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Monday, March 30, 2015

Urban Fantasy

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.
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?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

One-Shot Wednesday

Everyone just called him the suit kid up until a week ago. Then he got ahold of that apple. He just looked at it during lunch now, turning it around in his hands. He muttered over it too, it was the freakiest thing.
No one thought anything of it until it started smoking.
We all joked that he should give it to Mr. Turley. Everyone hated Mr. Turley.
He took us seriously.
That was Monday.
Tuesday morning we got an announcement that we'll be having a substitute for Math today, Mr. Turley had suddenly dropped dead.
Suit kid just smiled at the back of the room.
Now we call him Mortality.

Monday, March 9, 2015

I Don't Know What to Write

Well, it's Monday, and that usually means writing posts. But to be perfectly honest with you all, I have no idea what to write about.
This is extending into practically every story I'm writing right now. My second draft of my NaNo novel, a supernatural comedy,  ideas for my camp NaNo story, really nothing. 
My creativity faucet has just turned off.
I can't even say why. It's sad, really.
Even trying to blog is hard.
So I extend the question to you all:
How do you know what to blog about? Do your readers ask you for things?
Do you follow a certain theme?
For now, since I can't think of anything else, I'll post my favorite writer's block busting methods:

1. Move to a different scene
Obviously this does not work when writing blog posts. But when I'm stuck on a story, I skip to a scene I'm looking forward to. It gets me excited about what I'm writing again and it helps move things along.

2. Write in a different location
I had to drive my sister to her drum lesson, I had an hour or so to wait for her, so I brought my laptop. The change of scenery helped quite a bit, it was much nicer than staring at a wall. I got quite a bit done.

3. Start writing a different story altogether.
If Ulysses is giving me trouble, I'll switch to writing about werewolves and vampires. It's sort of a mental jumpstart to get me writing again.

What about you all? How do you get writing inspiration when you're stuck?
How do you come up with blog post ideas?

Friday, March 6, 2015

Meet the Side Character: Elijah Stocker

This came to me like five minutes ago. But as I'm writing my book, I realized that a lot of my side characters are really kind of flat. So this will be my remedy to this. I'm going to drag their little behinds out into the light where I can see them and get a good look at who they are.
I really shouldn't have giggled as much as I did

Elijah is one of my most well-developed side characters so far, he's the same MBTI as me (INFJ), and he was a soldier in the middle east before he was hit with shrapnel and he had to come home since there was a very high chance he wouldn't be able to walk again. Poor boy.
Anyhow, he's just the sweetest little guy I'll try to give you some basic information about him without fangirling too much, and I'll let him write a little piece about himself at the end. That sentence would sound really weird if I weren't a writer, huh?

Anyhow, without further ado,

Elijah Tyler Stocker!
Sweet baby Stocker

Full Name: Elijah Tyler Stocker
Age: 20 (barely)
Hobbies: Reading, building models, working on cases with Ulysses
Role in the story: He's part of Ulysses' gang who are his eyes and ears in several places at once
What he would do with $1,000,000,000: Save it until he needed it for something or give it away to charity
Hello! I'm Elijah Stocker. Most people call me Stocker. They did in the military anyway. I used to be in the military 'til I got shrapnel lodged in my back. That was unfortunate. Now I'm living by myself in this little apartment. I work for Ulysses as another pair of eyes and ears. I do wish he'd settle down, though... 

So there you have it! Would you like to see more of these? How do you develop your side characters?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Devil Orders Takeout Linkup

Well guys, according to Heather @ Sometimes I'm a Story, her friend, Alyssa @ The Devil Orders Takeout is having two birthdays! Her actual birthday and her blog's birthday! Her blog is two years old! Congratulations!! That's absolutely amazing.

The Devil Orders Takeout - Birthday Giveaway 2015

She's having a blog party and a giveaway, so I thought I should tell you all so you can join in!  (Also I'm told there's virtual cake)

Let us go forth: To the Questions!!

1. If I win, what book would I like? 
Oh, gosh, this is a hard question. Probably Tripwire, by Lee Child. I write crime stories, so I read a lot of crime stories. It's like research.

2. What is the ideal bookmark? (If you own it, show us a picture!)
Well, I have a tendency to twist bookmarks when I'm reading. I just use random papers or tissues to be fully honest.

3. What's a book you've been wanting to read (or write) that you've been putting off forever?
Well there's this cyberpunk/sci-fi book that me and some of my friends have been meaning to write for a really long time. We still haven't started it, I don't think.

4. One Urban Myth about China? (Because CHINA. I'll drop by and clear it up :D)
I think the air in some places is like deadly to breathe.
I know like nothing about China.

Also I think the Great Wall wasn't actually that great. It didn't work. I don't think.

5. List your blogging inspirations:

Well, gosh, there's a lot. Here goes.

Aimee @ To the Barricade! She's just cool and people really like her and she writes very well and is super clever and funny. Yeah.

Heather @ Sometimes I'm a Story She's super nice and does cool linkup things and she's just really cool. I am not good at articulating why I like these people. But she's cool

Imogen @ Imogen Elvis: Gossiping with Dragons Imogen is just amazing. She's such a good blogger and has good music and she's just awesome.

So yeah! You all can join in if you like, click this link to join the giveaway.

How are you all doing with fan month? Are you participating? Who are your blogging inspirations?

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Three-Part Act: Part 3

Well guys, Part Three is here! After putting your protagonist up a tree, bruising and battering him or her with rocks, it's about time to get the poor chap down, don't you think?

After Bilbo gets several rocks of different sizes thrown at him (The Dwarves, Mirkwood, and a dragon for heaven's sake), it's time to get the poor Hobbit down from the tree.
Or maybe he doesn't want down.

Watson really isn't ever coming down. Maybe he'll dangle his feet by the ground, but as long as he lives with Sherlock Holmes, he's stuck up in the tree. Sorry John.
In the end of the Hobbit, Bilbo goes home. This is him climbing down the tree. Though, I will say often times, when a person climbs down the tree, they've changed. Maybe before, they didn't like climbing trees and now it's one of their favorite activities.  Though, I will say, some protaginists change more than others. It's just how they work. For example, Bilbo was a timid little man with no desire to go anywhere. After the Hobbit, and into Lord of the Rings, Bilbo loves to wander.

So when you bring your character out of the tree, it would be a good idea to evaluate if or how he or she has changed. Then let them continue on their merry way.
Or, you know, drag them into another book.

Also, announcement: Fan Month has started!!
I'll be posting links to my favorite posts as the month progresses, maybe interview a blogger or two, and I'll be commenting on everyone's things, so we'll see how this goes!