Saturday, July 30, 2016

Beautiful People: July 2016

I know it's been a while since I last posted. I meant to post, but life and writing got busy, and well, now here we are. But have no fear, I have come to fulfill this month's Beautiful People! Huzzah!

This month doesn't have a special theme, which is okay because I'm introducing a new character. You're excited, right? A few friends and I are cooking up something writing related. I can only say it involves magic and thieves and well, lots of fun stuff.

Meet Taegan Ryker: my sad, poor skinny baby. His life hasn't been that great, but he's pushing through, no matter what. Ryker can use magic, though only in small amounts right now. He and Wren, an eleven year old girl, live day-to-day by performing magic. But it's never enough. (And that's about all I can tell you!)

Here are the questions:

1. Do they want to get married and/or have children? Why or why not?
Ryker hasn't really had time to think about this. He's too busy trying to make sure he survives the next day to worry about the future. He's also a seventeen year old boy, so he's not exactly focused on that. It's a far off thought, if he ever ends up rich enough or finds someone worth marrying...

2. What is their weapon of choice? (It doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical weapon.)
If he can, he'll use magic. Otherwise, his fists will do just fine.

3. What's the nicest thing they've done for someone else, and why did they do it?
The nicest thing he's done is save Wren's life. There were these creatures (he calls them "husks") attacking her family, and he saved her. Why did he do it? He didn't want anyone else to be hurt by the creatures that hurt his own family.

4. Have they ever been physically violent with someone, and what instigated it?
He's fought of "husks" before because they have no sense of morality, only what they want. He's also chased off/punished street urchins that try to pickpocket him.

5. Are they a rule-follower or a rebel?
I would say he's a little bit of both. For bigger things, like the city authority or the basic moral laws, he is a rule-follower. He tries his best to abide by what's right. But sometimes, he knows that he can't survive by the law, so he rebels. He steals food or he might flee from guards. He doesn't rebel a lot. He's also a kleptomaniac and a compulsive liar.

6. Are they organized or messy?
He's messy. From his hair to his living space to his magic abilities, he is messy. It's quite adorable, especially when Wren tries to "fix" him.

7. What makes them feel loved, and who was the last person to make them feel that way?
He doesn't quite realize this, but he feels loved when he can make other people smile. He loves using his magic to make children light up with wonder at the world or for adults to see a bit of joy in the world. He feels important, special even, when he can do that. Wren, of course, was the last person to make him feel this way.


8. What do they eat for breakfast?
Normally, he eats nothing. I know, sad.

9. Have they ever lost someone close to them? What happened?
Yes. His entire family. He and his family were kidnapped by pirates when he was a boy. He managed to escape because of his mother's sacrifice, but he doesn't know what happened to the rest of his family. He can only assume they died or were sold into slavery. (Poor baby.)

10. What’s their treat of choice? (Or, if not food, how else do they reward themselves?)
Any kind of food can be a treat to him, but he especially likes fruit. He lives on a northern island, which doesn't have a lot of variety of food. Imported food is expensive, and homegrown food is bland most of the time. Fruit is something he used to have as a luxury, so when he has the chance to get some, he does.

What did you think of Ryker? Tell me about your characters!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

A Novel Idea: 7/5/2016

I didn't participate in last week's A Novel Idea because it was a writing prompt, and I wanted to focus on my Camp Nanowrimo story (which is editing/re-writing section 3 of A Girl and Her Dragon). But I'm here to do this week's A Novel Idea!

The prompt is super fun: Tell us about one of your first stories. When did you start writing it, and why? Do you remember the characters’ names? Are you still writing it? If not, do you think you’ll ever rewrite it? What did you learn while writing it?

The first story I remember distinctly writing was a four-page, four-chapter story about a homeless dog that finds a dog. It's clearly adorable. I was probably around 9 or 10 when I wrote it and finished it. (All in one day, I think too!) I remember delivering newspapers on my street, and I saw a dog statue that I affectionately named Tazz. Thus a story was born. 

However, the first "real" novel I wrote (real here being longer than 100 pages) was a story about a dragon, of course. The name of it has changed so many times, I'm not even sure what it started as or what it currently is titled. It's simply known as The Dragon Story. (Which isn't actually helpful since about half of my stories are "dragon" stories.) 

I don't remember why I started writing it except it came to me, and I decided to write it down. I spent a good chunk of the summer following seventh grade writing it out by hand and then typing it up on our family computer. It was a very exciting experience! I thought it was the absolute best story in the world, and I had other people read it and tell me it was good. But when I look back at it now, all I see is a terrible attempt at re-writing Eragon (which is actually amazing because I didn't think Eragon could get worse). 

Some of the characters were Peter, Sari, Jacob, Mattie, and the dragon, of course, Ariel. There were tons of characters, and I had plans for so many books to continue their stories and connect back to other characters. But I never did. 

I'm not writing it anymore, and I don't think I ever will. I think I want to keep it as it is: preserved in my seventh grade writing voice/skills. I think it's good to keep it as is so I can look back and see how far I've come in the last ten years. 

I think I learned a lot while writing it. I learned how to tell a story with characters, a setting, and a solid plot line. I learned how to be disciplined and that writing a story is a long process. I can't just write it and be done. I have to go back over it; I have to type it up and make it better. I have to edit. While I never edited it, I still learned a first draft is not the end of the process. I learned how to use my imagination to create a lot of interesting things--these things are what distinguish it from being too much like Eragon or too much like the other hundreds of cliche fantasy tropes. I learned to persevere. This was the first long story I wrote and didn't abandon. It has allowed me since then to write six or seven other novel-length stories. If I had never finished the first one, this dragon story, I would not have finished all the others. 

The Dragon Story will always hold a special place in my heart as my first "real" novel and as something that included a lot of my favorite things (the name Peter being one of them). While I don't write stories that resemble Eragon a little too closely anymore, I still write fantasy and usually about dragons. I think that's pretty cool. 

What was one of your first stories?