Friday, February 15, 2013

A Writer

Are you a writer?

Think carefully. A million answers may have just swirled through your head. "Yes, I'm a writer. I'm always coming up with story ideas." "Yes, I would consider myself a writer, I write frequently." "Oh my goodness yes of course I am I love to write I would write all the time if I could I LOVE WRITING <3 <3 <3" (:P) "I would like to write a story, but I just don't have the time" or "I can never come up with a good story idea" or "no one would want to read my writing." I think what you have to do here is examine WHAT a writer is. Are you thinking, "Well, duh, a writer writes stories. *shifty eyes* What do YOU do?" No, you're right, a writer would not be a writer without the pen and paper or keyboard, because that would be impossible. But what makes a writer a writer? What are the "qualifications?" Personally, I think everyone looks at the word "writer" and forms their own opinions. I know some people simply think "Oh, you write stories, that's nice." Others understand the real trials and dedication a writer goes through to craft his or her work. Consideration in the type of writing is key as well; is the particular writer there to convey a message, persuade, tell a simple children's story? Depending on your preference, your view of what a writer is will influence you in your decision. Seeing as how I can't speak for all of you, I'm going to speak for myself, a writer of fiction stories, and tell you whom I think a writer is, and if I consider myself a writer. I've been creating stories since before I knew how to form words, though I wasn't always aware of how they were affecting me. Only today I was thinking back to when I was about seven years old and would create stories in my head of how I was part of a group of female superheroes who wore red capes be honest I can't remember what on earth we did exactly, but the point is I was creating a story from nothing. When I was about ten years old I started dreaming about whatever movie I watched that night, and I would place myself into the story - not as another person already made by the script writers, but an entirely new character that I created myself. I'll freely admit I still do that to this day. It's become a habit I can't shake, and if I were to be entirely honest, I don't want to! It is a special way I feed my creative imagination when it is time to sleep and I can't pick up the pen and write my own story. I use to create stories in the silence of my own bedroom, myself and my stuffed animals and dolls as the actors with the mirror as the camera. I would literally spend hours cooped up in my room acting out different stories! Now, I don't spend hours in front of my mirror anymore, but if I have a scene I'm stuck on in something I'm creating, you guessed it - I sit in front of the mirror and start speaking the dialogue out loud, and this helps me to shove past the writer's block and figure out what I want to say. Did I have any clue I wanted to be a writer at the point? Truthfully, no. I desperately wanted to be a teacher or an artist! I had no idea God was preparing me for what I'm doing now. But when I did start writing my own stories, I realized there was something special about my pen scratching away at the paper, forming my own words and special characters into something beautiful. Every little story I wrote was a piece of me and slowly shaping me into what I am now. Soon I couldn't stop writing down all of the story ideas that came into my head; writing has been a part of me forever, even if they didn't always come in the form of paper and ink. So, would I write if I knew I would be the only one reading it? Yes, absolutely. Sure, my dream is to be a published author, and I'm not going to give up on that goal, but I have no idea if it will ever happen. The closest I've come to finishing a real story is completing a sloppy first draft, which I soon lost interest in revising. You may be thinking your dream is to be published, yet you have no drive? Hey, don't judge me. Writing is HARD work, and I'm only at the beginning. I'm in the early stages of apprenticeship and still learning the craft, as I will continue doing for the rest of my life, though I may work my way up a little bit along the road. I struggle with doubt and discouragement. I haven't yet learned the diligence and dedication of a real writer, but I am trying and feel myself improving and learning. I mentioned "real writer." So, do I not consider myself a writer? Well, in one sense, a writer is someone who is completely dedicated to his work, who will persevere no matter what, and knows his trade well. I'm not there yet, not by a long shot. However, I believe a writer doesn't have to have those qualities. He may not be a good writer if he doesn't, but he's still a writer. A person who doesn't know how to spell words may be a writer; there are thousands of men and women out there who have the writing gift deep within their hearts and will never know it. Too bad. I'm thankful to God that He has revealed this gift to me. I truly believe this is what I was meant to do, at least for now. A writer is also someone who has stories scratching at his heart, begging desperately to be set free, and a writer should feel it his duty and joy to give them their chances. Can he choose to ignore it? I suppose so - but there will always be a wondering in his heart of what might have happened had the stories been released from their bonds. Me...I don't want to wonder my whole life. I can't ignore the stories; I can't ignore the characters. I HAVE to write, and I will write, and that's what makes me a writer. So, I ask you: Are you a writer, and what makes YOU one? Every secret of a writer's soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind is written large in his works. -- Virginia Woolf.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Overview: The Descendants of Drasia

Good afternoon everybody! Or night....or morning, whichever is relative to you! As I write this I am listening to The Piano Guys cd which I was able to burn on my computer from my brother...very awesome.

I was about to start my character introductions, but then I remembered I haven't give another overview of my book since I deleted that last post! Anyone who did not see that post before I deleted it would be rather confused if I jumped into my character introductions, and so I am going to give y'all another overview of my work-in-progress (WIP), The Descendants of Drasia: The Prequel.


Summary: The kingdoms of Oedria and Drasia, once united in peace, are now on the brink of a terrible war. Four young women, each struggling with personal demons, find their lives intertwined in a bond that will change the fate of their world.

The Descendants of Drasia: The Prequel begins twenty years before the story takes place. Neighboring kingdoms Oedria and Drasia were united in peace and ruled by two brothers. King Ewan, the younger brother and ruler of Drasia, wished to seek peace with the outlying kingdoms (though he knew the strength of Drasia united with Oedria, ruled by his older brother King Theon, could become the most powerful realm over all the lands). However, King Theon disagreed with his brother and soon began to devise a conspiracy to overtake all outlying kingdoms with his own army, including Drasia. What ensued consisted of bloodshed, treason, deception, and the end of all peace. Ewan recruited the fire breathers and the dragons, including their riders, to aid him in his battle with Oedria, but mid-fight half of the dragons turned on the king and fought for Oedria. The battle was a failure for both sides, and the two kings consented to a truce, agreeing to ceasefire but with the understanding that if one ever attacked the other's lands, nothing would be prevented from keeping them from proceeding in another war until one or the other was victorious.

In the events following the battle, King Ewan was consumed with rage, his heart having been broken by his brother, and many thought, though never voiced, that he lost the sense in his mind. He blamed the fire people for the betrayal and destruction of the dragons, for the fire people's close connection with the dragons stayed them from fighting against the creatures in battle; the king ordered his knights to hunt down all fire breathers, dragon riders, and dragons and destroy them. For eight years a hot pursuit followed, and the knights were mostly successful in their mission. Legend says some dragon riders and fire people escaped into the Mountains of Minaeth along with the dragons who had fought along Drasia's side, but as none dare venture into the mountains, one can never be sure. Some speculated there were still fire breathers and dragon riders even among the villages within the kingdom, but if there were, they kept themselves well-hidden from the wary eye of the king. A deep shadow had fallen over the once peaceful kingdoms, and hope seemed to be lost in the hearts of men.

However, more often then not, when hope seems lost, somewhere a flame burns faintly in the shadows. Two years after the great battle, a girl was born to a poor family in the village of Cindreth, which stood just below the castle of Drasia. None but her family knew of her real nature, but even they did not know of the legends tied to that small, helpless being.

Raised in simpleness and silence, the girl, named Ellyn by her parents, was the very nature of innocence, perhaps to a point of ignorance, to the darkness in the world around her. She knew she must keep her identity a secret, for the king still had rewards out for death of any dragon riders and any with a close relation to them, but never in her naive mind did she think the balance of the lands would fall onto her shoulders; however, she would not be alone.

Ellyn's path leads her into those of three other young women, Marta, Ivanya, and Aelwyn. Together, they must learn to join forces and set in motion the legends destined at the very start of the dragons. Their battle would not be the ending, but what would become known as the beginning of the beginning.

So basically I told you the backstory of the book (which takes up only a couple pages at the beginning), but I think that is perfect. Now you know where I am heading with the story, and I don't want to give everything away! You'll also find out more when I do my character "introductions." If you have any questions about the book or something wasn't clear, just sound off in the comments or in the comment box on pinterest. (I might even end up doing a "questionaire" based on my book. Do you think I should open it up for people to submit questions again or would you rather I write more of an interview style with questions I came up with myself? I'm not sure how easy it will be for others to think of questions regarding this, and I found a fun "interview" questionaire on another blog, but I'm not sure if I should freely use the interview questions. ...Anyways this is my own rambling that you don't need to hear so I shall end this rant.)

Oh! And here is a link to my board on pinterest made specifically for this book :)

Friday, February 1, 2013


Here it is, folks, the moment you've been waiting for!!!!

Okay, so maybe you haven't been dying with anticipation, but I hope you'll have fun reading my answers, because I had a lot of fun answering them :)
Before I reveal my answers, I just would like to say thank you so much to everyone who submitted questions both on here and on pinterest! I really appreciate the willingness to involve yourself in this, and everyone came up with great, unique questions. If you didn't get a chance to ask questions before I posted this, don't worry, I'll be doing something similar to this again sometime :) You can also ask me questions through my pinterest board, "My Double Living," where I am now posting my blog posts. (har har.)

On to the answers!

Questions from Lindsey:
1. Describe your personality in detail. (i.e. INFJ)

Fun question! Thankfully I had done this last year in school, so I am having a report I did on it still tucked away in my old school files, and I didn't have to take the test again ;)
If I went into major detail, there would be no more room for other questions! So I will just say predominately, I am ISFJ, a "Protector Guardian." "ISFJ's are most concerned with taking care of people by keeping them safe and secure. They are modest caretakers who do not demand credit or thanks for their efforts. But while they are essentially compassionate -and in fact exercise more patience in dealing with people with disabilities than perhaps any other type- their shyness with strangers can lead others to misread them as standoffish. Only among their friends and family may this quiet type feel comfortable speaking freely. ISFJ's are serious people with a strong work ethic, not inclined to self-indulgence. They believe in being meticulous and thrifty. They work well alone. While they may enjoy taking care of others, they do not enjoy giving orders." (taking from wikipedia article "ISFJ." Great article and you can find so much more on ISFJ's if you are interested :) )
The other personality I was very close to getting was ISFP, which you can look up on your own if you are, again, interested.

2. Do you like to snack while writing or is it distracting?

I hate to eat while writing! When you're in the flow and your hand is constantly tempted to reach out and grab food off of a plate, it just does. not. work. Actually, when I get really into my writing, I will write for hours and completely forget about eating lunch or whatever.

Question from coralie.rose:

1. Where do you like to write the most?

More often than not you'll find me curled up on my bed, pillows propped against my back. I have to be comfortable. However, I also discovered that I get a lot of writing done when I'm babysitting and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is on TV. ...Does that say anything about my writing? o.O

Questions from Aly K:

1. If you were to go somewhere to get inspiration, where would it be?

Ireland! Talk about inspirational, gorgeous scenery. Plus, the people are very unique as well, and I think it would be interesting to get to know the culture.

2. Which is easier for you to write, a guy or girl?

Definitely a girl. I don't know a thing about guys or a thing when it comes to talking to guys, so my writing can sound a bit fake and awkward at times :P

3. Who is your favorite character that you have written about? That you have truly felt a connection for?

Marta, a main character in my current project, The Descendants of Drasia. Marta is my loner, my most unique character, and my strong, possibly most undaunted character. One night I nearly gave up on my whole idea for Drasia, but then I thought of this character and such a feeling of connection and love sprang up from no where, and I exclaimed, "I can't abandon her! I'll be betraying her!" I've never had that extreme doubt about my book since.
Marta might also be my favorite because I consider her to be a bit of my alter-ego. ;)

4. Would you rather type out your book or write it by hand?

I would much prefer to write out my book - I love to watch the stack of pages grow. However, I find that I can type for much longer on a computer without my hands and wrist getting cramped up. Also, I can type faster, so my thoughts aren't always so behind my writing ;)

5. How did you come about to writing? Does it run in the family or something that you picked up?

Great question! The things is... I really don't know how I came about to writing. It sort of just happened!
Actually, it does run in the family, I think. My gommie, my mom's mom, went to college for English, as did my grandmom, my dad's mom. My grandmom even wrote a book once, I believe! My eldest brother, Andrew, use to be a big writer when he was in high school but turned his focus to movies in college.
I would say my interest to start writing began when I was around nine years old. When I was really little, I always wanted to be an artist or teacher, and to be honest I'm sure exactly when I really decided I loved to write. I might say part of my motivation to start writing was a big influence from my brother (I didn't like it when he stopped writing stories, so I decided to continue on for him :P).

6. What writing book is the most inspiring/helpful that you have ever read?

I'm ashamed to say I don't have a good answer. I have collected so many writing books but haven't read many of them. I'm saving them, I guess, though I shouldn't :P I usually read a lot of blog posts from authors for quicker instruction.
However, a few years ago, I read a book called "Someday You'll Write: Secrets of a Story Maker" by Elizabeth Yates, and I remember loving it.
For Christmas I received a book called "Word Painting: A Guide to Writing More Descriptively" by Rebecca McClanahan, and I'm anxious to begin it!

7. What is your favorite color?

Hehe! Green! I love the deep, dark, rich green of mysterious, enchanted forests. How's that? ;)

8. Fantasy, modern, 1800s, 1700s, or westerns...what is your favorite to write?

YES TO ALL! Except modern - I don't seem to click with modern writing. However, if I had to pick one, I would say fantasy is what I feel most comfortable with. I love the freedom of fantasy - anything can happen, anything is acceptable, and that's perfect for me because I do NOT like being told what to write.

9. Is it important for you to gather a lot of information about your book before you write or as you go along?

I have an annoying habit of getting too excited and jumping in without doing much research, instead simply drawing knowledge from movies or books I've read of similar genre or setting. Often if I come across something while writing I'm not sure about, I'll spend a little time researching it before continuing. I hope to break myself from this habit. I plan to start researching excessively for my Drasia books, though I may have to wait until I graduate in a few months.

10. Do you have a favorite thing to wear when you write?

Not really, but I have to be comfortable, so if I've just eaten and my jeans are too tight I'll change into stretchy pants, hehe! I also like to wear short sleeves because I get really warm when I write, concentrating hard on something for so long.
Curling up with my soft purple blanket draped across my lap is favorite during the winter, however :)

11. What would you rather...write out a conversation between people or describe a place or outfit or anything?

Definitely a conversation! I struggle with writing beautiful, unique descriptions. Dialogue seems to come pretty naturally to me, however, and I'm always interested in seeing what my characters will say. Sometimes I feel like they've taken over the conversation, and I have no control!

Phew! Again, thanks to everyone who asked these awesome questions. I may not be able to give another post next week since I'll be in North Carolina, but I'm planning some good posts for the future so don't abandon me! ;)