Story Prompt #40

Scenario prompt:

The MC has a mysterious illness and they don’t even know what it is or how they got it.

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“The Way of Kings” Book Soundtrack

Hello Fiction Lovers!

I just read this article on Fantasy Faction and I thought I’d share it with you: http://fantasy-faction.com/2017/the-kaladin-book-soundtrack-based-on-the-way-of-kings-by-brandon-sanderson-call-to-action. I’m sure many of you have heard of The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson and I thought you might want to support the kick starter to create this soundtrack based on the book. There are only three days left to become a backer and it’s all or nothing depending on if they get their funding. If you can’t become a backer I would still strongly urge you to share the project with others so more people know about this really cool project. The Fantasy Faction article is about how the project came to be and was truly inspirational.

I hope you all have a fun weekend! Please let me know if you have any questions and feel free to post your thoughts in the comments.

On the Matter of Never Having Enough Time

Hello Fiction Lovers!

This week I thought I’d step away from the more technical side of writing and throw my two cents in about something people love to complain and give advice about: not having enough time to do the things we want to do, the things we have to do, and the things others want us to do. I know I’ve complained about the amount of classes and homework I have, the number of clubs I’m participating in, the lack of weekends because of my part-time job, the cost of procrastinating, and not having enough time to pick up all the hobbies I want to do, read all the books I want to read, watch all the shows that vie for my attention. I complain everyday as well as swapped advice even though I dislike the fact that I do so.

Perhaps you’re wondering why you should care? Perhaps you would like to point out that I’m participating in those very acts right now? In reply, at the risk of sounding pompous, I’ll say that you should care because that focus on time is part of what’s hindering us and I know. There have been nights when I’ve lain awake worrying about the lack of time to take care of all my responsibilities and wants and realized that I wasted more than it’s fair share of time worrying about time and effectively doing nothing but making myself feel guilty. Doing so doesn’t help. I realized, too, that I wasn’t enjoying the activities I was participating in as much because I was always worried about the next thing and how much time everything took. To tell the truth I still am, but accepting that I’m only this busy because I decided to do all these things has helped a bit, brought some of the fun back instead of feeling as though I was slowly being compressed.

This worry–obsession–with time stems somewhat from my culture of things always needing to get better, quicker, faster. It makes it difficult to enjoy the moment and remember that not every moment of everyday has to be productive. We–or at least I do–need downtime to recuperate, think through things, breathe so we don’t end up pushing too hard and breaking. There is a balance to be found and I am still working on finding it, especially since I tend to like to binge things (binge watch, binge read, binge work). It’s not so much the matter of not having enough time as learning to be selective, know what’s important, not be a pushover. It’s understanding that time isn’t a commodity that’s continually slipping through my fingers, but something I should be glad to have at all. It might sound cliche, but I think if I started appreciating time more instead of complaining and worrying about it, I’d find I suddenly have more of it.

Thanks for reading and listening to my musing. Let me know if you have any questions and feel free to post your thoughts in the comments. I hope you all have a great week!

POV: A Spectrum

Hello Fiction Lovers!

This week I thought I’d talk about point of view (POV). For those you who don’t know there are three main types of POV: first person, second person, and third person. First person tells the story from the character’s point of view using “I” while second person makes use of “you” and talks directly to the reader, placing them in the story. Third person tells the story from an outside perspective and is more likely to use “they” and/or name the characters outside of dialogue.

Most people tend to think that first person is the most intimate between reader and character while third person is the most distant, and second person is often ignored. I used to belong to that group until recently when a teacher pointed out and showed how there is actually a range of distance between reader and character that can occur in any of the POVs. A character in first person could just list off the things that were happening and leave it to the reader to interpret their importance, or third person you could delve into a character’s mind and know them even better than the character knows. Both can be interesting if done right and, of course, there is all the space to mix and match in between the two extremes or do the opposites of the examples.

Distance is not decided by the POV, but rather how much insight we are allowed to see into the characters. Is it just action after action without any adjectives to tell us the character’s take on events–like a movie where we have rely on what we see and hear to understand what’s happening? Or do we, as readers, get to know everything the character knows with all their biases and beliefs put forth for us to shift through and understand? Neither way is better than the other, and both can be useful depending on what story–not to mention character–you are trying to tell.

Nor should we just continue to ignore second person. Yes, I will admit that the POV can make it hard to vary up the start of the sentences and it can be hard to keep up for longer pieces, but there are stories that could have more impact if told in second person. It can be done right and well. It can also be a good exercise if you like you’re writing in rote and need to do something different from what you’re used to.

So please put more thought into POV than just first person=intimate and third person=distant because there is more to POV than that, and understanding that point can help you find out the best POV and distance on the spectrum for your story. Also, branching out from what you are used to is a good way to get better at writing–that way you can learn more about what works for you and what doesn’t.

Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a good week! Please let me know if you have any questions and feel free to post any thoughts you have about POV in the comments.