Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Rising Author Tag

Another Saturday, another tag. I didn't mean for it to be this way, but perhaps I didn't consult Life first. So here I am, doing another tag. 

But tags are fun. Tags are my favorite! So here you go, the Rising Author Tag. A good way to learn about how horrible I was as a younger writer, or how awesome I am as an experienced awesome person. 

Like Han Solo. 



Rules:
1. No tagging back
2. Tag Four People
3. Thank The Person Who Tagged You


I would like this moment to thank you for your kind gesture of bloggingdominess. You have tagged me in your own Rising Author Tag, and you too have offered bountiful questions with which I may amuse my readers. 

Thank you.

The Questions:

1. What is the weirdest thing someone has said to you about your writing?

I must not be a very begrudging person, because I honestly can't think of the weirdest thing someone said to me about my writing. I tried, honestly I tried to think of it. Either I write wonderfully, or the weird thing just wasn't weird enough.

2. What was the worst thing you ever wrote?

The worst thing I ever wrote was probably a short story for a library contest once. The plotline involves this: (don't worry, you can laugh. I do...cause otherwise what's the point of writing worst stuff?)
  • Clowns named Garrett
  • Eighteen-year old, college-graduated, Australian politicians with purple hair
  • American actress with a circus director for a father
  • And an evil plot to dump both girls into the Amazon river to take rightful vengeance on the Queen of England
Yeah. That was one of my first stories. Let us now laugh.
3. What was the most awkward scene you've ever written?

Awkward? Well there was that one time I tried to write a romance between a Russian pilot and an American renegade, both of which were plotting to take over the world. 

That was awkward. 

4. On a scale from one to ten, how often do you end up writing more than 3 chapters of the stories you start?

Why? 

Why did you ask that question?


Just about eleven is all. Eleven out of ten. If we're pushing it, then it's twelve out of ten. You see boys and girls, I happen to be a writer. And that means I have more ideas than I have words. 

And that means that my hard drive needs to be cleaned out.

5. What is the hardest thing for you to write?

The hardest thing for me to write are alone moments. Moments where there's no dialogue. It's like goo is melting off the walls.

So.

Agonizingly.

Slow. 

Oh, and I forgot to mention the whole book. That part's hard too.

6. When you look back at your early writing pieces, what's one thing you can see you've improved in?

Oh interesting. I see you mentioned the one thing.

Not the two things. Or the three things. 

Or the everythings.

No, you said the one thing. 

Okay, the THING I've improved the MOST in is theme. Character development. And perhaps a bit of logic. Examples? I've got plenty. 

Theme:

Me Before Theme

Me While Learning Theme


Nowadays

Pics Via Internet

As for Character logic: I tried to write a Robin Hood retelling once. I wonder how Prince John knew he was there? Maybe it was because Robin Hood left all of his weapons at the castle. And a rope dangling off the porch. 

7. How do you name your characters?

Far too extensively, if you ask anyone in their right mind. But no, Snapper had to use her left mind, didn't she? My process for finding a name starts with a naming dictionary. 

A Naming Dictionary.

Yes. Then, I skim read all of the names--all of them--and write down all the ones I like and their meanings in a notebook. Usually takes two pages. Then, I incessantly bother my family about which ones are best Then I scratch names off the list. 

One name at a time.

What can I say for myself? I'm a writer.

8. If you had to pick one genre to write in forever, what genre would it be?

Sci-fi. Why? Because spaceships. Because science. Because Ike. 

9. Which of your characters do you feel most guilty about?

Nash from my first novel, A Throne of Truth. He's the fifth son of the King of Pyro, and as several problems. One is a secret (spoilers), and the other... Well, as a Pyro, he's allergic to water.

To the Pyro, water is acid. And I stuck Nash on a boat.

In an ocean.

With a bunch of sailors who love water.

10. Which of your characters deserves everything you've given them?

This is the question where I demonstrate my honorable mercy and graciousness. Let's do Nash again, shall we?

For all of his wit, he deserved the bad things. For all of his senses of justice, he deserved the good things.

The Bad: His homeland-- Pyro. I'll let Boromir explain.




Pictures VIA internet. They had been Giphy GIFS, but the GIFs wouldn't work. So now they're memes.

The Good: He was the main character, and he had a very good friend. Without said friend, I don't think he would've survived.

Then again, he barely survived with the friend.


Tagging:

Sarah @ The Introverted Extrovert

Catherine @ The Rebelling Muse

Sarah Baran @ The Sarcastic Elf

My Questions for You:

1. What is the longest you've ever written in a single writing session? (i.e. 2 hours? 30 mins?)

2.  What is the funniest scene you've ever written?

3. Which of your characters is the most annoying?

4. How many of your stories (whether one chapter or fifty chapters through) have you planned for?

5. If given the choice to write in a jungle filled with monkeys, or in the Antarctic with a bunch of penguins, which would you choose and why?

6. How do you worldbuild?

7. If someone told you that you were a strange writer, how would you respond?

8. What would you do if you received an email from your main character saying that he'd like to meet you for coffee (or tea, whatever the character's preference)

9. Is there a scene you wish you had written differently?

10. Which of your characters do you connect most with?

And voila, the Rising Author Tag. Now you see a bit more how I roll. Next week, I have another tag... I need to start calling these Tagger-days. 


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Dry Seasons and Burnouts

A manuscript lies in the desert. Dog-eared pages flop uselessly in the wind. In the harsh sunlight, the words begin to fade.

Ink dries from paper. Color abandons description. Writing styles forget joy.

And banana trees lose bananas.

Some might call it a drought. Some would coin it as a 'bad five minutes.'

But you and I both know it's something much worse. Far worse than the Death Star or the One Ring.

No. This is writer's block.


You won't believe how much courage it takes to just write those few words. Those horrible, few words. Writer's block.

Writer's block.

Excuse me while I cringe in memory of that.

A few weeks ago, I went through writer's block. It was awful, but I won't go through describing the torture for you. If you're a writer, I have confidence that you've experienced this yourself.

Much facepalming.

Much headdesking.

Much Loki-ing.
Tenor GIF


We all know that feeling. There's a bit of panic involved. Am I ever going to write again? Am I ever going to love writing again? Am I even good at writing? 

Or that one question... What if I won't become a writer?

But let me add some amount of encouragement. If you're not experiencing writer's block now, you might find this comforting in the future. Leastways, I would've a few weeks ago. 

If you're in that dry season, grab a banana, a slice of pizza or a cinnamon roll. 

Cause there's more to it than just discouragement and the pure agony of lack of sentence structure. These aren't tips to get out of writer's block. Or to avoid it. Or even to tolerate it.

This is so that we can understand writer's block. 

Go ahead, throw that rotten tomato at me, and I'll take it with just about as much honor as Frodo took the Ring. 

"Snapper, you mean to tell me that I want to understand Writer's Block! Whatever happened to that it was an evil dragon? A bad dragon, siding with Cyberspace and evil supermonkeys?"

Yep. That's exactly what I'm saying. Not to join the supermonkeys and evil dragons, but to know them. In the end, it might take this...

Pinterest

out of

Writer's Block


It starts with a word. A tiny lack of a word which then grows into the lack of a sentence. That lack of a sentence morphs into a lack of a paragraph. Lack of paragraph is a lack of a page. Lack of a page is lack of a chapter. Lack of a chapter is a lack of a scene. Lack of a scene is lack of a plot. Lack of plot is officially a lack of a novel.

There are certain aspects of dry seasons, though, that might actually be good. It starts here.


Change


Within every day of our writing, we encounter roadblocks. Plotbunnies. Ideas. The Things that stretch us, and the things that crush us. Sometimes we will run toward those sentence structures, or we will flee other styles. And in our own ever-developing style of writing, we pick up what we like and leave behind what we don't like.

Because why would you pick up that wad of gum off New York City's sidewalk? You want what's shiny, and ignore everything else.

And that's where writer's block comes in. If you're like me, you like everything you write to be perfect immediately. Perfect, beautiful and the novel that every agent dreams of. 

Let me break it to you here: that's impossible.

I'd like to say my subconscious has excepted this, but that wouldn't be true. Here we go a'writing, off to save the world with gorgeous prose when up comes a problem. 

Maybe it's not even a blank page. It could just be a simple dislike. Dislike?

Confusion turns into acute frustration. It's almost as if a supermonkey handed us the one banana with a mushy spot. No joy to be found here.

Why? Why does that sentence glare at us? 

It's horrible. We go to type out this sentence, but it doesn't flow. We're not feeling it. The words don't fit. For all we know, it's a wonderful sentence, but as we're writing, we don't like it. 

It's not natural to our style.

And why would that be? 

After months of burnout, I've come to realize that it's not just because we have writer's block. It's because our style could be changing. Everyone's style changes, but we, as young writers, are expanding our style even more so. 

Take a glance at your old writing. Not the same, right? We all know that's because our style and our writing knowledge has grown. And it's just happening again. We're growing, and it might not be comfortable. Our style could be changing for the better, and it might not be coherent with the first seventy-percent of the most wonderful WIP in the universe. 

And we can do two things with changing style. We can embrace it or fight it. Like any other activity, there must be practice and growth. 

Let me know if you find a sport that comes easy without any practice whatsoever. Maybe you can speak Bocce like a second language, but we're not a droid that can estimate the odds of surviving an asteroid field either. 

Cause if you can do that, you can do anything. 

Take it from me, or take it from C-3PO. When you're struggling with writing, it could be change. And in the end, your writing will be better for it. 


Stalemate


When we're stuck, there's nothing we want more than to get un-stuck. If ever diagnosed as stuck, what else can we dream of than flying? The stalemate can be intimidating. Our Kingly pawn, facing death on all angles but one.

And that one angle is the one sentence your brain refuses to write. 

Every chess player -- and non-chess player -- can understand the frustration, and the humiliation and the shock of facing stalemate. 

"Woah... How'd I get there? No, wait. How'd you get there?" Frowning and stroking of invisible beards. "How do I get out?" 

Good question. I'll go consult my magic 8 ball. Or I'll stuff my face into the pillow. All that to realize, I can't get out. Not without hard, intense consideration and planning. 

Chess players have this habit of never leaving their games until they're done. That's why writers are lucky. You can leave writing whenever you want. Or need.

Because if you need a break, by all means, take one!

Sometimes, we overwork ourselves. Even if we wrote two-thousand words in forty-five minutes, that doesn't account for the fact that our brain could use a respite. Pouring out so many words requires refueling. 

Remember to blink. Remember to breathe. Remember to live. There's nothing more important than cooking pizza on Friday night and watching a movie. 

Suppose there are more important things. Do them. Do them all and enjoy it. Harvest inspiration and words. 

Just remember that it's okay to take a break. It's okay to have writer's block. And it's certainly okay to change. 

It's also okay to headdesk and facepalm. After all, there has to be someway to expel frustration. But maybe don't kick an orc helmet. 


And there it is! What are your opinions are dry seasons and burnouts? Writer's block? Do you agree, or are you one of those people who threw the tomato at me? Let's talk!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Secondary Introduction: Liebster Award

It seems rather soon for me to do this tag, but here I am, Liebster Awarding. I was semi-tagged by Sarah @ The Sarcastic Elf. Her questions are... Well, you'll see them.

So here we are. The secondary introduction of D.G. Snapper. Want to know more about me? Read ahead, but beware of supermonkeys.

They happen to be in league with the Procrastination Dragon. (And they will steal your free time.)



The Rules:


Acknowledge the blog that gave it to you and display the award
Answer the 11 questions that the blogger gives you.
Give 11 random facts about yourself.
Nominate 11 blogs.
Notify those blogs of their nomination.
Give them 11 questions to answer.

The Award: 

Internet



The Questions:

Would you rather fall out of a tree or touch an electric fence? 

That's one way to start it off. But to be honest, I think I'd rather stay at home, stashed away as a roll of bubble wrap. 

If you could be an element (fire, water, air, earth) which would you choose? 

Well, Earth just so happens to have a lot of worms crawling in it, so I'll avoid that one. Water--people drink you. Air--you have to touch everything. But fire? Oh yeah, I'd be fire. 

Heroes or villains? 

Pizza. When given the choice between two things, just vote pizza.

What's the worst piece of advice someone's ever given you? 

Either no one's given me bad advice, or I can't remember because it was so bad. 

Chocolate or vanilla? 

It depends on the thing. If we're talking about yogurt, then I want vanilla. Ice cream is vanilla. Pancakes with vanilla. But when it comes to pieces of candy, it's got to be chocolate. 

Always chocolate. 

Would you rather step in horse manure, or have an old, chewed up wad of gum get stuck to your hand? 

I plead the fifth. 

Who are the three fictitious characters you wish the author would have burned at the stake? 

First, I want to throw out there that I'm not actually that cruel. I did not come up with these questions. But if I had to choose some...

Nah. I'm not that cruel. 

Who are the three fictitious characters you think deserved so much more than what the cruel author gave them? 

Jaron from the Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen.



The ending was a bit unsatisfactory. I think Jaron would've lived a happier life if she'd worked a bit more on the final chapter. He deserved more than just a few paragraph sum-up.

Henry from the Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane.


Henry's character arc was beautifully done. That is... if it led to something better! I won't give spoilers, but I was sad at the end. The book was so beautiful, and then SAD. Someone took my pizza and stuffed it in a sack. The pizza is gone. 

Go read it.

And finally, Pippin from the Lord of the Rings. I'm talking about the movie version.



Pippin was an amazing Hobbit.

Giphy

Giphy

Tumblr


But our dear Hobbit wasn't mentioned very much in the ending. In my opinion, Pippin should've been given a bigger ending scene. And bigger scenes in general. Should've replaced Frodo.

I suppose I'll have to settle with one-liners.

Pinterest

What is something that makes you laugh EVERY SINGLE TIME you see it?

Tenor GIF



Sword or bow?

Bow.

Giphy

Enough said.

What is the one word that describes your life?

"One does not simply describe a writer in one word."

But if I had to choose one: 


Pizza
A dish of Italian origin consisting of a flat, round base of dough baked with a topping of tomato sauce and cheese, typically with added meat or vegetables. 
-Google


The Facts: 

1. I write at a pace of 1000 words per half hour. 

2. I enjoy reading half as much as I should like, and I love writing more than half as much as I should read.

3. I made that confusing on purpose.

Pinterest.
4. Italian food is my favorite. 

5. I'd rather write with people than write alone. 

6. I listen to more epicore music than any other music genre around. 

7. I'm running out of facts, and that's a fact.

8. I don't particularly like sandwiches.

9. I would rather look at a book design than read it, and I would rather make a book cover than a synopsis. 

10. I don't live in a hole in a ground, or in a wardrobe. 

11. And the final fact is that I don't like candy. 


There. I think that took longer to answer than the questions. 

The Tagging:

1. Jem Jones @ Jem Jones Writer


3. Savannah Grace @ Scattered Scribblings

4. Lisa @ Inkwell

5. Ivie @ Ivie Writes

6. Gray Marie @ Writing is Life


8. Priscilla Wiens @ Radically Surrendered

9. Julian @ Saver of Memories

10. Skye @ Ink Castles

11. Tracey Dyck @ Adventure Awaits

Bloggers, go forth and conquer. I know some of you were already nominated, but I can't remember where or when or by whom. I offer you these questions. 

1. If given the choice between playing a board game and a video game, which would you choose?

2. Does the idea of a coastal beach or a cabin in snowy Montana sound more appealing to you? 

3. Are cats constantly devising a way to eat you?

4. Writing or reading?

5. Would you rather be stuck in an elevator with your villains, or be the villain of your hero?

6. What would you do if you woke up in your story world?

7. How many times have you looked at a book and put it back on the shelf?

8. Library or bookstore?

9. When given the choice between Batman and Spiderman, who would you choose to save your main character?

10. Star Wars or Lord of the Rings?

11. What name would you give your blog in an alternate universe?


So there you have it! The questions, the answers and everything in between. For those who are tagged, I can't wait to see your answers! For all the readers, I'll be back Wednesday. Enjoy pizza, cinnamon rolls and Pippin GIFs.

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