Filling your world
This is dedicated to all of those fantasy and sci-fi writers out there.

What makes you decide what monsters make up your world?

Mine was pretty simple to figure out. Because it was based on so many religions, I had to stay true to those religions. Of course there are angels, devils/demons, fallen angels (which is different from a demon/devil in my book, Djinn (Muslim version of a demon). Those were the major races, but when I first started the story, I wanted more than just that. I wanted a real fantasy feel to it, because, well, I love fantasy. One way that I incorporated a fantastical feel is by giving the warriors "gifts" which are supposedly from different Gods. The first four were easy for me: a dragon (because I love dragons!), a leviathan (has a very Christian/Jewish feel to it), a phoenix (kinda like a dragon -- just love the damn creature), and I wanted a pegasus type horse. The last one I knew I wanted to deal with Egypt, but it took me a while to chose between an Anubinite and a sphinx. The first book dealt with the Anubinite, but while making revisions I decided to change to the sphinx.

Now outside of the gifts, there isn't much outside the angels/demons theme. You won't see a leprechaun pop up. You won't see fairies or mermaids.

So, if you're just starting out, and you're wondering -- where do I start?

Sit back. Close your eyes. Picture either your character or your world. Now imagine what can NOT fit. Get those out of your head, and start filling it with things that do. Nymphs? Talking trees? Winged horses? Gryphons? Maybe something else, something that's never been told of before. Start writing them down while keeping your eyes closed. Just make notes. Fill it up until you've got a bursting city or a raging war. From there, you can set rules of the land. You can set disputes between races. You can see how sexism plays a part in your world. You can see how your character is treated and what makes him/her special and different.

Having different races is more than just having a different race. It's about stepping into a book and seeing real characters that you adore even if it's a fluttering fairy or fire breathing dragon. It's about being able to do what no one else can, and most of all, it's about taking your imagination go for a joy ride.

Even if you do have something common, like I do, make sure you add some sense of wonder to it. You want to love this world if you're going to write it. Make it everything you've ever dreamed of.

More thoughts on romance
As I said in one of my previous entries, I don't do romance. I love to read romance, but I've always felt silly writing it.

Not to mention I've got a huge pet peeve when it comes to authors mistaking lust for love. Sure, there's a fine line, but after most romance books (or subplots for that matter) I rarely think the people will live for and love each other for the rest of their years. "Love" in most books feel shallow.

Since it's a pet peeve, obviously I don't want to do it. So I've been bothered by how Bryce and Sami will fall in love without making it feel like shallow lust, especially since Bryce is the epitome of shallow.

But something happened last night that opened my eyes.

You can have a strong physical attraction to someone, but it not be -the- thing that makes you different from every other man or woman.

There's something to love about everyone in the world. Every single person has admirable characteristics. But I'm starting to think there is only one. There's only one person that walks to the same beating drum. There's only one person who's mind is in the exact same place as yours. Age doesn't determine it. Gender doesn't. Lust and physical attraction doesn't. It's simply a freak-of-nature incident that has molded two people of completely different backgrounds to have the same unshakable beliefs, clever opinions, sunny sense of humor, and common wants/goals.

Even though I've always nailed myself as a hopeless romantic, in the world today, you've got to have a realist view on love.

When I was little, my stepdad used to tell me the same thing after a break up. "There are millions upon millions of people in the world, and out of those millions, there are thousands of people that you could love and would love you equally in return." Don't get me wrong, the advice is completely spot on. But because I believed in what he said so much, I had an idea branch off of it: there's something to love about everyone, but "the one" will be someone that you will accept the worst of and still love him/her unconditionally.

But I've changed my mind.

You really do have one. And it isn't just some hot babe. It isn't just going to be lust. He's going to want the same things out of life as you do. He's going to believe like you do. He's going share the same opinions as you, and not only accept your opinions and what you believe in -- but love each one of them.

I've "loved" a lot of people in my lifetime. All for different reasons. All in different ways. But once you meet that one, even if it's only for a little bit, you realize the relationships before hand were great, but they weren't perfect. They weren't "the one".

So, now that I've gone off on a completely romantic tangent. My eyes have been opened. A shallow womanizer can be turned into a fierce lover, and I intend on doing exactly that. I'll write more once I have it mapped out. Ahh outlines!
The idea that got away
So most of my ideas on what to post about on my blog come from either an agent's blog or Absolute Write Water Cooler. I try and answer as many questions as possible, because you see the same questions over and over and over and over. I figured if I could just answer them here, I'll always have a link to provide without repeating myself.

While I haven't seen too many amazing topics lately, one definitely caught my eye.

Question: Ever have an idea that you couldn't write before, but you feel like you can now?

Personally, I've grown an unbelievable amount in my writing. BUT (yes, there's a but here), there will always be the "idea that got away".

Something you may not know about me is that I am an omega-history buff. I love ancient civilizations. I love mythology. So, my first idea ever (I was fifteen or sixteen at the time) was about a soothsayer time traveling, and whenever he came back to his era -- time literally collapsed. All of the greatest ancient civilizations suddenly were overlapping. There were hundreds of different directions the story could go, and I felt completely overwhelmed by it. Honestly, regardless of how I've grown as a writer, I'm not sure I could ever conquer that project. =P
*Takes a deep breath* I'm back!
So, life's been crazy, and no -- that's no excuse to neglect my poor baby blog. Sorry!

Between tax season, a vacation, weeks upon weeks of catch-up work after the vacation, and a couple other interesting things -- I've had my hands tied behind my back.

I'm not the strictest writer in the world. I'm really hard on myself about the quality of writing, but as for keeping a set schedule, I just don't do it. I write when I want to, and I'm so in love and so involved with my story that it's always come easy. To keep this easy, I have one simple rule:

Before you stop, finish the chapter you started.

I broke that rule for the first time, and after being gone from my precious manuscript for two months, I'm kicking myself in the ass.

I turn on my laptop, read what I've written, and eagerly started to write. But I can't remember *exactly* where I was going with this scene. I know where it needs to end up. So I try and make it work. Re-read it. Delete. This has happened to me a whole three times now, and honestly, it's getting frustrating.

I'm going to get through it though. Writing challenges you in so many different ways. No matter what situation you're dealing with, there's only one answer to solve it: determination. Don't let anything stop you. You deserve to trip over your plot holes. You deserve to question your character's depth. You deserve to want to claw your eyes out after the third time editing. You deserve the seconds that turn into years whenever you send your query out. You deserve your heart banging against your chest when you are waiting for a publisher's response.


Because by god, after every step you've taken so far, you deserve it. As do I. So bastard chapter that won't let me continue, be warned. I'm going to get past you.
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