Monday, September 27, 2010

Choose Your Instrument...Your Writing Instrument

Quick Update: Okay, so I'm not doing this blog post because I finally got a guitar amp over the weekend...well, maybe I am. In other news, see Easy A. Only good teen movie since...well, let's not go back that far.

Okay, writers, prepare for the grueling and emotional, hideous WRITING PROCESS. You have your idea, or your direction. You have your inspirations, and a few beautiful, poetic words in your head. So let's start the band practice! That's right...BAND PRACTICE.

So you walk into the garage (office/couch with notebook/laptop/etc.) You pick up the instruments and tune them a bit (sharpen pencils, start laptop, make it look like you're taking notes so the teacher is unaware, etc.) But WHAT instrument will you choose? How will you approach this story you NEED to write, preferably with no panic attacks?

Maybe you'll pick up a GUITAR. With heavy and complicated chords, you'll take every strum seriously. As a writer, that means you're the outliner. You're the one who thinks about the characters and how they'll act, and thinks over the plot before you try to accomplish it. You'll take on every word like a pro, much like Hemingway, and end up creating a fine sequence of events - or should I say musical notes? - that will only need a couple layers to be polished.

Or maybe you'll avoid the guitar...perhaps you just want to get the idea out, and will perfect it later. You're a downright DRUMMER. Take out all your thoughts with two drumsticks, and spit out a wicked, but sloppy, rhythm that your story will abide. You don't need the finished copy, you just need a tune to rock to, and the rest of the song will follow.

Maybe you're...unsure. You have a lot of ideas begging to come to life, but aren't ready to dish out a finishing solo yet. Get yourself a BASS. Lay down the relative, imperfect layer that will frame your story, but manage to get your voice and talent into this draft as well. Your low-key, but thought out, touch will lead to a story that is readable yet flexible layer to start with - then you can make the needed edits, or slaps.

Were you just born to SING? Pick up that microphone, er, red pen, and go. Belt your little heart out and tell the story that rings true to you. Then you can attack it with autotune, back-up vocals, and unbelievable notes that are added afterwards - your revisions. Maybe the ending voice will sound different, but it'll be impeccable and catchy and wonderful to sing later on.

As writers, all of handle our "creative genius" (as we'd like to label it) differently. One thing to agree on is that the finished copy is worth a listen.

Signing out now. Cross your fingers I get my first, minimum-wage job at McDonald's this Wednesday (I turned sixteen last week, haha). Then I get internet at home and do REAL blog posts! Another time, creative geniuses...go make beautiful music!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rec of the Week...GEEK ROCK! I mean, MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE!

Quick Update: Hey, I officially have 30 followers...hello, strangers! In other news, my writing idol @diablocody tweeted me, how fun!

So, total fangirl post here, just a heads-up.

See, there is this band called My Chemical Romance. My best friend worships them, and I favor them above most. Highly attractive and huge geeks, they have had punk-ish/rock albums come out over the years with very metaphoric lyrics and awesome guitar riffs. They're a sure band to check out if you never heard of them. Maybe you can try the song MAMA if you like dramatic rock, or VAMPIRES WILL NEVER HURT YOU if you enjoy tunes about bloodsuckers?

Anyways, here's the fangirl moment...their new album (Danger Days: The True Lives of the Five, Fabulous Killjoys) is due out soon, and a trailer recently got out for the album. And so far, it seems E-P-I-C, even if they have to get a new drummer and all.

Do you wish to view the video? Well, here it is!

Okay, journalism is nearly out now, so I better go unless I want to be late to Web Design class again, haha.

Talk to you guys another time!

Monday, September 13, 2010

We Interrupt This Blog Post...

Quick Update: A huge, mega, ultra shout-out to MEEROAR of She gave SSF its first blog award, and just as I was about to comment on her blog with the longest thank-you speech, my best friend's wireless internet decided it didn't like Blogger anymore. So, everyone be sure to follow my writer friend "Meeroar" for pitying me and having one of the coolest blog names ever.

This was the blog award, if you're curious.

So, I'm on a ROLL today. SIX notebook pages, and I still have two and a half periods of school left. And then the rest of the day. Usually, I get up to three, maybe four, by evening time.

See, with only ten days left before I turn sixteen, I decided that with a little determination - and a little excessive pleading with God - I'm going to finish the last draft of my book by the 23rd. The LAST draft. The one I'd revise and edit and send to Kristin Nelson (and other agents, but mostly her). I guess I just want to say in the future "yeah, I finished this book when I was fifteen." Then I'd laugh evilly and maliciously.

It was the first thing that came up when I typed in "evil laugh".

I figured out a new way to write. If any of you have ever picked up a Rachel Caine book, you've probably noticed the way she plots. There are so many characters and subplots, but they fit together. Since the Morganville Vampires is my favorite series, my books are very similar to that.

So I decided, for the LAST and twelth draft of my book, to write the scenes by character. I started writing each character's scenes, starting with the least important, in a row. That has been making it much easier.

Since it's a laid-back Monday, I guess I'm just writers, how do you work? How do you plot? What do you usually come up with first...the setting, the characters, the storyline? And where are you with whatever you're writing? Are you at the stage where you're in love with the plot, and can't wait to write it all down? Are are you at that stage where you're considering how far your computer will go if you toss out the window?

Don't you just love Google Image?

As you can tell, I have a lot of free time today in journalism, so tell me whatever you want! Oh, and just for fun, I'm giving you guys a BONUS blog post in twenty or so minutes...unless a class decides to use a computer lab today, of course.

Well, anyways...spill.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

CHARACTER: Lessons From High School English, a WPT Post

Quick Update: So, good news...I shall be at a friend's house for two days. Looking very forward to reliving my addiction to blogger/Twitter/and Youtube.

Attention, class. We covered plot yesterday, so today let us move onto the helpless dolls and puppets in your story that face horrors and fantasies... I mean, uh, *cough* your characters!

The definition of "characters" in my English class was blunt as well, sadly. To quote our test, characters are "persons who are given personalities and role in stories". True...and false.

For the truth, I would certainly hope your character have personlity. Traits, habits, manners of speaking, and experience are just some of the makeup you give them. Characters are like us - maybe they have the same taste in music as whatshisname, and dress like that-one-girl, but everyone manages to be different and unique.

Good characters are when they might do something, or say something, and make us think, "that's so him/her". It means you put a clear image of the character in the mind of the audience. So know your character well. I can honestly say I know most of mine better than myself...well, on good days.

The false part is the "given roles". Hello. Stories are not waiting for actors to portray them. It is the characters, and their back stories as well as a variety of their own habits and traits, that truly begins a story. Usually, tales are centered around relationships, or a decision the character makes. How can you just insert a random person into this plot, and not expect it to change?

If you really want characters to stand out, don't create a story then throw them in. Create them, and let the story fold around their own quirks and oddities.

Of course, we did do a bit on "dynamic" and "static" characters as well, which makes me breathe easier. There's another tip - if you want a memorable protagnist, make him/her/it dyanmic. If they have the same personality traits and do the same routine they did in the beginning of the failed. Just kidding.

Be sure to remember...are you the same as you were ten years ago? Yeah, I didn't think so. Not that I can say much...ten years ago I couldn't spell 95% of the words in this blog post (I was five, hahaha). We're all characters. If you put that in mind, you should be good.