• The Writer


    Hello! My name is Laura, welcome to my blog! I write weird stories, collect dragon plushies and stay up too late with my nose in a book. I am a wife, mom and child saved by grace. My hope is that you find encouragement here or at least a smile or too.
    God bless!

  • “Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book that it may be for the time to come forever and ever.”
    ~Isaiah 30:8.

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  • Quotes

    We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming 'sub-creator' and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic 'progress' leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    "The only just literary critic," he concluded, "is Christ, who admires more than does any man the gifts He Himself has bestowed."
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    “Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    "Writers who see by the light of their Christian faith will have, in these times, the sharpest eye for the grotesque, for the perverse, and for the unacceptable. To the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures."
    ~Flannery O'Connor

    You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.
    ~Arthur Polotnik

    Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.
    ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

    "There are forms of insanity that condemn people to hear voices against their will, but as writers we invite ourselves to hear voices without relinquishing our hold on reality or our right to control."
    ~Writing Fiction by Janet Burroway

    Christians have sometimes been suspicious of stories, because they really can influence you. If you read the Twilight novels once a month for a year, I think you'd be a different human afterward—and not a sparkly one.
    ~Nate Wilson

Of My Costume and A New Character

Remember this post? (Someone New)  Well, I now know who this character is. That’s right.  (I’ve actually known for a while, but I wanted to wait on a blog post until I had a sketch of her done.)  She is a fantasy character, and honestly, I think she is rather cool.  And here she is!

Everyone, meet Kaeley.

Her Birthday is July 18th. (Yes, I give my characters Birthdays…)

Kaeley

Her hair was a bit of a pain to do cause it’s really long and curly and she is always messing with it. (She thinks her hair is very frustrating, but then she’s really not the type of girl do actually to much with it.)

Looking at her you might think she’s an elf (pointy ear and all), but, she is not.  She belongs to a yet-to-be-named, very exclusive and rather intimidating/secretive race of humans who bind their infants ears so they form like that.

Kaeley is an outcast character.  People fear her just because of her nationality and it’s something she has to continually fight.  If I described her in one word it would be resolute.  Her story is very slowly coming together.  I know quite a bit about her, things that have happened to her and will happen, but I have no idea in what order they happen or really what her story is about.  Whatever it is, it’s going to be very interesting.

I don’t want to give too much away about her so that’s all I’m going to say at this point.

And…. the costume my mom and I put together was her outfit.  I think it turned out really well. 🙂

 

Me as Kaeley

 

That’s it for now!  Hope all you readers out there have had an amazing summer!

Until the next post. 🙂

Love for My “Choices” Team

I just have to say, I love my team of charries in Choices.  I really do.  They are just awesome.

Kate.  She is the easiest hero to work with.  She rocks.  I know her, I’m in her head, she’s real.  Even when I put her through the ringer she still likes me!  Most of my characters would be flipping mad and make sure I knew it, but Kate, she knows those things have to happen and she knows she’ll be better for it.  *hugs Kate*  God, thank you for such an awesome hero!

Terren.  Quiet, strong Terren.  He doesn’t like what I put him through (and am putting him through… sorry Terren…), but he doesn’t go on strike, (like I know another charrie is going to do when I write her story…. *winces*).  He might withdraw for a little while, but then he comes back around because like Kate, he knows it must happen.

Connor and Sara are just awesome peeps along for the ride.  The comic relief and moral support for my two MC’s.  You both rock.  😉

Uraeus.  He’s a dragon, you can’t get any better than that.  Nuff said.

A bit of a random post, but I just had to write about how much I love this team.  I’m so blessed to have such an awesome and real group of characters.  Real to me, and real to my readers.  Thank you God for giving them to me!

I love being a writer, you get to keep your imaginary friends and get more!  Plus have adventures with them.  😉

Image source:
http://www.sessiz-harfler.com/Anlatayim.aspx?ee=Benim-Sectiklerimden–%22-Iki-Dudak-Arasi-Ask-%22–Nihat-Coskun

Hello Geoffrey

You know those pesky characters that you love to pieces but sometimes wish they would leave you alone? The ones who just pop up in the oddest places when you least expect them and make you feel like you’re hallucinating or becoming schizophrenic? Enter Geoffrey; tall, sober, opinionated and constantly peering over my shoulder. I thought Tyra and Stephen were loud, but they’ve got nothing on Geoff.

It’s always the characters who are the most complicated and/or messed up who enjoy stalking my sub-conscious/consciousness, and they won’t leave me alone. Geoffrey is still fairly new. He was born sometime last fall and has grown into quite the personality very quickly. I think he’s one of my more unique characters, not just in looks, but history wise as well. He’s an outlaw, a man on the run, on the run from his past.

The weird thing is; he’s the character I feel the closest to at the moment even though his story is still buried in development. He’s from a deeper place inside me, a place that has been trying to come out and now finally has, but the personality it’s taken on has not only surprised me, it also unnerved me. Let me attempt to describe it. Imagine there is a man in his late twenties. He’s tall, has shoulder length black hair, pale violet eyes and a stern haunted face. He knows everything that’s in your mind, everything in your heart, and you know everything in his. Because he can, he points out all your flaws, trying to humiliate you and draws out your insecurities while at the same time, showing you his own. Oh, and he is just standing there staring at you. Oh, AND, you’re the only one who can see him.

At this point I’m sure you’re wondering whether or not I really am turning into a schizophrenic. Let’s just say this guy is starting to scare me with how real he is, but at the same time it excites me. I’m a writer, I want real characters and now I have one, (who’s really starting to freak me out!).

Okay Geoff, please stop looking at me like that. I’m writing a blog post about you, and there is nothing you can do to stop me. Ah!

So, like any other crazed writer with a nosey, leering at me from a dark corner character, I drew him. Funny thing is, once I was done with the drawing, he quieted down and left me alone, for a little while anyway. I think it scared him (muwhahahaha!). Must have, because it scared me too and I had to stuff it in a drawer where it couldn’t stare at me!

Maybe it’s time I should be concerned about my mental state… You think?

And here he is.

Character Profile: Katelyn Rose

Full Name:  Katelyn Rose Hambelton     

Goes by: Kate

Nickname:  Katie Rose

Age: 18

Book:  CHOICES

Physical Traits: Blond hair, blue eyes, about 5’4″.

Personality Quirks/Traits:  A bit shy and uneasy in new situations.  She has her own set of opinions, but is willing to change them when proven wrong.  Curious; if there is something she wants to know, she’ll find it out.  Though she doesn’t believe she is particularly brave, those who know her well, know she is brave where it counts.  She doesn’t like cats, especially after her first day in Aeden.  Determined; once she sets her mind on something there is no turning back.  She talks to herself; allot.    

Background:  She is the second of four siblings.  She has an older brother, a younger brother and a younger sister.  Her family is Christian, but she is at a cross road in her own Faith, trying to decide what she really believes.  Her dad was in the army and came back from a deployment in Iraq a year ago, the thought of people she loves fighting in a war makes her worried and afraid.  She has just graduated from High School and has no idea of what she wants to do with her life.  She feels like she’s being pressured by everyone she knows to just do something and it’s driving her crazy.  Her relationship with her family is rather strained at the moment and she just wants to get out.

Into a New World:  In Aeden Kate is bombarded by confusion, doubts, fears, regrets, and a whole army of conflicting emotions.  She doesn’t understand how she could have ended up in a world that’s not supposed to exist, let alone have some mission in it.  Throw in a charming, selfless, handsome guy who saves her life and then takes her on a journey of a life time and suddenly things are spinning out of control and Kate fears that all too soon, the dream will be over and she will have to make the hardest choice anyone could ever face.

Intro. Scene:

Trees?  I blinked, where did the trees come from?  I sat up, gazing in bewilderment around me.

“Where am I?” I asked aloud.  This didn’t make sense. I tried to stand but a wave of dizziness made the world around me spin and I fell back to the ground.

“Oh!  My head!” I felt like I had been in a car wreck.  My head pounded away behind my eyes as if trying to separate itself from my body.  I squeezed my eyes shut, trying to mentally block the pain.  My ears began to ring and I began to shake.

Stop, please just stop!  Then, as abruptly as it had begun, it all stopped.  I opened my eyes and massaged my temples.

“What was that about?” I tried standing again, this time I was able to get to my feet.  Curiously I observed my surroundings.  I stood in a still, and quite empty, forest glade.  I tugged at my University of Washington sweat shirt.  The sun shone down brightly and it was getting warm.  I pulled a hair band off my wrist and tied my long blond hair in a pony tail. 

With a sigh I sat cross-legged on the ground.  I needed to figure out where I was.  If I was lost, the best thing was to stay put.  But was I lost?  I didn’t even know where I was or how I had gotten there.  I frowned, trying to remember what had happened.  Concentrating, I forced my memory to rewind.  Darkness, anger and frustration, lights, the sensation of falling, then waking up here.

“This is stupid!  Come on Kate, think!” I picked up a twig, broke it in two and tried again, with the same results. “Blast!  I don’t like this!”  I set my elbows on my knees and rested my chin in my hands.  That was when the ground began to shake. 

My heart jumped to my throat.  I hated earthquakes.  If there was one thing that terrified me, that was it.  Ever since that earthquake happened when I was five years old, I would never forget the thundering sound as books and figurines tumbled from my shelves as if the world had suddenly been thrown into chaos.  I looked up, waiting to see a tree come crashing towards me.  The ground shook so forcefully I had to brace myself with my hands to keep from falling over.  A thunderous boom echoed through the woods and the quake ended.  I held my breath and waited.  This place is starting to give me the creeps.  Nothing. I stood again, I didn’t care if I was lost or not, all I wanted was to get out of that clearing.

Character Driven Part 2: Outlining

Outlining is probably the most used and practical way of developing you character.  It’s nice to have a step by step, written idea/picture of who this person is.  Outlining for characters or stories is much more fun than the outlining you have/had to do in school, so don’t feel intimidated by the word.  I like to use a variety of outlines when I’m developing a character.  Why?  It gives me a broader view of the character.  Each outline is different in one way or another, asking different or deeper questions, different exercises, etc.

When you begin outlining start simple, begin with the characters age, sex, and write down whatever you already know about them.  If you had the idea to give them a scar, write it down.  If for some weird reason you can’t get it out of your head that they don’t like carrots, write it down.  (For some reason I had this notion that one of my characters doesn’t like apples.  I have no idea why, guess I’ll find out later. 😉 ) 

Next, think about how this character fits into the story, why are they a part of it?  How to they influence it?  How does it influence them? 

If it’s the Hero ask yourself these questions (and write it all down):

  1. What does this person want and how does it apply to the goal (the end result or plot) of the story?
  2. What’s keeping this character from getting what they want?
  3. What virtue does this person represent?  (This is, [I feel] very necessary to the story.  It’s something the reader can identify with, something that makes the Hero a Hero.  Sometimes this may not become clear until much later on in the writing process.)  
  4. What’s this person’s background?
  5. Do they have any personality quirks? (This is tricky to figure out, but once you do get it, it can be a lot of fun.)
  6. Does the character have any personality traits that seem negative or start out as negative? 
  7. How does the setting of the story affect this character?
  8. What’s at stake for this character?
  9. What does this character fear?
  10. And other things like: Occupation, age, physical appearance, the basics.  

For a villain or bad guy you can ask the same questions plus:

  1. How is the Hero keeping this character from getting want they want?
  2. What is the opposite of the Hero’s virtue?  (The villain will represent this.)
  3. What makes this person strong?
  4. Why should we fear this person?
  5. How does this person cause the Hero trouble/suffering?

For a Mentor you want the same questions as the Hero plus:

  1. What Lesson is this character teaching the Hero?
  2. What relationship does this character share with the Hero?
  3. Does this character give the Hero any gifts? (Physical or emotional.) If so, what are they and why are they given?

For an Ally (someone who helps the Hero), again, same as Hero plus:

  1. What is this character’s relationship with the Hero?
  2. Why is the character helping/standing with/following the Hero?
  3. How does this character help the Hero?
  4. What strength does this character have that the Hero does not (and/or needs)?
  5. What disagreement/conflict might come between this character and the Hero?
  6. What does this character sacrifice to help the Hero?
  7. Will this character betray the Hero?  Why or why not?

As you learn and outline/write more you can tweak the questions to fit your story or your writing style, but those are the basic need-to-know outline questions.  There are a lot of books out there that you can find to help you outline your characters, but my favorite (time for a shameless plug, 🙂 ) is the One Year Adventure Novel writing curriculum.  (There is a link to the site in my website links, or you can click on the banner.)

I also enjoy creating my own questions, ones that help me really get my thinking cap on and create a deeper, more real character.   Another outlining system I’ve used was created by a friend.  Here is a summary of the first stage in the outline:

  1. Describe this character in one sentence.
  2. Describe this character with several key words.
  3. Describe this character in one paragraph.
  4. Describe this character with several phrases.
  5. Describe this character with several paragraphs.
  6. Write a few similes or metaphors describing this character.

If you want the full outline, visit his blog here.    

That’s really all there is to outlining.  If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to comment below. 

Thanks for reading!

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