Posted in 2017, Writing, Writing Tips

Amateur Writing Tip: Subplots

There are multiple reasons why subplots can be just as important to a story as the main plot. For one subplots can give insights to the reader/viewer about the world, the characters, and certain events that happen throughout the plot of the story. Subplots can also act as a reminder that the main plot is never really the whole story. The final reason I’ll write about is that subplots can beef up and lengthen an otherwise short story. If you feel like something is missing from your story try adding a subplot. It may help.

Now if you want to write a good subplot treat it like a main plot. That is how its going to feel like to the characters who have something to do the subplot so don’t treat it like something happening to the side. Here’s an example. At the beginning of Star Wars: A New Hope the Rogue One team steals the plans to the Death Star and sends them to Princess Leia. She then gives them to R2-D2 who is told to look for Obi wan Kenobi. Until she first meets Luke everything that happens to her is part of the subplot. Getting the plans to the right people is just as important as Luke learning about his force powers, leaving his home, and blowing up the Death Star. In the scenes where only Leia is present she is technically the protagonist and all the important stuff is happening around her. To her all the stuff happening with Luke is the subplot until the two characters meet.

One more tip, if you are going to add subplots to your story you need to remember to bring everything together during the conclusion because even though each subplot is technically its own story its still a subplot and it needs to connect to the main plot at some point. If you have subplots just floating there unconnected to anything there will be no point in even having those subplots. If you want to write a story focusing on a character other than the protagonist that doesn’t relate directly to the story write a different story. Don’t just add it to the story you’re currently writing as a subplot unless it relates to the main plot.

Advertisements
Posted in 2017, Writing, Writing Tips

Amateur Writing Tip: Avoid Death Flags

Death flags occur in a story when it becomes obvious to the reader/viewer/player which character is going to die next. They are only found in stories where at least a few characters are killed off. They can be easily avoided however. The most frequently occurring death flag is a sudden info dump regarding a particular character’s backstory. This is done to increase the impact of their death, however if it’s too obvious the reader/viewer/gamer will brace for impact and the impact will be greatly lessened because of it.

This is why instead of giving the majority of a character’s backstory right before they die, give it gradually up until the death. Then it will be as sudden and impactful as you want it to be. Of course there are other death flags (ie red shirts) but they can easily be avoided by simply not killing off similar characters over and over again. You need variety.

Posted in 2017, NaNoWriMo, NaNoWriMo 2017, Update Post, Writing

NaNoWriMo 2017 Winner Update and General Blog Update

So if you follow me on Twitter you may already know that on Sunday morning I managed to reach 50,000 words and win. This is my third win overall out of four attempts. This story is not done however. In fact it’s far from being finished. I doubt that I’ll be able to 100% the novel by tomorrow at midnight. That doesn’t matter much as long as I get it done in December at some point. This is the first time that a novel that I have written for NaNoWriMo is going to be at least 10,000 words longer than 50,000.

There are a few things that I have to think about before I go to revise this draft. The first of these is that I need to focus a little more on how certain events are connected and how my plot twists need to be more noticeable and surprising without being stupid. Second I need to get rid of info dumps because every once in a while while writing I would come up with a piece of lore which fit in with what I had already decided upon and I would add it in. This information needs to be revealed earlier on. Finally I need to focus more on my characters in terms of how they act, talk, and relate to one another. This will make it so that my characters don’t almost always have blank faces or faint smiles.

I will keep posting updates about my novel as I continue writing in and then move into the first revision phase of this story. I just ‘can’t wait’ until I get to wait three hours for all those pages to print so that I can properly revise my story.

Now as for the blog update I just wanted to inform everyone that I am still technically on a hiatus. It’s the end of the semester so I have a lot of things I need to do so I won’t be able to post much and I don’t have a buffer at all at the moment. I will start by having semi regular posts at around December 12th then I will go back to regular posts in January. I’m doing this so that I can make a buffer of posts again so that I don’t fall behind.

Of course there will be a few more posts between now and then since I have a couple completed posts scheduled.

Anyways I will have a full blog update up within the next few weeks with all the things I want to do in terms of blogging in the new year. Just note that I will be focusing more on my writing and I will be doing more analysis of writing in terms of characters, scenes, and introductions.

Just one last thing before I end this post. I was wondering if anyone would be interested in joining me in a charity thing. I want to do a fundraiser and I think it would be fun if I made it a sort of blog challenge. Please comment below if you’d be interested.

 

Posted in 2017, A Fae Alone, Fantasy, Fiction, NaNoWriMo 2015, NaNoWriMo 2017, Update Post, Writing

NaNoWriMo 2017 Update 1

I had been hoping to post this on Sunday but a few things happened so I couldn’t. Also because of those same things I am now behind about 5,000 words. This is easily manageable as it is still within the range of my ability to write tons of words in one day. If you look at my author stats page you will see that the most I have written in a day is over 9,000. But because of this I will need to write for a little longer than I normally would, especially if I ever want to reach the climax which should give me at least a few thousand words.

I am finding the same thing I always find when participating in NaNoWriMo. There are many things my story is lacking such as sufficient worldbuilding to make it seem believable, minor characters which would add a lot to this story, and more. I spent the first 7,000 words writing the introduction so that all the major characters could be known by the time the inciting force came along, but they are highly underdeveloped, especially Nyfo who is the main character. I even ended up adding a bully character to add conflict before the inciting force to make it easier to introduce some of the characters but I ended up calling her Fua which is way too similar to one of my other protagonists who is called Fora.

So now I’m writing after the inciting force and the characters are all reacting to this happening. I may have added a few minor plot points here and there to make the plot more streamlined (i.e. making two characters run into each other a while before they actually meet, creating a third perspective character). I am also noticing things that I need to focus on during later drafts and revisions. This is good. You are only supposed to write your first draft during NaNoWriMo and first drafts are supposed to be awful. They act as the true starting point for writing stories so I don’t really care that it needs a lot more work. Besides at this point I actually think that this novel is the most likely of all my NaNoWriMo novels to actually get published in the near future. The First Dragon was put back on the drawing board especially after I changed all the lore. The Fatal Deception was dropped without a word. Lies Over Secret Truths was set aside for a while and I will return to it after I have some more inspiration. So yeah since A Faerie Alone is set apart from my big world, doesn’t contain any of the dark topics I sometimes write about, and may or may not have a sequel someday, I may actually succeed with finishing it.

Anyways I also wanted to tell you guys that I will be taking a step away from this blog. It won’t be a complete step as I will still be posting things regularly, but rather than posting daily I will be posting about three posts per week. I don’t know how long this will last but hopefully I will return to my normal schedule after November. If I don’t I will be returning at full force in the new year when I will also be announcing my super secret project #2. Here’s a hint:  cela implique la charité! I will also be starting a couple more blogging series that may or may not replace worldbuilding tips and give me something to post on Sunday’s.

I will be posting another NaNoWriMo update next Thursday. If you want to talk about how your novel is going you can comment below. If you don’t or you’re not writing a novel than see you next Thursday, or maybe tomorrow when I post a prewritten anime review. Whatever. Until then Happy Writing.

Posted in 2017, NaNoWriMo, Writing, Writing Tips

Amateur Writing Tip: NaNoWriMo: Write at your own pace

When writing a novel for NaNoWriMo you may want to write as fast as you possibly can to finish all 50,000 words by the end of the month. Don’t do that. Instead write at your own pace. You only need to write a total of 1,667 words per day. You may think that forcing yourself to write faster is a good thing but the thing you need to remember is that the faster you write the faster you will start to feel tired. If you’re already a fast writer than that’s fine, but even if you can only write 30 words per minute if you are on a roll it will only take you a little less than an hour to reach 1,667 for the day. Even if you can only write 10 words per minute you will still finish in a little under two and a half hours. You can do it. Also if you’re unable to write a single word in several minutes take a break. Freely thinking may help with writer’s block.

Posted in 2017, NaNoWriMo, NaNoWriMo 2017, Writing, Writing Tips

Useful Things to Have on Hand During NaNoWriMo

Here’s a list of things you may find useful to have nearby as you are writing your novel.

  • Reference notes – These can either be written before you start writing your novel or during. Reference notes allow you to keep descriptions consistent throughout the entire story making the editing process at least somewhat easier later on. Every time you find yourself describing something new add it to your notes.
  • Dictionary/Thesaurus – because you never know when you may need either one. You don’t need physical copies, you can also use google or phone apps.
  • Open NaNoWriMo Website – If you are planning on writing the minimum amount of words per day for NaNoWriMo you will find the novel stats page to be very helpful since there’s a graph that shows you whether or not you are going at a good pace and that general stats section tells you how much you have written that day. Also keeping the page open means that you can update your wordcount more frequently which is not needed but makes it so you are less likely to update your wordcount later.
  • Something to Backup your Novel on – One thing you do not want is to be almost done writing the first draft of your novel when your file becomes corrupted or your computer dies causing you to lose all your work. To prevent the loss of all your work back it up using a program such as Google Drive or by using an external hard drive or USB stick. Just a quick warning, do not write your novel on a file already on a USB stick. The more times you insert one into a USB drive the more likely it is that the files on it will become corrupted. I know this from personal experience. Safely removing USB sticks only makes this less likely to happen.
  • Food/drink – You want to stay both nourished and hydrated while you are writing. Make sure you have at least some water on hand as well as something small to eat.
Posted in 2017, World Builiding, Writing, Writing Tips

World Building Tip: Monsters: Animals as Monsters

I would consider any creature who is not humanoid and has less than human intelligence to be an animal. Of course there are some exceptions to this. There are some mythical creatures with human intelligence (at least most of the time) which are often called beasts or animals. I will not be writing about these creatures in this post. The only creatures I’ll be writing about are creatures that rely a lot on instinct, have no culture of their own, and have no cohesive language that you can translate.

The interesting thing about writing animals as the monster in a story is the fact that they can often not be reasoned with. You can’t talk a raging bull out of chasing after people, all you can do is run. Another thing to remember is that you can make your audience feel empathy toward the creature if something was done to them to make them go crazy such as abuse. Of course you could just make your creature a natural predator of people which will make your audience feel happy when it dies instead of sad.