Novel Update

I’ve finally gotten back into working on the second book for my novel that’s currently being edited. It’s fun. I’ve really missed the characters, and I can see how much they’ve developed since the first chapter of the first book.

Originally I was going to write and publish the series as one big book, but I was instructed (thankfully) by my Dad to split them up…because the book would be enormous and who knew how long it would take for me to complete a three part book. So now the book is a three part series…or trilogy…or whatever you wanna call it. It’s less stressful.

I always told myself, after reading a few trilogies…which disappointed me…that I would only write them if it was planned from the start. It was very clear to me when an author only intended on having a single book, but was pushed by publishing companies to write more novels featuring their characters to help bring in big bucks.

I didn’t want to be that author who lets down their readers because I was writing for money. I write because I enjoy it. I started writing for myself, without any specific audience in mind. Now I try to think about my audience a little bit.

Once my novel is published I might share some of my character illustrations, but I personally don’t like to see cover art where there are people on the front. It really bothers me. I like to imagine what the characters look like based off of the descriptions given. I’ve done illustrations of pretty much all my characters…that I’ve ever had. I’ve debated creating graphic novel versions of some of my work. I may do it. I may not. We’ll see.

I’m still playing around with cover ideas in my head. I’m not going to attempt to do the cover art myself. I’m good at art…but I’ve never done that sort of thing and I didn’t go to graphic design school. I just finished my English degree…all I did was read.

Speaking of reading, have any of you seen this manga I bought recently. The illustrations were breath taking and I bought it for my birthday…and somehow while I was moving I misplaced it. I’m pretty bummed out.

I’m supposed to be going to some free thing at the gym today. Not really up for it. My Mom was hassling me to go outside and enjoy the weather…but instead I stayed in and translated then covered this extremely awesome Russian song.

Enjoy the sunshine!

–R.

 

 

Advertisements

Working and working…and working

The break is officially over, and I’m back to work. Even though I worked during the break, I was spending my time doing the things I loved. Now, I do love certain aspects of the courses I’m taking, I’m just at a point where I feel as though I should be done. I know that’s not the case. I know that I need to do my best work, and push on through this semester and the next. My marks matter. This isn’t the time to be goofing around. Still, I do at times feel too relaxed. Perhaps it isn’t that I’m relaxed, but I’ve finally gotten the hang of things.

I’m already making plans for the end of the year. I see everything lining up. All of the hard work I’ve done is paying off.

My cousin recommended that I do all of my travelling and such now while I’m single, and not tied down to a fulltime job. There are a few places I’d like to go. It’d be cool to spend a month here or there. There’s so much to do and see. I doubt I’ll actually spend a month somewhere, but if I really enjoy my time there I might go back.

I really want to stay home today and sleep. Don’t worry I didn’t spend my weekend partying. I’ve been fighting off a stupid cold for about two weeks. I have a headache…again. One day I’m great and then next I just want to crawl under my covers and sleep for 12 hours. I hate when I sleep through the entire afternoon. I’m not going to let myself do that as often anymore. I finally fixed my sleep schedule. Class isn’t that long…I just…it’s cold outside and I don’t have a proper coat to wear at this time. That’s probably why I haven’t been feeling so great. Also…I’d just rather work on my novel. I know that sounds pretty bad but I have so many things I’m doing here at home that I don’t feel the need to go anywhere else. Except I do need to go pick up a book I ordered. I leave my house when it’s cold and travel across the city for books. Other things…nah.

I think I’m going to do some reading before I head to class. Maybe I’ll feel more awake when I’m finished.

What am I going to eat for lunch…?

noway

Yugi-Oh

its-not-u-its-me

 

“It’s okay friend. You have pizza pockets.”

Thank God…but I don’t think I have time to go home in between my classes.

“Then you will starve. This is why we don’t eat apples for breakfast.”

…You suck.

“Ha…what you say is what you are.”

Grr…

What just happened to my blog post?

–R.

Novel Update

I started editing this morning around 6 am, and managed to get through three more chapters. I still have a lot to go, but my stomach is bothering me so I felt it would be best to take a break. I think that I’m going to have some toast for breakfast, and then do a bit of reading.

I’ve finally had a chance to catch up on books that I’d bought a year or two ago and due to how my schedule was I didn’t have the time to read them. It’s nice being able to read books I actually chose for myself versus assigned readings. Not to say that my professors don’t choose the odd gem, but I’ll be frank (“hi Frank”), the majority of the books I’m forced to read for school I barely get passed the first three chapters. I skim them…sometimes only reading the dialogue or anything that catches my eye. Of course a lot of the books that they choose have almost no dialogue whatsoever. I tend to write a lot of dialogue…my creative writing teachers have said that’s what they like best about my writing. So perhaps that’s why? I just enjoy dialogue…maybe because of all the comic books I read? Who knows. Still, a lot of the books I get assigned are difficult to get into. They’re not very exciting. Sometimes the writing is extremely poetic and gorgeous but despite the words being beautiful the text isn’t saying anything at all. So, being able to read what I want is a nice change.

I just finished reading Tokyo ESP. The amount of references made to superhero’s like Spider-man and Batman is ridiculous, but it made the book more enjoyable. If you’re into manga or graphic novels I definitely recommend it. There’s a flying penguin, how cool is that!? Now I’m reading a novel called The Painted Girls. I’ve read 52 pages so far. I always had the problem of misplacing my bookmarks as a kid…so I taught myself to memorize the page numbers. I know it’s weird. Anyway, I’m really enjoying this book so far. I picked up some more manga at Chapters back on Tuesday. My Nana reserves novels for me that she thinks I’ll enjoy, and I got birthday money and Chapters gift cards so…I’ll be hanging out among the books for a while. Since purchasing The Painted Girls two years ago, and Galore I haven’t spent my money on novels that weren’t for school. I also haven’t had the time to read them. My Nana gave me four novels: three last year and one back in December. I still have to get those read before she gives me the next batch.

She said, “I have some books for you, but they’re adult books.” since I told her I’d finished reading a comic book the day before. I wouldn’t recommend Tokyo ESP to my five-year old niece, but I’m guessing my Nana can’t tell the difference when it comes to comics. My Dad never used to like reading as a kid, and she ended up giving me a bunch of his old comic books. They’re huge by the way. I can’t imagine trying to carry that around with me. I’ve always enjoyed books…that’s why I’ve been writing my own since kindergarten. Although…the things I wrote in kindergarten probably shouldn’t be seen by another human being…they were weird. I wrote about a zombie once…but I spelt zombie like “zoom-bie” and yah…the zoom-bie only wanted some friends. It was basically a four-year olds take on Frankenstein. The illustrations were pretty great.

Since my niece found out that I write books and make videos and music, whenever she comes over she wants to do the same. So, we take some paper, staple it together in the middle and then she says, “You can be the author and I’ll be the illustrator” and tells me what I should write.  She comes up with some interesting stories. Many Disney characters tend to appear in the story. Who knew that Princess Jasmin and Aladdin rode a magic carpet? Apparently we’re also going to start a band because she has a recorder and a ukulele and I have a keyboard and a guitar. I don’t know what we would call our band but…we definitely need some practice. Between the squeaking of my guitar strings and the whistling from her recorder…we’ve created a very…unique sound for our listeners (sorry fam).

I’m so glad I managed to get some writing done this morning. I was starting to worry that I’d end up slacking today because of my stomach. Glad that I didn’t. Maybe I’ll do some more in the afternoon. I’m still a bit tired but I think I need to put something in my belly…it just feels weird. I’m pretty sure it has something to do with what I are last night. I started feeling gross after dinner so…who knows. It annoys me that whenever I’m not feeling well, I want to go for a run. I could go for a run anytime, but whenever I’m like this where my stomach is bugging me or I’ve got a massive headache I want to go on this intense run around the track. I need to lose weight anyway. Despite the fact that I barely eat more than one meal a day. I seriously need to get fit though. I can’t stand being so unhealthy. Of course, Easter is coming up so I’ll be fed all sorts of goodies. I’ll force myself to get fit anyway. I really don’t want to put on anymore weight. I managed to lose some back in December, and at the moment I feel as though I either put some back on or…it just shifted around. I just want to feel healthier. Exercise helps me relax and whenever I’m active I can think clearly. Well, I think I’ll go make something to eat.

Till next time,

–R.

 

Morning Exercise

Good morning, for some reason I’m up a lot earlier than expected…but I usually don’t sleep for very long. I should try harder to resist afternoon naps. They completely through off my schedule, and make me feel as though I’ve wasted my day…much like sleeping in.

I’m going to do a bit of light exercise this morning, since I’ve been slacking in that department lately. Then I’ll do some work on my novel and of course homework that I’ve put off far too long. I at least need to get some ideas down on paper. My schedule’s been pretty busy this weekend. I’ve had events since Friday evening, and after today it will be the end of that. I’m expecting it to go well today. Friday was…stressful.

I’m still trying to convince my younger sister to create a blog on wordpress.com for her art. She’s two won awards in the graphic narrative section of a yearly literary competition that is held for students in our hometown. She is her own worst critic however, so I believe this is what’s taking her so long.

I understand though. When it comes to my writing I am often reluctant to share it with my family and friends because I’m worried they’re judge me. Especially when it comes to my lyrics and poetry. A lot of the time my poems and songs are centered around characters I’ve created for stories I’m working on, so the themes behind them have a huge contrast. My creative writing professor last year was surprised when I shared a happy story that used warm imagery because all of my other work that I’d presented in class had a tendency to be very cold and depressing.

Speaking of cold, I think I’ll do my exercise in doors today. Burr…I’m shivering as it is. I like winter time but I don’t wanna be in the cold long if I don’t have too. I really love getting in a good work out early in the morning. Helps to lose all the stress from the day before. I always feel really pumped afterwards.

Until next time,

–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.

 

Lots of Homework….

I haven’t posted anything in a little while. Again, I’d like to apologize for this. I’ve been pretty swamped with homework. I need to know my priorities. I’m really beginning to think that I should have set days or times for blogging and writing so that I can stay on top of it.

I’ve done some work on my personal projects in between my homework. It’s probably the best thing for me to do in between school work because I’m still being productive. I find that if I stop and…watch a movie or something, then I don’t end up getting back to work.

I managed to get an assignment finished this morning. I hate doing things last minute but I’m still trying to get myself to stop procrastinating. I’ve mainly been doing this with my readings, which is why I’m got swamped last week. I was really behind in a book. This week my goal is to stay on top of everything.

No worries, I’m not working myself to the bone here. I’m going to get myself to the gym sometime this week (possibly after class if it’s not freezing outside) so that I can relieve some stress.

I wasn’t feeling well after school started so I fell behind in a project for class. Thankfully my professor is the greatest human on earth (you’re all great too…but he’s really awesome) and knows that I’m doing a 67 panel manga for my assignment. I love my project so much I could kiss it…but I won’t I’m just really happy with how its turning out. I’ve only got a few panels left to draw and then I’m going to outline everything, possibly add backgrounds (if I have the time) add the dialogue…all that fun stuff.

I hope to publish graphic novels as well. This is my practice run. Its fun. A lot of work but so much fun.

I’ll try and blog again this week. Probably won’t be until this weekend though. I’ve got two projects I’m working on for class…no three. Two classes, three projects.

Well that’s my update for now.

I hope that you’re all enjoying your Monday. You’ll get through it.

— Ryder.

Blabbering

The school year is grimly inching towards us–especially for those of us who have to pay for the own bills now– and I’m trying to psychologically prepare myself before I move into my first apartment…with actual roommates that I barely know.

It’s just weird. Like…whoa. I can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like. It’s one of those things you just have to experience.

Like kissing. You’ll never know until you’ve kissed someone.

I still don’t know…unless being kissed by my three-year old niece counts? Maybe I’ll save my first kiss till marriage? That sounds like a challenge. I could probably do it too. I’m not a huge fan of physical affection.

Anyway! Back to whatever it was I was blabbering about. Oh yah, apartment.

So I don’t know what I need to live in my apartment other than food. Food is required for survival. Ha, ha…okay honestly, I don’t know if there is anything I need to purchase beforehand? I’m sure my parents have some idea of what I need but I don’t got a single clue Scooby Doo.

I just hope that this year I can master making friends and that I get along well with my roommates. I think that my job has seriously helped me overcome my shyness. In the past I’ve always had a hard time approaching people but now I seem to be able to make small talk with people who I barely know. I hope that I can apply this outside of my work environment. I’ve always wished I could become more social. Last year I was extremely lonely…like extremely. That is no way to spend your first year away from home. I had a lot of friends the first month of school and then they all got busy…or just didn’t care to get together after orientation week (oh well). At least I’m someone who enjoys being alone. Although it made it extremely hard for me to work on my novel because I was feeling unmotivated due to my lack of social interaction. This year my goal is to make some really good friends. I wanna meet cool, fun, smart people. People who like to be themselves and won’t judge me because I have cartoon characters on my socks… and who won’t assume I’m an otaku because I like manga and anime. My best friend growing up is from Japan. He lives in Japan. He got me stuff from Japan. I got into anime. I picked up a few words. That’s it. I’m not an otaku. I know that being an otaku is an insult. I ain’t stupid.

I don’t know why I went on about that. This post is pretty random. I’ll end things here just to prevent anymore weirdness.

Alright, bye for now!

— R.

P.S I know that blabbering isn’t a word but it totally should be.

Orion Dreams: Attack on Titan…

Have you ever heard of Attack on Titan?

I watched the show once last year with a friend, and had a dream last night that I was that guy Eren as a kid. In this dream, I was packing things to take from our house for my mother and sister, before the titans broke through the walls. Then I laid down on the couch in my house (where I live when I’m not at school) and shut my eyes, holding my old teddy bear that I’ve had since I was a baby.

When I woke up and saw a blue wall instead of a green one, and my heart started racing. I was lying as though I was holding my bear and I started feeling around for it. Then I realized it wasn’t there and began panicking even more, kind of like how I used to as a kid when I took it everywhere with me. Finally when I realized my bed sheets were the wrong colour, I sat up and looked around. That was when I came to the realization, “Oh yah…I’m not at home….titans aren’t real.”

It was scary…