Second Draft Drama – The Violet Project Diaries – Entry 14

Second Draft Drama (With Questionnaire)

For my “fantasy” side of my dark fantasy novel series, I created a World Immersion checklist for myself to make sure I have continuity from chapter to chapter. Here’s how it goes:

  • Setting descriptions
  • Lore Continuity
  • Magic System Rule Review
  • Character Placement
  • Character Dialogue/Dialect Accuracy
  • Story Flow

Not bad right? I think that’ll be solid enough. I also created a review questionnaire for myself to reflect on how I’m doing as a writer. Here are my answers for the prologue:

I Want To Tease My Readers The Right Way – The Violet Project Diaries – Entry 12

I Want To Tease My Readers The Right Way

For a good page turner, you have to do more than a cliffhanger. Cliffhangers are our scapegoat for suspense. Avid readers catch on to that real quick. To paraphrase one of my favorite authors on suspense, Donna Tartt, “Suspense is when two people are having a conversation and there’s a bomb counting down to explode under their table.” Oh the many factors to consider… Do the characters talk about the bomb? Are they oblivious? Is one character beating around the bush about the bomb? Does the other character understand the other’s subtext? Is the bomb noticeable? Is the bomb ticking loudly or silently? Is the timer for the bomb a good amount of time or minutes away from going off? Who planted the bomb? Considering the factors needed for a suspenseful page turner is all about context. If it isn’t rich enough, the audience will assume the predictable: the bomb will go off, the characters will die and that means the characters weren’t important in the first place. In other words, lack of context makes the audience apathetic and cliches make them cynical. All interest dies. So, while I was thinking about the resolution for the first part of my novel hoping to make sure I don’t emotionally shutdown my audience, I did my best to keep it like a chess game and maintain the captivation through a series of power plays.

My Side Characters Kinda Suck, But I Can Fix Them – The Violet Project Diaries – Entry 9

My Side Characters Kinda Suck, But I Can Fix Them

Oh god, they’re horrible.

My first draft rendition of introducing this new group of characters reminded me how sinful it is to write cringy dialogue and that my characters should have purpose or just not exist at all. I don’t mean to be too hard on myself considering it’s the first draft, but I was disappointed to read this scene of diverse characters introducing themselves with a silly/comedic camaraderie and then turning out to be kind of overpowered later. I already know my anime-brain took the lead on this. Now current me has to deal with characters whose purpose is poorly translated. While keeping my focus on making sure the voices of these characters were definitive and believable with their personality, I thought more critically about the development of side characters.

To The Writer Ashamed of Resting – The Violet Project Diaries – Entry 7

To The Writer Ashamed of Resting

It doesn’t matter how old you are, fellow writer. You are in charge of your life and one of the ways you take charge is through writing, self-expression, analysis, arguments, or storytelling. You are the one who decided that writing is an essential part of your lifestyle, so why aren’t you living in a way to ensure that writing remains a priority? Beating yourself up over a rest day during an entire week of work is preventing you from living like a writer. Like I said, you’re in charge, so when you decide to overwork yourself, you’re also deciding to sabotage yourself. You do this because you’re ashamed, afraid, and guilty, but I want you to remember that when you’re in those flow moments, where you’re just inspired to write and the words just come, that is when you’re dignified, fearless, creating without regret.

Character Design and Conspiracy – The Violet Project Diaries – Entry 6

Character Design and Conspiracy

I was talking with a friend the other day about needing to watch more or read more crime and mystery pieces and study how the “clues” lead the audience and the characters from one thing to another. I know my novel has a lot of conspiracy innuendo, but conspiracy can be really obvious real quick. We’re used to seeing a government organization, a religious organization, a secret organization, or an academic organization have players scheming in the shadows or plotting in broad daylight. Though obvious, I think the intrigue maintains itself if the end goal of the conspiracy isn’t so obvious and who immediately comes to mind is Lovecraft.

Studying Karma as a Writer – The Violet Project Diaries – Entry 5

Studying Karma as a Writer

As a writer, thinking about karma keeps me mindful of how audiences processes information. One thing leads to another. A ripple effect, right? But it’s not just about action and result or action and reaction, it’s the tension between those two things that makes karma such a universal concept because we’re all sentient enough to think about the “what if”, or the unknown/hypothetical situation caused by an action. For many of us, that’s our self-imposed prison taking form.

Flowing in Circles – VPD – Entry 4

The Violet Project Diaries is a diary series about the development of my writing career as a dark fantasy novelist. In the hopes of tracking my own writing progress, I hope to help and encourage other writers.

The Violet Project Diaries – Entry 4 – Flowing in Circles

If I were to describe where I’m at on the story timeline of my second draft, I’m approaching the “rising action” part of Freytag’s Pyramid. On the story structure circle created by Harmon, I’m somewhere between step 2 and 3. This is probably why I’m so giddy about having good flow today because this is the buildup before diving to the underground/unconscious/unknown. If you’d like to hear more on that, I have another Will Schroder video for you.

Kill Your Darlings (or torture them) – VPD – Entry 3

The Violet Project Diaries – Entry 3 – Kill Your Darlings (or torture them)

The chaos is what we want to show our characters responding to. We must also be brave enough to show that they may never learn how to flow with the chaos of life or releasing expectations for things they can’t control or simply taking responsibility for what is within their control. If our darling aren’t working for the story, we kill them; if they need more development, we torture them.

What is rhetoric? – Literary Terms 101

rhetoric: “The art of persuasion, in speaking or writing…The rhetorical process included five stages–invention (discovering the logical, ethical, and emotional arguments), arrangement (organizing the arguments), style (choosing words and figures in which to express the arguments), memory, and delivery.”

The NTC’s Dictionary of Literary Terms


Writing Advice

Vulnerability makes the writer…Read more…

Bram Stoker taught us so much in Dracula…Read more…


My Take on “Rhetoric”

When you decide to become an English major or have to take an English 101 class for Gen Ed, rhetoric gets beaten into you. As repetitive as it gets, I would say it benefits you in the end. There are so many writers out there, fiction and nonfiction, who don’t have substantial rhetoric, meaning their attempt to write something believable fails. Frankly, it happens to all of us. I’m not saying that everyone should stick to the decrees of rhetoric coined by the almighty Aristotle and his wonderful pathos, logos, and ethos formula, but for writing to become a personal art, you need that foundation that often comes from our studies on rhetoric. It’s more for the sake of sharpening your style rather than limiting you. Especially in our current time, if someone is writing or speaking to us without logic, without credibility, and without heart, they won’t pull us in. We’ll sniff out bulls**t instantly. Of course, we’ve taken in fantastical, illogical events and enjoyed them, we found interest in those who lost their credibility in some manner, and we have learned from those who have a blackhole instead of a heart. Persuasion is an art and like any art, it can’t be bound, but the study of rhetoric surely gives you something to start with.