What you got for Christmas

Quick post this time, as family is still visiting, and words are once more flowing onto the screen.  That said, I am curious what everyone got for Christmas.  Especially anything writing related.  For my part, I got a kindle (a bit early), the case / cover with the built in light ( the one that plugs into the kindle’s “spine”), and an amazon card.  The amazon card was used to buy Stephen King’s “On Writing” which I am devouring quickly.  I am enjoying it and finding it full of good insight, although I discovered that his writing style is completely different than mine.  That said, I recommend it to everyone.

So, your turn.  What did Santa bring you?

–j–

Upcoming…

Just a quick note. I am planning a short series on world building. Hopefully it will be interesting to some of you. I plan on progressing from geology, to meteorology, to political divisions, and wrap up with social issues. Let me say in advance that this is how I do it. I don’t claim it to be the best way. Think of it as one possible method.

In any event, it will take me a bit to get together.

Stubborn Character Redux

Just a quick post this time, because I am writing!  The problem is that Mirian (my MC) is being disobedient again.  I need her to be a central figure during the battle between the elves and the trolls.  When the elven prophetess is explaining this to her though, Mirian basically told her to go to hell, and stomped out of the room.

-sigh-  Once again, I thought I was in charge of this trip.  When did I lose control?

–j–

A week?

Wow.  Just wow.  I still want everyone to comment on the earlier post from today, but I wanted to mark the occasion.  Eight days ago, I started my little blog in an obscure corner of the world.  Now, eight days later, I have passed 100 hits.  I know that it may not seem like a lot to some, but compared to my old Warcraft blog, this is a momentous event.

YAY!!!!

That’s it.  Carry on.

–j–

How did your story start?

What was the inspiration for your current story?  If it is part of an arc, what started that?  What was the little glimmer, that sparkle, that “oh, hey!” moment that birthed the masterpiece that currently rolls from your fingertips?

I will start.  Stay with me, please.

I don’t dream.  I am not sure why, but I don’t.  I lay down, then I wake up hours later.  Maybe once every couple months something will short out in my brain, and I will dream something, but for purposes of this discussion; nothing.

One morning when I woke up, I had a sentence in my head:  “Llaewyn stopped running; he knew he was going to die.”

“Hmm.  Bummer,” I thought to myself, and went about my day.  The next morning; same thing.  It was more irritating the second time.  Two weeks later, it was still happening every day.  I knew not this prophet of self destruction, but he refused to leave me alone.  I opened up Google Documents and pounded the sentence into the text editor.  My mind appeased, I slept, and woke, happily.

For about three days.

Details started working their way into my thoughts.  Apparently he was an elf.  Apparently, his pursuer wanted something that he had.  He was in a forest.  I felt as one haunted, pursued by demons of my own creation.  Creatures I had not known invading my mind, day and night, relentless in their insistence that they be heard.

And so, on August 17, 2008 (as reported by the Google timestamp) I sat down and wrote out Llaewyn’s death.  Looking back upon it, it isn’t all that bad.  Some grammatical errors, but passable.  None of that scene remains in the current story.  There is an elf named Llaewyn.  There is an antagonist named Gelrog, though he was an orc 2 years ago.  I will share with you the torment that born in me a writer, unedited from that day in August two years ago when my sanity depended on its release:

Continue reading How did your story start?

Stuck

I’m stuck.

In direct contrast to my previous post, I have somehow reached a point where my characters are not speaking to me.  This has caused much dismay, as I have tried to make my story character driven.

Do others have this problem?  I think my mistake was that I started writing without having the story properly outlined.  I am a plan type of person.  Now that I am at the end, I am trying to bring it together, but my characters’ motivations are questionable, and they aren’t acting in any particularly focused manner.

I have heard (or read, at least) that it is productive to conduct an interview with the characters to determine what their motivation is.  Although this feels a bit odd, I think I am at that point.  Meanwhile, I would love to hear what others do when they feel like their story has lost focus / gone off track.  How do you recover?

–j–

Stubborn characters

Alright, I know that the three or four of you that stop by are all writers, so here is today’s discussion topic.  I would like to hear an example from your story, either here or on your blog, where your characters disobeyed you.  Here is my example:

After leaving the dwarven city of Lothmurn, Mirian and Llaewyn declared a truce in order to get Mirian trained in her use of magic.  The first training scene where they were to be working together quickly devolved into an argument, with both of them yelling at each other, stomping around, pulling others into the fight, a full on battle.

I sat back, staring at the screen, wondering what the hell just happened.  I knew what they were supposed to do, but when I wrote it, they kind of did their own thing.  Frustrated, I deleted the entire scene, and tried again, focusing on them getting along.  Still didn’t work.  They were noticeably nicer, but it still degenerated into an argument.

At that point I decided that this is just who they were, and there was nothing I could do about it.  Thus, the grass growing scene at the end of chapter 9 was born.

So now it’s your turn.  Feel free to use the comment space here.  If you prefer to use it as a post on your blog, let me know and I will post a link here to it so others can find it.  All I ask is a cross link back to here.  Let’s see what you’ve got!

–j–

Young Jerok goes hunting…

Jerok crouched behind the bushes, mouth open so his breathing made no sound. The warm air in the forest felt thick with moisture. He shifted the knife he held to his left hand so he could wipe the sweat from his palm. Switching it back, he opened and closed his fingers several times, perfecting his grip. Turning his head to the left, he looked up at his father.

Continue reading Young Jerok goes hunting…