Writing Admiration

While rewriting a portion of Crimson Queen, I came to a realization that the relationship between the main character and her deceased father wasn’t good enough. Sure, I had some flashback moments added before said point, but it was only at that moment when it really hit me. The relationship between the two is the reason that the main character won’t escape even though she’s on death row. She can’t abandon the people her father protected and yet, looking back at the previous chapters, I didn’t get that feeling between the two.

I might need another set of eyes on this but, for the most part, I think it is safe to say that their relationship needs work. My main character, Lucinda,  admires her father but I’m afraid I might have not shown enough. It’s one of those things that I just have to go back and add more information to but, at the same time,  I’m not sure if that will be enough.

Yesterday, I took to the web to try and find some tips about how to go about doing this but it seemed like I didn’t get anywhere. All I came across was sample letters of how to write a letter of admiration. However, it wasn’t as unfruitful as I thought it would be. One thing I notice about the letters was that they contained examples of deeds/actions.

That’s something I could take to my writing. It’ll need to be casual, has to flow well with what I want to write. Plus, the flashbacks are short so they need to be concise but informative. Of course, this is a draft so there is always room for improvement. Heck, I might receive a ray of inspiration and write a perfect flashback. I’m not counting on this but it might happen.

In the meantime, I’ll keep writing the story and move forward with my realization. At least, I notice this issue early on so I can keep that in mind while I write.

On a sidenote, the free editing services I got is turning out well. I’m waiting for Sarah to get back to me with the first 20 pages of my manuscript. She provides this service for all new, potential clients. After this, we’re going to move forward with my 8k words.

I’ll keep you guys posted. Until next time,

Kassandra

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D&D: Writing you own Campaign

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What’s Dungeons and Dragons have to do with writing a story? Everything.

To those who aren’t familiar with D&D, I’ll give you a quick overview. Dungeons and Dragons is a table-top, fantasy, role-playing game set in the Forgotten Realms. Those familiar with R.A. Salvatore‘s Drizzt Do’Urden might know a little something about the world. For those who don’t know Drizzt then take a look at the popular show Stranger Things. Mike, Dustin, Lucas, and Will played D&D in the pilot of the show and even in the last episode.

The major component about the game is storytelling and that’s where this post comes in. For starters, there is ‘a lot’ to know about playing D&D but I won’t go into too much detail. Instead, I’ll focus on how to build your own campaign for what’s called a ‘home-brew game.’ This term just means that you made a game set in the Forgotten Realms. It can also mean that you created your own world and are simply using the game mechanics of D&D like the dice rolling, the encounters, etc.

I should also mention that I went to Compicpalooza 2017 and was able to take down notes on many of the panels. The topic for this post was selected from my many notes so, in essence, it’ll be an overview of the advice and tips that I received.

  1. There’s no order in building your campaign and that holds true with writing.

You can start with your characters (in this case it can be your NPCs – the many roles you’ll take on as a DM (Dungeon Master – the one who runs the campaign)). If possible, it’s best to add as many NPCs beforehand. If needed, ‘someone’ will exist for your ‘adventures’ to come talk to and you won’t have to manifest them on the spot and remember them later.

Or your world. Or an object players (the ‘heroes’) have to find or destroy. That’s for you to decide.

Perhaps even your antagonist. This can be from anything you really want – a blood mage or a dragon.

However, for those building your own world, the terrain/ the environment is something to keep in mind. Is it mountainous? Plains? Forest? The Sea? The adventure will depend on what kind of area the players have to traverse. Plus, it would also make the encounters (the ‘enemy/beasts) plays will have to fight.

For the world building, you don’t have to know how to draw a map. There are pre-made maps and map generators available. Like donjon; RPG Tools. There are a lot of resources online to make it easier.

2. Basic Fundamentals of the World

The more details you know about your world the better. Just like writing anything, it is best to know almost everything you need to know about your world. That way, you won’t have to make things up on the spot and possibly forget about it later. I’m not saying it’s bad to make things up but I find that it disrupts the flow of the story. Plus, if you do have everything planned then it makes the world seem more real. Not only that but if you know the relationships between towns or tribes then you can use that as a source of conflict (if needed).

3. Managing your players

It’s not really a rule of thumb but your players are what makes the story. As the DM, you create the story and basically, the players help you write it. The story may go on a different path that you intended but it’s okay. Plans are subjected to change. It’s not like the story went out the window or anything. The DM is there to help guide the players through the story. There has to be some level of control but don’t force them to stay on that path only. Let them explore.

Whatever you don’t use then recycle it for another adventure. I do that in writing all the time. I can’t use something in one story but if I can use it in another story, then I will.

Like any story, there are going to character backstories. As a DM, you can use these to create a different arc or build it into the story. Just give your players something to care about. That’s what the core is for any story. Keep them invested.

Final thoughts:

Have fun. If you’re not having fun then why would your players be?Don’t get caught up in the details. They’re more like guidelines.

Half and Half -Part 1

I decided to try something different today. For the last seventeen days, I have been writing around 1,800 words (sometimes less) all in one sitting. This probably contributes to the reason of why I…

Source: Half and Half -Part 1

Advice and Inspiration

My plot has been going down the drain day by day and it has shown in my writing and in my blog posts. However, thanks to Akaluv, I started to give thought about my plot in the way of chapters. I te…

Source: Advice and Inspiration

Preparation for NaNoWriMo

I haven’t mentioned this before, or maybe you got the idea but, I have a lot of projects I work on so I’m always busy with something. This also means that I never lack any ideas for stories/novels which is why this year, I already have the story I’ll be working on in mind. A little background on this story is in order.

The story is titled Phantom Blade. I posted it on wattpad a few years ago but somehow, it just wasn’t coming out right and it started to drag. I called it quits before I started hating it. Over the years, however, I have reworked the world and the characters and reworked the plot. Sure I don’t have everything set in stone but I have an idea of what’s going to happen and how it is going to end (more on endings later).

This also means that I have most of the characters already set and so I don’t have to start from scratch. I think that’s one of the benefits of having so many projects. You’re always working on something and, when you finally start writing, there’s not a whole lot that you have to worry about. Just like this story, all I have to do is write. Editing comes later.

Sure I’ll keep planning before NaNoWriMo 2016 starts but for now, I’ve started outlining my novel. For me, this is sort of like writing a synopsis. I basically type of the plot, scenes, and/or details of what I want to write for the story. These aren’t always concrete but sometimes I do write out dialogue or character development moments. It all depends. My outline isn’t always complete. I don’t write out the entire story because a. there would be no creativity left and b. I don’t know what’s going to happen.

The one thing I make sure to do is to be flexible. I know I have an outline but I use it more like a guideline. I allow the story to change because, otherwise, I would feel like writing would become a chore. I like writing and I don’t like being forced to write (like college essays for example *cough*). Not to mention that having an outline helps me keep writing without hitting a wall so soon.

Has anyone else started preparing for NaNoWriMo 2016? What tips or advice would you share? Thanks for reading.