Saturday, November 11, 2017

A Wattpad Experiment

Hey guys!

Yes, I know... it's been awhile. I'm not continuing with the blog just yet, but I made an exception for today.

 A couple months ago, I decided to try out a website called Wattpad. Basically what happens is you can write stories and publish them without any cost, and people can vote and comment on your stories. I've discovered so far that it's been very helpful as far as receiving feedback.

At first, like the introvert I am, I was afraid to publish anything. "What if it sounds stupid?" "What if people don't like it?" "What if they say it's awful and I should never attempt to write ever again?"

But then, I remembered. I wasn't writing for all those people sitting behind their computer screens, just waiting to criticize... I was writing for me, and more importantly, I was writing to glorify God.

So now, I'm currently publishing, chapter by chapter, a fantasy novelette called The Prince's Angel that is sort of an accompanying prequel to my WIP (work in progress, for those who don't know author lingo.) If you want to check it out and read it and vote on it, please do! I'd love to hear more comments/ tips/ thoughts about the story... it really helps with development and plotting!

Here's the link:

Enjoy your weekend, and keep on writing!

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

A Few Changes

Once again, I apologize for not being very regular with my posts. But the reason I am posting today is that a few changes are going to take place with the blog pretty soon. Don't panic; they're good changes!

The first is that I will be gone for two months, from August through September, so I will be taking a break from the blog. I plan to continue the blog in January or February of next year, as I need to finish high school by the end of 2017.

The second change is that I'm also considering moving my blog from Blogger over to Wordpress, as I've heard that Wordpress's format is more reliable and there's less hassle involving posting. 

So that's about it! I do plan to keep blogging at some point, but we'll just see how that goes for now.

Thanks for following this blog, and I'll be posting again sometime in the near future :)

Here's a gif of Spiderman to make you feel better!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Writer's Essentials You Should Carry with You this Summer

Chances are, if you're a writer, you're jumping at the prospect of summer and beside yourself with joy that you'll have so much more time to write now! Or maybe you're bemoaning the fact that your summer just filled up with barbecues and social events and vacations, and now you won't have ANY time to write.

Well, don't start crying or binge-watching Netflix yet, because I'm going to show you how you can still write this summer even if you're busy, and what kind of things you should carry with you to make that happen.

First of all, let's get something out of the way. You might be thinking, "But, I never have any free time! How am I supposed to keep up with writing when I never stop moving?"
Good question. Here's the answer: You always have time.

Oh, don't give me that blank stare, you know what I mean. The hours you spend on Facebook and YouTube? Excellent writing time. All those shows that you HAVE to keep up with? Also great writing time. Taking a five-hour plane ride to visit relatives? Get writing! Waiting at the gas station or in line at the bank? Perfect opportunity. And while you may argue, "How do I write on the go when I don't carry a notebook with me?"
Also a valid question, to which I would say "Carry a notebook anyway." If you don't prefer that, you have your phone... use it to take notes!

The bottom line is, if we (yes, I included myself in that statement) want to get better at writing, we need to be proactive about MAKING time to write. And if you can't make time... then just hop in your TARDIS and rewind your day. Or have Barry Allen change the timeline for you. (JK, please don't ask Barry to do that, he's already messed up enough.)

And, moving on to the specifics of helpful writer's things to carry with you...

Items to Have in Your Bag

1. A good book
I don't know about you, but there's little else quite as satisfying as sprawling outside on the grass in the shade of a tree, reading your favorite book. And even if you're so busy you barely have time to SIT DOWN, much less read, you can still do that! Just carry one with you in your bag and take it out on the go or when you have some time to kill. Plus, it beats playing Candy Crush on your phone any day. Just, please don't read in your car. That could be disastrous.

2. Your phone and earbuds
When used as an item for writing, the smartphone has several functions, which includes, but is not limited to:
*Taking notes
*Recording audios and lines of dialogue
*Googling something for research purposes
*Taking pictures if you see something cool or inspirational
*Listening to music
(And no, it's not for playing games when you get bored, you dollop-head.)

3. Your laptop and extra USB drives
Now, it may be hard to carry around a laptop in your purse (unless your purse is the literal Time Vortex), so this isn't exactly necessary. However, if you're venturing out with the sole purpose of writing somewhere that isn't your house (and if you do so, I applaud you), then the laptop is not only necessary, but required. Unless...

4. A notebook
...unless you're one of those writers who likes jotting things down on paper rather than typing, in which case a notebook would be ideal. A notebook is easier to cart around, so that's a plus. You may also find notebooks handier to map out backstory, chapters and story-lines with, rather than having your plot scattered on different documents on your laptop.

5. Pens and pencils (colored or plain)
These are obvious writing tools, but some people prefer one over another. I like pens (especially blue ink) because the pen writes more smoothly. But, if you're constantly rethinking and erasing, pencils may work better. And if you're an artistic person who likes to draw their characters, then colored pencils are great! You'd also need a sketchpad if you're going to sketch out portraits or your fantasy-world map.

6. A snack and water
Because writers get hungry too! (And there's nothing worse than being hungry when you're writing.)

7. A bag, obviously
Literally any type of bag will do... designer purse, backpack, satchel, book bag... whatever is the most comfortable for you!

 So now that you know the essentials... time to be adventurous and get out there! Find a quiet spot to think and relax (or a noisy spot if you like that better) and just start writing. You'll never write if you don't start somewhere.

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Sunday, June 4, 2017

More Types of Female Action Characters (Part 2)

Continuing on from my previous post, here are some more examples of how you can debunk these cliche characters. Enjoy!

7. The Mechanic Gal 
This is the woman who is surprisingly good at fixing cars and machinery and puts the male protagonist's skills to shame. She usually wears cargo shorts and a tank top and puts her hair in a ponytail.

This is one of the better ones, but... I think it could still be improved. How about the woman who's not afraid to get dirty no matter what she's wearing? Or maybe she works a day job at a salon giving manicures and carries an extra wrench or two in her purse, just in case, then works on cars at night, giving free tune-ups to people who can't afford it. Remember, don't be afraid to ditch the normal. 

8. The Alien Chick
She's the super hot, serious alien girl with sick powers. Her parents abandoned her when she was little, and she therefore feels like an outcast. Most likely lives on her own and has no friends. There are very few limits to her physical abilities and she never wants help from anyone, especially the male protagonist. 

I would say make her human, but if she's alien, then that may not work so well. Okay, well, aliens have feelings, too. And if you're going to make her have powers, just... pick something obscure. We kinda don't need any more characters with super speed or super strength or anything with the word super in front of it. I'll be doing a post later about some cool, unique powers for your superhero- I mean, genetically enhanced persons. 

9. The Wise Matron
The all-knowing, always-right older lady who walks with a cane or visible limp and provides advice to the younger females about which man they should inevitably marry. Oh, and some advice about saving the world, too.

Yes, this woman should be a mentor, but don't expect her to have all the answers. Just because she's old, doesn't mean she knows everything. But I honestly love older females because they're so. Freaking. Awesome. Who doesn't love a woman who looks like their grandma, can bake cookies like nothing you've ever seen, and handles kids like a pro? (And I'm still waiting for Rick Riordan to write a book about an old granny who goes on a quest armed with her knitting needles and an uptight teen who makes sure she takes all her pills on time.)

10. The Shy Damsel
She's bashful and comes across as terrified and helpless in the beginning, but later breaks out some mad skills that end up saving everyone's hides. Presumably, she is also liked by the male protagonist, feels grossly unqualified and unattractive, and constantly undermines her talents.

First of all... I just wanna slap these characters and say "GURL, you are not worthless!" Plus, these kinds of characters can be tiresome to read after awhile if they're constantly doubting their worth, despite their friends telling them they're not. And for Pete's sake, don't have them saying "I'm not pretty enough." PLEASE. Give them self-confidence in one area or several; like, they're perfectly fine with their singing abilities or how they look, but they're not sure about their crime-fighting skills, or they don't think they could help in the medical ward because they hate blood. Substance is everything. 

11. The Silent Asian Woman
This is the female who knows martial arts down to a T; karate, kung fu, judo, you name it. Also painfully serious, almost never smiles, and has had a bad background... we think. Nobody really knows her history. Yep. Agent May much?

Nowadays, when I see this one, I just cringe because it's so worn out. Seriously, Asian women aren't the only people who know martial arts. How about an African-American woman who does kickboxing, or a Brazilian who excels in jiujitsu? There are many ways to get around this one, you just have to look for them. (This doesn't negate the fact that Agent May is still awesome.)

12. The Brooding Spy 
Key word here: overused. Need I say more?
OK, if you insist. These are the female characters who used to be cool in the beginning, but now they just grate on our nerves. They don't appear to care about anybody, because they've cared too much in the past, and this makes them hard and callous. They just have too much angst and stuff, and for some reason, they choose to go around humorless until someone asks them what's wrong, and they reply with "Nothing." 

Really? I understand that people deal with pain differently, but I'm pretty sure that women spies are bound to spill their secrets sometime, preferably to their female bestie who they can depend on to lend a shoulder when things get tough. (This is also a great way to bypass the whole love dynamic with the male protagonist, if you were wondering.) 

Let me just say something right off the bat... spies do NOT have to be brooding and sarcastic and poker-faced. Let them laugh, for goodness' sakes! They're people, too. They should be allowed to like old typewriters and classic movies and blanket forts and Frank Sinatra and tacos and karaoke in the car and Star Wars and summer nights and cooking breakfast and just general normal people stuff. Create a spy who knocks out bad-guys to the tune of Death of a Bachelor, despises skinny jeans and glides around in long skirts, wears pink whenever possible, and drinks hot tea in almost unhealthy amounts. See? The options are endless; it's really not that hard to use your imagination. 

So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed that post as much as I enjoyed writing it. Now I'm gonna have to start a new story because I'm getting so much character inspiration. #sorrynotsorry

Here's Sam saying Po-tay-toes for the long post.

Farewell till next time!

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Types of Female Action Characters (And How to Avoid Making Them Cliché) Part 1

We all know from watching action/adventure movies that the female characters in them seem to fit into at least one of two categories: either weak and helpless, cowering in a corner and sobbing because they're scared, or out there with the rest of the guys saving the world and looking totally awesome while they're at it.

Hold up. I mean, I love action movies just like anyone else, but can't we be a little more creative? Don't the characters deserve more than just cliché personalities? I think we could do better. 

First, I'm going to outline ten six types of female characters commonly used in movies and TV shows, and then give you a few parallel examples of what you could do to twist that in writing the female makeup and mindset. (And no, I don't mean the makeup that goes on your face.) 

1. The Flawless Babe
Despite the fact that she is living in an apocalypse, complete with a dictatorial government and some kind of widespread epidemic, she somehow manages to never grow armpit or leg hair or have periods. Like ever. 

Have her be real. She's human; humans have body hair and body odor and a lot of other disgusting things. Make her be weirded out about her hairy man's legs because she hasn't shaved in like, two months. Go ahead and have her go on a rant because her period came at a totally inconvenient time. Just make sure not to have her be too fickle or inconsistent; that's no fun watching or reading. 

2. The Healing Female
The magical, soothing woman who can cure any of the male protagonist's ailments by gently putting a wet cloth on his forehead, even if he has a broken leg. 

Just... no. It's perfectly alright to have your female character be nurturing and caring, but... give it a little more substance. (Helpful hint: the injured guy she's tending to does NOT need to be her love interest. How about if they're just good friends? I know, I can hear your gasps of disbelief.) It would also be cool if she wasn't afraid of inflicting pain in the name of doctoring and keeps a calm, level head in the midst of all the stress. (Or, you can have her stress out just a little. She's human, remember?) 

3. The Boss Lady
She's the only female in her FBI or CIA unit, and is consequently the best at everything, squelching her male counterparts in the process. Her closet consists entirely of all-business blazers and high heels sharp enough to stab somebody. (This may or may not reference Peggy Carter, but she obviously doesn't apply to this cliche because she's awesome.)

I just feel like this one is really overused, especially by Marvel (although they did a heck of a good job with Peggy). I am certainly not against having a dominant female character, but use in moderation. You can make this cliché really cool if you can rework it into something more believable. 

4. The Invincible Maiden
She's in a galactic war, fighting side by side with a bunch of her alien friends while explosions rain around her, and she only manages to get that attractive little cut across her cheek. Meanwhile, her comrades are blown to pieces, but she presses on, completely unhindered and invincible. 

Obviously, make her get more injuries and let her suffer. (JK, that's not required. But highly encouraged if you want to.) But honestly, there are more cool wounds than just that little cheek slash. Again, she's human. Wouldn't it be super neat if she maybe got a limb blown off and had to get a bionic leg? Now THAT would be cool. 

5. The Tireless Dame
Her stamina is unparalleled. She can sprint through steaming jungles and across scorching deserts and never break a sweat. And if she does sweat, heaven forbid her sweat look unattractive and run down her face and arms like it's supposed to. 

Make her get a stitch in her side while she's running, and kick her while she's down. Anything to break her; if she gets back up, it will show how resilient she is. 

6. The Mysterious European Lass
She's the foreign woman, preferably an undercover agent, whose sexy accent can never really be identified. French? Romanian? Russian? No one knows. Also, she can kick butt like nobody's business. Looking at you again, Marvel.

Make her American. She could be from the Midwest, or the Southern States, or the West Coast. If you don't like America (we got baseball, eagles, and deep fried freedom, ya'll), she could be from Puerto Rico, Belize, the Dominican Republic. To name a few more, Norwegian, Icelandic, Scottish. 
If you wanna really branch out, make her Canadian. I'm positive that she would be the nicest secret agent ever. 

Now, there are actually a lot more than what I have listed here, but since it's pretty long, this will be a two-part post. So look for the next part two weeks from now!

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