There are some moments that you wish you could capture forever; emotions you could bottle inside, carefully tuck inside you for safe-keepin...

There are some moments that you wish you could capture forever; emotions you could bottle inside, carefully tuck inside you for safe-keeping. There is joy in those moments, and there is peace, and there is hope. I had one of those moments writing the poem below. It both hurt and healed me.

It's hard to know how to introduce this poem. So I'll turn to the Bible to speak what I have tried to say:

"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed." (Isaiah 53:5, NIV)

It was not a peaceful end.
He did not die in His sleep,
Nor with a quick, silent end to His pain.
No mercy was shown to His shredded body,
No gentle touch to clean His wounds.
They tried to kill God.
They tried to kill God.
They tried to

They beat Him, mocked Him, broke His flesh,
They tore His muscles like tearing robes.
A crown of thorns dug into His scalp;
He could not rest His head, or He would be pierced.
He was tortured.
He was murdered.
He was innocent.
Beyond innocent -- He was holy, perfect, blameless.
And He looked upon us,
Us, humans who had bled His creations until they were husks.
Humans who turned on each other, snapping spines,
Feeding our shadowed hearts with cries of mercy
From others’ lips.
We gave no mercy.

We tried to kill God.
Our sin, my sin, tried to smother Him.
But He picked up the last, quivering sliver of light within us,
He ignored the roaring shadows and sneering fears.
No, not ignored, he saw it all.
And He forgave us.
He cradled this sliver, breathed life into its cracks, made it whole, and
Died for us.
Took the pain for us.
Even as the taunts mocked him, even as the thorns ripped the skin
Off His skull, He forgave through the pain.
He looked out on the jeering crowd,
And declared,
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.”

We should have been destroyed.
We should have died, painful deaths, in agony
For the darkest deeds we have done,
For the seed of rot and ruin we plant in ourselves and others.
Instead, He took our place.
He chose to die for us, and we tried to kill Him, delighting in His pain.
“It is finished.”
It is.
His crown of thorns has been replaced with one
Of the most precious stones. A crown of purity, of holiness
So perfect we might look at Him and weep.
For who can compare to Him?

We tried to kill Him forever.
But Death could not hold Him.
And to the thunderous praise of the Heavens,
To the cry of joy from the earth, from every mountains, from every creature,
He rose.
He had not sinned -- Death’s chains could not confine Him.
He rose,
And He looked on those who had once mocked Him, now trembling before Him.
And He opened His arms
And called His children home.

Who are we, to be called sons and daughters of the perfect man,
The Holy of Holies, the Highest of Highs?
Boundless love, incomparable forgiveness,
He gives it all.
Who saw our shattered souls, and picked up the pieces?
Who is He, to love us so?
He is God.
He is Jesus.
He is the Holy Spirit.
He is all and everything, start and finish, the creator who walked in the skin of His creation
To understand, to love.
He is my Lord.

We tried to kill God.
For a time, the darkness rose, but it did not win the victory.
For then, Jesus rose,
And laid out forgiveness before us,
Laid out a path to eternity through Him.
He wore a crown of thorns, and let His body be broken, for us.
He died and rose, for us.
For us.
All of it, was for us.

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23, KJV)

If you were to open my writing folder, and look at the stories I've written, you would start to notice a pattern. At first most of my s...

If you were to open my writing folder, and look at the stories I've written, you would start to notice a pattern. At first most of my stories featured 'I', or a POV (Point of View) I kept forgetting to name. Then I experimented with two POVs, before falling in love with third tense and three or four perspectives.

Now almost every one of my stories feature multiple points-of-view.

What is it that draws writers and readers to stories that feature the viewpoint of more than one character? And what is it that turns them away, or scares them to explore multiple POVs? Today I'm going to be discussing my personal list of pros and cons for having more than one POV in your story!

Richer Story

As they say, there are two (or more) sides to every story. Having multiple POVs means the reader can explore more of the storyworld, see a different angle to events, and know the motivations behind many characters' actions. It gives a depth to the story, and shows more than one side to a tale.

Allowing the reader to get into the head of different key players in the story, gives secondary/antagonist characters, who usually might not be the POV, a moment to shine. It shows the reader that they too have goals, and are not there simply to carry the plot along.

Source of Greater Conflict 

If your POVs are in direct opposition to each other, and both are likable/sympathetic, the reader will be even more heavily invested in your story, as they'll be torn between deciding who they want to succeed. (For example, two POVs who are each other's antagonists.) This internal conflict in the reader will have them tearing through pages, eager to see how it ends.

Internal thoughts are also the best breeding grounds for secrets and misunderstandings. In one POV, the character might reveal they're going to betray another POV, which creates a tension in the reader throughout the book, making them question when this betrayal will take place, if they'll go through with it, and so on. In writing, more conflict is a good thing!

Improve Voice

There are two types of voice in writing: character voice, and an author's voice. Writing multiple POVs in a story improves both! Even without name markers at the beginning of chapters, readers should be able to know whose head they're in as soon as it starts. Writers are able to refine their characters' voices in each POV scene, really tapping into who their character is, and what makes them sound different.

While the distinction of voice between POVs is important, if the style of language and flow is too jolting between scenes, it could be jarring for the reader. The trick is to find the right balance between the character's voice, and the author's voice, and having multiple POVs is the perfect time to learn and practice this!

Possibility of Confusion

Though multiple POVs can bring the story great depth and richness, if it's not executed properly, it can seem as though some POVs were thrown in for no reason. It's important to give every POV a purpose in the central storyline, or hint at the role they'll have later on in the novel. Otherwise, the reader might grow frustrated at what they see as deviations from the central story, and why they're hearing the thoughts of characters who aren't relevant and/or as likable.

And in my personal experience, when you get more than four or five POVs, it can be hard to remember all the different character names!

Longer Wordcount

To coherently tell one POV's side of the story, they have to have many scenes over the course of the novel. When you have multiple POVs, each with their own climax, inciting incident, midpoints, etc. the wordcount goes up, and up, and up. Though this may not necessarily be a problem if you write short novels in general, if you're already a lengthy writer such as myself, the count might get a little too high to be comfortable. And of course, the higher the wordcount, the longer it takes to write and edit!

Can Lose Focus On MC

For every story, even ones with multiple POVs, there has to be one main character. Without this character, the story would not be possible. If there are so many events, new thoughts, and new characters being introduced all the time, it could be easy to lose sight of the core story. One of the tricky aspects of writing multiple POVs is not letting the MC, and their shining personality, get lost among all the other voices.

Do you prefer to write in multiple POVs or just one? What challenges do you have writing more than one POV? Who are the POV(s) in your story right now; tell me about them!
Good luck with your writing, and have a fantastic day! <3

Writers can learn from anything, especially different forms of storytelling. Storytelling can range from art, to novels, to theatre, to mus...

Writers can learn from anything, especially different forms of storytelling. Storytelling can range from art, to novels, to theatre, to music. I love looking into other forms of storytelling, studying them, and applying the lessons learned to my own writing! 

Recently I've been obsessed with the 'Anastasia' broadway soundtrack, and there is so much to learn from its songs. So today, I'm going to be sharing five of the lessons I learned from this wonderful soundtrack, that can apply to writing!

(Background image(s) are not mine)

The Power of Sound

Sound is an important tool in both songwriting and in novels. Often only visuals are used to convey the mood of a scene, but along with the other senses, what you hear can do the same. In Anastasia, the songwriters use different sounds to put the audience in different mindsets. In Still/The Neva Flows Reprise, a pause comes before (gun clicks). The first time I listened to the song, when they stopped singing, paused, and I heard the gun clicking, my heart stopped beating.

Likewise, in The Press Conference, the frantic clicking of typewriters and overlapping voices conveys a chaotic, busy scene. In writing, sound in description can be a worthwhile and effective tool to use, to convey the emotion and mood of the scene to follow.

Mixing Old With New

In Quartet at the Ballet, the start of the song is a classic piece from Swan Lake, but soon it blends into a new one, incorporating different characters' current thoughts. It is the perfect example of taking an old, well-known idea, and making it your own. When writing retellings, or a spin-off of a classic, when the right balance is hit between respecting the old story, and having a new take on it, it's utterly beautiful.

Simple Descriptions

While long, exaggerated descriptions can be wonderful, there is great power in being able to craft short but vivid descriptions. In songwriting, composers have to be very selective with their words, and choose a few to communicate their ideas. Here are a few examples:

Once Upon a December 
Horses prance through a silver storm

Dancing bears, painted wings
Things I almost remember

In My Dreams
I've seen flashes of fire
Heard the echo of screams

If you find words that paint images in the minds of readers, you can take them to a new world. Fancy words aren't always needed -- often, simple is beautiful.

Recurring Lines Build Theme

If the same scene is repeated over and over in a story, with no change, it's boring and pointless. Repetition can be a highly effective technique, however. If there's a line said by a character which embodies your theme, or their character arc, letting it be said or remembered several times throughout the story, with a new meaning each time, can heighten the phrase's power. It also ties the story together.

Echoes of similar lines from earlier songs, can be found in many songs on the broadway soundtrack. The magical Once Upon a December and haunting The Neva Flows have lines which filter into further reprises; their effect is a soundtrack that feels whole, and connected.

Balancing Out Emotions

In a soundtrack, more upbeat songs (eg Land of Yesterday) are needed to balance out softer songs (eg. In a Crowd of Thousands), where characters question themselves and their actions. This contrast allows the audience to feel the changing and complex emotions of the characters as they grow. In stories, it's important to balance out highly emotional scenes with action scenes, action with reaction, successes with losses. Striking these balances will take the reader on a journey, that will not tire them, yet still excite them.

What's your favourite song from the Anatasia Soundtrack? Who is your favourite character from the movie/musical? Do you prefer simple or elaborate descriptions?
Good luck with your writing, and have a fantastic day! <3

    It's easy to get discouraged, as a writer. I know the feeling well, and I'm sure you do too. So today I've collected some of...

    It's easy to get discouraged, as a writer. I know the feeling well, and I'm sure you do too. So today I've collected some of my Dear Writer... tweets, with the hope they'll encourage you in some way, because I believe in all of you. Always keep writing, lovelies!

Dear writer, 
Someday, you will be someone's favourite author. 
And all your hard work, 
All your tears and pain 
Will seem worth it. 
Keep pushing on for that day, keep working hard, 
And it will come. 
A fellow writer 

Dear writer, 
You have done an extraordinary thing. 
You have created a story 
To inspire 
To entertain 
To share your experiences, 
Or a thousand other reasons. 
You are courageous, for putting those words down. 
And you are brave, because you wish to share them. 
A fellow writer

Dear writer, 
It's so easy to be your own harshest critic. 
It's so easy to cut yourself down to the core, and whisper 
"I'm not good enough". 
But you are. 
And you can banish all those doubts, 
Because you, and your writing, are good enough. 
A fellow writer

Dear writer, 
You are not the writer beside you. 
You are not the writer ahead of you, or behind you. 
You're on your own path, your own writing journey, and you should own that. 
No one can write like you can. 
I repeat, no one. 
A fellow writer

Dear writer,
I want to tell you something: 
Don't expect perfection. 
Your first draft doesn't need to be perfect. 
Your writing doesn't need to be perfect. 
Because, honestly, 
These imperfections make you a creative, real human soul. 
They make your story yours. 
A fellow writer

Dear writer, 
It's hard. I know it is. 
Writing can be lonely. 
But there are so many writers ready to support you through the hard times. 
To keep you going. 
To cheer you up. 
To cry and dance and share chocolate with you. 
Just remember, you're never alone. 
A fellow writer

Dear writer, 
We've talked a couple times now. 
Maybe you listened. Maybe you didn't. 
Either way, I have a very simple message: That story you're writing? 
I want you to keep writing it. 
Even if no one else ever sees it, you will. 
And that makes it special. 
A fellow writer

What encourages you when you're feeling discouraged? Do you have a favourite 'Dear Writer'? What inspires your writing?
Have a wonderful day, and always keep writing! <3

    Something I always enjoy doing, is looking through my childhood writing, sketching, and world-building journals. I always find a reason ...

    Something I always enjoy doing, is looking through my childhood writing, sketching, and world-building journals. I always find a reason to smile when I flip through them, whether it be from the shaky handwriting or from the bizarre names on maps. And because I'm eager to see others' old journal entries as well as share my own, I've decided to create a tag!

    The tag is called, as you can clearly see in the title, 'Revisiting Old Journals Tag'! I hope you'll enjoy getting a sneak peek into the early writing life of both myself and others through this tag!

The Rules, for your convenience:
#1 -- Thank whoever tagged you, then link to him/her and the creator (Melissa Gravitis).
#2 -- Go through your old journals (writing or otherwise), and share something from them: from world-building, to sketches, to random quotes, to an entry, to short snippets of writing! And if you feel like it needs explaining, go for it!
#3 -- Tag at least 5 other bloggers.
#4 -- Feel free to use the header image!
#5 -- Have fun!

    Here are some entries from journals I used throughout my early writing life, up until recently. My style has definitely changed, and I've improved a LOT as a writer, but these excerpts either amused me, interested me, or gave me feelings. Let's get to it!

Orange Owl Journal -- Date Used Unknown (most likely 2009-2012):

RLOE -- A land filled with marshes, lakes, and swamps

Rloe was once a lovely kingdom with golden meadows as far as the eye could see. Unfortunately, it was also home to a wizard who loved water. This wizard, loved her home country so much she decided only one thing could make it better: if the whole land was filled with water. She shortly was banished for proposing this idea to the king.
That was a mistake.
Instead of filling it with beautiful rivers and lakes, she filled it with mosquito swamps and marshes.

Red Journal -- 2012 - early 2015

Ignore the castle and Cripple their will,
Explore the stars,
Win over the moon
Illustrate the pain, the Neverending pain.
Destroy the woods, yet Take the saplings
justify the Empty ice,
Nourish the soul.

Confused? Good, you should be. Notice something strange about this? No? Yes? Hopefully you said yes. But don't feel bad if you said no.

Anyway, I don't think it matters if I tell you. You'll probably read the story first.

Cracking the Code:
It's simple, really. Just put all the capitals together to make ICEWINDTEN.

(Side Note: I shall leave it there, out of respect to my younger's self secrecy, as you haven't read the story yet. ;) )

Bedside Journal (1) -- 2015

Random charrie quote: "Sometimes I think she married me not for children, but for a debate partner."

Bedside Journal (2) -- late 2015-2016

Fairy Door Poem
Ends with:

Now her coffin's
In the ground
And the faeries 
Don't come anymore.

(Oh look, my hand!)

Textile Journal -- 2015-2016

(Side note before you begin: 'soi' means narrow street in Thai. In this excerpt I describe standing on the roof of my old house in Thailand. :) )

She liked it on the roof. She liked the palette of sunset that dipped everything in shades of yellows and reds. She liked the afternoon sun that set fire to the raw bricks across the road, and the way the gust gathered under her toes. She could feel the quietness of her soi, but at the same time could feel the pulse of her neighbours, living so close with only a wall between them; lives so different next door.

The building site across the road with its sun drenched bricks, black tarps, and bamboo scaffolding was quiet for once. She liked how it was half-finished, but managed to offset the colours of the rest of the world she saw.

The rust-red iron work above. The knotted green rope that stretched from one end of the balcony to the other. The grey dust gathered underneath the building site's flimsy metal fence. The holes in the road that filled up with brown water after the rains. The peeling and dirty lead paint on the walls.

None of it was complete and perfect, and she liked it. The perfectionist liked imperfect things.

I tag...
And anyone else who wants to take part!

I hope you enjoyed getting a sneak peek into my childhood writing journals! 

Do you enjoy revisiting your old journals? Do you have trouble deciphering your childhood handwriting (I do!)? How has your use of journals changed from when you were younger?
Good luck with your writing, and have a great day! <3