This post is about one of the villains in my fantasy novel The Windcaster, which is free to read on Wattpad. As with all “Meet My Character” blog posts, this contains **SPOILERS**.
During my previous browses of Creepypasta for horror short stories, I came across a few stories told in first person where their descent into madness or revelation of something more sinister is subtle and the idea of a brainwashed religious extremist came into my mind.
I had planned for the story to be a one-sided conversation from the religious leader so the reader can also become the brainwashed, but it wasn’t long enough and rambled. I wanted to capture the essence of ideas being drilled in, but it became repetitive.
Jess suggested I involve actions and gestures that hint at the darker tone of the leader, as well as showing time had passed between sessions as the main character falls deeper down the rabbit hole.
I’m pleased with the result, but, boy, it was difficult to write.
In my previous post, I talked about how I started the plotting process for Rise of the Vengeful Dragon. After answering the major questions heading each parts of the story, all that’s left is to assemble the parts, spice them up (my annotations after the assembly are in bold), and I can start writing.
This is the second of Monica’s books I’ve read so far, with the first being “A Witchling’s Rites” (first draft and continuing on Wattpad) and I loved it from start to finish. It follows the tale of young Leanna Weston, a girl with heart problems that rendered her disabled – physically and emotionally, the latter as a result of her family’s over-protectiveness – seeking an escape when she is forced into an arranged marriage. She’s heard the wonders of Finvarra’s circus from her mother when she was alive, and coincidentally that circus was coming to town, and was to be Leanna’s salvation.
This story — it left me reeling and breathless. I don’t cry over books (unless it involves dogs, generally — “Marley and Me” remains the only one so far) but finishing this book left me with an ache in the chest that’s both exhilaration and devastation I only ever see in a truly wonderful book.
Contains some spoilers.
On the 26th November, I completed 50,000 words of NaNoWriMo. I finished it! With much encouragement, tears, sleepless nights, and dogged determination, I pushed my word count bar past its finishing point.
Things I’ve come across (and maybe learned) in the past month:
- To avoid sitting in front of the desk and your mind blanking, always be thinking of the next scene when on the go. Whether it’s showering, cooking, driving (if safety is achieved!), on the toilet, etc., always think about what’s happening next. That way, you hit the ground running when you sit down to write.
- Because of the above, there is always time to write no matter how crazy your schedule. Whether it’s during a work break, toilet break, commuting (if you’re not driving), if during hands-occupied periods you’re thinking of what happens next, when you do have hands you can start writing right away.
- The NaNoWriMo Facebook group is very friendly and helpful. The people there are always chirpy and encouraging and they come from all sorts of backgrounds, so there are lots of ideas to bounce off and funny stories.
- Real life camaraderie is great fun. I found out through pure coincidence that one of my work colleagues also write and is doing NaNoWriMo (looking at you, Jenny) and it’s great fun when over lunch or driving home with her we can chat about writing and NaNoing.
The last (and first) time I did NaNoWriMo, I was a medical student and spent much of my clinic sessions (which involve me sitting inconspicuously in the corner trying not to fall asleep) writing in my notebook. I had time. My work days were mostly 9-5 or 8-6, no nights, no weekends.
This time, I did two sets of 7 shifts in a row, which were both 3-4 day shifts flipping immediately into 3-4 night shifts (totalling 80-ish hours each), and some long days interspersed with office hours in-between. Quite a few of the days I left work late as people became unwell. It was really hard. Granted, I have no children or pets so I didn’t need to look after anyone but myself out of work hours and I didn’t have long commutes from work. I didn’t need to do much tidying or cleaning. It could have been harder.
Still chuffed about my progress. Rock on NaNo2017!
The second prompt in Nyhterides’s ‘The Art of Madness’ competition revolved the main character finding a strange CD-Rom, the voice of which tells him she represents all his sins he was afraid to commit, and then him waking up in a strange place.
This piece took me about three days of puzzling before I realised what I wanted to write about. There is nothing particularly twisted or scary about finding a CDR or waking up in the middle of nowhere, but there’s always something scary about people. Like my previous entry, I drew on a few of the stories I’ve read in the past year and mashed in something of my own.
Halloween is looming, and what better way to celebrate than to run a competition? Gather round the fireplace, bring those marshmallows, and think of the happiest memories you have as a child…
That’s right. I want you to think of your favourite things ever – and ruin it. The much-loved chatter topics of childhood – annihilated. The dreams and hopes – crushed.