A Writer's Journey

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

Maya Angelou

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.

Victor Hugo

Monday, October 17, 2011

Music Monday: Ludovico Einaudi - Nuvole Bianche + Blog Awards!

The first thing on the agenda is to thank Alexis for the awesomesauce blog awards below:

Now I'm supposed to find seven interesting facts about me, so here goes. Bear with my sleep deprived brain for a sec. *laughs*

1) My coffee drink of choice generally includes five, that's right - FIVE, shots of espresso. Usually peppermint white mocha or hazelnut. I actually have one in my hand at this very moment. *grins*

2) I am a complete night owl. Unless I'm severely exhausted, I can't seem to get myself in bed before midnight. I give new meaning to the term "burning the midnight oil". *laughs*

3) I have recently finished my first full length manuscript, which in a few weeks' time, will hopefully be turned from the vortex-inducing pile of heartfail to something shiny and pretty for eventual submission to agents.

4) Music is my soul. No, literally. I can't do ANYTHING without it. Write, work, drive, eat, even watch TV. I know, strange being I am. *laughs*

5) I have two of the awesomest critique partners and one very irreplaceable BFF/beta reader who are solely responsible for getting me to pull my shit together when I thought I couldn't write anymore.

6) I've recently become obsessed with zombies. I drop everything I'm doing just to watch an episode of The Walking Dead. #truestory I blame my husband. *laughs*

7) I can fully and efficiently function on two hours of sleep. How's that for insomniac power? *grins*

Passing this along to seven of my favorite blogs in no particular order:

1) Lori - You Are The Unicorn Of My Dreams
2) Corinne - Ode To Blogging
3) Sophia - Sophia The Writer
4) Krispy and Alz - A Nudge In The Right Direction
5) Jess - Jest Kept Secret
6) Jon - JonYang.org
7) Jeigh - WriterBrained

Go stalk, *ahem* I mean, visit them and see what makes them so stalkable awesome!

Our music selection for this week is a new favorite of mine. No lyrics; just a full 5 minutes and 59 seconds of piano lovefest. Enjoy!

Ludovico Einaudi - Nuvole Bianche

And now for our regularly scheduled pretty...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Writing Wednesday: Character Archetypes - The Anti-Hero

Since I'm starting a few new writing projects, I thought it'd be fun to do a few of these archetype posts to not only shed a light on what a character archetype is, but to also help me figure out the new slew of characters I'm going to be playing with. *insert squee here*

First of all, what is a character archetype? In simple terms, it's the epitome or the gist of the type of character you want to embody. Keep in mind that archetypes are just a jumping off point. They can be tweaked depending on the type of story and what the author ultimately sets out to resolve at the end of that story. But what character archetypes do give us is a basic platform to build on the characteristics of a particular character we're going to create.

The archetype being covered today is the anti-hero. What is an anti-hero? The description from several sources I found describe him/her as the unconventional hero. They can display characteristics that are not generally seen as heroic, such as the preference to be a loner, having the tendency to be self deprecating, exhibition of darker personality traits, and/or disregard for common authority. Personally, I prefer these types of heroes to those that glean and shine brightly as they bask in the awe of general society. *laughs*

You can read a more descriptive take here.

Prime examples of anti-heroes:



The anti-hero usually has a warped sense of morals and their actions are fueled by these beliefs that what they are doing is for the greater good. They could also begin as a person who wouldn't necessarily be classified as good at the start of the story, but because of their experiences end up saving the day or making the great sacrifice.

Prime example (and also one of my favorites):

Severus Snape

Do you prefer the hero or the anti-hero? Why?

And now for our regularly scheduled pretty...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Writing Wednesday: More on Dreaded Outlining

Today's Writing Wednesday post is brought to you by my outlining block. *laughs* I've only just recently started outlining my writing projects because 1) it gives me a clearer picture of the whole thing rather than just going blindly into each chapter with nothing to hold on to, and 2) because I'm a little scared to death, albeit excited, about beginning my new project.

I'm not a natural outliner. In truth, I'm actually entirely the opposite. *twitches a little at all the -ly's* So how does someone like me, who doesn't usually outline *and also hates it like I hate broccoli*, start an outline in the first place?

There's no concrete guideline, though some writing self help books would tell you otherwise, because all writers are different and they ultimately have to find what works best for them.

I usually start with breaking out a subheading for each chapter. After deciding how many chapters I have (generally twenty to start because it's a nice do-able, even number), I break out the documents into acts and determine how many chapters would need to go into those acts to fulfill the information needed to get through to the audience. If you really want to go basic, a three-act breakout would suffice (introduction, climax, resolution). I like to put in four acts just because the pacing changes slightly in each act (or at least that's the initial plan *laughs*). So...

Act One - Introduces the characters, the world (if world building is a high point), and the central conflict.

Act Two - This would be what I like to call the buildup. This is where the main events happen that would eventually lead to Act Three, the climax. A good chunk of my chapters will be lumped into Act Two because they are the events that propel the story forward to its pinnacle point.

Act Three - This is where the events from Act Two will hit their breaking point. The characters need to make a decision regarding the central conflict. The make or break moment, if you will.

Act Four - Now, if Acts One-Three were the appetizer, soup/salad, and main courses, this would be the dessert. The resolution. This is where all of the questions should be answered (unless it's a series) and where everything should tie out. The result should be satisfying and adds that little something that puts the reader at ease.

This post not only serves as a writers' tip thing of sorts, but also to help me get the writer gears in motion. Mid-post, my new characters had invaded my head space and started conversations of their own. *laughs*

If you think my methods are still a little too jumbled and full of malarky, you can check out these other links for great outlining tips:

Lori's blog
Corinne's blog
Jeigh's blog
Chris' blog here and here
Advanced Fiction Writing

And now for our regularly-scheduled pretty...

**image from darkgreencabochon