Month: October 2014

The Power of Words

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Words have power.  That’s a fact.  And it’s an evident fact in the way that we can offend someone, enlighten someone, and praise someone by our words.  Hopefully, our words will only be used, in the long run, to help strengthen each other, rather than to destroy each other.  Often, we forget the reality that words can hold so much power, and that this power is manifested differently depending on how each human interprets the words.  A joke might accidentally offend someone, and a lazy, seemingly meaningless phrase can give someone hope.

Although words in and of themselves possess power, the manner that the words are delivered really impacts the effect that the words will have.  A husband that whispers softly to his wife “I love you” will see greater results from his words, in the style that they come about as meaningful and true to his wife, than if he were to roar obnoxiously “I LOVE YOU!”.  And perhaps a father praising an accomplishment of his son will produce words that lack enthusiasm.  The flow of words from the tongue of a person, or the pages of a book, can only produce their greatest effect when they are stylized correctly as the speaker or author intends.

Words can start wars.  Words can bring peace.  Words can ultimately change lives.  Think about treaties that have been signed to end wars or form alliances, legal documents that have been passed by the government, and books that entail propaganda to influence entire nations of people.  Think, for just a moment, how much words have changed your life.  It could be the words you used in a powerful speech you delivered or heard, the words you said to your bride when you married her, and the words that define who you are.  If you truly contemplate all that words mean, your expression might be like this:

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(Mr. Quint from Curious George)

Books, with all of their wordy power, have influenced billions of people.  Think of religious books such as the Bible and the Koran.  John Steinbeck’s book The Moon is Down influenced the way people viewed the Germans and stood up against them during World War II.  Think of the books scientists have written, recording all of their fantastic discoveries, from the time of Archimedes to the present time.

And once again:

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Now how does all of this tie into my blog, and more importantly, my book.  Well, if words have such great power, than it is the duty of every author or writer, myself included, to use this power for the good of others.  We must use words to create rather than to destroy; to give life instead of to bring death.  The quote from Spider-Man I used in a previous post “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility” can and must be applied to writers.  If we have the power to use words, we have the responsibility not to use them as we want, but as we should, and in the best way that we can, which will result in the good of all those who read what we produce.  A fantasy novel may not seem like the most influential piece of literature, but as I said in the beginning of this post, the manner in which the words are written, in accordance with the ideas and sentiments the author is trying to convey to the reader, will enable any author, no matter what genre he is writing in, to inspire a reader in the way the author intends.  In other words, an author may have something wonderful and meaningful to say, but only if he understands how to say what he means can the reader properly receive such a message.   And my intentions are indeed to write words that influence all that read my book to become better people for the sake of mankind.

Neptune’s knickers!

Aul

M.C.C. (Main Character Crisis)

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A long time has passed since I wrote the post What Would Stories Be Without Villains.  The main theme of the post was that a really cool, clever, and powerful bad guy can make a story really attractive, exciting, and gripping.  Now I’d like to talk to you about main characters; that is, about developing your good guys.

Like I said, a good villain can really impact just how good a story is on a number of levels.  But I think everyone would agree that even more important than a well-thought-out bad dude is a likable main character.  If we don’t like the hero we’re reading about or watching on the TV screen, chances are we’re going to have a number of problems with the story.  We won’t enjoy the story, the exciting parts won’t effect us because we won’t care when the main character is in trouble, we won’t care how the story ends, and we’ll probably be happy when the story is over so we don’t have to keep on wasting our time.

Yes, the main character can impact a story a lot!

So how does one go about creating a main character?  How do we give the audience the hero that they want?  What about the hero that they need?  How do we keep the audience’s undivided attention throughout the whole book or movie?  Here’s the secret:

If you want the audience to like your main characters, you need to make them fall in love with the characters

Now don’t get me wrong; I don’t mean love in a totally real way.  When I say “fall in love with the characters”, I mean that after the audience watches the first movie of a series, they’ll be dying to see the next because they enjoy, or even profit from, the actions and persons of the characters.  Or when someone reads the first book of a series, they’ll be dying for the next book to come out.  So how do you make your audience “fall in love” with your characters?

It all starts with you, the writer, the creator of the character.  First you need to fall in love with your characters.  You need to care about every time they are in danger.  You need to feel compassion every time they’re upset.  You need to have a desire to feel their, sadness, anger, joy, desires, hopes, and determination.  Unless you can do this, how can you hope to accurately portray your character in a way that makes the audience love him or her?  Treat your main character as you would your best friend; someone you know everything about (because you do), someone you always admire (because the main character usually has a good sense of morality), and someone who you always desire to feel for because you care about them.  If you can display how you feel for your character in your writing, I know that your audience will, in one way or another, love your character like you do.  And that’s one of the special talents of being a writer: being able to make an audience feel a certain way.  Also, use that power to create an audience that loves your character, and they will be inspired to emulate the righteous actions of that character.

Good, now you’re helping people too 🙂

I love my main characters, and I hope you will also.

Aul

P.S. If you haven’t already, check out and like my Facebook page “Montairyus”.

Meet Terren

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I have decided to post character descriptions in a new category aptly titled “Character Descriptions”.  These descriptions will be longer than the overviews I will present in “Characters in TSOM”.  I’m going to do it this way so that “Characters in TSOM” won’t get so crowded and long that you won’t have time to read all the way through it.  This way, you can read a lengthier summary of a character at your leisure if you go to the category “Character Descriptions”, whereas in “Characters in TSOM” you can find a short and simple overview of the characters.


 

Appearance

Terren is a tall man and he tends to look taller than he is because he has long legs.  His hair is brown and falls to his shoulders, just starting down his back, and beginning to curl upwards at the tips.  He has a broad nose that is round, as opposed to being thin or pointed.  His eyes are a light blue color and they are deep-set, described as “gentle” in the opening page of “I Was Called”.  He has a thin face, in contrast to round, but a square chin.  He has proportional ears, large hands, and regular sized feet.  Because he is a knight, his body has a very good build; broad shoulders, a defined chest, and toned arms are all traits that denote his athletic physique.  Don’t think that he is a “beast” or “super buff”, however, and that even though he is tall, he could be characterized as slow because of the weight of his muscle.  Instead, his height “evens out” his appearance and also the bulk of his muscle so that he can still move quickly and is not overly brawny.

Personality and Purpose

Terren’s personality is that of compassion, with touches of gentleness, but also touches of seriousness and sincerity when he is trying to make a point, usually in regards to arguing for what’s just and moral.  He desires to know what’s right and what’s wrong and to make the moral decision, no matter how hard the choice.  He has a good sense of humor and is emotional for being a knight, and therefore a warrior, most of whom would be jaded by the battles they have fought.  When surrounded by people he knows well, he likes to joke with them and engage in silly conversations.  Terren enjoys the peace and serenity of the town he rules over as lord, Thry, but is cast into a great adventure when a band of Gilliks kidnap his half-brother, Earyis.  This event causes him to embark on a mission not just to save his half-brother, but to do what he can to help end the war against Kartrus, the leader of the Gilliks.  He must strive to become better than who he already is and always seek the truth about how he can be the best person he can be.  And once he finds the truth, he must be determined to live it, for if not, the ultimate goal of his mission, and the purpose of his life, cannot be fulfilled.

Aul

Let’s Get Real/Sorry Ladies

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Let’s Get Real Have you ever picked up a book, started reading it, and noticed that certain characters had special qualities that they were very fortunate to have?  Or perhaps a character had a property that was totally unrealistic, or at least rather annoying or lame?  Perhaps you’ve read a book where a woman was randomly stronger than a guy when they were practically having a wrestling match.   Or perhaps a male character described as really tough and grim acted really whinny or wimpy.

Perhaps you’ve never encountered a book like this; chances are it’s because the books weren’t very popular for generally the same reasons mentioned above.

Now, what is the moral of the story?  Don’t create characters that can do unrealistic things, and don’t have characters that aren’t really true to who they are or how you describe them.  Writers that try to make someone too cool or too heroic when that person really shouldn’t be fail to possess a necessary facet of logic that all stories should have.  A medieval peasant can’t randomly develop a talent for fighting with a spear, a modern, lazy teenager can’t somehow become amazing at handling a pistol, and a regular ninja can’t unlock his chi better than anyone else unless he has a good reason.

Just to give you some friendly advice, if your main characters start out as nobodies but must become super-tough warriors, make sure they have a lot of training instead of just relying on the, “Oh, he just happens to be a natural at swordsmanship/shooting a gun/magic”.

Sorry Ladies

Let’s think about the different skill-sets that male and female characters have.  Who is usually physically stronger, a man or a woman?

Let me give you a hint: it’s not a woman.  I am not trying to be offensive, but to give you some more friendly advice, be careful with how you form your female characters.

Who is usually more physically fit?  Who is usually the better warrior?  Who is better at fighting with a sword?  Who is better at handling a gun?  A bow?  A spear?  Questions, questions, questions…

Allow me to clarify something: when choosing the skill-sets for your female (or male) characters, make sure you don’t make a bad decision.  It’s more likely for a woman to fight with a gun than to be good at hand-to-hand combat (unless you’re Black Widow).   It’s more likely that a woman would find it hard to wield a sword as well as a man.  Female characters, unfortunately, have a smaller skill-set then men; I’m sorry ladies, but it’s true.  Action stories with main characters as females tend to portray them as women who can fight just as well as the next guy…literally a guy.  Unfortunately, this is realistically, and probably statistically, untrue.  Women aren’t necessarily meant to be warriors; you can tell by how a woman’s body is built.  Men, on the other hand, have bodies built to protect (or assault).

I hope I’m not disappointing too many of my female followers.  Don’t worry, however; there is a solution.  Although there are certain things that women cannot easily be portrayed as doing, there are some things that are perfectly fine for warrior-women to do: Use long-range weapons. In spite of the fact that I’m not a fan of The Hunger Games, I have to respect Katniss for being such a talented warrior.  Suzanne Collins accurately displays the skill-sets of her characters. katniss

Think about it.  Katniss doesn’t run around in the Hunger Games and hew people down with a sword.  She doesn’t do cart-wheels and somersaults and crazy drop-kicks.  She uses a bow.  Another competitor in the Hunger Games, Clove, uses knives to kill her opponent.  But she doesn’t use the knives in hand-to-hand combat style; she throws them.  Likewise, for Collins’ male characters, Peeta and Cato use their strength to survive the bloody battles of the Hunger Games, and each of them uses a weapon that requires the strength they possess. When creating female characters, be careful with just how physically capable they are.  Although my book does indeed have warrior-females (it’s okay, they’re elves), I think it’s always nice when women are portrayed as they really are: sweet, gentle, and peace-loving.

Aul

Pure Love

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This is a rap song I wrote.  It’s about two guys discussing the differences in their love-lives, one after the other (denoted by the lines).  The second guy sings the chorus and first part of the bridge; the first guy sings the second part of the bridge.

Where do I begin?  Has my life gone awry?

I’ve been drowning since I was fifteen

But I never knew why

It doesn’t make sense

I thought I could live without consequence

Yeah, a life with parties, laughs, and sex

It’s been six years, and every other year I have a new ex

I got ladies by my side

And the woman on the screen never says “no”

But what the hell is this world coming to?

I’m being fed up with lies

I feel lost, empty, even with all this

No contentment, no satisfaction

It doesn’t make sense

I still have an attraction

But what am I looking for?

If there’s an open door, I can’t see it no more

I’m hugging, and loving, and kissing

So what the hell am I missing?


What do you want?

Why can’t you feel?

The thing you’re looking for, it might not seem like it, but it’s real

Happiness isn’t found in pleasure

That’s not the way life is measured

Your satisfaction isn’t found by how you live out your attraction

That’s not the way you do it

You say you love

But is love really measured by whether you kiss and hug?

What’s love?

A feeling that you get?

The warmth you experienced with that girl you just met?

No.  Love is wholesome.  You’ll know when love is true.

Then why is it, that you feel empty like you do?

How come I found my One, and will be with her forever

While you make a promise to a girl, and turn “forever” into “whatever”?

Yeah why do you feel empty like you do?

What’s the difference between me and you?


(Chorus)

Love is an action

It’s not what you feel

If you judge it by a feeling, then it ain’t real

Only a love that’s pure

With every intention for integrity

Not aiming for insincerity

That’s really what you want

I want the best for my soul-mate

And I’ll do what it takes to keep her life great

It’s not about me; it’s about her

Giving and receiving like the love we were made for

A love that’s so full, you can feel it through the air

And everything I do goes to saying “I care”

Yeah, the love we were made for

A love that’s totally pure!


I want to let go of this

I’m tired of happiness being hit or miss

I guess I should take it slow

But….I don’t know

I’ve worked so hard for her

And I’ve done a lot for her

And…

She’s so fine

And hell she’s all mine

So what’s wrong with satisfaction, even just for a bit?

I love her, and if we do it she won’t care shit

What’s wrong with spending all night

Making her feel right?

I’ll marry her someday

She’ll be my wife

But why wait for such a life?

I don’t have to wait

What’s the point of depriving myself, for heaven’s sake?


You see something you don’t understand

And this world anymore

Is that when it comes to a woman

She’s worth waiting for

Doing what’s best for her, so you can make her smile

That’s the only thing you can do that’s worthwhile

And while sex is something that allures

Self-control, when it comes to a woman, is one of the most manly things in the world

It says “I’m treating you like you’re something precious

Something I wanna keep clean

Cause my hands are too dirty; lemme tell you what I mean

I must prove myself worthy of you by being patient and being chaste

‘Cause that’s what’ll bring us both happiness; there’s no need for haste

You’re not hear for my gratification

You’re here so that I might spend my life making a self-donation

Taking from you

That’s not a manly thing to do

I’ll do what’s best for you

So we don’t get moving too fast

Cause, lemme tell you something: I don’t wanna crash”

This is pure love and it’s the desire of every man’s heart

Since Genesis, right at the start


(Bridge)

So living with purity; is that okay with you?


That’s a good idea man; I’ll start living like you


(Chorus)

Love is an action

It’s not what you feel

If you judge it by a feeling, then it ain’t real

Only a love that’s pure

With every intention for integrity

Not aiming for insincerity

That’s really what you want

I want the best for my soul-mate

And I’ll do what it takes to keep her life great

It’s not about me; it’s about her

Giving and receiving like the love we were made for

A love that’s so full, you can feel it through the air

And everything I do goes to saying “I care”

Yeah, the love we were made for

A love that’s totally pure!

chastity forehead image

(The image is not mine)


Aul

(Don’t forget to like my Facebook page “Montairyus”.  Also, if you like what you read, sharing is caring!)

Meet Erock

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I have decided to post character descriptions in a new category aptly titled “Character Descriptions”.  These descriptions will be longer than the overviews I will present in “Characters in TSOM”.  I’m going to do it this way so that “Characters in TSOM” won’t get so crowded and long that you won’t have time to read all the way through it.  This way, you can read a lengthier summary of a character at your leisure if you go to the category “Character Descriptions”, whereas in “Characters in TSOM” you can find a short and simple overview of the characters.

 


In the post “Meet Curser”, I say that Curser was my favorite character in TSOM until I was about eleven.  Why did my love for Curser suddenly become superseded?  Because of Erock.  Immediately as I began forging a background story for Erock, I began to focus a lot of my time on developing his character.  The results of my imagination in creating Erock did not go without success.  In fact, I believe that, next to Terren, he should be everyone’s second favorite character.  Interestingly enough, I initially developed Erock and Curser more than I developed Terren, but it should be known that despite my previous fascination in Erock and Curser, Terren is—and most likely will always be—my favorite character in TSOM.  As the main character, I believe Terren deserves that.

Right, let’s meet Erock!

Appearance

You may notice that in my page “Characters in TSOM” Erock is the only male character described as “attractive”.  All elves are essentially more attractive than humans in my book, but out of the elves in Terren’s company, I would say that Erock is the only one that could be considered as…well, “sexy”.  Erock is taller than most men, with a body that’s toned and strong.  His veins are visible on his arms and hands.  However, don’t be fooled; Erock could never be described as “bulky”.  Erock is not “big”, and his shoulders aren’t necessarily broad.  Rather, he is an immensely lithe and agile person.  His body is thin and light, but well defined and powerful.  To say the least, Erock is all muscle and bone; there isn’t an ounce of fat on him (okay, that’s obviously an exaggeration).

His skin color is tan and flawless.  As to the shape of his face, it’s in the middle between round and thin.  He has a round, normal sized nose, full but not fat lips, and his ears are slightly large (remember, he is an elf).  His eyes are large and round; they are a sky-blue color, and his gaze is always attentive, such that, in whatever he’s doing, you can tell he’s paying attention and focused on what he’s doing, whether he’s scouring a forest for enemies or listening to a friend detailing a problem he or she is having.  Regarding his hair, it’s curly, and falls just below his shoulders.  The color is what we would call “dirty-blonde”, but it is described in the book as “golden”.  His hands are large, and his feet are slightly large too.  Overall, Erock is built for both power and speed, and could be considered as the most attractive male character in TSOM.

Personality and Purpose

Erock could be described as, in short, a goof.  He is the wittiest of the group; he makes the most jokes, sarcastic comments, and probably laughs the most (sometimes at inappropriate times).  But don’t think that he can’t be serious when a situation requires it.   Erock makes sure that evil stays in its place—that is, completely out of the world.  He doesn’t tolerate injustice, and has no problem stepping up and protecting those who are being oppressed.  He himself is a seriously moral person, and fights to remain so.  As to his purpose, Erock is an elite warrior of Terren’s company.  That being said, he provides noteworthy aid to the group when they encounter any types of foes.  Usually, Erock is the one who valiantly battles with the most powerful Gilliks that Kartrus sends after Terren and his followers.  Without Erock’s bravery and skill, it is very possible that Terren’s quest would be utterly futile.  And that is why Erock is so important; without his proficiency and protection, Terren and his company would not possess the strength they need to combat the forces of Kartrus, which are too powerful for any mere warriors to contend against.


 

Aul

“I Was Called” Excerpt!

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Hey everyone!  Today I’m going to give you a rare excerpt from “I Was Called”.  I say “rare” because I’ve given you a whole two chapters in “Sneak Peek at ‘I Was Called’!” and I’m not sure it would be wise of me to give you any more, so this will indeed be rare!  This is from an earlier chapter.  I hope you enjoy it!

 


 

He positioned himself by Erock behind a bulging maple tree, Gladeus firm in his hands.  Next to the elf, he felt more comfortable, knowing that Erock had killed many Gilliks before.  Terren was considerably surprised at himself in regards to how anxious he was at crossing blades with a Gillik.  It was not like himself to be so afraid before a battle and he was disappointed in himself

Then hoarse breathing, seemingly so loud amidst the quiet night, sounded directly behind the tree which Terren and Erock stood against.  Terren stiffened and held his breath, his very being tingling with anticipation and his heart pounding so hard he worried the Gilliks might hear.  A face showed itself beside Terren.  It entered into the moonlight, unaware of Terren’s presence.  Terren nearly shook with horror, but even still stared into the eyes of the horrible beast.  The Gillik’s eyes were huge, red and sore around the eyes, and they were yellow in color.  It had a sort of snout that reminded Terren of a dragon, with protruding teeth and a long, pointed chin that curved upwards towards the mouth.  The black and matted hair of the beast stank and the skin of the Gillik was white, but the paleness was often obscured by blotches of filth and gore.  The eyes didn’t move, but stared ahead, appearing completely unfocused, as if the creature was blind but it somehow knew how to move without erring.  This was especially disconcerting, and the very dreadfulness of seeing the Gillik beside him, not knowing when he would be discovered, drove a hole into the lord’s courage.

At last, when it appeared that the Gilliks would discover and consequently attack them, Terren uttered a cry and leapt from behind the tree, stabbing Gladeus into the Gillik’s stomach.  The sword sank into the beast’s stomach with a satisfying sound of steel sliding into flesh, and the monster uttered a loud grunt, but did not cry out.  Immediate silence followed thereafter, and Terren pulled Gladeus free and the Gillik fell to the ground.

Then a loud scream, unearthly and terrible, rang from the lips of the Gilliks and they fell upon Terren.  Before they could reach him, however, they encountered the blades of the elves, which sang through the air with skill and proficiency.  Gladamear joined them, and stabbed a beast through the stomach like Terren had.  Two more Gilliks charged Terren.  Their coming, with thundering footsteps and eyes narrowed with hatred, struck Terren with fear before their blades even met his.  With a cry of courage, Terren blocked the blades of both Gilliks, one after the other.  Then he struck one in the abdomen, cutting the Gillik and making it falter out of pain, and dodged a clumsy blow from the other.  He swung upward and caught the uninjured one by the throat, and then kicked away the body that drained of life.  The one with a cut belly struck at him again, roaring, and his intimidation sent Terren dancing backwards.  Another cry of will emitted from the lord as he lunged forward and stabbed the beast through the chest as it lumbered after him, foolishly holding its weapon away from its body.  When Terren turned to aid his other followers, he found that the work was finished.

© Dominic Sceski 2014


Note: anyone who reblogs this post I will follow and reblog one of their posts.  If I am already following you, I’ll reblog one of your posts anyway.

Aul