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IWSG – 09/06/17

  • Posted on September 6, 2017 at 1:08 pm
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!
Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG
This Month’s Question: Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? For example, by trying a new genre you didn’t think you’d be comfortable in??
My answer:
No. I don’t think I ever have. To be honest, I’ve tried writing just about everything that has come into my head to write, and it’s always the same errors that hold me back. Bad plot structure, poorly designed characters, poorly designed narrative, badly done world building. I’m always held back by my flaws.

My advice to anyone feeling held back by their flaws is this: Confront them head on. Over-design a character, if you’re used to under-designing them. Overthink the world they live in, if you’re used to winging it on world building. Study plot-structures. Study the way you write, and then study ways to make it better. Don’t just give up.

Giving up is, in my opinion, the worst thing you can do.

IWSG – 07/04/17

  • Posted on July 4, 2017 at 10:27 pm

 Today’s IWSG post kind of snuck up on me. Normally, I have them planned out in advance, and only just post them the day of the post. But this time, I had a very full day and did not even think to post anything. So now I’m writing this at ten pm in a hotel room, surrounded by people trying to go to sleep. Included in that list is the person sharing a bed with me, who happens to be a three year old little girl. Poor thing sleeps like a drunken octopus at a frat party. Hands everywhere. Feet in faces. It’s tragic.

But my IWSG is about fear today. Because I find that this new manuscript I’ve just started (Oh did I mention I finished a manuscript? Because I did. I’m so proud of that.) has me so afraid of it that it’s hard to even write what happens next. Every time I sit down to write it, something changes, and my original outline becomes nothing more than a guideline. This is terrifying to me.

Not only that, but whenever I sit down to write it, my anxiety kicks up, and I start thinking that maybe I’m not good enough to write it. That maybe I’m just trying to figure out a way to kill time, and this isn’t the right story to be told. I sit down, and I think “I can’t do this.”

But I do. I pound out words every day. Not a lot of words. I’m certainly winning no speed prize for this manuscript. But I am writing every day, thanks to the Camp NaNoWriMo July and thanks to my amazing mentor, Chris Votey, who keeps me going. So here’s my advice to anyone plagued by fear when writing their manuscript:

Be afraid. But don’t let that fear define your creation.

Now, PSA over, let’s talk about a few things.

One! Chris just revealed the cover of his new book and it is FABULOUS! Go take a look at it here!

Two! I’m going to be detailing the editing process as I go through and edit Knight of Kuryle, so keep an eye out for that.

And Three! I have some tentative covers of my own to reveal! The self-made covers for Knight of Kuryle and my current WIP, A Deeper Love, are below. Please tell me what you think, and any way that I can improve them! Thank you in advance, and have a great fourth of july!

IWSG – 06-07-17

  • Posted on June 7, 2017 at 4:22 pm

We're here for you.There’s just something about being surrounded by fellow writers that makes one feel safer writing, isn’t there? That’s what the IWSG is all about. A community of writers meant to join together and share our sorrows, woes and triumphs!


This month’s question: Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

 

To be honest, no I have never said “I quit”. I have had writers block for months at a time. I have had a self-imposed ‘do not write’ rule, but it was always in the effort of becoming a better writer. You see, I find that I get blocks more often than others. Or maybe exactly as often, and others have more self-discipline than I do. I’m not sure. All I know is that more often than not, I stare at a page and try to will myself to write, and find myself crying over it instead.

Writing is hard.

But you already know that. Especially if you’re part of IWSG, or a writer yourself. So no, I have never given up entirely. But I have given up on some projects. There are just some stories that I will never allow to see the light of day. And that is that.

Now, onto more pleasant things!

I’ve started a new project, which is meant to introduce those who follow me, and those who know me, to a new subgenre of Science Fiction, called “Humanity, Fuck Yeah!” or HFY for short. A large dose of it can be found here on this subreddit. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it is science fiction that runs on the premise that humans are the most badass things in the galaxy.

Generally this means that humanity is from what is known as a Death World. Earth is Space Australia, where everything tries to kill you, and for most species, everything succeeds. My favorite story in this particular genre is a series that can be found here. It’s a great little scifi with a female main character who ends up being hella badass and disciplined at the same time. I adore it. <3

In fact, I love the series so much that I have started recording all of the stories in that universe and put them up on Youtube! You can find them on my youtube channel! Please take a look, and please forgive me for the amateurish videos. This is my first time using any video editing software ever, so I’m on a steep learning curve!

On another note, this whole thing is practice for when my own books go Audio, and I read them to the world. Plus, it allows me to study more writing in the genre I’m attempting to write right now. So win/win!

U – Uchuu no Stellvia (Stellvia of the Universe)

  • Posted on April 25, 2017 at 1:55 pm

Another anime that is on this list in order to excite those senses of yours, Stellvia of the Universe is a wondrous Science Fiction romp through adolescence. The main character, Shima Katase, is going to a new school. IN SPACE! Stellvia turns out to be a miraculous space station, and the more we learn about it, the more we wonder what exactly is going on in the universe of this show.

Why I recommend it to Writers: Because this show is an excellent example of world building and functional character interaction. I adore the characters.

Warnings: None! This show is sweet and fascinating. Enjoy!

For the rest of the articles in this series, please visit this page.

Have you seen this anime? What about it made you want to be a better writer? Do you intend to go shotgun this anime now that I’ve shown it to you? Comment below and tell me what you think!

M – Mujin Wakusei Survive (Uninhabited Planet Survive)

  • Posted on April 15, 2017 at 3:31 pm

An oldie, but a goodie. Uninhabited Planet Survive is what would happen if you took Lord of the Flies, added girls, science fiction, and a whole new planet. I won’t spoil it for you, but the twist towards the end is absolutely amazing.

Why I recommend it to Writers: Because of the excellent way it portrays adolescent children, as well as the great twist towards the ending. It’ll teach you how to write a survival series very well.

Warnings: violence against children.

For the rest of the articles in this series, please visit this page.

Have you seen this anime? What about it made you want to be a better writer? Do you intend to go shotgun this anime now that I’ve shown it to you? Comment below and tell me what you think!

04/05/17 – IWSG

  • Posted on April 12, 2017 at 10:04 am

 

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!
Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG

 

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

Remember, the question is optional!

The awesome co-hosts for the April 5 posting of the IWSG will be Chris @ Madness of a Modern Writer, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Fundy Blue, and Chrys Fey!

The Question for April IWSG is this: 

Have you taken advantage of the annual A to Z Challenge in terms of marketing, networking, publicity for your book? What were the results?

The answer here is pretty simple, No I’ve never used it to market a book. I have, however, used it to market my blog, which in turn will later market my book. So it’s not quite the same thing, but it is a way to grow my platform. Speaking of, CHECK OUT ALL OF MY A-to-Z POSTS ON THIS PAGE. Most of the links won’t work until the appointed day of posting, so check back regularly, or better yet, sign up to receive updates in your inbox.

Recently I learned about something called CPConnect, which stands for Critique Partner Connect. It’s run by Kim Chance, a wonderful authoress who happens to run a great youtube channel too! Check it out, it has great tutorials and ideas. 

CP Connect is going to be a blogpost where people looking for critique partners can post a comment about their project and meet up with some possible CPs. It’s a great opportunity to not only meet fellow authors, but to possibly make permanent friendships!

Why is a Critique Partner so important? Why is it important to have two or three of them? Well, because everyone should have someone that they can go to and be like, “Yo, is this working?” and have them say, “Nah, man. Try this instead.” When you take into account how valuable having someone else’s opinion on your story is, you really can’t go wrong.

So come on, join me in this new program, and join us at #CPConnect. 

 

 

F – Fractale

  • Posted on April 7, 2017 at 1:48 pm

Sometimes a story gets ahold of you, and then falls flat. Sometimes it’s the world that gets you. In this case, for the anime Fractale, that’s what got me. A sincere and adorably well-animated story.

Why I reccomend it for writers: The world of Fractale is carefully planned, and unique in a way I’ve never seen before. The introduction of Doppels isolates the main character in an interesting way, and the villains of the story have interesting motives. Please watch this story with the world building in mind, rather than the story.

Warning: None, as far as I know. This series is pretty safe.

For the rest of the articles in this series, please visit this page.

Have you seen this anime? What about it made you want to be a better writer? Do you intend to go shotgun this anime now that I’ve shown it to you? Comment below and tell me what you think!

B – Berserk

  • Posted on April 3, 2017 at 5:19 pm

The next letter on our list is B, which in this case stands for Berserk. A dark fantasy series, this series focuses on main character Guts, and his bloody path to salvation and vengeance. I would recommend the old version, rather than the new remake, if only for the quality of animation.

Why Writers should watch it: Between the badass villain and the main character, this show is a wonderful combination of characterisation and dark gore. The reason I recommend it to writers, however, is because, in the flashback arc, there is a lovely fall-to-darkness by a main character that the best writers should attempt to emulate.

Warnings: nudity, rape, gore, torture.

For the rest of the articles in this series, please visit this page.

Click the picture to go to the TVTropes page.

Have you seen this anime? What about it made you want to be a better writer? Do you intend to go shotgun this anime now that I’ve shown it to you? Comment below and tell me what you think!

A – Abenobashi mahou Shoutengai

  • Posted on April 1, 2017 at 11:05 am

To start off the A to Z blogging challenge, we’ll be reviewing 26 anime that I think every writer should  watch to better their own craft.

 Abenobashi Mahou Shoutengai (or Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, for those of us who speak English.) is a comedic romp through alternate universes, starring a young boy and girl. The story begins in summer, and the entirety of it is a character exploration of the main character.

 Why Writers should watch this show:  The sheer amount of plot that goes into this story is amazing. Watch it multiple times, and each time you’ll see some new bit of foreshadowing, some new plot point that you didn’t know in the first viewing.

Warnings:  Fanservice, Multiple universes, String theory, Preteen crushes, and adorable hijinks.

The rest of the articles in this series will be posted on this page. Sign up for email subscription so that you dont miss out on the next awesome anime!

Have you seen this anime? What about it made you want to be a better writer? Do you intend to go shotgun this anime now that I’ve shown it to you? Comment below and tell me what you think!

 

 

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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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