July 31, 2017

July Monthly Recap

July Monthly Recap

July in Maryland is hot and humid, when it's not raining. Not that it rains that much, but it feels like a lot. My month has been really busy, as you'll see. I'm going to dive right into the post.

What's Been Going On

Well, at the beginning of the month was Independence Day here in the States. My family did fireworks out in the yard and watched the Capitol Fourth celebration livestream. The highlight of that was Sofia Carson singing singing the National Anthem. It was beautiful.

Then we've been doing normal summer stuff. We went to the pool twice. I finished watching all the Middle Earth films in order and finished season one of Once Upon a Time. We've also seen a few more episodes of Supergirl season one.

Then, of course, this month was both D23 and Comic-Con, only a week apart. I had to keep up with all the news from each. Like the casting announcements for Disney movies or the new trailers. I may not be able to go, but I can still stay on top of these things.

What I've Done

Writing-

I'm up to 58K words on Return to Wonderland. I was originally aiming of 55K words, but now I've backed that goal up to 70K. I'm really hoping I can reach that.

I've also been working on character edits in my novel The Girl with the Sword. I haven't gotten as far as I would like, but that's okay. I'll work harder next month. Summer only comes once a year.

Art-

I finished the rest of the outfits in my Frozen collection. Here are the pictures.

The Kristoff outfit. The boots are one of the best parts of this one.

Olaf outfit. I love how the ombre bottom of the skirt came out.

And this one is inspired by the trolls. The whole idea came from their leafy collars.

I also nearly freaked out when an outfit I designed inspired by Jay from Disney Descendants was picked to be featured on the Descendants Instagram. It wasn't the only one, but I was still flipped.

I also made paintings for my mom and grandmother that say "Laundry today or naked tomorrow". They were lots of fun to do.

Where I've Gone

• The movie theater. We've gone to see several more movies, including Sing, one of my favorite kids movies from last year that wasn't Disney. (There will be a post coming up on that next month!)

• The library. Because what else are you going to do in the summer than read and watch movies? I've been working really hard at getting my account down to only twenty books. Right now I have 30 or so checked out. (When I was younger, I'd have around 60-80 books at a time. I'm kind of an obsessive reader.) My problem is that every time I go, I see a book I've been wanting to read or something that looks interesting, so I check out more than I intend.

• Drivers education. Bleck. *makes a face* It's super boring, but required if I want to have my licence soon. I had it all last week and this week and three driving sessions, and then I'm done. (Anyone else sympathize?)

• The Walter's Art Gallery. This is one of the highlights of my month. All the teen girls in my church went down to Baltimore and had a great day together. I had an amazing time spending time with my friends. Here's a pic.



Thoughts on August

• It's my birthday! Yay! I'll be twenty, which is horribly scary.

• I'm hoping to have my licence soon. Driving by myself will be weird, but it will be nice too.

• I'd like to finish drafting Return to Wonderland by the end of the month. I don't know if I can do that, but it's my goal.

• More drawing. Hopefully I'll finish a drawing of a certain pirate and maybe get started on a new drawing.

Let's talk! How has your month been? Have you done anything interesting? Tell me in the comments.

July 28, 2017

Writing Relationships: Other People

Writing Relationships: Other People

Acquaintances. Fellow workers. That librarian you always see when you go to get books. Each day we have little interactions we never think about, but are relationships in their own ways. Welcome to part four of my writing relationships series. (If you missed it, here parts one, two, and three.) Today we're talking about relationships with people you don't think about that much. These sorts of interactions can be great examples of what sort of person your character is.

Also, my apologies for getting this up late. I was out all day yesterday between an art gallery trip with my friends and drivers ed. I was home about an hour total, so I had no time to upload this post until today.

Casual Acquaintances

You know who I'm talking about. People you know well enough to greet, but not close enough to be called a friend. In novels, these types of people are often left out, because they aren't often important to the narrative. That's fine. But when do they come in, normally to give some sort of information to the protagonist, we need to think about how the characters react to each other.

Try to make your character react the way you would. Unless the character is one that needs to improve their attitude, they will probably be polite and somewhat friendly, depending on how well they know the person.

Don't forget that these sorts of characters in novels, the ones that aren't that important, don't need development or lots of description. But if that character is going to be important later, show the reader that this person is special and you should keep an eye out for them.

People Seen Daily

Classmates. Co-workers. Carpool families. Neighbors. Any people that you might see daily and be familiar with. They can fall anywhere from friends to casual acquaintances to almost strangers. How our characters act towards these people can be an important show of character.

If your protagonist is a extrovert, the way they react to the people they see daily will differ from someone who is an introvert. The many facets of a personality can really show through when put in a situation like this.

You may not have a chance to put a scene with people your protagonist might see daily, depending on your story, but if you can, it can be quite good to show what sort of person your MC is. Too often, these opportunities are overlooked. But try to make sure your protagonist treats other well, unless they're going to go through a major character change. People aren't nearly nice enough to each other any more, even if they see each other every day.


Other People

There are so many we interact with each day. Clerks, librarians, postal workers, and more. These types of people in stories are mostly throw-away characters, since they aren't important to the plot. The barista who serves your MC a coffee on the way to work isn't exactly someone the readers will remember. But like I said before, they can be a great way to show character.

Too often, I think we think of people we don't know, workers especially, as people simply there to serve our needs. We forget they're people too and treat them unkindly or harshly. They aren't always the nicest either. That's why we should try to show our protagonists being considerate of others.

One writing prompt I read was to have your protagonist in line at the coffee shop, then have someone cut in front of them. See how your character reacts, which can be a good insight to personality. We need to write more characters that are willing to be polite and still willing to stand up for themselves to others.

What I'm trying to say, through all of these posts, is that we should try to write relationships that we want to see between people. This may not work for every story, depending on what you're writing, but that doesn't mean we can't fill our novels with examples of good. How else can we influence the world?

Let's talk! How do you think our characters should react to people around them? Do you think we need more examples of good relationships in our novels? Tell me in the comments.

July 24, 2017

July Book Reviews

July Book Reviews

Here in Maryland, July has been a hot, sticky month. I've never been a big outdoors person, so that's fine by me. It just gives me more time to stay in and read. It's time to take a look at what I've read in the past month and what I thought of them. Let's get start!


Best Books


A Tail of Camelot- Julie Leung

My Rating: 5 stars

Likes:

• The story. The story is about a young mouse, named Calib, who needs to find his courage and keep the kingdom of Camelot from tearing itself apart instead of focusing on the real enemy. It's powerful, engaging, and well written.

• The world. The author was clearly inspired by the Redwall stories, and it showed in this book, but in a good way. It didn't feel like she was copying Jacques work. Instead, she did her own spin on the idea. It was lots of fun, with humans and animals living side by side in their own worlds. There was also a touch of magic that I really enjoyed.

• Calib. He was a great little protagonist. (Ha, see what I did there?) At first he was a bit cowardly but he had a great arc through the book. His story was paralleled with a human boy's named Galahad, which made for interesting reading.

• Girl knights! This story takes place during the time of King Arthur, but in the mouse ranks there were girl knights and pages. It was fun and there was no girls are better than boys or vice versa.

Dislikes:

• Nothing that I can remember. Except maybe that things like stoats and weasels are always bad in these sorts of books. What's with that?


The Mysterious Benedict Society- Trenton Lee Stewart

My Rating: 4 1/2 stars

Likes:

• The children. This book was centered around four children who are all gifted in some way. Whether it's remembering everything or being very smart, each one has a special skill. I loved all of their personalities and the way they worked together.

• Great writing. It reminded me of Roald Dahl and Lemony Snicket mixed together. It was fun and easy to read.

• Lots of fun puzzles. Like in Lemony Snicket books, the kids are constantly having their intellect tested through various puzzles and tests.

• Page-turning plot. I was kept on my toes through this book as the four kids try to save the world. The plot twists were unexpected and I didn't see any of them coming.

Dislikes:

• Constance. I found her attitude a bit annoying. You may love her, but I preferred Kate or Reynie.

• A bit long. This book was over five hundred pages, which is pretty long for a children's book. I think it could have been cut back a little. It also occasionally felt draggy.

Worst Books


The Dark Prophecy- Rick Riordan

My Rating: 3 stars

Likes:

• Leo and Calypso. These two are so great together. And any part with Leo in it is sure to be entertaining.

• The humor. As always, Riordan's humor was spot on throughout the whole book. He's great at getting me to laugh out loud. My favorite part? Calypso's backup chorus for Apollo's last words.

Dislikes:

• Apollo, or Lester. He's just impossible to empathize with. All he does is run around, whine, and be useless. His master, Meg is more interesting than. He's the whole reason I don't like this series as much.

• Lots of gay relationships. Riordan is pushing this sort of stuff into all his books. The Apollo ones are worse because he himself doesn't care who he likes. All those types of people make me feel uncomfortable and take away from the story.


The Last Day on Mars- Kevin Emerson

My Rating: 3 1/2 stars

Likes:

• The cover. Isn't it so eye-catching? You don't see a lot of books with a warm color scheme, especially orange. That's part of the reason this book caught my eye.

• The premise. It had an interesting premise of humans have moved to Mars while they work on making spaceships to get to a new planet because the sun is burning up our planets. This added an interesting dynamic between the people who moved to Mars and those that were born there. There were aliens too, so that was fun.

• Time crunch. Who doesn't love it when the protagonist has to do something before time runs out? While this one didn't go quite like I thought it would, it still added urgency to the story.

Dislikes:

• Not what I expected. This is the biggest reason that I didn't like this book. I was expecting a more serious book, like something you would find in YA. However, this book was quite light. After it wasn't what I thought, it was hard to get in to.

• Phoebe. I can't say much about her without spoilers, but suffice to say I didn't like her character from the beginning, so I wasn't surprise when the plot twist came.

• I didn't understand much. I didn't understand the bad guys, though that might come in a later book. I didn't get how the world worked or what a link was. I felt everything could have been explained more. At least the science seemed sound.

However, I do plan on continuing to read this series, just to see where it goes. Maybe I'll like the next book better since I'll know what to expect.

Other Books

Alex and Eliza- Melissa de la Cruz (5 stars)
The Story of Doctor Dolittle- Hugh Lofting (4 stars)
Attack of the Bayport Beast- Franklin W. Dixon (3 stars)
Heart of the Land- Sarah Prineas (4 stars)
Wonder- R. J. Palacio (4 stars)
Brown Girl Dreaming- Jacqueline Woodson (4 stars)
Horten's Incredible Illusions- Lissa Evans (4 stars)
Lost- Sarah Prineas (4 stars)
Rise of the Isle of the Lost- Melissa de la Cruz (4 1/2 stars)
The Wish Granter- C. J. Redwine (4 stars)

Let's talk! What have you read this month? Have you read any of these books? Have you ever expected a book to be different than it was? Tell me in the comments.

July 20, 2017

Writing Relationships: Couples

Writing Relationships: Couples

Everyone loves a cute couple. But how do we portray them correctly in our novels? Welcome to part three of the writing relationships series. Click these links to see part one and part two if you missed them. Today's subject is couples, so let's dive in.

And a quick note: I'm using couples in this post to refer to anyone in a relationship. Whether that's dating, engaged, or married. Just thought I'd clear that up first.

Why it's Important to Show Good Relationships

Couples in our world have many problems these days. Divorce, infidelity, sex before marriage, and more. And many of these things show up in our books and movies as well. Even worse than that, they're shown as something that's perfectly normal and all right to do. Getting a divorce is a freeing decision. Having sex with whoever you want is just fine. This is both sad and wrong.

What's sad is that even Christians aren't above these things. The divorce rate between Christians and non-Christians is really close. Lots of Christian teenagers say they don't believe in sex before marriage, but over half of them will do it anyway.

That's why we need to put good relationships between couples in our novels. To shine the light of God out into the world. Give our teenagers good examples to follow and safe books to read rather than the trash that's out there now.

With that in mind, let's move on to how we can write good relationships between various types of couples.

Dating Couples

I don't know about you, but I don't think dating is taken seriously enough these days. People drift from one person to another without really having intentions of finding someone to marry. That's why many Christians prefer to say they're courting, since it implies more serious intentions.

When you have a dating couple in your novel, make it be respectful. They should have boundaries with each other. Make them considerate to each other and not willing to drop out of the relationship for stupid reasons.

If your couple gets engaged, also take that seriously. Engagement is when you're committing to marrying someone. People shouldn't just break it off because something isn't working for them. If they want to back out so soon, maybe they shouldn't have gotten engaged.

Examples:


• Nancy and Ned from Nancy Drew. Since these books are older, Nancy and Ned have a fairly good relationship. He's always there when she needs him and willing to put up with her crime solving. Nancy makes time to be with Ned as well. (Yeah, I know this is a weird example, but it was really difficult to find a good dating or married couple in books.)


• Troy and Gabriella from High School Musical. While Troy and Gabrielle aren't the best couple, they always manage to work out their problems and stick together in the end.

Married Couples

The way we show marriage in our novels should also improve. I already discussed some of this in my post on family, like having kind, loving parents. Here I'll talk more about the relationship side of married couples.

We should try to show the Godly ideals of marriage in any book, whether it be realistic or fantasy. Couples should be true to each other and not willing to just throw their marriage away. They should listen to each other and the wife should be willing to submit to the husband.

That last one is something I think we need to see more of as well. Today, things are all about strong, independent women. Feminists are on the rise. I'm all for women being strong and capable and having equal rights as men. But I also believe that a woman should show deference to her husband.

I know not everyone has had great parents. But that doesn't mean the couples in our books can represent what we wish things were like. There is a place for bad marriages, but it should be used with caution.

Examples:


• The March sisters and their husbands from Little Women. Again, this is an older book, so it has better relationships. The girls and their husbands may be different, but they work out their problems together. (But am I the only one who always shipped Jo and Laurie?)


• Bob and Helen Parr from The Incredibles. They have always been one of my favorite movie parents. Despite the bumps in their relationship, they stick together for better or worse.

Final Word

Like I've said before, bad relationships can be used in a novel. We just have to do so with care. I suggest instead that we write healthy ones that give an example to the rest of the world. Being a couple is not something to be taken lightly, but instead a serious thing. Always remember to follow what you think God would like.

Let's talk! What do you think about writing couples? Do you have anything to add? Tell me in the comments.

July 17, 2017

My Thoughts on 2016 Movies: Part 2

My Thoughts on 2016 Movies: Part 2

You may not remember, but back in January I did a part one of this post on 2016 movies. At that time, not all the movies I wanted to watch were out, so I had to split it into two parts. Now, however, I am ready to give you my thoughts on some more movies from last year.



Passengers

Original Thoughts: Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence in one movie? Yes, please. It also looked like an interesting story.

Thoughts After Watching: To be honest, I was surprised. The filmmakers left one of the biggest parts of the plot out of the trailers. Yeah, you don't want to give everything away, but at least a bit of a warning would have been better. One of the best parts of this movies was actually the robot barista, played by Michael Sheen. Other than that, it was pretty good, even if the premise was a bit scary.

Recommendation: If you like survivalist movies, or sci-fi ones, this is for you. It's best for older kids, since there are some heavy themes and adult content, if you get my meaning.



The BFG

Original Thoughts: It looked absolutely magic. And since it was a book first, I had to read the book before watching it.

Thoughts After Watching: It was still magical. Spielberg did a great job creating the world of the giants. The dreams were my favorite part of the whole thing. The actress who plays Sophie was great, as the BFG himself. The second act did drag a little, however. On the whole, it was amazing, especially backed by John Williams score, which was reminiscent of Harry Potter. (Although, what happened to the gorgeous letters they used in the trailers? The ones in the movie weren't half as good.)

Recommendation: A child of any age can enjoy this movie, although younger ones might be frightened by the giants. Great for any time you want a magical movie with lots of heart. (Also, Doctor Who fans may recognize a familiar face among the cast. Hint: she's royalty.)



Pete's Dragon

Original Thoughts: I'd watched the original movie only once, so I wasn't totally sure what to think about this one. It looked good, but you can never tell by the trailers.

Thoughts After Watching: This movie was so, so sweet. The kid who played Pete was a great actor, as was the rest of the cast. Elliot was adorable and made me want to have my own dragon. The only problem with this film was the villain, who wasn't very good. And it was filmed in New Zealand, so lots of lovely scenery. (Don't forget to listen through the credits to hear Lindsey Stirling's song for the movie "Something Wild". It's beautiful.)

Recommendation: Another one anyone can enjoy. There are some sad bits, like when Pete's parents die in a car accident, and the ending, so you'll probably want tissues. A fun and whimsical movie.



Kubo and the Two Strings

Original Thoughts: My dad showed me the trailer for this one, and I thought it looked kind of interesting. I also liked the animation style, which is a form of claymation stopmotion (like The Nightmare Before Christmas or Boxtrolls.)

Thoughts After Watching: This movie was sweet, mysterious, and heartbreaking all at once. Can you say plot twists? Because this movie was full of them. It was a great adventure film with a theme of family and letting go. Kubo was a great protagonist with a good arc through the movie. It's placed in Japan, so lots of interesting culture is included.

Recommendation: This may be a kids movie, but a person of any age can take something away from this film. You'll probably want tissues for this one as well. It's a great story with some spot on humor.



Moana

Original Thoughts: It looked awesome. Another amazing Disney princess for me to adore. Oh, and Maui and a weird chicken.

Thoughts After Watching: Moana is one of my top favorite Disney princesses. There was so much I adored about this movie, I can't cover it all. The characters, the jokes, the music (done by the man, Lin Manuel-Miranda, himself), and the world. Just take my word that it is awesome and should be watched immediately. Because you know I'm the expert on these things.

Recommendation: Whether you want a strong female heroine or some awesome music, this movie will probably have something for you. Disney did another great job with Moana.



Doctor Strange

Original Thoughts: Benedict Cumberbatch is in it. That's good enough for me. Okay, I was also interested in seeing the next part of the MCU, especially their venture into other dimensions.

Thoughts After Watching: It had some problems, but on the whole, I really enjoyed it. It was fun seeing Benedict being American (and trying to catch when he slipped). The whole dimensions thing was awesome and slightly sickening. I really thought his ex-girlfriend would have a much bigger role, and then she didn't, so that was slightly disappointing.

Recommendation: A must see for Marvel fans. Or Benedict fans. It was a good movie and had lots of head spinning action. And don't forget to stick around for the two after credits scenes. It's worth it.



Star Trek Beyond

Original Thoughts: I couldn't wait. I'd see the first two movies and was looking forward to the third. The only damper on that was having Leonard Nimoy and Anton Yelchin both die before it could come out. Oh, the feels.

Thoughts After Watching: On the personal side, I thought this was great. On the plot side, a little less so. There was a giant plot whole at the end of the third act that only accumulated in problems from there. (Watch the HISHE to see what I mean.) But other than that, it was well done. The characters continue to fight alien bad guys and stick with each other through out.

Recommendation: Star Trek fans should definitely give this one a try. It's high stakes with lots of sci-fi action.



Arrival

Original Thoughts: The trailers were quite cryptic as to what the movie was about. That was intriguing, and one of the reasons I wanted to watch this. It's not the sort of movie I would generally go for.

Thoughts After Watching: Mind-bending. That's how I'd describe this movie. It's the classic, aliens arrive on Earth and we try to communicate, but with an unusual twist. I can't say more than that without spoiling it, but be warned if you watch this, it's a bit hard to understand.

Recommendation: If you like movies that make your brain hurt trying to understand it, then you'll enjoy this one. It also had some great discussions about linguistics, if you like that sort of stuff.



La La Land

Original Thoughts: It looked just like all those old musical I love. And it had Ryan Gosling in it. So I was quite excited to finally see the film everyone had been talking about.

Thoughts After Watching: It was amazing. Once I got past the fact that it actually takes place in the modern day, I loved it. Yes, the ending was different than anyone thought, but it was a good ending. The music was one of my favorite parts of the whole thing, as was the romance between the leads.

Recommendation: If you love old musicals, you'll love this. It's not child friendly, but it has some amazing scenes and shots in it.



Rogue One

Original Thoughts: It's a Star Wars movie. Of course I'm going to watch it. 'Nuff said.

Thoughts After Watching: It was really good. And really sad, because all my fears came true, but it tied in so beautifully I wanted to cry. In fact, I watched Episode IV right after it and it was awesome how many little references there was. Anyway, it also had a solid plot and great characters. K2SO is the sassiest droid you'll ever see.

Recommendation: Star Wars fans should totally watch this. Be warned, it's a pretty sad ending. But a great addition to the Star Wars cannon.



Sing

Original Thoughts: I saw the first trailer for this and was hooked. From there, I couldn't wait to watch this movie.

Thoughts After Watching: It was just as good as I expected. The characters really were the best part of this movie, as they each had their motivations and wants and needs. There was great music, a great cast, and a great plot. The world is similar to Zootopia, but not as well built, which would be my only problem with this.

Recommendation: Although it's animated, it's a good movie for anyone to watch. If you like musicals or just want a lighthearted film, give this one a try.

That basically covers all the movies I was really excited to see in 2016. A few I still haven't watched, like Ghostbusters and Hidden Figures, but this wraps up the majority of them.

Let's talk! Have you seen any of these movies? What did you think of them? What were your favorite films of 2016? Tell me in the comments.

July 13, 2017

Writing Relationships: Friends

Writing Relationships: Friends

Friends in books and movies aren't as bad as families, but they still have their problems. That's what we'll be talking about in this post. Welcome to part two of writing relationships, which is all about writing good friendships. If you missed the first part on family, you can read it here.

Fake Friends

In novels, I notice a lot of times that people claim to be friends, but then then back-stab each other or are only friends with people for their own gain. This isn't a friend, it's a frenemy.

Fake friends hurt one another. They tear each other down. They talk behind each other's backs and steal one another's boyfriends (or girlfriends if they're boys). When we fill our books with friendships like these, no wonder we see such problems in our society. Like the saying goes- "With friends like these, who needs enemies?"

False friends do have a place in fiction. Don't we all love a good betrayal by someone the hero trusted? (I'm looking at you, Hans.) Yeah, we hate the character, but it can be an excellent plot twist. Be careful not to use it just for the shock factor. False friends should be used with care.

Now for a few examples of fake friends. These examples will show you how you can properly use a false friend, which is often as a mirror for the protagonist.

Examples:


• Luke Castellan from The Lightning Thief. Luke is a great example of someone who let his bitterness twist him. He pretends to be a friend to the kids at Camp Half Blood to get what he wants, which is revenge on his godly father, Hermes.


• Hans from Frozen. I remember being in disbelief the first time I watched Frozen and learned that Hans, who was super awesome, was the bad guy. This is excellent use of the false friend. He has great motivation, plus it highlights Anna's flaw of naivety. 

Real Friends

True friends are people who are there for you when you need them most. They support you and love you. They're someone you can laugh and cry with, or tell your secrets to, because you know they would never tell. Those are the signs of a real friend.

Let's start filling our writing with more good, solid friendships. No matter if it's a best friend or just a someone you know well, we should show the world what true friends look like. Friends treat one another with respect and trust.

The world already has enough back-stabbing "friends" in it, we don't need to add more just because. A real friend can be a great asset in any sort of book, from realistic fiction to sci-fi. Give your hero someone he or she can rely on and trust.

Examples:


• The Kingdom Keepers from The Kingdom Keepers. Reason number one I love these books is because it's all about Disney. Reason number two is for the kids. At first, their group is a reluctant pairing, but as the books go along, they become great friends. They're always supporting each other, laughing together, and letting each other shine.


• Mia and Lily from The Princess Diaries. These two are the best of friends. They can tell each other anything. When they fight, they make up, and they're always there for each other (Lily has some of the best lines in the film when defending Mia). Both are weird and neither of them care. They are an amazing friend pair.

Deciding on Friends

When writing a novel, your protagonist will probably be friends with people. It's up to you to decided what sorts of people and why you chose them. Most of the time, you'll probably pick to fill your novel with good friends. Excellent choice.

But there are times as well you may wish to use a false friend. Be careful when choosing that and make sure to show them the right way. Maybe they were nice at first, but don't let readers love them even after they betray the hero. Show what the real consequences are of hurting someone. Hint: it's not we all become friends afterwords and everything goes back the way it was.

And don't forget to add different levels of friends. We all have best friends, good friends, and friends that we only see once in a while. Or those people that are above acquaintance but not quite a friend either. Try to have a variety of friends in your novel, if you can. If not, at least make sure your protagonist has one or more good friends.

A word on Cliques

YA novels are often full of cliques as well. If you're thinking of using one in your novel, think carefully about why. Is it to show how bad they are? Then go ahead and do so. But if it's because you think it's cool and trendy, maybe you should rethink.

Most of the time, cliques are groups of people who only care about being popular and like having the power to exclude others. Maybe there are good cliques out there, but I've never heard of one.

Instead, why not have big groups of friends that are open to making new friends. That's what it's like at my church. There's a large group of girls all around the same age, and we do our best to be friendly, helpful, and open to new people. Try adding something like that to your novel and see what happens.

Final Thoughts

I know not every novel can feature friendships. But if you take away one thing from this post, it's that we should strive to show healthy friendships in our writing. Whether your character is making new friends or hanging out with old ones, try to writing friendships that you would want to see.

Let's talk! What examples of bad friendships can you think of? What about good ones? What are your thoughts on the types of friendships we should portray? Tell me in the comments.

July 12, 2017

The Dual Character Inquisition Tag

The Dual Character Inquisition Tag

Today I'm participating in the Dual Character Inquisition Tag. Victoria from Wanderer's Pen tagged me in this, and I'm quite excited to do it.

It's a fairly simple tag. 1) Pick two characters. 2) Include a picture of each of them. 3) Answer the ten questions. 4) Tag three or more bloggers.

Today I'm picking Hana from The Girl with the Sword (one of my favorite characters that I've ever written) and Elle from Goggles, Corsets, and Cyborgs, mostly because I have drawings of them. I really need to do some more of my other characters, as a side note. Anyway, on to the tag.

Hana in her superhero outfit


Elle

1. Who inspired this character?

Hana: A person didn't inspire her, it was actually her story. She's from my first NaNoWriMo novel, and to come up with an idea, I pulled some ideas out of a hat. I ended up with a sword, ninjas, and a superhero and had a thought of "what if a girl is on a trip to Japan, and finds a sword that gives her superpowers?". Hana grew out of that.

Elle: Elle wasn't so much inspired by a person, more like an idea. The idea of a socialite young woman who wanted to be something that everyone says she can't. From there, the story evolved into a steampunk novel with a mystery, and Elle came with it.

2. What is their weapon of choice?

Hana: Her sword, Otachi. The sword is a Japanese katana made long ago as a weapon to bring justice. It's the source of her superpowers and she loves it.

Elle: Probably an invention she made herself. She's an inventor and loves making new gadgets.

3. Have they ever been physically violent with someone else? What instigated it?

Hana: She's a superhero, so yeah. In Japan, where she was trained, she fought some people called Ninjas that wanted to take the sword from her. Back in the States, she's fought bad guys, including the Arachnid. She only fights people in pursuit of right.

Elle: The only person she's been physically violent to is Whitlock, and that was started because he was trying to blow up half of England. Other than that, she'd prefer to solve her problems with brains, not brawn.

4. Are they more of a rule-follower or a rebel?

Hana: She's a rule-follower, unless need arises to do otherwise.

Elle: Elle is a rebel. That's the whole point of the novel. Society tells her to be one thing, but she wants to be something else.

5. What kind of child were they? Curious? Wild? Quiet? Devious?

Hana: Completely shy and quiet. She didn't like to talk much or hang out with other kids. She was the girl who was always sitting by herself because she prefers it that way.

Elle: She was probably a bit of a wild child. She didn't like to sit still and learn womanly arts like other girls. Elle would rather play outside or tinker with some spare parts.

6. Where would they go to relax and think?

Hana: A treehouse she and her friend built at a local park. It's hidden high in the branches of tree and has seats and everything. That's where she goes when she needs to think without being disturbed.

Elle: Probably her work shed out in the garden. It used to be a gardening shed until they built a new one. That's where she can be herself most freely.

7. Do they have a temper?

Hana: Only when highly provoked. Most of the time she's a more soft-spoken person.

Elle: I'd say probably. Things get on her nerves easily, especially when they aren't that important.

8. Would they be more likely to face their fears or run from them?

Hana: This one is tricky for her. Over the course of the novel, she has a major change in her perception of the world. Before she gets her superpowers, I'd definitely say she'd run from them, but afterwards, I think she'd be scared, but willing to face them.

Elle: She'd face them with her head held high and a defiant gleam in her eye. She doesn't want any fear to kick her butt, no matter what it is.

9. When they are upset, do they turn to other people or isolate themselves?

Hana: She would probably want to be alone for a while, and then turn to someone. Either her brother, her parents, or her best friend.

Elle: Elle isolates herself until someone pries her problems out of her. She also likes to write in her diary when she's upset.

10. Say 3 things about where your character lives (as broad or specific as you like).

Hana: She lives in a part of LA called Cerritos. Her school is called Breezewood Academy (a fictional school, by the way) and her dad is an eight grade math teacher there. She lives on a cul-de-sac.

Elle: She lives in a rich neighborhood just outside London. There are lots of machines, like personal air purifiers and robot butlers. Her friend Lydia owns a corset and hat shop in downtown London.

Those are the questions. As for tagging, I tag:

Melissa@Quill Pen Writer
Jeneca@Jeneca Writes
Catherine@The Rebelling Muse
Or anyone else who might want to join!

Let's talk! Do you have a favorite character you've written? What are your answers to some of these questions? Tell me in the comments.