Beautiful People #27 | August Edition

Hello, all you lovely people! Guess what time it is.

It’s time for Beautiful People again! *cheers* I am once more participating in the link-up hosted by Cait at Paperfury and Sky at Further Up and Further In. Hopefully it will help me break out of the writer’s block I’ve been having this month… writer’s block combined with “do-I-really-have-time-to-write-this-story-and-is-it-even-worth-my-time” block. YES, THAT IS A THING. (That I just made up. Shhh.)

I will be doing this with one of my favorite characters (shhh don’t tell my other children) Katie Aline. She’s one of the main characters in my current novel and you can read more about her here. Here’s a brief bio:

Katie Aline is fourteen years old and goes to the local high school that I haven’t named yet. She’s smallish for her age and has long, golden-brown hair, brown eyes, and a prosthetic leg. Even though she’s very extroverted and loves people, she’s somewhat shunned by her classmates because of her leg and her standoffishness. She has a secret that I can’t tell you and lives with her foster parents Jon and Chryse.

Let’s jump into the questions!

introducing my new blog theme!

Hello, everyone! I shan’t be doing a regular post today because #reasons… but don’t worry, I’ll be back next week. (: This week has been a little bit crazy, what with school starting and everything…

But, I do have something for you! My new, glorious, done-over blog!

I am quite honestly very pleased with the way it turned out. See the sidebar? And the header? And all my updated pages? And my pretty featured images?

I am probably way too excited about this…

So, I did update my pages, so you can go read those instead of the blog post I would have written. Or you could go read an improving book. Your call.

Have a lovely Saturday.

 

love,

Zane

 

P.S. I was thinking of changing the theme every season, with most of it remaining the same but adding different clip art to reflect autumn or spring or winter. What do you think?

P.P.S. And no, I couldn’t resist saying OF DOOM in the graphic. You’re welcome.

Horrendous stories I wrote as a child + what I learned from them

 

Hello lovely people! Today I’m doing a tag created by Abbiee. I saw it on her blog around a month ago and knew I had to do it. And then I was tagged by Amanda at SKG Fun (an amazing blog),  so here I am. Thanks, Amanda!

Now, before I begin, let’s note that I didn’t finish every one of these stories, because I was a scatterbrained young writer who abandoned things she got bored with in favor of new, shiny, glorious ideas.

HAHAHA WHO AM I KIDDING. I still am that scatterbrained young writer.

I also don’t actually have real titles for most of these. The files were usually just named after the main characters. (Who had… really weird names. I kind of had a thing for them.)

All of them are fantasy, because I didn’t write anything but fantasy with the occasional splash of historical fiction for three or four years. No joke. Only recently I’ve started branching out into different genres.

One last note: I have so many files on my computer with these abandoned stories (I counted once a long time ago and the story-count was over 80) and they are all horrendous. Some more so than others. BUT SADLY there is only so much room in a blog post and nobody wants to listen to me ramble all the live-long day.

So, here are (just a few of) my cringey, dreadful stories that I wrote forever-and-ever ago. Hoorah.

Hope you enjoy.

I told you I had a thing for weird names.

So, I wrote this three or four years ago when I was obsessed with fairy tales. Like seriously obsessed. I read through most of all the different “colored” fairy books – The Red Fairy Book, Blue, Violet, etc. And I decided I wanted to write my own fairy tale, which is how this oddity came into existence.

It’s one of the few I actually finished, and it’s… remarkably short. 268 words long. I can hardly even write a scene that short now.

  • So there’s this girl named Raziela (shocking, I know), and she lives in a cottage. With her dog, Jock, that her fairy godmother gave her when she was a baby.
  • I don’t know how old she is exactly but I’m pretty sure she’s around ten.
  • Apparently there are no such things as parents.
  • And she’s walking in the woods –
  • and she runs into her godmother. Who just happens to be a –
  • YOU GUESSED IT. Fairy. Obviously! This is a fairy tale!
  • clichés everywhere help
  • Her fairy godmother (whose name is… Adenine. I WARNED YOU.) gives her a piece of paper and I’m not even going to tell you what she tells Razzy to do with it because it’s weird and would take too long to say.
  • So Razzy does the thing with the paper and pours it over her dog’s head and he turns into a boy. And then her godmother Addy appears and guess what? The boy is her long lost twin brother!
  • Yaaaay.
  • His name is… wait for it.
  • RAZIEL.
  • HA.
  • They hug and live happily ever after the end…
  • Except when their house got attacked by ogres.
  • THAT IS LITERALLY, WORD-FOR-WORD WHAT I WROTE.
  • Somebody help.

I’m not sure but I think I might have showed this to my family. Proudly, I’m sure. NOOOOO.

Don’t name your protagonist and her long-lost brother Raziela and Raziel. Just no.

Fairy godmothers that fix everything are cliché. DON’T USE THEM.

The absolute best way to end your story is by having ogres attack the protagonists’ home. (Kidding… kidding.)

 

I’m not even going to put the last part of the title because it’s just too embarrassing and why did I do that anyway.

Another of my pitiful fairy tale attempts. I honestly can’t remember if this one came before or after Razzy.

I wrote one version of this first, and it was absolutely dreadful. And then a month or two later I decided I still really liked the story and rewrote it. It actually turned out pretty funny.

FIRST VERSION

  • Elwyn is a goose girl who’s engaged to her sweetheart Harlan (who’s a shepherd). (I kind of had a thing for goose girls. Don’t ask why. I know nothing about geese.)
  • There are no paragraph breaks, just breaks for every scene.
  • A random prince of randomness (his name is Wilmet) happens to drive by her and stops because she’s so beautiful. (YAY CLICHÉ!) Then he asks her to marry him. (YAY INSTALOVE!)
  • She says no because she’s betrothed.
  • I used the word betrothed and lover a lot.
  • #help
  • Wilmet obviously kidnaps her and carries her off to his dungeon because she won’t marry him and asks her every single day to please marry him and she says no every time because she still loves Harlan.
  • Ellie gets romantically pale because she isn’t getting enough food and is wasting away.
  • Harlan brings her a letter, slips it through the window, and runs away.
  • It’s from her grandmother (who is a fairy! Surprise!)
  • I’m just kind of going to skim over this part because it’s more cringey than the rest, but the gist of it is that a dwarf named Kael comes out of nowhere, teleports her to her long-lost parent’s kingdom, and reveals to her that her parents are king and queen of a random country of randomness that was taken over by the Evil Uncle™. Apparently just today the Royal Parents defeated the Evil Uncle and therefore the Royal Grandmother sent for Elwyn.
  • Huzzah.
  • Elwyn is reunited with her parents. Waterworks ensue.
  • She marries Harlan and they have eleven children. YAY. HAPPY ENDING.

Elwyn basically did nothing the entire story.

Then I rewrote it so that it was sliiiightly more interesting and actually a little funny.

Some of the additions included:

  • GLORIOUS PARAGRAPH BREAKS
  • a sarcastic Elwyn.
  • also a slightly snarky Kael
  • not as many uses of the words betrothed and lover wooo
  • a mean goose named Hilda
  • a Queen who faints at everything
  • Elwyn’s wedding preparations being a disaster
  • lots of scenes ending with “Mother fainted” or “at least Mother didn’t faint.”
  • Elwyn getting her geese as a wedding present
  • mother fainted. the end

 

Don’t do the instalove thing. Please. Or the she’s-so-beautiful-everyone-falls-in-love-with-her thing. Blech.

Let your protagonist actually do something, and not just be transported around by magical elves and dwarfs and godmothers.

Don’t try to write romance at age eleven.

Well, it had a few names, but no real name. It was a really strange fantasy story that I’m not even sure where I was going with it because I ended it at a little over 6,000 words. It featured a widely varied cast of characters and focused on three main characters.

Some bits and bobs about the horror:

  • A farm boy (Colin) and his mother (Ilka) lose their home.
  • An orphan boy named Trouble and his best friend, a girl called Spark (yeah, she had flaming red hair and an impish personality. ohhh the clichés) live in an orphanage together.
  • A whole hierarchy in the orphanage. It actually was kind of awesome. Diplomatic missions and rival schools and stuff. Yeah.
  • A bunch of really bad characters descriptions
  • And the accents ohhhhh the accents
  • someone send help please
  • A princess named Cypress whose father wishes she was a boy. And guess what. She thinks it would be a good idea to disguise herself as a boy and run away. Obviously she has a perfectly trim boy-like figure. (Yeah THAT’S really realistic)
  • That was such a bad idea.
  • Just no.
  • Colin makes friends with Trouble, whose mother brought him to take refuge in the orphanage.
  • Then Trouble’s mother comes back and reveals that he’s a sort of mutant (I AM NOT EVEN GOING INTO THIS UGH.). Help.
  • And obviously they know it’s her because they look into her eyes
  • Spark and Colin are in the same room as Trouble so they insist on going wherever his mother is taking him
  • because they’re such good friends wooo
  • like Colin has known them for one day
  • and they go off into the woods to this weird mutant camp
  • why are they even going with this woman
  • #strangerdanger
  • and all of the sudden Trouble’s this awesome tracker and stuff
  • because it’s in his blood apparently
  • Cypress (remember her?) is going after the mutant people because she wants to make her daddy proud
  • and then it ends with Spark wanting lunch. No joke.
  • I obviously didn’t finish this one.

Please don’t write accents that you don’t know a thing about.

And don’t send your characters off with strange people for no good reason.

I really like writing orphan characters.

So! Hope you enjoyed that. I didn’t get to do half of all the ones I wanted to do, because the post was getting long. I might make a part two, if y’all would be interested in reading it! : ) Hope you have a wonderful week!

Andora’s Folly Blog Tour! // Q+A vlog

 

I am thrilled to be participating in Abigayle Claire’s blog tour for her latest release, Andora’s Folly! I had the pleasure of beta reading for her, which was an amazing experience.

I was able to ask Abigayle a few questions, which she answered in a vlog that you can view below. But first, a few details about the book!

SYNOPSIS

A Pandora’s Box retelling

Andora is a beautiful young woman with insatiable curiosity. Raised in splendor, she is spoiled by her privileged life. When a love letter is slid under her door, her life takes a drastically unromantic turn. Nothing makes sense—her arranged marriage, the gifts her parents bestow on her wedding day, or her new husband’s temperament.

As Andora begins to unravel the mysteries around her, she ignites a chain of events that have the power to sabotage her entire village forever. Only her new-found wisdom as a desperate peasant’s wife can save her from her folly.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Abigayle has been a writer ever since her mother taught her how to hold a pencil. However, she devoted more time to reading words with her green eyes than writing them with her left hand. Inspired by a crazy dream at the age of seventeen, she set off on a journey to self-publish her first novel, Martin Hospitality. Since then, Abigayle has devoted herself to sharing what she has learned through the mediums of freelance editing, and her blog theleft-handedytpist.blogspot.com … when period drama films are not calling more loudly. None of her successes would be possible without the support of her Savior, large family, and online community.

Sound interesting? Click here for the Amazon link so you can check it out! (It’s less than three dollars for Kindle, guys. :D) Also, here is the Goodreads link if Goodreads is your thing.

And here is the lovely vlog! I almost squealed when I saw it. I’ve chatted with Abigayle in various ways, but it’s fun to see her talk – it puts a voice behind the profile picture. 🙂

That was my surprise! So, what do you think? Are you interested in Andora’s Folly? Did you like the vlog? (Also, sorry for the wonky featured image. I couldn’t fix it. :P)

I won camp nano: one last update + things to come

As you all can probably tell from the title, I WON CAMP NANOWRIMO!!!!! *screams*

We are the champions, my friends…

I won’t be doing a day-by-day update because 1), I don’t feel like it, and 2), I don’t feel like it. So I’ll just give you my lovely stats…

I managed to stay on track and meet my goal almost every day, finishing with a total of 16,057. 57 words more than my goal, yay! ; )

Sadly, I’m… not… done. Because of my extreme ramblingness (yes, I just made that word up), I didn’t exactly finish.

But I’m close! I’m so, so close to being done with my (positively dreadful) first draft. Just a few more scenes and I’ll be…

Editing. That’s what I’ll be doing.

1) Most of the things in this draft don’t even make sense, 2) I didn’t do my research and therefore will have to do it during editing, 3) I was writing from one first person POV, but probably need at least one other POV in there, and 4) my main character doesn’t have a name yet.

Editing is going to be so. much. fun.

Yaaaay!

I really don’t dislike editing as much as it may seem. I actually rather enjoy chopping my precious baby into pieces.

And now for the promised

THINGS TO COME

I have lots of grand and glorious things planned for August. I might even have some snippets/short story things for you! Keep your eyes open on Saturday for something special.  (:

Also, I’ve been working like crazy on my new blog design! I finally found a theme I liked, and I’m working on designing headers/buttons/favicons/etc. It’s currently in live preview only, but I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s up!

This month, I’m planning on tying up the loose ends of my Snow White retelling and then shoving it (viciously) in a drawer and forgetting about it. I’ll probably work on editing in September (grrr HOW CAN IT BE AUGUST ALREADY!) and take the month of August off to work on some other things, including my dearly beloved Project Supernova! Eeeep I’m so excited to get back to that one.

So. Yeah. That’s my updatey sort of thing.

So, how was your July? Did you do Camp Nano? If so, how did it go for you? I’d love to hear from you!