Motivation

Well, here we are at my last blog entry for the Year 2011.  I really can’t believe how fast the year has flown!  It seems like only yesterday (even though it was six months ago) I decided to start this weekly writing blog.  Many thanks to everyone who has read, shared, commented on, and hopefully enjoyed my entries!

This entry is about motivation.  Not writer motivation, although that’s very important (see “10 Ways to Get Inspired” for more details), but character motivation.

In a well-written tale, the characters are the ones who are driving the story.  Their actions and reactions to events should be natural, make sense, and push the action forward.  Poor writers make this careful manipulation look obvious, forced, or irrational.  Good writers make it appear seamless and reasonable.  Even if a character behaves in a seemingly irrational manner, there is a solid explanation for it or circumstances that force the character to make a choice that they ordinarily would not make.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Turning Wheels and Changing Tides

“Most writers are in a state of gloom a good deal of the time; they need perpetual reassurance.”
— John Hall Wheelock 

 It’s been an interesting year.  November and the beginning of December 2011 have been particularly rough months.  I’ve undergone a lot of changes, some for better, some for worse, and some…I don’t even know yet.  Maybe those I’ll figure out a little farther down the line.

These past few weeks I’ve been suffering from depression and some serious mental lapses.  (As in, “I forgot to go clean that house today” kinds of mental lapses.  Which is bad when half of my income is from cleaning.)  And while I don’t think I’m clinically depressed, I haven’t been very chipper either.  I feel like…I’ve lost my place in the world…or found out that I never actually had a place to begin with.  I haven’t felt like a writer, a reader, or an otaku…just a failure.  Yeah, it’s all very strange and muddled and I’m hoping that some of the bright spots that have happened within the past few days will pull me out of this grey tide back into a place where I’m content, even if I’m not happy per se.

I do think that, on this, the eve of the Winter Solstice, I have reached one of those turning points, thanks to my friend and fellow writer, Foxglove Zayuri.  

Continue reading

Magical Theory and Practice: Part 3

This being the third part of a discussion on the creation of magical systems in fantasy. 

Here is the last question I usually ask when creating a magical system.  (I couldn’t think of any more that didn’t involve interlinking the previous questions or involving aspects of the others.)  Please note that you are not limited to the questions listed here.  You are welcome and highly encouraged to come up with more questions to answer, to continue to expand the scope of your inquiries.  The more questions to ask and subsequently answer, the more complete and well-knit your world will be.

WHAT IS THE PRICE OF MAGIC?     

This is perhaps the most interesting part of the magical equation, and the one that can make it the most unique.  A lot of people have a very dim view of what magic is, assuming that it’s a dues ex machine that just sweeps in and makes all the boo-boos better.  If it’s a poorly written fantasy, then they’d be right.  But we don’t want to write bad fantasy, do we?  So, you need to put some thought into what the price of magic is.

Continue reading

Magical Theory and Practice: Part 2

This being the second part of a discussion on the creation of magical systems in fantasy. 

Here are the next three questions that I usually ask when creating a magical system.  Please note that you are not limited to the questions listed here.  You are welcome and highly encouraged to come up with more questions to answer, to continue to expand the scope of your inquiries.  The more questions to ask and subsequently answer, the more complete and well-knit your world will be.

WHAT KIND OF MAGIC IS IT?

There are numerous kinds and forms of magic and more are made every day.  These are a few of the most common, and they can be melded in various interesting ways:

Continue reading