What is an antihero? – Literary Terms 101

Antihero: “A central character, or protagonist, who lacks traditional heroic qualities and virtues (such as idealism, courage, and steadfastness). An antihero may be comic, antisocial, inept, or even pathetic, while retaining the sympathy of the reader. Antiheroes are typically in conflict with a world they cannot control or whose values they reject,” – The NTC’s Dictionary of Literary Terms

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My Take on The Antihero

Honestly, this is my favorite type of character. They fall under other archetypes like tricksters, desperados, lone wolf, and the like. Ostracized, brooding, angsty, mischievous, chaotic, and neutral only when they want to be. These characters are near and dear to my heart probably because I’m the antihero of my own life. As I write my novel, I have several characters that fit this mold. I just love them.

I think what’s most important about this definition is the very last sentence: “Antiheroes are typically in conflict with a world they cannot control or whose values they reject.” The most prominent attribute of the antihero is conflict. This comes from their ambiguous alignment (not always lawful, chaotic, good, or evil), their “many shades of gray” point of view, and their autonomy. They conflict with many elements of the story because of their independence and resourcefulness. It’s them against the world, no matter if they have a few allies or not. Although these traits can be admirable, there is a lot of stress that comes with it, which is probably why they gain sympathy from the audience. Freedom isn’t free and you always have to watch your back. Antihero’s often come off as hardened, distant, or mistrusting. The conflicting circumstances they run into simultaneously reinforce the skills they have sharpened from their independent nature and challenge the morale they have for their lifestyle with ethical questions. I love watching a character who does their best to be neutral struggle with their ethics because it really is relatable; it’s how you establish your own personal philosophy.

Have you designed an antihero before, fellow writers? Do you favor this archetype more than others?

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6 Ways To Cleanse and Empower Yourself – [New Article]

“This is not your average list of cleansing techniques. You’re not going to be told that these techniques are going to help you “get rid of all the negativity and toxicity in your life.” You’re not going to be offered products that can take care of everything that’s a problem in your life. This is a list of cleansing techniques that also empowers you. We are taking the time to know ourselves, know our environment, and invest in our confidence.”

Read the rest of the article here…

I’m really excited to share this article with all of you. Please read and let me know what you think.  The techniques are based on sensation/stimuli:

  1. Listen
  2. Look
  3. Feel
  4. Breathe
  5. Touch
  6. Practice

I really hope it will help those who need cleansing in their lives and wants to be empowered enough to handle whatever kind of negativity comes their way.

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I’m going to start an article series on the Kybalion

The seven hermetic principles are very important to study in the field of metaphysics, so I’m assigning myself to do a more thorough study of them.

I tried to write about Hermeticism before and it was…just messy haha. So I’m going to follow through with this for my own sake because I’ve been hoping to incorporate these principles in my novel series somehow.

Additionally, I have another literature article in the works. The reference material is going to be The Secret History by Donna Tartt. More on that soon…

Part-Time Dreaming Doesn’t Work

This is another one of those “just me” posts. I need to express something that is incredibly important. When it comes to manifesting the life you want, you don’t reach your full manifesting potential when you treat it like a part-time job. This is hard to admit because right now I’m torn between this job, which is blogging/writing/making music professionally and my current part-time where I work with those with autism and developmental disabilities. I absolutely love every client I work with and I learn something new from all of them. I’m really not the kind of person to half-ass a job or anything, really. With that being said, I’m noticing the majority of my energy is going into the part-time job leaving me with little energy after that shift to work on this job.

And when I try to express this to others, I often get asked “Well, why don’t you just work on your dream job on your days off or the weekends?” Because the energy needed for my dream job keeps going to the other job throughout the week and I deserve rest days (I know angst inspires art sometimes, but really…). In a perfect world, I can balance the dream job and the part-time with the same amount of energy. We don’t live in a perfect world, my dream job suffers, the part-time still takes demand. Through my own meditations, I have learned enough about pouring your energy into too many things and being left empty. The power to manifest requires having the power to persist and believe. Yes, my part-time job is helping me provide for things such as transportation and bills, but I know for a fact that if depression and strong suicidal ideation didn’t convince me my dream job wasn’t worth anything, I would be providing for myself. What I’m manifesting, I’ve done before. I’ve seen for myself that it works, but I’m letting things, like this job and other fears, pull me away.

Part-time dreaming doesn’t work. It may pay the bills and it may be one of the most wonderful jobs I’ve ever had, but it’s not the career path I’ve chosen for myself. If anything, I know my career can bring in so much abundance, that I will be able to invest in the progress of this current part-time job more than I have already. I want to donate and give to other charities to, like environmental protection. I want to make a living as the artist that I am and excel to a platform of philanthropy. I’m not going to be able to do that with a part-time attitude. My part-time dreaming is going to be a full-time reality.

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Validation

I ran into this video on TikTok by GaryVee and the message was really neat.

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Validation is a very tricky scenario. There are elements of what validation is in my prose poem Earth Magic; where how you grow up and who you’re around influences the way you feel about yourself. When we seek validation, there’s always that great risk of not being grounded; your roots end up being pulled one way and the other then you end up not having any foundation. Being uprooted from any situation can be traumatizing, the precursor to an existential crisis. Unfortunately, the solution we’re introduced to for the pain and uncertainty is seeking more validation even though that may have been what uprooted us in the first place. We depend on external sources to confirm or deny who we are and simultaneously mistrust our internal sources, our intuition, our self-esteem, our ability to self-reflect.

Internal and external conflict is such a powerful tool in writing because it’s so human. An inner monologue could contrast what other events are happening around the character, which brings suspense and tension. We go through this all the time. What’s going on within isn’t in alignment with what’s going on around us. The popular kids Garyvee talked about may have not aligned with the pressure that comes with popularity, but they would ignore or repress what’s going on internally to continue being fed the validation externally. Validation like this can be very problematic psychologically, but there’s another side to validation that is much more fulfilling.

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Many people think inner peace is a façade because it appears to be near impossible. So why even try to achieve it? I think inner peace at its core is an acceptance of the internal and external tensions along with an acceptance of what can and can’t be controlled. Validation from others is something that you feed. If you want validation from your parents, you’ll feed it by doing whatever they tell you to do or what you think they’d expect from you. If you want validation from peers and coworkers, you will change your behavior or even hide your true behavior. The energy put into feeding the influence validation has on you can be shifted to validation of the self that eventually finds the external sources that are in alignment with who you are. This can happen with even small things, like personal interests; I don’t like mainstream pop music, but if I want validation from peers who like mainstream pop, I’ll listen to it until my ears bleed. The truth is, I like rock and heavy metal. The peers who like mainstream pop may no longer be in alignment with me because of my interests, but now they know who I am and they’ll either want to understand me more or distance themselves. Either way, I now have the opportunity to connect with fellow metal heads and we can now garner a reciprocal validation, but even if validation from the metal heads doesn’t happen, my love for metal will be enough for me. I accept I can’t control my peers or other metal heads; I can control what I listen to and can chose to enjoy it as much as I want.

Validation has a close association with “liking” or “loving” something or someone. That’s why I think it’s a tricky concept that is best simplified when you focus on self-acceptance first and go from there. That way, you’ll never be in poverty even if “likes” become an actual currency. This is what “grounding” really is.

There’s a Black Mirror episode about this. It’s called “Nosedive”, season three, episode one. Please watch it. It’s perfect.

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Purple Prose and Writing Styles – [Literature and Writing]

So I ran into this post on Tumblr.

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Some flowery writing is going to scratch you where you itch and some is going to bore you to death. Either way, I don’t think any of us want to get in the habit of using flowery language to describe a simple setting, character design, scene, or anything else. That’s what editing is for, right? Well, I also don’t want to be negligent of those who are picky with their diction. Sometimes we know that elaboration for something that could be described simply is necessary like the narrator’s tone, for example, or for characterization. Where’s the happy medium?

While researching this topic, I ran into a wonderful YouTube channel called Reedsy, a London-based, “…award-winning community of over 100,000 book publishing professionals,” according to LinkedIn. After watching this very helpful video on purple prose, I immediately added them to the list of resources to tap into later.

Learning about purple prose helped me think about how our mentality shifts when we’re writing in different forms of storytelling. I wanted to finally work on my short story last weekend and it was really hard to pull my mind away from fantasy novel writing. The first 900 words weren’t even elaborate. My narrator was info-dumping due to my insecurities–”it’s a fantasy short story, so I need to worldbuild and tell you the details about every culture involved”– yeah, no. A novel is more of a journey, from a stroll through unfamiliar woods to cautiously crossing a battleground; a short story is a quick trip across town, but the trip was far from ordinary or expected. You don’t want to go purple when you’re writing either. Purple prose is more unwanted projection than progress (excuse the alliteration). Being elaborate and emotive doesn’t require dumping extra adjectives and adverbs. This clicked when I thought about writing poetry or music.

I compared short story writing to writing a song or a poem because I get very picky with word choice and composition when I’m songwriting. Poetry has a bit more of a flow, but editing poems makes me particular. So in my experience, I’m not necessarily saying that short story writing or avoiding purple prose means make your narration robotic and bland; I’m saying consider if your story and your audience will favor your “dark and stormy” tendencies at certain places. Audiences don’t really like repetition or extravagance without meaning. For example, the chorus of a song is repeated 2-3 times during a performance and we don’t mind it if it’s harmonized with the melody, connects the verses and the bridge well, and ends the song in a satisfactory way. The person in the Tumblr post argued there was nothing wrong with “dark and stormy” because it gave you setting and tone; for that reader “dark and stormy” harmonized with the descriptions given later. This is what Shaylynn addressed in the video: “Dense or elaborate language doesn’t have to be purple if it’s substantial and adds to the story.” We’ve had elaborate writers for centuries, but the ones who stand out are the ones with masterful diction in their storytelling.

Time for an ungoth confession…I used to think Edgar Allan Poe was in the purple prose realm when I was a younger, less critical-thinking reader. After reading some analyses of his writing in college, my perspective changed. Poe was actually quite meticulous. Lovecraft is the same. So, if you break down someone else’s writing or your own writing and find descriptions, DIALOGUE (this is a big one), or anything else that isn’t contributing to the plot and theme of your work, you’re going purple. Get rid of it.

Hope this helps anyone who needs it and be sure to check out Reedsy because they seem pretty reliable.

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Need Help With Diction?

And a little something for editors who need to be in the right state of mind to know what to remove and keep…

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An Unfair Relationship With The Earth – Teal Swan

The earth loves what is a part of itself.  This includes humans…At our best, humans are a symbiotic organism.  At our worst, we are a parasite.  We cannot survive without our host…

Teal Swan, “The Earth’s Lungs On Fire”

Teal Swan is an intuitive and motivational speaker I’ve admired for a while. Her insight is very grounding, but what I love most is her call to action to address what readers need to do to awaken from self-destructive and egoistic habits or choices. Teal compares what’s happening in our time to an unhealthy relationship where separation and emotional detachment from others and the self is what many interpret as love. Please click the button below to read her elaboration on the matter. Also, please donate to the charities and organizations attending to the Amazonia and the indigenous people of the Amazon. Teal’s article also suggest various ways you can help the cause.

Ask yourself, where in my life am I winning and by winning, some part of the environment is losing?  How can I make it a win-win instead? 

Teal Swan, “The Earth’s Lungs on Fire”
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If you like her writing, you’ll like her books as well.