It's hard to know what, exactly a good amount of description is. A good 'rule of thumb' is Chekov's gun.
If you describe a gun on the wall, it should fire before the third act. If you describe something, it should have a purpose.

Have you read any books with infodumps or any with really amazing description?
Let me know!
-Ranger

Thursday, January 1, 2015

One-Shot Wednesday (on Thursday)

I meant to post this yesterday, but it wasn't finished and New Year's Eve happened. So.

This week I took a shot at poetry, and rewrote The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe to be a bit creepier. So here it is!