Writing Playlists: Oath to Order or Order to Chaos

Hi guys! 

Writing Playlists are always a topic of conversation amongst writers. Should you have one? Should you listen to anything while working on your WIP? How do you know what will compliment your genre? 

I can’t answer those questions. If you’re a writer the only person who can is you. Only you will know your preference and everybody likes different things. 

Ever since I started writing thirteen years ago I’ve never been able to write without music playing. I’d listen to whatever was played on the radio whether it be a sad song or 8O’s pop. I have always found it hard to write in silence. This has its downsides because I find myself getting distracted by lyrics or the rhythm of the song. Luckily it only happens on the odd occasion. 

It’s only recently that I’ve put a writing playlist together. I’ll share it with you. 

Within Temptation- And We Run

Moby –                           After

Within Temptation-   Mother Earth

Enya –                               Wild Child 

Evanescence-                 Hello

Within Temptation-     Shot In The Dark

Enya-                          Return to Innocence

Enya-                           The Cults

Within Temptation-   Faster

Within Temptation-    Our Farewell

We Are The Fallen-       I Am Only One 

These are just some of what I like to listen to while writing. There’s more to add at a later date which is always fun to do. 

As Pandora’s Kiss is a Dystopian Fantasy I find myself being drawn to gothic/alternative metal to write to the most. Q

I hope you enjoyed reading my playlist. 

Until next week, 

Blaze

With thanks to Álvaro Serrano for the image via Unsplash.com 

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Hope: Ordinary or Extraordinary? 

Hi guys! 

Hope you’ve all had a great week! 

What makes a character extraordinary in your view? 

I’ll tell you a bit about my main character, Seori (or Rosie as an alternative. I haven’t decided on which is better). 

She is thirteen in my current draft, but thinking of aging her up to fourteen/fifteen. Having her younger makes it more middle grade fiction and I’d rather the book fall into YA. It’s just a hunch I have. She receives a letter from her biological mum and learns that she’s a Verboten. 

Now, anyone who is Verboten is denied the right to live by the Moirai, my story world’s answer to government. 

The Moirai have rules which restrict everybody to conform. Everybody’s identity is stripped. They are known only by number codes and each have uniforms to wear. Seori is a name that is found on the letter. 

There’s a reason why being a Verboten is known to be a one way ticket to death. 

Verbotens have powers that the Moirai can only dream of acquiring. 

Seori’s power is Psychometry. She can trace dead or missing people by reading jewellery. 

Most of my characters will evolve into Gods and Goddesses. 

Seori also learns that she provides others hope and optimism. But how she finds that out will remain a secret. 

Does providing people hope make her an extraordinary character? 

I think hope is an extraordinary thing. It’s the one thing that failed to escape Pandora’s Box, but sometimes hope can also be a catalyst for problems. 

It’s something I’ll spend some time considering. 

That’s all for this week, 

Until next time, 

Blaze

With thanks to Yevgeniy Gradov for the image via Unsplash.com.

What’s In A Name – Pseudonym or real?

Hi guys!

This week I’m going to talk about pseudonyms, otherwise known as pen names. They are often used when the author wishes to make a name for her/ himself in that pacific genre or when wanting to keep their identity for the short run.

There is still a debate on whether pen names are needed to write a book. Many of times I’ve heard the question on social media. Do I need a pen name? Would it be better? I always answer with the same response. Do what feels right for the book, and for you. 

Not many authors use their real names. J K Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, wanted to use just her first name,  Joanne and her surname but changed it to her initials due to the agent’s fear of boys not wanting to read a female author. There’s not much of a difference. However, she is also known as Robert Galbraith, a pseudonym she uses for writing crime. In an interview I can remember her saying that she wanted to differentiate herself from being the author of a children’s book.

That’s common, too.

I use a pen name to write because I think my name is too boring to be associated with a dystopian young adult fantasy series. My real name is Katie Harrison. My pen name is Blaze Mckenna. Now, which one of those sounds more appealing? You’re going to say, Blaze aren’t you? I know you are. :p.

Pen names can be quite fun.

Should you have a pen name for writing your book? Don’t ask me. The answer lies with you.

Have a good week!

Blaze

The Light Bulb Moment

Hi,

Ideas are funny things. They can give you one half of your story, but leave a huge gap in your logic as to why it should be that way in particular.

My relationship with my ideas is as distant as it gets. They come like fluttering butterflies and then leave instantly leaving me to think. Why enter my brain with a jigsaw piece which doesn’t fit anywhere?

This has been me for eight years now. Getting ideas and trying to figure out where they should go or why they are when in my brain to start with.

I’d been having trouble placing the setting of my story world. There was no clear setting as I was using both past and present in the first half of the story, which some had mentioned had confused them.

It made me think. Which one do I want to use most? Which one am I more tailored to portraying to the best of my ability? 

The answer was neither.

I’ve come up with a world which is neither past, present or futuristic. It sounds confusing. You need a distinct setting so that the reader can identify that from the get go. To do otherwise is just insane!

I’d thought that, too.

But what if there was a world behind Chaos? What if everything existed in its own form by the Gods who decided who best to look after it?

The meaning of Chaos is ‘a disorderly mess.’ Meaning, it’s not meant to make sense, it’s meant to be confusing.

It might be a mad idea to assume such a thing. It might not even be logical but to me, it’s like the puzzle piece I was given all those years ago is finally in its place.

It goes to show that ideas, although they don’t always come with explanations, can guide you. You don’t know why it is but that’s what makes you write. To discover the meaning behind it.

Next time a weird idea hits you. Don’t hesitate. Just write.

Have a great week!

The Legend of Zelda: The Hidden Muse

Ah, The Legend of Zelda. I was eight when Ocarina of Time came out on the Nintendo 64 and immediately fell in love with it. What’s not to love? With the long, stunning walk over Hyrule Field and meeting Gorons for the very first time it’s quite the charmer.

I didn’t know it then, but the game has been the cause of my imagination going into overdrive. What with battling Stalfos, Dragons and Water Nymphs it was awe inspiring.

I’ll always remember hiding under the covers with the presence of Floor masters and the music, although creepy was strangely hypnotic to me.

Ocarina of Time is my second favourite. Twilight Princess is my first. I absolutely adored Midna and found her wit funny and amusing. Not like Navi who could point out the obvious and wouldn’t shut up until you heard her.  I think Midna is probably one of my favourite characters.

I spend usually a night or two playing games when I’m not writing. It keeps me inspired and makes me think outside the box. You’ll hear me talk about influences that gaming has on my writing mind in upcoming posts.

Who is your favourite character and why?

Have a good week!

Setting – A Story’s Best Friend.

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Today I am going to talk about setting and why it’s important when writing a novel.

Setting is crucial when writing a novel. Not only does it give your reader an idea of the weather it can also set the tone for the scene or novel.

Why do I say novel? Surely the weather can’t set the tone for all of it? No. Of course not. A setting doesn’t boil down to just weather.

What do I mean, then by setting?

Setting is about time. When is your story going to take place? Is it going to be set in medieval times? The Bronze Age perhaps? Or maybe in modern day Britain with a bit of a twist?

I have struggled with setting when writing Pandora’s Kiss as there are two world’s; one is set in a medieval setting, the second is more futuristic. I have, and still am struggling with getting every detail just right. Before I started writing fantasy I thought it was about watching your imagination come to life and while it is you still have to make things realistic. That’s what I’ve learnt.

How can setting determine what the novel is about?

I’m going to use Harry Potter as an example here. In the first chapter we see Mr. Dursley encounter several figures wearing robes and pointy hats which gives the impression of a different world. This becomes true when Vernon then tells Petunia of what he witnessed in a disgusted manner. The them and us theme tends to continue throughout. Just like setting, having a theme is as equally important but that’s for another day. 🙂

while using the weather can create a sense a fear or excitement in a chapter it’s not vital to use it for every one. The weather can be important but just like we don’t focus on it in everyday living neither should we pay it attention in every paragraph.

Blaze

A Sorcerer’s Secret

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Here’s another short story inspired by Rory’s Story Cubes. Have a go at creating your own. :).

There was once a woman who lived in a tower with a man who kept her captive in a small room underneath the floorboards. She was fed bread and water at several hours of the day and not much else.
     One morning when she awoke she found a postcard addressed to her claiming that she was a lost Princess belonging to a world called Hysteria and that worldwide search was being conducted for her safe return. Nothing ever came for her in all of her twenty five years because nobody knew she existed. She found it very strange and blood curdling.
       She looked all over for a signature to see who had written it but she could find nothing but a handprint. She placed her own hand onto it but nothing happened.
       “Such a silly thing to do.” She scolded herself. “As if anything would have come of it.”
         A flash of white light eliminates from the postcard and soon an old man emerged. He is holding a walking stick and a robe in the other.
         “You are Princess of Hysteria. The beast of Aerion has you in his grasp. It is up to me, the great and wise Robius to teach you his weaknesses.”
        Robius taught her the element of darkness and how to draw down the moon. He taught her the element of fire and how to use it to her best advantage. He taught her the properties of time and how to move through, back and halt time. “You are ready, Princess Hortencia. May everything I taught you be ever in your favour.”.
    As Robius left through the portal of th’s postcard, Hortencia witnessed her first shooting star but not knowing to make a wish she just admired its beauty.
   She then heard the key turn in the lock and she geared herself up for the fight which would determine her life.