Friday, October 30, 2015

October | I've Become Motivated

Never before have I done a monthly summary but one of my writer friends (who you may know as Stori Tori) encouraged me to start doing them. So here I am, tapping away at my keyboard about the busiest, most productive, most game changing month I've had in my writing life in a long time. I owe a lot of it to Tori so a huge thanks to her!  *lots of cheering*

Onwards to the summary! 

My Victories 

1) I made a commitment to my writing unlike any commitment I've made before: 10k words a week, people!
So far those words have been dedicated to my novel but in the future, they'll be counting towards other things.

2) I rebooted my blog and vowed to keep a schedule. My wonderful friend who the minions are cheering for is keeping me accountable. I hope that once I get into the swing of things I'll be able to write posts without a weekly remind from my phone XD
Also, in the realm of blogs, I've remodelled mine in case you haven't noticed :) What do you think?

3) I've booked flights and reserved a spot at the Florida Christian Writer's Conference! I'm so excited to go this year for a few reasons. One: I get to see all my writer friends from last year and two: I'm pitching my book to publishers and editors :D :D :D
While I'm nervous, I think the excited butterflies are stronger ;) This is a dream I've had since before kindergarten and I've finally built up the courage and confidence to put myself out there. (and the extra writing practice certainly didn't hurt anyone) Florida, here I come!

The amazing people I got to write with last year
4) Through countless conversations with my wonderful friend —who apparently I can't stop talking about!—and my mom, I've started a very basic pre-marketing strategy for this coming February when I head to the conference. One of those things has been starting a Facebook page. :D
If you're a follower here, I'd love to see you over there too! It means that I get to interact with you and get to know you better. Plus I'll be posting lots of geeky and writerly material :)
There's already over 100 likes so you'll be among friends!

5) I've named the books in the Tholus Trilogy! Book 1 is "The Living City", book 2 will be "The Sunken Sky" and book 3 will be "The Buried Core".  However I am considering dropping the "The". From a reader's point of view, what do you think? Does the "The" catch your attention or turn you away from the title?

6) I attended my first ever Webinar hosted by Michael Hyatt. It was called "Your Platform Roadmap" and it was incredibly informative. Since I'm working on my platform right now, the information I got really helped. My notebook was well used today :)

Nerd Stuff

1) I final saw "The Scorch Trials"! While it was pretty different from the book, they did quite a few smart things. As a stand alone movie, it was fantastic. If you're only following the movies and haven't seen this one, I encourage you to go.

2) I re-watched my current favourite anime: Psycho-Pass. A lot of my writing was done to the soundtrack too :)

3) I reread "Scorpia Rising" by Anthony Horowitz. He was my favourite author in junior high. Since I work in a bookstore, I thought it would be good to review some of my favourite kid's books. It makes recommendations easier.

Upcoming Battles

1) Nano begins on Sunday so I've got a lot of writing to do—a lot. 50K total for the month of November to be exact. If I thought 10K a week was ambitious, this is even more so. I'll be writing 2K every day so I can stay ahead. You know—cause a university GPA is a thing I need to care about too. No big deal.

2) Speaking of school, I'll be wrapping up my first university semester. *starts to throw grad hat in the air, record scratches* No? Not yet? Okay, semesters to go still. 

3) I'll be working on a very special project that I have no idea if I'm allowed to make public yet. I'll have to ask so I can find out if it's mentionable for next month's summary. 

4) If all goes well, the hope is that I can plan "The Sunken Sky" or start reworking "Crec: Book 1". But you know, finals, and NaNo, and the special project might turn this into a battle I'll have to face in December. 
Regardless, it's on my mind and I'm looking forward to taking it on :) 

5) Maybe the biggest battle of all will be surviving the start of Christmas Season at Chapters (the bookstore I work in)

I'm totally kidding. I love Christmas and Christmas music. But something tells me a loop track will get on my nerves. I think I might be one of the only ones in my store who's looking forward to the Christmas season at work. Likely cause I'm a greenie ;) (three cheers to anyone who got that reference) 

Future Nerd Stuff

1) I'll be starting to read "The Fate of Ten" by Pittacus Lore. I bought it right when it came out but haven't read it yet. It's staring at me from my bookshelf. Every time someone comes through the till at Chapters with it, I always comment about how it's a great series. Usually my praise is accompanied by weird looks...mostly cause the readers are teenaged boys. Come on! A female adult can read about aliens too!

2) I'll be finishing the anime "Red Data Girl". It's pretty good so far but also pretty typical XD The art is nice though. 

3) I think I'm gonna continue with "Pretty Little Liars". Yeah I's stereotyped as a 'white girl show'. I actually enjoy it though. It's got some good mystery elements in it that I take note of for writing. The kissing scenes—and for that matter, everything romantic in the show—have me rolling my eyes though and I just skip the next thirty seconds. 

My favourite character, Spencer, being all epic
So that's my month! I'm pretty happy with the productivity if I do say so myself. Thank you to all my readers and a special thanks to the commenters who make my day :) 
I hope you all had a great month and that you're next month is great too! 

What were some of the highlights from your month? Have any goals for next month?

Keep up the awesomeness, Wordlings! 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Archetypes | The Many Heroes

It's been awhile since I wrote about Archetypes...a long while. 
With NaNo coming up, I know a lot of people are in the middle of planning their novels—unless you're a brave Pantser in which I applaud you *claps*—and so I thought I would bring back the archetypes in order to help some of you along. Even if you know your story inside and out already, I encourage you to see if you can spot your character among the archetypes below. *points down*

Keep in mind that archetypes aren't cliches, they're patterns that naturally occur in stories. When I write, I often include archetypes without even knowing it and that's not a bad thing! To get a little more background on what an archetype is, follow this link.

That being said, make sure that as a writer you're still being creative. Look for your character to fit into an archetype rather than looking for an archetype that can become a character.

The Warrior

The warrior is often characterized as someone who faces physical obstacles and faces external forces. The forces don't have to be human—they can be monsters or even extreme conditions like snow storms or crossing a sheer ledge in the pouring rain. The warrior isn't the underdog—he/she is already trained or is born with the abilities that will theoretically help him/her to achieve their goal—they're the 'chosen one'. That doesn't mean it's easy going for them though. Think James Bond or "The Last Samurai".

The Lover

Pretty self explanatory. The lover is motivated by love. Prince charming is probably the most obvious of heroes we could choose for this one but personally I think that any character who's motivated by love for their family can also be classified as a lover. Maybe other archetypes will fit them better but who said you can have more than one ;) 

The Scapegoat

Seems like an odd type of hero right? This hero will stir up a lot of feels with your readers though. Why? They endure suffering all for the sake of other people. Usually it's for a large group of people—think of a rebel who's trying to stop the oppressive king from hurting his villagers. He endures public torture, humiliation and death threats all while trying to save the people. See? FEELS! 

The Transcendent Hero

Also know as the tragic hero. The only reason why we get to call this hero 'the transcendent' is because they have a groundbreaking, heavenly light shining, light bulb momenting, discovery or piece of wisdom at the end of the novel...and their lives. Usually they die. Yep. More feels. *sobs* 

This hero has a fatal flaw that results in their downfall throughout the novel. Think of Hamlet. Or Macbeth. Or Romeo.
Alright, let's just go with all Shakespearean tragedy heroes. 

The Romantic/The Gothic

Different from the lover but sometimes this character is also propelled by their love. This hero has a undeniable dark side to their moon. 
I'm gonna use our dear Dr. Frankenstein from Mary Shelley's novel, "Frankenstein", as an example. He's definitely the protagonist in the novel—well some would argue that—but as the novel goes in, it gets harder and harder to defend him and his so called 'humanity'. 
Also, DEATH NOTE!!! *clears throat* That is all. 

The Apocalyptic Hero

This hero faces the destruction of society as their main apposing force. This isn't a post-apocalyptic hero so Katniss doesn't count. This hero is in the midst of the destruction. Cassie from "The 5th Wave" would be closer to matching this description.


This hero is a failure for a living. Was that a little harsh? 

However this hero isn't the anti-hero you're thinking of. They're coming up. 
Instead, this hero is usually humorous and while he/she has a goal, no one actually expects him/her to succeed. Think of Forrest Gump. He's an underdog, you can't help but laugh at certain things he says or does but in the end, you only want him to find the reach the top. 

Defiant Anti-Hero

Anyone seen Code Geass? Defiant Anti-Heros like Lelouche go against society's model for what it means to be a hero. Depending on what your story world is like, this hero could be almost anyone. Robin Hood comes to mind and then so does Tally from "Uglies".

The Unbalanced Hero

There's always that one hero who's a little bit crazy. They're unstable emotionally or psychologically and despite their quest, they usually can't break from it. Hamlet fits into this one pretty darn well. Also, Roderick from "The Fall of the House of Usher" is definitely unbalanced. 

The Denied

The protagonist here has some sort of status or 'otherness' that makes their heroism possible. Maybe they work for the government of a corrupt society so they have inside information? Or maybe they're the opposite. Maybe they're an outcast and so no one expects them to be the hero they turn out to be. This hero could also have some sort of ability. Think of the show, "Heroes". If it weren't for the abilities of the characters in the show, they wouldn't have been able to save New York.

The Superheroic

Cue the "Superman" theme song! 

This one is rather easy to understand. Your hero here doesn't belong to society. They're set apart because of their ability. However, society needs them. If it weren't for this hero, New York would be destroyed—again—and everyone would die in a blazing inferno of Smaug fire...not necessarily in that order. 
Seriously though...could you imagine Smaug in New York? 

There you have it! What hero is your protagonist? And as a fun bonus question, if your villain was the protagonist, what type of hero would they be? 

Write on, Wordlings! 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Beautiful Books | The Tholus Trilogy: Book 1

Guess what everyone? Beautiful Books is back! And by back I mean it's back on the Paperfury blog (an all time favourite blog of mine). I haven't done Beautiful Books yet but I'm really excited to!
This time of year they halt Beautiful People and doing Beautiful Books for the sake of all people doing Nanowrimo and even for those people who're just writing and want to talk about their work of art.
I'm participating in Nano for the first time this year as an attempt to become more disciplined with writing. For one thing, I need to have a book ready to pitch this February as I'll be making my first attempt at publication of a novel!
My amazing friend, Victoria from StoriTori has been helping me with every procrastinator's worst nightmare—*whispers* scheduling. One of those things on the schedule is blogging more frequently. Beautiful Books will help me with that. 

I'm choosing to do the first book, which is currently unnamed, from my Tholus (the 'h' is silent) Trilogy. It used to be called "The Dome" but because of confusion with Stephan King's "Under the Dome", I had to get creative ;)

But enough of that. Onwards to the questions! 

How did you come up with the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

I came up with the idea while sitting at the kitchen island with
my mom and my friend, Kendall. I was staring at the picture over there *points to picture* and said out loud, "How cool would it be to write a story about a flooded city? Or a city that's about to be completely flooded? What if all the people have to escape before it floods?" The questions came from a recent article I read about underwater hotels that were in development. 

I shelved the idea since I was working on another project but brought it back the next week when I entered a novel writing contest. Even though I pulled out halfway through, the time I spent on it was enough to solidify a premise. 

It's been about three years since that happened. Now the idea is being revisited for a makeover and complete drafting :D

Why are you excited to write this novel?
The Bermuda Triangle and other pseudoscientific conspiracies have always fascinated me. To fictionally explain one of them makes me a little giddy. I can't wait to complete my own explanation of why the planes and boats keep disappearing. Plus, my characters have been staring at me for some time now, begging me to write their story. *glances at them*

What is your novel about, and what is the title?
As I mentioned above, my novel is about the Bermuda Triangle. Kimerly Hayes, my MC, boards a plane bound for Bermuda that's pulled down into the ocean. There she discovers a city—not Atlantis, but Tholus—where superhuman abilities are part of how the city functions. However Kim isn't interested in abilities or underwater cities. She wants to go home. As she searches for a way out, she uncovers secrets and conspiracies about Tholas's history and very existence that threaten her life and the lives of ever citizen. 
Three cheers for coming up with that description in five minutes. Not too shabby, eh? 
As for the title, it's currently title-less. Thanks a lot Stephan King. *shakes fist at him* Oh well. More creative brainwork for me. 

Sum up your characters in one word each. (Feel free to add pictures!)
I have a pretty large cast so I'll just focus on the five main protagonists and one of my antagonists.


Matt—Assertive (His Character Interview)

Isaac (he has shorter hair though)—Skeptical 



Louis—Apathetic (His Beautiful People Post)

Meet Erik
Which character(s) do you think will be your favourite to write? Tell us about them!
I love Kim. She's my POV character and I love her. She's got a little bit of sarcastic sass that makes her interior monologues really fun to write. I also love her inner journey and can't wait to see her blossom as a person. 
Louis is my next favourite to write about. He's my twisted scientist. Any of my friends would agree that twisted is a good word to describe him. Despite his...experiments, he's somehow a character you can't help but love. 
Lastly, there's Erik. He's not super important in the first book but I can't wait to introduce him. He's another villain of mine who has a mansion in the forrest. He works in the museum and is infatuated with art from 'Up There' (land). 

What is your protagonist’s goal, and what stands in the way?
Kim wants to go home. However first she needs to find out if that's even possible. 
Because she skips class to find out some important tidbits, she gets in trouble with Louis and also the Council. 
Internally, she has some confidence issues. While she covers them up with her pride, her lack of self-confidence often gets in her way and prevents her from finding things out that could help her. 
On top of that, she's not the most sociable person. This is a pretty big obstacle since getting out of Tholas isn't a one man job.

Where is your novel set? (Show us pictures if you have them!)
Tholas is positioned at the bottom of the ocean in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle. It's protected by a large dome that has a city, lake and forrest that loops in a ring around the edge of the dome.
City skyline I modled Tholas after

What is the most important relationship your character has?
This is an interesting question. I think I'd have to say the one she has with her parents. While you never see them in the book, she thinks about them a lot in interior monologue. When she thinks of going home, she often thinks of her parents. It's a driving force in her journey. 

How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
Kim isn't totally sure of herself yet but she's beginning to gain a bit of boldness. She's also got a group of friends around her that she's starting to love. She wants to protect them and would risk her life trying to save them. Also, her independence is still there but she now has learned to lean on others too. 

What themes are in your book? How do you want your readers to feel when the story is over?
Still trying to figure this one out. I think it will come more to me as I write. So far my thematic ideas are friendship and trust, how society and people masks their flaws, fear vs. love as a driving force, the dangers of curiosity, and where and how a person finds their worth. 
Some of those themes are themes for the whole trilogy and they'll be more prevalent in the sequels than in the first book.
I want my readers to be left thinking but I'm still trying to figure out what type of thinking. 

BONUS! Tell us your 3 best pieces of advice for others trying to write a book in a month.
1. Write
2. Write
3. Don't stop writing

Even 500 words is good. And also, word war! Find some writer buddies to word war with. 
As a university student, I squeeze in 250 words on the bus to school and 250 back. Then if I try to get up to 1k or 2k depending on homework.

Write on, fellow writers! We got this! If you did Beautiful Books, let me know! If not, feel free to tell me about your novel in the comments below. I'd love to here about it :)