novel creations

acelaevateins  asked:

Sorry if this was already answered; I didn't see it on the blog so I figured I'd ask. I can make fully-fledged characters almost on the fly. Sometimes it's helpful but most of the time, I wind up with more characters than I can handle and eventually give up on the story they're in. How can I maintain a small main cast?

My first recommendation is that age-old hated writing advice: Kill Your Darlings. You just came up with a beautiful new character! She has 6 toes! She likes salsa (the sauce), salsa (the dance), Circe (the mythical Greek figure), and Cersei (the Game of Thrones character)! She wrinkles her nose when she’s embarrassed and has a penchant for thinking she’s right about everything! Great! I want to pinch her cheeks and make her nachos. The problem is, she’s the 8th in a cast that’s already falling apart.

Kill her. (Probably.)

I don’t mean narratively. I mean straight-up set her aside and tell her “sorry, this table’s full”. She’s great, and you love her, but it doesn’t matter if she doesn’t serve the story. Every single character you create MUST have a place in the story. They must serve the narrative. No matter how beautiful, funny, or cool they are, if they are making your story fall apart, they don’t deserve a place in it.

Now, a caveat. You’ve created Jane Darling who loves salsa and Circe, and you realize she TOTALLY has a place in this plot – in fact, she’s the answer to the problem in your current story that you’ve been worrying about all this time! In that case, obviously, keep her. Just make sure she actually is doing the work for you – and that all of your current characters are, too. If you read Tolkien’s drafts for Lord of the Rings, you’ll find he’s replacing or significantly changing characters left and right. Even an author with as huge a cast as Tolkien’s has to cut or switch out characters sometimes in order to keep the story tight enough to track (and there are lots of readers who will tell you he didn’t do it enough).

All that said, you’re the only one who can really decide which characters need to stay and which should go. If you get a good reader (and I recommend you do at some point in your journey – though many writers prefer not to utilize a reader until a first draft is done), they may be able to point you in the right direction. But it sounds to me like you are suffering from another, very common problem, which is novel fatigue. It’s so easy to drop a novel. There are too many new ideas waiting. You don’t know for sure where it’s going. Things feel out of control. You don’t have enough time. And on. And on.

If you are serious about finishing a story, you’ll have to take another piece of hated age-old advice, which is: just do it. Just sit, every day, until you’ve written SOMETHING, even if you know you’re going to end up deleting what you came up with. Or just sit, every day, and think about your story for one full hour, whether anything gets written or not. There are lots of strategies, but the bottom line is that you have to interact with your story daily until it is done, however long that takes. You have to set aside newer ideas who’s newness is appealing (because you’ve thought about the old ideas for a YEAR and there’s no way they are going to sound exciting and new to you even if they sound awesome to every potential reader). You have to say no to friends and activities. You have to actively say, “I want to and am going to finish this.” Over time, sometimes a long long time, the other problems, like cast size, will become smaller, until they are relatively insignificant.

Some practical helps along the way, however: 

Consider a novel-writing software, like Scrivener. These are created to help you keep track of characters and plot points.

A wall covered in sticky notes goes a long way.

A folder for new ideas (in your case new characters) that aren’t presently useful goes a long way, too. Kill Your Darlings, but give them a chance to rise from the dead some other day.

I hope this helps. I know novel writing can easily become unwieldy and overwhelming, but I believe in you!

9

We all know this government would never acknowledge the first human birth in 18 years from a fugee. A wanted fugee. Why don’t we explain to Mr. Faron what they do to immigrants in this country?

Children of Men (2006), Dir. Alfonso Cuarón | DoP Emmanuel Lubezki 

Hi all!

Just wanted to let you know that I am working on a whole series of books with an autistic main character. His name is Atticus McLaren and he is a museum tech/amateur detective. He’s about 90% me (personality wise anyway) and it feels really great to write. The books are short, cozy mystery style books and are more adult oriented. I’d say PG-13 as most of the crime stuff takes place off-screen, so to speak. So, if you’re looking for more autism representation, check them out! 

Murder at the Museum 
Digging for Skeletons

Volume 13 “Nia’s Creation” is set to be released October 15th! Here’s the summary:

Make the 9th Spirit, the otaku manga artist—Nia fall in love!?

Shidou met the 9th Spirit—Nia at the side of the road collapsed in hunger. in order to make Nia fall for him, Shidou had to go on an otaku date with her but………[I———have only fallen in love only in 2D], an impactful truth was brought to light———!?

Reinterpreting the Elemental Pentagram

The pentagram is just a five pointed star. If it appears in a circle then it can be called a pentacle. It can be aligned with a central point upward or downward or to the side, whatever suits. Fundamentally the pentagram is just a beautiful geometric shape to which meanings can be associated.

There is a traditional set of pentagrams that map the four elements of fire, water, air, and earth to the four lower points and spirit to the topmost point.

Little explanation is given to explain why these elements are assigned these positions. One popular explanation is that these follow a clockwise rotation about the center of the pentagram following the order of the elements: Spirt > Fire > Air > Water > Earth. This corresponds to “weights” of the elements in that Spirit is the most subtle, heat/fire rises in air, water falls in air, and earth sinks in water.

If this is the principle for the pentagram’s construction, then we might guess that invoking/banishing pentagrams could correspond to traversing the pentagram clockwise/anticlockwise starting and returning to the element invoked or banished. So banishing earth would originate at the Earth point and start by moving up to Water while invoking earth would start at Earth and move up to Spirit. This is a perfectly workable system, but it is not the traditional system.

The traditional system is quite surprising in many regards and suggests that the explanation for the elemental positions is not as normally described. Shown below are the traditional associations of elemental pentagrams for banishing.

The invoking pentagrams use the same line segments as the banishing pentagrams, only reversed. So banishing Earth starts in the point assigned to Earth and moves up to Spirit while the invoking Earth pentagram starts in Spirit and descends to Earth along the same line. What is more, the Air and Water pentagrams stand in an opposing relationship where Banishing Air is the exact same pentagram as invoking Water. Finally, and perhaps most surprising, is that two paths are left for spirit pentagrams and neither of these start or end on the spirit point. The path originating in Earth is termed Spirit Passive while the path originating in Fire is Spirit Active.

These pentagrams have horizontal symmetry that does not suggest a circular motion or interpretation. Air and Water stand in an opposite relationship and Earth and Fire stand in another sort of opposite relationship. Spirit seems to have an opposite relationship to itself!

A possible explanation for this configuration can be found hidden in the best known pentagram ritual, the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. In this ritual we find the elements corresponding to the compass directions with Air in the East, Fire in the South, Water in the West, and Earth in the North:

Here we find Air/Water in opposite quarters. Air associated with the intellect and water with the emotional. Fire is positioned as energy and change while North is the created, the actual. In order to transform this compass layout into the pentagram above, fire needs to descend to the Earth. This is the transformation from the divine creative fire to fire taking on its destructive characteristics. Earth is destroyed and takes on characteristics of death. This transformation is visualized as an impulse running down the path from Fire to Earth. The path is split and leaves an empty void in the upper location which is the position of Spirit.

This explains the elemental pentagrams. Air and Water stand as balanced opposites and so their paths are symmetrical for invoking/banishing. Fire and Earth stand in the same relationship, but because of the fall of fire they bear this relationship through Spirit, not directly to each other.

This explanation so far tells us only about these three paths of the pentagram. The paths of spirit haven’t been addressed yet. To explain their origin we need to go back farther and reveal paths that were not shown previously.

Originally there is the divine fire, pure chaotic creation without bounds. The divine fire finds its pair when it creates that which can receive and guide a further process of creation. This is the fundamental nature of water. As creation of the divine fire flows through the process of water it creates a pattern that is the process taken as an integrated unity. This integrative and unifying property is the fundamental nature of Air.

The next step is within the pattern there arises a new creation. This is emergence. It is the power of process and pattern to give rise to novel creations that display natures beyond what was originally put in. This is the fundamental property of Earth.

This yields the compass configuration of the elements discussed previously. Now we see that there are paths that around the outside of the figure as well. These will form the spirit paths of the pentagram.

Showing the process of division discussed previously, now with the additional paths, suggests the splitting of Earth after the descent of fire produces not a pentagram but a pyramid.

The familiar pentagram is a variation on this same picture, simply with a twist at the bottom.

The paths in blue and yellow are the paths employed in the spirit pentagrams passive and active. The path shown in green, connecting fire and earth, is the path representing the fall of fire. It is the union of the active and passive aspects of spirit.

When invoking spirit it is best to invoke both passive and active. First invoke passive, starting in earth and up towards water and around to Air, Fire, Spirit and back to Earth. Now draw the path from Earth to Fire and invoke spirit active through Air, Water, Earth, Spirit and back to Fire. The result should be that this allows for a union of Fire and Earth, a reversal of the fall and allowing spirit to become the divine fire once again.

Questions for OC RPers!

Send a number to learn more about my OC, writing process, and the relationship between the mun & muse:

1. How long have you been RPing your OC?
2. What was your original inspiration for creating your OC?
3. What aspect(s) of your OC’s creation are you particularly proud of?
4. What is one thing you don’t like about how your OC developed?
5. Was your OC adapted from another medium/form of writing of your own original creation (a novel, an RPG, LARP, etc.) or did you create him/her specifically for RPing on Tumblr?
6. Has your OC changed/grown over time? If so, what can you say about their development? Has he or she changed for the better, or for the worse?
7. Did your OC have a good relationship with his or her parents? Has this positive or negative relationship influenced the type of person your OC ultimately became?
8. Does your OC have any phobias? If so, why did you choose to give them those phobias?
9. Is your OC human? If so, is he or she tolerant of other races? If not, what is his or her opinion about humans?
10. Do you like your OC as a person? If he or she was real, would you want to be friends?
11. Is your OC easy for you to write, or very subject to your current mood and writing motivation?
12. Would you ever consider writing a book about your OC? If you already have, would you ever consider publishing it?
13. Are there any canon characters you would love to see written with your OC, but you haven’t yet or cannot find a mun who writes that character?
14. What is your OC’s darkest secret and why does he or she choose to keep it a secret?
15. What motivates your OC in life? Name one very strong driving conviction he or she has about something.
16. Does your OC have any magical powers?
17. Is your OC skilled with any weapons?
18. What was your OC like as a child?
19. Who means the most in the world to your OC?
20. What is one regret your OC has, or what is something about which he or she feels incredibly guilty?
21. Is there anything that would make you want to stop writing/RPing your OC?
22. Are you sentimentally attached to your OC?
23. Does your OC have any pets, or does he or she love any particular species of animals? Are there any animals he or she hates? If so, why?
24. During the writing process, does your OC feel “alive” with motivations and opinions of his or her own that sometimes disagree with your plotting ideas, or do you find it very easy to direct your OC into any situation you want while writing?
25. If you could give your OC one compliment and one piece of constructive criticism, what would they be?

How to Write a Novel: Day 4

Hello there! I’m glad to see you are still with me. If you’ve made it this far you have completed your very first step into the world of novel creation. You are awesome!

Originally posted by davidhdza

Now! we are going to get to the most complicated and oft overlooked/ignored part of working on a novel…planning.

Bum! Bum! BUuuuuuum!!


(that was dramatic music, not a short ode to my love of boot, jsyk)

Anywho!

So, you are inspired. You want to write this amazing story about whatever bits and blurbs you have thought up and you are absolutely sure that it is going to be everything that it is going to be incredible. In fact you are already planning your acceptance speech for the many many awards you are going to receive and have planned where you are going to spend those hundreds of thousands of dollars  that people are going to throw in your direction the moment that the novel you pen today hits the shelves. Or, if you are anything like me you are already questioning your life choices and are telling yourself that no one wants to read a story about X,Y, and Z, especially if it was written by you. Or some maddening conglomeration of the two extremes.

Either way, you sit down, open up your word processor program of choice and you get down to business. And then the worst thing that could possibly happen totally happens. That blank white page stares up at you. All that inspiration you worked so hard to cultivate decides to take a vacation or you become absolutely overwhelmed by the question that haunts every writer at one time or another:

Where the hell do I start!?!

Originally posted by tangledwithadam

Or, maybe your grasp on the concept of the story was so awesome that you got the first ten, twenty, or fifty pages into your story and you completely lost your way. The theme got lost somewhere and the plot is a distant dream that you hope you can hammer out before you loose all hope and decide this is the literary equivilant of a hopeless snarl.

This, my dears, is why you PLAN.

I don’t want to sound like the cliche insufferable know-it-all. But I can tell you that this happens and it sucks and the only thing that is going to get you through this is the tedious but incredibly helpful task of planning.

According to the plan that I have written for this little “How To” guide, this is going to take about seven days to cover. A week dedicated to nothing but taking your inspiration for this novel and turning it into a strategy guide for your literary success.

NOTE

This is not necessarily a blueprint. You aren’t building a house, you are making a creative attempt at turning the gifset of your imagination into a full fledged daydream printed out on paper that other people can hallucinate to. Okay? There is going to be a lot of give-and-take where your story is concerned. You can have the best plot-by-plot, chapter-by-chapter outline that there ever was and somewhere half way through your writing your MC will decide they want to be a different gender, or go by a different name, or may even wanna be two people rather than one. The writing process is organic and subject to change at the whim of your imaginary friends.

You, as an author, are going to have to learn to roll with that, and play with that. But the best way you have of keeping yourself on track and not getting lost is through planning.

So! Day One of the planning process!

Write a short synopsis of your story.

A synopsis, according to my creative writing teacher (and google):

conveys the narrative arc, an explanation of the problem or plot, the characters, and how the book or novel ends. It ensures character actions and motivations are realistic and make sense. It summarizes what happens and who changes from beginning to end of the story. 

A synopsis should be around two pages long for the average novel. About 500 words that lays out the main plot of your story. I will be placing my synopsis for my mermaid story below the break at the very bottom of this post in case you want an example.

This is NOT the same thing as a synopsis that you might send to an agent or an editor. That is a full synopsis and covers a lot more ground. This one is just for you and it’s to help you take those little bits and pieces of scenes that you have in your head and lay them out in front of you so that you can see the meat of your story from beginning to end.

What your synopsis should cover:

  • Your Main Character(s) and their motivations
  • Your setting
  • The conflict
  • The resolution


What your synopsis should not cover:

  • Subplots
  • Questions
  • Secondary/Tertiary characters

Keep this concise. 500 words isn’t all that much when it comes to your novel and all this is supposed to do is help you make sure you have a CLEAR IDEA for your story.

So the question becomes: What do you do if you don’t have a clear idea? Wht if you start writing your synopsis and you realize that you have a blurb, a description, but not a synopsis. That’s okay. Don’t panic, you can fix this.

Originally posted by durchdiegalaxis

To fix this all you have to do is read over your plot and figure out where the holes are. Maybe you are lacking a nice story arc for your character. Maybe they aren’t totally ready for the task they have to complete and something in the beginning has to push them. Maybe they are injured during the course of their mission. Maybe your romantic pairing needs to have a little more problems before they admit their love. Maybe your setting needs a little more realization.

Then again, maybe you have too much. It’s okay if your story synopsis goes over 500 words, but if you are approaching 1000 then maybe you might need to reign yourself in. This is one book, not an entire saga. Remember that too much going on can confuse readers and you may need to omit some things. Also, remember, this is not the place for subplots, just the MAIN STORY.

Just look it over, and see if you can expand upon what’s there. Then get ready for day two of planning.

Mermaid Story synopsis below:

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