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.

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Relapse – [News]

So, I have some news and some other news.

First, another article is on the way and I’m really going to do my best to make them more frequent. Some articles, like this upcoming one, will be more of a sharing of resources I found intertwined with my own insight on the matter. The next article will briefly discuss The Backwards Law by Alan Watts and how I connect the analysis of it provided by the YouTube channel Pursuit of Wonder with the meaning behind the Wheel of Fortune Card in tarot. So that’s neat!! The other kind of articles I’ll be sharing will be longer and more enriched in research (basically what I’ve been doing). The next one of those is the literary analysis of the first Hermetic Principle.

The next bit of news is that I’ve accepted I’m having a bit of a relapse with my mental health. I’ve been dealing with a work-life imbalance for months now and I’ve finally had to address it to others. The hardest part about this is other people don’t really understand the work I do with Authentikei, so my part-time job doesn’t seem like a big deal compared to a full-time shift. My mental and emotional health makes it very difficult for me to work like the average American that can bust out a 9 to 5 throughout the week (even with all the conditioning I had during childhood lol). That’s why freelance writing is perfect for me. Even though I don’t receive a lot of sympathy and understanding sometimes, I’m grateful my inner truth finally burst through and pointed out my current dilemma. With that being said, I may disappear sometimes, but relapses like these inspire me like you wouldn’t believe, which means more content! I know that messages about regressions in mental health are usually disheartening, but I’m actually sharing this to express happiness. The wheel of fortune is turning.

You’ll know what I mean once I share the article.

Thanks for reading and be well. Take care of yourselves.

Simply – [Prose Poem]

I’ve genuinely been pursuing calmness in this life because I finally detected the chaotic pattern of my many histories. To keep myself busy in the lives of others and let them rule my ambitions, to hold to anger and revenge as a permanent resolve to my misery; these are the patterns of my self-perpetuating pain from refusing to face the emptiness inside me. That emptiness is a different chaos that simply is; a gateway to my deepest inner truth. I am empty like a room that was robbed, a blank slate. Tried to paint the walls with bloodlust, but the rage doesn’t stick. Revenge just wears the walls down. Letting other people come in and paint the room only upset me and I tolerated it because I kept blaming myself for being robbed. Everyone left when I remembered my power, my worth, and my ability to forgive. I have no more rage to paint with. I am still, like the room, empty, blank. I simply am.

It’s time to relish in the calm and keep things simple. I’ll fill the room with who I am. I’m going to embrace this vulnerability and paint with my true colors. I’m not worried about who comes to stay or leaves. In this calmness, this different chaos that cultivated my freedom and autonomy, I’m going to pursue an environment where I belong; a home. The love of home can never be robbed from me because it becomes me, simply.

Art Fuels Me

Took a step back. Grounded myself. Remembered how much art fuels me in every single way to live proudly.

Just wanted to say that…because sometimes I forget. I focus so much on the career and financial part of everything I am doing (because I’m determined to make a living off of being a writer/musician) and then I forget about just living my truth, the law of abundance, and all the other things involving manifestation.

Everything I do comes together and the results are in abundance and I’m happy I can share that with others.

Subtext in Fiction and Non-Fiction

I was almost 5 minutes late to work today because I kept reading and rereading varied posts on Tumblr about diversity in our entertainment. I read these kinds of articles on other sites as well since it’s become a huge and, unfortunately, controversial topic thanks to all the Disney remakes. Almost every discussion regarding ethnic diversity in entertainment is argumentative and full of aggravation. There’s a heat behind many people expressing their hatred for racism, misrepresentation, and the like in their arguments, hoping to demonize and ridicule their opposers who may be implying their tolerance for racism in entertainment in the slightest. You’d think I caught this from the arguments as they are, but actually, it was the subtext and the subtext revealed much more than I just described.

Identifying subtext is reading between the lines, basically. We find subtext in tone and diction more than anything. In fiction, it’s most apparent in dialogue or first-person narration. In non-fiction, it’s most apparent in works that are more emotional and argumentative than works that rely heavily on logic and information. The more subtext is identified, the more transparent a written piece becomes. Let’s start with fiction.

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Subtext in Fiction

I’m bringing back the wonderful Tim Hickson, aka Hello Future Me on YouTube, who is just spectacular and someone I think every writer should subscribe to. This is one of his most recent videos where he discusses how pacing works in a variety of genres and how you can figure out what style of pacing works best for your story. He brings up many wonderful points, but my favorite ones were his points on subtext. As I stated before, subtext brings transparency. In fiction that transparency is applied to the characters and the setting revealing what’s going on in internal and external realities. Tim points out that the audience is always “investigating the text for extra meaning”. Why? Because that’s the audience’s way of deciding whether or not a character or event is worth caring about. Our readers care about our story when there’s a good hook in the inciting incident leading to the big climax. The subtext needs to orbit those two plot elements to keep the readers engaged.

So fiction writers must understand that subtext isn’t just what keeps our audience turning the pages, but also shows how considerate the author is of their audience. All of us writers want our audience to care about our story so we do what we can to show we kept them in mind. That’s also why subtext has such great influence over pacing; depending on the elements of the plot, the genre, and the subtext, the flow of the story will evolve for the sake of the audience. With that being said, subtext is important in non-fiction too as it truly reveals how much the author cares about their audience.

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Subtext in Non-Fiction

I’m not going to share the Tumblr post I was engaged in, but let me tell you what all of us Tumblr users see in the subtext probably 99.999999% of the arguments on that site: frustration and competitiveness. When you write anything that is argumentative, academic or otherwise, the way you come off to your audience should always be top priority because those are the people you’re trying to persuade. A solid argument will often follow these steps:

  • Introduction/Thesis
  • Main Argument and Evidence
  • Opposing Arguments and Evidence
  • Writer’s Personal Stance
  • Conclusion/Findings

When frustration and competitiveness is interwoven in this general guideline for an argument, the author immediately loses credibility. It’s not because of the passion and fire in the writing (since pathos or “emotional content” is often expected) , but it’s because of the lack of consideration for the audience. Tumblr and other internet writers love to lead their argument with an insult or belittlement to the opposing party. Imagine starting one of your essays for an English professor with “All right, you pretentious twat, you better f**king pay attention and don’t you dare assume there’s gonna be anything “wiki” ahead because I’m a goddamn scholar.” This doesn’t translate into “I know what I’m talking about,”; it’s more like “This is what I think of you and I’ve decided due to previous interactions with you, I dislike you and don’t really care about your perspective; my writing is next to divine so why do you think you matter?” You may think I’m over-exaggerating, but I’ve lost count of how many “I’m studying [insert academic field here], so I know what I’m talking about.” There’s nothing wrong with addressing your experience, but the subtext is what alerts your audience to lose interest in your work. Transparency and personality are apparent in subtext and it make or break your writing.

The writer of a memoir, a travel essay, a stream of consciousness piece, and even an academic journal article have to be conscious of their subtext; otherwise, they could sabotage their chances of ever being heard. What is the memoir of a manipulative liar? What is the travel essay of someone who just went across the street? What is a stream of consciousness piece of someone who refuses to open up? What is an academic journal article by scholars who introduce themselves as the best of the best and didn’t need a peer review? What is an argument laced with insults? Not worth reading. Not worth taking seriously. A joke. Why? Because if the subtext is stating “I’ll never be considerate of your opinion,” your audience will reflect by neglecting your work. That’s why I’m sad to say that I was almost late to work just to realize that some people who present arguments about ethnic diversity in entertainment have a tendency to shift their argumentative stance from being advocates of diversity to being advocates for their insecurities. They come off as writers, academics, debaters, and analysts who don’t want change; they want to win and feel better about themselves.

This is important to point out because winning an argument or persuading your audience isn’t supposed to be like a boxing match where you beat your opposers to the ground and for the hell of it you pull out a knife and slash them to pieces just to make it crystal clear that you’re the superior fighter. Argumentative writing is an opportunity to be objective, considerate, transparent, and ultimately, heard. Our arguments may never be 100% foolproof and no amount of insults will make it that way, which is why we must remain objective and consider opposing views before we become vulnerable and express our genuine stance on the topic. We try to present our best. Insults and belittling at its finest really means this in subtext: “I’m afraid of being vulnerable, so if I tear apart your character before I address it, I hope to appear as better than you without being vulnerable at all.” It’s Bullying 101. Even if you despise your opposer, you can address them and your disagreements with them without stooping to their level.

If there is no openness and objectivity to your writing, rarely will your audience be open and objective enough to give it a chance. Subtext will call you out, dude.

And let me address this loud and clear: I am not supporting any kind of kindness or tolerance towards racist parties who disapprove of ethnic diversity in entertainment and otherwise. I stand for dignity and enlightenment over ignorance. Don’t let them pull you down to their level. Ever.

The Subtext in This Blog Post

Because why not?

  • The discussions about diversity in entertainment are obscure to me
  • I don’t think people know how to properly argue or present their point, but wish they did because there are great minds out there
  • I don’t approve of degradation of others or the self
  • I don’t approve of unfairness or inconsideration
  • Life is full of unfairness and inconsideration and it bothers me
  • I can’t stop or control the injustice in the world, but think I can do my part with expressive blog posts
  • My stance in this post has elements of subjectivity even though I promote objectivity
  • I believe learning from your opposition has more value than completely disregarding them (because I’m a trickster-loving pagan lol)

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Hey there… [News]

So many weird mishaps happened the last couple of days and I tried to post and update yesterday, but the Internet was one of those mishaps.

First – finally passed 100 followers on WordPress! Thank you so much!

Second – my right hand got hurt yesterday, which makes writing and making music difficult, but I’m trying to work around it while resting my hand.

Three – Vocal.Media has been going through some website updates, so if you’ve been trying to read some of my articles and you weren’t able to, that’s why. With patience, I’m sure the issue will be resolved.

Fourth – I am grateful for all who read, support, and chat with me. Gratitude abounds and I hope all of you are having a nice end of the summer.

Fifth – I AM DAMN EXCITED FOR AUTUMN!

Sixth – Due to my own experiences, I’m going to see if I can work up an article on past lives and reincarnation. Are you interested?

Seventh – The first Kybalion article will be on The Principle of Mentalism and it’s on the way…once vocal.media gets fixed.

Heheh. Be well, my friends.

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.