Monthly Archives: September 2014

Determining Your Protagonist’s Personality

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The wonderful thing about writing and blogging is all of you. I’m busy with NaNoWriMo prep (and not organizing my room like I should be), and I’m currently working on figuring out my main character. I know her name, a bit about her issues, and even what she looks like; but my next task is discovering her personality and what she is really like. It makes me wonder…

  • How does the protagonist’s personality affect the story?
  • Do I determine her personality and strictly write according to it, or will her personality develop as I write?
  • How the heck do I even determine a character’s personality?
  • What is personality?

Here’s where you all come in again. I love that I can be working on something, then I bump into an issue; but all I have to do is switch over to WordPress and ask for your all’s opinion. I love writers’ discussions, and I love hearing about how you write.

How do you write your characters and decide on their personality? Is it something you plan ahead of time? Or does it just appear somehow?

A Right One

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Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

I haven’t cried for you.

I probably won’t.

My eyes won’t cry, won’t shed tears.

It is a deeper pain than that.

The hurt is buried inside, hidden in my heart;

where gradually, the sharp blade slices it to pieces.

I hardly blame you.

You couldn’t have known I’d be this sensitive.

I wasn’t aware of it either.

Love at first sight doesn’t mean he or she is the one.

The right one.

A right one.

You’ve changed me.

A lot.

Taught me so many things I will treasure forever.

No person has made me laugh so much.

No person has made me cry so much.

But that’s over now.

No, please.

Please don’t let it be over.

I’m so easily persuaded.

You’re not, I know.

But I’d do anything you asked me to.

You should know that.

Please.

Please, please, please.

Which Comes First?

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There are few “real-life” people I can talk about writing with. Sometimes – and really only sometimes – I can persuade my sisters to. Around this time last year, I thought it would be the most fun thing in the world to sit around and create characters. With quite a bit of no enthusiasm, my sisters helped me come up with the two characters I used for NaNoWriMo 2013.

“You can’t write a story solely based on characters! You need plot.”

I agree with my sister’s frustrated statement. I do not believe, however, that you always need a plot first and then the characters come along later. A story is about a character and how the events that take place (the plot) affect him or her. Those are the three elements essential to every story –

  1. characters
  2. events
  3. change in characters caused by said events

Take one away and you don’t have a story. I usually have a plot before characters – last year was an exception. But what about you?

When you come up with new stories, which element do you develop first?

Fall With You

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Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

Green turns to red

To orange, yellow, and brown

Summer turns to fall.

It’s my favorite time. With you.

It’s time the air turns cold

Cool and crisp

Dead leaves crunch under my boots

A lot of things are more fun in fall. With you.

Would be more fun. Would be with you.

Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

We will go on adventures

Walk through colorful trees

Collect chestnuts

Drink good coffee and bake chocolate cakes

Kiss

I’ll pretend to be cold so I can wear your sweater

It smells better than autumn, the leaves, the fresh air, the backyard fires

It’s you

You

You don’t understand what you do to me

Just you

You

I could say it forever

Let’s do something we’ll remember every year

Something crazy

Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

And when October 31st comes

We’ll turn all the lights out so it looks like we’re not home

We’ll build a fort in the living room

We’ll have one flashlight

And lots of love

If you were actually here

If you were actually mine

The season has many lessons to teach

I have many lessons to learn

Let go

It seems painful

But it is beautiful

It’s red and orange and yellow and brown

Without you

You

D. EMERY BUNN – Author Interview

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Emery belongs to my core collection of writer friends – for my part at least. He’s been a guest on my blog before, but this time it’s an interview. I hope you enjoy it. 

D. Emery Bunn is an author, editor, and engineer, though his pile of interests keep on getting larger. He got his start on writing thanks to National Novel Writing Month, and is an avid supporter of free culture, the power of writing, and the creative arts. Darkness Concealed is his first novel, but he will be working on the sequel and a cyberpunk short story collection. He lives at his home in Clovis, New Mexico.
Darkness Concealed - releasing September 23rd

Darkness Concealed – releasing September 23rd

Why do you write?

I write for several reasons. First, I wanted to tell stories that I saw no one else writing, putting a different spin on the expected. For those who are trope-literate (oh, the hours lost to TVTropes), I am a massive fan of subversion and aversion of common tropes. Anything I write isn’t just a story I wrote, it’s me twisting “the rules” and “expectations” around in a way that excites me.

Second, I love reading. What better way to appreciate the author’s work to give me an awesome story than by doing the same? I’ve read pretty much the gamut in genres, including War and Peace(if you want a quick rundown of how to write character sketches, read it. Tolstoy is a master). My poor Kindle is sitting on 60+ books to read, and my already read pile is just as long (and I only started using it in 2011). I don’t spend as much time reading as I wish I could, but the full time job cuts a lot out of my schedule.

Third, I love to ask hard questions, and seek to either answer them, or pose them in such a way that it’s up to the reader to decide what they want the answer to be. In Darkness Concealed, there are tons of questions asked about the depth of evil, the nature of prosperity and peace before that evil, and whether there can be a god who can be considered good. I answer none of these questions in full, but they’re all posed.

Fourth and finally, I write because I want to inspire others to write. I want to enable others to believe that they can tell a story that no one else can, put their own unique spin on the world we live in. One of my dearest values is leading by example, and so I write to show that the way is open to anyone with the desire and will to write.

What are you up to when you’re not writing?

I’m an avid computer gamer (League of Legends is my current mainstay, though I’ll bounce around RPGs, FPSs, and RTSs regularly). I’ve been gaming almost as long as I’ve been reading, and the natural pull toward constant improvement actually helps my revision ethic a ton. When I know it can be better, I look it over and make it change. Full text revisions happen often.

I also do a ton of reading, either blogs and websites or stories. Any time I take a plane trip a full novel usually succumbs to my consistent reading of it. A large part of my off-work time is spent on keeping up on all the posts for about 2 dozen different blogs.

I spend lots of time beta reading and editing for others, helping their work improve to a level that they’re satisfied with before they let the world at large read it. Right now, post-completion of Darkness Concealed, I’m working on two separate beta reads, each story at different phases of readiness.

Finally, I love tabletop RPGs. I know every version of D&D except the very first, and an adoring fanboy love of both Shadowrun (future cyberpunk/magic/fantasy) and Legend of the Five Rings (alternate timeline Japan where magic is real).

In some ways, tabletop got me my start on storytelling as I DMed large campaigns all about making things as realistic as possible. My first year of NaNoWriMo (2011) was a transliteration of one of those campaigns, entitled Even Heroes Fall, an evil campaign (of former heroes) as they struggle to change the political and social climate of the world they live in. I made my players both love me and hate me for always figuring out a way to throw monkey wrenches into their plans without derailing them entirely.

Tell us about your book.

Darkness Concealed is a dark fantasy/mystery novel:

50 years ago, the dawn did not come. Again. Everyone in Telthan knew it would happen. Monsters roamed the land, killing virtually everyone in their path, laying waste to anything in their way. Only a precious few survived to rebuild the wreckage of civilization, just like last time. No one questions the Darkening. Not even the children.

That is, until four strangers set off in search of answers, braving a forbidden city, a forgotten library, and foreboding mountains for the truth that has to exist. But the past does not give up its secrets easily, and the truth is far darker than the blackest night.

Where can we buy your book?

Amazon, Google Books, and Kobo. All three will go live on September 23rd at the price of $3.99. I will also have a full PDF copy of the book available for free on my blog the same day. Again, I believe in free culture, and I leave it as your option whether or not you buy the book.

Where would you like to be in 5-10 years?

In 5 years, I expect to have my initial two settings, the Darkness Trilogy, and the Normalization setting, more or less complete. From there, I have a few large story ideas brewing, but I’m not sure whether I’ll take them up or write something completely new.

I also hope to be well-known as an advocate of writing and free culture. I despise the state of copyright law (too long, too restrictive, too uncreative), and want to work toward it being made more reasonable. In a lot of ways, I live by Ghandi’s famous quote “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” so all of my work is available free from day 1.

Moving beyond there, I don’t know. I’m just getting my start on writing and publishing, and I don’t know where the path is going to lead. I guess I’ll find out.


Thanks so much for dropping by, Emery! If the rest of you are interested in knowing more about Emery and his work, you can connect with him on Twitter, Goodreads, and his blog. And check out his book!
Twitter: @DEmeryBunn

Past And Future – An Update

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  • I’m moving and going back to school.
  • I’m laying aside my current writing project.
  • And starting something new.

12-Month Review

This last year has been absolutely crazy.

Tomorrow is my last day of work before I move back to Berlin next week. A year ago, I had just moved back to Berlin again. I had finished a 5-month internship at my current job and was about to write my thesis to complete my Bachelor’s degree. My sister’s wedding was a few weeks away. We had people from four different countries staying at our house. It was the craziest and best time of my life.

On a lark, I decided to do NaNoWriMo. I had way too much fun and met lots of cool people. My thesis was approximately 10,000 words – that was torture. During the four months I had to write it, I wrote 100,000+ words for different stories… In February, I completed my degree; and a few weeks later, I moved again. I worked for five weeks, then had two months off, in which I traveled across the US to visit friends and family.

Germany won the World Cup!

What’s Ahead

I will be going back to school for a Master’s degree. I plan on being very diligent. 🙂

The Part about Writing

I also plan on taking my writing more seriously. I want to win NaNo again, so I have (slowly) been making preparations.

I have decided to lay aside my current projects and take up a new one. That is, I need to work on something smaller. I’ve found out that Hidden People is too much for me at the moment. The project and story is too huge (for me), and I need to be able to complete at least something.

I will be planning a shorter, less complex story to write in November. I want to go through a structured (yeah, good luck with that, Brooks) writing process and actually complete something. Hidden People etc. is too overwhelming at the moment. I definitely plan on picking it back up and finishing it, but I simply can’t manage it right now.

Details on my new project will follow. I am sort of excited about it. 😀

Who else is participating in NaNoWriMo this year? It’s coming up sooner than you think!

Do I Deserve This?

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I hardly think so, but thank you to the sweet Ying for nominating me for the “One Lovely Blog Award.” I thought it was rather coincidental that she posted this award as her 100th post. This is my 100th post as well.

*throws confetti*

Check out Ying’s blog Hidden Stars. It’s great – not only because it has to do with stars.

Them’s the rules:

  1. Thank the person who has nominated you. (Mind you manners, you know.) Provide a link to his/her blog.
  2. List the rules and display the award image.
  3. Include 7 facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 other bloggers and let them know that they have been nominated.  This is a way to introduce others to bloggers that you love.
  5. Display the award logo (didn’t we already have this?) and follow the blogger who nominated you

7 Facts

Didn’t I do a video on my YouTube channel with seven facts about me? It’s also on my ABOUT page, but I’ll come up with seven more here. 

  1. Sometimes I wonder if lack of intelligence is the cause for my inability to express my thoughts verbally – and especially on the spot. I overthink every conversation or encounter – normally in bed when I am supposed to be sleeping. That’s when I come up with all the good things to say.
  2. Too often I get confused as to what time of year it is. Do you ever feel like it’s summer or spring, but it’s actually not? It feels very weird sometimes… Just now – I read an author’s bio, where it said their book was releasing July 2014. I was thinking, Oh, it’s not out yet. How embarrassing – I thought it was. I’ll have to buy it when it’s released.
  3. I ramble. I’m sorry. I will try to keep this brief.
  4. As a kid, I wanted forty dogs.
  5. As a kid, my big sister and I wanted to make a movie about a bird called “Yellow Feather.” I was to act the mother of the story. This was a great sacrifice because I would have to be married; and for the longest time, my sister and I swore we never wanted to marry. We were embarrassed, I guess, to admit that we liked boys.
  6. As a kid, I was so shy I would almost rather pee my pants than ask to use the restroom.
  7. Okay, now I’ve wasted all these facts on my childhood… But I was far more interesting as a kid. All the interesting stuff about me now, I do not talk about. I am easily persuaded (maybe? I’m not sure).

Nominations

I nominate everyone! Now you all have to follow me. Muahahaha!

I actually hate the nominating part of awards… Most of the bloggers I know either already have the award, or they do not accept awards. Blogs, bloggers, writers, and people that I especially like will be mentioned in some way or the other. I love you all – even the quirk heads.