I’ve been having a pretty tough time thinking of a topic to write about this week since Tina and I have been spending a lot of time writing a short story together. Well okay, I’ve been playing a bunch of Overwatch and Minecraft recently, and also working with Tina on a short story. But I’m not here to talk about my shortcomings as the worst battlemercy, I’m here to talk about the story! Recently Tina and I have joined the Fantasy Writer’s Undercroft on Facebook, a group maintained by two guys who make the Worldbuilder’s Anvil, a podcast I’ve been digging for the last few months. (PLUG! http://gardul.com/category/podcast/worldbuilders-anvil/) So like I was saying, we’ve been doing a huge load of writing, I figured hey I’ll write about writing again. We’ve been collectively working on a story that everybody takes a few hundred words at and passes it on, now we’ve started a new project.
Tina and I are basically the perfect pair to set together on a story because she cares about the people and stories, and I’m all about the world history and details – it practically takes care of itself! Except this writing exercise we figured should be a learning experience so that’s all out the window. The first decision we made was to write a story in first person because who in their right mind writes from first person perspective?? It can certainly be done, but I have a feeling it’s going to take some time to get the voice right and not sound like a robot with short term memory loss. The topic of course is going to be Sci-Fi so I can write about a computer while I’m on my computer. The goal here is to get a story from start to finish in roughly 10,000 words, which may sound like a lot to some of you but trust me, that’s like a 10 minute read. I can’t be dramatic in 10 minutes! I won’t give any more spoilers away because then everyone would yell “Spoilers!” and nobody would read when we posted it once it’s completed and then we’d all be sad.
So, anyone got any experience writing in the first person? If not, give it a crack! I certainly feel a lot more active since I started doing a lot more creatively, even though it sadly has prevented me from becoming a professional
Gorilla Scientist. I’ll continue chasing my dreams to the ends of the Earth. Fictionally, I mean.
I love YA fiction. There, I said it. I love it so much but dear lord do the females piss me off sometimes. How weak they are or if they are super powerful, they don’t believe in themselves. That is until the new guy shows up. OH but wait! Now that new guy is making the girl feel great about herself, let’s get long time friend who never said anything before this to butt in and make her feel like shit for not thinking of him! DRAMA!
I HATE IT. It is part of the reason that I wanted to write my own story. I enjoy the action and yes sometimes the drama but, I think that if we don’t address the very real issue that there can be more than one kind of action hero, more than one kind of love story, and more than one way of showing your reader drama. I love Jenna Moreci‘s book Eve the awaking. It is full of blood and guts and fighting and love and making out. She is one of the few where I have found myself in love with not just the Main Character but also with plot and line of the story. It led me on a journey to find more of them. Today, I bring you a saga.
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard is an amazing piece of work that gives you an almost post-apocalypse world mixed with fantasy. Our central character is Mare. She is a down to earth, rag tag, the man got you down kinda girl. She grew up working on ways to make herself useful in a world where the color of your blood can make you lesser of a person. Mare and her family and friends have red blood. No one with red blood is any different than you or I. However, if you have Silver blood, your family is gifted to have some kind of power that makes you better than everyone else. The Silver powers range from Avatar shit of manipulating elements like fire, earth, water, and air to super speed or reading people’s mind.
Without giving to much away, Mare gets caught up in a world of Silvers without warning. She causes her family to lose a primary source of support and sets on a mission to fix it. Mare uses her smarts and luck to work her way into a prized spot that launches her into a shit storm of excitement. This book knocked me sideways more than once. I can’t wait to get started on the next one and see what else she get’s herself into.
No issues with the dainty little princess here. Mare would kick your ass and give you what for. This sassy girl is worth the read and you won’t be disappointed!
Just to make it clear, I’m a yuuuge fan of reading. I’ve read a diverse array of genres, but I think my favorites are definitely Sci-Fi and Fantasy for sure. More specifically, I’m a sucker for exploring worlds imagined by the people writing those books. I’ll often be hundreds of pages deep in a book, get impatient as to whether or not they’re ever going to expand or if the story is all about this “protagonist” because by god I’ll throw that book at Tina and let her read it! Don’t tell anyone, but I looked up the ending to more than one book before actually finishing it. “But that’s the wrong way to read a book Kris!” I hear my wife telling you all to tell me. That’s fine, I don’t want to do it the right way, I just want to know if that jerk Antorell got punched in his stupid face!
Recently I’ve been building my own world to write stories in so I can sell them to a big publisher and become a billionaire author. The only shortfall in this scenario is that I usually get caught up in the tiny details I’m always hunting for in other books and then procrastinate until my muse finds a hammer big enough to knock me back on track. For example: I’m pretty sure in the beginning I want my main character to have the West blocked to him, he should go northeast to a city. What city, and what kind of reaction will they have to him? Well I don’t know I’ll come back to it in 5 or 6 weeks. I finally manage to get back to building and I figure I’ll work that out later, for now let’s just focus on getting the continents built. Hmmm, except I know I want some mountains and there should be a valley like right over….well whatever I’ll work it out in another 4 weeks.
The moral of the story here is don’t be like me! The best thing to do in these scenarios is to power through the uncertainty and writers’ block and just vomit some letters all over a page or computer screen. In a day or a week from now you’re going to come back and think “well I was clearly experimenting with some wack stuff, obviously the correct words I meant to write are..” You’ll just need to do this every day or every other day for roughly 6 months to a year and then you’ll get the joy of editing the words you wrote. A lot of writers dread editing because of reasons, editing is actually my favorite part aside from the worldbuilding aspect. That’s where I can actually allow myself to hyperfocus and zoom way, way in on those minute details that add up to make a floppy story. Maybe I’ll write a brief section on editing a story right after I look something up on YouTube real quick…
Good luck out there
Since my wonderful husband is so awesome and watched the kiddo all weekend and Monday, I figured I would take another week of blogging.
This weekend was amazing. I volunteer at PAX South every year since it started. I enjoy working at conventions much more than attending them. I may not get to sit and watch a panel or whatnot but I do get to see more of the show than most people. I get to experience the awesome feeling of having a solid part in building up my community.
I really do love working with everyone. We all have a common interest in what we are working on and the shared goal of making our show work so smoothly that people think it is easy to run a convention. I love the look of joy on peoples’ faces when we get to introduce them to their hero. Overall a very exciting experience that I don’t think I could ever leave and just attend a convention as one is meant to now. I am tainted to the hidden secrets that most don’t know about.
On a side note, should you ever find yourself in Texas in January for PAX South, you should consider volunteering. We love people. We love making new friends and we love adding new people to the group of people who get shit done.
Speaking of which, I guess I should go work on that last chapter of my novel now huh? Well one more video of Bull won’t hurt!
Hello once again everyone! Tina here.
When we first started up this blog I had to make a lot of promises to my husband that I was going to work hard and stay on top of my part. It wouldn’t be fair to have him invest so much time and effort into something I would just leave by the wayside in a month.
Which is a bad habit of mine. I start up something new to get enough information to stop. Typically just as my husband is getting into it! So if you see short stories on here from me… That’s because they are so much easier to write for me than a blog-style writing. I would also like to review games, movies, and books in my own special way. Like ‘The Magicians’ that I just binged on Netflix. SO GOOD but soooooo graphic in its slam your face in this rawness. Which is kinda nice that things don’t stay stuck to the norm of what you expect to happen. This is one that I might have to force Kris to watch with me.
OH and Anime reviews! I love anime and I have always just kind of kept it to myself unless someone asked or brought it up first. Now, I think I should start my own little Geeky girl gab section. Call them GGGS. So look out for them! If you have suggestions for books, shows, anime or even Youtube videos I should check out and talk about let me know!
I wanted to touch a bit more on the subject I glazed over last week. It’s almost time to comfortably give up those New Years Resolutions, so I just wanted to get in one more jab before they go! Early January, I wrote myself out about 15 objectives for January, figuring I’d have plenty of time. I mean I have all these days where I’m not working, I just have to do some work for 2-3 hours a day right, no prob. Aw dang, I forgot I was going to be sick this week! Texas, my love for you…well I don’t love you but come on, call off the trees! Allergies are crazy in the winter. I also forgot all the days my wife or child would want to spend time together, “family time” they called it. Pah! I have goals to attain!
I think it’s pretty easy to work out the sarcasm in that last sentence – of course the moment my 4 year old tells me to play Minecraft with him, I’m all over it. Wife wants to go watch a movie? Well don’t twist my arm here sheesh, I’ll probably have to eat milkshakes or something too. You see where this is going. Setting up minor monthly goals I think is a good idea, but it’s probably more attainable to reach for the quarters after all. Yearly quarters, that is – 3 month blocks where I have all this time to goof off and then hastily do everything I planned in the last weekend. So far this seems to be the way to go – I’ve accomplished probably about a third of my original plan, but I could definitely expand this instead of giving up halfway there just because I feel like I’ll fail anyway. Besides, things are better in bulk – that’s why Cosco is a thing. So Let’s jot down a few too many goals for January – March and see how many we can do.
* Clean out the car I haven’t driven for 2 years (Spiders everywhere!)
* Figure out what the heck is in those bags against the wall in the garage. I’m sure they’re housing spiders.
* Finish at least outlining the map of a world I’ve been worldbuilding. Seriously I started in November.
* Name the countries in the map after I finally finish it
* Write a short story – how can I have a hobby editing stories if I never practice
* Make some progress on a not-short story. Let’s say, finishing the outline.
* Build something amazing from these K’nex. The 4 year old they belong to can help
* Watch a movie with my wife something like once a week or once biweekly. She loves movies, I hate em. Sacrifices must be made.
* Put up a blog every Wednesday!
* Memorize at least 2 new kanji a week (I pretend to study Japanese a lot, I’ve had to have picked up something)
* Don’t write blog posts while being sick. Let’s put a tentative on this one
Eleven points for roughly eleven weeks, I can totally do that! I’ll probably have to take off that last week in March from work though.
2017 is finally underway and it’s time to look at new years resolutions! Well until February, when the resolutions get in the way of chocolate.
A lot of people around me are fond of self improvement goals that are a touch on the vague side. Lose weight, teach myself programming, learn a new language! All admirable, but easily given up. After all, languages can take quite some time to master.
While observing the many successful people in my life, I’ve noticed a marked difference in our goals list…most notably, they actually have one to begin with. Apparently they update them monthly or quarterly, instead of every January 1st. Their written objectives are more easily attainable too- my “learn Japanese” seems a lot harder than their “learn 30 kanji per month.” I also see a lot of micro-objectives listed. The ever-popular weight loss resolution is suddenly a lot more feasible when you set a little breadcrumb trail to follow (note: don’t eat the breadcrumbs.) Ten pounds lighter than I am now on this day next month, ten pounds more the month after, and suddenly you can pencil your objectives in on a calendar. Success! Well, no it’s just the beginning of the process, but at least now you have directions.