Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Beautiful Books: the weird idea


           So there's this awesome link up going on. It's hosted by Cait at the Notebook Sisters and Sky at Further Up and Further In.

           It's usually about characters. But this time-

        Great gloriousness! It's about plot! (so gloriousness isn't a word, but I'm using it anyways. . .)

            Technically, I should be writing about Oddball since I've been thinking about the sequel and all. But today, it's the weird idea. Sorry.

  1. What came first: characters or plot idea? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
    The plot came first but the characters stormed in and stared moving this around (mischievous little imps). I am usually a pantser, but I've been doing more plotting for this series, mostly because I'm not supposed to be working on it. . . Also the series encompasses a very long timeline, that always confuses me.

  2. Do you have a title and/or a “back-cover-blurb”?

    Of sorts, yes. You can find blurb here (it will undergo many overhauls though). I'm terrible with titles, but I have thrown these around:

    New Normal
    Sincerely, the Future
    Sincerely, your Future
    for the trilogy part: Survive, Strive, Thrive or Dry, Cold, Hard

    The series is actually a set of journals, the main portion of it centers around a trilogy comprised of Rayne's journal. She writes her thoughts down to organize them. She journals to the past in general (aka our present day) because she is very interested in the past. What it used to be like, what normal was, and also because she trusts no one, except for those people of the past who can never really know her. The other journals in the series are those of her predecessors and two are from characters in her own story. The individual journals have the working titles of:

    the wild dystopian thing (affection shortened to wild d.)
    the burning of campus #55
    the Sid files
    cold, dark heart
    Maleficent Minds (excuse the drama. . .)

    I have also considered giving each of the journals a Switchfoot song as its title. Then I wonder, can I do that? Is that allowed?
  3. What wordcount are you aiming for when your novel is finished?
    Um, whatever the wordcount reads when I finish.
  4. Sum up your novel in 3 sentences.

    "I'm going to tell you how horrible it all will get. And it's going to get really bad. But hang on to hope because I promise you, on my life, there is an end."
  5. Sum up your characters in one word each.

    Pfft. Do you know how many characters I have?

    A few from Rayne's trilogy:

    Rayne- self conflicted

    Keth- Loki (I couldn't help it)

    Terrence- selfless leader (oh, was that 2 words? for shame. . .)

    McKel- the unRusssian Russian

    Sid- rock

    Markus- the cool weaponry specialist

    Whitney- self identity issues, or maybe it's the daddy issues?

    Savannah- more stoic than the Russian

    So I gave up on the one word thing.

  6. Which character are you most excited to write? Tell us about them!

    That is a terribly narrow question to ask. But just this once, I'll conceded. McKel, Mikel, Tolka, Rolson, whatever your name ends up as, you are the humor in this sad story, you're the light when things are dark and tense, but you know how to take things serious too and you're the sweetest character out of them all. I can't wait to write you, whatever your name is. . . sorry about that, the name thing.

    Mikel or whatever the poor guy's name ends up as

  7. What about your villain? Who is he, what is his goal?
    There are a lot of villains networked together in this series. But they all tend to be very ambitious, big dreamers. Their goals are along the lines of


    Yeah, we'll go with that.

  8. What is your protagonist’s goal? And what stands in the way?
    She wants to free people from the effects of tyranny. You know, those villains trying to control the universe sure damage a lot of people in their pathway, and Rayne can't stand to see the brokenness all around her. Basically, she wants to take down the government. You know, save the world. Villains aren't the only ones who can dream big here.

    She doesn't really trust anyone. She very much a wanderer and a loner. But you know what they say: you can't save the world by yourself.

    (they do say that, right?)

  9. What inciting incident begins your protagonist’s journey?

    At the beginning, Rayne's been going it alone for awhile when she meets whatever his name is and they stumble on the Rebels. They decide to join in the fun.

    Oh, yay.

  10. Where is your novel set?

    The future. The city. Factories. Abandoned places. The forest. Inside characters' minds.

    The Underground

  11. What are three big scenes in your novel that change the game completely?
    Change three to four:

    Her dad
  12. What is the most dynamic relationship your character has? Who else do they come in contact with or become close to during the story?

    Keth is Rayne's only real, blood family. They had to look out for each other on the streets until their adopted father took them in. Her father used to be Rayne's whole world and then something happened and she ran away at fifteen. But no matter how angry she is, there's always a part of her that wishes he was always there to save the day (as you can see, my characters have very realistic mindsets :P).

    Rayne and her dad

    McKel is her first almost-friendship (we count him as a crazy cousin). Savannah is her best friend. And then there's Sid. He has trust problems too. They say, especially telepaths, that the mentally strong always sense each other and have strong bonds simply because no one else can survive on their playing field.

    Spoiler: 1) Rayne is mentally strong. 2) Sid's a telepath. 3) They really do say that.
  13. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
    She learns that she can't save the world by herself. Bummer there. Really big letdown. The readers will totally not see that coming. *cough*

    But seriously, she learns to trust more and let people in. And, you know, how to save the world in three books.
  14. Do you have an ending in mind, or do you plan to see what happens?
    It has nothing to do with unicorns and rainbows and everything to do with a time machine and an author's note. (Got to love those authors' notes; does anybody besides me read those?)
  15. What are your hopes and dreams for your book? What impressions are you hoping this novel will leave on your readers and yourself?

    I want to make people think. I know that sounds ridiculously vague. But I love it when people actually take time to think about something. For real. About what something means to them, their own beliefs and values, and what it means to believe in those things, how it reflects on their actions. Mostly to think about those things that most people avoid because it is painfully honest or "dangerous." I want people to admire the power to think.

    Outside of the above (because I will probably say the above about anything I write), I want to give people hope. The world of this book is very dark. It's different from Oddball; it's not as funny. But I want to give people hope to keep on keeping on. And to keep on with the belief that it's going to get better. To take that risk of getting your hopes up that maybe, maybe it's going to be tomorrow. And when tomorrow's not better, you take the risk to believe in the next day. Until that day comes, you do all you can for the here and now and the people around you. I realize that believing in tomorrow and hoping it's going to get better, is a rather strong, brave thing to do. Because how many times have you been disappointed? And isn't it just so much easier to stay down and disappointed and just get by with surviving?

    But that isn't living, now is it?

           (by of way, all the images are from pinterest.)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

the Makings of a Good Sequel

           Uh. . .

            Oh! Yes, so I am trying to start the sequel in the Oddball trilogy.

            Can I say it's not going very well?

            I know what is supposed to happen in the latter half of the book, but the first half is still a mystery. I don't know much about the kingdom they are going to or why they are going there in the first place. Well, I do actually. They are going there because Jaykin has sent them on a mission there.

          But what is the mission?

           Yes, that's the hold up.

           Right now I'm tossing up ideas of what the story will consist of, so far I've thrown these ideas around:

famous scientists
Medieval culture
a lawless kingdom
racial prejudice

          Is it possible to combine these? I would say yes, but those first two, hmm. . . Challenges are good, no?

          So outside of all that, I've also been thinking about what makes a sequel good, and what makes a sequel bad? A lot of sequels are just blah. But when a sequel is good, it is absolute genius!

          I read a post at chasingthecrazies she mentioned that a sequel ought to introduce new characters to capture our interest. I thought that sounded good.

           What about other sequels? Does this happen?

              Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, I thought was very good. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. The new characters were awesome, creating tension and capturing our hearts (sometimes breaking them). Also the whole idea of the arena as a clock, the underground resistance group. The Hunger Games felt like preparation for the meat of the story's plot: Panem breaking away from President Snow's rule.

           Maybe that is how it should be? When I think about the Divergent series as a whole and then about the single book Divergent. The first book seems like a preparation ground for the real plot. It was, may I say, a sort of initiation.

            Let's talk about movies?

            I liked the first Thor, but the second one? Even better! There was the introduction of a new character. You know, the intern. Poor intern. He had a name, I can't remember, and I feel honest bad for that. But we also spent more time away from earth.

             The Thor sequel took us to another world (and threatened our own with alien invasion, but that's tangential ;).

this made me laugh way too much
             In ways Catching Fire takes us to another world. It shows us Katniss' new life in the beginning then dumps her into a new arena. In Insurgent, Tris occupies different faction headquarters and then later becomes a prison in Erudite headquarters.

            How to Train Your Dragon 2. I know its animation, but that was a really good sequel, especially for an animation. There were new characters. They took us to another world. But what I thought was really cool, and unique (especially for an animation), was that the characters grew. They literally grew up and matured. They took on responsibility and their present and past achievements were acknowledged to that they were raised to a higher level of status.

           The How to Train Your Dragon sequel showed growth and developed maturity in the regular characters.

this killed me
          At the end of Catching Fire, Katniss is no longer a little girl who is only staying alive for her sister and thinks that District 12 is the worst there is. She realizes in Catching Fire that things are bad everywhere, and people are not always what they first seem. She is more aware of what is going on in the world and is able to take a more mature outlook on it. She is also made the symbol of the rebellion (more or less against her will). In Insurgent, Tris is no longer the skinny little Abnegation girl who people overlook or mock. She is stronger and assertive; few would challenge her. She is also nominated to be a Dauntless leader, though she declines it. In the second Thor, Thor has grown wiser, and has gained better sense of who he is and what he wants in life. 

The checklist of a great sequel:

1. New characters

2. It should look like the first book was written for the sequel, not the sequel was written for the first book.

3.Take us to another world

4. Growth and developed maturity in characters

What do you think? What do you like to see in sequels?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Um, I know I was here for a reason. . . now what could it be?

           So it’s been insane lately.

           Mid-terms at the college.

          Oh, yay. . .

            I forget a lot of things. I’m terribly unprepared. I walk into a room and forget why. I go to tell someone something and forget what I was going to say.

         My mom suggests I have a daily planner. But if I had a daily planner, I would never look at it. Or it would get swallowed into the abyss of my room and never be seen again. Besides I have an argument for procrastination.


Being highly unorganized and unprepared develops flexibility, resourcefulness, a quick mind, and improvisation.

         I’m telling you. It can be a good thing. ;)

         Lately, with everything I do either being something I don’t really want to do, or something that’s limited by some time constraint, I’ve been questioning myself a lot lately. Even if I’m doing something I love, I almost feel guilty for doing it because I’m not studying or doing something “important.” (my idea of important and other people’s ideas of important seem to be incredibly different, hence the quotation marks) Always in the back of my mind there’s this question:

Why are you doing this? What are you doing it for? Why does it matter? Does it even matter at all?

           I’ve really been bothered by this, longer than I originally thought. I actually changed my major this semester because it was bothering me all last year. I thought changing would help, that I would stop asking myself why I am doing what I do. Obviously, that didn’t work.

           I don’t normally talk about stuff like this here (okay, or anywhere), but oh, well.
           This Sunday I realized something. That whatever I do, no matter what I do, I am doing it for God. Even if nobody sees it or hears about it, except God. As long as I am doing my best at it, it gives glory to Him. Because He is my strength. He is why I can do what I do. It’s my daily act of worship, I guess you could say. It doesn’t even have to be anything in the “Christian box.” (aka: it doesn’t have to be of the Christian genre to glorify God). God gave me this overwhelming peace that everything I do, whether it’s writing, playing guitar, spending time with family, studying for college, driving down the road, I am doing it for Him. And it does matter.

           I know that all might sound very simplistic. But I’ve been struggling with this for a long time. And I’m still figuring it out. Sometimes I still get kind of down and question everything I do. I have to remind myself why I am here and who I am doing what I do for. I need to stop trying to do everything on my own. It’s wearing me out. And I just cannot do it. I was never meant to do it alone. I have to give it to God. And I definitely haven’t grasped the concept of that yet. But we’ll get there.

          So. . . yeah.

         Also I wanted to share this really cool link with you. There’s this awesome post by Wild Horse at Ravens and Writing Desks (pretty cool title, huh?
J  ).  It's about finding the personality type of your characters. It's a lot of fun! You should go check it out. Here's a link to the different types of personality types.  (I am determined that one day I will write an ESTP character).

         There’s this other really neat post by Mariah Martinez. She has started a post series on magic in literature from a Christian perspective. I think it’s pretty awesome of her to talk about a controversial topic, and I can’t wait to hear her opinion. You can read her first post at Godwottery Shenanigans.

Friday, October 3, 2014

in which I procrastinate like every good writer does (you know it's true)

           I've been insanely busy with school. Maybe I need to adapt by becoming ambidextrous.

             Honestly, I only have a couple things to say. Of minor importance. Because everybody knows that fandoms are important.

           Firstly, while at the library I noticed these three guys who were each wearing a trench coat. My brain worked like this:

trench coat club = Sherlock club

"Sherlock in a nutshell gif - perfect" - Omg, this .gif pretty much sums up the Sherlock fandom's sense of humor, haha.<-- We've been waiting too long...

           I tried to get at least a short story out of it. Eh, but there was no conflict.

           Nextly (it's totally a word), once I had this conversation with my mom that went like so:

my mom: Who would date a guy who threw knives at them?

me: *bursts out laughing*

my mom: What?

Works every time

me: Oh, nothing.