A Successful Year Behind Us, A Promising Year To Come

Hello to everyone who still follows my blog, and welcome to everyone who is visiting for the first time! As you may or may not know, I’m Luna (or Moonstone, if you prefer) and as of a few days ago, my blog is one year old! This has been an interesting year, and if you will allow me, I would like to review all I’ve accomplished, as well as look forward to what I plan to accomplish in the year to come.

As mentioned before, I started my blog last year, a few days before the New Year, and have managed quite a few blog posts and stories over that time that I am very proud of. I also joined the wonderful writing challenge “Friday Fictioneers.” I admit that I have slipped up with posting a bit, on both normal posts and my Fictioneer stories, but I hope to pick both back up in the year to come. I can’t guarantee I will not fall behind again when I become busy with school and life, but I will try my hardest, and I hope to see you following me along for the ride!

In April, my best friend and I undertook the A-Z blogging challenge and succeeded. This year, I plan on supplementing that achievement by trying to follow along on the monthly writing challenges she has planned for the entire year. I have no idea what is when, other than the obvious ones, but I’ll try to keep you posted on them as we go. This month, I am trying to create a choose your own adventure, which I will post about when I have some amount of confidence it won’t turn out completely horrible. I’ll probably be using an old idea I’ve had but didn’t really expand on much to test the waters of the genre, since it was what the idea was originally created for.

I also experienced one of the biggest accomplishments in my life so far, writing-wise: last summer, I finished the first draft of my first novel, putting me one step closer to my goal of becoming a published author. In an attempt to be realistic, I’m not even going to pretend I’ll be able to actually get published by next year, but I do plan to keep up my writing and finish at least 2 more novel drafts before the year ends. I also want to keep up my perfect NaNoWriMo record, come next November, and try to win at least one summer NaNo, as well.

In my personal life, I managed to put two more semesters of college under my belt for a grand total of 3 semesters with excellent grades. I’ve also known my best friend, Sabrina, for that year and a half, and have been dating my wonderful boyfriend David for just a few months more than that. They, along with my childhood best friend Riah, have been the best and most wonderful support system, both in my writing and in life in general, that I could ever ask for, and I love them all very deeply in their own unique ways. All I can say is that I hope we all can spend another year laughing and loving each other as if we had all known each other our entire lives, even though I usually only see them each one at a time, and being with all of them at once is so rare, if not impossible.

Anyway, here’s to a year writing on WordPress, another year to improve on it, and to a wonderful New Year!

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Monday Character Conversations: A Follow-up from Charlemagne

I haven’t done one of these for a while. I hope to get back into the habit, if I can. I stopped because I ran out of characters whom I felt were important enough to interview. But, as I am starting a new novel for Camp NaNo today, and am also discovering new characters in the universe of my first novel, as I have a few pages written in the sequel, I feel I have many more characters I can explore now. Before I get to them, though, I want to interview a character who had already gotten the spotlight, but has recently gone through a transformation in the universe my friend and I have contained within Skype, even if his canonical transformation is a long way off, and may not even be mentioned (it will happen, though, to a lesser extent!) So, may I again introduce Lieutenant Charlemagne of the seventh district of Hael!

Hello, Charlemagne. How are you?

I am well.

That is good. Would you like to fill the nice readers in on what has happened since you were last interviewed?

Well…I…I hurt Sokola, and I was punished for it…

 But then?

But then…Abbi began to visit me. She was kind to me, and believed I could change. She listened to me as I sat and spoke of my regrets, of how much I hated my past actions and wished I could take them back. And…she encouraged my change of heart. She visited me day in and day out, speaking with me and encouraging me… And we began to fall for each other.

Aw~! Does Charlie have a girlfriend? :3

Well…yes. Abbi and I are in love. With her, I feel as if nothing else matters but her. I wish to protect her and love her, and I am happy to simply lie beside her and talk, or even just look upon her lovingly. I have never felt this way before. Love…I do not believe I ever truly learned what it was. I use to only care about the physical aspects, and the feeling of power. But…now that I have been reduced to a powerless state, I have realized I do not need it…either of them… I can allow myself to be vulnerable without fear, and be weak and speak sweet words to Abbi… And I do not want to feel power over her. I want us to be equals. I believe I would prefer death to overpowering Abbi, even accidentally, the way I use to do to my officers.

And how is your relationship with your officers, by the way?

[shakes head] We do not speak, usually. They are not happy with…my current state, and find it sickening the way I have fallen utterly for Abbi. Zurina has left the other two, so I have not spoken with heer for quite some time. But the other two…Jenneth desires to hurt Abbi, for some reason, and Bianca does little to stop her unless she is completely over the top. I do not wish to speak with them at all anymore, if I can help it.

Alright. :3 Since I like the sweet look you get on your face, let’s talk about Abbi some more. Do you two have any plans for the future?

Well…she would like to be wed. I do not understand it much, but Vaughn and Aria have gotten married, and it seems to be working for them, so I suppose I can try it, as well. I know it will make Abbi very happy. And…I would like to have children with her. Though I have never thought of having my own offspring, I do enjoy children. And, I now have a woman whom I would enjoy having mother them. But…if Abbi would prefer not to, I will not force her.

Charlie! Stop being so cute! People are going to be confused by how much you’ve changed.

I apologize.

No, no. It’s fine. Any ideas what you would name the children?

I…I do not know… I have not put much thought into it until recently. Perhaps…if Abbi and I reach that point in our relationship, we can discuss it together. I would possibly like to give them names like those from her world, however. Perhaps name them for her friends, since I have so few I would wish to admit to being acquainted with now to name children after.

Okay. So, how do you feel about sleeping with a goddess?

Please, do not be deceptive. Abbi and I are not to that level of intimacy just yet, and I would prefer not to have others believe we are. They might believe I am reverting back to my former ways.

Okay. How do you feel about sleeping beside a goddess?

Well, she has not ascended yet. She still has to beat her goddess first. And…she wishes to wait until after we are wed to fully ascend, even so… But, I find it very fitting. She has come into my life and cleansed my soul and life the way that many believe that only a deity may. And, I am very thankful to her for it. I know she does not want them to, but…I would like any children we may have to at least recognize their mother’s status as a goddess, even if it may be strange for them to outright worship her. Miceli…I am not sure how I would feel about my children following him, and I am not sure if they may worship Odelia, being as they would be demons, albeit two different types. So, I wish to encourage them to follow the deities of Abbi’s world.

Now…not to be a downer, but…what would you do if Arazdori would win her and Abbi’s battle?

She will not.

I know that we are all hoping Abbi will win, but…we must be realistic. It is still a possibility.

No, Abbi will win. She must. If Abbi were not by my side…I do not believe I would be able to go on. She has become my life, my world. After being punished for my past sins, I had nothing. I no longer wished to associate with my forcer life, as anything that still lasted from that would only drag me down and remind me continually of how evil I use to be. But, my actions caused any possibility to create a new life on my own to be impossible. I had hurt too many people to be able to earn the trust of anyone who could lead to worthwhile aspirations. So, I had no choice but to sit in my room and sulk while the young girl assigned to aid me in my healing, Matilda, scurried around trying to at least keep me alive and well. Abbi gave me reasons to live, and has been helping me make amends, and show everyone that I have changed. Even though I have made acquaintances of many who formerly hated me, and have others who believe I will do good things now, I would feel as if I had nothing if Abbi was taken from me. Please…please tell me she will me alright. 😦

Don’t worry. We would hate for anything to happen to her just as much as you do. But, I feel thart is a good place to stop. Any last words before I close up?

Abbi…I love you deeply, but I hope my words do not make you feel as if you must stay with me. If ever you feel you no longer love me, and wish to leave me for someone of a more suitable age, I would understand. Still, I am glad you are with me. Let us always be happy together, and for us both to live for a long, long time, deeply in love. I love you, my goddess. I hope I may one day feel as worthy of your love as you believe me to be. 🙂

Six Tips For Overcoming Writers Block

As you might have noticed, if you follow me, I haven’t posted in over a month. While that is partially due to laziness, I also had a hard time making time for blogging because I’ve been dedicating myself to finishing the first draft of my novel. I’ve been working on it off and on since November, and must admit that there were a few times I wanted to give up because I hit a major wall of writer’s block, or just didn’t feel inspired. But, I pushed through, and now I have a roughly 480 page word document, sitting around waiting for editing. So, in honor of my triumph over writers block, I’ve decided to give some tips on how you can, too! 😀

 

Listen to music while you write

Whenever I am planning a new novel or story, I like to find a few songs that remind me of the story. Songs that remind me of the plot, one event, one character, even a song that has nothing to do with the story, but captures the feeling of story.  I have whole playlists of youtube devoted to songs that inspire me and give me great ideas for what I want to happen next.

You don’t have to make it that complicated, though. If playlists aren’t your thing, or you’re having a hard time finding songs that fit your story, any music will do. Pop in your favorite CD or look up some classical music online. Whatever get your creative juices flowing and make writing fun for you, that’s the perfect music for a quick word binge.

Take a break

Sometimes, when you just can’t seem to get the words on the page, all you need to loosen up the mental dam is a quick destress. Walk through the park, take a trip around town, or maybe even play some a sport with your friends or family. Inspiration often strikes the moment you least expect it. The second you stop thinking about your story and instead just thing about relaxing and having fun, your characters will come out and play on their own, and you’ll suddenly have your “aha!” moment and want to run back home to write as soon as possible.

If you know that you’re prone to random spurts of inspiration, but also tend to lose them as fast as you receive them, relaxing around the house might be a great idea, too. Read a book, take a bath, maybe even do your nails (yes, even you guys! If you don’t like it, you can peel it off later, but you’d be surprised how relaxing it is!). If you’re looking for something that’s a little more of a challenge, yoga can also be a good choice. You can even take a nap, if you so wish! Some of the best ideas have come in their writer’s dreams. Whatever works to prevent you from pulling your hair out in frustration, do it. Your story, and your body, will thank you.

Roleplay

This may seem like a weird piece of advice, but putting your characters into settings and situation that they are not usually in, and focusing on developing that one character, rather than the entire situation, can help you develop the character further than you might ever have done on your own. No matter how much thought you put into your characters, there’s always going to be at least once part of them that you may never know about without throwing them into weird adventures with your friends’ (or strangers) characters. By exposing you characters to these, and revealing hidden parts of their character, you’ll now have a new aspect to explore, and maybe try to work into the story. You could even get ideas for new characters to introduce, if you really like aspects of the other characters. If you do borrow another person’s character, or base a character off theirs, just be sure to tell them. Most people will be honored you like their creation, but it’s still always good to ask permission.

Write side stories

I have only just discovered this beautiful little tip, but my best friends (and fellow writer/characters stalker) Sabrina has been doing this for as long as I’m aware. If you’re at a brick wall, but still need to write (say, you’re doing NaNoWriMo and your awesome friend is 3000 words ahead of you. : P ) take a little detour in the story that you can just edit out later. Drop the TARDIS into the story world and send your hero on a trip through time and space (or to Hael and back, as the case may be), and then have them decide to never speak of the experience again. Write a saucy scene between your OTP, only to have it be a particularly interesting dream. Have aliens attack the city, and have your main characters drop what they’re doing to defend their hometown! Just have a bit of fun with it. Write something that you can laugh at with your friends next time you earn a break, or cut-and-paste that weird little experiment in a separate document, then burn it the next time you drag your pale rear into the sunlight. As long as it relates to your story, it can still count for words. And, if you end up liking it, you have every right to work it into the canon somehow. Maybe. Morty’s TARDIS Adventures may be a little hard to work into a mystery series, but, you know, a little fan fiction never hurt anyone.

Outine

I don’t know what I ever did before I discovered the wonder of outlines. I’ve been writing since I was little, but I was always stupid and tried to plan out entire novels in my head and pray it would make it to the page before I forgot. That was before I was on a 2 hour car ride with major writers block, and started just mapping out where I wanted to go with it as soon as I got my next wind. Not only did it ensure that I remembered everything I wanted to happen, but it also gave be a clearer picture of where I wanted to do, and helped me map out a clear course to that destination. And, the great thing about outlines on the computer is that you can add to and delete from them at will. So, if your destination is still a bit foggy, outline what you know, and then brainstorm a few possibly details that you would like to include. As the outcome becomes clearer, you can add more or delete things that no longer fit. As long as you can put into perspective what you want to happen, making connections and brainstorming ideas will be that much easier

But, most of all, NEVER STOP WRITING ENTIRELY!

The second you trash that story, the Writers’ Block wins. I knew a girl in school who actually got a book published, and the one piece of advice that stuck with me since I last spoke to her is to never give up on your story. Remember that novel I mentioned at the beginning of my post? The “first draft” I finished was actually the second draft to an unfinished first story. I just offhandedly mentioned that I had a story I liked, but that wasn’t going anywhere, and that I was thinking about just trashing it. That was when she laid down that tidbit of advice. So, I bounced my unfinished plot off a few people, figured out what was good and what wasn’t, and then started from scratch with the improvements. Is the plot at all recognizable as the same story, other than having the same character names? Nope. Did I throw that crappy first draft away? Nope. After floundering with it off and on for two years in high school, throwing that thing away would be nuts! I just put it away somewhere safe, where Sabrina can drool over Vaughn for years to come. And, I revived it and kept working on it, no matter how difficult it got sometimes. Now, my “finished product” is nowhere near being sent to publishers, but I got it finished, which is further than I ever got before.

I know it might not sound useful, but if you’ve been caught by a particularly difficult case of The Block, just sit down and drabble. Most likely, you’re going to hate what comes out of your fingertips at first. You may even hate it  when you look back at it years from now (God knows I have some scenes to edit later). But, the important thing is that you’re writing. Get past the scenes that are giving you trouble, and move on to easier ones. You can improve the scenes in post, if they’re really that bad. But, something that will inevitably happen at least once in your life is that you’ll show someone that mindless inspiration-drained diarrhea of words, and…they’ll like it. It feels like total crap to you, because you are your own worst critic, and you know how little effort you put into it. But, you’re also a writer, and a skilled one at that (if you can string together a coherent paragraph that gets your point across, you’re a lot more skilled than many non-writers), so you have the ability to create a masterpiece my accident on your worst day. Then, you’ll look back at that scene and think “Yeah…I guess that was a good idea.” Then, you’ll look at the story and realize that, even if it was the worst idea ever concocted, it got you writing again, so it was still a pretty good idea. Because writing a novel is hard. Ask anyone who’s been published, as well as any WriMo or budding writer currently sitting on a half-edited draft, but who is not yet published. You crossed the first hurdle by finding the courage to tell the story, and now you have about a hundred over hurdles to go before the world gets to hear it. Yes, it’s going to be hard, but isn’t it better to make it to the finish line, stumbling and out of breath, and with a feeling of accomplishment, than to take one look at it and never try at all?

Meeting Your Heroes

For the second day of pig week, I decided to make a certain fictional teenage girl very happy. A few days ago, Sabrina introduced me to a girl from another one of her stories who had a very interesting taste in literature…demon romance novels. But she isn’t interested in just any demon romance novels. She specifically read the novels I am writing, which are already published in her world. In turn, we introduced her to the love of her life…Vaughn. As in, we channeled our characters and actually let her meet Vaughn in my dorm room. Watching this from the corner of my mind I recede into when one of my characters is in control, I thought this was just too cute, so I decided to write a story about it.

I present to you now a story dedicated to all the sane fangirls of any and every fandom out there who make can see the difference between adoration and plain creepiness, and are careful not to step over that line…usually. You give me hope in fandoms in general, and I hope my characters have many fans like you someday. 😀 Continue reading