Posts Tagged ‘Writing’

That feeling of your head hitting the pillow after a long day of playing and fixing your writing…. “


So, while talking with a fellow author friend of mine I have come to the mildly irritating conclusion that sleep and authors don’t tend to get along.

This explains A LOT (Seriously).

I have always had trouble sleeping, because I had some thought pop into my mind at the very last minute demanding attention– which then demands expansion… which by the end of all the demands turns into a list of To-Do’s for the ever fickle and slave-masterly Muses. This is particularly annoying/obnoxious/frustrating when you as an author have just spent the better part of the day working on something; feeling the stubborn mule of inspiration digging its heels into the ground saying. Well F*@&# that.

As an author of any genre/style it’s exhausting trying and failing in pulling that wanted chapter [revision/article/cover art/comic panel] out of your mind: all we generally want is a good night’s sleep that lasts for 36 hours instead of the measly 7 we’re Lucky to get.

Of course what we want as our day has shown us quite bluntly isn’t a factor in what is going to happen… it’s a general rule somewhere.

We shut down our computers; put our pens and paperwork away. Stand up, shuffle zombie like to the coffee maker set it for morning then crawl our way into our bedrooms, flopping heavily on the bed. It’s a painstaking process to gather up our worn down energy reserves (in my case it’s usually running on fumes by then) to climb under those heavy blankets; tug them up to our chins and roll onto our sides to try our hands at this mysterious sleep– thing.

As I am sure you have been following by my implications, as sledge-hammer blunt as they have been. “Try” is the operative word here. Sleep may touch the mind for a split of a second but by then it’s already a long time far too late. Our eyes suddenly snap open, a glare being aimed to the heavens.

……only to find inspiration smacking you in the face as you look up at the ceiling. Next thing you know it’s after 4 am and sleep was only a fleeting whim…….

Authors by nature are lazy creatures. We don’t want to have to go fetch our bags, binders, pencils especially once we have gotten it into our heads that it’s BED TIME. It’s now our turns to dig in our heels and say ‘No, I’ll remember it in the morning.’

Have you ever tried digging your heels in when a mule or donkey decides it’s time to run? Good luck with that.

The muses are no different, once they decide to bestow their blessing of inspiration, an author’s mind has no choice but to follow it. Much like a fisherman who runs across the deadly sirens song; All ideas of sleep crash and burn. So we get up, jot down some chicken scratch hoping to appease the muses long enough to go back to bed. That chicken scratch becomes a novel of thought that thread between one another.

If there is no paper readily available, or exhaustion is too close (as tends to be the case more often than not) we plot and plan till our heavy eyes close, That sand papery feel of them scratching our peepers  reminds us that we need to blink more often while writing. That mild distraction that catches the muses off guard, much like the magpie the muses chase that shiny into oblivion of sleep.

When we wake once more: Drag ourselves to the coffee maker knowing we had something to remember, something jotted down somewhere. The winds of sleep and shiny distractions erase every word, every thought leaving only a vague impression of what once was. It reminds me of looking backwards on a beach as the tides come in. You have a vague impression as to the distance travelled by the evaporating footsteps but don’t really remember walking so far.

……Of course only frustration remains the next morning as the cycle begins again.

Welcome to the Authors life.

So, if anyone ever tells you the life of an author is simple. Kindly remind them that as my friend so eloquently put it…. “Writers = society’s acceptable insane” and we don’t generally begin our journey that way… it’s a trait that comes from dealing with the muses, and you are so not alone on this journey!

Always Writing,

TrishaEllen

 P.S. My many and vast apologies to you all out there in reader paradise, I have had a family emergency and haven’t really been active on the computer, never mind writing world. So far things look to be looking up and hopefully when I jump back into classes and play catch-up, I’ll have some time left over to get some serious writing done–[and that dastardly signature i said I’d so a while ago….]

Originally posted on [Link] My previous and lacking blog, What is posted here today is an edited version of the same post– that still stands today. Date posted [Saturday, December 10, 2011]
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As an apology to you all for my lack of attention to this blog and the fanpage, I have decided to give you all a preview of the work I have done on the Hourglass. It isn’t much, but, it’s something that I hope you all will enjoy!  

Warmest regards,

Trisha Ellen

The Past Trilogy, of the Past, Present and Future saga.

Book One: The Hourglass

By: Trisha Ellen

Chapter one

My life has been vast in many ways, ways that most who would read this document couldn’t truthfully understand no matter how many words I use. In this vast life I have but one first memory, and over the course of uncountable years no matter how many different people I speak to about this memory, it appears that even that is different then the standard.

I remember being safe, secure against some horrible fate. If I focus on this sensation, I am almost able to pick up the vibrations of sounds, like someone is talking to me– yet the words are always drowned out. I can smell the wild flowers of my homeland, one that I am doomed to never lay eyes on again. If I am very, very lucky, I can almost see the face of my elder brother so much younger then I know him in any of my other memories, watching me with a fearful expression in his silver eyes.

I don’t try to delve further into that memory and I have never questioned Raziel about this memory. I know from personal experience that remembering the land of our birth is quite hard, and often leaves those of our kind in a state of longing. A longing that leaves us utterly useless. For beings of our creation, this is not something that should ever be done.

I will only be doing so consciously this one last time; for I promised someone very close to me that I would put to record my life so that no one would ever make the same mistakes as we did again.

A great many years must have passed before I was aware enough to cement further moments into my memory. My next memory is both a pleasant memory for me, and the first time I became acutely aware that I was different from the rest of my kind.

I was dancing across the valley of souls, a flock of souls where following my progress across the flowers of their home. These flowers are not at all like the flowers of the mortal realm, these flowers were constructed out of the very universe and the closest substance that I have come across outside of Edan that could compare were prisms. Thousands upon thousands of flowers constructed from feather light prisms, flexible just like the flora and fauna in the mortal realms, soft to touch, and the smell indescribable.

To each Edanite, what we call ourselves in Edan, the look of a soul is different. For me, the souls were multicoloured butterflies each completely different and unique from one another. They were warm like a fire, yet cool to the touch. Unlike butterflies in the realms of mortal life, the souls laughed and sang songs like children everywhere. I remember spinning and spinning along with the souls, singing along to their songs. I remember Raziel watching me from the top of a hill waving ever so slightly as I called up to him.

Alas as the phrase goes, all good things must come to an end and that day they did. This was the first time I can recall being frightened. Fear was not something we learned in Edan, at least not often, and seldom from our own protectors. Many names have been given to them by many people, the most common I have heard uttered was archangel and so we shall call them.

Laughter and songs ceased as I looked up at my brother, his waving stopped as he stretched his pure white wings wide and swooped down into the soul valley. A hand dropped down on my shoulder and I felt a jolt of energy, raw power, much like being struck by lightning– in that single touch. I cannot recall if I cried out or not, but I would not be surprised to find I had. I turned to look into the coldest blue eyes I have ever laid my gaze upon. The Archangel Michael stood behind me watching me with an intent look to his features; one I couldn’t put a name to at the time, but can only now call bottled fury.

“She is not to be harmed, smite me if you will, but she is under the protection of the three mothers. You know this well captain.”

Raziel landed at my side, and I scurried behind his legs. I remember pressing my face to the back of his thigh so tightly I thought I would push out the other side. I peeked out from around his leg, looking up at the six winged angel. His wings where so large I thought he could block out the very sky of creation! His hair looked like spun strands of the sun, so bright it hurt to look at for too long.

“And no harm will come to her Raziel. So long as you love her she cannot be touched, and nothing can break that law. I was merely trying to figure out how this little abomination could garner your affection in the smallest degree. You are after all a soldier of Edan.”

His voice was so melodious, like the singing of a thousand songbirds all perfectly in tune. He was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, and I can only wonder if that was part of my fear of him. I’ll never know.

“It is because I am a soldier of Edan that I can love her captain. That is something I fear you will never understand.”

“Perhaps, I was not created for love; I was created to protect this paradise. Keep her from the fields of souls Raziel, we cannot afford for her to rub off on them.”

Oh the bravery of youth, one does not step up to an arch angel, and declare you will not listen to their words, for their words are law second only to God’enra. Yet that was exactly what I did. I stepped around Raziel, my beloved brother, and looked up at this all powerful being.

“That is not fair! We play and dance together, and everyone is supposed to come to the valley! I didn’t do anything wrong! You can’t punish me for nothing!”

My brother, oh how much I owe him and cannot possibly repay. He placed his hand on my shoulder and put an end to my tirade. Michael stood looking down at me, a look I still haven’t figured out plastered on his features. Locked in his gaze as I was, I couldn’t move. Every part of me felt super heated beyond tolerance, yet chilled so fully that I started to shiver.

The angel took flight with out another word; the strength of his wings was so that it knocked me to the ground, though I would have ended up there regardless. With the sudden loss of that angels gaze, I felt as if I was emptied of everything that made me what I was.

“Roasha,” My brother said to me as he too slowly sat on the ground. “Listen to me dear sister, this is very important.”

I had never heard my brother speak to me so, and turned my attention from watching one of the many soul butterflies– to him. His silver gaze so caring looked down at me, and I wish I could see what he saw, what he placed his very existence in danger to protect. His blue-black hair shifted around his shoulders like the mane of a lion after he has fended off a powerful opponent.

“Roasha, you cannot speak to Captain Michael like that. He can keep you from the soul valley regardless of what the others say. He is one of our strongest guardians, and his words are to be heeded without question. Do you understand me?”

I nodded that I did, despite the fact that I didn’t quite understand why he had banned me from the valley.

“Why did Michael call me an abom-i-nation?” I questioned of my brother, believing that he had all the answers. I didn’t get an answer that day, but I did for the first time see a look of sadness on my brother’s face.

I remember sitting up on my knees for how short I was, and reaching my hand up to place it on my brothers cheek. So soft and still childish then, yet it held the edginess that he would quickly grow into as the years passed.

“Don’t be sad Raziel; you don’t have to tell me if it hurts.” I said to him, honestly not wanting to ever hurt my brother. His larger hand pressed my hand harder against his cheek, and a smile graced his lips. The look in his eyes spoke of nothing more then pure love, the kind of love that could move mountains with its sheer power.

“I am not sad Roasha.”

That was the first time my brother lied to me.

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EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it!

The Psychotic Journey is looking for guest bloggers to post articles about the wonderful, crazy, rageful, trail of writing and authorship. The path of an author is often twisting and lonely if you’re not connected to those who can understand the ‘Cartoon-answering-muse-cursing-insanity’ that comes with being a producer of the well written word.

As you know this blog’s mission is to not only give helpful tips and tricks for author’s New and Old. It is also to let those of us more socially disinclined (Like myself) that we’re not alone on this journey of pure psychotic insanity!

Are you a blogger with wordpress.com?

Do you have an interesting story, or a tip/trick that isn’t already posted on this blog?

Would you simply like to increase your reader count?

Well come on down! Place a comment at the end of this post(Or send me a message through my Fanpage /TrishaEllen, pitching your idea for a blog post! If your articles are “splendiferous!” Then there is always the opportunity for an invite to return to the psychotic journey for more guest blog posts– or even (Dun Dun Duuuuunnnnn) Potential for permanent authorship!

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE! You’ll see a reply in your inbox if your ideas are accepted for guest posts.

Always writing!

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Creating The Face

Posted: February 27, 2013 in Beginning, Characters, Help, Writing
Tags: , , ,

character traits

This is the second installment of my advice to Character Troubleshooting.

So, You’ve thought about the setting of your book (This includes but is not limited to, the era of your novel– Is it based in history somewhere, is it present, or even future?); And you’ve even thought about what kind of character you want. (Are they Dynamic personalities? Flat? Round? Are they The Protagonist, Antagonist, Anti-Hero?) So, now that you know that, the next step is to create the FACE of your character.

I am sure by now a lot of you are reading this with a strange look on your own faces wondering what kind of drugs I am on. Honestly I’m not on any–  just hear me out.

The reason I say this is because a lot of Authors that I know, create their characters from the NAME down. To me, this is the HARDEST way to create a character, because what if your character doesn’t at the end of the day suit their name? All those hours looking for a name that you really like, and holds what you want, would then be wasted. (well at very least wasted in this effort– if you have characters, or names you like keep them handy you never know when they’ll be useful.)

Now that I have explained the why– lets get down to business.

First things first; What is your characters Ethnic Background?

This is vastly important to note, even if it’s to your self, because not everyone holds similar facial features. (Beyond that of two eyes, two ears, one nose and one mouth that is…) For instance, if your character is of an Asian ethnic origin, that will help determine they’re height, the average weight, their coloring. (Most Asian’s have dark hair, and dark eyes though this isn’t ALWAYS the case, especially with hair dye`s and contact lenses– but we won`t complicate things.)

So, go a head, pick your ethnic type. Here is a  page I have created as a Quick Reference to sites I find useful for all different types of references that don’t exactly fit into the other drop-down categories.

Lets take a second to list what we’ve done so far,

  • Thought about the setting (When/Where)
  • Thought about Personality Types
  • Role the character is to play in the story
  • Ethnic Origin of the character*.

Given all the information you have compiled for this character you can now:

  • Give a Height
  • Give a Weight
  • Body Type
  • Hair& Eye Color (With out worrying over Hair style or Contact lenses for a moment)
  • Give a Generalized Facial Profile (This is the height of cheek bones, Broadness of the Brow line, The Shape of the head Etc)

You have now built from the ground up, a person- and it’s easy to give a person a Name– Especially when you know what they’re like. It’s no different then giving your family members Nicknames– Only your character isn’t going to be named Marshmallow-butt.

But what about all that work in figure out the Personality Type?! 

This is a critical part of your character’s creation. It’s the Heart and Soul of the character as it where. This part of the process (done early on in the creation process) serves three roles.

  1. The Role: Establishing the importance of the character. It’s important to know where your character is going to sit in the story line, as without knowing this you could wind up wasting valuable writing time making 500 characters that won’t be noticed in your book for more then a few lines. If this character your creating isn’t going to be important in the current book your writing, then it’s alright to blur the image of the character for the reader– after all you don’t want to confuse your readers with useless information. Too many names creates chaos.
  2. The Presence: Given the personality type you have chosen, this enhances the presence of your characters. Are they the calm silent type? Possibly a soldier? Well if they have a scar on their face– or a noticeable limp, this is a good way to give Back ground AND add to the Basic profile of your character.
  3. The Naming Process: With all the information on the personality type of your character, you have narrowed the list of names for your characters. From Personal experience, And reading experience  I have found that the personality more often then not goes along with the name. In other words, since you now know the way your character thinks (given the personality) you can choose a name that summarizes the character. For example  a character who is a pacifist, or even maybe a coward probably shouldn’t have a name that reflects being a warrior.

Just one last note on Name’s, Remember how I mentioned that the Ethnic Origin of your character can help you pick your character’s name? Well for Instance, if your character hails from japan- then your character isn’t likely to be named Elizabeth. Yuki is a more likely name. You can find a number of Helpful links to find names in My Names Page.

If your having trouble finding a name, you can apply all the different tactics that I gave you in my post Pen Names R Us. All those tactics apply to any naming endeavour that you may find along the road of your own writing. Best of Luck!~

Don’t forget to comment down below, and let other readers know what you have done to create your characters.

Always Writing,

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Often times I am asked by people– how do you come up with so many different characters with so many personalities. My answer is usually given with a smirk and/or chuckle:

Because I have so many wonderful people running around my head.” 

Never am I taken seriously with that statement– yet here’s the irony. Despite the chuckle or smirk, I am being 100% serious.

Every day we come into contact with several different personalities, some unable to be placed in a category. Friends, Family, Teachers, Peers, Co-workers, Editors, Publishers, Random people at the train station asking for a lighter, or just wondering what time it is. Our lives are constantly looking at different people– yet when we authors try to write– all we see is a school of oddly dressed fish. Zero personalities stand out to be remembered.

When we try to pull up the images in our minds of how someone stood, they’re composure etc, they end up as faceless bodies– or i could just be completely way off– after all aren’t all Authors hermits that hide in the houses and sleep during the day writing fervently at night. Burning the mid night oil as the phrase goes.

Well, in my case, this author doesn’t have the luxury or the funds to burn any oil– there for i have to work at a “real-job” to bring home the bacon. So that forces me to be out in the general public– maybe more often then i’d like to be. However, that doesn’t mean i have an eidetic memory; I’m not Dr. Spencer Reid from Criminal minds.. far from it. Heck I sometimes forget which direction to go in the local mall, and wind up having to walk Around the outside to figure out where I am going.

So how is it that i remember actions, reactions, and even more difficult, Personality traits.

Well, I don’t– at least not in the sense that you may be thinking. Let me explain;

I first use the scene setting as my first clue to what is going on.

  1.  Train station? I have a couple thousand of those trips,
  2. High school– I spent four years there, and had the rather agonizing experience of going to four DIFFERENT high schools.
  3. Your character at a dance club?
  4. Police station?
  5.  Hair dresser?
  6. Mall (of any size or shape)

I try to stick to where i have been, and what I have done ; drawing off of my own personal memory for the setting. This allows me to fill in the background noise, the faceless mash of the crowd, and even the description of the scenery it self. It’s always a lot easier to write about somewhere you have been, then somewhere you would like to go. (You can also always expand on this later.)

“But that doesn’t help me create a character from scratch! Why is your title so misleading!

Don’t fret, I was getting there. The reason why i listed setting first, is before you have a character you should at very least have an idea about what you want to write– what kind of story, and what scene’s (or places) are you going to most likely find in said story. You don’t have to have a complete plot web (indeed if you do, then you already have a character{or 12}– and all you need is a name.).

We’re talking the bare bones here. Okay, now the next question is, what KIND of character do you want?

  1. Dynamic
  2. Static
  3. Round
  4. Flat
  5. Stock

Are they going to be:

  1. Major or central characters
  2. Minor characters
  3. Protagonist –
  4. Antagonist
  5. Anti-Hero
  6. Foil
  7. Symbolic

These are important questions to ask, because once you know the answers to these two questions, then you know how much detail you need for this character– are they nameless and just in passing; Eg, the jerk that rams into your self conscious Protagonist, knocking him/her to the ground? Are they the Main Antagonist who is going to be the subject of the Self couscous shy Protagonist’s torment in the book– Are BOTH characters Rounded? Dynamic? Are the polar opposites? Are they two-bit players in a larger pond that has nothing to do with them?

Just like every person is Different, every character should reflect that in fiction. Not everyone falls into the stereo types, BUT there are enough people in the world to make the Stock “Mad Scientist” Scheme a viable option.

Before you get all tangled up in the Creation of your character- Name Age, DOB, DOD, Height Weight, Ect ect ect. Ask your self the above, and figure out which number applies to your character. That Will make it a crap tone easier to figure out the next step. (Post to come soon)

(For those of you who do not remember these terms presented from high school– or are still new to the writing game Check out my New Page “What the Heck are These” )

Excerpt: Remnant

Posted: February 22, 2013 in Excerpt, Writing
Tags: , , , ,

So I come again, at last some may say; and I come barring a gift of yet another 1st draft excerpt of my WIP Remnant. I hope you enjoy this taste of what I have been up to these past few months… I promise soon I’ll have another post up with more then just an Excerpt– who knows, it may even be a useful post. 

[Excerpt: Remnant 21-02-2013]

 

Samurai wake

The sun was warm against her face, it was pleasant, yet somehow wrong. She couldn’t imagine why the warm healthy sun felt wrong, but something told her it should be night.

It was quite to top off her discomfort, she couldn’t understand why her ears rang with such a silence, until she felt the powerful down stroke of a bird swooping in for a landing. She pried open her stuck-closed eyes and found herself looking at a detached leg. The bird who landed was perched on the ankle joint helping himself to the soft inner tissue of the severed appendage.

Her stomach rebelled instantly, spilling watery clear stomach liquid on the ground around her. Where was she? Why was she amongst the dead? Where were the patrols? What happened to the Regnant? All these questions whirled through her head until she tried to push off the blood soaked ground– finding fire hotter then the forge masters bellows igniting against her back.

She couldn’t catch her breath as the pain brought white to her vision and turned her arms to jelly. Resigned to the hard packed earth she twisted her right arm to feel her back. It was wet.

“sword cut?” she wondered to herself as she walked her fingers up her back– suddenly finding the sharp edge of a spear only partially embedded in her back. She was suddenly more thankful to the heavy leather scaled armor then she had been anything in her entire life.

“Be still.”

She disobeyed the disembodied voice as she tried to lunge for a sword carelessly dropped to the ground in front of her. A firm hand gripped her shoulder pushing her down.

“I said be still, I won’t repeat myself.” She didn’t have the energy to fight the restraining hand and that should have been enough to tell her just what sort of dire straights she found herself in.

She strained to turn her head, looking up into the darkest black eyes she had ever witnessed on a man. He wasn’t looking at her face, but at her back with a thoughtful expression to his clenched jaw.

“You are lucky.” He said flatly, “Double lucky to not only survive this wound– but also to have us walking past this field.”

The deep voice seemed disconnected from the man hovering over her blurred vision. The weight on her back seemed suddenly as if it where five time heavier then it had been but a moment before.

“What’s your name?” The man questioned as the outer ring of her vision wavered, growing steadily darker.

Ayane

She didn’t know if she spoke it, or if simply her mind answered where her lips could not. Suddenly the abyss of nothing engulfed her– leaving her to wonder if she was dead or alive.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

I hope this got you intrigued, if not– ah well better luck next excerpt– if so I look forward to hearing your comments! 

Also, before the copyright ninja’s come after me– the image used in this post is from the 1966 film Sword of Doom, and the location of this image is [Here]  This is just to set the mood of the scene– I am not trying to steal the image for my book.

 

Always Writing,

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think think think

“Think think think” Said Winnie the pooh, “think think think” I agreed going for coffee -SelfTweet

Have you ever found yourself in such a writing hole that you seem to float through the day (or weekend) with out realizing how much time has passed? If at the end of that day, a doctor were to take a sample of your blood, would it be more coffee then blood?

The answer for me is, Yes and yes. For the past few days, I have found myself spinning in circles trying to untangle a plot knot. I have tried everything from ignoring the knot, to picking at it, to erasing it only to have it crop up again later. So what do you do when your stuck in a rutt?

Well a friend of mine said to just walk away from it. Which is good advice…. to step away from what ever writing device you find yourself planted in front of and just leave it alone. Usually, not always, but usually when you leave something alone for a few days and pick it back up again, you’ll find a way to untangle that knot. Yet, I find this knot ever persistent in making my writing life rather difficult.

So what do I do?

Well I do what Winnie the pooh does. I Think Think Think, and then think think think some more….Next thing I know, it’s Monday and when I last looked at the calender on my computer it was Friday.

So what should I do? Should I abandon the whole section and start from scratch? Well that in my opinion would be counter productive. Should I go back and see if I can snip the knot before it starts (you know the whole bubble gum in hair solution), It’s possible, but that would require me reading through a third of my manuscript, and usually ends me up with a head ache.

So what should I do?

Well, that’s just the thing, in my case it’s not a matter of what should I do– it is more, W.W.M.C.D. (What would my character do?) This of course brings on a whole new cycle of think think thinking, but i believe for all the times I am thinking about a knot, or even a hole through the plot– that eventually when someone reads that novel: They’ll appreciate all the head-spinning-muse-cursing-cartoon-answering-insanity that comes with the world of writing.

So have any of you found yourself in a similar predicament? If so, What did you do to fix it!?