Tagged: anime lover

Finally! Real Neat Blog Award

I know I’ve been nominated for numerous awards by people and I’ve been doing a terrible job at participating.  I’ve been very busy with house work and graduation stuff and writing Volume 8 of my series. So I’d like to apologize for my absence.

I was nominated by Nicolle ( https://storiesofahsi.wordpress.com/ ) for this award. If you get the chance, check out her blog, she’s a great writer and has a deep sense of community.

So, on to the award.

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How it works:

Basically, you thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.  Then you answer the 7 questions of the person who nominated you, then you nominate other people and ask them 7 questions.

Here are Nicolle’s questions and my answers:

  1. What is your main inspiration as a writer? Which writers inspire you, and why do you write?

That is definitely more than one question! But it’s a good one. My main inspiration is wanting to influence the world and wanting to express myself to the world. Other inspirations would be the writers of my favorite stories, such as The Lord of the Rings, Fullmetal Alchemist, Mistborn, etc. I write because I want to and because it makes me feel alive, because I feel like I’m making a difference when I do so.

2. What is your favourite scene(s) from a book / movie / comic / any other media?

Another tough but good question. The end of The Two Towers when Sam is talking about how life is worth fighting for, and Rohan is simultaneously defeating Isengard, is definitely a good moment. Or Aang beating the Firelord in Avatar. Good moments.

3. What is your favourite book genre(s)?

This is actually an easy one. Fantasy all the way. I like the dark stuff to be honest, but anything with swords, magic, and lots of symbolism is my favorite.

4. What do you do to get into a writing mood before a writing session?

I listen to music that corresponds to the mood of what I’m about to write.  I usually prefer to write at a specific time of day, when my outside surroundings reflect the mood of my story.  To be honest, I feel like these are just the normal things a person might do!

5. Which character (from any media) would you be best friends with?

Harry Potter!  The more I read the Harry Potter series, the more I realize how similar I am to Harry.  I think we could be best friends because of how well we could relate to each other.

6. If you could travel anywhere in the world right now where would you go?

Hmm, another tough one! I’d say Ireland.  I’ve always wanted to go to Ireland.  Not sure why, I just have.

7.  What is one thing you truly regret on a deeply profound level and wish you could change? Or are you at peace with everything?

One thing I could change?  My opinion of myself.  It’s flawed.  I will say no more.


Thanks so much to Nicolle for her deep and interesting questions!  Once again, be sure to check out her blog here.

I Nominate…

Anyone who read this and wants to participate!  I know this might sound lame, but I’m going to ask you the same questions, just because they are so great.

For the sake of clarity, here are the questions again:

  1. What is your main inspiration as a writer? Which writers inspire you, and why do you write?
  2. What is your favourite scene(s) from a book / movie / comic / any other media?
  3. What is your favourite book genre(s)?
  4. What do you do to get into a writing mood before a writing session?
  5. Which character (from any media) would you be best friends with?
  6. If you could travel anywhere in the world right now where would you go?
  7. What is one thing you truly regret on a deeply profound level and wish you could change? Or are you at peace with everything?

Thanks so much for participating, I’m looking forward to your answers!

The Pros and Cons of Naming Your Chapters

I don’t know how many people actually read let alone NOTICE chapter names.  When I was younger, I thought J.R.R. Tolkien’s style of writing was the archetype for all fantasy writers (some would say it is), and this extended to his chapter names.  I was infatuated with the clever, descriptive, and even “noble” sound of his chapter names.

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An example of one of Tolkien’s chapter names

All of that being said, it’s interesting to note that chapter names are far less common nowadays.  Now, I’m no “writer-statistics-specialist”, so you can correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t see people giving their chapters names anymore.  I think this can be for a number of reasons (see the “Cons” part of this article).  But I believe one important reason is that readers don’t like long chapters anymore (or maybe they never did, and writers finally started making chapters shorter), and so now the average novel has twice as many chapters as a novel would’ve had fifty years ago.

Why does the number of chapters in a book influence whether or not they get names?  Well, who wants to waste all that time thinking up names for 25+ chapters?  Honestly, naming chapters that are between 6-9 pages long is annoying.

I’ve already started listing some cons, so let’s take a look at some pros.

Pros of Naming Your Chapters

What usually grabs your attention when you pick up a random book at a bookstore?  The colors of the cover, obviously the image of the cover…and maybe the name?!  Names are great because they have the power to incite certain feelings within the reader.  Obviously, the titles of books are able to do this, whether they elicit feelings of curiosity or excitement, but chapter-names have the ability to do this too.

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I stole this from Kristen Lamb’s blog because it’s so perfect.  Not sure where she got it.  I don’t deserve any credit.

Think about it.  Oftentimes, when we begin a new chapter, we are either continuing to write about an event that happened in the previous chapter, or we are opening up a new scene/new setting.  Chapter names are able to help us accomplish this; they give the reader an understanding of what’s going on, meaning that we don’t have to waste time explaining it to them.

Suppose you were reading a fantasy novel, and the story was changing from one setting to another.  Which arouses that fantasy-magical sort of feel?

Chapter 6

or

Chapter 6: The City in the Treetops

The second title makes you think of what?  Really huge trees, so big that they contain buildings?  Lots of crazy architecture?  Perhaps Elves, or other woodland creatures?

Seriously, names can make images and ideas EXPLODE into your mind.

Image result for elven cities in the trees

A simple chapter-title could make this image appear in someone’s mind

Chapter-names are also great for setting “the feel” of the entire chapter.  Consider these two titles.

Chapter 25

or

Chapter 25: The Final Battle

That first title doesn’t give any description concerning what’s about to happen.  That’s fine, if that’s what you want as the author.

But which title do you think makes the reader excited?  Which one sets the tone?  Which one makes the reader go: Oh my GOSH, this is it!!!

Image result for final battle pic

Could you make your reader excited in anticipation of something like this?

Names have power.  They are great for setting the tone and inciting feelings in the reader, feelings that you want them to have.

*Point goes to chapter-names*

The only other (main) reason I think chapter-names are good is because they give your book a sense of orderliness.  It’s convenient for readers to know in which chapter they last left off, and it helps them to remember in which chapter so-and-so dies/gets married/eats brussel sprouts/etc.

Cons of Naming Your Chapters

We’ve already determined that people like short chapters nowadays, so it might seem silly to name all 35 of your chapters, when they are each only 8-12 pages long.  Sometimes there isn’t enough action in each chapter to merit a name.  You don’t want to have chapters that are 3 pages long, and you get stuck naming them things like “No Honor, No Glory, Only Blisters in Unfortunate Places” (ahem, Inheritance by Christopher Paolini).

Also, naming your chapters also runs the risk of being too descriptive.  Ever read The Children Of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkien?  (probably not, because you’re not a nerd like me!)

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Well, this book by far has some of the WORST chapter names.  Three chapters were named: “The Death of (insert name of important character)”.

Great.  Well, we know that (insert name) dies.

If you don’t trust in your ability to name chapters well, don’t name them at all.  It’s better than being stuck with a name you don’t like, or a name that gives information away.

Another reason not to name chapters is a matter of taste.  If you think chapter names sound too “old”, then don’t have them.  If you want your story to be wrapped in mystery, or you have a story full of surprises, maybe chapter-names aren’t for you.

Remember how we decided chapter names give your story order?  Well, sometimes they can give your story too much order.  Chapters that are long (and long enough to merit a name) can end up becoming a story within a story; each chapter forms its own little short story within the book.

Image result for meme this is too long

image is not mine

If you strongly dislike this idea, and you prefer your chapters to run together, then maybe you shouldn’t have chapter names.  If you have a story where chapters are really only present to give your reader a break, then why waste time naming those chapters?

Elithius (my story) doesn’t have chapters with names, as of now.  I simply have too many chapters to name them all.  Also, there are plenty of surprises and plot-twists in my book, so I prefer to keep the element of surprise.  My story is fast-paced and really runs together; there isn’t time for each chapter to have “a story of its own”.  And there’s nothing wrong with that; that’s just how I want to “play my hand”.

When it comes to chapter names, how do you play your hand?


I hope this provided some helpful insight into whether you should name your chapters.  As always, I love to hear what you think.

What do you think?  Thoughts?

To Live The Dream

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When you wake up in the morning, what’s the first thing that comes into your head? What do you look forward to each day? What inspires you to rise?

As authors or bloggers seeking publicity, we all wake up each day, hoping that today will be better than yesterday. We have goals we are constantly pursuing, and we want to believe that each day, we are getting closer to those goals. HOPEFULLY, every day starts with hope.

So don’t let that hope be for nothing.

I am writing this to inspire you, but also to inspire myself. Don’t believe that anything can stop you, and nothing will. If your goal is to become a better blogger, don’t let your doubts get in the way. If you want to become a world famous author, why let the “odds” stop you? Life isn’t about gaining. It’s about giving something, and giving FOR something or someone. The funny thing is though, it’s only by giving that we are truly able to gain.

What are you willing to give to reach your goals?

I am a doubtful person. I am far from optimistic. I’ve had too much training in critical thinking and logic. Obviously, that can be a good thing. But when it comes to pursuing your dreams?

Screw logic. Screw the odds. Logic only exists because of mystery, because there are some things we CAN’T see coming or explain.  And odds were made to be turned.

Shatter the odds, upset the logic that says “you can’t”.

Tell yourself, “I can”, and then go do it.

 

Write.

PREACH

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It doesn’t matter how tired you are.  You still have to do it.  It’s more than just a hobby, it’s more than relaxation; it’s a discipline.  It’s an art.  And art requires practice and dedication.  You can’t just do it “when you’re in the mood”.  Because what if your mood doesn’t change for a few days?  A week?  A month?

Write.

You don’t need to write because you want to.  You need to write because you have to.  Life isn’t about doing whatever we want.  It’s about what we should do.  The key is to learn to love what we should do: to Want the Should.

Challenge yourself today and every day.  Write.  Not because you always want to, but because you realize–in order to reach your goals as a writer–you have to.  The dedication will help you in more ways than just your writing.  Trust me.

Cheers to writing!

What do you think?

Elithius 1.0

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Elithius is the new name of my fantasy series, which was previously called “The Golden Lands”.   “The Golden Lands” sounds too happy and peaceful, when, in reality, the story is a dark, fast-paced tale of vengeance, destiny, and supernatural powers.  Elithius is also the name of the universe in which the Golden Lands reside, and I thought that “Elithius” was a cooler, more epic name for my series.  So it all makes sense 😉

What’s the plot of Elithius?

Here’s my logline:

John Hedekira and his friends must track and rescue Cassie and Luke, John’s little sister and brother, before they can be taken and sacrificed to the God of Death by Nirak, the Red Captain.

Well, that’s the general plot of the first book.  Maybe that sounds too simple of a story, but there are plenty of obstacles in the way of John and his friends.  They have to fight the minions of the God of Death, John is being hunted by a serial killer, and the clock is ticking, hanging over their heads, a constantly reminding them that if they don’t save Cassie and Luke in time…well, then Cassie and Luke will be sacrificed to the God of Death.

I will admit, maybe the plot sounds a little TOO dark.  But the story has too many feel-good and silly moments for the overall FEEL to be dark and disturbing.  The plot is…intense, yes, but that doesn’t mean the story is some horrifying form of fantasy.

There’s still a lot of work to be done before I can present Elithius as a full-fledged novel.  I’m excited to reedit my work and get a new cover; my series is getting a total makeover!  It should be awesome by the time it’s finished 😉

Thoughts?  What do you think of my log-line?

Morning

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The clear morning air mixes with the soft mist of the stream.  Golden rays of the rising sun shyly pass through the leaves overhead and, amid the shade on the ground, dancing patches of vibrant light seem to sway back in forth as the trees are rustled by the whispering breeze.  The water of the stream moves smoothly over and around the rocks which fill the creek, their contact resulting in a gentle, bubbly laugh.  The noise is so serene, you wonder if it is really the sound of children playing nearby.

And you realize, after contemplating all of this, after feeling the water rushing over your hand, as you listen to the songbird sing without fear or interruption, as the sun washes you, gently telling you it’s another day…

…you realize that creation is an amazing thing.

It’s a beautiful world.


Good morning from Elithius/The Golden Lands!  Hope you have a great weekend!

You Won’t be able to “Write for a Living” Until You Need Writing to Live

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Writing to live, in the end, turns out to be an “all or nothing” endeavor, because it just won’t happen otherwise.  If you don’t put everything into your writing, into reaching your goal, you won’t ever reach it.  Nothing will be given to you.

If you try to publish traditionally, you’ll have to put everything into your writing through a contract.  Perhaps traditional publishing seems like an easier form of “all or nothing”, considering that “all or nothing” gets decided by your publishing company.  But it still requires your time, your heart, and your mind.

We self-publishing authors also know that we have to go “all out” if we want our writing to make it big time.  This is both the blessing and the curse of self-publishing.  In a way, like a big publishing house, we personally decide what “all or nothing” is.  But unless we are willing to spend buckets of our time (and even money!) promoting our story, networking, advertising, and networking even more, we’ll never make it big time.

And isn’t that what every author wants?   To have readers everywhere appreciating their work?

The bottom line is simple: if you want to write for a living, you need to make writing your life.  Are there any guarantees that your hard work will pay off?  No.  That’s what makes this endeavor scary.

Like I said, it’s all or nothing.  Are you willing to go the distance, knowing that you might not ever make it?

Are you willing to try?

Recently, I cancelled the self-publication of my series, The Golden Lands.  I needed to do some serious editing and “remodeling”.  Why?  Because it’s a necessary step to “going the distance”.  In order to gain ground, I am retreating on purpose.

I would encourage you to ask yourself some of the following questions:

Is my story where it needs to be?

What’s holding me back from promoting my story?  Are these reasons legitimate?

Am I not letting go of certain nuances in my story, simply because I’m personally attached to them?

How can I network better and reach out to readers?  Do I even want to try?

How much does my writing mean to me?   Who are some people I could reach out to for help in promoting my writing?

As aspiring world-famous authors, we need to work together to help each other achieve his or her goals.  Any thoughts or opinions would be greatly appreciated!  Please share your knowledge or your publishing experiences!

What do you think?