Three Essential Writing Techniques from Stoker’s Dracula and the Epistolary Narrative

I’ve been working on this article since June and am happy to finally share it with my fellow writers and Stoker fans. I was really inspired after reading it.

Read the article here.

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First Draft Progress – Five Days Until Deadline

All the traveling we did yesterday exhausted me, but I was able to write a chapter summary by hand. Writing summaries help so much. It helps trigger my imagination to see the details more clearly and type them down. Love it.

Additionally, I absolutely LOVE IT when you listen to a song and it reminds you of certain characters. I am definitely going to make playlists for them on Spotify.

Making good writing progress today though. I’ll update on word count soon. 🙂 I finally broke 100k 😁

A New Summary for My Dark Science Fantasy Novel

Here’s my novel summary that I’m probably going to have on my book cover soon.

Initiation – The Spirit Strings Series
Genre: Dark Science Fantasy

Magic is regulated under a strict, theocratic movement with global rule on the planet Terrana. The Terrans, paralleling humans in appearance, were created to observe Earth and learn from human civilization to fulfill a 3000-year-old prophecy that will restore Earth from its dystopian, magic-deprived state. Most Terrans are obedient to their theistic government, but Violet LaCroix has arcane power refusing to be oppressed. She’s hidden her multifaceted magic since she was a child. The day she decides to let her power flow changes her life completely, starting with a criminal charge for performing necromancy. To save herself from merciless persecution from the government’s elite organization that hunts disobedient mages, she’s forced to join a resourceful cult that promises her refuge in exchange for her joining their coup de t’at. Violet goes from model graduating student ready for college to joining a cult of rogue mages eager to liberate Terrana from magical oppression and hoping she’ll bring the power needed to end a war between mages, deities, and unknown forces lasting for millennia.

What do you think?

First Draft Progress – 8 Days Until Deadline

Oh my! Almost down to a week!

Words Written (yesterday): about 1000-1300? I lost track while traveling…
Current Word Total: about 98500 words.

Research Topics:

  • British, Scottish, and Irish accents
  • Better development of LGBT+ relationships
  • Cool names for islands

I have about six chapters left in my story, plus an epilogue and a prologue. It’s quite the challenge and I’m excited to take it on. I’m hoping that even though I’m traveling a lot I’ll be able to complete this. The pressure of a deadline is actually helping me more than crippling me. I’m thinking more critically about plot. I’m reaching the climax/transformative revelation of my protagonist, but there’s still so much rising action that’s needed. I’m trying to weigh what is and isn’t necessary. It’s easier said than done. When you’re trying to build up suspense, you don’t want to lose momentum unless slowing down the momentum makes it agonizing in a satisfying kind of way, like, as Donna Tartt wonderfully put it, people having a casual conversation somewhere and there’s a bomb under the table they’re sitting at. When’s it going to go off? You’ll have to wait. Although I do like that style, the suspenseful elements in my novel are fueled by momentum. There’s always something going on in with the protagonist in the span of a week because of one choice she made. I want the stress to be focused on her and how she’ll be able to sustain everything going around her. We’ll see how it goes.

Also, I ended up writing two LGBT relationships that are so…complicated?! Ugh! I’m kind of upset with myself for doing that. It’s just not fair representation. I need to display simplistic and successful LGBT relationships. I was thinking way too hard about them. Gonna fix that.

Lastly, accents. I gave one of my characters a type of accent that’s a mix of Brit, Scot, and Irish. It’s VERY fun to write his dialogue.

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First Draft Progress – 12 Days Until Deadline

Words Written: 1057 words
Current Word Total: 96,202 words

Research topics:

  • Underground caverns and geysers
  • Writing Space battles in scifi (with a little Star Trek on the side)

To be honest, the Star Trek research didn’t answer the questions I had, but it’s fine. The battle that I wrote today didn’t take place in space anyway. So, no worries. I’m not ripping off Star Trek. That’s a huge geek no-no. The part of the scene I wrote today showed some great character development for a side character and I’m proud of them. You did good, kid.

My writing time was cut a bit short because there’s some packing to do. I’ll be in touch. 🙂

My writing music for the day (which I may have already shared this channel, but whatever)

First Draft Progress – 16 Days Until Deadline Pt. 2

Words Written Today: 2726 words
Total Word Count: 95,059 words

No research. Just writing today.

Research I probably should do:

  • Linguistics
  • How to make a language for your fantasy world

Additional Work: More plot organization, cause we’re wrapping this first one up pretty soon. ❤

I am definitely rethinking the ending for this first novel. In my notebooks, I had an ending that’s a bit too obscure. Like I said in my previous post when I was critiquing the Game of Thrones show, endings are hard, but the last thing you want to do is make it look like you’re saying “Sorry guys, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing! Lol bye!”. You also don’t want to do the opposite. You don’t want the ending to be so ambiguous that your audience is not only dissatisfied, but also not even wondering, let alone caring, about the story’s next installment. I want my ending to punch my readers in the gut and I want them to ask me to punch them again.

So, I’ll be thinking with punches in mind.

Here’s some of the music I listened to while writing today.

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