Why We Love Anime #40

anime archer

Showing you how awesome anime is…with amazing, incredible, super-detailed pictures!!!

It’s crazy how far the anime-style of art has penetrated society and our culture.  This image is absolutely stunning.  The “realisticness”, the colors, the expression…it’s almost too much to take in.  But I love it.  And that’s why I love anime.

#praiseGod


Like me as a blogger? Like the way I write?
Believe me, my books are way better than this post. If you really want to see the best I can do, check out my fantasy/anime series “The Golden Lands”. The first volume is free as an eBook (click here), or you can just read it in the form of “episodes” right here on my blog! Go to my page Embark on the Journey: Volume 1 Episodes for a complete list of episodes. I also post episodes every week, so look for them if you really want to experience the best I’ve got!

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Going Back To Your “Story Roots”

roots

If you’re like me, you’ve been writing for a LONG time.  Maybe since the time you were 7,8,9, 10 years old.  You came up with a bunch of different stories along the way.  Some of them would probably make you cringe now, some would make you laugh.  Maybe some of them would even make you feel proud.

All of that is definitely true for me.  I’ve got a big bin full of all my old, silly little stories.  Some of my current stories actually have similar themes or plots that can be traced back to the “books” I wrote when I was 9 or 10 years old.  It’s funny, and even inspiring, to realize how far I’ve come and how much I’ve grown as a writer since the time I wrote those stories.

But lately, I’ve been thinking about the significance of reconnecting with my “story-roots”.

Think about it.

Nowadays, people will applaud an author for creating a “realistic” character, “a clever, super-malicious” villain, and a “dark” or “intricate” plot.  We appreciate having characters that we can relate too; it’s annoying when a character is too perfect, or doesn’t stumble or fall throughout the story.  We also like super-bad villains, who are always “one step ahead” of the good guys.  And we like sophisticated plots, with a touch of exciting “darkness”, as presented by the villain.

But remember those stories you wrote when you were little?  What was the main character like?

He or she was probably more than just a “main character”; they were the hero.  They perfectly exuded your child-like (not childish) understanding of virtue and heroism.  They were truly outstanding people.

Sometimes, reconnecting with your story roots is good for your soul.  

Writing is an expression of the self.  It’s an art.  It requires us to reach deep within ourselves and pull something out, and portray that something in a way that is beautiful, logical, and even personal.  Nowadays, everyone is focused on creating those three things: a realistic character, a super-bad villain, and an intricate plot.  Thus, as we are directing all of our attention on creating a realistic character, a malicious villain, or a dark plot, what exactly are we doing to ourselves internally?

We’re tearing ourselves down, in a way.  Ask yourself a blunt, idealistic question: Why would I want to read about a main character—a hero—that is just like me?  Relatable heroes are great.  But why would anyone want a “real-latable” character, meaning, a hero that acts like a real person?

People are great.  But people also aren’t great.

Sometimes, I think it’s OK to feel a little sick of “relatable” heroes: heroes that fall and make mistakes, and are even okay with making mistakes…and even more mistakes.  Because I don’t want just “relatable” heroes.  I want ideal heroes.

I don’t need to see another person wallowing in the same problems and temptations and failures that I’ve fallen into.  I need a light, a hero that can show me how to act and who I should be.  I want to see someone living the way people should live, not the way people do live.  Maybe that sounds stupid, naive, and idealistic.

In the present time, as “grown-ups”, we reach inside ourselves for that dirty, impure, but realistic main character.  We also have to picture ourselves as the cruel, arrogantly clever villain.  We become more detached from our pure, childlike story roots.  We sacrifice our understanding of virtue so that we can have a deeper understanding of the dark side of humanity.  Doesn’t that sound a little unwise, insofar as spiritual formation goes?

That’s why I’m telling you to look at your first stories.glorious anime

The hero was truly heroic, wasn’t he?  He was simple.  He was “idealistic”.  Maybe he was too perfect.  But that says something about you, doesn’t it?  When you were little, you knew who you wanted to be, and who you should be when you grow up.

But nowadays, all writers can focus on is how people are.  And people aren’t always great.  Were disgusting, underhanded, cruel little creatures.  We’re always searching for power, for pleasure, or even for love…in all the wrong places.  And society has accepted this as “realistic, relatable” behavior.

Well, sometimes what we need is a douse of heroism.  A douse of childlike virtue and hope in what is right.  We need to reconnect with our childlike roots and rediscover who we should be, not just who we are.  If all writers simply focused on humanity as we are, how will we ever grow into what we should be?

I apologize if this was a naive post.  But it’s just something to think about.  Sometimes we need the realistic, but I think we shouldn’t lose sight of the ideal too.

Tell me what you think!


Like me as a blogger? Like the way I write?
Believe me, my books are way better than this post. If you really want to see the best I can do, check out my fantasy/anime series “The Golden Lands”. The first volume is free as an eBook, or you can just read it in the form of “episodes” right here on my blog! Go to my page Embark on the Journey: Volume 1 Episodes for a complete list of episodes. I also post episodes every week, so look for them if you really want to experience the best I’ve got!

Legacy of Truth is available for Pre-order NOW!!!

Check out Christy Nicholas’ new book!!!

Christy Jackson Nicholas, Author and Artist

After many months and many edits, LEGACY OF TRUTH is available for pre-order on Amazon! On sale for $0.99 now!

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Legacy of Truth is a prequel to Legacy of Hunger, but can be read as a stand-alone novel.

Gifted with a magical brooch, passed down in her family for generations, Esme finds herself isolated and ill in an unfamiliar land. Her sister plots to steal the family heirloom from her in order to exploit the magical powers for her own gain, and Esme must battle for survival of herself and those she loves.

*****

I write historical fantasy novels, mostly set in Ireland, and a contemporary romance based on my parents’ 30-year search for true love. Don’t miss information on Celtic myth and history, as well as practical travel planning tips, and hidden places, in my travel books.

– Better To Have Loved – Contemporary romance based on the true…

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Why We Love Anime #39

Anime magic

Showing you how awesome anime is…with gorgeous, surreal pictures!!!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything…so I thought a magical, colorful picture would be rather refreshing!


Like me as a blogger? Like the way I write?
Believe me, my books are way better than this post. If you really want to see the best I can do, check out my fantasy/anime series “The Golden Lands”. The first volume is free as an eBook, or you can just read it in the form of “episodes” right here on my blog! Go to my page Embark on the Journey: Volume 1 Episodes for a complete list of episodes. I also post episodes every week, so look for them if you really want to experience the best I’ve got!

What’s Wrong With My Story?

I think most people are used to seeing fellow bloggers talk about how great their stories are.  We’re all trying to sell ourselves (and our books).  It’s part of business; it’s part of being a self-published author.  And many self-published authors take to blogging, like yours truly.  And we use blogging to talk ourselves up.

But today, I’m going to layout what’s wrong with my series, The Golden Lands.  

Maybe I should cut myself some slack because I’m only in high school; but at the same time, that doesn’t matter to me.  don’t really care about how old I am, or how my age effects my writing.  No matter your age, your writing and plot-structure can and will most likely have flaws!

So, what are mine?


Names

First, let’s really take a brief look at the setting and plot of The Golden Lands, especially for those of you that aren’t familiar with the story.

We’ve got sixteen year-old John Hedekira, looking after his siblings after their parents randomly disappeared.  They live in a world of harmonious anarchy; there are no formal states of government.  However, there are also these things that run around and kill people, formally called Malam, but informally called Evil.

Yes, things are bizarrely simple in The Golden Lands.

I’m not sure as to whether I should consider the super-simplicity a flaw.  I made things weirdly simple for exactly that reason; to be weird.  For example, John’s brother is named Frater, and his sister is named Soror.

Know any Latin? Soror et Frater=sister and brother!

Malam (the race of evil bad dudes)=Evil

Virus (the race of men, pronounced veerus)=man

Femina (the race of women)=woman

Okay, so maybe some people might think this simplicity is lame, and I can see where you’re coming from.  So, my first flaw could be considered to be a lack of creativity in regards to names.


 

A “lonely” plot for the beginning of a story?

The plot that begins in Volume 1 and continues up until Volume 4 is this:

John’s home is attacked by a band of Evil (the race of evil bad dudes).  They leave him bleeding out in his home, and kidnap Soror and Frater.  John survives the attack, however, and is determined to get revenge and rescue Soror and Frater…but mostly get revenge.  He had a falling out with Soror and Frater right before the Evil invaded…so it’s mostly about revenge.

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John Hedekira bleeding out in his home.

So, what’s wrong with this plot?  All of this happens in the first chapter.  Sounds fast-paced and exciting, right?  Well, hopefully it is!

The issue is that some might consider this to be a “lonely” plot.  John doesn’t have very much character interaction until Chapter 5.  So, in spite of the fact that the plot is very fast paced (the first book is only about 80 pages long, so the plot has to be), it can feel a little sluggish and “lonely”.  What’s more, John is rather aloof and grumpy for most of Volume 1, so even when he does start making friends, the character interactions still aren’t as satisfying as you might want them to be.

Overall, I’d say another issue that people have with Volume 1 is it’s “lonely plot”.


Unrealistic “anime-feel”

Edward silly face

This was entirely intentional.  If you look at my blog, all of the pictures/covers are drawn as if they were anime.  That’s the way it is supposed to be.  The Golden Lands is a fantasy/anime series.  That being said, I think anyone can enjoy the story, whether you appreciate anime or not.  You just need to understand that, in anime, there are certain restrictions that anime characters are NOT bound by.

For instance, John becomes a really good swordsman very quickly.  He gets his butt kicked twice in the first half of Volume 1, and then he becomes a boss by the end.  Okay, so he’s a fast learner?  Not so much.  It has more to do with his anger.  He fights better when he’s angry (and there IS a reason for that).  But still, it’s a minor plot hole.

There are other things that might confuse people however, relating to anime.  For instance, anime characters can lose loads of blood and keep on fighting, or at least survive.  This definitely relates to how John is able to chase after the bad guys that stole Soror and Frater only a day after he nearly bleeds to death.

Also, random silly things happen all the time.  For seemingly no reason at all, anime characters can have their heads blow up when they’re angry, and the next moment their head will be attached and everything is perfectly fine.  I think you get the idea…random things happen, and you just need to accept that that is a part of anime!


Those are the main issues with Volume 1.  Overall, the book has received good reviews.  But I must admit my mistakes and encourage you to understand my flaws.  I also beg your pardon for them.  I do my best as a writer to create stories that you will all love…and I really hope that you do love them!  What more could a writer ask for?

Stay awesome!

Dominic (Aul)


Like me as a blogger? Like the way I write?
Believe me, my books are way better than this post. If you really want to see the best I can do, check out my fantasy/anime series “The Golden Lands”. The first volume is free as an eBook, or you can just read it in the form of “episodes” right here on my blog! Go to my page Embark on the Journey: Volume 1 Episodes for a complete list of episodes. I also post episodes every week, so look for them if you really want to experience the best I’ve got!

 

Why We Love Anime #38

Bleach pic

Showing you how awesome anime is…with epic, thought-provoking pictures!!!

A popular theme in anime is the personification of our inner battles.  Before the hero can become powerful on the outside, he has to defeat whatever is holding him back from within!


Like me as a blogger? Like the way I write?
Believe me, my books are way better than this post. If you really want to see the best I can do, check out my fantasy/anime series “The Golden Lands”. The first volume is free as an eBook, or you can just read it in the form of “episodes” right here on my blog! Go to my page Embark on the Journey: Volume 1 Episodes for a complete list of episodes. I also post episodes every week, so look for them if you really want to experience the best I’ve got!

Three Goals for The Golden Lands

thank you gif

So I saw that the WordPress.com Team was offering some free courses about how to become a better blogger.  The course “Branding and Growth” seemed like it could offer some valuable info, especially for a little self-publisher like me!

So Day 1 was about setting three goals for your blog.  Namely, ask yourself “Why do I blog?” and “What would my dream blog look like?”

For me, I blog because I like writing; because I want to connect with other writers, especially writers that enjoy anime; and yes, because I’d like to gain popularity for my book series.  What would my dream blog look like?  Oh, it’d be one of those blogs that has a couple thousand followers, with readers that are seriously engaged with whatever I write.  I’d like to be a steadfast blogger, posting several times a week.  And of course, if all of my followers were die-hard fans of The Golden Lands…That would be great too 😀

So, what are some goals I can set in order to achieve these (rather lofty) blogging dreams?

  1. I’d like to have 300 followers by the end of summer.  That seams reasonable enough, seeing how I have about 240.  Maybe that seems like a silly goal, but it’s something to work for, and it will definitely require work.
  2. I’d like to average ten “Likes” every post.  I don’t know if I’m quite there yet.  In my experience, gaining a desired number of “Likes” has to do with a) the content, of course.  People need to actually like what you wrote in order to “Like” it (or that’s how things should work). And b) timing is everything!  There are some hours of the day when it seems like my articles are just forgotten.  I’d like to blog smarter, not harder 😉
  3.  I’d like to establish a more vibrant community by reaching out and establishing firm, virtual relationships with other anime/otaku bloggers.  It’s the least I can do: contributing to other peoples’ blogs is just as important as building up my own!

Well, there you have it.  I hope I can reach my three goals.  If you like this idea of “Branding and Growth”, I’d recommend signing up for the course, or you can just take whatever advice you get from me.

Stay awesome!

Dominic (Aul)


Like me as a blogger? Like the way I write?
Believe me, my books are way better than this post. If you really want to see the best I can do, check out my fantasy/anime series “The Golden Lands”. The first volume is free as an eBook, or you can just read it in the form of “episodes” right here on my blog! Go to my page Embark on the Journey: Volume 1 Episodes for a complete list of episodes. I also post episodes every week, so look for them if you really want to experience the best I’ve got!