It’s All About Perspective

Points of View (or POVs) are important to figure out before you really begin writing your story. Rewriting from a different point of view is a pain in the ass and a waste of time, especially in larger segments. Trying out different POV’s, however, is a good way to get a feel for your story and the characters as well. This is when character sketches are helpful. This way you can try out, for a single scene, what the world would look like from that character’s eyes. So what points of view are there?

First Person is when you say “I did this; I thought that.” Basically your novel will turn into a big I statement. For some purposes this is the best option—getting inside the head of the main character and having the reader privy to the character’s thoughts and feelings brings the audience closer to your story, as long as you can maintain that connectivity with thoughts and emotions that the reader would also have to similar situations. One downside to this is there would be no overlap with other characters’ emotions or thoughts. Your main character could assume or believe that another is feeling a certain way, but in reality that character could have any number of thoughts or emotions running through them that your main character knows nothing about. Therefore, this point of view is rather limiting, but it does offer the closer relationship with the main character.

Second Person: “You see this; you do that.” Most often times this point of view is not used in stories. This is either because it doesn’t work with many types of characters, but there are some notable media types in which it does hold water. “Peep Show”, for instance, is a tv series where it is implied by camera angles and the way characters interact with the viewer, that you are actually a character in this story. If one were to otherwise use this POV, the story telling might seem awkward or out of place. It certainly is a difficult point of view to grasp, having the audience be a character in your story. This would suppose that the author knows what the reader or watcher is thinking, feeling, etc. If the writer doesn’t get this correct, then it breaks the immersion and thus the illusion, and so the story doesn’t necessarily go on for that audience member.

The art of writing Third Person is one that many people prefer. Third Person is designated by “He said; she did.” While this POV doesn’t necessarily give insight into characters’ thoughts or feelings, it makes it easy to tell the story, being from an outside perspective. The writer, and thus the audience would have to realize that this means that during the story they would only be able to suppose what the characters deeper motivations might be, but this may just be the point of view you need to get the ball rolling. Just because a lot of story tellers use this doesn’t mean that it’s too cliche. Sometimes the easier route is the best to take, as it conveys the set of circumstances the best.

There are Omniscient POVs as well, which are also widely utilized. These are also termed as God points of view, as the author is telling the story usually from a third person perspective but with the added ability to know the characters’ motives, feelings, etc. This does give more depth and prospective connectivity between characters and the audience, acting like a sort of middle ground between third person and first person. As there are more characters with this depth, there are more chances to rein in viewers. This is a popular point of view, and one I use myself.

Figuring out which of these commonly used points of view to use for your story can make or break it for your audience. You need to have the ability to connect, draw in and keep your readers for the duration of your novel. I do recommend trying each of the POVs in order to ascertain which of them is best used in the long run for your plot and characters. Every novel is different, don’t be afraid to step outside the box, but always keep in mind what it could do to your fan base.

Wolfblood: Disney Channel Werewolves?

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Wolfblood, a now Disney channel series that is in its third season, is a great take on werewolves for those who consume everything supernaturally inclined. It was a one-off for me, it was suggested by Netflix due to the fact that I’d watched other series like Supernatural, Bitten and very recently The Witches of East End. I ended up watching the first season in two days and have since continued on to watch Season 2. Although it’s another teen drama, not unlike Teen Wolf actually, I find that even though it has the obvious supernatural element of humans turning into wolves on the full moon, it has a lot of realistic and down-to-earth moments.

Wolfblood looks a lot like other BBC dramas (lighting, camera angles, etc.) such as Being Human, but that doesn’t detract from the series in the least. With lovable characters such as Tom and Maddy, you follow Maddy’s adventures as she meets Rhydian, a wolfblood like herself when he moves to town. He comes with his own set of troubles, such as the biological parents he’s never met before and his foster parents who have no idea what he is other than a troubled boy in the system. Maddy tries to convince her parents to help him all the while she dodges accusations about being a werewolf from her best friend, Shannon. This all adds up to being quite an enthralling television show, even if it’s meant for teens.

The CGI elements, as with almost any supernatural drama, could use some work. It always is plenty obvious what is computer generated and what was actually filmed, but if you put that aside you still have complicated and fleshed out side characters, main plots and sub plots that continue to be revisited through the season and an amazing cast behind it.

Overall I give Wolfblood a 4/5, only lacking in CGI quality, and highly recommend this series for teens and adults alike. Definitely check out the first season on Netflix!

Preparing for NaNoWriMo

When NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) begins on November 1st, are you ready to sit down and begin your novel? Is this your first time participating? Is it your fifth? Do you not have any clue as to what you’re actually planning to write? That’s okay, I have a checklist to make certain you’re caught up in the preparation process.

Plotting a pacing out your novel will help you to keep on target. Getting through the introductory portion of the novel, I feel, is the hardest. But the middle can be quite the slog, especially if you have no idea when your novel is going to pick back up. What helps me to get through that? Having the book planned out chapter by chapter. This also makes certain that the lulls between action doesn’t last too long, making the audience bored.

Having character profiles and, in some cases, sketches sorted out ahead of time can greatly benefit you as an author. If you already have these ready to go then you won’t get stuck during writing (at least for not very long!), because all you’ll need to get going again is to look over your character profile to make sure you got his eye color or her height correct when you referenced it just barely. This helps you to understand and visualize your character easier, thus not stopping to figure out whether he’s got brown hair or blond, or whether or not she has freckles.

Untitled novels can still be completed, but it’s a lot harder to tell someone about your novel if you don’t have a title for it. During November there will be countless friends and family members asking what you’re up to. Another plus, other than ease of communication, is that potential audiences will remain interested if you have a title. If you tell them about it, they ask what it’s called and you stutter and stumble over saying it doesn’t have a name yet, they think it’s further from completion than it actually might be. You can monopolize on their interest with a title, making them think it’s closer to being on book shelves than it actually is. It’s handy and it makes talking about your story that much easier.

Summarizing your novel into one cute little synopsis (like NaNo suggests) is actually a really great idea! If you can figure out what your novel is about ahead of time it will keep you writing until the very end—more people will ask questions about your novel and want to know about it. If it’s a well written synopsis then it will draw people in to say it sounds interesting and they want to read it (when can they read it?). It always helps to spur you on knowing that people want to read it even as you’re writing it.

A book cover isn’t a necessary element, but as statistics have shown in the past NaNo’s, books with covers become winners 60% more often. If you’re interested in both completing your novel during NaNo as well as having a pretty cool cover to show everyone (it’s almost like your book’s already out!) I suggest investing the time (and in some cases) the money in it. There are a couple of ways to go about it: creating one yourself which may mean getting permission from models, photographers or artists to use their work in such a way, or it may mean going out and taking your own pictures, drawing your own piece, etc. This way takes a lot more time and energy on your part in which you might lose interest or not have it done before NaNo begins. Another way is to pay someone else to create a book cover through graphic design, photography or their chosen art medium. You have plenty of people and prices to choose from this way and it’s a better means for people who aren’t artistically inclined in such a way or don’t have the time to invest in it.

Hopefully this checklist has helped you to figure out where you’re at with NaNoWriMo. If you have questions or just want me to cover one of the topics more in depth, feel free to comment below. I love hearing back from my readers! Good luck with the 2014 NaNoWriMo!

Witches of East End: a Beautifully Spun Tale of Four Women

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I started watching Witches of East End and I was expecting more of a teenage drama-fest that I became frustrated with and left alone. It was not what I was expecting. It was a feminist-friendly supernatural drama that didn’t put too much of an emphasis on romance, spun a positive view on female sexuality and growth as well as family and friendships.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a hair-pulling love triangle with one girl and two brothers, there’s enough romantic interests to keep the plot turning back around to it, but even in the thickest of the romance scenes they connect the women (the main characters) to each other and to lessons that they needed to learn. Each love interest for these wonderful ladies adds something to the show and their lives, no character is completely useless and two-dimensional.

Positive female sexuality is something our media in general has issues with. A woman wants sex? That’s crazy! She should be shunned and ridiculed. In Witches of East End, it’s primarily female cast has marvelous conversations that only celebrate their (and each other’s) sexuality. They encourage one another to pursue interests and there is no body shaming, which is a bit miraculous.

Furthermore these women are allowed to grow and change and overcome obstacles by themselves as well as together. There’s an emphasis put on family and friendships that turns what could have turned out to be a drama similar to the Secret Circle ended up being a much more feel-good and positive take on witches.

I’ve only watched the first season, but Joanna’s motherly qualities; Wendy’s crazy cat lady/aunt vibe; Freya’s yearning for love; and Ingrid’s soft, but still strong personalities have all won me over. I look forward to watching this tight knit family work through more problems made by their pasts in future seasons. Overall I give Witches of East End a 5/5 stars, and encourage watching this well-made television series.

NaNoWriMo: You in?

I know, I know–you’re trying to write and you want some info. Well this week it’s all about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which happens to start at 12:00 am, midnight, on November 1st. What’s all this now?

NaNoWriMo is a website that, for the month of November, you may track your progress towards a 50,000 word goal on your next noveling project! Sounds fun, right? This means the target for daily writing is 1,667 words. Does it sound like you might need help? Good thing there’s forums so you can talk with other NaNo writers as well as “writing buddies” so you can be each others’ accountibili-buddies!

There are some rules, however, like having to verify your word count in order to get the goodies between November 25th and November 30th. You can write over 50,000 and win, but under does not qualify. You should be writing on a singular project, although NaNo Rebels do exist that work on several projects and combine their word counts to reach the 50,000 word requirement. Anything written before midnight on November 1st should not be counted toward your overall word count. There are many more that have cropped up in response to questions by participants, but these are the most basic of rules.

Sign up is free over on the NaNo website, so feel free to join today and get your writing on come November 1st! I’ve been a member for 4 years now, working on my fifth NaNo. Want to be writing buddies? The link to my personal profile will be down below!

Links to Cool Stuff

NaNoWriMo Official Site

NaNoWriMo Facebook page

Parkyr’s Personal NaNo Page

Will you be joining NaNoWriMo this year? If so, what will you be working on, or do you not yet know? Have you done this in the past? How have you liked it?

Dracula Untold: More Than the Expected Blood and Gore

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When my boyfriend told me we were going to see Dracula Untold I was pretty agreeable. It falls into my beloved supernatural drama, plus it had the pull of myth, legend and history all rolled into it’s story as well: needless to say, I said I wanted to see it as soon as I had seen the preview a couple of months ago. So we went with a friend to watch it on opening night.

Overall it was a lot more tame than I was expecting. Where I was expecting over-sexualization there was romance and familial love; where I expected ridiculously gore-y action scenes there was well choreographed battles with only a couple of scenes that had me cringing due to something disgusting (literally two scenes, and this was before Vlad became a vampire). I was rather pleased with the film, though I wouldn’t say it was worth watching on opening night.

The story was well told, the characters well developed and the love between Vlad and his people built up appropriately before the inciting incident that got the whole plot moving. Once the ball was rolling, the pacing was perfect with lulls between action scenes that gave the viewer a break, but weren’t fillers. There were very few things that made me do a double take, as well, which is always a good thing in any medium.

The only things I didn’t love about the film are that there were a couple of questionable details: sunlight coming through a tent that was underneath thick, supernatural storm clouds; silver swords being not only made somewhat frequently, but also holding up in battle against iron swords. Everything else could have some explanation, regardless of how unrealistic it may be. These things, I felt, did not match up to any sort of physics that the film had previously shown to be true.

On the other hand there were details in the film that I loved to pieces, including a priest named Lucian which is a name that crops up in plenty of other Dracula tales. Earlier on, Vlad lost two of his men suddenly and in the scene immediately following he lamented the fact to his wife, saddened by their deaths. This detail could have been cut from the movie, but by it’s being there it connected Vlad as a good man who cared about his people.

I would give Dracula Untold a solid 4.5/5 stars. I wouldn’t say that this film is suitable for anyone under 17 due to its graphic and violent nature, however it is a lovely supernatural movie I wouldn’t mind watching over again.

Let’s Play: Arche Age by Trion Games!

Arche Age is an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) that came out not that long ago. Made by the same people (Trion Games) that created RIFT, another MMORPG that I played back when it was in beta and then after it came out, it has a lot of similarities, some I cover in the video below, and a few differences. One of the main differences is that Arche Age is more of a sandbox game, where you decide how you’re going to play.

Game Summary: A sandbox MMORPG, Arche Age can be played by all ages of gamers. Recommended for “advanced beginner” players, you will need to at least be open to figuring out game mechanics if you are not already knowledgeable in them. Play as one of four races in the world, create your own skill tree and become what you wish to be whether that is a hero, a pirate or anything else!

Click play on the video below, and see how the game looks!

Do I recommend Arche Age? If you enjoy MMOs I do. It’s fun and a little different from most (unless you’ve been addicted to RIFT in the past). It might be a little difficult for beginners to pick up, due to the build-your-own class mechanic, but I feel it can easily be picked up.

Want to play Arche Age? Download the Glyph Client and patch the game today! It’s free-to-play with a cash shop, so don’t hesitate to join in or even just try it! Go to Trion Games to download the client.