Saturday, 12 August 2017

Beautiful People - August Edition

     Wow, has this month been a crazy one or what? And we're not even half-way through August! If yours was anything like mine, it was crammed full of various writing projects, reading, and time-consuming life commitments.

     One of the writing projects I'm working on at present is Of Traitors and Tricksters. For this month's Beautiful People, I'll be using one of the main POVs, Bakari, to answer the questions. If you're not sure what Beautiful People is, it's a monthly link-up/blog meme hosted by the amazing Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In. It never fails to help me get to know my characters better!

     Here's a quick blurb about Of Traitors and Tricksters, my latest YA Fantasy, in case you missed its introductory post:

Bakari is a traitor. Promised to be healed of a condition that makes even walking difficult, he kills the prince, his master. When he's betrayed and caught with a bloody knife, the royal family sentences him to execution by magic at dawn. Yet as the sun rises, the magicians discover he may be harder to kill than they thought. 

Ebonee is an entertainer. Having fled from a rogue magician gang with her younger sister, she now dances for their food in the palace. But old friends and enemies are not finished with her yet, and want one last favour... A favour that could free her from their clutches forever. All she has to do is perform one tiny trick. 

How harmful could it be?

    Onto the questions!

1) What are they addicted to/can’t live without?

    Bakari couldn't live without his thyme, poppy, and coriander (cilantro for all you Americans) oil. It comes in a vial, and when his muscles seize, rubbing the oil on them makes moving the affected muscle more bearable.

2) Name 3 positive and 3 negative qualities about your character.

Positives: He will do anything to protect his father, he knows how to give people space when they need it, and he can crack jokes so randomly in awkward situations you can't help but laugh.

Negatives: He will do anything to protect his father (that's right, I'm using it in both sections), he tends not to speak up for himself, he's often too trusting.

3) Are they holding onto something they should get rid of?

    His old life and self, before he killed the prince. He keeps trying to be the old Bakari without realizing they're not the same anymore. He's changed.

4) If 10 is completely organized and 1 is completely messy, where do they fall on the scale?

    A ten. He's a very organised person.

5) What most frustrates them about the world they live in?

    There is no current cure for his condition, which makes his muscles seize in repetitive motions at random times, as well as making his mouth repeat syllables over and over again with no warning. It's often a source of great embarrassment and frustration for him, so he prefers to be alone and silent most of the time to avoid explaining.

6) How would they dress for a night out? How would they dress for a night in?

    It would be the same, in or out. Bakari might put on a light extra layer if it were late at night, but it's always fairly warm in his country.

7) How many shoes do they own, and what kind?

    Only one pair, like most of his people. Sandals are a sign of great wealth, and most people are barefoot for the majority of the time. Bakari has purchased a pair of used, almost broken sandals for long travels though.

This is a pair of Ancient Egyptian sandals made from reeds and other fibers, so it's similar to what Bakari owns!
8) Do they have any pets? What pet do they WISH they had?

    Nope, he has none, and is fine like that. He's afraid that the animals will hate him too, like everyone else.

9) Is there something or someone that they resent? Why and what happened?

    Well, hello there spoilers!

10) What’s usually in their fridge or pantry?

    Bakari's meals come from the palace kitchen, and most of the food he and the other servants eat is lots of bread and fish, occasionally poultry, lentils, figs, onions, radishes, beans, and dates. Very rarely do they eat meat, but Bakari would fill a pantry with it for himself if he could!

Did you participate in Beautiful People? Link me to your post in the comments! What are your thoughts on Bakari or Of Traitors and Tricksters? How's your writing going this month?
Good luck with your writing, and have a lovely day! <3

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Rebellious Writing Website is UP!

    Today is a very special day for a number of reasons. Firstly, because I'm posting on a Wednesday. (Now that doesn't happen too often!) Secondly, because the Rebellious Writing website is UP and LIVE!

    You can go check it out here!

    Here's what we're all about:

We believe
In light 
In truth
In goodness
We believe in tomorrow's generation
In creating a better world
Through words
Through books
We believe in fighting for what we believe
We believe in high expectations
That we are capable of anything we set our minds to
We the youth...
Believe in Rebellion
Rebellion for Righteousness
For light
For verity in a world of lies
For beauty in a world of darkness

    I can't tell you how hard our team has been working behind the scenes setting up social media accounts, designing, creating graphics, coding, writing, organising, everything! The passion held by my team-mates is simply incredible. Speaking of them, here they are below:

    We would love it if you also have a look at our social media accounts:

    Thank you to all who have supported the movement. You're all amazing! We have a lot of big things planned for Rebellious Writing, and are so excited to see it growing. Please head on over to the website if you haven't already; it would mean so much to us!

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Why You Should Record Your Writing Progress

     A few months ago, I probably wouldn't have even considered writing this post. But I've discovered lately that trying new writing strategies and techniques, is not a bad thing at all! It's incredibly important to stretch yourself to find what you excel at, and what you can work on.

    So what's the latest trick I've picked up? Recording my writing progress!

    Maybe some of you do this already, or maybe you don't. Almost four months ago, when I found myself in a shop's stationery aisle (admit it, your feet take you there without your knowledge; it's a writer's curse), I had to, of course, buy a journal. In my collection of journals, each has a purpose. Some are for drawing and world-building, others for random ideas, etc. So of course, this journal had to have one!

    I decided to take a wild leap into the unknown and start recording my writing progress each day. And to cut out the rest of the boring details, I'm loving it! So here are a few reasons you might want to record your progress as well:

1) It Motivates You

    I make an entry in my journal every night before I go to sleep, about any writing/blogging things I've done that day. (Occasionally I add bits about reading or life too, but shush, that's not what this post is about.) Knowing that I'm going to write something down--if I wrote/edited or not--pushes me to do at least something. Even if I can't write "wrote 3,000 words", I can at least write "started working on the fire scene". 

    I like to think about it as a kind of accountability. Some people have friends that check up on them to make sure they've done a task, and this journal is like that friend for me. It pushes me to write as much as I can, no matter how insignificant it seems at first. Some words are always better than no words!

Admit it; we all know we're going to have this many journals one day...
2) You Can See How Far You've Come

    As I date every entry, it makes it easy to flip back a month or two, and see what I was working on then. Sometimes I'm disappointed that I haven't moved as far along as I would have liked, but other times my eyes go wide. It's incredible how much you can do in a short period of time!

    Whenever I'm feeling a bit down about my writing, I'll flip back to the beginning pages of my journal, and tell myself: "You see how far you've come? You can do this! You've done it before, and you can do it again."

3) Dates Can Come in Handy

    I can't tell you how many times I've wondered how old my story ideas are. Very intelligently (not) I decided not to date entries in my past idea journals. As my current journal sometimes doubles up as a place to scribble down plot bunnies, I now have dates for when I came up with my latest WIPs. Of Traitors and Tricksters, for example, was thought up on the 4th of July. (That makes it a month old when I'm writing this!)

   Knowing when you finished editing a draft can also be great if you're like me. I have a strict rule where I don't touch a first draft for at least six weeks after completion, and if I forget to write it down...I have a general idea when, but I've never been good at keeping track of time. Writing down the exact finishing date has really helped me structure out when I'm able to take those next steps with my WIPs!

What about you, do you record your writing progress? If you do, how? If not, do you think you'll start soon? Do you ever find yourself in a stationery aisle with no memory of walking over there???
Best of luck with your writing, and have a lovely day! <3