Musically Reminded of the Life I’m Fighting For [Progress]

I had a wonderful burst of musical inspiration today and lined up 11 songs for an upcoming album. There are definitely still cover songs and instrumentals I’d like to release before the album just to get my name out there, but I have to say, I’m pretty pumped for this. I have over 50 songs written and composed. I looked over half of them and realized which ones would make a great debut album showing how my musical ventures helped me through life most authentically.

Man, I am so damn grateful. Some of this energy has been heavy as hell and certainly inspired some creative writing, but goddamn…I spiraled down into some dark depths since the beginning of this month and it just kept getting worse.

In fact, life has been so strange energetically, I’ve steered away from the articles and essays I’ve been wanting to write, which makes me really sad. It’s a shame when none of my ideas feel right or that I feel like I’m spewing out nonsense rather than what I’m truly interested in. Thankfully, singing and playing the piano (like a complete amateur because I haven’t practiced in so long lol) helped me to remember the life I am manifesting and fighting for. Making my dreams into a reality has never been on hold, but sometimes you fall into a slump before you rise out of it again.

Hope you all are well!

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Novel Progress and Confidence Update – [Writing Advice]

So after some work and some rest, I’ve been able to progress in character development and the lore of my world. I’m stuck on vampires again, but temporarily. One of my characters is my vampire and an exorcist. I’m basing her spirit work skills on exorcism techniques they used in ancient Japan.

For the record, working on a novel isn’t doing the same thing every day, at least for me. To keep the mind active and the inspiration flowing, I think it’s okay to take different approaches to your work. It’s a great confidence booster too when you create a different way of developing your story and it leads to progress, but even when you don’t make the breakthrough you hoped for, taking in that experience is a progress in itself.

My struggles with anxiety have surprisingly inspired me to fight for a confident attitude towards my work and myself. Shadow work during this time (shadow work is a self-reflection process many pagans/witches do through divination or other means, in case you don’t know) has helped so much. I did start a daily Instagram posting of one of my shadow work methods, but now I’m behind because of some mental health issues on my end. I’m still trucking on though and wanted to say that things are still moving forward.

To end, a little advice from a teabag tassel I got yesterday: The purpose of life is to know yourself, love yourself, trust yourself, and be yourself.

Exposition and Clarity

Today I spent a part of the day keeping clarity with the exposition in mind. The importance of clarity really slapped me across the face today while editing. I do like it when the beginning of the story gives a good punch, but audiences get sour about the punch if they don’t have enough information as to why they were hit so hard (by the way, I don’t know why I’m using violence as a metaphor…maybe I just like it when stories make me feel something).

It reminds me of a time I tried to show a friend of mine an anime series that I thought was cool and she couldn’t get into it even with all of its action and mysterious characters because she said there was no one to care about. I was bitter at first thinking she just couldn’t keep track, but after discussing with it further, her points were based around the pacing of the first episode. Granted, with anime it’s a little different (we otaku have the rule of at least giving a show 2-3 episodes before you completely drop it), but if the pilot of a weekly anime series is airing, the writers and producers should be considerate of what will catch their audiences and keep them itching for more. That’s an important attribute of the exposition; there should be a character, an event, or some detail that makes you wonder about the bigger picture and persuade you to stay for the whole story.

Rewriting – Second Draft – Session 4 and Article Update

I’ve sectioned off where the range of my exposition in my first draft and have decided to just read and edit it. Keeping it simple is helping me see the big picture of the novel series as a whole because the exposition is where the audience decides whether they want to invest time in the world and its characters or not. So I’m trying to read like a member of the audience, edit like a editor/publisher that wants the story to be enticing enough to sell, and that helps me brainstorm as an author that’s going to stick to their guns when it comes to themes of the story, yet flexible enough to make the changes needed. This is my mindset anyway. I even have a notebook set aside where I’m writing down my criticisms as an audience member. It’s helping a lot.

As for my article on the Hermetic Principles, I’ve realized that I want to do a literary analysis of all the principles and I know it’ll be fun, but I’m also afraid…because I keep leaning towards deconstructionism for my method of analysis…which is INSANE. They’re paradoxical enough. We’ll see. I’ll stay in touch.

I’m just glad I had the energy to work on both of these things today, even if it was for a short while. I’m so exhausted…

Rewriting – Second Draft – Session 3

Progress: Page 8 out of 470

Every character should have purpose. I had to redesign a character today, who started off one way, but I had to make her the opposite of what she initially was to improve her presence in the story.

I hate side characters without purpose. I’ve seen main characters without purpose and they make me livid, but side characters are just as bad because you don’t want the atmosphere your main character is in to be bland or not memorable. A side character without purpose and depth to their design is a nuisance. Even if the character is the comedic relief or specifically needed as a plot device for a single moment, the character should have purpose.

Okay, I sound like a broken record, don’t I? A character with purpose is a character designed with significant attachments to the setting, themes, and plot of the story. This doesn’t mean the character has to “belong” in the world you put them in; it means that their attributes affect what is happening in your world or story for a goddamn reason. Like, imagine reading a romantic story where the protagonist and their love interest are destined to be, but a character who is literally a nobody, doesn’t even have a name, starts spewing out the protagonist’s darkest secrets for no reason just so the love interest negatively reacts and every time the protagonist somehow gets their love interest to accept them again, the nobody just appears again to spew their shit and vanish into the darkness until they’re needed again. And when you get to THE END of this romantic story, even though it ends with “happily ever after”, the nobody is never explained! No! I hate that! I’ve even read fanfictions like that! I’ll never accept this unless the story is avant garde af (but even avant garde has more purpose than an underdeveloped character and that’s saying something)!

I don’t know why I’m heated about this…it’s because I’m thinking about characters without purpose in other stories…maybe. I don’t know. I am sure as hell determined to give my character’s purpose though. If I ever create a pointless character, it will be done to prove my point in the most spiteful way possible.

Rewriting – Second Draft – Session 1-2

Progress: 6 pages out of 470

Yep. It’s time to start tracking my writing progress again. So far, I’m really happy with it. The editing system I’ve created has helped me so much with rewriting. I’m able to keep track of my changes and the plot. For now, I’m living in a perfect world for a writer like me.

So another part of the system that I have is every 50 pages I edit, I stop and rewrite those 50 pages. Once I reach 100 pages edited and rewritten, I’ll start sharing that sample with beta readers to see what they think.

For the second draft, I’m taking greater consideration of how my audience will think, especially their imagination. One thing I stress out about a lot is the description of the setting. For fantasy and scifi, you do want the setting to be vivid, which is what I’m going for, but I also need to trust my audience’s imagination and the best way to encourage that is with sensory details. Not just what is seen, but what is heard, smelled, tasted, felt, etc. The setting of this story has such a hybrid culture with nature and technology and I desperately want my audience to experience it (hopefully with enamor). Rather than stressing, I have to think of this as improving diction. What stands out? What blends in? What improves the immersion? That kind of stuff.

Additionally, I think exposition is the least stressful part of any story. My flow is strongest at the beginning. It’s the ending…endings are hard. You can read my post about that here. I am determined not to “Game of Thrones” (tv show reference, not novel series reference) anyone. I promise you that. Let the flames fall where they may.

Editing My First Draft: Writing Exposition

The system I have in place has been going quite well. Here’s a preview of the editing key I created on Instagram.

It took me a couple of hours just to edit six pages…out of 470ish? Haha. It’s great fun, actually. After stressing over the ending and coming back to the beginning, the ending looks clearer and easier to manage. For now, I’m at the beginning, relearning how to write exposition well. I found a great video for that actually.

320x50 Got an Idea?

This is the same channel I recommended on my Magic Systems post. I’m definitely going to be sharing more resources in the future. I’m hunting for them constantly and get excited when they have damn good advice. Hope this helps anyone who needs it. Speaking of which, here are two of the books I’m currently studying right now, just to get the basics down and start thinking outside the box. Click on the pictures to check them out.

Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft 9th ed. by Janet Burroway, Elizabeth Stuckey-French, and Ned Stuckey-French – Great for learning the basics of fiction and storytelling and good for review. I’m pretty sure I got this book in college.

Mastering Suspense, Structure, and Plot by Jane K. Cleland – I bought this a couple years ago. More than anything, this book reminds you to keep your audience in mind and helps you keep your writing fresh and inventive.

Hope that helps anyone who needs it. I’m grateful to have them…obviously

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