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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!

IWSG – 02/01/17 – Jumping the Gun

  • Posted on February 1, 2017 at 10:45 am
It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for Insecure Writer’s Support group! Created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, IWSG is a monthly bloghop where writers can share their fears, doubts, and insecurities. The support from this group has been invaluable to my growth as a writer, and I don’t doubt it will be for you too!
You’re welcome to join. All you have to do is click here to sign up, or click the nice little picture below too!
There’s something to be said about watching a live write-in on youtube, only to be introduced to a whole new side of writing life. One you may, or may not, be ready for. Jumping the Gun is one of my favorite pastimes. I often think I’m ready far before I am even close to being so. Of course, no one can tell ME that, not and keep their head.
Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of ‘how to write’ videos on youtube. For those of you who may not know, I’m really ADHD. This means it’s incredibly difficult for me to focus on a book, which means reading is very, very hard. This means, that in order to do better in my craft, I have to rely on audiobooks, or on youtube videos. Podcasts too, although I tend not to listen to them very well.
Anywho, I got into this channel on youtube called WordNerds, where each day they put up a short video on writing, reading, publishing, or anything literary related. Most of them are YA writers, and some of them are published, so their information is incredibly accurate. I really appreciate listening to them. I was watching this live write-in when someone in the comments section mentioned #PitchWars. Not knowing what it was, I asked, and found out it’s a contest every august for those with polished manuscripts.
Then I proceeded to ask a bit about beta readers, which gave me some good information. Mostly on where to find betas (most of the people said on Twitter, or on various writing websites throughout the internet), but it was good information regardless. For more information on how exactly to utilize betas, I watched This Video by the lovely and talented author Jena Moreci, who also has some great writing tutorials.

Then the talk went back to #PitchWars, and more specifically SunVSnow, a pitch war contest whose entry date was THAT VERY NIGHT. It felt like providence! Like fate was telling me to enter this contest, that it was my one and only chance!  So I looked it up and found the website dedicated to the Sun side of the contest. Basically, if you were chosen, your manuscript would be worked with by several mentors. Then, if from there you were selected, your manuscript was read over by several Literary agents, who then picked the ones they wanted to represent!

It sounds like a writer’s dream, doesn’t it?

It certainly sounded like mine. So I forced myself to stay up way past my bedtime, and write out the pitch letter they required, to write up and edit an entirely new opening for my book. I even woke up my writing mentor to help me with it! I had my boyfriend, and my best friend and another good friend all read the letter to make sure that everything was utterly within what was required. I figured if they chose me for the first round, I could pound out the manuscript and that’d be it, right?

Well, I spent the entire day right up until the submission deadline in utter abject horror, anticipating the chance that they might flunk me out just because my manuscript wasn’t polished. Hell, it hadn’t even seen a beta reader yet! And then I saw it. Right there, on the submission page.

‘Polished Manuscripts only.’

My little heart broke. I was absolutely despondent. Okay, well not really, but I certainly wasn’t happy. I didn’t submit it. But I learned a lesson. Always read the terms and conditions first on contests like these. And hey, at least I have eight months to polish my manuscript before #PitchWars!

My 20 Favorite Youtube Channels

  • Posted on January 19, 2017 at 10:25 am

Here’s a list of my favorite youtubers, organized by what they blog about:

 

Gaming Youtubers:

  1. Commander Holly – She does lovely let’s plays, and some of the best dating sim games played on youtube are of her and her friends. My favorite part is when she and her friends take turns voicing parts! Here are a few of my favorite let’s plays of hers:
    1. ABZU – underwater sleepy therapy time
    2. Hustle Cats – a Dating Sim where you date… CATS?!
    3. INSIDE – a surreal videogame where you play as a little boy
  2. Cryaotic –  A sonorous master, whose voice has lulled me to sleep on many a night. I adore all of his lets plays, but the horror games are the best!
    1. Rule of Rose – a horror game about an orphaned girl
    2. Bioshock Infinite – Another horror game, but one more widely known.
    3. Beyond Two Souls – A mediocre game turned amazing by Cry’s voice. About a psychic girl and the source of her powers.
  3. DanAndPhil Games – A combination of a taciturn and fun, these two have such cute lets plays I can’t help but adore them!
    1. Their Scary Games Playlist makes for a great night in!
    2. I never miss one of their Sims 4 Let’s plays. Dil Howlter is one of my favorite Sims!
  4. The Sim Supply – Does wonderful work with the Sims 4 and has a lovely voice to boot!
    1. His Rags to Riches challenges are great!!
    2. Especially anything labelled Bigwallet!
  5. JackSepticEye – An over-the-top cheerful blogger from Ireland (I’m a quarter Irish too!) who does let’s plays of the greatest stuff!
    1. His Last Guardian let’s play is so gleeful I adore it!
    2. But it was his Undertale let’s play that brought him to my attention! NYEH HEHEHE!
  6. Markiplier – His numbers speak for themselves, but beyond that he’s sweet, generous, and plays some of the best games I’ve ever seen!
    1. Among the Sleep is one of them, where you play as a frightened toddler!
    2. OctoDad is just hilarious no matter who’s playing it, but Markiplier just puts it over the top!
  7. NicoB – Generally plays JRPGs and other amazing games, so of course he’s one of my favorites!
    1. His Dangan Ronpa series is utterly amazing. He voices ALL THE CHARACTERS.
    2. He recently started a let’s play of Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch!
  8. PressHeartToContinue – plays tons of different games and also has a little news show she does that is VERY informative. <3 her!
    1. Another HustleCat Let’s play, but this one with OCTOPIMP, who is a GOD among voice actors.
    2. She also does an amazing series with the dating sim Dandelion with CRY of all people. <3 Love these two together.
  9. Yandere Dev – Because I adore Yanderes as a trope, it’s only natural I would love the man who was actually putting together a simulation game where we can ACTUALLY PLAY a yandere girl.
  10. Kubz Scouts – Related to Yandere dev above, this guy is THAT DUDE, who plays yandere sim and a few other good games too. I love his bright and cheery voice.
    1. His Yandere adventures are just amazing!
    2. His let’s play of Fran Bow was also touching.
  11. Ana Mardoll – One of the sweetest let’s players I’ve ever seen.
    1. I love her “Long Live the Queen” series.
    2. And her let’s play of the Royal Trap was thorough and so sweet!

The Random Stuff

  1. Cinema Sins – A useful channel full of great videos that teach a lot about what NOT to do when writing screenplays!
  2. DigiBro – An amazing critiquer of anime and manga. This man knows EVERYTHING about what to do and what not to do when writing.
  3. How to ADHD – She is amazing, and really helped me get a handle on my ADHD brain.
  4. Life of Tom – A hella awesome youtuber for school hacks and tips.
  5. M. Kirin – A great writing show that stretches into some game play too. His accent is a bit difficult for me to parse sometimes, but other than that, he’s a great writer!
  6. National Novel Writing Month – Also a great writing show. Plenty of prompts and tips!
  7. Simply Nailogical – Taught me everything I need to know about how to do my nails. <3
  8. Something Witty Entertainment – The home of the greatest Abridged show in existance. It took Sword Art Online from somethng Awful to something Awfully Funny.
    1. SAO Abridged
  9. Trae Crowder – The Liberal Redneck! He’s great. Listen to him.

 

And that’s all! These are my 20 favorite youtube channels. Enjoy them with me, alright?

Writing Anime: An Interview

  • Posted on August 21, 2016 at 11:35 pm

Today, instead of lecturing you on what to cherry-pick from certain animes, I’ve met with and interviewed an individual who knows his stuff. Cuchallain has a long career of analysing and reviewing anime, manga and video games. So much so in fact that I greatly respect his opinions on most of the review videos I’ve watched. He also happens to have my favorite Let’s Play of Tales of Zestiria on the entirety of the internet, so let’s put that out there too.

As the first interview I ever conducted, Cu and I started with just a few questions, and while he didn’t exactly consider himself an expert to start with, it quickly became apparent to me that he was, in fact, quite knowledgeable. An avid anime fan since the age of ten years old, a convention-goer on the regular, and now the personality behind a youtube channel with over five thousand subscribers, Cu is also incredibly humble.

When asked what goes into his writing for his typical reviews, he explained that he’s actually very unscripted with them. At most, he takes a few notes, generally about the speech of the characters and the themes behind the videos. He in fact, doesn’t even script his theory videos. Then, unfortunately, we devolved into a discussion about his online name, and then that devolved into a conversation on fanfiction and the wonders of Inuyasha as a gateway drug.

Writing Anime – Colorful

  • Posted on January 24, 2016 at 3:52 pm

There are very few movies that have managed to reduce me to tears. One I can name was A.I., the movie that was basically a pinocchio parallel except with robots. This movie, Colorful? It reduced me to tears halfway through the movie, and then just kept them coming. I recommend this movie for anyone who is going through hard times, suffering depression, or any sort of problem with belief in oneself.

The premise of the movie is simple. A soul is given a second chance, and that second chance requires that they figure out the crime they committed in their past life, as well as why the boy who’s body they inhabit killed himself. The ending is staggering. I definately didn’t see it coming. But what really did it for me was how it drew me in. The first sequence of the movie is entirely in first person. That is, the characters talk to YOU directly, and there is a beautiful falling sequence that just plain made me sigh with happiness.

Then, after a heart-wrenching scene where the family greets you, and then hands you a mirror to see yourself, it switches from first person into third, but you continue to hold onto that connection. You’re STILL that person, and you’ve STILL got the wonder and the fear and the anxiety that the opening instilled in you. It’s a wonderful technique that often isn’t pulled off well. However, this movie does it masterfully.

How can we translate this work into a literary practice? Well, let’s take a look at a few authors who make regular changes in point of view, and what delineates how well it is done. One of my favorite books that I read recently was Haruki Murakami‘s Kafka on the Shore. In the book, his two main characters, an old man named Nakata and a young boy named Kafka have different point of views. When the book speaks of Kafka’s adventures, they’re all first person. Nakata’s part of the story however, is always in third person.

The way this ends up working is very different from what you might think. In fact, in even more jarring, and therefore attention grabbing, parts in Kafka’s sections, parts of it drop into second person, telling me what is occuring to ME while I read it. Those parts were designed to make one uncomfortable, and they did. It was very uncomfortable reading those parts, but again, it drew you in.

Here are a few things you might consider when doing POV switches:

  • Consider which point of view is necessary for which character
  • if you do switch point of view, make sure it is clearly outlined who is using what pov.
  • if you switch points of view with the same character, only do so when the section needs to be unsettling or paid very close attention to.

Another book that did Point of View changes is one of my favorites, Patricia Briggs‘ Dragon Blood. The sequel to her Dragon Bones, Dragon Blood is told in a different way than her first book. In the first book, it was entirely from her main character, Ward’s perspective. Although we were privy to bits of excitement that happened to other people when Ward wasn’t present, it was clearly presented in a way of “Ward is telling the story, and adding parts he was told after the fact”. In Dragon Blood, however, it’s very clear that the Main Character-ship was shared between Tisala and Ward.

The way this was done was very simple. Each chapter had a denotation of WHO was the perspective character. This made it easy to follow, and also kept the linearness that Briggs is so exemplary for. I would definitely emulate her, were I writing something so straight forward.

These three examples prove that no matter what your medium, you’re going to have to keep an eye out for your POV. It’s not something you should spend only a few seconds considering. And if you get stuck? Well, try a new perspective!

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