Monday, August 29, 2016

Beautiful People: August 2016

Last week, I didn't have a chance to participate in A Novel Idea. It was a really intriguing yet diffcult prompt, but I ran out of time and energy. Maybe at some point I'll go back and do it just for kicks and giggles, but for today, I'm finally completing August's Beautiful People questions. (I can't believe I've waited this long to do it!)

This month the questions are focused on character appearance. Many characters came to mind when I was trying to decide which character to spotlight, but I wanted to introduce someone new--someone with intriguing appearances. Thus I've settled on two characters from my library story, The Secret Library Society. Since I'm still working out the kinks from last November, I thought it fitting to get to know these two in particular.

Meet Recto and Verso, twin siblings that are The Library's Pages. (Pages here refers to the person whose job it is to shelve books.) Together, they guard the Library from outsiders and make sure things within the Library are in order. They're twins, but they are opposites in almost every way--fire and ice, black and white, optimistic and pessimistic. They're quite fun, and I loved meeting them. (Verso, especially, surprised me when I wrote.) In addition, their names literally mean "right page" and "left page" of a book. Clever, eh?

Give a brief overview of their looks. (Include a photo if you want!)
Recto: Think "tall, dark, and handsome" and you've got Recto. He has dark hair, dark eyes, dark clothes. The only thing about him that isn't "dark" is his skin; it's pale. (Side effect of working in a library, right?)

Recto with his "time" discs.

Verso: She's the opposite of Rector; she is all light. She has ice blue eyes, pale skin, and high cheekbones that could probably sharpen knives. She prefers to wear all white, even down to her boots and the shade of her nail polish. The only thing that isn't "white" about her is her hair; it's dark like her brother's.

Picture that figure but in all white. Even a white cape.

Share a snippet that involves description of their appearance.
"His eyes were dark, almost black. They gleamed. He wore a long, dark trench coat with a vest and tie beneath, all black. Even the gloves on his hands were black[...] The man was clean-shaven but his hair flopped across his forehead in waves of dark shades." 

"Her eyes were an icy blue, and they pierced Arthur’s skin with the feeling of coldness. Her skin was flawless white. Only her hair, which was dark, contrasted against her figure. It was pulled back into a distinguished twisted bun."

What is the first thing people might notice about them?
Recto: His tall stature.

Verso: Her cold eyes and sharp cheekbones.

What are their unique features? (Ex: freckles, big ears, birthmark, scars, etc.)
Recto: His eyes are dark black with a small hint of embers burning inside, like hot coals. When he gets mad, agitated, or excited, the fire burns brighter. He also has impressive eyebrow game.

Verso: In addition to her rigid cheekbones, she has flawless skin. There isn't one blemish or freckle or scar to mar her skin. She also has a cute nose. As cute as Anne Shirley's nose.

How tall are they? What is their build (Ex: stocky, slender, petite, etc.)
Recto: He's tall. Like 6'5. And he's slender. He's one of those tall, skinny types that probably would eat a lot and gain nothing and then eat more. And yet, he still has some muscle to him where he can jab his sister in the side with his bony elbows and leave annoying bruises.

Verso: She is also tall. Around 6'3. She is slender with flattering curves.

What is their posture like? How do they usually carry themselves?
Recto: Unless he's walking, he's usually slouching or leaning against something (a bookshelf, a doorway, etc.). But when he walks, he walks like he's on a mission with straight strides and level shoulders.

Verso: She never stoops to Rector's "lazy" habits. She always holds herself with sophisticated grace. Her shoulders are rolled back, her chin is up, and her body is in perfect posture.

Your character has been seen on a “lazy day” (free from usual routine/expectations): what are they wearing and how do they look?
Recto: He doesn't have a "lazy day," but if he did, he'd probably be in sweatpants, a baggy t-shirt, and a robe two sizes too big, with bare feet and messy hair, looking like he just woke up for a 12-hour nap.

Verso: She would, of course, still look put-together if she had "lazy days." Not one hair on her perfectly chiseled head would be out of place.

I like to imagine that Verso wears this one her lazy day and also does this in her free time.

Do they wear glasses, accessories, or jewelry on a regular basis? Do they have any article of clothing or accessory that could be considered their trademark?
Recto: Sometimes he wears a hat, and he always has his trademark pocket watch "time" discs on him.

Verso: Occasionally, she'll wear glasses, especially when learning a new book trick. She wears a bracelet cuff on her left wrist, which has a built-in watch and book essence calculator. She also has a necklace pendent that holds a bit of book essence in case of emergency.

Have they ever been bullied or shamed because of their looks? Explain!
Recto: He doesn't get out much, but Verso is always rolling her eyes over his clothes or posture or something he probably did wrong.

Verso: No, never. If anybody dared to bully or shame her, they would pay. So no one would dare.

Are they happy with how they look? If they could change anything about their appearance, what would it be?
Recto: Yeah, he's perfectly fine with how he looks. Anyways, he doesn't have time to worry about his outer looks, he has The Library to guard!

Verso: She knows she's already reached perfection. There isn't one thing she would change, except maybe that she looks so much like her brother.

Did you participate in Beautiful People? Join us here!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Novel Idea: 8/9/2016

This week's A Novel Idea prompt is about characters.

This week, make a list of 20 things about your character. They can be as simple or unique as you want, but hopefully it will help you learn at least something new about your character and their backstory.

The first character I thought of to feature was Ryker... again. I'm still starting to get to know him as we plan our writing project. But then I thought about it, and I decided I didn't want to do Ryker again. Not yet, at least. Instead, I'm going to feature Ryker's best friend: Wren.

Wren is an eleven-year-old girl with a strong sense of magic. She can write anything into existence provided the elements that make up said thing are in the vicinity. Of course, it doesn't always go perfectly, especially when she gets impatient and rushes the magic process. But she's young and still learning, and she has an interesting perspective of the world.

Here are 20 more things about Wren:

1. She doesn't have a favorite color. She loves all the colors in the world, and she can't choose a favorite because she doesn't want the others colors to be sad.

2. She lives in Blitzkrieg with Ryker, but she was born on an uncharted island of Bakkaj.

3. She doesn't have any memories of her life before the age of seven when Ryker rescued her from the "husks." At times, she pretends she remembers her parents, but she really doesn't. She believes they were nice people that didn't deserve to die so young.

4. She had been trained from an early age to use her magic, which is why her magic abilities are much greater than Ryker's. Her parents recognized the early signs of strong magic in her, and they hired a tutor.While she doesn't remember any of this, she still possesses the knowledge to use her magic.

5. She likes to collect clothes of different sizes, styles, and colors when she can. Usually, she wears them altogether at one time in order to keep warm in the cold of Blitkrieg, feel all the fabrics, and wear all the colors of the world.

6. She loves to read, but she only owns one book that she and Ryker swindled from an apothecary. The book is volume three of a set of ten about using magic.

7. She likes to sing.

8. If she sets her mind to something, she is very stubborn.

9. She has Ryker wrapped around her finger. There is a way about her that she can get him to do almost anything.

10. She likes to use her magic to show off. She enjoys when people notice how powerful she is.

11. Her favorite animal are birds, but Blitzkrieg doesn't have many.

12. She daydreams about visiting every island in Bakkaj, especially Central Isle, and using her magic to help people.

13. Her favorite food are croissants for both their shape and taste.

14. When she sings, she can also use magic, but it's not as powerful as when she writes it.

15. She can use many different kinds of mediums to write her magic--her finger through the air, her nails on wood or ice, charcoal on paper, etc.--but the most powerful form is when she writes permanent ink on to skin.

16. She's given Ryker three magic tattoos--one on his shoulder for protection and the other on each of his calves for speed.

17. She has always wanted to learn how to swim, but since she lives in Blitzkrieg, it's too cold to go into the water.

18. Most people are physically drawn to her due to her magic aura and her gorgeous physical attributes.

19. She's half-Fae, but she doesn't know this. Neither does anybody else who is alive. She takes after her mother, but there are glimpses of her father--the Fae--in her appearance as well.

20. She has a huge "schoolgirl" crush on Ryker and daydreams about growing up and marrying him.

Tell me about your characters! Better yet, link up with A Novel Idea.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

A Novel Idea: 8/2/2016

July was a crazy month. I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo with a goal of 15,000 words. It exhausted me, but I won! I had hoped to finish section three of A Girl and Her Dragon, but once more, I did not. I'm not even halfway through the section yet. I'm still trucking along for the 100 for 100 challenge. (It's day 68! How did I get this far?) In addition, I started a side project with a few friends that I mentioned when I did July's Beautiful People. I can't make promises of when you'll see it, but I can promise you will know first thing. I'm super stoked to share it with the world.

Thus, I've neglected other writings, such as A Novel Idea. There were two weeks I really wanted to participate in, but I couldn't scrape together the time or energy. Hopefully I can find time in the future. For this week, the challenge is as follows:

Who is an author (or two or three) you aspire to write like? What is it you admire about their work or their writing style? Are there any similarities between you and your writing role model(s)?

Picking only two or three writers is like trying to pick your favorite pet or favorite character--it's hard, but honestly, it's not impossible. (Maybe that's because I only really had one pet that was important growing up.) There are actually three authors that immediately came to mind when I read the prompt.

C.S Lewis

I bet you all thought I would say Tolkien, right? Well, you'd be wrong. As much as I adore Tolkien, I can't fathom ever writing like him. It would be too much to consider I could ever write like he does. You might think the same should be said of C.S Lewis, but I do think I could write like him. Maybe not as deep or theological like him, but I could write similar to him. I have actually. The Chronicles of Narnia are the books that really got me started on the fantasy track. I was swept away into the magic of it. One of the first true stories I ever wrote had similar narration techniques C.S. Lewis used in the Narnia books, such as the narrator being part of the story, almost talking to the reader.

In addition, I love the simplicity of what C.S Lewis wrote. Some people might think he was too simple or too obvious or too allegorical, but as a child, I loved it. His world made me feel closer to God and made me feel like I could understand God better through characters like Aslan. I didn't need to analyze every single detail or word choice to understand the messages C.S. Lewis was trying to say. And I was amazed that a set of books written forty years before I was born could still be relateable, but they were.

One of my favorite authors is Donita K. Paul. I've read every book written under that name, and I have fallen in love with every single one. And every single one includes dragons. (Who is actually surprised right now?) I aspire to write like her, not just because of the dragons. She has a wonderful way with fantasy that just lifts me up and makes me fall in love with other worlds and other people. Her books are also full of simple messages, but I love how the characters must also learn and grow into being who they were created to be. There are just a lot of great things about her books, and I want people to read my stories with the same kind of delight and discovery. And also... dragons.

If you haven't heard me rave about Lisa T. Bergren, you're missing out. Lisa T. Bergren has such a way with her writing that I am immediately swept away into the story, and I can relate to the characters. She does such a good job blending action and romance and adventure that I can't even properly sort her books into one specific genre. I want to have that kind of balance and ability to captivate my readers. She also doesn't sidestep the real stuff of life or brush things under the rug; she faces tragedy and choices and the deep parts of life without hesitation or fear. I want to write characters that kick-butt but also lend compassionate hands. I want strong heroes and brave heroines and beautiful worlds. I want to craft stories that leave me with just as much astonishment and hope that her books leave me.

In addition, Lisa T. Bergren is also a wonderful presence for her readers. She responds to tweets, facebook comments, and emails as if you are close friends with her. I don't know many authors that do that or have time to do that. She also encourages her readers and fans, posting artwork and sharing encouragement. I love her writing, and I love her heart. So I want to be more than just a good writer, I want to be a good author.

I'm sure the list of authors I aspire to be like could go on for pages, but I'll leave you with these three as the most important three.

What authors do you admire and aspire to be like? Let me know if you participate in A Novel Idea!