Saturday, March 18, 2017

Fight Your Fears

Some things are so good you wonder whether you should drop everything and run away to save yourself from the hurt it's bound to bring down the line. If you're not close to anyone, no one can hurt you right?

Well, dear reader, don't run away. I can't tell you why yet because I'm still figuring it out, but here. Listen to this cover of a song by The Chainsmokers & Coldplay. I stumbled on it by accident and felt safe all of a sudden. Isn't it amazing when music does that? So beautiful...

- Louisa

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Rethinking and Rebuilding

I am starting my first entry of 2017 with a soundtrack from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. This film somewhat sparked my old fire for achieving great things. I feel the road it's taken to need that spark was represented well with this soundtrack. It has three key tones, you'll hear, and they all happen to match the things I've taken away from 2016. I'm keeping them general to let you apply your own experiences. Here, have a listen:

  • 0:00 - The entrance into something new and wonderful while holding on to the greatness before it. Go on. Feel it. Cherish it. Relish dead Hedwig's theme (Sorry. Yes, I went there)
    • It's never too late to start anew. Days become night and the dawn of the next day. Remember the things that make you proud of yourself and carry it with you to tomorrow
  • 0:39 - A noticeable drop in tone takes us out of wonder and into a foreboding and dangerous road. Whether we're remembering a particular dangerous road we've crossed before or are looking at one in the distance that we'll have to face, the music does remind us that dangerous roads are ahead. Who knows? You may not be able to see them yet. Just know they're there
    • Like Rafiki (from The Lion King said), "Oh yes, the past can hurt, but you can either run from it, or learn from it." So learn from it. Be ready for the next thing that may hurt, but because you prepped yourself, it'll be something you can step over instead of let trip you and roll over the edge
  • 1:39 - Now let's not dwell on the ominous and foreboding. We've grown stronger now, haven't we? We've lost motivation and love and found them again, better than they were before. It's time to step back into the new and wonderful. There'll be plenty of time to face danger later
    • Cherish the friends and family you've made. You earned them and their love. They know who you are and will guide you when you're not. Hold them close. Keep in touch. Knowing what's behind and ahead, there's no reason you can't tackle tomorrow with a smile and a skip in your step

How was that? Did you like it? I figured since music plays such a huge role in my life, I might as well pull my mind's curtains back and show you what I see. If you didn't like it...well. I don't know what to tell you. I'm going to keep doing it ha! Besides, what better way to start this year than with the franchise responsible for instilling me with an appreciation for books and music? (Thank you, Harry Potter.)

If you haven't noticed or been around long enough to see, my blog's look has changed. It's dark and candle-themed instead of dark and love-themed (snicker). No matter what theme this blog has, I don't think I'll ever stray away from the dark. Darkness keep me on my toes and very close to the things that have the potential to break me. As strange as it sounds, I've learned it's important to welcome dark things. They present us with challenges that can make us fall or grow, and I don't plan on falling anymore.

So darkness? I can't say you don't scare me, but I do know I won't let you scare me for long. If you can, you should do the same, reader. If you can't, at least know that darkness is there and possible to overcome.

On another note, I'm sorting through the entries in this blog, that's why this is the only entry visible. Some entries I'll keep, some I'll toss. I wanted to "clear my head" for the new year and make sure that from here on out I focus on writing about the things I'm learning, not just recording my ramblings for you to read. That's why I started writing in here, isn't it? To help you?

That's that for 2017's first entry. With everything that's happened so far, I believe it's time to stop pondering and harness the magic of personal growth into something great. What do you think? Care to join me?

Much love as always,

Saturday, September 10, 2016

I Feel You, Lin. I Feel You.

What an inspiration. Lin-Manuel Miranda started working on Hamilton in 2008. Eight years later, his musical is nominated for 16 Tony Awards and wins 11 of them.

I've been working on my own big idea since 2011. It's a long and bumpy road but:

There's a million things I haven't done,
But just you wait, just you wait.

Much love,

Monday, July 25, 2016

Love: Dinner With Our Protagonists

QUICK NOTE: Writing about love in my last entry helped put me in such a great brainstorming mindset that I've decided to write a series of entries to keep momentum. Love is still a mystery to me, so I'll study and write about it until I finish my manuscript. With everything that's going on in the world...spreading a little love couldn't hurt, don't you think? :)

Nothing is better than spending quality time with the people we love. The more time we spend, the better the bond. The better the bond, the better the memories of that relationship. That said, I believe bonding with characters is no different.

When we plan, we get to know our characters with every chapter of the book. We learn about the things they say and how they move, what their backgrounds are and the moments that define them as people. Once we do that, writing the actual book should be a breeze! The better the bond, the better the memories of that relationship, right?

Right. But sometimes we don't take enough time to bond.

As of right now...eighty percent of my novel is a diffuse, jumbled mess because I don't know my protagonist well enough. I didn't take her out for dinner, figuratively and literally speaking. I didn't set a table for the both of us to sit at and talk like I did for my first protagonist before I started writing about him. Thankfully, the percentage of what doesn't make sense in book number three is quickly decreasing. It's just taken a lot of time and patience to get going.

It's been an interesting hurdle, this conscious effort to bond with my new protagonist. Getting her to open up and show me her burdens over chicken soup and bread rolls has been extremely difficult. But I certainly don't blame her! I know very well I wouldn't share my deepest, darkest secrets with someone just because they asked! But in order for me to be able to tell this protagonist's story well, I need her to open up. I need to know why she's so guarded. I need to know how she looks so calm on the outside but have so much emotional turmoil on the inside. I need to know why she refuses to acknowledge characters she could fall in love with and whose impact as a person is particularly important in making this novel a romance.

Here, let me show you just how my two protagonists are proving to be near polar opposites of each other. They're their own beasts to deal with, I'm telling you. KEY: I'll refer to my main series' protagonist as Peter, and my current WIP's protagonist as Wendy. (Yes, I've been reading Peter Pan haha.)

Now. Peter loves everybody. He likes to play and see everyone get along. He's boyish, imaginative, but also very responsible. It was so healthy for me to write about him (almost two years ago!) because I tend to act like the character I'm thinking about most. I loved everybody when I was writing about Peter. It was great! But Wendy here? No. Wendy doesn't love anybody. Or at the very least, she doesn't show that she does. She's stubborn, blunt, and unforgiving of her own shortcomings. Writing about her is less healthy because I'm more impatient, angry, and afraid. It's very strange...but engaging.

I like having dinner with my protagonists and learning about the kinds of people they are. I don't always know where they come from in my mind, but I adore bonding with them. I really do. You should give it a shot if you've been stuck with your novel or short story. It might be helpful!

For the remainder of this entry, I'd like to share general things I've been learning about love. It's helping me develop the relationships between my characters (specifically lovers), so if you're circling around the topic with no clue what you're looking at, maybe this can make a few things click! :)

  1. Love can be unexpected and appear when we least expect it.
  2. It is not something we can run away from forever.
  3. Love is scary. But scary things are often things worth doing the most.
  4. It makes us realize things we never thought we knew we were missing in our lives.
  5. Love makes us dizzy.
  6. It makes love songs finally make sense.
  7. Love is accepting the other person for how they act on their best and worst days.
  8. It can't be forced.
  9. Love is realizing no matter how much we treasure someone, if it is for the best, we should be willing to let them go.
I hate that last one, but it really does feel true. I just hope I never have to face that kind of choice.

- Louisa

I imagine love will feel something like this if it ever happens.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Truthwitch and Sibling Manuscript Talks

Well, well, well. What do we have here? I was searching for a better comp title in the bookstore for my current manuscript when I stumbled on this beauty. No, it didn't appear on my desk by magic, but the synopsis intrigued me while I was surfing Goodreads (Surfing. Do people still use that term anymore? Surfing the web. Okay, I suppose I was browsing). Anyway, I went to the bookstore with my mom and picked up said beauty.

Taken by yours truly.
I mean, just look at it. It's amazing. I spent a good few minutes looking at the book on its shelf from various angles in the store. It just looks so awesome! My former artist self is incredibly happy about this discovery. I'm actually subscribed to Susan Dennard's blog, so the release wasn't exactly a surprise, but since I started rereading Harry Potter again, I swore off reading anything else until I finished. There are three titles in my currently-reading list on Goodreads as it is (See that widget on the right side of this blog? Yas). But Truthwitch was calling me, okay? So I picked up and answered. I imagine I'll be diving into this book as soon as I reach my word count goal this week. As much as I'd love to immerse myself into new worlds, I have to fix the one I'm building first to be able to relax. It's coming along so great!

Speaking of which, let me tell you about some magic that took place recently. (Drumroll) I found a connection with my new characters! An emotional one, I mean. Before, I didn't care about them...and now I do. I wouldn't be surprised if I start geeking out about their story in these entries as much as I did for my first book. To cut explanations short, I can feel this novel's heart now. I can feel it!

I recently received some feedback on my query letter thanks to my fellow writers in our inspiration and accountability chat group. Boy, what a huge help they've been through this potentially lonely process of novel-writing. We're all chasing the same dream, but are leading immensely different lives. It's such a great experience being exposed to so many other writers. Goodness knows I'll be rooting for them until (and after) we can call ourselves authors! :)

As for the second topic in this entry's title, something really cool happened at the dinner table. I was going through some new elements in my novel with my brother, and somehow we got on the topic of my series. Since my brother and sister have read Book 1, we were able to talk about the characters. Pretty soon, they started guessing ways I might have the next three books play out. The moment they got hyped up at the possibility of characters ending up in X situations fighting for Y sides, I couldn't help but feel elated. Maybe one day ten thousand people will have read my books and enjoy them is really...a moment to live for. How great would that be?

I should take this time to keep cheering on published authors until then, huh?

Congratulations, Susan! You deserve everything you have going for you for all the hard work you've put into your writing and providing (totally selfless) advice for writers. I wish you the very best of luck with Truthwitch's release! How awesome is that? I hear the series has four books ;)

Well. That's all for today, reader. Time to burn the midnight oil on this novel.

- Louisa

Also, because musical epiphanies are...the best things to ever happen in my life as an insane, creative person, I figured I should share the first minute of this piece that helped me find the heart of my current manuscript, a YA dark fantasy romance.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Here We Go, 2016!

Funny. My last entry talks about how I forgot to consider something in my writing...when I did consider it in the entry preceding it and in the entry before that. Haha...why?

Anyway, hello, reader of 2016! Boy, does it feel amazing to start over. I'm glad to say that I started the year with my loved ones and the open document of my third manuscript. Honest. It was 12:02, I hugged my sleepy family, and then sat down to work on my new book. If you've been following my past posts, you'll see that, yes, I had to say goodbye to my epistolary novel. Simply put, it wasn't catching the interest of agents I wanted to be represented by.

But you know what? This second manuscript was great practice to come up with something better. I'm three chapters into my new novel and I'm very proud of how it's coming along. I still have to find that special, emotional spark to make it feel as impactful as the books in my series, but I know I'll find it soon enough. Surprisingly, it falls under a genre I never thought I'd want to write.

Yes. That genre is none other than romance.

Of course, I'm more in love with otherworldly, magical elements, so I decided to make it a dark fantasy romance novel. It's. So. Exciting! Starting something new and completely unplanned! Coincidentally, I found some real life inspiration to use as a sort of guide to help me write from my beloved female protagonist's point of view. Emotion is important in writing, reader. After all, if you don't feel your own characters' emotions, how are you going to write about it and convince the reader to feel the same?

I'll come right out and say that romance is tricky business, especially because I'm very comfortable with being solo. That's why it's funny to me that out of all the times for me to develop a crush, it's now. Maybe I should take that as a sign that this third novel's the charm into getting my foot through the publishing door?

All that's really left to report is that I'm reconnecting with old friends that truly make my heart happy. (There's amazing comfort in being able to let go of people that bring us down.) I also passed my test to apply for a substitute teaching permit, so I'm starting my "training" as my old teacher's aid as soon as the semester starts. I may be subbing, but I still want to be able to do more than pop movies in the TV for the kids to watch. I want to TEACH through my books, too, for goodness sake!

You know, I'm not entirely sure what else to write for this entry. Here. Have a little read that inspired this post: If You're a Writer, Here's Why You Can't Distrust Your Emotions.

Happy first week of the year!

- Louisa

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

"The Maker" by Zealous Creative

I unfortunately don't have time to write today, so here's a lovely stop-motion animation for you to view! I really am a sucker for work like this. Let me know what you think! (I didn't make it.)

- Louisa