Please find me at my new website!
As predicted, I did encounter a block with TBKIA. It’s been a couple of months now (yikes! ) that I haven’t put any kind of word count toward that WIP. Shame on me, seriously. On the plus side, however, I have been working on a sister novel of TDF instead. TBKIA and TDF are both linked anyway so I guess my antics in slackery haven’t been all that bad (or so I tell myself). At present, I’m developing the beginnings of the plot more solidly and laying down the foundations for world-building. I want my “afterlife” to be as dark as possible…
So I’m in the midst of developing a script based on an old WIP set in Japan. I’ve been “off my game” so to speak since late February and I’m taking a short break from TBKIA until I find whatever it is that I’m looking for. I’ll be putting up a new page dedicated to all of my film projects in the near future. Aaaand I’m currently debating if I should make a separate film blog or just keep things simple and have both of my writing and film stuff on this one blog. Hmm, I’m thinking the latter.
Anyway, I’m only a few pages into the script and right now I’m trying to get a feel of what script-writing program I’ll be sticking with—it’s currently a battle between Celtx and Final Draft. So far, the former is in the lead.
We meet again.
My brain is a dimly lit pool table, freshly racked.
Right now the air is extremely dry, the pseudo fireplace heater in my office is on full-blast, and according to the Yahoo weather, Yokohama is expecting some snow tonight. My hands itch to hold a warm mug of coffee but alas my body needs all the moisture it can get at the moment. Damn you caffeine, why must you dehydrate so?
In the midst of fighting off the flu (I think I may have acute bronchitis), I can’t decide what to do: Clean/ready the apartment for the in-laws this weekend//pick up my kindle and resume the behemoth that is Storm of Swords//make word count on the manuscript//return online critiques//study Japanese//or go to sleep.
Last option, please.
Sorry if I’ve been MIA or haven’t replied to your email, it’s been pretty hectic and I haven’t even had the chance to write. The in-laws are coming back to town this coming Sunday and I just got through with filing my taxes… etc etc. I just want to run away (with my laptop) to a secluded island with pure white sand, clear blue water, warm winds, and satellite internet connection. Oh, and a magically replenishing buffet of course.
So I’m currently in the throes of composing Chapter 3 from Redric’s POV. It’s looking pretty spiffy so far considering I had a lucky moment to make up the scene and it turns out to be really beneficial in unraveling a layer of mystery from Auri’s past. I guess she’ll be my first true test in character development because I really would like her character to start off sort of detached and somewhat numb and then eventually progress into a stronger fighter who is finally aware of herself, by the end of Book 1. Her past was traumatic (there’s another complication too that I can’t expose) and I want her behavior to reflect that but my aim is realism because as a reader, I really cannot stand anything contrived. I want Auri’s raw emotions to show and her reactions to her problems to be as natural and realistic as possible.
When I’m reading a book where the protagonist is female, I really like the kickass, strong, independent ones. But from a more personal stance, I especially love reading about the NOT-so-strong ones, how they overcome their fears and struggles and eventually do become stronger… Because I just don’t really see the appeal in starting off with a protagonist who is already strong to begin with. Auri may be strong in terms of her (supernatural) capabilities, but when it comes to dealing with “life,” and “people,” that’s when I find writing her character most critical because I’m actually injecting some of my own experiences and I hope that I’m translating them in a believable manner.
Stumbled upon this badass piece of music today. I’m reserving it for an epic fight scene between Redric and Ilyam in Ragnorin, possibly atop rooftops…in the rain.
I just wanted to share something I wrote in response to a (partially negative?) review I recently got. The reviewer was basically dismayed that I had vampires in my story with implications to the currently blood-saturated market, if you will. I admit, I hadn’t been prepared for such…an intense…review. On the positive side, they did also point out very critical flaws and discrepancies I overlooked and I was truly grateful for the review in general (hence the partially). So below is what I wrote in response. I plan to only post on the workshop the first paragraph for relevancy’s sakes (the workshops about critiquing, not going on soap boxes after all).
I would just like to say that I found your review most helpful and thank you, by the way, for the preceding bit of warning (I mean that with all sincerity). You had some very valid points indeed and it was as if you had answered the small voice in my head because I was in fact aware of certain points in the chapter(s) where I questioned a lot of things, one of them being the “mysteries” surrounding Auri and what not and the seemingly illogical sequence of events. I just didn’t want my story to appear contrived and “scripted,” if you will, so I guess in my rush to get the story down, the “air of mystery” that I was shooting for was turning out to be more like a “suffocating shroud of darkness.” (^.^;) But as with any work in progress, it is…just a work in progress. That is, after all, why I’m in this workshop: to get constructive criticism so I can improve. Still, I’m delighted that I was, at least, able to pique your interest from the first chapter. From a newbie writer like myself, it means a lot when a stranger comes to care anything at all about my characters.
Now, about the vampire thing.
Though I do share similar views about the overwhelming saturation of vampires on the current market, I do think that there are authors out there who still haven’t had a chance to tell their stories. I agree, there are many recycled plots out on shelves now, traditional and otherwise, using vampires as literature devices, and it does make me cringe, trust me. (Especially in urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and erotica.) Not to put blame on anyone, but I can’t help but think that the explosion of the Twilight Series, the Vampire Diaries, and True Blood TV franchise really did and still does tarnish many a silver pen worldwide.
Personally, I became intrigued by the idea of vampires ever since I watched a Japanese novel-turned film entitled Vampire Hunter D many years ago, perhaps sometime in the mid-90s. I loved the concept of vampires then (and still do). Now, though, when I browse for books to read and encounter a synopsis mentioning vampires, I do two things. First, I get excited. Second, I get suspicious and then weary. Very, very weary. I wonder…Will it be another Vamps vs. Wolves fiasco? Will it be another team Edward vs. team Jacob shenanigan? Will it be some wild, bloody throe in the hay or goth-club ménage à trois? (Don’t ask how I got that last one) Trust me, I share your sentiments almost to the dot. My point is, the market is just that: a market.
Whatever fad is going on will soon die out and be replaced by another. So it may be vampires now, zombies tomorrow, and then angels the day after that, or all three within the next week/month/year, who knows. But there are dedicated readers out there who will not be phased by these fads. I know because I’m one of those readers. True, I’m sick and tired of reading microwaved plots or just ones that are really nonsensical and absurd. I can’t count how many times I’ve been disappointed with vampire novels out there, and having to deal with the frustration of having wasted my time. But I’ll still pick one up if it sounds intriguing and atypical enough for my tastes (which is very particular now, btw). Why? Because I’m willing to take the chance to immerse myself in a good story and I’ll never get tired of the vampire concept. Just like others won’t get tired of say, fairies. I know I’m not the only one out there feeling this way. It’s just a matter of taking a little longer in the searching/browsing process and sticking to authors who fancy one’s tastes. (I, for instance, personally can’t get enough of Kresley Cole’s IAD series.)
It’s tough writing a story when everyone else seems to already know how the plot goes, but I guess we live in an interesting time and the challenges that come with it may or may not be rewarding for those who are willing to take it up. Take space-opera for example, there are so many story possibilities that I personally think for the niche genre to die out, it would be akin to taking down all the stars in the universe that they are so set in. Look at the explosion of Star Wars and Star Trek. Aliens. Avatar. It’s amazing. And it’s because of their stories—they’re unique and they have substance and they mean something to people. But they’re all generally about space and aliens, essentially. Aren’t they just as fictional as Vampires? Witches? Dragons? The stigma surrounding vampires in particular is the result of the current, overrated fad in the market and media. So, like the unphased reader who chooses to plow through all the recyclables in search of that gem, why too, can’t the author strive for originality and go digging in their proverbial mines?
So you see, that’s the challenge. I think every writer who wants to write a meaningful story will realize the challenge of trying to create a story that 1) comes from their heart, 2) will impact their intended readers in a meaningful and positive way, and 3) won’t haphazardly retell a story that’s already been told. It can be done because it’s already happening…it’s just that book retailers are much like the news nowadays in that they only show you what they want to sell, and they like to make that money. And perhaps too many writers out there are too worried about the prospects surrounding this challenge that they end up putting their pen down. But it’s always nice when the ones that don’t fall prey to this intimidating road manage to capture an audience who were moved by the story they created and the characters they brought to life, no matter how small the theater. : ]
It turns out that my first ever submission to the OWW made Editor’s Choice. Though this is a very tiny, tiny accomplishment, I’m still thrilled either way. From what I’ve learned so far, encouragement is equivalent to feeding wood to a fire underneath dark clouds. Though my skin has yet to toughen considerably, I find that with these encouragements, they serve as a kind of armor and I’m so grateful for all the reviews I’ve gotten so far because I’ve already seen improvements in my writing.
As far as statuses go, I’m on Chapter Four now. I had a major break through and I even updated the title to a more befitting one. I’ve made a table chart and it’s really helped me out so far vice traditional outlining. I’ve found that the table cells prohibit me from writing too much detail. Instead, I’m forced to condense events in the plot which make them more simple to follow. The plot points are precise yet vague in between, so while I’m writing, I’m allowed room to stray yet not too much that I deviate from the major plot points. (Hope that even makes sense.)
It’s a Sunday evening now and I have house chores to tend to (the never-ending laundry and piling dishes), but I hope to return my reviews before the night ends. I hope I can encourage and motivate others as well to strive for improvement and to never stop writing in the process.