To be honest, I think it’s hilarious that I picked the most stressful November (for the Americans anyway) to give this challenge a go for the first time. My experience has been a juggle between caring for my mental health and simply enjoying the writing process. Distractions and interruptions have been abundant and when my mind gets too exhausted from pushing them away, all it wants to do is escape with a video game or book because my mind is too tired to plot a story. I’m having to be incredibly patient and constantly remind myself how important this is to me.

The progress I’ve made so far is significant. I won’t give up.

Comment below and tell me how your experience is going if you’re taking on the challenge and if you’re a fellow writer who isn’t writing a novel, do you have any tips to ward off stress during a writing session? I would love some pointers. (Yes, I’ve already tried take a break from or delete social media.)

Be well.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Hello,

My head has been stuck in the books lately and when that happens blog posts seem to gradually fade, haha. Between studying, blogging, and my other music projects, I’m missing my novel and the VPD entries again. So I thought maybe I should take NaNoWriMo seriously and see how far I get. Once Samhain passes, taking on the NaNoWriMo challenge will be intimidating for sure, but I just really miss my novel, or rather the world I’m building and my characters. It’s dark scifi-fantasy novel and the first draft was over 400 pages and over 136,000 words. Working on the second draft definitely came with some struggles (and a lot of panicking, to be honest), but that beautiful big-picture view of the entire project and the awesome information I’m retaining from my psychology classes keeps connecting the dots between my characters and all the ways I can torture-DEVELOP them. Hehehehe.

So basically, I’m really enthusiastic and can’t wait to take on this challenge along with report my daily progress. Also, my cover song and poetry reading will be finished within this week and posted in the first week of November. I hope you’ll like it and thank you for your patience. I’m getting much better at actually completing projects rather than jumping around from one to another aren’t I? Good for me. Are you a fellow writer thinking of trying out NaNoWriMo as well?

Be well.


More On Writing

Accepting That I’m A Plantser – VPD

Genre Study: Horror and Magical Realism

Do You Read To Death or Read for Sex? – VPD

Kill Your Darlings (or Torture Them) – VPD


Website Changes

Why must WordPress be so…the way it is? *sigh* Well, made some site changes. More to come… KL

Poetry Is Permission – Just Me

In simple conversations with others, I mute myself unintentionally… …and it feels involuntary because I’m the type that wants to spill my heart’s contents. I just feel like when I’m around the majority of the people in my life, they have shown me what they really care or don’t care about through rejection, belittlement, invalidation, […]

Sonnet by Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson (Artist Recognition)

I had not thought of violets late,The wild, shy kind that spring beneath your feetIn wistful April days, when lovers mateAnd wander through the fields in raptures sweet.The thought of violets meant florists’ shops,And bows and pins, and perfumed papers fine;And garish lights, and mincing little fopsAnd cabarets and soaps, and deadening wines.So far from […]

moral criticism:

“A type of literary criticism that evaluates a work on the basis of the moral elements it contains and their correspondence to the accepted moral standards of the time or to those ethical principles that the critic feels should govern human life. Ideally, the moral critic, in judging a literary work, applies only those moral standards presented in the work itself or, failing that, makes his or her own beliefs clear to the reader.” – The NTC’s Dictionary of Literary Terms

I’m currently writing an psychoanalysis on the horror/thriller film The Platform directed by Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia currently on Netflix. It’s almost impossible to avoid doing a kind of moral criticism not only trying to interpret the morals addressed in the work itself, but also express your own feelings about the events throughout the story (especially that ending!). Doing my best to stay within the realm of psychoanalysis, I inevitably ran into psychological terms that framed my view of the many facets of morality portrayed in this film. I have no desire to push my views on the audience, but the subjectivity that comes with psychoanalysis and the unreachable idealism of a moral critique makes it difficult to not address my views, which hasn’t been as optimistic as most analyses and reviews.

I’ll definitely share my analysis of The Platform on my Vocal profile when it’s finished.

Do you think being the ideal moral critic, where you’re focusing on the moral standards or ethics of the work itself, is possible?

Writing Advice

Are You A Planner or a Pantser? I’m a Plantser

Genre Study: On Horror and Magical Realism

To The Writer Ashamed of Resting

Kill Your Darlings (Or Torture Them)

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


In the Reading Room by David Ferry (Artist Recognition)

Alone in the library room, even when othersAre there in the room, alone, except for themselves:There is the illusion of peace; the air in the roomIs stilled; there are reading lights on the tables,Looking as if they’re reading, looking as ifThey’re studying the text, and understanding, Shedding light on what the words are saying;But under […]

The Cave by Paul Tran – (Artist Recognition)

Someone standing at the mouth hadthe idea to enter. To go further than light or language couldgo. As they followedthe idea, light and language followed like two wolves—panting, hearing themselvespanting. A shapeless scentin the damp air … Keep going, the idea said. Someone kept going. Deeper and deeper, they sawothers had been there. Others had left […]

When Thrones Become Cages – [Poem]

How quickly our thrones become cages from a single stroke of misery. Convinced our legacies past are erased by hidden difficulty. Dismay destructs our strengths lighting fire at our feet; weakness become more transparent than the thinnest silk sheets. Don’t forget your prudence in hours of adversity. Unlock your cage and venture to rebuild and […]

In this entry, I apply advice from screenwriter John Truby to the first draft struggles I’ve been dealing with. Additionally, I run into a helpful plot structure from Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat and create my own character profile template!

Naturally – [Just Me]

On exhausting days when silence and stillness coats over your tired body and weary mind, just listen. Rest is a great reward. – Kris Leliel

Hello 2021 – [Just Me]

I enjoyed my Yule then jumped right back into work. The couple of weeks off was really needed and one week to just focus on work helped as well. Blog posts and updates are coming back. And more is coming… I hope you all are well. – Kris Leliel

What is metonymy? – Literary Terms 101

metonymy metonymy: “A figure of speech that substitutes the name of a related object, person, or idea for the subject at hand. Crown is often substituted for monarchy…should not be confused with synecdoche, a substitution of a part of something for the whole or the whole for a part.” – NTC’s Dictionary of Literary Terms […]

The delusions surrounding are endless. Layer after layer of “I have to do this” and “I need to do that” when it’s all really a choice in the end, my choice.

To recalibrate, I remind myself that it’s not about what I should or have or need to do, but what I want to do. Responsibility is only efficient if you’re working towards an achievement you genuinely desire.

All I want is to be, to speak, be heard, to create, be seen. That only requires a gentle and persistent attentiveness to the soul.

Over this exhausting week, I took moments to praise past creations I was hesitant to share. I’ve decided to follow through with exposing them again, rekindling my music and my poetry.

The research for my dark fantasy novel series has led to a nonfiction book idea actually. It was unexpected, but I think it was a necessary concept that can be manifested into a kind of “guide for creative spirits” thing. All things in time though.

Self-trust and being grounded is so important for me right now. I want to share how refocusing on those two things over and over again is such an excellent anchor that we tend to let go of when distractions occur. I recently listened to the podcast What in the Wyrd by Kelley Harrell, which is basically about life lessons we can attain from the elder futhark aka the Nordic runes used for divination and other magical uses. The most recent episode discussed accountability and soul tending relating to the rune thurisaz, which is all about how there are many types of powers that want to survive. Depending on the power, the extent at which we try to keep that power alive can be out of desperation or integrity or whatever. That also depends on how efficient our soul tending is. Going back to my point, self-trust and being grounded keeps one’s inner power alive and burning, but sometimes us creatives forget that.

I write, I create, and I am because I’m aspiring to stop straying away from myself and forgetting my power to the point that it ends up dying. I don’t want to go back there. Never again.

Be well.

Photo by Elina Krima on Pexels.com

Genre Study: Horror and Magical Realism

Horror and magical realism are my favorite genres to blend. My first published attempt at doing this is my horror short “Autonomy Bleeds Black” where pain and power manifested into elemental forces. One of my favorite magical realism works is Pan’s Labyrinth directed by Guillermo Del Toro. I’m a huge fan of Del Toro’s and am grateful that Pan’s Labyrinth was my introduction to him. In interviews, he’s described this film to be very personal as someone who lived under strict and religious conditions, but used fantasy works and other genres to escape. Often our escapes become reflections of our inner world and help us interpret what’s going on within us subconsciously and consciously.

…These genres are mirrors, but for their effectiveness to withstand any resistance to our personal revelations, we writers have to hook the audience in with familiarity and give them the illusion of control.

On Writing Atmosphere and Archetypes

…Is writing the second draft supposed to almost feel like you’re writing another story? Well, it doesn’t feel that extreme to me, but there’s a lot that needs to be added, changed, and polished. I don’t know why this seems strange. During this writing session there are times I feel like my first draft is a botched mess and the fact that I’m having to fill in details that were obviously necessary must mean my writing needs a massive amount of improvement, but harsh inner critic aside, I’m fully aware that writing will always be a practice. The best I can do is remain teachable, open, and devoted to the craft.

Just like music makes the mood for a social gathering, atmosphere and archetypes are key elements to the mood of any work of fiction. In art, mood and tone with colors range from cold to warms; I know in writing we have to explore all sorts of sensory details, so what I learned today, and also what I consider today’s triumph, is conveying a character’s demeanor with common attributes we associate with a Jungian archetype.

Photo by Eric Tompkins on Unsplash

The Fun of Writing Environments

One author I was thinking about after my writing session today was F. Scott Fitzgerald. I think I may have blogged or written about his vivid writing style before. One night I decided to listen to The Beautiful and Damned on audiobook hoping it would help me go to sleep. It was impossible. The diction and rhythm of his writing kept me awake and invested in Anthony’s life, family, grandfather, and the girl in the tub. The narration is omnipotent third-person. There isn’t a lot of dialogue, but every scene has ambience, the internal conflicts and emotions of the protagonist are interdependent on the atmosphere of every scene. Of course why wouldn’t it? The American 1920s was a very lively time where your status and progress in life determined whether you were all the rage or not. Although there’s a looseness or almost carefree façade to the high class life of that time, there’s also a stress and competitiveness digging inside their guts. Fitzgerald wasn’t just narrating (and parodying, I think) about a time and characters he meticulously understood, but…

So, I dedicated this week to working on updates with my horror short “Autonomy Bleeds Black”, which is why I haven’t uploaded a VPD or blogged much of anything else this week. I knew I had to give the horror short some time to make sure my marketing is successful and that my dream of my short stories becoming movies becomes possible.

However, I miss the crap out of my novel! I’m going to work on it today and write a VPD as well as share my other ones. I guess this is the risk of having more than one writing project. Have you ever had this feeling though? Where you miss the world and characters you created? It’s gotten to the point where I have designed playlists for my characters with Spotify when I want to think about them (it’s very fun!). I honestly love this feeling and can’t wait to get back on track.

Also, I started the audiobook called Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke. Have you read it? I absolutely love it so far. It’s definitely a must for artists of all types who need inspiration or encouragement, especially if you’re a poet.

Have a good one. Be safe.

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: