Sunday, October 31, 2010

The beginning of a novel

So, as the clock slowly ticks down the final hour of freedom before the beginning of NaNoWriMo, I want to take a moment to once again go over the insanity of the coming month.
First off, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. You write a 50,000+ word novel in 30 days, beginning midnight November 1st and ending 11:59 November 30th. That averages out to 1667 words per day, or approximately 6.667 pages per day at 250 words per page (what you typically see in a trade paperback).
This is the first year I am actively partaking in NaNo, and I will updating *coughs* okay, procrastinating on here and the NaNo forums.
The title of the novel I'm going to write is tentatively Dragon Dance, and if you keep a watch on this blog, I'll be revealing some nice little tidbits about the story and characters. I'll start out with the main character.

Age-approximately 21
Main Character of the story
Likes- Foxes, spicy food, spices, meat
Dislikes- Anything sweet, pigeons, birds, masks, pigeons, waking up early, bright lights, pigeons
Has Ornithophobia, especially around pigeons

The name of the city where everything happens is Alra. The world is based mostly on our wonderful world with a few modifications, most noticeably is the inclusion of random magical and supernatural aspects. And laws that allow the wielding of weapons in public.

The tentative rating on this story is  going to be a little higher than my normal stories, I typically say 13+, but this time around I'm going 16+ just to be on the safe side. I'm not entirely certain how it will turn out, hence the upped rating, but we'll have to wait and see how it all turns out!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

NaNoWriMo Looming

So, you've by now heard me banter on and on about NaNoWriMo and the greatness it encompasses. Well, with only 11 and a half days left until the grand opening, I figured that it was time to start getting things in order.

First off, the title-
This year's NaNoWriMo piece is officially title...
Dragon Dance

Second, the character-
All I'm giving you is this song and the fact that he wears a mask.

Third, the story-

... in other words, I'm not entirely certain what's going to happen with it yet. All I can tell you is that it is full flight action with fantasy elements mixed into it. I'll be releasing some story info as I write it, I should have the icon for the "cover" done within the next couple of days.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

How to finish a novel

When asked, "What are you planning to do with your life?" I typically say right away, "I'm trying to publish a novel."
There is a slight problem that I have run into in the process of getting a novel published, and that is finishing the blasted thing. As stated in previous blogs, the novel I'm currently working on is Resonance. I started it back in my Junior year of college as a nice little short story about this character who stupidly goes searching for something and ends up in a very bad situation (trying to avoid spoilers for those of you who don't want them). Now, it has progressed into a 4 part novel. Part One, Divergence, is based off this short story. So far, it appears that the actual length of Divergence is going to be well over 90 pages, when it was originally planned to be a 20 page prologue to the rest of the story. The storyline progresses happily along through the first about 30 pages of Part Two, then falls into the abyss of the unfinished novel. I have managed to get a few glitchy scenes in Part Two done, but it desperately needs fleshing out. Part Three and Part Four (I haven't figured out where the dividing line is between them just yet) are in a constant state of growth and flux. Parts One and Two really are mostly done to ease the reader into the world of Resonance, and Part Three is where everything starts to really come together. However, this is a problem, as the rough idea that I had for the last two parts of the book is going through an overhaul.
And the sad thing is, I already have the end scene and the epilogue written. So, I guess at least I know where the story will eventually manage to end. I just need to get there, and I need to get there soon.

In other news, my NaNo story is currently up in the air. So, to my friend and rival in NaNo over at By The Dwindling Moonlight ( you should all go check out his blog so he has to write more of them :D ) I am not cheating the NaNo rules, as Agni was only created a couple of weeks ago, and I will be thinking of a very good restaurant that I want to eat at when I have the largest word count come the end of November.

Look forward to a few Flash elements beginning to make their way onto the website, as well as a map and some images from Resonance as soon as I actually get the time to work on them, life has been pretty hectic recently between school, work and extra-curriculars such as finishing Resonance.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Of NaNoWriMo and other such fun subjects

We're already a week into October, meaning that we only have about 3 weeks left until the start of National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo! For those of you who have never heard of this delightful event, stop on over to and check it out.

Here's a quick synopsis of the event:

You have from midnight November 1st to 11:59 pm November 30th to write a 50,000 word novel. You can add to a previously existing story, but just typing up something you already wrote doesn't count. You can, however, build your plot, characters, storyline, magical systems (a certain friend of mine is forcing me to create a new one) etcetera before you actually lay pen to paper and begin writing your story.
The breakdown of word counts on a day-to-day basis in order to complete the event is:
1667 words per day, or 6.667 pages per day at 250 words per page.

What does this mean for my other stories, namely Resonance?
I'm still going to be working on them. Which means that my goal for November is no fewer than 10 pages per day. Which is going to be very interesting, to put it kindly, but is definately achievable!

There are a few of my friends and fellow Sigma Tau Deltans who will also be attempting to conquer this mountain of literary madness, so if you want to follow or join the fray, check out the Theta Zeta Sigma Tau website ( next Monday for more information on a NaNo support group I'm creating!

Also, keep an eye on the website for Flash applications that will be appearing probably some time around the end of the month (before I start NaNoWriMo), mostly as readers for the short stories I'm putting up. I may even be putting up a small album of pictures of characters and Binds from Resonance. If you're wondering what a Bind is, well, you'll just have to wait and see! I've got the first one partially done, now I just have about 30-40 more to plan out and draw. Those few of you who know what a Bind is, don't tell the others!

Monday, October 4, 2010


Well, after a couple of weeks of bothering everyone about if they would prefer to read a stand alone book or the first book in a series, the final decision is stand alone book (although it does have something to do with the overall plot of the entire series. So, I'll be starting out with Resonance, formerly known as Winds of Twilight (title changed because everyone thought it was a fanfic of the Twilight series, which made me cry. A lot.)

So, what is Resonance about?

The shortest way I can describe Resonance is that it is a story that questions what dreams really are. It is a fantasy novel set in a modern society, there is lots of magic, supernatural abilities (I differentiate between the two in my novels), awesome machines called Sky Dolphins, and a huge tram system. Over the next few weeks, I'll put up a couple of sketches of some of the maps and features pertaining to Resonance for your viewing pleasure.
But, that is only the base world. There are numerous worlds in the novel, one of which you can read about in the short story on the website (here's the link).

So, if you're interested, check it out!
Also, don't forget, I have a Formspring page, and no one has asked me any questions yet!

Friday, October 1, 2010

What creates a character


The defining element to any story. Without good characters, even the best woven plot-line will fall flatter than a soufflĂ© . If one is to create a good character, one must have access to certain tools. I'm now going to share some of my secrets to creating a good character.

1.) Don't be afraid to describe.
  There is nothing I hate more than an author just throwing a character out as the typical stereotyped hero/heroine, without even giving them a proper description. Especially in novels that do not include graphics of any sort, descriptions are a must. Give your character at least a general outline, and one focus. Most of us are not stunning models, nor are all of your characters, but we all have some distinguishing feature, such as an odd eye color, an odd hairstyle, things along those lines.

2.) When in doubt, sketch it out.
  Sometimes, we have a hard time imagining our characters. Even if you've never managed to draw anything more than a stick figure, just having a visual of your character can help you gain a mental image of them. And if you're really in to drawing, there is no reason as to why you shouldn't have sketches of your characters populating your workspace.

3.) There is a lot to a name.
  Names are a defining feature to a character. One of my favorite sites to search on if I'm looking for a name with a specific aspect is Behind the Name, a resource of names from just about every ethnic origin you can think of, and some you wouldn't think of. It is a great reference especially if you are looking for name origins, and the companion site Behind the Surname gives great info about surnames. Don't just name a dog "Rover" because you've heard of dogs being named that, think about the origins of the name, and what the word "rover" actually means.

4.) When writing fantasy, make the characters fantastic
  As with the description, this takes it one step further. A common misconception that is unfortunately propagated by misuse of cliche characters is that all fantasy novels are set in some form of a medieval world with Humans, Elves, and Dwarves all wielding weapons of awesome power, fighting evil dragons and orcs and wizards to free the good races from oppression. There are so many stereotypes that I could probably do an entire post ranting about them, which may come at a later date. However, here is where we break the stereotype and explore new realms. Think of a character who isn't an Elf or a Dwarf or Human. Try to show what they look like. If you have a fondness for a particular animal, perhaps base your character on that animal. Create a new race, don't just stick to the classics. Or rename the classics without any reason.

5.) Don't be afraid to develop
  I've seen far too many characters who have so much potential end up falling flat because there is no development to their personalities through the story. Make sure that you have something in your story that makes your character evolve. We don't go through real life without changing ideals, finding a new goal, or even deciding to forgo the our favorite chocolate cake in favor of a new flavor. You don't want your character to simply remain stagnant, never changing their ways. Give your character character!

6.) The most important part
  Be unique. This ties in to the above five concepts. Combine it all together, and create a character that no one has ever seen before.