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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Love at First Listen

I love music. I love playing songs on my flute, and I love singing around the house or in my car.
There's almost always music playing on my computer while I work.

Yet I'm very weird about how I get attached to music.
I almost never fall in love with a song when I first listen to it. I can only think of a couple times where that happened.
For example, the first time I saw Frozen, I was completely mesmerized by Let it Go.


There are two others I can think of. One is called Ai no Melody - it's the ending song of an anime film.
And the other is Bratja. It's a song that plays during the original Fullmetal Alchemist anime series.
Oh yeah! Also One Day More. That whole scene blew me away in the Les Mis movie, with all the interweaving voices and themes.

Usually when I first hear a song, I think it's interesting. Or I'm neutral about it. Or maybe I don't even like it. But when I go back and listen to them a few times, I'll start to pick out the songs that I love. Even if I didn't care about them at first.
I didn't have any strong feelings about the songs in Coco until I started listening to the soundtrack. XP Now that's the newest music I've been singing around the house (Hey I've hardly mentioned Coco on the blog at all lately! But that's only because I'm working on a crazy blog post about it, so I don't feel as much need to write about it in all my other posts).

Another strange thing is that if I'm watching something and they sing a song I recognize, I'm much more likely to get hooked on it quickly. I guess it's the sound of something familiar? Like when I heard Celtic Woman sing Orinoco Flow.
Or when I first saw Garnet sing Stronger Than You (After I'd heard versions of that song set to Undertale.)

Saturday, February 10, 2018

That's Not My Name!

Last night was blown on fixing the geography of Evva's story.
I didn't feel like looking at that anymore, so this evening I ended up working on that short story I mentioned, about Katani's parents.
Like I said, I have no idea what the plot is. I just know the general direction I want it to go in. But as so usually happens, when I sit down and write, stuff happens.
So far his mom has barely been mentioned at all. She might end up being a much smaller part of the story than I originally thought.

The main character is Rinzin, Katani's dad. He's about Katani's age right now. He just moved to the capitol province a couple weeks ago. Partially because he grew up in the mountains and always wanted to be see the ocean. But also because his family was going through some tough times, and he wants to help support them. Even if it means he's half-way across the country.
Rinzin is crazy homesick. And the city is so different from life in the mountains.

Now, when I wrote the first draft of Katani's story (or at least part of the first draft - I don't remember) it was not really. That changed later, when I wanted to explore different parts of my world than the ones I'd already written about. I had to rework most of the story to try to get the new country to fit in. And I've never stopped checking out books and stuff to help me learn more. I've been getting a constant flow of research materials from the library for the past few months. I just found some really good ones about Japan, which I've added to my References for Writers post. And I think I got a good one on Tibet too.
Anyway, I was trying to get to a point. The point is that Katani's original design didn't really fit the world that ended up growing around him.
Nor did most of the other characters. Although almost all of them changed over the course of multiple revisions. His mentor changed names multiple times, for example.
So, Katani is a blonde guy living in a place where most people have black hair (While I was first designing him, I was trying to figure out what to do for his hair. And I looked at a picture of Tamaki from Ouran High School Host Club, and basically stole Tamaki's hair and made it a bit wavier).

I didn't do what a normal sane person would - which would be changing Katani's hair to black. Instead I had him be half Telenese (basically European).
Several of my main characters have ended up as mixed-race. It's not something I plan out. It just kind of happens. Although considering how mixed my family is, I'm not surprised. I have relatives and mixed relatives from all over the world.

Anyway, continuing on. Katani is named after a family friend, who died before Katani was born. I don't think he's ever mentioned in the main book, though I've talked about him in some of my short stories.
But this guy, who I'll call Uncle Katani for clarity sake, is a character in the short story I'm writing right now. I knew he would be, but he's turning out to be a much larger presence than I originally intended. I'm glad that I'm learning more about him. He's sort of a "world es mi familia" character, since he doesn't really have a family of his own. And he ends up taking Rinzin under his wing, since Rinzin's so unsure in this new place, at this new job, away from his family.


There's another problem I'm running into for this short story. Names.
All the characters have names. I just keep screwing them up.
I keep referring to Rinzin as "Katani." I did it twice just while writing this blog post. It's not surprising. I've been writing about Katani for years. And there IS a Katani in this short story too. It's just that this is a different Katani, and he's not the main character.

When I switch between stories, I seem to get some of the names screwed up.
While I was rereading the first couple chapters of Evva's story, I noticed that I accidentally called her Ashlyn once (the girl from my grad program story).

And in Katani's story, I'll sometimes get Garrett and Tri mixed up, even if I'm just talking about them. That's kind of the point. Katani himself gets their names mixed up, which causes some problems. Garrett and Tri are supposed to be very similar. But you'd think I should know better. @_@
And when I changed Shanka's gender, I kept referring to her as "he" for months.

It always leaves me like:


Someone got mad at me for mixing up some details of their stories. And I thought, "dude, I get plenty of details in MY OWN stories screwed up. Frequently. I don't have a computer memory."
If someone tried to explain any story stuff to my parents, they'd smile and nod. And by the next day, if you told them the same exact stuff, they would think it was mostly new information.
They're not very helpful when it comes to story advice. I'll sometimes ask a simple question, just to see what they'll say or if it will trigger any ideas. But nothing ever really comes out of it XD
Though I appreciate them trying to help.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Re-root

I started the first revision of Evva's story.
Wow, I wrote it so long ago that I've forgotten a lot of it!
I finished about a third of the story, then shifted to a different project. It was a very long time before I came back to write the rest, so that first third is very vague in my mind.

But my mind is still rooted in Katani's story. It takes a bit to switch over. Especially since Evva's story is still in its roughest draft and feels so raw XD
I wish I could get someone to look at it (after I finish this revision). No one really knows a thing about this story, except for a few people that have seen the first chapter.
I haven't had any luck finding critique partners.

I knew I would love Sol before I started writing. And I loved Jon when I finalized his character.
But months ago, when I was about half way through the story, I realized that I needed a character to fill an idea I had. So that night, I created JoaquĆ­n. And I love how he turned out! His role is so small though. I need to think of some excuses to write more about him. I'll probably end up writing about what happened to him before he ended up at the farm.

(I'm also trying to write a short story about Katani's parents. I have a beginning, but I have no plot... )

As for now, I need to think of some kind of quick mission that Evva and her teacher can do in a morning and afternoon. But I want it to be significant, even if it's only symbolic.
I was hoping to write this evening, but I might go through my notes instead. Hopefully I'll run across something in there. Otherwise I might have to come back and redo it later

Plus I need to do some location research. I would probably get a lot more ideas if I could travel to the places Evva and her teacher are moving through. Unlike Katani's story, which has fictional geography, Evva's story has a geography based off of our planet.
I don't know when I'll get the chance to visit those places though.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Yggdrasil Children

Hey, so someone from my old creative writing class self-published a book on Amazon!
I finished reading it, so I want to give a shout-out.

It's called Yggdrasil Children.
You can find it here.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Who I Hate the Most

If you ask me which character I loathe the most, I would probably say Professor Umbridge.
That also isn't entirely true. Because I hate the other character so much that I don't even want to think about him.

Now, in Harry Potter 5, there's a scene at the end of the book where Professor Umbridge is in the hospital after her ordeal with the centaurs. Ron plays a trick on her.
And I felt a little bad that a lady in the hospital was getting teased.
A little.

I cannot take that actress seriously anymore after she played Professor Umbridge.
I'm sorry.

But this other guy, I can't even feel a fleck of sympathy for.
It's Theon Greyjoy from the Game of Thrones Book, "A Clash of Kings." He was bad in the TV series, but not nearly as horrible as he was in the books.
I loathe every molecule of him. He disgusts me.

I've only read the first two books from this series, and seen the first two seasons. When I made up my own ending, I realized that I wouldn't be going any farther.

Nick Told my that Theon gets horribly tortured later on.
And I said "Good. He deserves it."
By the way, that's probably not something you should admit out loud. Nick hadn't read the books, he'd only seen the series. He hadn't gotten the full rotten experience of that character. I probably freaked Nick out by saying what I said.
To be fair, Theon is the only character that I've ever felt that way about.

Thankfully.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Hmmm

Spent the evening staring at a single line in my query letter. It's half as long as it needs to be, but I can't figure out what to put in the second half...

Something brilliant that shows Katani's character and bridges to the next section.
Something brilliant, right? @_@

Well, at least I got the first half of the line.
Until I delete it and put something different there.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Well Then

So, during this last revision of Katani's story, I was planning on focusing on three or four specific topics that show up through the story.
I did very little of that.

Instead I ended up cutting out about 7,000 words.
Wow.

So, now onto my first revision of Evva's story.