Monday, July 31, 2017

Current Project: Idelle's Book of Fairtytales

I'm actually working on about three different projects at once (because I have problems), but I'm going to only talk about one.

To start off with, many years ago when I was experimenting with different ideas and genres of novel writing, I began to ask myself the question; Are there enough male characters in my novel?

This of course does not apply to my m/m novels, but those only make up of about half the things I write.

The other half are books driven by female characters with female friends (or female lovers). This is just an automatic habit that I have (most likely stemming from the fact that I am a female).I am not saying that I had critics/friends tell me 'you need more male characters in your novels' it was just something I thought I should have. So I began to put in extra effort into adding male characters. Maybe the main protagonist had a brother? Maybe the best friend was male? Sometimes I grew to love these characters, sometimes they just sort of became a token reason for me to use male pronouns once in awhile.

It was all honestly a silly exercise. Why should I force in male characters if I don't want them? How many novels have I read that features an all female cast with little to no important male roles? Why can't I write that myself? I appreciate balance, and the representation of all genders, but sometimes I just want to write what I want to read.

When I began writing LGBT romance, this sort of question became even sillier. I am already writing in a niche genre with a limited audience. Why try to play to the general masses when I could just write what I want? Honestly, this was the reason I joined the genre anyway. So I create my ideas with characters that make sense to me. Sometimes it means m/m or f/f or f/f/f or a mixture of it all.

Back to my current project. It is, in essence a f/f fairytale adventure. Two women, falling in love while meeting other women who also fall in love. None of the women are heterosexual, not all of the woman are even cisgendered. I decided that I wanted to write that. I decided that I wanted to explore the differences between being lesbian, bisexual, polyamorous, pansexual, and asexual. I wanted them to go on some crazy queer adventure that has a lot of romance but also a lot of fighting dragons, storming castles, and magic.

For a moment, I just had to take a step back and see that I'm planning a novel with 8 female leads and remember a time when I thought having two female leads was unbalanced.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Diana Reads: Rick Riordan

I've decided to try to start recording more of what I am currently reading. Though honestly, please just follow me on Goodreads to be more informed. I'm pretty lazy about writing actual reviews.

Today's topic is: Rick Riordan and How I've Read So Many of His Books I Don't Know What To Do with My Life Anymore.

So a few months ago, I decided that I seriously need to catch up on my Riordan. When I was in high school I had actually read all the Percy Jackson series, but kind of slacked off as Riordan began writing the Kane Chronicles and Heroes of Olympus. I decided it was high time to remedy that situation.

So here is my quick and dirty review of each series

Percy Jackson: Love it. A classic. Percy Jackson is greek myth version of Harry Potter but I am so okay with that.

Kane Chronicles: Love it. Carter is a nerd. Sadie is the best and I will die for her and her two boyfriends.

Heroes of Olympus: I have a lot of gay feelings for this series (not all including Nico). Also, as a Latin nerd, New Rome is so superior to Camp Half-Blood. Where can I get my t-shirt? This series has made me want to write a fan letter to Riordan the size of a novel. Chapters include: I Really Think Rayna/Rachel Should be a Thing. and Please Give Annabeth a Great Day, She Deserves It.

Now I haven't finished the second book of Magnus Chase or the second book of Trials of Apollo, but here is my first impressions:

Magnus Chase: I would be way more invested in this series if Sam was the main character.

Trial of Apollo: I READ TEN BOOKS TO GET TO THIS SERIES AND IT WAS WORTH EVERY GODDAMNED BOOK. THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME BISEXUAL GOD-TURNED-MORTAL APOLLO SAVING THE DAY AND HELPING OUT OTHER QUEER FOLK. YOU ARE THE BEST RICK.

As a side note, whenever I read a book, I feel like a part of me knows a little more about the author. So when I've read 16+ books by a single author, they start to feel like a personal friend to me. Also, I can physically feel when Riordan is struggling to put in some cool mythology but has to avoid the problematic parts (I'm looking at you Medusa) to make it Juvenile/YA appropriate. I feel the pain, Rick. I feel it.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Writing Method

Every year for NaNoWriMo, there is an option for two badges: Planner or Pantser. The idea being, are you a writer that plans out a novel or a writer that just jumps right in without an outline.

I am definitely a writer that plans. I write extensive outlines, draws (terrible) maps, writes out pages of floating dialogue, etc.

(evidence of my terrible map making skills and my outlining which is literally just paragraphs of rambling text)

I like to word vomit, essentially. My outlines for a 50k novel tend to be at least 2k if not longer. Then, as I begin to write, I'll add more to the outline, including notes for revising later. Because, if NaNo has taught me one thing, it's a lot easier to finish a first draft if I'm not constantly backtracking and editing as I go.

Then there are my monthly plans

(behold the tiny white board that accompanies me in my writing nook)

Honestly, there is only so far ahead that I can plan. About one month ahead is going to be fairly accurate. Two months becomes dodgy. By three months, my plans will probably change.

The reason I do all of this, dedicating time to planning and writing outlines and preparing, is because I always strive to be a consistent writer. I named this blog 1000 Words because that is what I try to write every day. Even if that writing is outlining, or blogging, or scribbling on my white board with as many colors as possible.

I feel like every writer has a different method to their art. The details of each method really aren't important. Whether there is planning or no planning, an outline or just an idea, it doesn't matter. What matters is that we all actually manage to create something we are proud of.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Book Aesthetic

So recently on my tumblr, I've been posting pictures of my hobby of book aesthetic blogging. Now, I'm not a professional photographer (or even a good one) and I'm mostly using my ipod for a camera (cause I just have that much class and lack a smart phone)

So I've decided to post a bit "behind the scenes" here for your enjoyment

The Scarlet Letter and Jane Eyre

So I recently came into an inheritance of my great-grandmother's collection of books. Most are 'collectible' editions from between 1920s-1950s (most don't have a date on them, but I can guess based on when she was active in a book club and purchased many of these editions) This copy of The Scarlet Letter (the closed book) does have a date written in of 1890 on the inside cover.

Also featured is my grandmother's gloves and lace doily. My teapot and teacup, because I have a rather large collection haha.

The Book of a Thousand Nights and a Night

I love my silver teapot. It is very silver and very shiny and I take great pains to make sure it is polished regularly. It is also a major pain. I am always (always) visible in it's reflection. It's like photographing a mirror. This time I attempted to hide myself by draping a purple towel over my body, but I am clearly visible (and I find it so funny that I don't mind pointing it out). Also visible is my lurking dress form silhouetted against the window.

The jewelry box and costume jewelry is also from my grandmother. This is also the same platform as the last picture (my sewing machine table sans sewing machine) but with the edition of fancy fabric (because spoiler I do a lot of sewing)

Sherlock Holmes

I actually own several editions of Sherlock Holmes short stories/novels. This is, again, my great-grandmother's copy. I decided to try out the great outdoors and went photographing on a very cold, rainy day. I quickly discovered that when photographing books in the rain, one requires two umbrellas. I ended the the day very wet, cold, and pleased with my photographs.

Grimm's Fairytales

Hopefully, in the spring with warmer weather and more flowers I can take photos of some more!

The Book Thief

(prairie burning season has started...)





Monday, March 20, 2017

Current Project: Dating Sim

This April, I will be partaking in Camp NaNoWriMo. This is something which I have never done before, but I thought it sounded fun. Especially since this year, I can set my goal to either be in word count/lines/hours/pages. So I've decided to continue on a dating sim that I've been working on with a friend, Melissa Mariko Kieselburg for a few years now.

Working title: Cooking Boyfriend. (it's a working title since the player can also date girls) Other titles include, Secret Recipe, Cooking Lover, etc etc. I only call it Cooking Boyfriend cause that's just what I've been calling it for years and all my files are under that working title.

Cooking Boyfriend is sort of a silly idea where the player is in a cooking school and they learn recipes and date various students. All the names are food puns and it generally doesn't take itself very seriously. It was born out of Melissa's and mine experience playing dating sims (yes, she also counts persona as a dating sim, haha) and we wanted to make our own.



There are about ten characters with ten different routes/endings. Each character has a 'rival' route in which they will start pursuing the player if the player has high enough points in their rival. All in all, it's a lot of work. Which is probably why in the few years we've been working on it we only have one route complete and a handful partially complete.



Cooking Boyfriend is also one of my inspirations for Tokyo Love and about half the reason I made Kathleen a computer programmer. Now, my programming skills are very limited and I mostly leave complicated maneuvers to my collaborator, but I've learned enough to make sprites appear and disappear, change expression, and I like to think I've gotten a little creative in my menu options and scene building.



My current goal for April is to write about 100 lines of code per day. Looking at my completed scenes, that is about 1 very short scene per day. Most of my scenes tend to average at about 200 lines for anything more than a small encounter. I have hopes that it won't be too difficult, but I know it will be hard to stay consistent.



Until then, I am spending March trying to pump out outlines and mentally prepare myself. Wish me luck!



Wednesday, February 1, 2017

End of the Year Report

I haven’t written an end of the year report since 2013, because I am really good at blogging (obviously). Yes, this has taken me a full month to get organized.

Books that have been published this year:


This year I’ve done a ton of editing and rewriting that comes with publishing books. Both Cursus Honorum and Tokyo Love came out in the second half of the year, so much of the first half was getting them ready for publication. (and dying slowly)

Before I get into a tedious list of every in my WIPs folder, I’d like to share by #1 priority. I’ve been doing a lot of unseen work on a novel called Orbiting Bodies (a college LGBT coming of age story) I haven’t quite finished all I want for that project, but I have hopes for progress in the coming year.

I have a large to-do list and, like all my to-do lists, I will probably finish very little of it before 2018. Here is a bit of a taste.

Unfinished projects

  • Cooking Boyfriend  (dating game simulation that I have been working on and off with a friend for a few years now.)
  • Christmas short stories from Nano 2016
  • Nano 2015 (AKA the gay knights one)


Sequels

  • The Warrior, the Healer, and the Thief
  • Tokyo Love
  • Roman lesbians (not really a sequel, so much as a sequence of shitty gay roman romance following Amemus and Cursus Honorum)


Rewrites

  • Letters to Ovid (an old novel of Christian Lesbian Romance Inspired by Ovid)
  • Drowning Sky (or actually the sequel. AKA my epic fantasy series that only becomes more gay as the years pass)
  • His Eyes (one of my first novel-length gay stories)

Pretty soon I’ll probably start browsing for anthology calls at Less Than Three, Dreamspinner, Crimson Romance and this list will explode.