literature

Character Record

I never used to do this, but for the last four or five stories I’ve written I started keeping a booklet of information for each story. I mentioned this a bit in my previous post about resources.

For TAK, I’ve got more than that. Right now I have a booklet with character descriptions for all my major and sometimes minor characters. Basics like eye colour, skin tone, hair colour and length, body type and height are recorded for each character. Their name and age heads the top of the description. That used to be it. As I’ve been writing and honing my craft my resources have grown with me. Now my character descriptions have more information. They contain the types of clothes the character may wear on a regular basis; do they wear boots or shoes? Leggings? Tunics or shirts? Colour preferences? A character in TAK wears glasses. So I’ve recorded the shape and colour of his glasses. Sometimes I’ll put in some information about their background or little blips about their personality. A character in TAK, Gideon, doesn’t speak much. Read that as hardly ever. I made a note of that in his record.

Sometimes when I’m writing if I bring up a character I haven’t used in a while I might forget what they look like. Usually the little details like hair and eye colour. I find these records helpful in that they are separate and keep me from searching back through hundreds of pages just to find the information I’m looking for.

When I would write when I was younger, it was common for characters to change eye colour or hair colour. I would reread what I had written and realize the character had changed personalities somewhere along the line. This is obviously not good.

The book for TAK is way more involved than any other before. Not only do I have character descriptions, I’ve started writing the background of the world within it. In TAK there are four countries: Byrnan, Hieros, Haima and Allos. Each country has a ‘speciality’ and the people from each country are slightly different in terms of mentality, skin colour and talents. For example, Hieros is a country steeped in art. It is one of the southern countries and it’s people have an olive skin tone. They produce magnificent pieces of art such as paintings, fabrics, architecture, music and so on. I’ve also drawn a suuuuuper crude map in my booklet. I am not a cartographer and this will most likely not make it into the book itself. It’s for personal reference so I can remember where the countries are located, where the major cities that are mentioned in the story are located and what the terrain looks like. In keeping with Hieros, it’s very flat. Lots of grass and open plains. Hieros is also known for it’s food production.

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Don’t judge my lack of mapping skills

As you can see, it’s not professional, but it serves it’s purpose.

The problem I sometimes run into is running out of book before I’m done with everything. This means I have to transfer all the information into another book. I write everything by hand in this book and I’m not in the mood to switch to digital. The story itself is being typed on a computer, but I just can’t get behind the idea of writing this information in a word document as well.

What things do you do to keep your writing on track?

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

I Came, I Participated, I Left

If you’ve been following me at all lately you’ll know that I was going to a group therapy meeting last week for people with Depression and Anxiety.

I was hella nervous going because that’s my anxiety and it’s just ‘normal’ nerves at that point.

It was a nice place. It took place in an old house in a library. There were couches, a fireplace, and books. Obscene amounts of books. The people there were really nice. One of them is going to be our facilitator going forward.

Will I go back? I don’t know. I learned that there are those out there struggling with something I can’t even begin to imagine. While I am certain that my issues are very real, I do not have to be on disability. I am not living with any parental figures.

I came to understand that I need more than just a group discussion. I need personalized plans. I work better that way. I was able to go to kick boxing for the first time in a month and I felt absolutely fresh afterwards. I think a lot of my issue was the fact that I was under immense pressure with no outlet. I have managed to convince my husband to allow me to keep my subscription for my kick boxing class. As long as I go at least four times a month it will pay for itself.

So where do I go from here? Perhaps I need to make contact with my employee assistance program and source out a personal counsellor. I don’t think I need intensive therapy like I did in university and I also don’t think I require medication.

The pressure I am under is immense and real. I need real tools to combat the concerns I have and someone external to hold me accountable for completion.

It’s a long and potentially slippery slope that I’m on right now. But I can climb it.

In other news, we’ve taken one of our vehicles off the insurance and I now walk home from work. We’re trying to save money while we wait for the payout to come. As you may also know, I live in Canada. Which means it’s freaking winter right now. Goddamn is it cold! I have to pull my snow pants out this weekend so I don’t freeze on my way home. Good thing I have a tolerance for the cold. It’s not a super high one, but it’s  better than most people.

Also, using a gift card my in-laws gave me for my birthday I got a perm done! It’s already fallen out but the remaining body looks fabulous. I am still happy with it.

In the meantime, work continues to be done on TAK. Just little bits here and there. Puttering along. Keep your eyes peeled for a new short! I should have that one done next week!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Sorry not Sorry

I don’t want to be that annoying person filling up your feeds with the same thing over and over and over, especially if you follow me on different platforms.

If you recall, I entered a writing contest. This contest depends on votes to determine the winner. More and more people are joining it seems and my rank is dropping lower and lower and lower.

If you have a spare five minutes, please head over to: http://t.co/kfYjZZGfx2 and http://www.inkitt.com/stories/12258 to vote on one of my two short stories.

I believe the website requires you to create an account, which is free, which you can also delete once you are finished if you wish.

If you are a writer yourself you may want to keep your account as this seems like a nice platform for promotion.

I have three votes. Just three. Please help me rise up!!!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

I Entered a Contest! Weeee!

Hey guys! I entered a contest through Inkitt! Here you can find the link to my two submissions. I need votes in order to win! Please read and if it strikes your fancy, vote!

http://www.inkitt.com/stories/12258

http://www.inkitt.com/stories/12247

I’ve never done this before so I’m pretty excited! Especially since I was invited to give a submission. Made me feel special 😀

 

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

Time Keeps on Keeping On

In my quest to craft my new work I have, admittedly, forgotten about Black & Red. It has been a very long time since I sold any units and most of that is because a) It’s not my best work and I know that plus b) I haven’t been promoting it as much as I probably should.

I’ve been so wrapped up in writing my shorts for TAK as well as my everyday life of being a full-time working mum Black & Red has fallen by the wayside.

I woke up this morning to something interesting, however.

Apparently, in January, I sold 2 units! This caused me to log in to my dashboard with KDP and I realized something.

Black & Red has been out for nearly two years now! Isn’t that amazing? It’s amazing for me!

I have a friend who is anxiously awaiting the release of TAK. In fact, she is probably the only one who looks at my Facebook page and every now and then she will post that she wants the book. She doesn’t come and read the shorts because they are not enough for her, as she’s said.

I can’t stop writing the shorts, however. I am finding myself spread very very thin and I don’t have the time I want to devote to writing the chapters. I am trying to save myself from forgetting about my characters and their lives completely by writing the shorts. I find it is a good way for me to flesh out the characters and their personalities in ways that would maybe take too long to do in the actual story.

Today I will be writing one of the shorts while I am at work during my breaks. I brought my outline so I can look at the maps and remember what my characters look like (because I can forget these things I have descriptions and such written down).

Stay tuned. This short I’m working on is about Aldric, one of the main characters in TAK. I believe it’s the first time I’ve written a short that includes one of my leads; who are surprisingly both male.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

*POOF!*

I have been such a bad bad blogger.

Thank you to those who have stayed with me and still followed me even though I have been majorly absent.

My office is still a mess. The day job I had, I quit due to problems with management. I have an interview tomorrow that is promising and the hope of gaining more teaching hours for January if nothing else comes through. I’m not 100% unemployed right now because I picked up some tutoring hours at my teaching gig. It’s less money but it’s still money. Luckily I finished my Christmas shopping save one present and some wrapping paper. Not too shabby if I do say so myself.

As an apology, here is the long-awaited short from TAK that I promised in like, August.

Project:Ghost

It might be a little mature due to the violence, but it’s not anywhere near as objectionable as Skeletons in the Closet.

So, enjoy! I hope to be on more frequently.

Thanks again for sticking with me 😀

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Book Excerpts, My Book Stuff, 3 comments

Another TAK Short

Alright, here is another short story using some more characters from my upcoming book TAK.

*WARNING* THIS STORY IS RATED ‘M’ FOR MATURE. IT CONTAINS GRAPHIC SEXUAL VIOLENCE, INCEST AND OBJECTIONABLE CONTENT. THIS IS NOT FOR THE EASILY DISTURBED. PLEASE REMEMBER IT IS ONLY A STORY AND IS NO WAY BASED ON ANY ONE LIVING OR DEAD (to my knowledge anyway) *WARNING*

That’s your warning. Read at your own risk. If I do publish a book of shorts from the world of TAK this particular tale may or may not be included. I’m surprised at myself for writing it. If you do end up reading TAK when it comes out (maybe 2015?) this story will give you some insight into a certain character’s mindset.

Anyway, that’s enough of the warning. I still think it’s a good story, despite the potentially mind-melting disturbing parts. Don’t say I didn’t tell you!

Skeletons in the Closet

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Book Excerpts, 3 comments

Story Two

Well, it’s not really story two since this is the third short I’ve released.

I didn’t have time to do up last night, so here it is!

This is called Kokoro and The Charlatan. It’s basically the same story from yesterday just told from Kokoro’s perspective.

Of course, I should mention again that these are first drafts and not final. Things may change between releasing them now and when they are finally published. There may be some glaring discrepancies which I hope to catch later on. If you notice anything, feel free to let me know!

Happy reading!

Kokoro and the Charlatan

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Book Excerpts, 2 comments

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Right?

I am sorry I’ve been like a ghost for so long. I thought I would have more time for writing being a stay-at-home mom but I have less time than I did before! I work in the evenings so when I finally get to be released from watching my little monsters I have to go to work. And then I come home, and I’m tired, so I sleep.

Today I managed to get a few hours to myself so I was able to work on another short story from the world of TAK.

This story is about how Kokoro started coming to work at the clinic with The Charlatan. This story is from Charlatan’s perspective. I plan to write another one from Kokoro’s perspective and put it up sometime tonight. I need to take a break from writing for a bit because:

a) I’m hungry

b) my eyes are hurting from staring at the screen.

So here is the story of The Charlatan and Kokoro! I hope you enjoy it!

The Charlatan and Kokoro

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Book Excerpts, 0 comments