Believe Your Eyes! #1

Howdy, peeps. Welcome to BYE, a weekly post that will introduce you to a (hopefully) new discovery in the real world ~

I don’t have any proof, but I have a hypothesis that the word “Human” is the single most (over)used songtitle there is. Let me show you what I mean:

  1. “Human” by Christina Perri. Seriously listen to this, she has a gorgeous voice!
  2. “Human” by Gabrielle Aplin. Another really good song + gorgeous voice.
  3. “Human” by Daughter. I love the lyrics.
  4. “Human” by The Killers. Its not too bad, it used to play nonstop in the radio.
  5. “Human” by The Pretenders. A little repetitive but hey, that’s pop music.
  6. “Human” by Oscar Zia. I personally don’t like it that much but it was really popular.
  7. “Human”by Rag’n Bone Man. Uggggh it wont stop playing in the radio and I dislike it. I am not linking it here because it really grinds my gears!

Right now I can’t think of any more, but seriously this is 7 songs with the exact same title.

Can you find another song titled “Human”? Or better yet, can you find another title that has been used more often than this?? Comments please and share away, I’m really curious if anyone comes up with something ^_^

A-Z April and 3 Other Announcements

Heyy’all~ I have some exciting things to announce.

First of all, I’m gonna participate in the A-Z April Blog Challenge! YAAAY *waves flag*

Here is the lovely participation badge:

A2Z-BADGE-150 [2017]

And and and, today is Theme Reveal Day~!

thmrevel

So without further ado: my theme is going to be Fantasy Flash Fiction! For each letter of the alphabet, I’m writing a short piece of story of no more than 1000 words. Something like this here, if you want to read a sample ^_^ The stories will all take place in the world where this place also lies, and will be written from the first person perspective. The perspective characters will change per post, but they will be reoccurring, and all stories will be related to each other. I really hope you peeps will enjoy it because it’s gonna be awesome :3

Second announcement: I’m also starting a weekly post series called Believe Your Eyes, or BYE for short, posted every tuesday. It will be about random things I notice or learn that you may or may not know, and disclaimer: ~It may get ridiculously goofy occasionally xD

Third announcement: Oh no, it has invaded Twitter! Another place to follow me~ just check the blog’s sidebar.

Finally, I just wanted to hype about my work-in-progress book! I’ve just started writing chapter 12, which means I’ve written about 33000 words in total, which also means I’m about 30% done. Doing the math, it also means that the glorious debut book launch is most likely going to be in August. ~Hypehypehype ok i’m done hyping lol.

Fun fact: the world in which my A-Z stories take place is the same one my book takes place in. :3

Tomorrow will come the first BYE post. Seeya till then~

Worldbuilding, part 3

This is a sequel to part 1 and part 2. These two parts deal with the theoretical and behind-the-scenes parts of worldbuilding. In this last part, it will be about how it can come across into the final story.

How does one translate their meticulously created world into the actual text of the story?

You kind of weave it into your text. The best way to imagine it is just like as you percieve your world every day: You mainly keep your eyes on the characters, and pay attention to the plot, but in there is landscapes and life in the background, random stuff to notice and to find out through various interactions. Different features of your world will come across in different ways.

Some random examples:

The mannerisms of  characters:

  • Body language and expressions, pleeeease include them! They are just so key to making a character come alive and also giving them a background!
  • They might be overly polite, formal and distant if they come from a very structured society. They maybe insist on calling everyone by their full name and title,  express themselves in a very vague, diplomatic way, and go great lengths to avoid showing outbursts of emotion.
  • Cultures have different rules about what is polite and what isn’t. One character may for instance always greet everyone with a firm handshake, while the other will avoid any “hostile grabbing motion”, and look down on what they percieve as a petty gesture to try and assert dominance.
  • How do characters react to certain environments? Do they scramble to get out of rain? Do they leave a trampled path in the wilderness and feel more at home in an urban surrounding?

Backstories:

  • Everyone is a product of their homeland, both in real life and in fiction. This is another thing that is crucial both to character building and worldbuilding.
  • If a character’s background places emphasis on social class (noble/peasant/whatever) then they are the child of a highly stratified society.
  • People love rebels, and thus the society could give birth to someone who doesn’t fit in at all, and could be destined to bring it down (see practically every dystopian ya book out there right now). The question is, WHY are they such a rebel (al opposed to the rest of the population)? Have they witnessed a lot of injustice while growing up, that others have not? Are they seeking revenge on a member of the government? Have they come across some forbidden political material?
  • A highly militaristic society could demand that all children at a certain age are trained to fight. Such a society can thus yield characters who are skilled warriors, “despite” being young/female/other “can’t fight” stereotype. Of course the “despite” only comes from our point of view, for them it is perfectly normal, and they probably will not understand foreigners’ disapproval.

Names:

Names can say so much!! They are a sample of language first of all, but naming customs also say a lot about a society. Are the names give at birth, or earned sometime later? Are they constant throughout life? Perhaps not. Do family names exist, or perhaps a village name? Are names supposed to be unique, or identify the person as a member of a certain collective?

Landscapes:

Ever so often, pause as a writer and have a look around your scene. What do you see around your charactes? Describe it to the readers. Forest? What kind of trees are in it? Any animals? City? How are the people acting? Is it noisy? Clean? What kind of architecture? Weather? These details provide the backdrop. If you leave this out, then the story will play out on an empty stage.

Appearance of characters:

Every character’s background influences their appearance, just like in real life. Characters (including minor background ones) from the same origin will look similar if it is a relatively homogeneous society, or can be completely motley if there is a history of mixed peoples in the area. (Compare Iceland to USA.) Appearance also includes clothing.

History:

Societies always have a history, and since every single event, incident and decision is a cinsequence of previous actions, the history of a world will, even if only indirectly, influence the story taking place. The history can come across as told or remembered by characters, but also while introducing a new character, object or place.

Of course, this list is by no means extensive!

Ir was just the first few random things that came into my mind.

Do you peeps have some good worldbuilding techniques you would like to share? Please do so in the comments ^_^

I hope you enjoyed this mini-series by me. On the 20th of March there is going to be an awesome announcement regarding future posts, stay tuned 😀

Rapid Fire Book Tag

Saw this on Little Booky Nook (which is a great bookblog btw ) and wanted to participate ^_^ I’ve been blabbing about writing a lot so far but the case is I do love to read too :} Curled up with kitty and tea~

E-books or physical books?

E-books rule! I can carry around an entire library with me, and my bookshelf never overflows (like my physical one is perpetually doing).

Online or in-store book shopping? 

Mostly online because that’s where e-books come from lol. But I also love to browse in bookstores when I’m not looking for something specific, but just something new to read. It’s always an adventure to pick an attractive book off the shelf, flip through the unknown pages, read a few random passages, then take it home like a new pet ^_^ Then there are no ratings and reviews that could influence the decision and I discover something new and hopefully awesome!

Trilogies or series?

Probably trilogies. Series are fine too until they kind of just continue for the sake of putting out more books… The plot needs to be consistent and relevant, please!

Heroes or villains?

Anti-heroes ;P Thieves, pirates, assassins, monsters~ the shady type of heroes, ya know.

A book you want everyone to read:

Lord of the Rings trilogy of course! 😀 Ok it is actually 3 books. Though, I read the hungarian translation. I hear the original one is difficult because of dense language? Anywayyy read it, people!

Recommend an underrated book:

Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series. Yeah I know it is multiple books again. The first one is His Majesty’s Dragon. Alternate history, fantasy, dragons in the Napoleonic war? Hell yeah~! Again, read it, people!

The last book you finished:

Escape from the Harem by Marie Louise Fischer. Its a german book from 1980, original title is “Flucht aus dem Harem“. I really don’t read romance books that often but I found it on my grandma’s bookshelf and was hooked in minutes. It was so good! It was more of a suspense-romance thing.

Weirdest thing you have used as a bookmark?

Ummmmm…s 😮 Cat’s tail (still attatched to the live cat, before you ask gross questions!) but it was only temporary. I do tend to use regular bookmarks most of the time. Right now I’m all aboard the fad train with the magnetic bookmark 😛

Used books, yes or no?

Nopedinope I’ve got bad experiences,with those. Moths, mites, mould… eek! Plus I like nice new books.

Top 3 favorite genres: 

Fantasy/scifi, historical/alternate historical, thriller/action/military ! *Cheerleads with huge pompoms*

Borrow or buy?

I do like to hoard my own books, but I will occasionally borrow if I see/get offered something really intriguing.

Characters or plot?

A good plot needs good characters. Good characters only thrive in a good plot. Aaaaand *raises finger in preachy way*  none of the two thrive without a well-built world! And the well built world needs characters and plot to make a good book. (I’m a geek about that here and then here and part 3 is coming). So to answer the question, both and more!

Long or short book?

Long, so I can savour it… but also be a good book plz thanks ^~^

Long or short chapters?

I don’t really care as long as it flows, and the pace is not hurried or sluggish.

First 3 books you think of:

Locked On by Tom Clancy (recently read + loved), Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (I’m debating, should I read it? The hype is big but is it good?), Pirates! by Celia Rees (random memory, loved it as a pre-teen)

Books that make you laugh or cry?

Laugh, I don’t like crying.

Our world or fictional world?

I love fictional worlds because it’s really exciting to explore them, but there are really many good books written about our world too! As long as there ~is some well-imaginable world~ , I don’t mind whether I’ve already been in it or not!

Audiobooks yes or no?

No. I like to read in my own voice(s) at my own pace.

Do you ever judge a book by its cover?

*hides shamefully* yes! I usually use the cover as a first impression when browsing, to decide whether I shoud read the blurb or not. Sorry sorry >.>

Book->movie or book->tv adaption?

I really barely watch tv, and really, really rarely even go near a tv series. Movie!

Series or standalone?

I’m really inclined to say standalone because there have been so many series that start well and then after the second or third book just go waaaayyyy downhill and become a filler-fest or an out-there inconsistent mess. I do love a good book series too, tho they seem to be relatively rare, especially as they get longer. My engineering mind has just started thinking up a formula to calculate whether the next book in a series will still be good, based on volume number and rating of previous ones 8)

This was fun :3 to anyone reading this, feel free to do it too, and link back to me, I wanna read your stuff :3 have a nice day~ (and do read LOTR if you havent yet) :3

THIRST

This is my response to the “Word Challenge” found here.

Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink.

It was raining hard, a cold, streaming grey curtain hanging from the skyscraper-studded sunset skyline. I stood in a valley; a narrow alley between two flashy hotels, the water streaming though my thick, long hair, down my face, through my clothes and over my skin, a cool embrace I welcomed after this second frantic day I’d had. I was still wearing what I had innocenly picked out of my closet for school yesteday morning. My favorite purple camo pants, and the white hoodie of my volleyball team. They were probably wondering where I was, I ruefully thought.

There was one thing that was different: I had kicked off my shoes somewher along the way. The irritating thud as I placed each step, the nerve-wrecking little creaking noise as I rolled over the balls of my feet had almost driven me insane. I could hear everything so clearly, too clearly now. The raindrops scattering one by one on pavement, trash can lids, umbrellas and lamp posts. The murmur of each car engine, some in the street in front of me, some behind, some miles away, I guessed. A fluttering pamphlet in the wind. A sigh. Breaths, heartbeats all around me, in the densely populated city. I must have been deaf before yesterday. I had been changed.

Heartbeats.

Heartbeats were haunting me everywhere I went. Mine had stopped almost 24 hours ago.  I don’t remember anything of what happened, except a searing pain in my left wrist, then dizzyness, confusion, blacking out, silence, then… rebirth. There was no better word I could find for it.

But those heartbeats. They kept beckoning. Inviting me, tempting me closer. I had tried to resist for some time this driving thirst that pulled me toward these luscious sounds. I had occupied myself with running through the park in the dead of night, which was now faster than driving. I had then climbed the tallest tower using nothing but the windowframes as flimsy handholds. On some crazy instinct, I then jumped down. The impact left some damage on the concrete sidewalk. I was unscathed and exhilirated.

Now, the distractions wore off, and I decided not to resist anymore. Though I had not yet consciously acknowledged it, on some level I knew what had happened yesterday. As a man, young, blonde and careless, turned into my alley humming an overplayed pop song, I dodged behind a trash can and listened to his approaching footsteps, and irresistably loud and strong signs of life. I closed my eyes waited for his path to converge with the perfect arc of my calculated pounce.

A remaining fragment of my rational human mind tried to scream one last time, but it had already lost the battle to the temptation of his pulse, his breath, his vibrant body heat, still some paces away. My eyes still closed, I could  see, I could almost feel his vulnerable neck and the pulsing artery which I directed my attention to. I waited for him to take one last step, then sprung forward, and time slowed mid-air to endless.

I was a vampire.


 

 

Ok so cough cough I cheated because I took 20 minutes. Hope you enjoyed tho?

If you’re reading this, the challenge is yours! Set a stopwatch to 10min, open a blank document, and scribble scribble scribble! Whatever you want! Then no editing!

Your theme is:

PERSISTENCE

Worldbuilding, part 2

This is a sequel to this post here. For those of who have read it, carry on! ^_^

How does a world get built?!

Either from top-down or from the inside-out.

The top-down direction is the order I described in the previous post. You start large scale, creating first the space, the ground, the landscape, then you populate it with various forms of life, their attributes, abilities, how they behave, how they interact, what kind of civilisation, history, culture, language etc… down to minute details of typical mannerisms. For instance, someone with a certain background may consider it rude to look directly in the eyes? Who knows.

The inside-out direction is the reverse. There, you first start with a few (1-5, lets say) characters. Their appearance, name (or lack of?), personality, childhood memories, actions, decisions, manners, abilities and all that shebang are a product of the world they were born into. This way, you can discover that world by looking for the backgrounds and roots of the characters’ attributes.

Of course this is a nice dualistic theory. In practice, it will probably be a mix of the two. For instance, you may start with a character, build up their background and their country, then build up a neighbouring country to pit against it, then from that, derive the main character’s arch nemesis.

You can also start somewhere in the middle, maybe with fragments of a language, that then develops the need for characters that speak it, and a world for those characters to live in. It’s a non-linear process.

Which direction you choose is up to you of course. That’s the beauty of creative writing! In my experience, it depends on what kind of ideas you already have. If it is a great history of the several kingdoms, or the intricate workings of an exotic culture, then you will probably go top-down. If you’ve got some bombastic scenes, or have met some awesome characters wondering your mind, then it will be likely inside-out. You can start from almost anywhere; a fancy salute, a new word, a dazzling landscape…

It might sound somehw complicated but the truth is that at a (unexpectedly early) point the life awakens and your world will kind of unfold in front of your eyes while you struggle to keep up scribbling down the details 😀

More on that later 😀 stay tuned for the third part, the grandiose finale 😛 byee~

 

Worldbuilding, part 1

What is Worldbuilding and When is it Necessary?

In short: Worldbuilding is one of the two essential components that give your story life (the other is Characterbuilding), and it is absolutely always necessary, in every single piece of fiction you will ever write.

Alright, so this is all very eloquent but not too helpful, so I shall elaborate. :3

Worldbuilding is literally the art of building a world in which the story being written takes place. This does not just mean writing elaborate descriptions of scenery; it means a process of creating an entire world, Genesis style. Is it a planet, or multiple planets? An endless, flat ground? A strange dimension? What physical laws apply? How was this ground shaped over the ages? Once this is set, create some life. What kind of life is on it? What different species? What are their attributes, necessities, strengths, weaknesses? How does that life behave? Is there civilisation? Then it gets more involved. Cultures and the clash of them, languages, customs, geopolitics…

Once such a consistent system exists, the events have background, the characters have ancestors and the story is not anymore hanging in a strange vaccuum. It becomes a slice of a living reality. When good worldbuilding is present, then the reader, reading the descriptions, actions and dialogues of the characters, can imagine all of that happen in context, much like in “real life”.

When is it necessary? ALWAYS. Seriously. And it doesn’t even need to be a high fantasy piece. High school romance? You really need the worldbuilding too! Are we on earth? Is it the “common” reality, or an alternate history? Perhaps a certain significant war had a different outcome and now the geopolitics of an entire continent is different than the readers know. Where are we, what is the environment and culture like? And then, even if everything is kept boring “normal”, highschools are lit their own world, regardless of all these external factors. That world will stay trapped inside your head, and not reach the readers, unless you show it to them through your writing.

Describe stuff! Show cultures, delicate balances and relations through character mannerisms, interactions, backstories… Basically, every story is a new world (unless it is a direct sequel). A world needs space, time and life, and that means geography, history and culture, all coming from you, the writer?

Howwwww is that gonna happen? Stay tuned for part 2 :3 byedebye~