Monday, July 28, 2014

Beautiful People | Masara 2

Hey guys! Last month I participated in a blog link-up called Beautiful People hosted by The Notebook Sisters
Each month they post new questions and anyone has the chance to answer them. Once they publish the blog post, bloggers link their post to the Beautiful People page and other readers and writers can check it out!
I really enjoyed doing last month's questions for Masara and after talking with a fellow writer, decided to do her again this month and next. 
If you missed last month's post, click here
Masara is the protagonist from my work in progress science fiction novel Crec

Onwards to the questions! 

1) What’s their favourite food? 

Masara loves mostly any type of fruit. Give her a fresh fruit salad and she's in heaven. Her favourite fruits are mangos and plums.

Bonus question: favourite flavour of chocolate!
Dark chocolate for sure!

2) What do they absolutely hate?

Being alone. Don't get me wrong, Masara's an introvert and spends time by herself quite often to recharge. The type of loneliness she hates is more along the lines of long term absence from the people she loves. To her, it's more like they've disappeared. 

3) What do they enjoy learning about?
Anything involving Crec and the Sentries that guard the portal to Crec. Since both topics are super secretive to the general public, any new information that she can get ahold of will satisfy her curiosity.

4) Who is the most influential person in their life?

Without a doubt, her older brother Trey. The two of them are seven years apart but are closer than ever. Once Trey turned ten, he basically took over the job of raising her. Not only did he quickly become a close friend but he became her mentor. 
A photo I found that reminds me
of a younger Masara

5) What is their childhood fear?
Masara used to be afraid of the dark but grew out of it. She hated being alone in an environment she felt trapped in. To combat this, Trey suggested that she and her friends press their handprints and sign their names to the ceiling of Masara's bedroom above her bed using Lumipaint. Whenever she felt alone and scared, she just had to look up to the handprints and names of her friends.

6) What is something they have secretly dreamed of doing, but thought impossible?
She's always really wanted to take a trip somewhere with just her dad. Going somewhere with him for like a week or so would be a dream come true because she could just spend nonstop time with him. Because of his vacationless job though, she doesn't even both to bring it up. 

7) What is something she is impractically afraid of?
Heights. When she was twelve, she witnessed an accident from high heights and ever since then, she's been afraid of them. 

8) Are they a night owl or a morning person?
A night owl. Sometimes she's forced to wake up early for her volunteer position or her older brother will wake her up but by nature she's a night owl. 

9) Do they say everything that pops into their head, or leave a lot unsaid?
Masara leaves a lot unsaid around most people. The closer she is to a person though, (for example Trey or any of her besties) the more open she'll be with them. However, she certainly doesn't just let her thoughts go straight from her head and out of her mouth even with them.

10) What are their nervous habits?
When Masara is nervous she'll wring her hands together to stop them from quivering or play with the ends of her hair. 

There you have it! If you want to read more posts like this or write your own, click here
If you want to check out the Pinterest board from Masara's world, follow this link
Thanks for reading and don't forget to comment if you have any questions about Masara or would like to know more about a different character I mentioned :) 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Archetypes: All the World's a Stage Part 3

Read previous entries on archetypes:
Archetypes: A Hero's Journey Part 1
Archetypes: A Hero's Journey Part 2
Archetypes: All the World's a Stage Part 1

Hey guys! It's been less than a week since I last posted but I wanted to get this post up close after the last one since they're supposed to be one thing always. 

If you missed last week's post there's a link above that will escort you there ;) 
As a reminder, I'm currently covering symbolic setting archetypes which are settings in stories that mean more than what how described. They can prove a point or add some weight behind what the author is trying to say. 
Now, let's move straight into the facts!

FUN FACT: Hundreds of archetypes are in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Go ahead and count them if you don't believe me XD

7) The Maze or Labyrinth

This can represent a puzzling dilemma or a great uncertainty. It's sometimes a symbol for the monster within one's self. 

In the maze or the labyrinth, our hero may ask questions regarding himself or his journey. Perhaps he feels lost or afraid. Not necessarily lost in the maze and afraid he'll never get out (though that may also be the case!) but lost in himself and afraid he'll never reach the goal. 
What better example for this than the Maze Runner? The entire book is centred around escaping this unsolvable maze! I'm posting the trailer for the movie because I'm way to excited for this thing XD 
ex. The Maze Runner by James Dashner, The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

8) The Castle
Oh the castle... I can think of a million–bagillion examples for this one! 
Castles are strong places of safety. They can hold treasure or the princess (Super Mario anyone?). Sometimes castles are bewitched or enchanted. They can represent home or another safe place. 
In The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien, Rivendell (the place in the photo) is most definitely seen as a safe place. Bilbo describes it as "A perfect house, whether you like food or sleep or story-telling or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all."
It's a safe place, protected by Elven magic, the River Bruinen and Eldron himself. When our heroes arrive in Rivendell, I feel a sense of 'everything will be okay', I feel a bit relaxed. 
When characters leave the castle walls, bad things may happen to them like they do in The Little Mermaid. Castles are shelters.
Disney knows how to use castles well. It's true that a lot of the villains reside in castles but who said that they were safe places for the protagonist alone? Our antagonist needs a security blanket too and maybe it just so happens to be a castle.
ex. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien, The Little Mermaid, Brave 

9) The Tower 

This is the strong place where evil resides or where something is locked away from society and fellowship. How many people thought of Lord of The Rings when they heard 'tower' and 'fellowship'? I know I did! 
The Tower of Cirith Ungol used to be a place that protected the province of Ithilien from the evil of Mordor. However it slowly became a base for Orcs. Bad things happen at this tower and what it became was the complete opposite of fellowship. It was built after The War of the Last Alliance of Elves and Men and then slowly became corrupted. See the link? 
Towers also keep princesses locked up like in Tangled and Shrek. The person that locked them up usually isn't the nicest of people either, supplying the evil in the tower.
ex. Tangled, Shrek, The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers

10) The Winding Staircase
This is symbolic of the long and difficult way into the unknown. 
This archetype will forever remind me of Gattaca. There's this one spiral staircase that shows up every time Vincent and Jerome are in the apartment and my teacher couldn't stop pointing it out when we studied the film in class! It really is a fantastic example though. Jerome physically can't climb stairs and Vincent is taking on a new identity. The photo below is a screenshot of this.
There might be a staircase that leads up to the a tower (*wink, wink, nudge, nudge*). Our hero must climb it but they have no idea what lies ahead of him. Maybe there's a spiral staircase in the hero's home that leads to their thinking spot. The hero may go up their when he doesn't know what to do. And a staircase doesn't just have to lead up, it can lead down too. Maybe it leads to the underworld (*gasp* another archetype!) The possibilities are endless with this one! 
ex.  Gattaca, Cinderella, Enoch's Ghost by Bryan Davis

So that concludes the setting archetypes. After three posts, I've got everything covered XD I hope they've been useful and inspiring to those of you who read them :) If you enjoyed them, be sure to check out the other archetypes posts at the top of this one. 

Are any of these archetypes in your story? I'd love to hear if they are! Let me know in the comments below :) 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Archetypes: All the World's a Stage Part 2

Read previous entries on archetypes:
Archetypes: A Hero's Journey Part 1
Archetypes: A Hero's Journey Part 2
Archetypes: All the World's a Stage Part 1

Between the Beautiful People link up, my neglect of my school work from last semester and my attempt to make summer holidays the best is can be, I let blogging slip through my fingertips. Whoops...*coughs* Now that's it's officially summer, I don't have many excuses though ;) 
Before Beautiful People, I wrote about the situational setting archetypes in stories. This time I'm going to write about symbolic setting archetypes. The difference you ask? While situational settings are more like the premise of stories, symbolic settings are more like elements in the story that show up once or twice. I suppose you could say that the main difference is that symbolic settings don't wrap the story around them as much as they add extra punch to the plot, characters and theme. Since there's a lot of them, I decided that I'd split this post into a two shorter parts rather than making it super long. 

FUN FACT: Joseph Campbell took Carl Jung's ideas of archetypes and used them to write his book, A Hero with a Thousand Faces. This book is what aided George Lucas in creating the Star Wars Saga

Bilbo Baggins in
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
1) The Threshold 

This is the metaphorical gateway to a new world. The hero has to go through it in order to start the journey, to change and to grow. It's a pretty broad term but I really do think that all stories have them. The Threshold could be a conversation with a certain person, an irreversible action, a decision that have to make within themselves or it really could be a door. Going trough the threshold won't ever be easy. Our hero will struggle to go through it either internally or externally. 
In The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins signs the contract with the dwarves but not after he really thinks about it. However, in the The Fifth Wave Ben's Threshold is the gruelling military training camp. In both cases, these things set the character on a path to change and grow. If a major character change doesn't come afterwards, it's not a Threshold and without the Threshold there is no story.

2) The Underworld

This is another thing I think all stories have. It shouldn't be taken though as a literal underworld. In archetypes the underworld is the place where our hero will encounter their greatest fear and maybe even death if it's that kind of story. It can be a dragon's den like in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, or a big city like in Mockingjay. Of course, or hero is always confronting their fears and possibly death throughout the entire story but the Underworld will be the place where they almost won't make it out. Don't let the hero fail though! We all want them to beat their fears, that's what we've been routing for since the start. 

Katniss and Gale in the film
adaptation of The Hunger Games
3) The Wilderness 

Rules don't apply here and people and things run wild. A fantastic example of this is the forest outside of District 12 in The Hunger Games. There's no peacekeepers out here to tell Katniss and Gale that they can't hunt. Many times the wilderness is tied to serenity but not always. 
Something I've noticed is that children are often associated with this archetype. Where the Wild Things Are, The Adventures of Huckleberry Fin the music video for Featherstone by The Paper Kites comes to mind. 
ex. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Adventures of Huckleberry Fin by Mark Twain, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, Epic

4) The River

In archetypes, when our hero comes in contact with river it represent the flow of time. This can be taken in many different ways. Maybe our hero took a trip back in time and ends up near a river, maybe like in the case of the film Chocolat the village is trapped in their traditional ways and our hero often finds herself looking out over the river. In Tom Sawyer, Tom and his friends play by the river, bringing emphasis to the boys' youthfulness. 
It's a more subtle symbol but it can be pretty effective if used properly. It's probably one of my favourite symbols ^ ^ 
ex. Chocolat, Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain 

5) The Wasteland

Erindale as a frozen wasteland in Frozen
You see this one all the time now in pop culture since dystopian novels and film adaptations have peaked. This represents loneliness, desolation, despair and no growth. The Scorch in The Scorch Trials is a great example. Sun flares destroyed the land and left it dry and festering with disease. The characters come across an near empty city, getting a taste of just how lonely this wasteland is. 
Another good example of a wasteland is in Frozen. Instead of a dry wasteland, it's a frozen one. Who would have guessed? XD After Erindale is cast into eternal winter, the people of the kingdom are in despair. Scene cuts to the kingdom really do leave you feeling lonely. Not until the resolution of the film does that feeling let up. 
ex. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner, Frozen

6) The Crossroads 

Another element that I think is in every story is the crossroads. This is where our hero enters a place of suffering (maybe even the underworld!) and is forced to make a decision that will affect the rest of their journey. This is a pivotal moment for the hero no matter what they choose. 
Since most people have seen Frozen, I'll use that as an example. 
Spoiler alert! At the end of the movie, Anna is freezing to death and knows that only an act of love can save her. She sees Kristof running towards her, he can save her. But in the other direction, her sister is about to be killed. She's dying and must choose her life or her sister's.

Are any of these symbolic archetypes in your story? What's the threshold, underworld and crossroads in your heroes journey? Let me know in the comments below, I'd love to read them! :)