My Ex-Main Character

Hi Guys!

It’s been a struggle of a week. I’ve been stuck on one of my character’s Rajiv. Rajiv and me have had a troubled history. He used to be the ONLY point of view character in my book and then became the main point of view out of four, before Jaived came along and stole that spotlight from him. And yet throughout all that, I’m trying to tell the same story with him.

He is the poster child of an underground resistance to liberate the slave people of Salmire and happily goes along with it until his path crosses with the Grand Duchess of the Empire. Pretty simple. So why have I been struggling over it for five years!?! So that’s been fun to contend with but once my antagonist Kali walked into the scene, I was storming through. Kali is a delight to write, a real piece of evil and cunning.

In the end with week, I’ve written 4857, definitely not my best, but I’m glad I got the scene finally done!!

Do you have any characters you struggle to write and how do you overcome it?

Let me know in the comments!!

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Planning: Planning Methods

Introduction

I’ve talked about planning before and for many people you may already have your own personal methods. And that’s the beauty of it, you’ll learn as you go what works for you. Here are just a couple of starting ideas:

The traditional approach

Divide your book up into sections, (usually by chapters or by sections of the three Act Structure) and brainstorm what happens in each section, which characters are involved and how it leads to and from the sections either side of this.

Once you have finished all your brainstorming for each section, collect all your ideas and write a concise summary (usually two to three sentences) of what happens in each section.

This allows for flexibility without following the strict rules of other planning methods.

This is great to allow your story to naturally grow, however I would advise it for only the most organized as it can get incredibly messy.

 

The Reverse Outline

Planning backwards means you can start with the major climax at the end of your book, which is probably the part of your story you know the best. Then work out how to get to the climax, then how to get to that and so on and so on.

 

Visual Storyboards

If you are gifted with the ability to draw, (…lucky…) then storyboard your story, a picture speaks a million words and is probably quicker to do than write them.

pile-of-books

Three-act structure

For those of you out there more concerned with the structure of your story rather than any specifics of plot then you should use the three-act structure to plan out your novel. It can be argued that every (good) story follows the three-act structure and thus planning yours to it should help give you some peace of mind.

 

Each of these acts contains certain specific features:

Act 1: [The first quarter] Contains the most elements, the opening scene that establishes the characters and the main conflict, the inciting events where the characters begin the journey of the book and the turning point which introduces the second Act.

Act 2: [50% in the middle of the book] at the centre of the second act the action should rise to its climatic midpoint and is usually where everything changes for the characters. Once again there must be a turning point into Act 3.

Act 3: [The last quarter] This is the one people know the best. The Third Act is where the final climax and resolution play out.

 

Tentpole Moments

What are the events or conflicts that without your story will collapse, (like a tent)? Write these down and then try to find what links all these events together throughout the story.

 

Write A Script

This may seem strange to plan your book in a different media form, but a script only requires description and dialogue meaning you can plan quickly and expand from there.

 

Dialogue Pass

Similar to planning in the form of a script: just let the characters talk. It’s a good way of exploring their voices and their stories and again this method allows you to write the bare bones of your story quickly.

Further Reading

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2011/09/14/25-ways-to-plot-plan-and-prep-your-story/

https://www.nownovel.com/blog/7-ways-write-plot-outline/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dark Walls

Hell

Dark walls shadow overhead,

From their ledge, corpses burn,

The streets boils in rivers of water,

Turned red by grief and agony.

Naked whores and savage beasts fill our city,

Gone is the swaying green beauty of before.

When an angel has left us,

Sin is all that is remains in memory.

Hell is our lives,

Brimstone replaces home,

Demons become friends,

And yet the masses remain ignorant.

Do they see as I do?

The Hell that we inhabit,

Perhaps they will soon,

When their streets boil red with my blood.

A Helping Hand

Carpet was a bitch to carry, it chafed his shoulder and his legs were soon hurting under the weight of it. But it was the best way to stop any of the blood from dripping onto the ground as he took the body down to the bank. It was nightfall, his vision getting accustomed to the dull oranges and dark blues. He walked down street after street, shaking on his legs. He swore, wiping his face and resettled the heavy load across his shoulder.

Finally, he came to the river bank and allowed the body to hit the muddied bank. He sighed and unhooked the spade from his back. He dug it in once before he realised he was not alone. Behind him was another man standing stock still. The stranger was surveying him with as much surprise as he was him. The stranger was covered in blood, a spade of his own in his hands.

He huffed, “do you mind giving me a hand with this?”

The stranger looked between the thick rolled carpet and his own bloodied spade before coming up to help him dig.

Body in Carpet

I’m going to Kill a Fictional Character! Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson Review

Bands of Mourning

The Bands of Mourning are the mythical metal minds owned by the Lord Ruler, said to grant anyone who wears them the powers that the Lord Ruler had at his command. Hardly anyone thinks they really exist. A kandra researcher has returned to Elendel with images that seem to depict the Bands, as well as writings in a language that no one can read. Waxillium Ladrian is recruited to travel south to the city of New Seran to investigate. Along the way he discovers hints that point to the true goals of his uncle Edwarn and the shadowy organization known as The Set.

***

I feel like I’ve come to an end of an era and have come to realise how terribly anti-climactic it was. An awful sentence to start a review for a book I know I’m going to give 4 stars but finishing this and knowing I have to wait for the next one just feels exasperating. How dare Sanderson not have everything written up already!?

‘“Go,” Marasi said. “Do what you do best, Waxillium Ladrian.”

“Which is what? Break things?”

“Break things,” Marasi said, “with style.”’

 

Let’s talk about Wayne

I will be blunt, I did not like the beginning (I swear I do overall like this book). To talk about the beginning, we need to talk about Wayne. Wayne is Wax’s sidekick…comic sidekick. He has been weirdly harmless for the last two books if slightly on the annoying side. But in Bands of Mourning he actually tries to derail the story. I nearly stopped reading three chapters in because of him!

He’s mad but mad characters require some understandability. You need to empathise with them on some level and I just can’t with Wayne. You have no idea how many times I kept screaming at the book: STOP STEALING THINGS! He’s just mad, MAD! And I’ve had enough of him and just wanted to shake his shoulders for ruining the book.

 

And all the rest of it!

However as the book continued I definitely started to like it more. In this book, unlike the previous, things move forward, rather than backwards. Steris joins our merry band, which I love given she is absolutely my favourite character and I’m glad for all the time we get to spend with her.

‘“What the hell is in this?”

“Other than steel?” Steris asked. “Cod-liver oil.”

He looked at her, gaping.

“Whiskey is bad for you, Lord Waxillium. A wife must look out for her husband’s health.”’

I did, towards the end, genuinely worry it was going to just be a repeat of Hero of Ages and I was ready for a screaming, ranting review but in the end, Sanderson can still surprise me. The last book, Shadow of Self and for good chunk of this book I felt angry and disappointed because I felt like it was just repeating what had come before it. However the ending was smackgobbingly good. I still believe there are too many twists, now more than ever because we’re in a more down-to-earth world, but the ending had me hooked. I’m so irritated I now have to wait like a peasant for the final book: The Lost Metal.

I’m TOO Good at Writing

writing (3)

Hi Guys!
It’s been a mind-numbing week. I literally cannot tell where it started and ended with my writing. Despite what I say, I’m currently meant to be editing. Structurally editing that is.

My entire plot was an absolute mess until I put in about 16 new scenes to make it all flow and made major arc changes to all my main characters, which means I spend a lot of time writing regardless. But I’m still meant to give everything a once over once I have written it for a quick line edit.

I’ve completely thrown that idea out of the window and done nothing but write this past week. So I’ve written 9’870 words but none of them have been properly finalised. Also writing more is starting to annoy me (and yes I’m aware I only have myself to blame). My book is currently standing at 180’000 words (aka: TOO MANY WORDS) and I haven’t even got to the third act. It’s just way too long and yet I’m probably too close to this story to say what could be cut.

I just need someone with a red pen to start crossing things out 😛

But that’s about it for this week! How is your writing/editing going and which do you prefer to do?

Let me know in the comments!!