I started writing Volocio when I was about thirteen. When I started
to write it, I was literally just writing down my daydreams, the
adventures I wanted to have. My two obsessions at such a young age
were Star Wars and Sailor Moon.
What I loved about Sailor Moon was the power over the elements,
reincarnation, fighting evil by the moonlight, winning love by
daylight, and finding your true love against insurmountable odds. Of
course my favorite Sailor Scout is still Sailor Jupiter (this is why
my main character Rei can wield lightning) It’s also interesting that
Sailor Moon has been re-released in a new version. I am twenty-eight
now but I feel like I am thirteen again.
On the other hand, what I loved about Stars Wars I later learned came
from Joseph Campbell’s ‘Hero with a Thousand Face.’ I mean the
architypes you find in most classic epics. There’s the hero’s
journey. You can take a look at this awesome chart I found.
You can compare this with a lot of epics. You will find that, for the
most part, they fit. Try is now with ‘The Matrix,’ ‘The Hobbit,’
‘Divergent,’ ‘Narniva,’ and ‘Song of the Lioness.’ They work because
the writer intentionally or unintentionally drew from the architypes
to give you the story you are familiar with.
If you are not familiar with Joseph Campbell then I highly recomment
that you either pick up ‘Hero with a Thousand Faces’ or (if you can
find it) the PBS interview with Joseph Campbell called ‘The Power of Myth.’
Very cool stuff! You will learn a lot.
Until Next Time,
So how are things with Book of Tas’und’eash? When I had my writing
group in Chicago, it was going well. Unfortunately since the move, I
have started to lose momentum. I haven’t been editing my book the way
I should and the writing group truly works best when you are there
physically for dialogue. t least with the last group I wasin. I will
keep tryin to post with them. I really should, even if only one
person reads it.
I have gotten good feedback with it so I know people will want to know
what happens next. I owe it to them to keep working.
The truth is, I found myself re-reading my first novel Volocio and I
think with a little more work this one will be ready soon to try and
find an agent. I think because it is so cose to being done that i
really want to focus my energy on it. So now I will go back in time
and start talking about Volocio and my process.
Oh my! It has certainly been a while! I apologize for being MIA for so
long but don’t worry, I’ve been writing.
First off – I moved to Germany! Yup! I met a wonderful guy and moved
here to be closer and here I am! It was a very crazy and hectic
process and I documented everything in my travel blog:
Be sure to visit – it’s quite entertaining! I had started it back in
2011 when I attempted a trip to the UK by myself (note: it was a
success) It was a way for my family back home to keep an eye on me.
Now that I have moved, this blog is the perfect communication key by
enabling me to reach as many people at one time. At first I was
blogging everyday up until I moved here but now I only update on
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
As a result, I have been able to get back to work on Tas’und’eash.
However, since coming to Germany I have suddenly inundated with ideas.
It’s great but there is a tiny hitch at the moment. For my first two
months here in Deutschland, I am living in this small room:
As you can see, there is no desk. I know what are must be thinking:
you’re in Europe! Go to a cafe! I don’t really do the sit in a cafe
and write bit. I will do it if a fellow writer wants to try some
place new or nice but I prefer to work from home with little
distraction. My boyfriend and I should be getting an apartment soon
so I will then be focused on getting a desk. Yay!
So what other projects am I working on? Well, I will have to save
that for another post. There is so much to do! But in the meantime,
I should also get back to writing this blog. It’s a good way to
document where I am going with this (hopefully) getting published
Until Next Time,
Reading is just as important to writing as the actual act of writing. The goal is to read good writing because you can pick up some bad habits while reading badly written works. I decided to create this segment to talk about books that I have read that inspired me to write my current projects.
Occasionally I will also delve into a movie or tv show that also help inspire me.
So for this first segment I decided to start with the book series that really started it all: the “Song of the Lioness” quartet by Tamora Pierce.
I first read this series when I was twelve and I was absolutely hooked. The story follows Alanna of Trebond as she takes it upon herself to become the first female knight in several centuries in the world of Tortall. The four books in the series allows the reader to watch her grow from a young stubborn child to a grown woman.
I have read the series over and over again since I was twelve and the story does not get old. Pierce writes this coming of age story where our heroine not only accepts herself as a warrior, but as a woman, and a magical being. She learns to accept her faults and her imperfections while working with her strengths and weaknesses. Alanna was a great role model for me as a twelve year old.
But Pierce did not stop there.
After she wrote the “Song of the Lioness,” Pierce dove further into the world of Tortall to write the “Immortals” quartet, then the “Protector of the Small” quartet, and then the “Daughter of the Lioness” books. Each series took place later in the series and Alanna would return in each one even if she was not the main character.
I love those kind of books. It makes the world that much richer for me. I feel like I truly know Alanna because I watched her grow up and I grew up with her.
I wanted to write an opus like that. My Volocio books take place in the same world and the same characters may not play a main role but they are still around even if in spirit.
Pierce is a big reason why my world is so big.
What about you who are also familiar with Pierce’s work? If you like her works, what are your favorite books? If not, I would love to know your thoughts. All opinions are welcome.
So for this week’s writing challenge, we were asked to delve into the power of a name. This reminds me of Elizabeth Haydon’s Symphony of Ages. This saga is about a woman named Rhapsody who is a Singer who wants to reach the status of a Namer. A Namer knows the true name of every plant, animal, and being in their world. Knowing these names means power.
So whose name shall I delve into? I decided to talk about the name that gains the most compliments:
My dog Abner.
Several years ago I was looking at names for the guinea pig I had at the time. Her name was Cuy (little side note: Cuy means male guinea pig…..but it also means the dish of cooked Guinea Pig. It was a joke in my family that I got her, but she was never eaten).
Anyway….I was looking at names and I saw the name Abner. I was immediately taken back to my childhood. I loved the Indiana Jones movies and it’s the mark of a good fan who knew the correlation between Abner and our favorite archeologist:
Abner Ravenwood (Marion’s father from ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’) was Indiana’s mentor.
As soon as I saw that name I had a light bulb moment: if I ever had a boy pug, I would name him Abner. It then became my goal: I wanted to own a pug and name him Abner. It is a name you never hear anymore and even when you do (or at least I do) you would imagine a feeble old man with his cane. Of course a pug has the face of a little old man so the name just seemed to click together. All I needed now was the dog.
Several months later, I was in a Delilah’s Pet Shop in Bloomington, Indiana (a store that only deals with breeders) and I met this adorable little baby:
He’ll be five in May and he’s the love of my life.
So I decided as a writing exercise that I would challenge myself to the weekly writing challenge. What better way to work on my writing than to write on a subject that does not come from my own cranium.
For the current week, this was the challenge: to write about perspective…..
- For our fiction writers, cultivate a character. Through your imagination, pinpoint a common theme in his or her life, and show us how your character’s perspective changes as he or she grows older.
What actually came to mind was my first real fleshed out character: Rei Ettowa.
She is one of the main characters from The Rebirth Trilogy. She is the reincarnation of a Micaela Roya. Both women have very rich and unique back stories but one thing I touch on in Rebirth is that while one is the reincarnation of another, that does not mean they are the same person.
But this is not what I want to talk about.
I first came up with Rei when I was about twelve or thirteen; I also made her the same age. I have always stuck with the old addage: write what you know. I knew what went through a thirteen-year-old’s head because I was thirteen. When I did my second re-write in college not only did I grow up but so did Rei. I increased her age to twenty where she remains even though I am twenty-seven now.
As I was growing up, I realized that I needed Rei to grow up as well. In order for her to realistically face the hardships she will face in her adventures I needed her to be more mature. I still have her to be young and naive thus twenty being a great age for the first book.
Rei lost her parents when she was young and was raised by a woman called Hotara. Rei may not have had biological parents but she was never lacking in parental figures. She did have an older brother, Niklaryn. She loved him dearly but rarely got to see him because he had become a knight and was off in the civil war. He also died when she was thirteen and she never completely recovered from that. By twenty, she had worked in the family bar and dealt with ruffians and bedouins in her travels a cross the desert. She will also dabble in what will be the great love of her life but (like myself) she does not truly understand the seriousness of it all until she grows older.
In the second book, I let age a few more years pass to where she is 24. When I look back at how I was at ages 20 and 24, I was completely different people. At twenty, I had just reached adulthood and I was in my second year of college. I was more mature than a freshman but I had never quiet experienced love but I knew how to have fun. But by twenty four, I had had my heart broken a few times and faced difficult stresses in life of finishing college (as long as I didn’t fail genetics) and finding a job and living on my own for the first time.
There is a chance that I may make her older still but while I am not working on that book I am nothing thinking about it. As a twenty seven year old, I have gained even more wisdom than when I was twenty four. I have gained more experience living on my own and have finally experienced a great love; such experiences will help my writing. Again, I still write what I know.
A while back, I went to a reading of Neil Gaimen’s newest book: The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It was my first reading of an author. Got my copy of American Gods signed (hurrah!) and got to hear him answer questions from the audience.
One of the questions concerned writer’s block. How does he work passed it?
First he talked about his time as a journalist. He spoke of having deadlines. He was not allowed to have writer’s block. I went through the same thing when I was a ghost writer on a tea blog. In the end you had to just write through it.
Gaimen also talked about that there were days that he had to force himself to write and every word that came from his fingertips felt like shit while on his good days the words felt like gold. And yet when he went back and read everything it was really all the same.
If you find yourself stuck, just keep writing. Stephen King called it “shoveling shit.” It certainly is but it will be the only way to get through. The more you write the easier it will become. You may have to find another outlet in the meantime if you really just can’t write your particular project. I always keep a journal and I currently have this blog as well as my traveling one for my impending move to Germany (yay news!). But even if I am not writing Book of Tas’und’eash then I am still writing something else. Each time the words flow more easily and thus I will keep writing.
What do you do when you find yourself with writer’s block?