New DIY MFA Post on Revenge as a Literary Theme (Plus, Looking for Your Help with This Year’s Blogoversary)

OK, confession time: I‚Äôve been looking forward to covering this theme for a while. ūüėČ And while revenge is typically considered a literary masterplot, such stories can highlight intriguing insights into what happens when someone seeks vengeance for a perceived wrong. So, with the help of a classic revenge novel (Emily Bronte‚Äôs Wuthering Heights) and a recent spin on superheroes (V.E. Schwab‚Äôs Vicious), I explored the theme in my latest post at DIY MFA. Which storytelling elements do these stories use to shed light on this dark, complex theme? You‚Äôll have to read on to find out!

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Who Were the First Five Authors You Read in Your Favorite Genre?

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Looking back on the books and authors that introduced us¬†to our¬†favorite literary genres can be a fun trip down memory lane. That nostalgia can¬†bear even more meaning for writers. Sure,¬†those authors built the foundation for our¬†reading tastes. But if we¬†consider our “relationship” with their work closely, we can also¬†discover how their stories or writing have influenced ours.

Today, let’s discuss¬†the first five authors we read in our favorite literary genre, or the genre we prefer to write in. I’ll go first with¬†my first¬†five fantasy authors (since fantasy is more than just my great literary love), as well as one takeaway from each that has impacted my writing. Then, you¬†can respond by either commenting on this post or writing about it at your¬†own blogs. This isn’t just for fantasy writers, by the way.¬†Book bloggers and avid readers of all genres are welcome to jump in – so, please do!

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Beautiful People, Vol. 18: What Does Nomaro (Future Novella Protagonist) Look Like?

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Beautiful People is a monthly blog meme hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury¬†and Sky @ Further Up and Further In. Every month they pose 10 questions for writers to answer about their writing and give readers the opportunity to learn more about the writer’s characters.

This month’s Beautiful People topic (describing a character’s appearance)¬†threw me off a little. I was hoping to cover another supporting character from my WIP¬†The Keeper’s Curse, but when Cait and Sky revealed their questions,¬†I couldn’t think of anyone right away.¬†But there’s always a certain protagonist from the novella I’m planning to write when TKC’s with beta-readers…

So, if you liked learning about Nomaro during last year’s Beautiful Books post or his first BP post back in March, you’ll be pleased with this month’s subject again. ūüėČ Ready?

(Visit the Beautiful People category page to catch up on past BP posts.)

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The Six-Question Character Challenge

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I’ve fallen behind on blog tags again, so¬†it’s time to play¬†catch-up (again). This tag is a brand new one from¬†Brianna daSilva at Story Port. (Thank you, Brianna!)

The¬†Six-Question Character Challenge¬†offers six questions that you have to answer for three of your WIP’s characters. You can choose whichever characters you want. The¬†point is to introduce these characters to your readers if you haven’t yet, and to see how they’re similar or different.

Before we get started, let’s start with… Continue reading

Beautiful People, Vol. 17: Drasten Kolsteg from “The Keeper’s Curse”

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Beautiful People is a monthly blog meme hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury¬†and Sky @ Further Up and Further In. Every month they pose 10 questions for writers to answer about their writing and give readers the opportunity to learn more about the writer’s characters.

Drasten’s name might sound familiar if you’ve been following my Beautiful People posts for a while. He was featured in¬†last year’s Siblings Edition¬†with his brother Aurek, and was mentioned quite a bit in¬†Aurek’s character interview this past March. But he hasn’t had a solo post yet;¬†and now that I’m focusing on the¬†supporting characters¬†for my WIP¬†The Keeper’s Curse for this series, this month seems like a good time to give him one.

Some quick facts about Drasten:¬†He’s¬†a 19-year-old Mountain Man, with dark brown eyes, long dirty blond hair, and a short beard. He also shares the title of Lord of the Mountain Folk’s Sumanhi Clan with Aurek, and has joined his brother in a mission to retrieve lost relics that once belonged to their people. (The mission serves as TKC’s external plot.) So, let’s see what kind of dirt we can dig up on Drasten.

(Visit the Beautiful People category page to catch up on past BP posts.)

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#WIPjoy June 2016: A Month of Celebrating Our WIPs (and a Collection of Tweets & Excerpts from Mine)

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have noticed my #WIPjoy Tweets during the month of June. This meme is a month-long challenge led by YA sci-fi and fantasy writer Bethany A. Jennings; and for every day of the month, writers answer a specific question and share bits about their current work-in-progress (WIP). Participants can also take the meme to Facebook, their blog, and other social media outlets they haunt use.

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The “index” image for #WIPjoy June 2016, courtesy of Bethany A. Jennings. Click to view a larger version.

This ¬†was my first time participating in #WIPjoy, and it was a lot of fun! It especially gave me a chance to learn what other writers are working on, get a taste of their writing style, and cheer them on as they work on their drafts. Now I’m even more excited to read some of those stories when they’re published someday!

And what I did I share for #WIPjoy?¬†The Keeper’s Curse, of course! (It IS my only WIP at the moment. *lol*) So, I thought I’d share a collection of my #WIPjoy Tweets here with you. This post doesn’t¬†contain¬†all of my Tweets from the challenge – but it does feature some of my favorite questions /¬†answers, and several of the excerpts I shared. Feel free to share any feedback in your comments, or “like” or “retweet” any of the linked Tweets. ūüėČ Enjoy!

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Beautiful People, Vol. 16: Uncle Lusan from “The Keeper’s Curse”

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Beautiful People is a monthly blog meme hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury¬†and Sky @ Further Up and Further In. Every month they pose 10 questions for writers to answer about their writing and give readers the opportunity to learn more about the writer’s characters.

Lately I’ve been expanding my character profiles for some of the supporting characters in my WIP,¬†The Keeper’s Curse. One of those profiles is for Uncle Lusan, a minor character in TKC and the uncle of my protagonist Eva¬†(and the husband of last month’s BP focus Aunt Maji).¬†For some reason, I never felt like I knew him as well as I should, so I was hoping this month’s questions would help. (And also because June is the month for Father’s Day, and Lusan’s a father figure to Eva. *wink*¬†) Luckily, this month’s questionnaire was perfect for him – although it’s the Childhood Edition, so all of¬†the¬†questions are geared toward his childhood.¬†(*lol*)

Regardless, here are¬†some¬†quick facts about Uncle Lusan: He’s¬†a 45-year-old¬†winged Feiri, with pale blue¬†eyes and long, black hair with blonde streaks that are going gray. But, again, this post will focus on Lusan when he was a boy. Ready?

(Visit the Beautiful People category page to catch up on past BP posts.)

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Which Zodiac Sign Fits Your Character Best? (Plus, A New Worksheet!)

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Last year, a Twitter pal asked me if using the¬†personality traits for the zodiac signs was an effective way of developing characters. I didn’t say “no” outright; each¬†writer has a unique¬†method¬†of creating characters that¬†works for them. The only advice I gave her was to ensure that, whatever method she used, her characters were well-rounded and realistic.

Yet¬†her question reminded me of something very important: I had never figured out¬†my characters’ birthdays. (*blushes*) The only reasons why are that I had been so focused on other aspects of their personality, backstory, etc., and that I didn’t¬†plan on having¬†birthdays¬†coincide with events in my WIP. But it¬†got me thinking:

“Which zodiac signs fit my WIP’s characters best? Do their personalities fit any of the signs at all? And if they do, could I determine my characters’ birthdays that way?”

The short answer, thanks to researching and experimenting over the past few¬†months? Yes. ¬†ūüôā ¬†But before I explain how we can work backwards to do this, it’s time to unveil…

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