Updates

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve done an update. The illustrations for my book are coming along well. I can’t wait to see the finished product.

As for my other work, I’m still editing away. When I’m not editing I’m either doing concept art for a project of mine, or I’m working.

I’m about to start a new job after the Canada Day long weekend. I guess the day I start is a holiday in the United States. I’m pretty excited about this job. I mean, yah, I’ll be working two jobs for the remainder of the summer but I need the money. School isn’t cheap.

I’m seriously excited about finishing this book. I really want people to see the artwork! It’s fantastic.

Well, I’m going to attempt to do a bit of concept art today. Tomorrow is a holiday so I’m going to be trying to do stuff today so that I’m not scrambling to work tomorrow morning before any festivities.

I was actually going to share some of my art today but I realized when I logged into my computer that I didn’t scan the pictures I wanted to show…only character designs. I’d rather show people what my characters look like when the book is released.

Hope everyone’s having nicer weather than I am.

Till next time,

–R.

Why Stress Out When You Can Write?

I’m in the mood to do some writing right now, and although I have to prepare a rough thesis for this week I find that stressing over what to write goes away when I write something else first. So a little novel-writing tonight, and hopefully after some more brainstorming I’ll have a good idea as to what I want to do for my thesis.

I’d like to see what my characters are up to. They’ve been begging me to give them attention lately, but priorities…homework comes first (or at least…I try to put it first).

Until next time,

–R.

More Nanowrimo Updates

Last night I was up until 3 am writing. I honestly couldn’t stop. I must’ve spent the entire evening working. I guess not working on anything other than essays for a month let all my creativity and imagination build up. I haven’t been able to keep my hands away from a blank page all week. Its incredible.

So its 10 am now. I don’t really know how much sleep I got, nor do I really care. I’m a night owl and a rooster. Up all hours of the day if required. I enjoy sleeping, but whenever I sleep in I feel as though I’ve wasted my day.

The plan right now is to do some character designs, as I’ve finally fleshed out another group of characters.

I’ve got homework to get done today as well, so I’ll probably alternate between the two. Hopefully I don’t get absorbed into my writing and forget about the important work I need to do.

 

Break

I just finished my midterm exams, and I’m now on my long-awaited break. I’ve seriously needed this…I’ve been under so much stress lately, it’s been effecting my health. Now I have this time at home to catch up on sleep, do my homework and get myself back into my usual schedule. I’m just glad that I was able to write my exams without completely losing it. I haven’t slept well in about four weeks….these last two nights I’ve slept like a baby.

So, I’ve been doing character designs recently for one of the novels I’ve been working away at. I’ve found it really relaxing lately, as I was so focused on writing essays I didn’t really get the chance to do any of my own work.

Anyway, I’ll try to post some more while I’m home. Hopefully I start to feel better. My stomachs been bugging me all week…not sure why. I did have a fever a while back and some people said that it hits you, and then the bug comes back once you think its gone…so I’m just praying that it isn’t coming back because I’d really like to do something this week other than lie in bed.

Till next time,

— R.

My Favourite Insomniac

I’m currently feeling exhausted…which makes me want to write about my favourite insomniac, who has so far received 30 pages of sleepless nights, pizza and Lacrimosa on repeat. However this is a rewrite/expansion of a short story I began back in high school. Actually I entered it into a local competition. Obviously I didn’t win, or else I would have shared that story here on my blog. I hadn’t mastered the short story then to be honest. I’ve managed to get the hang of it though, thanks to years and years of practice.

Maybe I’ll sleep. Maybe I won’t. I mean…I just got back to my place, but I’ve been tired since yesterday. It is weird how every time I feel sleepy I feel like working on this novel. Its sort of something I’ve been writing on the side, so I don’t necessarily know when it will be complete, but I actually really like the characters. Ha…I end up loving all my characters, even the jerks. Eh…I think I will take a nap. I don’t have anything else to do right now. Not going out anywhere.

— R.

…and then I threatened to kill him off

The other day I finished up the chapter I was working on, and while I was writing it I honestly started to cry. As the saying goes, “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader,” (Robert Frost) so I decided that I would come back to what I wrote and read it to see if it would have the same impact.

When I was writing this chapter my eyes watered, I got a little choked up, and I felt really sad. When I read the chapter I got teary eyed again, then I got really angry at one of my characters…and then I threatened to kill him off. Luckily for him, he redeemed himself at the end of that chapter by actually giving a damn about another human being. He just picked the wrong time to act like a little snot.

I don’t think I’ve ever been mad at a character before…so I hope when other people read this that they wont want to kill this poor guy. Ha…he’s not poor. Don’t feel sorry for him. He’s honestly a jerk the majority of the time. Nobody wants him around except his girlfriend. How does he even have a girlfriend in the first place!?

Okay…okay relax. Just breathe. It’s just a story…it isn’t real life.

Ha, ha…this has been a weird post.

Is anyone else upset (if you’re in Canada because I don’t know about elsewhere) that the weather suddenly got very cold today? It was nice all week. I thought it was summer…I just finished putting all of my sweaters away.

 

Telling Lies – Sick Puppies

Just finished up part of my study session and thought I’d do some work on one of my novels. So I was going through one of my playlists while gathering my things together, and this song came on. I realized that this song fits several characters I’ve had over the years. Perhaps when I publish I’ll post the playlists I’ve made over the years for my characters. I like to imagine what they might listen to, and this one fits with a good chunk of them.

 

Fourteen Pgs. of Character Notes…And Writing Tips for Detailing Characters!

Fourteen pages of character notes. Wow. I don’t know how that happened but I’m glad it did.

I always try to give as much depth and detail to my characters as I can. I believe that the more I invest in a character, the more attached I will become and that attachment is what makes that character seem more real (that’s a lot of mores). Its great because my characters go from being an idea to becoming like a close, life-long friend (until you know…that scene where they get silenced by the pen aka they die).

It’s a fun process honestly, even though I’ll admit it takes time. Despite the time it takes to do it is a lot more fun than just naming a character and throwing them into your story. A name is only a fraction of a person, there are many other things that make us who we are.

A lot of the time I like to draw pictures of my characters: the facial expressions they might make in different scenario’s, what clothing they might wear, what their hair looks like, their height, the colour of their eyes.

It can be really helpful, but of course I know that not everyone likes to draw. What I used to do on my drawings was create a list beside my character. The list usually looked like…

  1. Name: Bob Robert Bobbinlee
  2. Age: 22
  3. Likes: cows, cats, cookies and cake
  4. Dislikes: anything that doesn’t start with the letter C (is for cookie)
  5. Family: Mama Bobbetta, Father Bobert, Juliettabobo Boblee, Bobafett
  6. Friends: Cookie Monster, Elmo, Pinkie Pie and Ash Ketchum (yes I was talking to my 4 year old niece recently…any watching Pokémon)

What I’ve begun doing now is creating this same list in a table on Microsoft word.

Its pretty easy to do, you just go to insert, then click table…etc.

So now I keep my images and my charts separate, giving me more room to add written details about my characters. This is especially helpful when I have side characters. Usually I don’t know the personality of a side character. Some times I might just have some character who until named is called “Book Store Clerk.” The first thing I like to do is to draw this character out (or imagine what they might look like), then I take that image and I create a detailed character chart, similar to the list above but in chart form…and because it isn’t on the same page as my drawing I can add even more detail.

Using the same example from above:

Name Bob Robert Bobbinlee
Age 22
Appearance Hair: Crimson

Eyes: Crimson

Height: Average

Special Features: Tattoo of the letter C

Personality Hot-headed, sweet-tooth, perfectionist, crazy about cats and cows, creative, incredible cook
Family Mother: Bobbetta

Father: Bobert

Siblings: Juliettabobo, Boblee and Bobafett

Friends Cookie Monster, Elmo, Pinkie Pie and Ash Ketchum

 

Partner (or partners for them playa’s) Cloe Ver
Pet Cactus the Cat and Carver the Cow
Hobbies Reading, eating and baking cookies and cake, chillin’ like a villain with his squad…I mean crew.

 

Occupation/Education Book Store Clerk

 

Fears The letter Z…because he isn’t sure if it should be Zed or Zee even though he’s Canadian. He just…doesn’t know.

 

Dreams Publish a Children’s Cook Book

See, its that simple, and even though some of these details won’t end up being in you story, they are details that are significant to who your character really is. Once you know this much about your character they begin to take on a life of their own, and as an author I have to say that is one of my favourite things that happen while I’m writing.

Whether you like to draw or not, this is a method that I highly recommend. It’s easy to set up and once you get going it can be a lot of fun. Before you know it you’ve got fourteen pages of characters and this amazingly long chart!

Also, if you are a tech-savvy person you can even scan a drawing of your character and place the image into the appearance box on the table. I’ve never done this but I’m definitely going to give it a try. The idea just came to mind.


 

I hope that this post was helpful!

If you’ve never tried to do this sort of detailing with your characters I highly recommend it. Its both fun and rewarding.

If you have any different ways of detailing and developing characters (or you’ve written a post with another writing tip) feel free to share in the comment section. I’m sure, myself and many people would appreciate it!

Happy writing everyone!

— R.

 

Writing Update

The other day I added some more to my novel and also decided to just go through and read some chapters. I started somewhere around the middle and was sucked into the story. To me this is a good sign. It means that I’ve done my job. The next test would be to have someone else read it but that won’t happen until I’ve typed it up. I write everything by hand first. I find that I can truly get involved with my work when my pencil and I do our usual dance.

I’ve decided that my goal this year is to work on my novel once a week. I don’t want to fall back into the bad habit of only writing when I’m in the mood. Especially since last year I was never in a “writing mood”…which is something that has never happened before. Although I do know the cause of it and I won’t allow it to happen again. Now I’m going to discipline myself in order to keep my characters hearts beating. I know that if I don’t finish their story, they’ll die. If my characters are to die, it will be by my pen and not by being left to rot in the unfilled pages of my binder.

— R