Monday, September 29, 2014

30 Week Writing Survey - Week 6: Where/When/How

Now Playing: Nine Inch Nails - Hyperpower! and The Beginning of the End

Y'know, I keep thinking, NANO NEEDS TO START NAO, but I think that's just the jittery excitement. I always get really nervous before starting a novel. If that first ten pages or so don't come together, I'm incapable of pushing on. And I really don't want that to happen to this little story.

I'm inclined to think I have a good chance, though. After all...ROBOTS. I can't go on living without writing at least one robot novel D: But who knows what'll happen. I have a habit of overestimating my writing skill as much as I have a habit of underestimating it.

(Also I finished Korra this weekend. CAN'T. WAIT. FOR FRIDAY). But anyways...on to the challenge!


QUESTION 6: Where are you most comfortable writing? At what time of day? Computer or good ol' pen and paper?

EVERYWHERE and ANYWHERE!

The one exception to this is the first twenty minutes or so it takes me to shake off drowsiness after waking up. And usually until after I've plunged into my emails/twitter/reddit/pinterest and maybe even eaten something. Aside from that, I can write early in the morning, middle of the day, late at night--I've even gotten out of bed at three a.m to scribble down something, though I value my sleep soooo so much. Oh, and I've done that thing where you jot down ideas down on napkins and receipts because you don't have any paper nearby. It's weird, but I feel anxious if I don't write down my ideas. Even if I never reread, just the process of getting it somewhere concrete makes me happy and excited about my next story.

I love writing in my computer, and get kind of addicted to typing on a keyboard. I love the sound it makes >> and how the keys feel at times. It's not uncommon for me to geek out at an awesome keyboard. Getting my first laptop at age 11ish probably influenced me a lot. My first computer, Isadora001, helped me create the first drafts of The Night Kingdom and Redemption, as well as my first, personally successful fanfictions, Miss Murder and Broken. I've gone through a couple of writing softwares, and the interfaces never makes that much of a difference to me as long as I've always got a blank page to start in. (Though we'll see if one day I make the transition to Scrivener).

Getting my laptop taken away at 12ish also probably influenced my love affair with notebooks >.>. I'd gotten a C (or a couple of 'em) in a report card, and my parents had decided punishment meant locking away my laptop and not getting it back till those grades improved. I didn't write for the first few weeks, then remembered something my father had told me about when I was a child, when I had began telling stories and keeping a diary. He said he'd held off writing when he was younger, promising himself he'd start when he got a typewriter. But that wasn't right. If you want to write, you get a pencil and a paper and you write. You don't need anything fancy for it, and you shouldn't let excuses hold you back.

So even though he was the reason I didn't have a laptop, he was also part of the reason I didn't stop writing. I wrote The Band entirely on a notebook during the start of eighth grade, and started some other novel in a similar way. I also started to write excerpts, character stats, character interviews, and worldbuilding notes in journals, starting with Redemption and my attempted rewrites of the Night Kingdom. It's been that way ever since. (And they are what, quite shamelessly, allowed me to not pay attention in class and just write a lot >.>. Cough. Pay attention in school, kids.)

If we go to ancient history, I naturally started my first stories in notebooks when I was six, and kept a diary since I was eight.

I also have a serious problem with leather journals. They're like...my vanity purchases. I can't walk into a Barnes and Noble without staring longingly at them and reeling in pain at the prices. They're the reason I can't make fun of people who plop down hundreds of dollars for Prada bags. Why? Because even though a plain old notebook, or even a piece of paper, works for me, I LOVE THESE FANCY THINGS. Moleskins, Italian bound, ahhhh make me so happy. It's also like everyone's fallback presents to me. Last Christmas, my friends Carla and Ren, and my parents, all got me leather notebooks. I was one happy camper.

I usually spend an embarrassingly long amount of time picking them out. It's not even about the size or page numbers, because I go through them rather quickly no matter how much room I have.Oh no. It's about how pretty they are >> Like I generally don't like notebooks with pictures for covers, especially of animals. (Sorry puppies and kittens. I love you, but not on my notebooks). I like cute, simplistic designs, sometimes of flowers, sometimes a little cartoon-y. I like brown leather for the bounded ones, but also appreciate some red and light creme covers.

And I spend a lot of time battling with myself to not make unnecessary purchases when I still have empty ones piling up at home >>

Maybe one day, when I'm not too poor and have a place of my own, I'll have a little corner of my home library dedicated to all my notebooks
~Becky

Friday, September 26, 2014

New Voices

First: My wall of sticky-notes is getting out of control @_@ It's going to be a pain to take down...though some of the cheap notes are already trying to make escapes. We'll see how much of this room I can cover before my senior year ends >.> (Pictures to come soon >.>)

Now random updating stuff: I'm relistening to NIN's Year Zero and The Fragile (MY FAVORITEE) albums o-e They've been helping me a lot lately in the planning of this novel.

As has Pinterest >.> I finally succumbed and created one so I can have a ton of reference/inspiration pictures for NaNo. Here's the link. I mostly did it to find varying designs for robots and exo suits for Amber. But also, clothes >.> I figured out everyone's fashion style. Welp. Except Saito and Amber, who...don't seem to have a sense of style. Because they're lame like that..

It also inspired a certain new robot character >.> It took me like five days to find a name for him, and in fact, I still can't decide. It's between Silentius and Silentium, taken from this Arthurian 13th century French romance I read called Silence. It's awesome, and about a cross dressing knight and Merlin being a (deadly) dick to someone who's trying to figure out their gender identity. Awww yeh.

And I swear, it makes sense for my robot to have this name. For a number of reasons, but mostly because he's...a chivalrous knight, in a way. Think a Don Quijote type of situation.

These were the pictures that made me find him:



(what is it with me and characters liking the color yellow?
First Lilith, now dis guy....)
Actually, I'm really in love with all the designs/art I've been finding in these boards. Sure, there's the occasional Super Sexy Robot Girl Who's Half Naked and Probably Wearing Heels, but there's also some really good combat suit designs. They're a bit form fitting, but it's the same for the male ones, so I've got no complains. And it just looks gorgeous.

Ahhh, so pumped for this novel.
~Becky

Monday, September 22, 2014

30 Week Writing Survey - Week 5: Age

Now Playing: Soda Stereo - Disco Eterno and Pasos

Doing research for this new story is weirdly interesting in a weirdly intimidating way. I am never not going to be afraid of sci-fi it seems >_> But here's hoping this turns out awesome.

But enough of that, time for the 30 week survey! :D

QUESTION 5: By age, who is your youngest character? Oldest? How about “youngest” and “oldest” in terms of when you created them? 

Youngest: This took longer to figure out than the oldest. I've written some children, but none of them were particularly young. Most were approaching their preteen years (Dream, started at 12, Jacob, 12/13 in the first draft, Caesar, 13). I'm sure I've had some really young kids mentioned in passing, and physically, the youngest I've written Lilith is at six years old.

At first I thought it'd be Arkana. If I'm not mistaken, she was 10 years old in the original draft of The Night Kingdom. But on that logic, it'd be Jacob's youngest sister, who was a baby in the first draft before she got aged up to like a thirteen year old for the rewrites. I'm also having trouble remembering how old Madeleine was in Redemption. She was my cute redheaded French girl traveling with Nikki and Vlad. Hitomi meets her at a refugee camp when she was either 11 or 9. I'm inclined to say 11, and 9 was just the age a really traumatic thing happened to her, causing her to go mute.

But then I remembered. THE KIDS IN THE SHORT STORIES. I totally forgot I wrote child protagonists for my first ever creative writing class. The one to spring to mind was Tanika, who is six years old in Jasmine Tracks or Lydia, the narrator's little sister (about...five-ish?) in The Magic Trick.

I should add in smaller children to my writing. They make everything much more fun >.>

I'm not sure if this counts, but a lot of the short stories involving Isadora might apply. Since those involve the exploration of her early, developmental years, she's a little less than a year old when Dr. Monroe makes the decision to transfer her A.I into a gynoid body. Ultimately, the body Isadora is most seen in has the appearance of a slender, young girl with pig tails, so it kind of fits. As for the actual novel that might be my NaNo, then Isadora is a lot older.

Kind of irrelevant sidenote: I'm not too sure about the other A.I's. Ironically, Cyrano is the one with the avatar of a young boy, but he's probably among the oldest. Granted, it's unlikely he's any older than twenty years or so. I have to dive into his back story to find out, I just know he was programmed by Antigone/Ramzia and years later he meets Valentine and Kaede. Still...he might not be the oldest. That title probably goes to another...

But again, I gotta go into their respective back stories. Hopefully soon >_> Since I think they might end up in this year's NaNo if I go sci-fi instead of fantasy.

Oldest: My automatic answer for this was going to be Lilith and Ansel, since they're technically somewhere between 800 to 1,000 years older, possibly older. Then I remembered the Watchmaker, and how he's suppose to be, as the cliche goes, as "old as time itself."

Do Gods count? Because if so, then the Brothers and [SPOILER >_>] in Anne's story take top spot.

I'm actually not one for immortals (or deities) often, but apparently when I write them, it's go big or go home. None of this 130 year old vampire stuff >.> Always above 700!
~Becky

Monday, September 15, 2014

30 Week Writing Survey - Week 4: First Stories/Characters

Now Playing
Ugh. so it's been a few days or something, but Cerati's passing still kind of hurts. It hurts even more when I think about how often my dad and I kept holding out hope he'd wake up. I don't know how many times I said, "oh come on, it's only been so and so long, he's going to come back." Or whenever I spread the good news of him responding to some kind of medical treatment.

Sigh.

But I guess it gives me reason to keep going through the discography. I'm thinking from Soda Stereo, this album here, Sueño Stereo, is my favorite~


QUESTION 4: Tell us about one of your first stories/characters!

Oh boy. This brought back some memories. Some kind of cute, others a little weird. In fact, this post kind of took me down a weird path; be warned...

BUT LET'S START FROM THE BEGINNING :D

So most people who've had the misfortune to hear my Writer Origins story know that it started with Harry Potter. JK Rowling was my childhood hero, and the reason I decided to give writing a try when I was six years old. She inspired a love for fantasy. While I've never been able to recover the first short story I ever wrote, I know it was called El Libro De Los Cuentos, a title that still makes me a bit eye-twitchy (simply put: book of stories. It sounds dumber in English) >.> It has the stereotypical story of a girl who gets sucked into a book and replaces the main character. Which is strangely enough a type of plot I avoid like the plague now a days.

So in this one, the main character gets sucked into a fairy tale book and starts off in the Little Red Riding Hood universe. Since she a) thinks finishing the story will be the only way to get out of there and b) already knows the plot, she decides to avoid the wolf all together and get to her grandma's house safe and sound. Though she manages well enough, nothing happens, so via deus ex machina, the real Little Red Riding Hood talks to her as a magical voice and tells her she needs to follow the story lines as they are to get out of the book.

So in like three sentences, I end it with a summary o-e She agrees and goes through the rest of the fairy tale book finishing the stories as their main character. And then she gets out.

It's kind of lame, but it was really fun for me. I did the illustrations--as most young child authors do, it seems--bored my parents with details of the plot, and started thinking of my next story. I have no idea what happened with the thing I wrote it on, and don't remember if it was in loose leaf paper or a notebook.

But luckily, when I went back to Ecuador in 2012, I rummaged through my room till I found the next best thing. Right after El Libro De Los Cuentos, I started writing a collection of short stories and tucked them away.

(Sorry for the yellow tint. I took these pics late at night about a month ago, whilst packing for college)

It's difficult to see, but I wrote the title of the collection with a blue pen.
My name, number, and address. I'm not entirely sure why
I added that information if I was planning on selling the notebook.
Weirdly, I  only started adding my name and number
on notebooks again right after the start of 9th grade.

I remember these stories pretty well, but my trip back home helped refresh my memory. With the one exception, all childhood tales were recorded in this tiny, flowery thing. When I was little I had the idea that I could fill a bunch of notebooks and just sell them one by one on street corners. So this collection was titled Cuentos Maravillosos y Misteriosos. (Marvelous and Mysterious Tales--it says so on the front after I attempted to scrawl the title with a thin pen; it's difficult to see.)

So excluding my first ever short story, these are the others, the titles which I've decided to list down here. >_> they're...super mega dumb but...lolzohwell I was a little kid.

Here we go, my masterpieces, in order of appearance, with all grammatical and spelling errors, as well as original capitalization, intact:
  • Un Misterio e la Piscina 
  • Una Montaña misteriosa
  • Un Bosque Encantado 
  • Una Espia con un Pasado Tormentoso 
  • La istoria del diabo sonriente

Translations!
  • A Mystery in the Pool. 
    • There's a grammar error. I'm certain it's "en la piscina."
  • A Mysterious Mountain
    • Starting to sound like an early Lemony Snicket book >.>
  • An Enchanted Forest
    • ...I can't even tell if I wrote it right or misspelled it as "encandado." Man. I've had horrible handwriting all my life.
  • A Spy With a Tormented Past. 
    • Oh god this fucking title. Cringe.
  • The Story of the Smiling Devil.
    • WHERE'S YOUR "H", GURL? Historia! Dx
    • I'm not sure about translating devil. I think I could have also meant smiling demon, or smiling Satan.
These are all fantasies, except for the spy story. Which I guess is...uh...thriller.

Let's go in order. Rather than focus on plot (HAH) let's do inspirations and the like, along with selected sample pages.

A Mystery in the Pool


1) I've been swimming since I was five. Had my head underwater for a good chunk of my childhood. The massive pool I used to train in had these little suction thingys on its floor, as most pools do. I used to love watching the small, whirlpools forming over them while I was doing laps. So the heroine of this story gets sucked into one after one of the whirpools grows super strong and massive. She emerges into the seashore of another world. She's greeted by a young boy with a crown called Maxx--yes, double x. I was obsessed with that name. Similarly, my problem with A names apparently started early. The girl is called Ani.

Ugh >_>.

Anyways, Maxx is a king who governs over a nation entirely composed of children. He's kind of aggressive and a jealous weirdo, but I think I wrote him that way cuz it was supposed to be romantic. Near the end, his castle and kingdom get attacked by a monster queen and her army. Though Ani gets a sword from Maxx and kills the monster queen, she gets transported back to the real world for some magical reason or other during the fight. It ends on a cliffhanger, with her waking up the pool and yet getting a message from Maxx saying they'll see each other again. (DUN DUN DUN. But no, never wrote a sequel.).


A Mysterious Mountain

2) Quito is full of mountains, which is about the main thing I miss from the city. (Next to the graffiti). Growing up, I lived in the urban areas, so mountains were always in the backdrop, kind of mysterious looking and absolutely gorgeous. At nighttime, they disappeared partially underneath the darkness, but every now and then, you could see a small flickering light near the top, probably from lone cabins. I don't know if I was aware of this as a child or not, but it didn't stop me from speculating and thinking the reasons involved something sinister or magical. So in this story, a girl goes into the mountains in the dead of night and discovers some witchcraft.


An Enchanted Forest 



3) I don't have too much to say about this one. It involves a mermaid, a siren, and some creepy queen lady that attack this random boy and girl who wander into a forest. I think this was just my excuse to cram my current favorite mythical creatures in one story o-e


A Spy With A Tormented Past

4) So after I got over the idea of being a doctor or being a model (don't make fun of me, I thought I was going to be tall Dx) I was obsessed with the idea of being a spy. I didn't know HOW I was supposed to become one, I just knew I was going to do it, somehow, some way. During recess, I played spy games with my friends. We pretended we infiltrated shit, climbed mountains, and, well, spied on people. This is kind of a boring short story even by childhood-story-standards, IMO, but it does have one amusing bit. It apparently takes place in North America, Washington, California..

....yeah. 10/10 USA geography, little me.


The Story Of The Smiling Devil

5) This one kind of disturbs me. It has the worst writing. The prose and handwriting lose cohesion and turn into a scribbled mess about half a page in--and it's the same with the illustrations. They get progressively more nonsensical. The actual story is a dramatization of something that really "happened" though I use that word loosely. My brother, maybe age four, was playing with a cousin or friend of the family or something when they heard a weird noise and saw an odd shadow. They claimed it was a devil-like creature, horns and red skin, grinning at them. It either chased them away, or they ran off in total terror. They told me about it when they found me, and I went looking for the shadow. I never found it, but I did often dream about it. Eventually, I wrote down this story.

I was a scaredy-cat. I could not do horror, and I believed in everything supernatural. Ghosts freaked me out, as did demons or anything to do with hell. So it's rather strange that I would write a dramatization of this story when I was so terrified of it. But it's even stranger the way it ends. The little heroine that's been haunted by the smiling devil is given an explanation by an angel, who tells her it's all been a punishment from God. The angel says that she already knows what the punishment is for, but the story never elaborates on what she did. It ends with the girl begging for forgiveness and the angel saying she's forgiven for now, but she must never do anything like it again.

~*~*~

I like to think religion never had a personally negative impact on my life--not in the way it had on some of my friends and family. I never had a horrifying reason for believing and not believing in the things I believe (and don't believe) now. (Like the usual stereotype of an atheist is that he/she asked God for something or had something horrible happen to them, and when a miracle or divine explanation wasn't granted to them, they stopped believing. This never happened to me. One day I realized I didn't believe and I was okay with it).

Despite this, I do remember being deeply religious when I was little, and terrified of things like ghosts and monsters as most kids are. I was afraid that because I and my brother hadn't been baptized, we'd go straight to hell. It was a very real threat to me.

And this story just makes me wonder about the influences some people--mainly family or my culture--had on me. I know my paternal grandmother, Alicia, made religion sound like a beautiful thing. We would stand by the main window in her house and look for angels in the clouds. I remembered feeling terrible that I couldn't see them, even though I lied and said that I did. My maternal grandmother, Virginia, has also always been very religious and faithful. (And she even kind of got annoyed at my mother's uncle once for saying he didn't believe. It was a strange thing to witness when I was little).

While I often liked the idea of God watching over me and my family back then, I think I was afraid of Him a lot of the time. And it frightens me to know a little girl and her even littler brother and friends were certain they'd seen demons out to punish them.

So in general, I think most of these stories represent six-year old me >> I loved the idea of slipping into strange worlds full of magic, had a fascination with witchcraft that apparently started early, loved having girl protagonists, and apparently liked the challenge in writing about something that terrified me. While El Libro De Los Cuentos has vapid conflict at best, as silly as these other stories are, they all had my little heroes and heroines facing a great many foes, as well as their fears.

I'm glad the notebook survived all these years. Though I doubt I'll ever let anyone read through it >.>
~Becky

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Event~

Now Playing: Martin O'Donnell - Destiny Menu Theme

I just want to say two things...

One, happy birthday to my dad :) I don't know if you lost the link to my blog--I kind of hope you did >.> just in case anything questionable or spoilers related to stuff we both watch/read/play goes up here--but if you didn't and you see this, HAPPY BIRTHDAY. (And to anyone reading this and wondering why I don't just text/call him. I did @_@ I'm not heartless, yo).

Two, I HATE EVERYONE WHO HAS AND GETS TO PLAY DESTINY TODAY DX

YES

EVEN YOU, DAD AND MATEO.

I KNOW YOU TWO PROBABLY WENT TO THE MIDNIGHT AND BOUGHT IT.

T.T I have to wait till December...*cries* just 3 months, 3 months, 3 months...of tortureeee.

Y'all don't know how much I went through to get the beta and play it back in the summer. By which I mean, what happened was I clicked reload on the reddit thread where people were giving out free codes. I was there like two hours till I snagged one. Which sounds really dramatic. In reality, some dude said he had an NA code and I asked politely and he was like "sure. Here :D". Cough #I'msodramatic.

But it was sooo worth it. I was a hunter, my brother a warlock, my dad a titan. And my guardian is just so super cute. Look at her, rocking that black lipstick and blue color scheme.

Sorry for the crappy picture o-e I forgot you could
screen shot in the PS4 when I took this.
Oh wellz...she's still badass. My sniper girl~

Sighhh. I miss her so much already. She kind of looks like an A.I. of mine from an old story, specifically Luna.

Hmmmmmm.

I can't wait to make her again in December. (Since I think the save files from the beta aren't passing over). Though that's assuming I even get to play during the Winter Holidays. I'm actually thinking we're gonna be so busy with packing that we're not gonna have time for a proper Christmas celebration, let alone some gaming.

My pain in this long, grueling wait better be worth it @_@ Once I get my hands on Destiny, I am so not stopping for eating, drinking, or sleep till I'm, like, more than halfway into the game. Until December comes, I'mma have to distract myself, with editing Millennium Girl and reading Frankenstein and watching Legend of Korra--since I'm still catching up. Maybe even write a NaNo involving some sci-fi and genetic engineered soldiers (if I don't go the fantasy route) >_>

Oh and...schoolwork I guess? Meh.

Hope everyone's having a great week :D
~Becky

BONUS: My brother sent me a picture of his guardian on 9/10 :P
The blue paint is so bloodlike @-@

P.S: How come my dad and brother keep having birthdays connecting back to Bungie? o-e Destiny is released on my dad's birthday. My brother has the same birthday as Master Chief.

Wtf, Bungie...? Do something with December 13. I needz it >_>

Monday, September 8, 2014

30 Week Writing Survey - Week 3: Names

Now Playing: Gustavo Cerati - Deja Vu and No Te Creo

I'm starting to see an upside to my creative writing workshop class. I'm not so thrilled with the fact that I have to come up with new story ideas every week--especially since, like, pretty much all my classes require me to write or read something gigantic every week--but y'know, it's working for me. I'm not much of a short story person, but shoving people into a two page limit means I don't get to be superfluous. Points are made quickly, images are shown but only as snapshots. And that's kind of interesting.

I learned something new involving Isadora and Dr. Kathleen Monroe. I keep finding new origins involving Isadora's current robotic platform, and this one is by far my favorite. She picked an old model because she liked how eerie, and strange, and beautiful it looked. Uncanny valley weirdness be damned!

It also makes me consider the possibility that a lot of these sci-fi shorts of mine may be taking place in the same universe. How cool would it be for Isadora, Luna, and Cyrano--my main three A.I's--to share a space together? Or for Valentine and Kaede to meet Dr. Monroe and Miranda? Or for Amber Jackson to protect Antigone and Hamlet?

Ahhhh~

Maybe this will lead to something one day...

Anyways, moving on to third week...


QUESTION 3: How do you come up with names--for characters, and for places if you're writing about fictional places?

Oh godddd. Names. I love them so much when they're perfect, but it's such a struggle to get there.

When I was younger, I had two common problems: meaningful names and names starting with an A. That latter is because when I looked up names, I usually figured I'd found a perfect one without switching to another page, therefore never getting past the A listings >.>. The former is become I was naive.

These problems sometimes come back to haunt me.

I try quite hard not do such a cliche thing and make the names relate to the character, especially since it DOESN'T MAKE SENSE if you're striving for some realism. But it slips sometimes and happens on accident, like with Lilith and Wendy. I just really liked the names and thought they were beautiful. A few pages into the writing, I realized they could be read as metaphors or allusions to literature.

Early on, I managed to stay off of this silliness in Redemption, where characters mostly had names that I felt their parents (or themselves, as is the case with Nikki and Vlad) would have liked. The one main and blatant exception are cousins Bellatrix and Marcus, cuz I thought it was adorable that both names meant "warlike" in Latin >.> (Shhh. Don't judge me).

In The Night Kingdom rewrites, I kept most of the original names the same, and they never had a rhyme or reason. The exception was Jacob's sister, Deirdre, which means sorrowful. Deirdre is kind of a Perpetually Sadfaced Princess, and I'd wanted a cool name when writing the story, so I searched and found and loved this name. Following that line of logic, I changed their baby sister's name for the other drafts. It was originally Vivian, because of my middle name, but she became Elethia. I can't say why, since the reason gives away a hint for the TWIST >.> So..let me just pretend I'm actually going to get around to rewriting this book and not tell you the reason behind the change. With TNK, Arkana was my only made-up name, derived from arcane.

While I was RPing, I had a phase where I thought biblical allusions were The Best. (Blame my finishing and obsessing over the original Halo trilogy). That's why Dream's real name is Esther, after the biblical heroine. Dragon's real name took a while, because I didn't know a great deal of Korean, nor did I even know his nationality at first. He only went by his last name in the novella as Kangjŏn. His nickname/codename "Dragon" was meant to reference the dragon in the Book of Revelation. Legion is super obvious--her main power was that she could absorb people's personalities and assimilate them, so it was a bunch of "souls/demons" in one vessel. Her "core" personality was born Delilah Anderson. Cough. Oh, and Archangel. Real name Michael.

Yeah...

It's a bit embarrassing to recount this, but I was aware back then of what I was doing. I knew it was cliche and yet I DIDN'T CARE. And I still don't really have regrets  >:D I wouldn't change those names for anything.

Ataraxia is the one that gets away scot-free in this. Not one name means anything significant. I did admittedly decide to name Caesar and Maria after people I knew in real life, but that's it. Even the slightly annoying "twins with names that rhyme" thing happened because Katya and Sonya's parents were just the kind of people who'd do that. And Caesar and Sonya make fun of this. (Plus it hasn't happened since. Wendy and Vincent are twins and they don't have any "cute" name patterns).

Anne's story also never had any meaningful name that I'm aware of, and because I planned the mythology and nations from scratch, I made up a bunch of names as well as used some existing ones. Since each nation had a real-life equivalent, the names came from combinations or alterations of words from the respective languages.

Up until now, I've mostly used real names with some of the exceptions in Anne's story.

For this...upcoming novel--hopefully my NaNo, if I decide to go fantasy instead of sci-fi--I think I'm going to try to make up new ones, derived from existing names, of course, rather than look some up or just pound on the keyboard and hope something usable comes out.

Aside from first names, last names do admittedly take me a while longer. I can never settle on one I like, and when I do, I end up wondering a lot about it and looking up family trees and ancestry related to it. I have often borrowed the surnames of people I admire--sometimes writers, but mostly astronauts or musicians, inventors, actors, directors, video game people, fictional characters I adore, etc. And I find looking up surnames for my POC or foreign characters pretty fun--even if it sometimes takes me a while to get a hang on writing them out without triple checking every word.

It usually takes me weeks to find a good name, and even longer to find a good surname. But I try them, sound them out, write them down a couple of times, and then see if I like it. And when I do, I never ever forget them.
~Becky

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Random Updates

One: Talked about serial killers in zombie film, and totally got a question about Jeffrey Dahmer wrong in the one quiz we took. I felt...so ashamed @_@ How could I not know he carried around the head of one of his victim's in a bowling bag once? I know that Ted Bundy liked women with brown hair parted in the middle and all about John Wayne Gacy's crawl space--as well as Jeffrey's attempts to zombify his victims with sulfuric acid--and I didn't know that?

Two: I'm almost done rewriting the ending of Millennium Girl. I'm a bit happier with it, though I still have to wonder if I should tweak some of the reactions or expand on some areas. I also know what I'm going to cut and shorten for the third revision (should be starting that around next week), but I'm still a little worried about the word count. This rewritten ending is approaching 10k words, and I still have one last chapter to add after I wrap things up in the current, err, setting.

Three: My room's walls are largely empty. I managed to hang up Maria Gabriella's painting and some colorful, prrty feathers, and there are a few of my bags set against the walls. But I don't have posters or pictures to frame.

Instead, I started doing this--little notes or ideas about Millennium Girl, interesting phrases I've read recently in books or assignments, and just general stuff related to writing:

Odd angle to show in general how empty one of the walls looks.
And today I bought these and aligned them, at the ready:


>_> I wonder how long it'll take for my room to turn mega colorful.
~Becky

EDIT: Ugh. So...

I heard about Cerati's passing a couple of hours after this post. My dad and I were holding out hope that he'd wake up again, but after four years, I guess that just wasn't going to happen. I'm thankful that his legacy will live on, however. I hope his music will always find its way to inspire a million other people, as it has inspired me.

Monday, September 1, 2014

30 Week Writing Survey - Week 2: Gender

Now Playing: Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori - Bits and Pieces (Halo 3 ODST soundtrack)

@_@ so here's a lesson I'll never forget: when you think there's no page/word limit...there is. You just haven't caught it yet.

I got so happy going through the twenty or so pages of guidelines my creative writing professor put up on BlackBoard; I thought I was in the safe zone. After she gave us the okay on writing sci-fi and fantasy, I was bouncing off the walls in joy. Then after double checking the syllabus and other supplementary stuff, I thought for sure we could write super long or super short response stories at our heart's content.

LOLNO. There's a two page limit for the weekly writing responses Dx

I CANNOT FLASH FICTION. Me and it are not a happy couple. And I only came to realize this great problem after writing a bunch of pages of a story called Ignited. Had to scale that shit down like a maniac T_T

Granted it did teach me something: you can always keep cutting stuff out, even if it hurts.

...that...sounds...vaguely violent if you don't know I'm talking about fiction editing.

Ahem. Anywayyssss on the survey >.>


QUESTION 2: What gender do you prefer to have as a protagonist? If you have no preference, what gender do you most often have as a protagonist?

FEMALE.

I know, what a surprise...

I think I used to be embarrassed about this. I decided to become a writer because of J.K. Rowling, and I always found it admirable that she'd written with a boy protagonist rather than a girl one since, y'know, it had to be inherently challenging. (I later found out it's not the case since you never truly write people who are 100% like you). That might have been part of the reason I decided to make Jacob the protagonist in The Night Kingdom. There's also that kind of disturbing, intrinsic girl hate that most young women get instilled into their head from society or the media, and we start to convince ourselves that male protagonists are just inherently better than those bitchy females. And I almost went down that path like, somewhere in the abyss that was the beginning of middle school. Hell, I heard friends and classmates express things like "I just don't care about girl protagonists they're so whinny" in high school. And I wondered about it a lot.

But then FEMINISM happened.

Growing up, I always wanted more women in fiction. I was always aware of when they were just super hot mega sexkittens who were either a) all talk, no action, b) there to look pretty--even while fighting, they still had to be sexy, c) a single lady in an army of sausage, or d) for the benefit/tragedy of the main dude.

So I JUMPED IN.

I've written most kinds of women, in terms of diversity, not just personality. Old, young, middle age, disabled, able-bodied, mentally ill, mentally okay, more good than bad, more bad than good, totally grey-gray-morality, heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual, demisexual*, Asian, Black, White, Hispanic, middle class, upper class, lower class, university graduate, high schooler, pre-school drop-out...

Most of that list applies to my dudes too, but it's more varied in women because I just have more of them, off the top of my head. I think what I've never written is a transwoman (or gender fluid, intersex, etc, etc individual--so sadly, no one outside the gender binary). But hey, I've got a lot more stories ahead of me >.> It'll happen sooner or later >:D

I'm sure I'll write more from the POV's of men in the future, but I think I'm always going to be happy with including more voices of women into my literature.
~Becky

*Note: well possibly. Lilith is demi, but it's not explicitly stated, so she could be read as bi or pansexual
"Science and science fiction have done a kind of dance over the last century... The scientists make a finding. It inspires science fiction writers to write about it, and a host of young people read the science fiction and are excited, and inspired to become scientists...which they do, which then feeds again into another generation of science fiction and science..."
- Carl Sagan, in his message to future explorers of Mars.