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  • Posted on June 8, 2017 at 1:50 pm

 

Welcome to the Work In Progress Tag! I was tagged by the adoring and adorable Briana Herr, who was kind enough to inform our whole discord server about the tag! For this tag, I’m going to focus on my mostly complete WIP, rather than the ones I keep starting to avoid Writer’s Block. XD

Without further ado!

1) What is your working title?

“A Knight of Kuryle”, which is supposed to refer to the main character Dirk’s position once he has accepted his fate.

 

2) where did the idea come from?

I had a dream, a long, long time ago, about a sorcerer and a swordsman. The sorcerer was the enemy of the swordsman, but when the swordsman ran him through, he collapsed into the swordsman’s arms and breathed out, “You never could protect me, could you?”

I fell in love with the dynamic, and with the pair, and so that’s how Dirk and Yumil/Kier were born.

 

3) what Genre would your book fall into?

I like to think Epic fantasy, since it follows more than one character’s journey through a fantasy world. But it’s probably just straight fantasy. XD

 

4) what actors would you choose to play in your movie rendition?

I really don’t think about actors for my characters, if only because it’d be very difficult to choose them, and because by the time I choose them, they don’t look the way I need them to for the character. Plus, I don’t think there’s a man alive pretty enough to match my mental image of Yumil/Kier

 

5) what is the one sentence synopsis for your WIP?

For the first novel: When his village is destroyed by an unknown mage, Dirk goes looking for justice, and finds something so unexpected that it throws his worldview out of place.

For the series: An ancient grudge sets into motion the necessary components to end the world, or bring it back into balance, and it’s up to one family to choose which.

 

6) Will you self-publish or be represented by an agency?

I’m planning to self-publish, although I wouldn’t say no to an agency if they wanted to represent me.

 

7) how long did it take you to write your first draft?

About a month. I was doing nanowrimo and had nothing else to do but write, so I literally ended up writing 250k words and finished it. Then I had to cut it down into smaller books, and I still haven’t finished the first draft of the smaller book. XD

 

8) what other books would you compare this story too?

Probably a combination of the Inheritance Cycle, Dragon Blood by Patricia Briggs, and Lord of the Rings. Sort of. Very, very loosely.

 

9) who or what inspired you to write this book?

When I first wrote the first draft, I was inspired by my then boyfriend, Wesley Pruett. As I went on to editing and eventually breaking up the story into smaller books, however, I found that my inspiration and help came from my mentor, Chris Votey. He’s been invaluable for helping me through all the crags and crannies of writing, and I wouldn’t have made it this far without him.

 

10) what else about your book that might pique readers interest?

Well, the main characters are almost all tumblr-worthy. Dirk is an asexual black man, and Yumil is a genderfluid homosexual. Their adoptive son, Jorgan, later in life goes on to be the savior of the world. So there’s that. XD

 

There you have it, my WIP, which I haven’t touched in several months. This blogpost, however, has rekindled my love for it, and I think I’ll be starting editing again. So thanks so much for sticking around and reading this! Post your information down below, and I’ll tag you in it, so that you can gush about your WIP too!

IWSG – 03/01/17

  • Posted on March 1, 2017 at 12:15 am

There’s a lovely group of people who listen to my woes and comfort me every month, and this month I have the honor of giving back by co-hosting the lovely Insecure Writer’s Support Group. If you don’t know about this group or are relatively new, here’s how it works:

  1. Click on the picture
  2. Sign up
  3. Post a post every first Wednesday about your struggles as a writer, your triumphs as an author, and any encouragement you have to give others. (prompts are provided, most times.)
  4. Go and read about other’s struggles and comment with support!

When I was fourteen years old, I had a dream. To this day the only thing I can remember about the dream was that there was a sorcerer and a swordsman, and the swordsman ran the sorcerer through with his sword. He caught the dying sorcerer, and the sorcerer said to him, “You never could save me.”

That’s how two of the main characters of the Kurylian Saga were born. Others came afterward, but Yumil and Dirk were the ones who stuck around the most. I drew comics of them, I wrote short stories to myself. I even considered making a full-blown manga out of their adventure.

In the end, I settled on a book, and with the encouragement of my then-boyfriend, in 2013, I wrote the first draft of the Kurylian saga. The characters were wonky, the settings were forgettable, and the action was… well… inactive. I met my mentor, Chris Votey, and began work on the second draft. And then the third. And then I put it away for almost a full year, while I was homeless and running around my town trying to get my feet back under me.

Most recently, I’ve been struggling with a feeling of dejection. That the story I was telling was either not good enough, or that I, as a writer, didn’t have the skill to tell it. I absolutely drove myself mad over it to the point where I considered whether or not to scrap the book entirely and just move on.

I tried to do just that. I opened rough draft after rough draft. I tried different genres. I tried everything. But I always came back to Dirk and Yumil. The two of them needed their story told, and my fourteen-year-old-self was still in love with the way their world worked.

So I went to Chris and I asked him for help. As always, he gave me lovely lessons on world building, and how to use what I was learning in college in my writing. Then he set me the challenge of writing short fiction. Just real quick 500-750 word drabbles centered around one of the other characters in the story named Eamon.

Doing this unlocked something in me, and I found myself starting to get excited about the book again.

However, those doubts started niggling again. I couldn’t possibly be writing this right. I was obviously doing something wrong. Why was Eamon acting this way, when I had thought she was a more simple character?!

Chris came to me again and offered me the chance to analyze Dirk and Eamon, to see how they really ticked. I jumped on it, thinking that, as always, Chris must have some kind of reasoning behind it. And to be honest, I’m not the greatest at Character Profiling. Or world building. Or prose. Or, well you get the drift.

The first thing we did was sit down over voice chat, and he started asking me questions. I was instructed to answer the question three times. Once for Dirk, Once for Eamon, and Once for myself. I recognized the questions as being similar to an MBTI test I took and abandoned halfway through a long time ago.

For those who don’t know, MBTI stands for Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which is a psychological profiling system. It’s become very fashionable lately to know what your MBTI is on Tumblr, so I’ve kind of been rolling my eyes at it as any kind of diagnostic tool. However, Chris is on the verge of something wonderful, so I went along with it.

Going through the questions made me think about things I’d never considered before. Was Eamon organized? Did Dirk like being in the center of crowds? Did either of them enjoy spending time outdoors or indoors more? The questions were thorough and difficult to answer.

Over the course of the questions, however, the two of them started to form more solidly in my head. These were real people I was talking about suddenly. Not characters in my mind, but people I knew more intimately (apparently) than I knew myself!

It got me to thinking, however, about the characters and how they were and what they were doing. I started asking myself questions about my other characters, like Yumil and Jorgan and Anelace. Were any of them wallflowers? Did any of them answer emails promptly? It made me feel more connected to the story, which suddenly made me want to write more on this behemoth that had already taken up four years of my life.

And then, a few days later, Chris said he had the results. And when we went over them, something amazing happened. It was more than just a confirmation of who the characters were. It was like Chris was reading to me a manual on the characters that I had dreamt up, loved, and written for years. They came alive on the paper, and their actions suddenly made SENSE.

Dirk adopted Jorgan because his emotions thrive on love and care, and children are love and care incarnate. Eamon feels pressure to be like her father because it’s difficult for her to be original because of her personality. Everything made sense. I wasn’t crazy. These characters really were like real live people.

More than anything, by getting to know these characters, by learning how they think, how they feel, and what their rich inner lives were like, I knew that I was doing the right thing. That I was the writer to tell their story. After all, if I could make a complex character that fit into a personality profile used by psychiatrists, how could I possibly be doing my story injustice? I hadn’t known that these profiles existed when I made Dirk. So I wasn’t copying.

I had known Chris was doing research on personality typing for character creation, and he had mentioned MBTI types as well as astrology. Now I couldn’t help but wonder if his research for that project was what he used to help me. He confirmed it, of course, when I asked him. I felt so privileged that he would share such a thing with me.

I was so giddy with elation I rushed out of our voice chat, leaving poor Chris behind,  just to write all of this down. So let me tell you, fellow writers. If you are lacking motivation, or if you feel like you aren’t good enough… Sit down with your characters. Get to know them. Learn their inner lives. Do these things, and you’ll find that you ARE a writer, you are a good one, and you can do this.

After all, they chose you to tell their story.

So get out there, and tell it.

By the way, the test Chris recommended I use to find out the other characters MBTI profiles is right HERE, so feel free to use it! I also recommend THIS WEBSITE for getting to know each MBTI type.

As an aside, next month I will be joining the Blogging A to Z Challenge, co-hosted by IWSG’s Alex Cavenaugh! Follow me now for awesome articles every day in april!

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Editing is a rewording activity!

  • Posted on May 18, 2016 at 10:42 pm

Forgive the pun, I like to think of myself as punny, occasionally. However, this particular blogpost is in celebration of editing! Specifically, celebration of a friend of mine who has opened an editing department for his publishing company. Since he helped me so greatly during the long, arduous process of drafts two, three, and four of my unpublished novel, “A Knight of Kuryle”, I thought I’d share that experience with those of you who were interested as well!

Now, the obligatory disclaimer. I was asked to write up this review, however, I have not received any services or payment for these words. Everything I say was true before this company ever started business, and I’m sure will continue to be true after I speak it, as well.

With the unpleasant business out of the way, now we can get on to the experience of having Chris Votey edit my works.

First, I would like to state that working with him opened up whole new worlds to my writing. I will admit, I began writing the same way all fandom-obsessed, fresh-out-of-highschool twit does. I started writing REALLY HORRID FANFICTION. Self-insters, authors notes, awful, AWFUL, chew-the-scenery descriptions, and a lack of forsight when it came to my world building that just generally wasn’t acceptable. I had a long way to go, and honestly, I’m surprised Chris stayed with me for as long as he did.

Chris didn’t just help me with moulding my words into something beautiful and sharp. He helped sharpen my mind, showed me new ways of thinking about what it was I was working with, working for, and gave me entirely new perspectives on how and why I should put the words on the paper. It’s thanks to his encouraging words and constant supervision that I was able to come to the conclusion that the book I was writing was not one book, but rather a series. It was thanks to Chris’ hard work at managing my mind that I realized a major plot-point in my book had been glossed over, when it could add so much more depth and beauty to the story.

I will not say that it was a quick or easy process however. I am a prideful woman, and honestly, I found sometimes that we would butt heads. The way Chris explains things can be… difficult to grasp. I found the trick was, like he said, to follow along with what he said, rather than attempting to jump ahead and make my own conclusions. The way he thinks, the way he writes, is very different from the way I think, and I find it has enriched my writing.

Not to mention he has the type of vocabulary that makes a girl breathless. That is to say, he knows so many ways to say so many things. He’s an avid owner of several thesauruses, including both the Positive and Negative Traits thesauruses. Which are extremely helpful when you come to him for help with characterizing a particularly difficult character, the way I had to several times.

All in all, if I had to pay money to get his help with making my works shine, I would scrounge, scrimp and save every penny, if only to have him touch my manuscripts again. I would go without food to do so, without a second thought.

Ab Ovo – A review of a Literary Term

  • Posted on January 15, 2016 at 2:57 pm

For those of you who follow my blog, you know that my writing mentor, Chris Votey, is someone who inspires and encourages me to go beyond what I already know in the world of literary writing. This month, he’s assigned me to read one of his articles on a literary term and respond to it. He chose for me Ab Ovo, a term I had never heard before, much less considered writing on. To be honest, most of the literary theory I know comes from Tumblr’s various teardowns and theory discussions on various manga, anime and shows.

I found this particular literary term to be quite rudimentary. In other words, it’s a word I should have already known, but didn’t KNOW it was tied to something. What Ab Ovo is, is simply this: A story that starts at the beginning. It’s a latin term that means ‘In Egg’, or at the beginning.

Now, you’re most likely considering the fact that all stories start at the beginning. But no, not all do. In the article, he explains stories like Star Wars: A New Hope and Shaun of the Dead are both In Media Res (or Starting in the Middle). So I had to go out of my way to find stories that start Ab Ovo. I started off by thinking of as many stories as I knew, anime, manga, books I’d read, various other things as well, and I found a lot of them are In Media Res. In fact, it got me to thinking about how all of these stories start.

It began to get a bit frustrating after a while, and when I finally found one that actually ISN’T In Media Res, I almost laughed. One of the few Ab Ovo stories I found was actually a story we all know and love. Thumbelina. The story starts with the BIRTH of our main character, the most important character, and goes from there. There is no previous conflict, other than the old woman wanting a child, and that’s solved with Thumbelina’s arrival.

Most fairy tales start this way too. Sleeping Beauty starts with the birth of the princess. Snow white, the original tales anyway, start with the Queen wishing for a baby, and spilling two drops of blood on her sewing. Pinocchio starts with Gepetto wishing for a child on the blue star, and getting a moving puppet instead.

The moral of the story here is, I suppose, if you want to give your story a fairy-tale like quality, have it start Ab Ovo.

Now, the original article that Chris wrote mentioned that it was also possible for the story to be Ab Ovo if it began with the Beginning Conflict. Not the conflict the character themselves face, as most of the time that would be In Media Res, but rather with a larger conflict, such as War or Famine, something that CAUSES the conflicts the character later faces.

For examples of that, I could only really find a technical example. In “A Journey To the West”, it is generally accepted that The Monkey King is the most important character (or at least, he’s the fan favorite), where as the MAIN character is in fact the Priest that he accompanies on the eponymous Journey. However, the story BEGINS with the Monkey King getting himself thrown in Monkey Jail for arguing with God. (There are numerous versions of this story, including but not limited to Saiyuki, two TV series’ in both 1986 and 1996, and my personal favorite: Patalliro Saiyuki. More examples can be found here. )

Now, if the Monkey King had minded his own damned business and stayed in his lane, he might have been able to stop the Ox King’s rampage, which is what caused the Priest to have to set out in the first place. So, by that definition, this story would start Ab Ovo.

This doesn’t seem to discredit the theory that you should perhaps only use Ab Ovo in your story if you wish it to be fairy-tale like in quality. In fact, it gives it more credence. Really, it’s very difficult to hold an audience’s attention with a story that begins before the main character is even born. That’s why it’s generally considered rude to have a prologue, and many writers tell you not to bother with it, and to just turn it into later exposition. However, if the story is compelling enough (or culturally known well enough), you can most likely get away with it.

#IWSG Deadlines

  • Posted on March 4, 2015 at 9:51 am

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Good morning! For those of you who don’t know, ISWG is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh , who saw that there was a group of writers who needed a community, support, and the occasional pick me up! This wonderful idea had helped me innumerably since it was introduced to me by my friend Chris Votey, and I’m more than happy to contribute to it this time as well.

You see, I’m having some issues with a proposed deadline. Writers always do this, we give ourselves a deadline, and when we do, suddenly, it’s okay to procrastinate, because honestly, we’ve got ALL THAT TIME, right? Wrong. My particular issue is that I have set a self-imposed deadline for July as the publication month of my first story, which will be part of my Kurylian Saga.

The only issue is, while I’m on the third draft, I’m still having issues with the plot, and it’s THREE MONTHS until the deadline! Not only that, but an issue with my past due rent has come up, and I may have to take a second job! As everyone knows, work takes away time from writing. Which is what I’m worried about.

How can I possibly balance life and work, the demands of all of my friends (who are more like family, to me) and the demands of my writerly career as well? It’s all well and good to tell friends to hush up during NaNoWriMo once a year, but this? They might decide that I’m not worth the trouble, that I’m not around enough, and that means I could lose friends. I…I don’t deal well with losing those I care about.

And on top of all of this that is causing me insecurity, I’m considering switching the protagonist of my book from one character to another, which, this late in the game, is pretty much guaranteed to make me late for my deadline. But what else can I do, when I’m finding it impossible to write one character, while the other is screaming at me inside my mind to tell their story? The only issue is, I don’t want to tell that story so straight out, I don’t want to give him his limelight yet, because it’ll be so much more dramatic if I stick with the way I’ve planned it!

But this book, this first book, is SO. BORING. I don’t know what to do. As you can see, I am a very insecure writer indeed. ^.^; But the bright side, I think, is that I’m at least still working on it. I’ve adopted the ‘write even if it’s a sentence’ method of writing, which has helped a little bit, as anyone who’s been keeping up with my Weekly Writing Update series can see.

Any advice would be more than welcome, or even if it’s just commiserating about deadlines and uncooperative family/friends/life in general.

Weekly Writing Update – 01-02-15

  • Posted on January 2, 2015 at 12:20 pm

Alright, so this week, with New Years Eve and Christmas all in it didn’t work out too well, but hey! I tried! XD However, I’ve recently found a bit of a kicker in the organisational department, and hopefully, with that, will come the energy to fight off my demons and get some editing done! <3

Also, this week, I have been asked to help a good friend out with writing up her Wikipedia page, which has been a challenge and a half, let me tell you. Any help whatsoever, or good articles you all might know about Wiki pages, please do let me know!

Word Counts: 

First Book of the Kurylian Saga: 22,205 words

Kaimi Rowe Series: Seeker Born – Rough Draft – Restarted

Blue Roses – 9,971 words – Dystopian Love Story

Blog Posts

A Day In the Life of a Saleswoman

New Page – Writing Samples

New Years Resolution Bloghop

Ulysses Bucket List

Books Read

 Start Where You Are by Chris Gardner

Goals 

Finish The Well Fed Writer by Peter Bowerman (Published 2000)

Finish Real Money Answers by Patrice C. Washington

Start The Pursuit of Happyness by Chris Gardner

Start up Bullet Journaling

Two more blog posts for this blog this week!

 

New Years Resolution BlogHop 2015

  • Posted on December 26, 2014 at 10:51 pm

So, I missed my chance to update for Christmas, and I thought that was a damn shame. So! Instead, I’m  going to be writing up my new years resolutions for you guys! Because I plan on turning 2015 into something AMAZING. <3

Oh, and for those of you who are curious, I had a fantastic christmas! I got a heater, and new knives for my kitchen, and tupperware. And yes, I realize I sound like a horribly old adult for thinking these are amazing gifts, but they really are! ALSO, in a move that absolutely astounded me, my friend Chris Votey gave me a special copy of his book, Terran Psychosis with a special dedication to me inside, and I just about sobbed my heart out. It meant so much to me what he said in there. I won’t share it, because it was private between two friends, but let’s just say, I’ve never felt so loved.

So! Here I go, setting goals for 2015.

Health:

  1. Eat two meals a day, every day. NO FORGETTING
  2. Wash face every day.
  3. Take a hot, relaxing bath, once a week.

Wealth:

  1. Save back $50 or more from EVERY CHECK. No exceptions.
  2. Eat out only ONCE a check. Yes, that includes little meals that only cost $10.
  3. Read/listen to an hour long of personal finance information each day.

Growth:

  1. Publish a book on Amazon by June.
  2. Publish a blog post every week.
  3. Write every day.
  4. Work on Panic-Attack-Helpful-Things
  5. Start a Garden Outside

So, these are my goals for the year 2015! Join me this year in checking these off the list, and I challenge you to post your own New Years Resolutions on your goal! Make them as extensive or as short as you can! Show me your resolve, and your power! I can’t wait to read them, and cheer along with you as we make these goals come true! Consider this the start of a New Years Resolution Bloghop! Post the link to your own post in the comments below, and as I see them, I’ll add your link to the Links on this page! <3

BlogHop Participators:
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