A Writer's Objectives

Archive for the ‘Information’ Category

Apparently Life Isn’t Going to Play Nice

So… I was all set to get this blog up and running full force again. Then my scheduler thing mucked up and didn’t post for two weeks and then life decided it was going to screw up on me again. I’m afraid I’m going to have to put this blog on hiatus, yet again. I’m not sure how long, or if I will even be able to get it back up and running. I thought I would be able to balance everything, but I was very wrong. I hope I don’t disappoint too many people with this. You are always welcome to keep an eye on my writing via deviantART. I will occasionally post briefly to keep you all informed about what may or may not be happening with this blog.

Thank you all so much for all of your support and feedback. I appreciate it all and I will hopefully be able to get back to this blog in the semi-near future.

Lots of love to you all,

Raina

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Sunday Sharing

Normally I would be sharing 6 sentences from a piece of writing today. I’m still in the process of deciding if I will be continuing with that or not, so bear with me. In the meantime, it looks like today will just be a day to fill everyone in on what I have going on in my life, both involving writing and not. It may help give an idea why I have been so sporadic about posting since my ‘come back’.

  • Homework: Since coming back to the blog, I’ve been swamped with school work. Tomorrow, I have a 15-20 page paper to complete that compares, contrasts and analyzes two poems and their authors. I have yet to actually start the paper. I’ve had 4-10 page papers due every week, on top of regular class work, for the last 5 weeks.
  • Sad Things: A dear friend of mine was in the hospital, in a coma, for a few weeks. This had all my attention, and therefore homework was always a struggle to complete the day it was all due. Life got pretty hectic. Then, a few days ago, another friend got into a severe car accident which resulted in him going off the road and flipping his car. He is fine, but his car it totaled.
  • Social: My friends have been around a lot… mainly as support as I dealt with the troubles with the friend mentioned about, but also to try to bring some fun into my currently not exciting/fun/happy life.
  • Writing: I was fully unable to do any writing at all for a while. That has changed, however the writing is slow going thanks to other aspects of my life. I am hoping it picks up soon, though, and that I can get some short stories or chapters to novels worked on.
  • Blog: Some of the set themes for this blog are going to change. I’ll fill you in a little more once I figure out the details, but for now just be aware that there are changes on the horizon.

I guess that is everything. Check in tomorrow for an excerpt!

What’s in a Name? Naming Your Characters: Part 2

I did a post back in January about Character Names and promised others. While the first one focused on easy to pronounce (but not too simple) names, this one is going to focus on name meanings.

I know a lot of writers who create a character and give them names based on their personality. For example; Merrick is a very powerful and well known individual among his kind. He is aware of his fame and power, but he doesn’t flaunt it. In fact, he tends to hide away from it as best as he can. Why is all this important? Because the name Merrick derives from words that mean ‘fame’ and ‘power’ and is always associated with very humble individuals. The name goes well with the personality and the character in general.

Sometimes, however, authors don’t take the time to make sure their perception if a names meaning is actually the true meaning. Some people choose names based on what societal belief of the meaning is, not the true meaning. For example; Lucifer is a very dark, mysterious and evil character.* He thrives on causing pain and suffering. No one gets in his way and if they do, they don’t live long to tell the tale. This doesn’t work; societal belief is that name Lucifer is evil. Wrong. Lucifer means ‘Bringing Light’. Thanks to (surprise) Hollywood, the name is forever immortalized as being evil, when in truth Lucifer is simply a fallen angel and not evil in the least.

If you wish to name your characters by meaning, please make sure you actually know what the meaning of the names are. While not all characters are named by meaning (we’ll talk more about that next time), ones that are, should be done correctly. Your strong, warrior heroine who has been surviving on her own for years should be given a name such as Valda or Bree, which mean ‘power’ rather than something like Lamis or Belinda, which mean ‘soft’. Your dark sorcerer who enjoys murdering innocent people and taking many an unwilling county lass to his bed should have  a name like Shyama or Ciar, which mean ‘black’ rather than something like Gil or Ronen, which mean ‘joy’ (unless you’re going for a humorous opposite effect, which we will discuss later).

Personally, one of the ways I use to help match name meanings to my characters (when I feel like doing so) is using baby name books and websites. One of the best that I have found and used many times is Behind the Name. This site has a large array of names and meanings and weeds out all the created names that people often mistake for others. I’ve used it for not only characters in stories, but also for characters in games (Dungeons and Dragons and World of Warcraft, mostly). It is a tool I utilize quite often and would highly recommend it to anyone interested in name meanings.

Now, I mentioned naming a character by meaning using the ‘humorous opposite effect’. There are some authors who, while they enjoy delving into name meanings, prefer to name their characters names that mean the opposite of what they are like. Let’s assume the creator of the character Lucifer (that I mentioned earlier) was going for this effect. It works, now. That tough-guy barbarian character you have could be named something that means ‘soft’, ‘gentle’ or ‘flower’.

Naming a character based on meanings can be taken in several directions, but it is important to make it clear what your intentions are. Simply naming them isn’t always enough. That barbarian named something soft and gentle should be aware what his name means and either hate it or find it hilariously ironic. Lucifer should wonder at his name, perhaps he believes that all the chaos he brings is his ‘light’ and that his name fits him perfectly.

Names are (in my opinion) more important to characters than most people recognize. Not only are they a way to identify a character, but they are also a means of giving them an existence. When naming your characters, no matter what your methods, please take care. You could have the next Harry Potter in the making; what name would you want to be immortalized for?

Someone Stole My Writing Mojo!

Before I start, no, I did not lose my mojo again. Don’t panic; I’m back for good (I hope!).

Now, everyone calls their writing ability something different. Personally, I enjoy calling it mojo; it sounds silly. Recently, as I stated in previous entries, I lost my mojo. I’m pretty sure someone stole it, but that’s another story entirely. The point is that I was unable to write. Literally. I would get an idea for a story or poem or even for homework. I would sit down and start writing and after a few sentences it would just… stop. My ideas kept forming but hands wouldn’t type. It was like there was something stopping me from getting the ideas out. I’ve had a serial story on hold for almost two months, I have a huge list of requested short stories from friends that I haven’t done. My novels have all been severely neglected (though this really isn’t anything new). I even struggled with getting my D&D game going well because it was difficult pushing past the wall and allowing my creativity to shine.

Some would say it was just a form of writer’s block. I suppose I could agree; I wasn’t able to write anything. But it felt worse to me. I had all the ideas. The stories were forming in my head, including chapters for my novels. But when I would go to write them, I couldn’t. It was the worst feeling in the world. All this creativity in my head and I couldn’t get it out.

Sometimes it felt like my life force had been stolen from me. After I attempted to write and failed, I lost the energy to do just about anything. I read a lot, but it wasn’t doing much more than giving me ideas I couldn’t write down. My life was empty of the joy that writing brings. I enjoyed doing homework for classes because at least I was writing something (even if it was forced and far from my best work). To anyone who didn’t catch that, let me reiterate: I enjoyed doing homework. I feel like that was the low point. The point where I realized something was wrong and I needed to fix it.

Except I couldn’t fix it.

I tried all kinds of mind exercises to see if I could get the writing flow back. Nada. I tried telling stories to friends or reciting the poems that came to mind. Still couldn’t write them. Nothing was working. It terrified me. I honestly wondered if it was possible to have my writing mojo stolen because how could I ever be so careless as to lose something so precious to me?

At last, a few days ago while I was home sick, I sat down to browse the internet (as had become habit when I wanted to write but couldn’t) and before I knew what was going on, I had opened a document and was spewing the scene that had come to mind onto the pages before me. I got three pages typed up before I had to force myself to stop so I could go and eat dinner. Ever since, writing has been no problem.

I’m not sure where my mojo went (who stole it) or how it came back (why they gave it back to me), but I am more than glad it is back. I feel whole again, and like I can face anything that the world throws at me. I have a bounce in my step that was gone when my mojo was missing. And I don’t have to force out the painstakingly boring homework assignments; I can just toss them onto the page, add the citations needed and call it completed. And it looks good!

Life has been scary without my mojo. I rather felt like I wasn’t a whole person. Now that it is back, I have to figure out when to do creative writing; my homework piled up suddenly and I must have it completed much sooner than I would like. I do know, however, that it feels good to be whole again.

That’s what I’ve been going through (or at least some of it) lately. Has anyone else ever lost their ‘writing mojo’? Was it as scary for you as it was for me?

Life Hates My Blog (And a short story excerpt)

Hello! *Shy wave* I know, I was supposed to have this blog up an running again. Two weeks ago. It wasn’t my fault this time… fully. I sprained my hand, so typing became very difficult. That lasted about a week (though I still have my days). Then I chose to focus on another blog as a dear friend fights a life-threatening tumor in her stomach. I’ve been so focused on getting word out to the fandom she and I are both part of that every other part of my life has been neglected.

But she is stable, now, and life is getting a little better. I also have my writing mojo back, which is helpful.

Today’s post is one of many, this I swear. It’s Monday, so I am sharing an excerpt from a short story. The story is titled ‘Death Inside’ and it is based on a young man who makes a living as an assassin. His dear friend (and perhaps love interest) calls him, in danger, and he rushes to her rescue. The piece I am sharing is an interaction between the two characters. The rest of the story is marked ‘Mature’ for the guns, violence and language. If you would like to read the entire story, you will need an account on deviantART.

Without further ado, here is an excerpt from my short story ‘Death Inside’:

 

Without needing a light, I crouched in the darkness and reached ahead of me, feeling the panel of wall behind the few buckets, mops and vacuum. At last my finger traced over the oh so subtle protruding knot. I pressed it. A square of light lit the closet, and I quickly and quietly maneuvered around the cleaning supplies and ducked into the opening in the wall. I slid my palm along the trigger that closed the panel as I continued down the small passageway I had entered into.

As I reached the last few feet of the passage, I paused, listening to any sounds beyond. I heard nothing, but that didn’t have to mean that Allie wasn’t there. She was quite skilled at keeping quiet in circumstances such as this. I cleared my throat softly and tapped lightly on the wall of the panel three times. I heard a release of breath and shuffling ahead of me.

“Jaden, quickly.” She hissed. I crawled the rest of the way through the passage and entered into a small room lined with shelves. Every shelf was loaded with either some sort of canned food, bottled drink or, not surprisingly, various types of weapons. The single cot against the far wall was empty, but had clearly had someone sitting on it from the indent I could see still slowly working its way out of the material. I glanced to my left to find a pair of disturbingly light gray eyes watching me. I sighed with relief and quickly engulfed Allie in a tight hug.

“I’m so sorry,” I said softly against her hair. The blond was starting to grow out and reveal her dark brown roots. I kissed the roots and then pushed her gently back at arms length. She gave me a lopsided smile.

“Jaden, I’m fine. I just can’t take them on my own.” She said softly. I shrugged, knowing the truth but having to have seen it for myself.

“We’ll have to get out of here, soon.” I said quietly, crossing the room to inspect the weapons she had scattered about.

“They won’t find us, and we will know when they leave. Geare will go to your place to look for me.” I met her knowing gaze. “I guess you were right about hiding it elsewhere.”

“When will you learn that I am always right?” I wondered before turning back to the weapons shelf.

“It’s debatable,” she said quietly and I could feel those near-white eyes watching me closely. “You told me they wouldn’t come after me.”

 

Slacking and Life

I’m really bad at this whole blogging thing…

So my life, directly after saying I was going to start posting daily again, became a nightmare! I was so busy and stressed and overwhelmed. I also, about the time things went nuts on me, lost my writing mojo. In other words, very little (if any) writing has been happening. I pretty much failed my first class since September. And I had too many personal problems happen all at once.

But all of that is over with… well, most of it.

I still don’t really have my writing mojo back. But I recognized I was letting my responsibility to my readers fail and that that wasn’t fair. My last blog entry was February 19th, which is not really okay with me. So, I’ve decided, that starting Monday I will be posting daily again NO MATTER WHAT. I’m sick of letting my lack of writing mojo dictate my life. If it won’t come back to me on its own, I’ll make it come back.

I am a writer, and I will write.

 

So, keep an eye out for daily posts starting Monday, March 5th. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Sunday! …What to do?

Sorry I didn’t post yesterday! I’m visiting my mum, so getting my usual daily routine completed is difficult. I have a few minutes before I head  out to breakfast with the family, though, so I figured I’d do a mini-post.

 

Starting either tomorrow or Tuesday I’m going to crack down on getting my daily posts up. Whether this means sitting down and typing up a bunch of posts and setting them on a schedule so I don’t forget anymore or what, I will be forcing myself to post as close to daily as I can get. There are a  few days I may not end up with posts for, but we’ll see what happens.

So! Start looking for daily posts from me again (I’m really bad at this game, huh?) starting tomorrow or Tuesday!

 

Have a wonderful Sunday, everyone!