Posted in Methods, NaNoWriMo, Resources, updates, Writing

Scrapping for Ideas

Over the weekend, I decided that I will be participating n July’s Camp NaNoWriMo. My reason for this is due to the fact that I haven’t been writing as much as I should. Using July’s Camp NaNoWriMo, I want to trick myself into writing more that I have been. This month, however, I won’t be aiming towards 50k words. Instead, I’ll be aiming towards 30k words this month. If, for whatever reason, I write more than 30k words than my goal was successful. With everything that is going on right now. I don’t have that much free time.

Saying this, I don’t really have anything planned for this month. I do have a few story ideas floating around and prepared but I’m not sure if those are novel ready. So, this poses the question: how am I going to reach 30k words or more without having a lot prepared.

First off, I’m going to wing it. I don’t normally do this because I typically have a sense of where the story is going to go. For this story in general, I have the basic idea for it but I don’t know where to go from the beginning. There’s a vague idea floating in my head but nothing is concrete.

Secondly, I’m going to write random scenes. I’m going to have my characters is conversations with others that could pertain to the plot. Maybe as I write these conversations, inspiration will strike and Camp NaNoWriMo will go smoothly. Fingers crossed. And, I never know. Inspiration might strike at random.

Next, I might actually do some plotting when I have the time. This won’t be too elaborate or too in depth but it might help. I don’t want to get stressed over writing 30k this month. So, while I will put effort into completing my goal, I don’t want to force myself to do it. When it’s forced, it’s not fun anymore and I always try to have fun when I write. I want to enjoy it.

Lastly, I might even go back to the original draft and steal ideas from that. The story I’m writing for this Camp NaNoWriMo, I worked on it a few years back. It never went anywhere because I didn’t like the direction it was going so, I basically stopped writing. This time around, I’m trying to revamp the story. I really liked the characters and the magic system I created for this world so I want to keep using. If worst come to worst, I might even think about combining ideas together. I’ve done that before and it has worked. It might work this time too.

Now, while I usually post world-building posts on Mondays, for this month, it might change or it might not. Depends on the day and what I have to do. I’ll try sticking to the schedule I set up because I think it was working really well with a few exceptions. If anything changes, I’ll announce it.

Thanks for reading and, for those participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, good luck. Don’t forget to share some tips. I’m going to need all the help I can get.

 

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 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.

 

Posted in Resources, Writing

Of Research and Progression

It’s been a hectic but productive week. In the midst of moving, I have managed to get some writing and homework done. I call that productive.

Other than the boiling heat in Houston, it’s being going well. I manged to get a post published on Monday. Wednesday’s post wasn’t the greatest but I thought it was an interesting brain teaser.

This week I found an interesting blog called Query Shark. From what I have seen so far, after some regulations, people can have their query critiqued. I’ve seen many examples and comments on query letters. While I haven’t exactly gone in there and really looked around, I’m liking what I’m seeing.

I definitely need to go back to my query letter and take a look at it again. I think it woukd be safe to say that I’m having condensing all the summary. I’ve taken a look at a lot of summaries and urbs but I can’t seem to get a hang of it. I do got my one sentence summary though.

Here’s to more research and revision.

Posted in Methods, Resources, Writing

Developing The Magic System – Part 1

There are a lot of how-to and tips on how to write a magic system for a story. It may be fantasy, it might not. In Part 1, I will focus on the questions I tend to ask myself when creating first. The questions about what magic can do, consequences, etc. will be addressed later.

To begin with, the first question you must ask yourself before anything else is:

Do you have magic in your world?

Assuming you are here because you do have magic in the world, then the next question you need to answer is:

Where does the magic come from?

Does it come from the earth? Mystical beings? Through study? What is the origin of magic?

Next, how do the people in your world access magic? Do they have to have special devices? Tombs? Spellbooks? Focus?

Once you’ve established this all of this. The next step is to think about who can use this magic. Can magic be used by anyone? Peasants? Nobility? How does this impact society? Are those with magic elevated in status or not?

Do people practice in the open, in school, or in hiding? These questions will impact how magic interacts with your world.

Some other questions that I like to ask myself when I create a magic system are: how widespread is magic? Are there specific regions that only have magic or the entire continent/ kingdom? Does every citizen in these regions accept magic or do they mistrust it?

How are magic users treated? This also has to deal with their social status and whether or not they have to hide their magic. If people do have to hide their magic, what caused this? Was there a specific event?

Do the magic users have their own government? Most importantly, who governs them? Is there a special task force that steps in when magic goes wrong? Does this government have their own power? Or are they overseen by a ‘non-magic’ user group?

What is allowed? Meaning, what can magic users do? Is there a specific rule that says, you cannot reanimate dead bodies? Or bring back the dead? Is this even possible at all?

These are a lot of questions and perhaps you might not have all the information and it can feel overwhelming. While these might not be all the questions available, I believe these are some questions just to get you started on exploring your magic system.

Lastly, I would like to add that these questions also help with world building. Society, trade, class systems, etc. are all affected by just one element. Every society, world, the regions of your story are different. There are endless possibilities but it’s up to you to make yours unique.

Thanks for reading. Part 2 will be up next Monday.