Writing

How to Fail at Writing

How to Fail at Writing

People are always telling you how to accomplish things.  Not quite as often do they give you the insider advice on how to be an expert at failing something.

I happen to be an expert at failing at writing.  So, here’s a very brief, simple five-step plan to becoming an expert like me.

(1) Don’t write.
While it seems fairly obvious, the fastest way to failure is to simply not do something.  I have become quite good at this and have been known to stop writing for days, weeks, even months at a time.  If you try hard enough, I’m sure you can do it too!

(2) Always stay up late and sleep in.
When your body is deprived of a healthy sleep cycle, it will rebel against daily disciplines like writing.  To really make use of this tip, I would stay up until at least 11 and then not get up again until 7:30 at the earliest.  Trust me.  When you put in the effort, you can get good at this.

(3) Eat only junk food and never drink anything other than soda.
This is one that I still struggle with.  I just like water way too much.  Make sure you’re cutting out vegetables and piling on those carbohydrates.  Pop-Tarts are your new best friend.  That and drinking lots and lots of carbonated drinks.

(4) Never exercise.
I can’t begin to tell you how important this step is.  You can be diligent in the other steps so far and be getting good at failure, but if you exercise, it will actually wake your brain up, ruin the progress you’ve made, and you might even feel the urge to write.  Run far, far away from any form of exercise.  Wait a second, don’t run.  That would be exercising.  Just sit on the couch and repel it with your light saber.

(5) Fill your mind with useless thought material that numbs your mind and *Attention: this is the most important part of the entire stinkin’ process* NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES are you to make following God the highest priority in your life.
Okay, so first you need to concentrate on knowing lots of facts about things that interest you, but aren’t really helpful to normal life.  This would include my mass knowledge of LOTR behind the scenes information and my IMDB type brain that can usually recognize at least one actor in every single movie I watch.  (I’m rather obsessive.)  Now, you don’t have to do this in just the movie realm.  This step can be accomplished in virtually any area of life.  Try to find your fulfillment in your vast knowledge and not in concrete things, especially not in God.

This is the most important thing.  If you make following God the highest priority in your life, you’ll slowly stop failing more and more.  You don’t want this.  To be a true expert at failure, you need to avoid reading your Bible, stop going to church (or at least stop mentally/actively participating), and definitely do not pray.  As long as you avoid these things, you should be good.

Well, there you have it.  My five proven steps to becoming an expert at failure.  It’s worked for me time out of mind and I know it will work for you.  Just try and see if you can’t fail a little better tomorrow because of it!

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(As I hope everyone already knows, this post is completely facetious and meant to kick you into high-gear doing the complete opposite of what it suggests.)

Writing

Dome (a character introduction)

I was going to wait a couple weeks for this post, but I just couldn’t.  I am almost ready to pop to share these characters with the few people who read this blog.  Lovely readers, I give you Jamara, Shastiana, Cooper, and Keona…

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Jamara (Age 19 / MC) – Raised by the midwife who delivered her, Jamara is a young girl who has grown up in hiding.  When the assassin Mikar captures her mother, Jamara is sentenced to a living death in the sealed Cove within the Dome community.  As she grows older, she is told stories of the sky and she longs with all of her heart to escape the Dome and return to her mother’s home, perhaps even to find her father.  But the Unsealing will happen in less than a year.  Unless she escapes now, what sweet memories of life in The Cove that she has will be wiped and she will enter life in the main Dome community, never to see the sun.

Shastiana

Shastiana Tonric (Age 37 / SC) – A midwife captured by Mikar at the age of eighteen and forced to raise the children of the women she assists in birth, Shastiana loves all of “her” children dearly, but she longs to reunite them with their true mothers.  Her life however, is guarded within the sealed Cove and she is never permitted to leave.  She contents herself by spinning dreams of the land for her children and making plans for them to all one day escape The Cove and seek out their King and his kingdom.

 

82b87494c5e1543e73cce3e18ce58733_pi_250x250Cooper (Age 23 / SC) – Placed in The Cove at the age of 4, Cooper has very few memories of the land above or of his birth mother.  Being one of the older children in The Cove, he has had a lot of responsibility since it was sealed.  It weighs heavily upon his shoulders and his main concerns in life are taking care of his blood sister Keona and his best friend Jamara.  As the Unsealing grows closer, he struggles to find a way to keep them safe.

 

 

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Keona (Age 19 / SC) – As the last child to be born in The Cove before it was sealed, Keona is the baby of the makeshift family and one of the few to actually have a blood sibling.  She and Cooper are very close and are rarely ever seen apart.  Her best friend apart from Cooper is Jamara and they have grown up doing everything together.  Keona is very headstrong and used to having her own way.  Her chief goal is to escape The Cove and the Dome and find the land.

(Keona is not as well-developed yet, because she literally just showed up on my proverbial doorstep yesterday and demanded to be allowed into the story.)

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Well, those are four of my babies.  There are many more awesome characters in this story, but these ones hold a special place in my heart right now.  (Especially Shastiana and Keona…but don’t tell anybody. ;P)

Which one is your favorite character?

Writing

Shastiana (a Dome character sketch)

Shastiana

Shastiana Tonric, a newly trained midwife, is only eighteen when the rebel Mikar tries to assassinate the King, Queen Ellowen, and their young son and heir, Rifdan.  Upon his failure, the wanted assassin drew together his forces and led them into the water, building an intricate Dome on the floor of the sea.  Along with his armies, Mikar forced many of the innocent people to follow him to the Dome.  Shastiana was within the castle at the time of the attack and she and Ellowen were forcibly taken by Mikar’s men down to the watercraft that would carry them out to sea and then down into the Dome.

As Shastiana cares for the pregnant women on board, she becomes more and more afraid of Mikar, but she also grows secretly defiant against his terrible rule.  When she is called to deliver a dying woman’s baby, she refuses to kill the child as Mikar demands, but hides it away in her quarters.  Upon arriving at the Dome, Shastiana and the remaining pregnant women are sent to live in The Cove, a guarded area of the Dome, concealed away from the main community.

As the pregnant women each eventually give birth, they are ripped away from their children and their memories are erased.  They are each then sent out into the Dome community, without any remembrance of their babies.  The infants are placed in the care of Shastiana and The Cove is sealed, not to be opened again until after 20 years have passed.

But Shastiana has other plans.  So does Mikar.

Writing

Jamara

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She thought she was alone.  Abandoned before birth by a father.  Left to grow in silence by a dying mother.  Shunned by an entire world.  Her body marked with irremovable scars.  She never had hope.  Until she discovered that all she had ever known was a lie.

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Introducing the MC from my current WIP, Dome.

*drumroll, please*

Jamara!

Which you probably already guessed because of the title of this post.  This is me not even caring.  I like drumrolls, people.

So, this story is about Jamara, a young woman living in a domed structure under the surface of the ocean.  She has been taught to believe that it is the only world in existence, but in actuality it is just a tiny part of a large universe.  Dome is the chronicle of her journey to the surface and what she finds there.

Not gonna lie, friends, I LOVE this character.

She’s been in the works for about three years, but over the past few months, I’ve started working hard at really getting to know her and who she is.

I’ve found that she’s very broken.  She is maybe not quite as shy as I thought.  There’s a lot of anger built up inside of her at certain people in her life.  She has serious trust issues.  Oh, and there’s some self-hate mixed up with pride going on as well.

But I love her.  And I love this story sooooo much.  Even though it keeps changing on me!  *glares at story-structure*  Seriously, it might never get finished because my plot bunnies will not get their act together.

Anywho, I thought I’d dig into the Beautiful People archive and do a little Q-and-A, so that you could get to know Jamara a little bit too.  Enjoy!  (oh, and also enjoy the little cluster of photos that evokes a bit of Dome-ish mood into the world)

Full Disclaimer: Everything that you read from here on out is completely hearsay as the author may very well decide to change all major ideas within 2 seconds as she has no idea what she is doing.  This may make some story glitches appear temporarily until she finds them and roots them out with her digital pencil.

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1. What’s their favorite book/movie/play/etc.?
Well, they don’t have movies in The Dome, so those are out.  She isn’t allowed into any play productions because she is a social outcast.  (This is due to the scarring on her wrists, a characteristic she has had from birth.)  This brings it down to books, which is the one thing in this question that Jamara can participate in and she does so wholeheartedly.  She scavenges any books she can find and devours them as fast as any sane person eats a piece of cake.  I.E., fast.  As to a particular favorite, she will read anything that helps her to mentally escape.  She would most likely enjoy Lord of the Rings (I really don’t care that this is cliche; I’m just thinking in line with what she would enjoy…and honestly, I think that she would appreciate how TERRIBLE of a father Denethor is.  *spoiler, not a spoiler, but, yeah, kind of a spoiler).

2. Is there anything they regret doing?
At the beginning of the story, not really.  She’ll have some regrets later on, when she *cough* has fights with family members whom she doesn’t know exist at this point.

3. If they were sick or wounded, who would take care of them and how?
Ok, so, while she’s still in The Dome, she has a group of kids that she lives with.  They’re all collectively known as The Outcasts, anyone that society has deemed unfit to live.  They all look out for each other, although, she’s only close to one or two of them.  They would be the ones to take care of her.  As to how, they’d just do the best they could with what they have.  It’s not like they get welfare or anything.  They’re outcasts.
Once she gets out of The Dome (and finally learns how to actually trust him), her older brother (who she doesn’t know exists, eeep!) will take care of her.
As to how, well, I already know that he’s going to save her right when they first meet.  She almost freezes to death and he gets her to a warm place and makes sure she doesn’t, you know, die.  She *kind of* appreciates it, but she’s also really, really, excessively scared.

4. Is there an object they can’t bear to part with and why?
So, she has dog-tags.  Every one of the outcasts in The Dome has them.  She hates them because they show that she will never fit in.  (Once you’re an outcast, you can never be “normal” again.)  She tries to break them off when she exits the Dome, but they are tightly clasped and she can’t remove them. (And I understand that she literally can’t part with it and, so it really doesn’t apply to this question, but I’m beyond the point of caring.)

5. What are five ways to win their heart (or friendship)?
(1) Start slow.  She’s been abused for so long that she has serious trust issues.
(2) Be there when she needs you.  This might mean being willing to stay up with her when she’s sobbing at two AM in the morning.  (Not that she always sobs at two AM in the morning, but it has been known to happen before.
(3) Remember what she loves.  Bring her new words.  Listen when she talks.
(4) Don’t be afraid to get hurt.  There will be pain involved in this venture.
(5) Don’t forget to laugh, but don’t tell too many jokes when she’s down.  Remember: rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15).

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Well, that’s a little bit of who Jamara is.  I hope to keep finding more and more about her story in the coming weeks.

What about you?  What characters are you developing?  I’d love to hear from you!