Posted in NaNoWriMo, updates, Writing

Changes, Articles, and July

June has come to an end (sort of) and July is right around the corner. The week has been productive. Starting next month, I’ll be writing articles about Dungeons & Dragond for GamerNationNews and I’ll provide the links for that. It’s also for tabletop games so that’s going to be interesting.

As you’ll know, the website has changed. I’ve made some visual changes. There’s more changes coming but it’s going to subtle and I’ll mention it as well.

The certification program is going well. There’s a lot of reading but nothing I can’t handle. With managing everything, I’m getting posts published on a set schedule. Plus, I have also manged to get in some writing time.

Now, as July comes closer, there’s one thing that I’m unsure about. July brings Camp NaNoWriMo. Unlike the other times, this time, I don’t know if I want to participate. There’s a lot on my plate and there’s only so much I can time manage.

If I wasn’t attending the program, I could do it but now, I’m not so sure. I think what I might end up doing is to start Camp NaNoWriMo in July and continue with it as much as I can. There’s a way to change the word goal for the month.

Instead of 50k words, I might set the goal at 25k or maybe even 30k. To me, every goal for any NaNoWriMo is write more than my usual daily word count. Finishing a novel in 30 days won’t be my goal this July. I just want to write.

Hopefully, my time management will work out. In any case, if I can’t get to my set goal, at least I tries. However, for now, I won’t think negative thoughts. I’ll focus on Camp NaNoWriMo.

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Posted in Writing, Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt – Legendary Knife

Long ago, the legendary sword Excalibur was melted down and lost to history. The mythical’s blade steel ended up in your butter knife, with all its magical purposes.

“Honey, can you wash those silverware?” my mom called out from the kitchen. “I just got them from a garage sale. Margaret down the street is selling all her antiques.

“Apparently, she got them from her mother-in-law who lives . . . somewhere in Europe. They’re suppose to be ‘magical’ and – Jessica, are you there?”

“Yeah?” I called out the living room.

“Don’t you hear me talking to you?”

“I heard.”

“Then why haven’t you washed the silverware? What are you doing?”

“Learning how to escape quicksand.”

“Hurry up and wash them.”

“Alright, alright.”

Sighing, I peeled myself off the leather couch and headed into the kitchen. My mom was just closing the pantry door when I entered.

“Your Aunt Lucy is coming tonight. I want downstairs spotless. Tell Carmen to help you.”

“We’re having a bar-b-que. We’re not going to be inside.”

My mom gave me a look. “Why don’t you ever do anything I ask? My hair is going to turn green because of you.”

“Never mind,” I muttered.

I turned to the counter. There weren’t any silverware. I looked at the dinning table. Nothing there either.

“Mom, where are they?”

She clicked her tongue. “Look for them,” she said before heading out the kitchen.

I went through a couple of drawers before finally finding the ‘new’ silverware in a grocery bag on top of the fridge. Opened the bag and looked inside. They looked like regular silverware to me. What’s so antique about them?

Oh well. I took the bag over to the sink and dropped them in the sink.

‘Ow. Watch it.’

Frowning, I looked over my shoulder.

“Mom?”

No reply.

“I must be hearing things,” I muttered.

Grabbing the sponge, I squirt some dish detergent on it and picked up a butter knife. It was a simple butter knife. There wasn’t anything strange or abnormal about it but the metal was warm. There were strange markings on the handle but I couldn’t tell what they said.

“Antique? Yeah. Right. Couldn’t she get some silverware that wasn’t scratched? Aunt Lucy is going be throwing some shade tonight.”

I soaked the sponge and started scrubbing.

‘You’re scratching me. Stop it.’

I whipped around. The heck?

“Carmen, is that you?”

My sister didn’t reply.

“Mom?”

She didn’t answer.

No one else should be home. And it couldn’t be the television either. I had that on mute. Was my house haunted? I looked down at the butter knife.

Maybe I was a werewolf and allergic to silver and now I was hearing things. Hmm, could be.

“Get a hold of yourself Jessica. Ghosts don’t exist and you’re not a werewolf.”

‘Could have fooled me.’

Yelping, I dropped the knife and ran out the kitchen straight into Carmen. With an ‘oof’ we crumbled to the floor.

“What the heck?” she groaned.

“Carmen, our kitchen is haunted.”

I rushed to my feet and pulled her up.

“Look, you have to listen.” I grabbed her arm and pulled her into the kitchen.

Carmen yanked her arm away. “Are you sleep walking?”

“Don’t you hear it? There’s a voice.”

“Yeah, yours and it’s annoying.”

‘Hey! You dropped me. Pick me up.’

“Did you hear that?” I asked. ‘The voice spoke.”

My sister gave a glare. “Dude, you’re weird.”

Before I could stop her, she walked out.

‘There’s some moldy cheese down here. How long do I have to stay here?’

My gaze fell on the butter knife. It was wedge between the floor and the counter. Could it be . . .? Warily, I picked up the knife.

‘Finally,’ the voice said. ‘You really need to clean underneath there. How haven’t you died yet? It’s so unsanitary.’

I stared at the knife for a long time. Yeah, this was a dream. I opened a drawer, dropped the butter knife, and closed it.

‘Hey! Hey! It’s dark. Don’t leave me in the dark! I hate the dark. Do you realize how long I was stuck in stone? Hey!’

I quickly scrubbed the rest of the silverware and closed the faucet. This was all a dream. I was going to ignore the voice and sit back down. When I woke up again, there would be no voice.

‘Hey! Hey!’

“There would be no voice.”

Posted in Methods, Resources, Writing

Lore – Before or After?

I believe that no matter what type of story you write, there’s going to be lore involved. The story/world that you create is going to have history. I don’t mean history of how you came up with the idea. I mean, history as in the world and everyone in that world is going to have a past.

Lore is one of the last things I think about through the creative process. Typically, I tend to dream up of a certain type of character and try to place them in all types of settings until I find one that they fit in. I don’t think about the lore until much later. It usually comes into fruition all on its own.

As the story develops, the ‘truth’ of the world starts to unravel bit by bit. I find it easier to let the lore develop on its own. If I need something to be held true like a kingdom invaded a thousand years ago or something along those lines then, I just have that happen.

The way I tend to create the lore is by starting out with general concepts. I look at the big picture like a major event. After I have some of that figure out, I look closer at the details. I mentioned an invading army before. With looking at the details, I figure out why the army invaded, what was the cause, who invaded who, etc.

Personally, I think having an overall concept of what you like the lore to be is a good place to start. There’s nothing concrete and the details/concepts can be molded to whatever it needs to be for the story.

At times, when I set something in stone before the story, I find it difficult to incorporate it into the story. For some reason, my brain is stuck in that little box I created before and I end up stressing myself. It’s good to have some flexibility when writing lore and everything else. Sometimes, inspiration strikes when you least expect it.

 

Posted in updates, Writing

Red Flags

After a busy week, Friday has finally come. Something interesting happened this week. As many of you know (or don’t know), I have a couple of stories up on wattpad. These stories were written for fun and I might even edit them enough to self-publish them. Crimson Queen is actually one of those stories that I wrote on Wattpad first. FYI a lot has changed from the original manuscript.

Anyways, so a couple of days ago (like two days ago), I received a private message from an editor from FicFun. I handle that situation already on wattpad. The message was basically a solicitation to have one of my stories on their website exclusively. There was a payment included and the message talked about a contract, etc.

Red Flags immediately went off in my head. Not only do I not like the story this editor wanted to display on the website (and it is against wattpad policies), but I had no interest in removing the story from wattpad. I like my fan base too much for that. I actually had never heard about FicFun before so I had to do some research on the website.

I looked through forums and even wattpad had nice threads for me to read through. All in all, I decided to report the message and just ignore it. While at this point, it would be nice to be paid for my writing, I didn’t like the terms that I read through. Plus, I’m not that desperate. I’m going to take this one step at a time. Perhaps if another offer comes my way and everything checks out, I might jump at the opportunity, but for now, I’m content with working on my craft and improving.

Posted in Resources, Writing

Building the Organization

In most of the stories that I write, I tend to have a group or organization of sorts. It’s typically a group the characters meet or join, or are a part of a group at the start. Regardless, there’s a group.

This also means that this group has to have a structure. They rules and regulations and leaders and chain of command. You get the picture. When I create a organization for whatever story, I like to start at the bottom. I’m going to use an organization for a story I worked on a while back. The story has stayed in my drawer for a long time but I do revisit it sometimes.

So, at the bottom I have the trainees. They are the new people, the new hires so to speak. They still need to go through training, hence the name.

Next, up the ladder are the recruits. These are the guys who have already completed their training. The training period is six months. If they can last for six months, they are recruits. While the naming of this part of the ladder could use a change, for now, they’re known as the recruits.

Above the recruits, you have the junior members. These guys have been in the organization for at least 2 to 3 years. They have seniority and most errands fall on them. They are the ones who help train the recruits.

Then, I have the Senior Members and the Instructors all on the same tier. Sometimes, these people are senior members and instructors. The Senior Members are responsible for training the junior members, and recruits. The instructors train the trainees and sometimes the recruits.

We have the Lieutenant next. This person is like the second in command. He gives out all the orders. He reports directly to the Captain.

The Captain is at the top of the tier for this organization.  The title is self explanatory. This person is the boss. All orders come from him. He doesn’t interact with the trainees, recruits or the junior members. Most of his time is occupied with reports and making sure supplies are going to where and who they need to go to. Below is the diagram I made.

Heirarchy

Now, this is a very simply. Plus, this also a  branch of a larger structure. The Captain answers to the region commander who then answers to the territory commander, etc. Any organization can be expanded with higher or lower tiers. However, I like to keep it small to start out with because otherwise, it gets confusing and.

Not only that but there are times when I don’t even need to know who is above the Captain. When the story calls for it then I’ll go ahead and develop it. Sure, it’s nice to have everything figure out but that can be a pit fall. I find that it doesn’t allow much for flexibility. However, every writer is different. What might work for others might not work for you.

Lastly, I think the hardest part of creating an organization is finding an appropriate name for this organization. There are a lot of generators out there that can help out. Or perhaps the name is already set in stone. For this organization specifically, I don’t really have a name for. The story this is from hasn’t developed quite well enough that not having a name will be a problem.

Thanks for reading. Until next time,

Kassandra.