Day 42: Spread the word!

Talking about your story with others is a great way to get the creative juices flowing!

Today I was talking to some friends, and they asked me about my story. At first I was a little shy about it, just saying a couple words and not really giving much detail. But when they kept encouraging more answers, eventually it all just spilled out! I ended up speaking details that I didn't previously know existed in my story - which gave me even more great ideas! Eventually, it was hard to shut my mouth before revealing spoilers.

I hope I didn't bore them too much like some old professor...

Anyway, I encourage everyone to not be shy and talk about your story when you get the chance! Don't brag about it - too many aspiring authors end up looking cocky or self-absorbed. Here's a tip: Don't start talking about it right off the bat. For example: "Hi! I'm Jon. Thanks for being my friend. Please buy a copy of my awesome, poetically crafted fiction/fantasy/thriller/horror manga novel!"

...I seriously know people who do that. Especially online. The plague of anonymity... 

Anyway, I just wanted to share my excitement.

That's it for now!

"Though I may not, like them, be able to quote other authors, I shall rely on that which is much greater and more worthy - experience."

                                                                                            - Leonardo da Vinci

Book Working Title: Knights of Kethyria

Day in Progress: 42

Words Achieved: 5,887

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AvocadoPolymath


Day 41: Fanart!

I finally did what I said I would do over 9000 posts ago!

(Just can't get enough of the 'over 9k' jokes can you?!)

I drew a picture inspired by my story, and it's super duper bad, but I'm proud of it. :) And there's more to come, too!

If you want to see it, it'll be on the new fanart page whose tab is at the top of the page. It's long overdue!

Speaking of which, I just found a outline I did at the beginning of the summer when I was brainstorming. I'll throw that up on there as well! :)

It feels a little self-absorbed, but drawing art of your own story really does help the creativity. Now you have something tangible; you have visual proof of the ideas that have been swimming around in your head for months - years even. Which also gives you more motivation to finish the story - don't leave the picture without its proper place in the world!

:) Anyway, if anyone's interested, the fanart tab is now up and running! Thanks for the continued support, everyone :)

Until tomorrow!

"Many are they who have a taste and love for drawing, but no talent..."

                                                                                            - Leonardo da Vinci

Book Working Title: Knights of Kethyria

Day in Progress: 40

Words Achieved: 5,887

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AvocadoPolymath


Day 40: Another milestone

Well, I'm getting closer. Can't believe I've been doing this for 40 days already.

And honestly, I can't say I'm pleased with my progress. It's getting harder to see the light at the end of the tunnel. My writings and notes are still so disjointed, scattered, and always lack that 'something' needed to push it forward.

However, with all that said, I'm still progressing, and that's what this is all about - progress.

(I have no idea what this is but it's creepy)

Regardless, I feel I should push myself a little more. I really want to see this thing through.

I have been constantly thinking about my story, though. In fact, right now I'm drawing a picture of one of the characters, Evandrus. In my head it was really epic/sad/sexy, but it turned out looking freakishly similar to the picture above. T.T Art fail.

Still gonna finish it, though. I plan on drawing all the characters eventually. 

Oy vey.

Wish me luck!

"...Look only for things that are possible..."

                                                                                            - Leonardo da Vinci

Book Working Title: Knights of Kethyria

Day in Progress: 40

Words Achieved: 5,887

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AvocadoPolymath


Day 39: Art and Personalities and Stuff

I'm on the verge of creating a cool piece of fanart for my story.

I'll upload it as soon as it's finished, and that will mark the launching of the fanart page I announced like over 9000 blog posts ago.

(Really? An 'over 9000' joke? Isn't that a little outdated?)

Other than that, I don't have much to announce. I had another round with HeroMachine last night, and created another awesome character. He's an interesting one - not really a main character, but not a minor one either. He's that annoying lingering kind that never stops bothering your protagonist at the most inconvenient moments...

...Yes, just like that chameleon, only slightly more mischievous. And pseudo-evil. But charming. People just can't get enough of that "bad guy" vibe.

Ohmygod Loki al;skdjgoeruasporui....not helping my case here.

Anyway, character creation is always fun. I always tend to do the dark, serious types, but I've realized that it's essential to have a mix of personalities. So I finally created a character that smiled more than twice, was charming, laughed a lot, made light of a heavy situation, and so forth. Which is why his story and backstory grew on me a lot faster than that of my other characters. 

Perhaps they could all use a little makeover.

I'm going to bed now.

"Art is never finished, only abandoned."

                                                                                            - Leonardo da Vinci

Book Working Title: Knights of Kethyria

Day in Progress: 39

Words Achieved: 5,887

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AvocadoPolymath


Day 38: iPad

I started out this post on an iPad.

It quickly failed, however, when for some reason it wouldn't allow me to change font colors.

And seeing how green is my native color (being an Avocado and all), that was just unacceptable.

(that's me. Sexy, right?)


As for updates, I don't have much - did some heavy brainstorming today, and even started drawing a picture inspired by my story. Which is awesome.

By the way, that article I linked 2 days ago? It's totally working :) I wrote over 2500 words in less than an hour! And I'm still at the beginning of the plot :) It's so awesome!

I'll be back with more tomorrow!

"Necessity is the mistress and guardian of nature."

                                                                                            - Leonardo da Vinci

Book Working Title: Knights of Kethyria

Day in Progress: 38

Words Achieved: 5,887

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AvocadoPolymath


Day 37: History

Today I went to a Cleopatra exhibit.

Have I ever mentioned how much of a history nerd I am? I live for history. And because of it. Which is why I think it's really important to incorporate history, or something inspired by history, into your story, no matter the genre.

(So the question is - what is a lowly Renaissance history major doing with writing and fantasy and all of that?)

(See look! History and fantasy go hand in hand! Picture by Leonardo da Vinci)


(Thinking of the uselessness of my degree is making me cry).

My current story is completely fiction - a fantasy adventure. Yet all of the characters and cultures of my story are directly inspired by history: The main character is Arabian, and lives in a sandy dune-filled desert with bazaars and belly dancers and a god with a gold arm (look it up). Another character is based off of ancient Sparta, with a spear and a round phalynx-inducing shield and a warrior's mentality. Another is based off of norse mythology and culture, leading barbarian-like people on raids for the sake of their survival. But there's a lot of fantasy ibued within it as well, of course. For example, the norse people are also elven. Go figure.

I think it's hard to NOT be inspired by history in some way. It's shaped everything we know - history, society, culture, even an understanding of things we don't know about (life after death? Deities? Animals having souls?)

(Bacchus, the Party God, as sculpted by Michelangelo Buonarotti)

Fantasy and science fiction are two of the most important genres in the world, in my opinion. Because they reflect our history and our society. It's okay to incorporate past or present politics and other issues into stories. Because that's what makes a statement. That's what gets a successful message across.

Fantasy represents how the world should be. Science fiction represents how it can be.

"All our knowledge has its origin in our perceptions."

                                                                                            - Leonardo da Vinci

Book Working Title: Knights of Kethyria

Day in Progress: 37

Words Achieved: 5,887

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AvocadoPolymath


Day 36: Without a Net

I've found it. The best guide on how to not get writer's block!

It's from J. Joseph Wright, author of a new eBook Tribe of the Teddy Bear.

The article (And information about this awesome author) can be found here: http://windwhisperwoods.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/writing-without-a-net/

Basically, you just have to "write without a net". That is, no outlines or brainstorms. Just sit down and write. Which is something I desperately needed to see! I always knew that I should do something like this, but just to see an author blatantly post this idea was the icing on the cake. It's such a great way to get your ideas out! And it also helps to end writer's block!

Like he says in the article, writer's block comes when you attempt to write, edit, and re-write the same thing over and over. Then you're just stuck and don't know where to go from there. So instead, just take the idea you want to write, sit at your computer or with your notebook, stare at the blank page, and fill it. Then fill another. Then another. Until suddenly it's 3 AM and you've filled over 60 pages of the very thing you once had writer's block for!

It's quite an amazing idea, really.

I'm going to attempt it today, and hope that it works for me. It seems like something that will. I just need to stop crossing myself and saying "no, that won't work, that's dumb, let's start over". It doesn't matter. Nobody's going to see it but you! So just write!

Thanks Mr. Wright for your wonderful insight. I think this idea will work for everyone.

Get ready to have sore hands and wrists!

"Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in dreams than with the imagination being awake?"

                                                                                            - Leonardo da Vinci

Book Working Title: Knights of Kethyria

Day in Progress: 36

Words Achieved: 3,411

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AvocadoPolymath


Day 35: Comic Con!

I went to comic con today!

Although I live only 40 minutes away from the convention's location, that didn't stop me from getting hopelessly lost. We were so late that we missed the Psych panel :( (That was the one thing we wanted to do today!)

With all that said, I still had an awesome day. It's so great to see the busy hustle and bustle of the booths, the game demos, the swag, and the awesome panels. I watched a Science Channel panel about time travel. Who knew there were so many ways to do it! I was also introduced to an awesome podcast. And I learned the truth about Batman's creator - something that surprisingly, and sadly, is not very well known. Oh and I learned about translating manga. The fellow linguist in me thought it was really fascinating. :)

And of course, the cosplay. My favorite part. This right here is the best cosplay ever attempted:
(This pic belongs to Apertureashely on Deviantart)

If you don't know who this character is, you're no longer allowed to read this blog.  :) 

Okay fine, I'll tell you his name. It's الطائر.   :)

Seeing people getting excited over comics, books, movies, games, etc. just motivates me further to make my story successful. That one day, people at a convention will be talking about it.

...That's a little far reaching. But I know I can do it! It also got me wondering, are some of my story ideas better represented in comic form, or should I just write them as novels? I'm not a great artist, but I could find an illustrator or just work my butt off practicing. I'm a comic and manga nerd, so the thought of that has definitely crossed my mind once or twice. But right now, I just need to focus on getting the actual story structured. -_-

See ya later!

"A picture or representation of human figures, ought to be done in such a way as that the spectator may easily recognise, by means of their attitudes, the purpose in their minds."

                                                                                            - Leonardo da Vinci

Book Working Title: Knights of Kethyria

Day in Progress: 35

Words Achieved: 3,411

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AvocadoPolymath


Day 34: Brave

I saw Disney Pixar's Brave today.

It was very well done. It was very good to see that Disney has finally mustered up the guts to take a stand on exceeding social norms. The female protagonist was an independent, untamable woman with a fighting spirit - which is what most of us females are in this day and age, anyway. The movie had absolutely no male love interests, but it didn't feel like anything was missing. It worked perfectly fine without the aspect of romance.

I'm definitely not hating on romance, however. I just appreciate when it's done right :)

Which gets me thinking about the romance in my own novel. I'm planning on it being - different, and hopefully it will allow the reader to be different too. I'm getting mixed reviews in terms of advice, but I still want to go for it. At the very least, it's not going to be a prominent part of the plot, so even if it seems strange to the reader, they won't have to worry about focusing on it.

Let's hope all goes well with that.

Oy vey.

"Love shows itself more in adversity than prosperity..."

                                                                                            - Leonardo da Vinci

Book Working Title: Knights of Kethyria

Day in Progress: 34

Words Achieved: 3,142 (and counting quickly!)

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AvocadoPolymath


Day 33: Better

Feeling better today!

And I got a lot of housework done like I said I would! I also ran some needed errands AND, while cleaning, I got the inspiration for some amazing scenes in my novel. I'm winning!

I guess I don't need to eat my hat after all!

(Although that looks pretty tasty...)

It's SUPER HOT today, but that's sort of invigorating. I've been cooped up in the house for too long and it feels great to have some sun on my shoulders for once. I think I'll take advantage of this bright light.

Remember back at the beginning of my posts when I said how awesome music was? I just want to repeat that. Because it's still as true as ever.

Here's a few more songs to add to my playlist:

- Forgotten Heroes
- Gloriana
- Breath of Life - Florence & The Machine

...and many more!

I'll be back later with updates. :)

Remember to write, write, write!!

"The sun gives spirit and life..."

                                                                                            - Leonardo da Vinci

Book Working Title: Knights of Kethyria

Day in Progress: 33

Words Achieved: 3,142

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AvocadoPolymath


Day 32: Numb

I'm physically and mentally numb.

I got three shots in my mouth and I still can't talk. I don't feel like doing anything today. I think some of the numbing juice got to my brain as well, because I'm just a slump. I need to get up, eat, clean the house, work out, and most importantly, work on my story!! But I can't even move, and I don't want to.


Ich. I need to do something with myself.

I'll start with soup, and make my way from there. Hopefully I can go from soup to mopping, to vaccuuming, to sweeping, to dusting, to pushups, to jogging, to writing. In that exact order.

Sorry for the lazy post. I hope everyone's having a more energetic day than I :)

If I don't make progress on my writing by tomorrow, I'll eat my hat!


"I have wasted my years..."

                                                                                            - Leonardo da Vinci

Book Working Title: Knights of Kethyria

Day in Progress: 32

Words Achieved: 3,142

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AvocadoPolymath


Day 31: Hero

What makes a hero?

Everyone has a different idea of what a "hero" is.

The dictionary defines hero as:
'a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.'.

 Okay, that's a bit overdone. Also, a man? I hope they weren't being literal. Let's look at the second definition:
'a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal'

THAT'S a lot better. It's more all-encompassing, and reaches more truth about what a heroic act can be. Many see policeman and fireman as heroes. I know I do, especially when they make a sacrifice as great as they do. There can be local heroes - someone who saved a beloved local business from falling under by creating ads and spreading the word. Or a journalist who finally exposes the horrendous conditions of puppy mills and works towards making them illegal - a cause very dear to me, by the way.

There are many different types of heroes. Even the ones who wear capes.

A lot of people rule out superheroes as actual heroes. But not I! If you have any knowledge of the Marvel comics universe, you will realize that these heroes are normal human beings too, and the sacrifices they make for the good of humanity prove that it doesn't take extra-terrestrial powers to save us. We can save us. 

I'm seeing The Amazing Spiderman in theaters later today, and it looks really good. I was never a huge fan of Spiderman (I prefer Capt. America and Thor myself), but his heroic actions can't be denied. He's just a nerdy kid who uses his radioactive turn of events to save his beloved city from those who wish it ill. He has to hide this heroic-ness from the ones he loves in order to protect them and keep them from worrying. He's not all-powerful - sure he was able to gain some extra senses - but he's just as scared as all of us. 

Bottom line is, heroes are human. (Or at least possess human qualities). That's why it's important for your main character, the hero in your story, to possess such faults and fears. Being able to overcome that for the good of something greater than her/himself is what will make them a hero. 

Can you be a hero?

"Virtue never looks at any vile or base thing, but rather clings always to pure and virtuous things and takes up its abode in a noble heart."

                                                                                            - Leonardo da Vinci

Book Working Title: Knights of Kethyria

Day in Progress: 31

Words Achieved: 3,142

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AvocadoPolymath


Day 30: Is order for the weak?

I know what most people prefer: to write their story in order, chronologically, from beginning to end, then rinse and repeat.

And I've usually worked that way too. But lately, I've been getting too stuck. So I started researching tips about how to write out of order, who writes out of order, and what they have to say about it. And I realized that it really isn't that weird after all. A lot of people do it, and it can help inspire more stories.

There's a GREAT article by successful teen author Veronica Roth about the very subject: http://veronicarothbooks.blogspot.com/2011/11/writing-out-of-order.html

She's highly informative and funny, too. It was a blast to read her thoughts and it really helped me realize that it's okay to write out of order. For example, I have this really great scene from my book imagined in my head - but I haven't written it yet. Why? Because it's not right at the beginning of my story. But I think I should write that scene anyway, because getting it out will hep me either realize its magnificence or see some of its faults. And it can also help me figure out which events lead up to the scene, events that I am currently clueless about.

Veronica gives a lot of ideas on how to keep track - because yes, confusion is sometimes a worry when writing out of order. She uses hashtags to mark her place, or put a 'note' and come back to it later. It's better than using actual sticky notes all the time...

 I think this method would be very useful, and I'd like to try it out. It's better than trying to write the first chapter over and over and deleting it like a broken record. Maybe this time, I'll make some actual progress. And it's about time, I'm already 30 days in. What?!!!?!?!??!

...I'll let you know how it goes. Wish me luck!!

"The part always has a tendency to reunite with its whole in order to escape from its imperfection."

                                                                                            - Leonardo da Vinci

Book Working Title: Knights of Kethyria

Day in Progress: 30

Words Achieved: 2,682

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AvocadoPolymath


Day 29: Tenses, Part 2

I'm trying to figure out how to best write the tense and POV of my novel.

I'm going to play around with a few example sentences here.

Present tense, 1st person:
- 'I'm beginning to think that my mother will never be found. As I hold her cloth scarf in my hand, a tear rolls down my cheek. It isn't fair. She shouldn't have gone like this. My father's eyes are empty of all emotion. That isn't fair either. He's hiding something. He may have our kingdom convinced that she was kidnapped by the Orvar, but it won't fool me. Kidnapped? From a floating castle? Likely story. The King can say whatever he wants, but I know his Magic was involved. And I'm going to get to the bottom of this.'

Present tense, 3rd person:
- 'Prince Azhar shakes his head in disbelief as he looks at the broken arrow in his father's hand. A wave of anger rushes over him. He knows his father could have easily planted this foreign arrow to make it seem like an invasion. That raiders from a faraway land kidnapped his mother. But Azhar knows this is all a lie. Looking up at his father with skepticism, he reaches inside his robe and procures a blade. He will have his answers one way or another. His father can't feed the kidnapping excuse for long. Magic was involved; it's as simple as that.'

Past tense, 1st person:
- 'I clearly remember the day my mother disappeared. My father showed me a broken Orvar arrow, the likes of which I'd never seen before. At first I believed him - could there really have been a foreign infiltration so stealthy that they stole my mother and escaped undetected? Perhaps they really were as barbarous as the tales told. But then I saw my father's eyes. They were so hard and cold, void of all emotion. A spark welled within me. A spark of anger towards my father - the first of many. My feelings for my father from that moment on were summarized in one word: suspicion. I knew he had caused my mother's disappearance. And I knew it wasn't any foreign people that had caused it. It was him, and his forbidden Magic.'

Past tense, 3rd person:
- 'Taking his mother's soiled scarf, Azhar stood at the doorway to his father's private chamber. The King's eyes were as cold as ice. Azhar felt a strange feeling crawl at the back of his mind. The feeling turned into a shudder when he saw it - the broken arrow. It was so foreign that at first he hardly recognized it as such a weapon. But it would be the first of many. Hardening his mind, he turned his thoughts back to his mother. Could she really have been kidnapped by the foreign people that wield such strange arrows? It was hard to believe that the barbarian elves could really have kidnapped her without being caught. Azhar looked back up at his father again, and he could have sworn he saw a strange glow about his hands. That was when his suspicion sprouted forth. It was then that he knew - no strange invaders has caused his mother's disappearance. It was his father, the King, and his corrupted Magic.'

..So which one seems like the best? Let me know, and have a great day! :)

"Here forms, here colours, here the character of every part of the universe are concentrated to a point..."

                                                                                            - Leonardo da Vinci

Book Working Title: Knights of Kethyria

Day in Progress: 29

Words Achieved: 2,682

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/90DayAvocado