Resolutions: why they matter to stories

2019 is right around the corner and the time for the obligatory New Year’s resolution has come. Did you make your’s last year, will you do so this year? Who knows–I hope you succeed–but regardless, life will go on.

Resolutions: why they matter to stories - The true drivers of plot and why they're important https://sonorahillsauthor.com/

This is not true in stories, where resolutions perpetuate everything. Resolutions are the fuel, the driving force–they are the plot. Without them, readers will lose interest. Continue reading

Advertisements

What’s in a Name?

printable-name-tags-r0zxxuni.jpgWith possibly the most cliched title ever, this post will discuss one of my favorite things about writing–naming characters.

A character’s name can speak volumes about who they are, or it can say nothing. Sometimes the fact that the name says nothing, says everything. But that’s getting too philosophical for a Thursday.

I believe there are two general types of names: ones that someone else made up years and years ago, or ones that you make up. Continue reading

Dream Sequence!

img_20160728_220801121

“Well, I was dreaming until you woke me up…”

Dreams are weird.

On second thought, the above three words seem vague. I might as well make statements like, ‘life is weird’ (it is), so let me go into some more detail on the subject of dreams.

I would argue that our concept of fantasy, and our ability to imagine fantastical situations, comes from dreams. It’s an interesting idea–one’s database of sensual information is all that’s needed to create a myriad of bizarre situations. Perhaps that is the only difference between a creative person and someone who is ‘not creative’. The person with the greater imagination is just better able to re-combine their memories while in a lucid state; they don’t have to be unconscious to make stuff up. Continue reading

The Evolution of Aza’s Character Growth

All stories must have character growth.

Growth can be subtle: the character realizes something they didn’t know before. Or profound: the character goes from ugly, wimpy nobody to strong, world-saving beauty.

Most novels go for somewhere in the middle. But whatever the case, the character in the last chapter must in some way be superior to the person we met on page one.

Basically, they must have fixed or improved upon their flaws. Continue reading

Current WIP 2: Marsip

One of my current WIPs is Marsip, the sequel to the novel Aza that I self-published in 2014 (I’m also working on a dystopian novel called Two Kinds of Darkness).

Marsip is set several years after Aza and hopefully tells the story of how Marsip discovers who he is and what he truly wants. In true fantasy style, these questions happen during a battle for power, waged by the Teransellens–a tribe from the mountains. And let’s not forget Elaine, the stubborn lord’s daughter who unintentionally causes a handful of problems, most of which affect Marsip. Continue reading

Fantastical Creatures

screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-9-33-22-pm

Electoad– the electricity producer

Some writers have a specific genre or style that they love to use. For me, it really depends on what I’m writing. I love experimenting– I’m like a crazy artist playing with mediums. But some genres don’t appear to like me. For instance, if it’s modern realism, anything longer than a flash piece sort of… well… morphs into fantasy.

Fantasy ≠ modern realism. Yeah.

I have several theories as to why my unconscious writer-mind appears to be smitten with fantasy: it could be the ability to bring in flying carpets or sea monsters when things ‘go bad’, or maybe it’s the free pass to ignore the laws of physics, but most likely it’s the ability to create my own creatures. Continue reading

Inspiration for the Forest of Monsters in Aza

 

IMG_4779

Monsters loomed behind the trees.

Inspiration can come from anywhere– music, gossip, personal experiences, other stories. No matter what you’re doing, your brain is stockpiling information to use for later. The harder part is to actually produce writing from it.

When I sit down to write my brain isn’t absorbing new information (besides the feel of my pen or the sound of my keyboard). I have to use what’s already there. Most of the time, new information or “inspiration” comes when I’m doing something new and exciting without any way to write it down. When you start feeling inspired, slow down. Think about the way you’re feeling. Notice the details. Even if you don’t plan to write anything, taking a moment to observe will help you remember better. Continue reading

A Dream in the Shape of a Book

For as long as I can remember I wanted to make books. When I was four or five I was the illustrator. I spent hours drawing pictures of me going to the library for storytime or doing cartwheels in my gymnastics class. I remember writing stories about fairies who lived in trees, and re-telling little red riding hood. I dictated the stories to my mom and she wrote them down.

It was after the excitement of learning to read and write wore off that I discovered my dream.

I was going to write a real book. Continue reading