It Starts with a Single Spark…

During the past several weeks, I have been trying to get back into habit of writing even if it is by use of pen and paper. Yes, the old way of writing that some of us use to do in school to pass the time. Most of what I was written has been short pieces or even scenes of bigger pieces, and my most recent try is a Harry Potter fan-fiction piece. Whatever, it is I’m trying to get back into the swing of it from my somewhat lengthy break.

In my last post, I had written that I was taking a break due to all the drama that had taken place within our community. Let’s admit that last year was ugly and this year it seems has been no exception to have its share of drama for the writing community. I will not go into the latest bit of drama on this post, other than to say that advanced reader copies are free!

Although, I could bring up this latest drama, I won’t for it has been kicked about and talked about quite a bit on AuthorTube.

However, with all the drama being battered about in the writing community, I have made the decision that it is not going to effect my writing or my business for that matter. I need to get back into the full swing of writing for I have missed it dearly from my life, and for a while I have been looking for that single spark to get back into what I love dearly.

I have found a few threads along the way, that I have kicked me back into it, and the greatest spark came last night, thanks to my incredibly loving boyfriend. He drew me a lovely soak bath. While I was enjoying this gift of a bath, I closed my eyes and thought about the stress that I have been facing in my life, besides not writing, and then I pushed those thoughts out of my head, and thought about my writing.

Needless to say, the clarity came to me that I need to push out whatever doubt that I may have about my stories and just write. This same advice that I have given to others, I was ignoring and that is not how I should have been conducting myself. Yes, I will admit that I was not listening to the advice that I was giving out. So now I’m going to listen to my own advice and write what I want to write and ignore what others have to say.

I have stories to tell and what goes on in the community should not interfere or bind me against my inner desires to write. Therefore, as of write now I’m holding on to the sparks that I have found and am going to write what I want. Furthermore, I have accepted that I have been letting others interfere in what I want to accomplish and that is not how I want to conduct my business. I am coming back and am engaging my craft with everything that I want it to be.

I want to grow as a write. I want my craft to grow with every story that I write. I want to pursue my passion like never before. Finally, I don’t want to go without a day of not writing. Granted, this is where I will also hold myself accountable, that during my break even though, I was not writing I was still thinking about writing. Yes, writing was still driving me and due to that drive, I could not ignore the simple fact that I needed to write. Therefore, I am back doing what I love, and I have really missed it dearly.

Even though, I am getting back to writing, there is one thing I am not partaking in Camp NaNoWriMo for the month of July. I am going to be taking it slowly to get back to into the swing of things, but I am coming back. This does not mean that any of my previous projects are dead in the water, it just means that I will also be taking another piece of advice and that is to be working on one project a time, and with that also in mind, seeing that project through until it is completed. No more leaving it on the shelf not to be touched for months.

Yes, I am some improving to do but that is all in part the growing stage of working on my craft and my passion, and I have to thank my boyfriend of helping me see that I needed a good soaking, warm bath. It just shows that sometimes that when you get a nice gesture, it comes to show that some incredible things can come from a gift; even, if it comes from somewhere unexpected.

I hope that you have found this post to be entertaining if not informative. Thank you, for being patient with me during my break. I hope that you all have a wonderful writing day! Happy Writing and Happy Creating until next time!

 

Who has a Backstory?

As we go through our prep work for NaNoWriMo, and take the time of creating our characters that will inhabit our story world, we need to make them not just two dimensional figures but also three dimensional. When I say three dimensional, I’m talking about their physical attributes as well as their identity attributes as well.

These attributes includes, their quirks, their relationships, what make them be them. Furthermore, what past event shaped to be who they are on page one. This is past event is part of their backstory. Now backstory is different from a flash back in that we should use backstory as a sprinkle to give clues as to who they are. If it is essential later on, to give a flash back scene then write it. But backstory should be used effectively to say this is who the character is on that first page of the novel.

Look at Harry Potter, for example, we know that within the first chapter of the story, Harry is an orphan due to his parents being killed. We know that due to this event, that he has to not only live with his aunt and uncle but that he at some point must face the evil villain that took his parent’s life. When we look at The Hunger Games, for example we know that Katniss has trust issues with the leaders of Panam and that her father was killed during a mining accident, and that for the most part she is the caretaker for her family.

However, the main character should not be the only one with a backstory that is reflected in the story, but setting as well. The setting that is on page one of the story, was also effected by a past event. Take Game of Thrones for example, we know that in the world of Westeros, we have had a long summer and now we are heading into a long winter, none that has ever been scene before. In The Hunger Games, we are aware that we are coming in on the day of the latest reaping and how that came about. We know in the world of Batman, that Gotham is an unsafe place due to jokers, and other villains being allowed to roam the streets free. Let’s face it in the world of Batman, there are too many villains and not enough police officers to put away the villains.

When you are writing or planning our your story, there are two essential elements that need to have a backstory, setting and character. If these two do not have the backstory, then the complexity that may be needed in the story is going to be missing. Remember, that today’s characters that are created and the worlds that we create need to be complex and allow for readers to get hooked on to them from the very first page.

When looking at the backstory that you are looking to create, look at the milestones that are part of the character or setting, such as the world was created or the character went to school. Then dive into further by asking, did anything particular take place when the world was created or at that first day of school? If you answer no, then you should brainstorm as to what could have been the worst possible outcome that came out of those two events.

By looking at the worst possible outcomes that could take place, you are bringing in trauma. Trauma is where growth begins to occur and you are damaging the psyche. This damage should not just be to the character. Keep in mind there will be outside influences that will play apart of the story but those influences, should also reflect in someway back to the character’s backstory.

The best advice that I can give on using backstory is to be hard on your character, for when you are harder on your character you will allow them to grow and to take shape. If you don’t allow them to grow, then the reader will not want to see what happens to them through out the book or how they overcome the ordeals that they have to deal with.

Furthermore, when coming up with backstory write it out during your planning phase, and when you use it in the story, just sprinkle it in for effect. Remember, we are not going for flashback, we want to give a hint of who they are on that first page. We only need to include info that the reader needs to know, if we give too much detail then we lose our edge and our secrets and our effectiveness to tell the story.

Backstory, can be challenging for some writers for they confuse it will flashbacks, but I suggest during this month to learn from masters that have used this convention effectively, the following examples, listed above should be looked at. But I will add another one, if you have never seen past episodes of NCIS: New Orleans, don’t. Watch the latest episode, and pay attention to the character of Dwayne Pride, for in that episode, they splash some backstory in there. Now my other suggestion, is don’t use Google to find out what has recently effected the character either, for that would be cheating.

If that is not your thing, then I would suggest watch an episode or movie with a really complex character and on a piece of paper, write down anything that hints to the character or setting backstory. Then re-watched that episode or movie and see if you catch anymore details that you might have missed. Don’t pay attention to clothing, colors, just what is shown clearly and dialog. If you catch on to those hints about backstory, then you have an example of how it is done.

I hope that you have found today’s topic helpful on backstory. I hope that you have a great planning or writing day!

Dream Interpretation

When we sleep, we tend to dream and when we dream we get ideas for stories if we think back to those stories. Granted, we may get even more curious about our dreams and we seek out or try to look for their meanings. Dreams are wonderful things, and there have been scientific studies done on dreams. However, as writers, we tend to reflect back on our dreams, especially the ones that either speak loudly to us or those that we have over and over again. Some people spend so much time reflecting on their dreams that they tend to have a journal to record what happens in their dreams, or at least what they remember in their dreams.

There have even been a few authors that have claimed that their stories came to them in a dream. Stephanie Mayer the author of the Twilight Saga claimed that it came to her in a dream. J.K. Rowling has also said that the inspiration of Harry Potter came to her while she was on a train and she was drifting off and then she saw a boy in a black cloak running through the train. From that moment on for Rowling, she started to jot down her notes and ideas for Harry Potter.

Dreams can be remarkable things and times they can come back to us without any indication that they are doing so. Dreams can be used as tools in our writings as many authors have shown us countless times when a character falls into a dream state. When we use dreams in our stories, they should pay apart in the motion of the story. If the dream has nothing to do with the story, then the tool of the dream will become wasted.

Here is an excerpt from a dream sequence that is in the Raven Prophecy:

While Draco saw the kiss continue on, the scene began to spiral and several more images came flying past him. The images came fast like a spiraling storm inside his head, for he saw the woman over and over again. Different men wore the crown, several blackbirds that he presumed to be ravens flying in every direction towards him. He tried to duck from them as he felt their talons against his face. Dragons being destroyed and their bodies burned to ash. Then finally the spiraling storm stopped and he found himself in a clean, white room.

Granted, while this is just one example of a dream sequence and this dream sequence is at the heart and soul of my book.

If you are curious more about dreams, you can spend the time either reading about them or doing research on the web. But I hope that you find dreams useful in our writing.

 

Villains

Welcome, back to another week here at Faerie Rose Press! Last week talked about heroes and this week, I know that I said that I would talk about villains; however, due to what this week being and recent events in the news, I think that I will spend today talking about villains, and then the rest of the week talk about some other subjects related to writing.

When looking at heroes, the complete opposite is the villain. Villains have the same goal as the hero, except for it is evil in nature. Let’s take Frodo and the ring, for example. Frodo wants to the destroy the ring to save the Shire and Middle Earth, where as Sauron and his evil, dark servants want to reclaim the ring so that Sauron can gain his power and destroy Middle Earth and the race of men. When you look at Jon Snow and the Night King, Jon Snow wants to save Westeros from the Night King and the white walkers, where as the Night King, who is fascinated with Jon Snow, still wants to create his arm of the dead and destroy everyone in Westeros. That is what has been shown to us so far in the book and the show, but so far we still don’t know fully what the Night King wants. But whatever that goal is needs to somehow be similar to Jon’s while being evil.

Villains want to not only stop the hero(es) of the story but they also have an evil plan in mind. They have been hurt in the past, and they want revenge for that hurt. The Night King was one of the first men, the children of the forest take him, tie him up to the tree and basically put something painful in his chest, and he becomes the Night King. Originally the white walkers, were supposed to protect the forest and the children from the first men; however, they turn against the children and the forest creating their path of destruction. When you look at Tom Riddle/Lord Voldemort, his hurt came from having a father, who abandoned not only him but his mother as well. He had a deep hate toward his father, who was a muggle. Furthermore, since he was a half-blood, much like Harry Potter, it seems that he would have wanted to perify the magical world from mud-bloods, who were those that no magical parents. Where as Harry Potter was a friend towards mud-bloods. The hurt of the abandonment for Voldemort was so deep rooted that he did not love, for he rather isolated himself, but he wanted to live forever. Unlike Harry, who accepted death.

When we talk about villains, they also have a weakness, and once this weakness is found out then the villain can be brought down. In Voldemort’s case it was after all the horcruxes had been destroyed that Voldemort could be finally be destroyed as well resulting in his death. In Sauron’s case it was when the ring was finally destroyed that he Mordor and all that remained of the evil lord’s soul was destroyed. Granted, we are still seeking out the Night King’s weakness, and once that is discovered then he too will be destroyed.

Villains are every interesting characters, in some cases I would say that they are more interesting than the heroes. Villains have a back story, which full explains how they became evil, this is where the hurt comes to play, they have a weakness, and that weakness can be shown how they can be destroyed. Furthermore, villains in some cases show up later in stories, as either a big bad or they are hinted throughout the story. Villains in some cases can be cool.

I hope that you have enjoyed today’s discussion on villains. If you like what I have written, please, like or comment down below.

Heroes of Circumstance

As we continue our discussion this week about Heroes, we are going to focus on heroes of circumstance. These are the heros that did not set out to be heroes, they just happened to be heroes by chance happenings. If you want a perfect examples of this look at the Children in the Narnia series, Frodo in the Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter in the Harry Potter Series. Other than them all being all fantasy characters/series them becoming heroes happened by circumstance.

When the older children come to Narnia, they want just want to go back in the wardrobe and forget that they even came to Narnia. They don’t want to get involved in helping the people/animals of Narnia against the White Queen, they would rather just go back. It’s not until that they see the effects that the White Queen is doing that become involved in the war against the Queen.

Now lets look at Frodo. He was left with the ring and had to be the one to deliver the ring to Rivendale. Along the way he gets attacked and further more he has a goal when he finds out about the ring and how evil it is, and that is to get it out of the Shire. Furthermore, he volunteers to take the ring to Mordor so that it can be destroyed. In case he is given the burden that he should not have had to bear from his uncle, who had the ring for many years. Did he chose to be left with the burden? No, but when his uncle leaves him with the ring, he has no other choice than to take care of it so that he can his friends could save the Shire, and save the Shire they did.

Harry Potter is long the same lines in that he did not choose that he would have face the Dark Lord, Voldemort, multiple times or that he would have to save Hogwarts more than once. He also did not chose that he would have a lighting bolt scar on his forehead. He makes it very clear past the first couple of books that he did not ask for anything that was happening to him like the fame, or having to deal with Voldemort. Furthermore, he did not want to take care of the other artifacts that Voldemort split his soul into, but when Dumbledore was killed, Harry was left to destroy them so that he could bring down Voldemort and in the end save Hogwarts.

Did any of these heroes ask for their fates to be handed to them? The answer is no, but they chose to carry the burden for a higher purpose than their own. These the characters that we really hoped would survive until the end of the book so that we can see them get their happy endings. However, these heroes, much like the heroes that we route for are changed forever. I would say that in the examples listed above the one that is changed  the most throughout the course of the story is Frodo. Frodo has to deal with the pain from the scar that he received while he was attacked, he is the one that changed while having the ring in his possession and he was damaged by it. He is one that chose to leave Middle Earth on his own accord, for he knew that he was never going to get better and he reached his goal of saving the Shire.

Tomorrow, as we continue to talk about heroes, we will talk about the hero that loses his/her way.

If you have liked todays, topic please, like or comment down below if you have anything to add.