NANOWRIMO: Children’s Book Update

The illustrations for the book are even better than I imagined. My story has completely come to life. I can’t wait to show them off. I’m very excited about finally adding the text to the images.

I hope Nanowrimo is going well for everyone. I’ve been extremely busy with school and…life in general so I haven’t had much time to post this month. Not as much as I’d have liked anyway.

I have a meeting today so I have to keep this short.

I hope you’ll check out the book when it’s published!

–R.

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Book Update!

The illustrations have been reviewed, and approved. I’m extremely satisfied with the way that they turned out.

As for my novel, I’ve made a lot of progress and I’m almost ready to print and do a read through. My goal is to read the entire book in one sitting, however with my schedule I’m not sure if that’s possible. I’ve also selected a handful of people to read it over as well…which I’m very grateful for. I could really use the extra eyes.

Anyway, it’s 1 in the morning now and I have to go to work at 6…so I’d better get some sleep.

–R.

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.

Children’s Book!

Ness has agreed to do the illustrations for my book! She’s done a great job so far at capturing the story through images. We modelled the character after our niece, who inspired the story.

We don’t have a set release date for the book yet, however we plan on having it ready for publishing in the next few weeks.

–R.

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Artwork by O. Ryder.

The Girl – By O. Ryder

She wished that she could fade away,

Like the petals that decay

And become like dust

Upon the shelves of homes

And through the pages she would roam.

A lingering scent she might be

Amongst secrets of the wardrobe,

or within the old Curiosity Shop.

From each one she would hop,

And find herself on a train

That would run and she’d wonder

If I stay will they notice or remember?

Will my story be told if I hide in the pages?

Shall I be swept away by many imaginations,

Only to lose sight of reality,

And forget how paper cuts once made me bleed?

Then that longing to be evanescent,

Faded along with the thought

And the girl found she’d rather her story was not forgot.



Poem By O. Ryder.

March 16th, 2016.

 

Hello Nanowrimo/Writing Updates

I will be posting a lot more writing updates this month as it is Nanowrimo (hooray!).

So, for my first update I recently did some character designs for a novel that I’m working on. I’d only attempted to draw these characters once before, which was months ago. I’m definitely satisfied with my current take on them. I actually put them in Halloween costumes since I drew the most recent one near the end of October.

As for my other projects I made the decision to redo the illustrations for my children’s book. This was kind of a last minute decision, but I want to be satisfied with my work and I wasn’t happy with how the other drawings turned out. They didn’t really come to life the way I’d wanted them too. I also am taking a children’s literature course right now, and after looking through a lot of the illustrations in these children’s books I just found that the first ones I did were…almost lazy, and in reality the images should draw more attention…they should be more animated. So, back to the rough sketches for round two. Hoping they’ll turn out the way I want them. Once the illustrations are to my liking, I’ll be publishing.

With the rate I’m going at with my novels, the children’s book will most likely come out first…which is completely opposite of what I thought. Originally the book I’d started like…three years ago, I thought I’d be publishing first. As for the one I did character designs for, I hadn’t even planned on extending it into a novel. It began as a short story. So…sometimes things don’t always go according to plan, but I feel like everything has lined up nicely.

Well, those are my updates for now. More are to come. I don’t know if I’ll post them daily or weekly, but whenever I update I will do my best to inform you all.

It’s midnight, so I’d better go to sleep. I’ve dedicated tomorrow to doing chores and homework before my class…so…yah. Hopefully I can squeeze in some writing while I’m waiting for my laundry but you know…homework is a thing. I have to get it done eventually.

Keep writing!

— R.

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.

 

First Big Writing Assignment of the School Year…Yikes!

So this week my class is starting our first big writing assignment, which is our short story assignment.

Now I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before on my blog but short stories aren’t my strong point when there is a limit as to the number of pages I can have or the word count. I’m stronger when it comes to novels and writing lyrics. Actually many of my novels have songs written into them so that when they’re adapted into films there will be an awesome soundtrack. I’m being serious. I actually have soundtracks for my novels of songs that I’ve written about characters, chapters and if my character is a musician then I actually record the songs that my characters perform in the text. I go all out. It is not just a book. It is…like…a living breathing thing. I guess that sounds over the top.

My sister thinks it’s kind of cool but she also gets annoyed when I record these songs while she’s trying to sleep. I’ve had things thrown at me and no, I’m not a bad musician. I don’t suck! My sister just has to hear me all the time. We actually write a lot of music together and perform it. I’m teaching her to sing because our voices automatically complement each other. She’s the one person that I enjoy harmonizing with because the sound it makes… I can’t even put it into words. Whenever we sing together and harmonize perfectly off the bat we both react like this

Me: WHOA!

Lil Sis: That was…AWESOME!

Me: REPLAY THAT! REPLAY!

And then we have to stop the recording because we usually interrupt our flow due to the fact that it sounded good. It also has to do with the fact that my sister thinks she’s a horrible singer.

ANYWAY back to talking about the short story thing. So the first big assignment is a short story assignment. It’s a story on whatever I want it to be which is great because I get to be creative with it. However, as I just said short stories aren’t really my go to thing.

I do like to write children’s books but those to me are sort of…well they’re for my nieces age group. That’s who I’m writing for. I write those for her. She’s in kindergarten (age’s 4-6 in Canada).

To me, short stories and children’s literature are in two different sections. Perhaps that’s simply because I separated them in my own head but because children’s books tend to have pictures, are not too lengthy and are geared toward a specific audience I place them under their own category outside of the short story category. Does that make sense? I hope so….

I’m not sure of how I want to approach this assignment. I have readily made written material for novels, however I don’t want to have to convert that material into short story material. It’s almost like…I have to plan out the format based off of the idea and if I’ve already decided on a format that I would like to present my idea in then it’s difficult to change it. I mean… that’s why we have different forms of writing. Not all films should be adapted into novels and not all novels should be adapted into screen plays. They were written a certain way for a reason. Now most books make great films, but of course for those of us who read the book before seeing the film it can be pretty difficult to separate them.

I had an interesting discussion with an upperclassman about it the other week actually. I’ll share that another time though.

Well…as you can see I’m stressing over an assignment that should be fun. Hopefully before I have to bring in my rough notes on Friday, I will have come up with something. I might see if there’s any guidelines for my assignment before I make any notes. My professors are being extremely loose on the formats and guidelines as this is a creative writing course. They’re just awesome like that. They’re really…fantastic. I’m so happy I took this course.

— R.


Yes, that is the Pharaoh. Yes, his hair is pretty awesome. Yes, I do watch LittleKuriboh.

If someone actually styles their hair like this with the different colours and everything that would be really cool. Someone needs to do this. They would look like the coolest kid in all of…well the world. Okay I’m done. Got some writing to do…obviously. Can we just…admire his awesome hair. I always wanted cool hair like that but nope I got stuck with my plain generic black hair. Oh well…I’m thankful I have hair. Better not complain. I don’t wanna go grey early like my dad did. Ha….yah. I love you hair…but still…his hairs so cool.

Little Donnie and the Big Black Clouds

rain-cloud-15642888

It was a gloomy day on Rosemary Avenue.

Little Donnie sat near the window with a scowl on his face, watching the big black clouds loom over his house. Donnie would have preferred to have been playing outside with his friends but Mother had said, “A storms comin’. You don’t wanna be caught in a storm, do you?”

To which Donnie replied with a, “No Mum.”

And so he sat and he scowled.

Moments passed and no rain came.

Donnie grew frustrated.

“The clouds just don’t want me outside!” He thought. “They’re making fun of me! It’s never going to rain!”

Well that was it for him. Donnie hopped up off the floor and stomped over to the shoe rack. He slid on his rain boots, slipped on his jacket and marched out the front door.

Donnie looked up at the sky and stuck out his tongue. “No clouds ever scared me!” he shouted. Suddenly he heard a loud roar. It sounded as if someone…or something were very, very upset with him.

Crack! Went the lightning.

Boom! Followed the thunder.

Donnie’s eyes lit up as the flashes of light zipped across the sky. He hurried to the door, stumbling in his boots. He nearly lost balance when he heard the next Crack! He twisted the knob and flung open the door.

Mother tilted her head and gave him a half-grin.

Donnie ran to her and gave her a hug. “Oh Mum, I think the storm is angry with me!” the little boy sobbed.

“Actually, I think it’s saying, ‘Listen to your Mother and stay indoors’.” she chuckled, kissing the crown of his head.

 

 


Author’s Note:

Thanks for reading my short story. I was inspired to write this because I came across an old children’s book of my fathers, and started reading from it. The book was a collection of short stories about children. I found it to be a really nice book, something that the whole family could enjoy (if you have small children). The pictures are very nicely illustrated and the stories are only about a page long. There are poems, and songs created by the children in the tales as well…I hope that I can get (or write) a book that fun and engaging for my own children (and for other children as well).

 

Hoping that you’re all having much better weather than I am,

 

Orion.