motivations, values, & all that fun stuff!

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When I wake up every day, my motivation is to get out of bed, get school/work done, and talk to my friends. And, hopefully, to get some writing done! Pretty much everyone has some kind of motivation – whether that’s to succeed at school/work, spend time with their family, etc.

And in fiction, motivation is VERY important. Without it, where would any novel go?

Take Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, for example. Early into the book, Percy discovers he’s a demigod – the son of a Greek god and a mortal mother. His mortal mother is captured by another god, who thinks Percy stole something of his. Percy’s motivation is to get his mother back, no matter the cost.

In The Hunger Games, Katniss’ motivation is to keep her family fed and safe. When her sister’s name is reaped for the Hunger Games, Katniss volunteers so that her sister isn’t harmed – even if that means that Katniss will probably die. She loves her sister and wants what’s best for her.

Now, both of their motivations change over time, but still keep the same core – they want to protect someone. Percy eventually ends up at the center of a prophecy that could change the world, and Katniss at the heart of a rebellion. But both Percy and Katniss want to protect their families, their friends, and the people around them.

This is a value.

Both Katniss and Percy value their friends and families – their relationships, if you will. So their motivations largely center around their values.

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non-romantic subplots.

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I think I can speak for a lot of people – especially aromantic and asexual people – that romance (and sex!) are pretty boring subplots when they’re used constantly. In a book of my life, my subplot or plot B wouldn’t be about finding True Love or something like that…. so why does it have to be everyone’s?

Here’s am example: Jughead Jones in the Riverdale tv show. Jughead is asexual and aromantic, which is canon via the comics. So while his subplots in the show are 1) dating Betty and 2) joining a gang or whatever, they should be a lot different. Like…. food, because obviously my boy Jughead is in love with food more than he is with people.

So, I’ve compiled a list of other subplots that could be used instead of the really boring and stereotype-y “s/he finds love!!!”

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is fanfic a compliment?

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In my years as a writer, I’ve noticed there’s a HUGE… well, not dislike, but I guess that’s the closest word? of fanfiction. Like Anne Rice and George R. R. Martin.

“Every writer needs to learn to create his own characters, worlds, and settings. Using someone else’s world is the lazy way out.” – George R. R. Martin.

“I do not allow fan-fiction. The characters are copyrighted. It upsets me terribly to even think about fan-fiction with my characters. I advise my readers to write your own original stories with your own characters. It is absolutely essential that you respect my wishes.” – Anne Rice.

“OK, my position on fan-fic is pretty clear: I think it’s immoral, I know it’s illegal, and it makes me want to barf whenever I’ve inadvertently encountered some of it involving my characters.” – Diana Gabaldon.

Honestly, as a fanfic writer, that kind of makes me feel weird. I started out writing fanfiction when I was younger, on the Warrior Cat Forums ( the authors of the Warriors series encouraged it, from what I can tell. ) And without writing that fanfiction, I never would’ve been told I was pretty good at writing, to the point that I decided I wanted to write my own original works. ( I’ve wanted to write for as long as I can remember, I just started off writing fanfiction. )

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beautiful people, couples edition.

As fate would have it, there are really no couples in my novel. The main characters are 12, almost 13, but 12 nonetheless. Plus they are too busy doing other stuff and have no time for romances.

But! There is a relationship that is heavily in the background ( and since I think it’s somewhat cute, and I like the characters, I’ll probably end up writing a short story prequel of sorts about them ) between the main characters’ faerie mentor, Branwen, and her human husband, Iain Darrow.

So, because I really want to do the Beautiful People writing meme ( hosted by paper fury and further up and further in and also linked above via that lovely button ), and I have no other couples to write about ( yet! ), Branwen and Iain’s relationship will have to do.

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does research = procrastination?

Possibly the worst feeling on Earth is dragging oneself out of bed so that they can write and do school. Or is that just me? Because my sister can be quite the morning person.

I spoke ( wrote? ) recently about the novel I’m writing, which I am very obviously excited about ( come on, faeries are the coolest. ) As I’ve been doing research, I’ve learned quite a bit about Celtic mythology. Like, did you know that the Morrigan was actually three goddesses?

But, yes, I’m talking about research today.

My question is: how much research is too much research? Is research just procrastination?

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a novel, in part.

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I do a lot of writing. I’m not The Most Prolific Writer Ever – I probably only average about 1k a day on my current WIP, UNTITLED NOVEL ( because I am lazy and cannot come up with a better name. ) But over the years, I have amassed a total of 1 finished first draft, 5 unfinished drafts at about 20 pages each ( and then some that got abandoned at outlines or during the first 10 pages. )

But as much as I change ideas, I have always been drawn to one specific idea: faeries. My first ever written project was about a girl who finds out she’s actually half faerie. It was basically a rip off of A Tail of Emily Windsnap. It will never see the light of day.

My current WIP is about faeries. I’ve mentioned it twice now, and there’s a nifty little text box off to the side of my blog that has a very small description of said WIP.

It’s about a pair of cousins who find out that the faeries of British folklore and Celtic myths are not only very real, but can be very, very dangerous. I’ll probably talk a lot more about the two main characters in a separate blog post, because I love both of them dearly. They both narrate the novel in alternating chapters.

And, before you ask, not Tinkerbell type faeries. They are far too nice.

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There is also food, and dragons, and realistic depictions of sibling-y relationships, and faeries. To be honest, I think I am taking too much inspiration from Rick Riordan and J.K. Rowling. Then again, I love their works.

I have a really nice Pinterest board for it, in my opinion ( included below because I really like it. )

But yes – I am very excited by this novel ( I’ve never spent three months on planning alone, but with this book, I did that. ) I’ve learned a lot about Celtic mythology and Arthurian mythology ( which kind of go hand in hand with faeries… and each other!! ) and I’ve learned a lot about writing middle grade ( because they are 12 in the first book, after all. )

I hope to finish the first draft by summer so I can try querying by the end of this year or by early 2018. At least, that’s the goal. If all goes well, and I get to 60k or 70k or however much is required ( and then edit it ) I might have an agent by next spring! But we’ll see.

best-wishes

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novelling & stuff.

First off: is ‘novelling’ a word? Because the dictionary does not have it in it and I really think it should be a word. Like…

NOVELLING, noun.
1. the activity of writing a novel in one’s spare time, often characterized by one screaming, pulling their hair out, and hoping that pantsing or outlining works better than the other.

( It really should be a word. I should just devote my time to making words or definitions. Then I would at least have a job. )

Well. In news: I hit 7k on my novel, aka Untitled Project, because I am lazy and cannot come up with a name for the life of me. It’s the first in a series ( hopefully ) about a pair of cousins who are dragged into the faerie world. And as previously mentioned, there will probably be a dragon. And lots of food because food is good. I like to think that it is kind of Percy Jackson but with Celtic myths instead of Greek myths and two narrators.

Yes, I’ve been doing a lot of novelling / writing recently. Yes, this is characterized by me pulling my hair out, wanting to slam my head on my desk, desiring spoonfuls of chocolate frosting, bouncing plot ideas off my sister ( Sam ) and my best friend ( Lolita, who is literally the best beta reader / idea bouncer on earth ), and several other things, that many a non writer probably find incredibly strange.

I’m 87% convinced my sister thinks I’m insane. I honestly can’t blame her.

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I have been working on this novel since late October and I have 12 pages in OpenOffice. This probably the longest I have actually plotted a novel prior to writing it… and also probably the longest I have ever spent on a novel aside from my very first novel. Usually I lose muse for my novel and abandon it at 20 or 30 pages, never to see the light of day again. Plus, this is also the first novel I have somewhat outlined that is actually getting written. Yay me.

To be honest? The goal is to be able to try querying by the end of this year. It’s the second month of the year. Two months down, ten more to go.

I guess if I could actually bring myself to write on the weekends instead of wasting my free time on Tumblr or Pinterest, I’d probably have a larger word count. Hmm, maybe I ought to change that.

So! If there is anyone reading this, tell me: what are your “novelling” pursuits like? Do you write every day? Are you a weekend novelist? Do you reward yourself with chocolate or cake or something? Are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you spend too much time on the Internet researching your novel?

best-wishes

( hope to see you again soon !! )

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