Posts Tagged ‘novels’

I’m Still Here!

Posted: May 15, 2015 in the Random
Tags: , , ,

still-here-e1311715683742-270x300Greetings all. I know you were concerned, but I assure you I still exist. I’ve been busy with many, many things with both the day job, and my many other projects, and trying to untangle plot-twists so I can get a certain novel finished (and hope that it will be worth all the trouble that it’s been). I kept meaning to come back here for thises and thats, but you know how it is, things came up, and once you get out of a habit of telling yourself to do something, it’s difficult to get yourself back into it (which is pretty much one of my leading issues with the novel also—stuff comes up, and I don’t tell myself to make use of my time when I have it).

So, here I am. I’m gonna try to give you a couple things just to remind you what I do here, and then I have to get back to work on things, but I swear I will come back again soon, I don’t know what with, but I will come back with something.

20100829aI think I put this off long enough… or have I…?

Ok, I have… fine. Those that read my Images in Your Head post are probably wondering about how that “study” has progressed. Well, incidentally, I plugged it through Reddit, mostly to test the usefulness of Reddit for a friend, and after 2 years of finding that most people are the 2/3 and only couple some-of-somewhat-vaguely 1/3, I have discovered that all the actually fully 1/3 seem to be on Reddit… I’m not really sure what that means for Reddit, but shit, I got a lot of hits from there.

What does this have to do with the exercises? I originally re-posted that bit to try to figure out the non-visual types better because I wasn’t sure how my exercises would work for them. Now… I am still rather less than completely sure, but far as I can tell, they actually might not. But, as stated at the start of all this, “this isn’t the definitive guide to how everyone does or should write a story, this is only me doing the best I can  to tell you how I write a story,”  so the best I can do, is give you the exercises that I do to write a story as such. But, for you non-visuals out there, if this doesn’t help you in the least, do not feel discouraged from writing if that is really what you want to do with your life—remember that the existence of you people was brought to my attention largely by a pair of writers. I have yet to meet CE Murphy, however I have had the chance to meet Faith Hunter via conventions and FB, and have had at least enough random conversation talk with her to tell you that she would be willing to help you if you only ask (and possibly bribe her with cake).

And for those really curious about the results from my “1/3 search”, I may try to put together a follow-up at some point, possibly containing a mini-interview with Faith if I can get our free-time to be in existence at the same time.

I know, I know… shut-up… gees…

The exercises…

To find inspiration… so many ways… Take in stories from everywhere: books, TV, movies, music, people watching—lots of all of it.

As an exercise, go to a mall with notebook and pen in hand (I upgraded to a smartphone for the sake of making it easier to follow the most important rule of writers: always carry a notebook and pen). About mid-way in the mall, there is usually a bench, no matter which entry a person comes in, they will more than likely pass that point… sit there. Relax, and just sit and watch… take in everything… if you want you can add the music element (give the watching a soundtrack). If you’re in school, even easier… you’re surrounded by so many people of so many sorts… look at all those different people… dear god, you have a full cast of character sitting before you… the awkward, the popular, the jock… introverts and extroverts of all scales, shapes and sizes.

Go to this school/mall/public place where you can sit in the background…

  • pick one person… anyone… they’re your main character now. Give them a name… give them a history… don’t even worry about the story forward yet, just tell me about that one person’s life… who are they.
  • Now… pick another person… anyone… another character… how does that person’s life tie to the first? Are they friends, enemies… the person that passes up the first every day at school and doesn’t know they exist? Why?

Do this… do this often… on paper, in your head, doesn’t matter… just keep doing it until you’re doing it without even thinking about it anymore. Remember… it’s all wax-on/wax-off one moment, and beating a guy to death the next… now get waxing.

Another exercise along similar lines—remember that music mentioned before? Yea, did you try it with the people watching? Did it help? What if you can’t get out of your house for whatever reason, but the music is still there? Well… I’m presently listening to Volbeat’s new album ‘Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies’ on Spotify, and I’m finding myself needing to fight back the demons of inspiration screaming to work on ‘Natural Selection,’ but I say, “Fuck you, demons, I have to finish ‘Stiym’! Shut-up-shut-up-shut-up!” (Don’t worry, insanity just means you’re a writer now—and I will be doing more with ‘Natural Selection’ eventually, it’s unavoidable at this point, but I have to finish ‘Stiym’ first). As I was saying, get hold of an album by whatever means you do that these days… I won’t ask questions. Doesn’t really matter what you pick… well, let’s lean more towards lyric heavy music for now, but styles otherwise doesn’t matter for now. Listen to those songs, so many metaphors… but of course, you know that metaphor is actually about drugs… and that one is just sex… and I’m pretty sure that one is just something he looked up in a rhyming dictionary and hoped no one asked. Listen again, instead of translating the metaphors to what was probably intended, make them more literal… the dragon is now a dragon. I wrote a few different songs drawn from Pantera’s ‘Far Beyond Driven’… ‘Syn: Eternal’ was started with no more than the randomly yelled line “head-butts of broken glass!”… and at least one story can be considered completely original since I later found out I had almost all the lyrics wrong… good times. Simple task… listen to the lyrics… take in each word, create a story with them, try to apply this to the people watching later even.

Ok, last exercise for now… close your eyes… well, not now… finish read this first… then, close your eyes:

  • You’re sitting on the ground, you feel the grass below you, and you smell it all around you. Somewhere there is a stream babbling in the distance… to your left someone says something to you… Who are they? What do they say?
  • The person leaves your side, you see them walking in front of you, they’re about to leave your view… How does this make you feel? Should you follow them—should you stay—why?

As I once told someone that greatly inspired my decision to try write this how-to, a lot of story writing is mostly just you coming up with a vague idea, and then after that idea is written out, and you now have to figure out where to go, it will just be you asking questions. The more you do the people watching and the music listening, etc, the less this question asking will be conscious… it will just be you beating a guy to death.

(…to be continued…)

THUMBNAIL_IMAGEI may at some point just go ahead and make a section for pimping stuff since this seems to be a thing at least two posts deep now, but for now, here we go…

Remember that Cathrine Stovall chick I told you about last time:

Now there’s Cathrine Stovall, who already has a pretty good growing fan-base, so I’m probably just being redundant in pimping her at all, but it’s happening anyway:

http://catherinestovall.webs.com/

You like vampire stories, but don’t like hearing about 200-year-old dudes trying to get in the pants of high-school girls and not being arrested for it? Then you need to look into Cathrine’s ‘Requiem for Humanity’ series: http://www.amazon.com/Catherine-Stovall/e/B005LET560/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Well, fuck… she went and came out with yet another in the series that bitch-slaps sparkly vampires that you need in you:

Description:
Jenda and Soborgne are best friends and everything they do, they do together. Unfortunately, this time the girls may be joined at the hip in a far more horrible way: by death.The girls are kidnapped and held captive by Belle and Matteo, two vampires with a plan. Belle, a sociopath in life and death, is searching for an heir to her reign as the only vampire to hold the secret to surviving the sun. Matteo is a lost soul who would give anything to be loved and to see the light of day. As the four characters’ worlds collide, blood is spilled, lives are lost, and rules are broken.Disappointment in love and life bring out the worst in humans but, with vampires, it leads to a chilling tale of romance and terror.
Excerpt:
Jenda’s eyes were unfocused from the quick change of light and still blurry from tears. She ran the back of her hand over her eyes to clear her vision; she blinked furiously from the sting of salt and sand. As she opened her eyes, his presence suddenly filled all her senses.The intruder stood inches from her, his black eyes boring into her as if the entire world depended on this very moment in time. He stood almost a full foot taller than Jenda. His broad shoulders tapered down to a trim waist. He appeared to be well muscled but not overly large. He was almost handsome except that his presence sent tremors of pure undiluted terror screaming to every brain cell and nerve ending inside her. All of her senses told her to wake up, to run, and to escape as quickly as she could.Jenda did not turn or run. She stood her ground, focused on the object that the intruder stood holding between his thumb and forefinger. There in his large pale hand hung a crystal from her tree. Her mind went wild with the outrage she felt at the idea of this invader, this intruder touching something so personal to her.Jenda seethed. Before she could stop herself, she reached to rip the trinket away. As she grasped the crystal, she saw the purple light begin to fill it. She gasped and then his hand closed around her tiny wrist. The cold shock of steely flesh sent shivers through her. She paused, thrown off guard by the sensation of having her entire hand plunged into ice. Then her heart skittered and she felt as if the world were spinning too fast and that she may fall. Trying to pull away from that frozen iron grasp, Jenda felt terror and heard her mind scream for her to run before she died.

Pulling with all her might to free herself from his grip, Jenda looked up into the intruder’s face. The beauty of it surprised her even as he held her fighting, kicking, and screaming. His face seemed serene and his mouth no longer held the sardonic smile. His lips were full and sensuous. There was not a single line or crease in his translucent skin. He showed no irritation or ill will despite Jenda’s ongoing struggle to escape. He would have been Orlando Bloom hot if it were not for the fact that his eyes looked like two giant glass buttons. The difference between pupil and iris was so slight there was almost no end to the blackness. There was only the tightness of the flesh around his eyes and mouth that showed there was any sort of physical exertion on his part.

Then in a moment of pure horror, the intruder smiled. It was not the sardonic smirk from before. It was a large predatory showing of teeth. In a fit of hysteria, Jenda thought of how much he reminded her of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. A high-pitched frenzied laugh escaped Jenda’s mouth and echoed into the silence of the canyon. It was the kind of laugh you only heard in the movies or in real asylums.

Almost as soon as the thought of the cat crossed Jenda’s mind and before the echo of her laugh faded eerily in the silence, the intruder chuckled. The sound of that dry mocking noise nearly put Jenda over the edge. No, he was not the Cheshire Cat. This was the big bad wolf in all his menacing glory and she was his for the taking.

I want you to go to her site and buy that stuff:

You have it at the Amazon on the Kinde: http://www.amazon.com/Stolen-Requiem-Humanity-Book-One/dp/1470146983/ref=la_B005LET560_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366300546&sr=1-1

You have it at the CreateSpace on the whatever the hell that is: https://www.createspace.com/3810629

And you even have it at the UntreedReads on the every damn thing: http://store.untreedreads.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=68_7_46_65&products_id=202

As an added mission to your buying quest, I also place upon you the glory to go out into the world and pimp this tome to the masses. If you could be so kind, please share the pic below where ever book pimping is not a burden, and even print out the pic and plaster the towns with it:

10011_150830861758811_515439423_n

I thank you all in advance… because I know you’ll all be too busy for me to thank you later… ‘cause… you know… you’ll be out pimping the book… now get the fuck out there!

This is a beginning of a short-story in the world of ‘Ravenblood.’ It’s only the beginning because I seriously have no idea where to go from here at all… well… I know how it’s supposed to end, I just don’t know what supposed to happen between it all. Basically, I was writing a short-story for every character in ‘Ravenblood.’ I first wrote Ravenblood’s POV, then I wrote everyone else’s—essentially establishing a full timeline for every single person in the over-all story… which worked fine for everyone except Chirho… which bothers me because he has more insight to earlier portion of the timeline than anyone else.

But, anyway, this should give you a taste of ‘Ravenblood’ without revealing a single thing in all of ‘Ravenblood,’ which works perfectly. Oh, and, though it didn’t get established in the story yet, Chirho is about 3 or 4 in this portion of the timeline—Rangers train as early in life as possible.

 Chirho

the Rangers

English: A European Rabbit afflicted by Myxoma...

English: A European Rabbit afflicted by Myxomatosis in Shropshire, England. Photo by Chris Bayley. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The rabbit’s heart raced, thumping like a snare-drum. It sniffed the air as the wind blew in a strange breeze that couldn’t seem to choose a direction. The rabbit’s ears twitched, constantly scanning its surroundings, searching for the source of the disturbance that it felt only in its bones.

It was able to convince itself that it was nothing—just the electricity of an oncoming storm—there’s nothing to worry about. So it went back to grazing at a blade of grass, to take in a morning meal before the storm arrived.

Then, just as the rabbit had managed to fully place all of its concerns out of its mind, a sudden whistle in the wind shot through, as if the air was just sliced in half. And—

“How did I miss?” Chirho cursed as he stared at his arrow sticking out of the ground a few yards in front of him, as, what would have been his breakfast, hopped away, “I had it!”

“Did you?” Theteps asked in his annoying way of simultaneously answering.

“Yes, Theteps, I did everything you said to do. I listened for its heart, I watched its reactions to the wind—I did everything seeing through the rabbit’s eyes.”

Theteps smiled and placed a strong hand on Chirho’s hooded head, “Did you, now, cub? Or did you let your imagination trick you, and allowed you to mistake your own eyes for the rabbit’s?”

Chirho thought back. He remembered staring down the point of the arrow, focusing until it became one with the target. He could see the rabbit, and it seemed to be ignoring anything around but the grass in front of it. He breathed in, and out, trying to block out the thudding in his ears. And, when he was certain he had a sure shot, he released. He watched as the arrow soared, and then plunged through the dirt that should have been a rabbit’s heart.

The image in Chirho’s head was interrupted by a tight gurgling in his empty stomach, “I know I did everything right, Theteps.”

Theteps closed his eyes, “From the rabbit’s eyes, I saw a young boy walking through the woods. I watched that boy as he clacked an arrow to his bow, and pointed it in my direction. I listened to his loud breathing, and his heart beating as he drew back on his bow. When I heard him swallow hard, I knew that he was releasing his arrow, and I should run now. And so I ran back towards my hutch and continued finishing my meal while still watching the boy as he yelled at his arrow.

“And now I watch as a man I didn’t notice before appeared out of nowhere, and approach the boy. The man’s sudden appearance alarms me, but his state of calmness tells me he isn’t a threat for now—but I still watch, uncertain.”

“What?” Chirho looked in the direction he saw the rabbit run, where a large clump of ferns grew around a tree and saw, just barely reflecting in the light, a slight glimmer of two eyes staring back at him. He narrowed his eyes at the glimmers and glared in frustration—

“The boy sees me, now,” Theteps continued with his eyes still closed, “His eyes look angry. He’s lifting his bow up, ready to throw it—it’s large enough to hit me without much effort. I should run and hide in my hutch until he’s gone—“

Chirho stood with his bow in hand—with his arm cocked back, frozen with Theteps’ words. He watched the two glimmering eyes as they watched him, and suddenly they moved. The rabbit’s furry body instantly disappeared into a hole beneath the tree.

“You see, cub,” Theteps started as he opened his eyes, “At your age, it can be easy to confuse imagination with empathy. But you can’t just imagine you see through the rabbit’s eyes, you actually have to listen to the spirit of the wind, and the trees, and everything around you, and actually see through the rabbit’s eyes as if you actually were the rabbit.”

Ok… so, I have a novel that needs finishing, which means, I need fewer distractions… mainly the distractions that take up a significant amount of time that could have been word being put into pages. This obviously is pointing out the blog being in the way… however… the blog does serve a purpose in telling people I exist and constantly reminding them of said fact, so therefore, I cannot very well stop the blog all together while I complete the novel, if I did, there’d be no one left over here to tell about the novel’s completion—and that simply won’t do.

Thanks to NaNo, I learned that most readers are very easily distracted by shiny objects and then get lost over in a corner somewhere and just complete forget how to get back here all together. So, to try to avoid this from happening again, I am going to try to at least keep posting things that have already been pre-written. At the moment, that will be stories and recipes (I don’t know how many recipes I have written already, but I have stories to throw around that magazines won’t touch).

I apologize to the review ranting fans, I have never pre-written a review before. I could always write a bit about older movies I’ve already bitched about in the past. You ever seen “There Will Be Blood”…? Dear’fucking’god, that bullshit got a fucking Oscar for movie of the fucking year, it was the most painful thing I ever tormented myself through to watch, and that is time I will never get back—seriously, next time I hear a string orchestra, I’m going fucking ape-shit and there sure as fuck will be blood… pools of it. Fuck you, Daniel Day-Lewis, fuck you, and your milkshake!

But yea, that’s what’s going to be happening. I have plans to write one more thing for ‘Natural Selection’ that’s been kinda buggin’ me. No choices in the end though, just background that I want to flush out, but didn’t really get the chance to—seriously, don’t any of you wonder where Kk’vin was before he showed up in the last story? That whole thing where Father showed up pretty quick, and still no Kk’vin ‘til way later—no one’s wondering? Did you just think that I missed these details and let it go? Don’t let shit go—I knew what all characters were doing at all times—well, most of the time… the aliens were actually confusing me a bit… but I knew everyone else’s story. So yea, basically, that bit where I kept asking to switch POVs, but you wouldn’t let me… screw you, I’m switch through everyone’s story now. From Scarlet, to Kk’vin, to Father… and maybe Soo, don’t know.

And then everything else will be pre-written stuff, while I complete ‘Stiym.’

NaNoWriMo Day 3

NaNoWriMo Day 3 (Photo credit: mpclemens)

This will be brief, but basically I’m just letting anyone (assuming you exist) that follows the blog that there will be a one month break coming for the blog and pretty much anything else. And, in relation, this is also to encourage anyone that has even the slightest of writing twinge running through them to take this opportunity to accept the NaNoWriMo Challenge.

On the date of November 1st every year, the challenge to write a novel of 50,000 words with in the month begins. Many authors accept this challenge, some fail, some succeed, but no matter what, you will come away from it learning something about your writing, and for those seeking a path in it, you will come away with an idea of where to go from here. This reason is why I encourage absolutely everyone who has the desire to write novels, but hasn’t worked up the courage to do it yet, needs to take this challenge… this is where you will start.

If you take the challenge and don’t complete it, don’t let that discourage you, instead, look at what you actually did finish, then move it forward, and finish it. Granted, I’ve never finished the challenge, and so far all my attempts are sitting in the to-be-worked pile, so I’m not really an example to look at—basically, I’m great at giving advice, but I’m horrible at taking my own advice.

So, as I said, the challenge is simple. The moment November 1st hits, you start writing. November is a 30 day month, that’s 30 days to finish a beginning, middle, and end of at least 50,000 words. If you write a minimum of 1,667 words every single day of November, you will finish exactly on time. It is encouraged by most NaNo enthusiasts that you try for at least 3,000 words a day to give you that extra bit of breathing room, and space for writer’s block to hit and pass.

So, if you’re gonna try it, then let me know about it, and let me know how you do in the end, share your experiences and pass on what you learn. Let me know what kind of story you write.

I’ll maybe post my results later, or at least fragments of it (assuming that I actually finish it). Mine is going to be the release of a steampunk story that’s been building up for awhile. I have a lot of stuff floating around in my head for it right now, and have been for a couple of months now, so I’m presently more confident in my ability to complete this year than I have ever been. For those on my FB or Twitter, I’ll be giving updates to my progress, but that about all I’ll be posting for the entire month.

As for things here, I have no reviews in mind at the moment, so I doubt I’ll be getting anymore of those in right now, but for ‘Natural Selection,’ I’ll try to get Part 13 written and posted before this month ends. Everyone still make sure you’re voting during NaNo (unless you’re writing, then get the hell off my blog, and get to work!), but Part 14 won’t be written or even thought about until December.

Happy Birthday to You!

Happy Birthday to You! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yes, yes it is…

Not much planned for it, but I at least have today off for it (but I worked yesterday, and i go back tomorrow, so mostly today is just recovering and preparing–so, yea). At best though I will probably be working on here to try to gradually tweak things, try to at least finish up the link list (if you’re a writer and/or a properly obsessed reader, you should be clicking on a good portion of the links I’m giving you people–I did all the searching for you, now all you need to do is dive in). At some point today I will hopefully be able to get some actual writing done… might try to write the next part to ‘Natural Selection’ (it will be posted here for now, but it will be moved at some point), and I’m going to at least try to work on my novel.

What novel, you say? Oh, right, I never got around to mentioning the other reason why I really don’t put too much effort into pushing my stuff towards magazines. Basically, it takes too much time away from the novel I’ve been working on since… beginning of last year now. Most of the short-stories I’ve been trying to push at all, are stories that stem from the novel. I tend to write short-stories when working on a novel as a means of working out characters sometimes, at most, I send the stories to whoever (Intergalactic Medicine Show has actually been my go-to ‘magazine’ lately–simple, quick submission rules, absent most the dancing and running around of some others–they’ll be in the list soon, stop looking over there, damn’it, I’m talking now), since they’re there, and if they get published, then super, i have money to help hold me off easier while I’m writing the novel, plus they can help give a little recognition for the novel before it’s even a thing yet (no better means of advertising), but if it gets rejected (which so far, I’m 0 for 2 for this one), then also, the stories were written more as a brainstorming tool, so it’s also no real big deal (I mean, on a scale of what bruises my ego more–rejecting the short-stories: whatever; rejecting the novel: if your car hesitates when you start it… run).

What’s the novel? Well, I’ve read in a few places that writers shouldn’t talk about what they’re in the middle of writing… I don’t actually remember the reason why right now, but it’s a thing, so for now, I’ll say the working title is ‘Ravenblood: Death Trap’ (which i’m really saying is a working title because I really have lots of intent on changing that, don’t mind ‘Death Trap’ because it works off a play on words that you’d have to read the story to understand–blame IGMS for depriving you of being inside–but ‘Ravenblood’ is just too generalized, and it bugs me–it’s named after the main character‘s last name–Daniel Ravenblood).

And so, that’s what’s up… now, to continue tweaking and writing…