The Trouble With Being a Writer

Are you someone who’s really passionate about writing? Do you desire to be one of those people that get to write on a regular basis and get paid for it?

When it comes to writing, there are a lot of cliches out there. There’s the starving writer, the prestigious writer, the aspiring writer… among others. Maybe you fit into one of these, or maybe none of them. But one thing that I’ve begun to notice is that for many, many writers out there, there’s a certain dependency on the finicky muse.

The trouble with being a writer is a certain element of uncertainty and vulnerability. Writers have questions, and doubts, like:

“What if I’m not good enough?”

“What if no one likes my writing?”

“What if I can’t be successful as a writer?”

The list goes on. Plus, honestly, writing can be challenging. It’s like sticking a piece of yourself out into the world and then waiting for the haters to come along and smack it around.

But on that very same token, writing can also be powerful. Some of the best things out there were written by someone brave enough to share it. I think most people have been impacted or learned something from a book, an article, or reading something of value. I think that instead of thinking about the negatives, writers should think about how their writing can benefit. Focus on the impact your writing can have. And throw yourself into creating that desired impact every time you sit down to write.

I keep seeing things like, “How do writers ever finish a novel?” Or “I can’t find the motivation to write today.” And granted, sometimes life is just busy and other things take precedence over writing. For some people, writing every day is a part of their routine, or at least it’s possible and it works for them. For others, writing is something they do when they feel like it and regardless of consistency, they produce amazingly when they do write.

Then there are writers who genuinely want to write but struggle to do so.

The root problem varies from person to person, as everyone has their own struggles and challenges, but I think every writer has those days. Those days of not knowing what to write, or not being able to write if they do have an idea. So even if someone is really focused on the positive and the impact, what about that finicky muse problem?

Well, I believe that every writer has a “creative zone”, unique to the individual. The trick is to learn when that is for yourself. For me, it’s anytime after 8pm. For some reason, from that time until insane times of the morning, my brain just clicks and I’m in maximum creativity and productivity mode. (Which sucks when I need to go to bed early ;)). The other thing is to know the factors that can trigger this zone for you. Is it music, the shower, nature, a certain scented candle?

Once you know your unique zone, and your triggers, you can easily demand the muse’s attention and then it’s just a matter of making your writing a priority. For me, that means I have to consciously plan to spend that time writing instead of working on other things, browsing through Facebook, or watching something on Netflix. How intentional with your time are you?

Really, I think that writer troubles stem from internal self-doubt, or from a lack of being intentional about writing and time spent. Once you change your focus, writing can be much less challenging!

What do you think? Share in the comments!

 

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(New Release) My Soul to Give

When Celina Leviet escapes the brutal home invasion that kills her husband, she’s left with a bullet in her gut and vengeance in her heart. An alluring demon, Mekaisto, offers an irresistible deal—in

exchange for her soul, he’ll let her live long enough to get her revenge, but she must hunt and kill the murderers herself.

After sealing the contract, Celina digs into her husband’s past for clues about his murder, and what she uncovers makes her question everything she thought she knew about him.

His company never existed.
His family history was a lie.

And he was involved with The Lumen, a shadowy religious order whose members know too much about demons. As the life she thought she knew crumbles around her, Mekaisto’s charms become harder to resist. Forced to face a horrible truth, Celina struggles against her late husband’s betrayal and the dark seduction of the devil she knows.

Short Excerpt

Her breath came faster, and he could smell what she wanted before she even knew what it was. “Please, Kai—I’m yours. I want more. I want everything you can give me.”

The wave of lust heating his body could have burned a city to the ground. “Well, now,” he whispered in her ear as he stood, lifting her up with him, “I need to oblige such begging with a reward.”

BUY LINKS:

Evernight Publishing

 

About Magali A. Frèchette

I’m passionate about writing, reading, photo manipulation artwork, animals, anime/manga, video games, the fandom world of TV shows and movies, and stuff like that. I’m a proud Ravenclaw: I’ve always been sorted into this house, but the recent Pottermore sorting placed me in Gryffindor―I don’t care since the Sorting Hat couldn’t consider my choice, so I identify with Ravenclaw, and that’s where I’ll remain!

I have two main hobbies: writing and creating book covers. I’m also a gamer (Diablo, Zelda, Final Fantasy), enjoy listening to music (and always singing along to Disney), have a passion for Japanese culture, and adore reading. I love anime/manga, Japanese Dramas and consider myself a proud fan of many different TV shows including Buffy, Supernatural, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Merlin, Game of Thrones, Outlander, etc.

I wrote my first story when I was 12 years old (and we’ll never talk about that story), but started writing three years later. Since then, I always write, and this particular novel is my 19th story. It’s always been a dream to be a published author, and I can happily say I’ve reached that goal―I plan on continuing writing and publishing for the rest of my days.

Connect with Magali

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Visual Novel: The Nonary Games

(For a general description about Visual Novels please  read our About Visual Novels page.)

Maybe not a visual novel in the purest sense, but I will take every opportunity I can to push this game series. Released for Playstation 4, Playstation Vita, and on Steam, The Nonary Games is a 2-in-1 combo. The first game is the 2009 release of 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors released for the original Nintendo DS. The second game is the 2012 release of Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward released originally on the Nintendo 3DS and Playstation Vita.

Both games play the same way. They are divided into two different modes: Story Mode and Puzzle Mode. The story mode plays everything like a regular Visual Novel. You read the story, complete with beautiful visuals and music, and you are forced to make choices. Each of these choices will lead you down various different story branches, some branches not unlike until you have read through other story branches. Both games features complex story flow charts so you can easily jump in and out of timelines as desired.

Punctuating the story mode is puzzle mode. As the story progress the player will find themselves locked in complex Escape Rooms that they must escape by solving a series of puzzles.

The story is not for the faint of heart, featuring blood and death, and frequently references and delves into metaphysical sciences. While not all story elements are strictly true, most are. Kotaro Uchikoshi is a popular visual novel writer (he wrote my personal favorite visual novel Ever17) and frequently ties in such sciences into his stories.

999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors follows the protagonist Junpei, he wakes up to find himself locked in a replica of the famous ship the Titanic along with eight other people. Each of them wears a bracelet with a number on it. The villain Zero tells them they are playing the Nonary Game. There are nine doors for the players to get through within nine hours. If the players fail, bombs inside the bracelets will explode and kill the players.

Virtue’s Last Reward follows protagonist Sigma who is captured and forced to play The Nonary Game: Ambidex Edition. Same principles, bracelets that will kill and doors that require puzzles to be solved. What’s different is that in order to get through the final escape door, the players must gain points in the game… by allying or betraying other players. Those players that reach 9 points can open and escape, but the door only opens once, and any players who reach 0 will be injected with fast-acting poison.

And I can’t mention these two fantastic games without also giving a nod to the third game, Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma. Released 2016 for Nintendo 3DS and Playstation Vita, it has also been released on Steam, and has a Playstation 4 release late 2017. A game that nearly did not happen. While the Nonary Games received outrageous reviews here in America, it unfortunately did not receive such great praise in Japan, which almost killed any potential for the third and final installment. But the fans persisted, launching Operation Bluebird to raise  support, and finally at the 2015 Anime Expo Aksys Games announced development had resumed.

(Upcoming Release) Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character

Have you ever wished you could receive a little guidance from your favorite book boyfriend? Ever dreamed of being the Chosen One in a YA novel? Want to know all the secrets of surviving the dreaded plot twist?

Or maybe you’re just really confused about what “opal-tinted, luminous cerulean orbs” actually are?

Well, popular Twitter personality @broodingYAhero is here to help as he tackles the final frontier in his media dominance: writing a book. Join Broody McHottiepants as he attempts to pen Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me, a “self-help” guide (with activities–you always need activities) that lovingly pokes fun at the YA tropes that we roll our eyes at, but secretly love.

As his nefarious ex, Blondie DeMeani, attempts to thwart him at every turn, Broody overcomes to detail, among other topics, how to choose your genre, how to keep your love interest engaged (while maintaining lead character status), his secret formula for guaranteed love triangle success, and how to make sure you secure that sequel, all while keeping his hair perfectly coiffed and never breaking a sweat.

Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me by Carrie DiRisio is a book that I’m looking forward to reading. If you are a Twitter follower I highly recommend that you check out Brooding YA Hero @broodingYAhero. Created by Carrie DiRisio @writer_carrier. Snarky, broody, and egotistical the wit in each tweet succeeds in capturing ever male teenager trope in the industry.

Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me was recently announced and is slated for release October 3, 2017. It will be released on all major devices and in hardback. And, as announced on her Twitter feed, Carrie RiSio is promising a very special bonus for those who preorder.

 

Mythical Beasts: Pookah

The pookah is a creature found in Irish folklore. There are many different variations of the spelling for its name: puca, pooka, and puka are just a few of the most popular. Sometimes considered a fairy, this creature is primarily a shape shifter. As found in research most concede that the common shape this fairy shifts into is a horse, but a rabbit is how I know this creature. But it’s also been depicted as goats and, in more modern depictions, a shapeless orb and other more common animals and pets. If the pookah does appear as a human it is always with an animal characteristic, rabbit ears for example, or a cat tail.

There are conflicting stories about whether these creatures are benevolent or malevolent. Farmers tend to believe that these creatures were helpful and aided in growing crops and milling. Some stories are very reminiscent of the fairy tale with the Shoe Maker and the elves that came to make his shoes at night – pookahs would come into the mill at night and do the farmer’s work.

However pookahs were also blamed for harm that befell unwary, or lost travelers, and were used in typical bed time stories to ward children away from unfavorable locations and actions.

According to Wikipedia these creatures have also been featured as blood thirsty, vampire-like monsters, or just hunger after human flesh – but I’ve honestly never seen these examples. But the pookah has appeared in a multitude of stories and legends, especially in popular culture, particularly in video games.

Odin Sphere is probably the best example. Featured as fluffy rabbit creatures who have been cursed by the fairies. They also appear as see-through colored orbs in Etrian Odyssey 4.

In movies, if the 1997 animated film Anastasia, the main character finds a dog that provides the sign that she seeks when determining which road she’ll take. She affectionately names the dog “Pooka.”

Name of the Month: Leia and Brendon

Writing is hard work, but perhaps the most stubborn part can be picking a name for our characters. We have to create stories and personalities, you would think picking a name would be the easiest part? Am I right?

I happen to have a great devotion to names after a bit of personal history with my own. Names can not only be beautiful but they can be meaningful, not just in what they literally translate into, but also the people or characters in the world that have bored them. So, let’s get started. Girls first!

Girl Name: Leia

You’d have to be living under a rock if you’ve never heard this name. Princess Leia of the Star Wars franchise has made this name a legend.

When I first researched this name I was disappointed to learn that the name was Hebrew and translates into the word “Weary.”

But Princess Leia is hardly anything but “weary.” Did George Lucas choose this name because of some original plan he had for Leia, or was it just a choice made with no regard to the meaning. It hardly fits and you might wonder why I brought it up at all. To prove one thing. Names can transcend beyond their humble meanings. If you were to give your character this name you would doubtlessly be considering only as a Star Wars tribute and the representation of Carrie Fisher and Princess Leia.

And that’s ok. There are many names that, if you were to look up the meaning, you would find only a  reference to an historical figure that bore the name, not the meaning of the name itself. And that perhaps is even more powerful.

Boy Name: Brendon

An Irish name that means “Prince.” A name that I myself frequently use as a placeholder for my characters – afterall it’s better than saying PRINCE everywhere in the first draft. Used it recently in my current work in progress The Mana Runner, and, haha, for good or bad it is now stuck in the story. I literally can think of no other name for my character.

 

Embrace the TROPES: The Puzzle Plot

A rare and a daunting trope, the Puzzle Trope requires just the right storyline. As its name entails, the Puzzle Trope is a series of puzzle pieces. The writer feeds the reader mere crumbs of the story and its actual facts, never giving the reader a full picture. Or in the worst case scenario (or best, depending how you view it) the writer gives the reader just enough of a picture that the reader makes incorrect assumptions. Plenty of mind-screwing potential here. The best writing is when other puzzle pieces are laid bare for the reader but are missed in the complexity until the final reveal.

When played out to its best, this offers the book and/or novel series re-readability. I guarantee that a second reading of a series that utilizes the Puzzle Trope will not read exactly as the first. You will see the puzzle pieces that the writer gave as well as the pieces that the writer left hidden along the way.

Fan theories are often plentiful, and this trope works ridiculously well in series formats. Not just relegated to the Mystery genre, I feel that the best novels that utilize this trope are those outside of the Mystery genre. Perhaps the best example would be Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy. I promise, reading this series a second time through will leave you wondering how you did not notice some of the details.

Examples in other popular media forms include video games Kingdom Hearts and Bioshock. In TV series there is the ever popular Once Upon a Time, Lost, and Heroes.

Last Chance Baby (Review)

Last Chance Baby by [Gallegos, Ashley]When pregnant Hailey returns to New Mexico, she’s happy to play along with the rumor that she’s running from the child’s father in Seattle—as long as it keeps the people she loves safe. But when tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to trust ex-Navy SEAL Chuck with her life and the life of her unborn child. But Chuck has his own secrets, and he can’t ignore the red flags coming from Hailey, even though his heart says to trust her. The two soon find themselves plunged into a world of crime, espionage, and a danger that neither had anticipated.

Last Chancy Baby was thoroughly my type of book. While I certainly enjoy and can lose myself in a variety of novels, I enjoyed this one the whole way through from the plot to the characters to the writing itself. It was well paced and had great character development over the course of the story. There was an amazing blend of romance, action, suspense, and surprising twists. I genuinely couldn’t put it down from start to finish. (It helped I read it on a road trip!)

Oddly enough, one of the things I enjoyed the most was learning more about one of the characters that technically isn’t there: Erin Dalton. Through the eyes of the main character, Hailey, I got to know Erin and I genuinely loved her as a character and felt sorry for her at the way her life went. I understood that it led to Hailey’s happily-ever-after, but it still sucked!

Still, it also truly added to the terror of her husband, Derek. The villains of the story were genuinely evil in perfectly real human ways. Which also made them even scarier. The possibilities of what could’ve happened to Hailey definitely crossed my mind as the reader numerous times and that small sparkle of hope in a happy ending drove me with a passion to see it through.

Finally, Chuck was probably one of my absolute favorite characters. Who wouldn’t want to be whisked away on a dream trip by a guy who’s not only smoking hot, but has the connections and personal capabilities to protect you from the entire world? And to top it off, he’s madly in love with you? I was definitely rooting for Hailey on that one.

I definitely recommend this book if you’re someone who enjoys fast-paced, action-packed, and surprising sorts of stories.

Overall, I give the story 4.8 stars for scattered editing errors throughout. I was asked to review this book.

If you would like to check out Last Chance Baby it’s available from Amazon for $7.99.

If you would like to submit a request for a review, send to kldimago@kldimago.com.

Legacy of Luck (Review)

51ej9uyzfilIrish Traveler Éamonn loves gambling, women, and drinking, not necessarily in that order. But he’s entangled in a true mess when he falls for fiery redhead, Katie. When she’s married to a Scottish Traveler, Éamonn travels to Scotland to find her, with the help of Katie’s sister and cousin, and the magical brooch gifted by his father. Their quest takes them across the Irish Sea to the Isle of Skye, encountering war, betrayal, death. In the end, Éamonn must make his own luck.

Legacy of Luck is the third in the Druid’s Brooch series, though also works very well as a stand-alone story. Christy Nicholas clearly knows her stuff when it comes to this time in history and Irish folklore. The book was fairly well written, except for scattered typos or editing mistakes toward the end, and had the qualities of a classic novel in many aspects.

My favorite part of the story was definitely the elements of Fae magic and Traveler legends. Despite the fantasy aspects, Nicholas did a fantastic job of weaving in elements of both reality and folklore in such a way that every bit of it was believable. I felt swept into the possibilities, the sparks of light, and wistfully imagining it was real.

Overall, I also enjoyed the characters and the different dynamics I could understand their individual points of view, backgrounds, and personalities which then made their decisions fit and logical.

The main complaint I had was that I felt the plot moved rather slowly at times and there wasn’t much in the area of character growth and development. I felt the characters were mostly the same except for small changes throughout the story, except perhaps the sharp turn of events toward the end with two of the main ones. There were several moments where I was quite frustrated with the turn of events as they played out.

Admittedly, I’m a hopeless romantic. I could accept that the events were realistic and the most likely outcome of the events had they been real situations. Yet I was still left wanting when I saw the characters suffering helplessly with no apparent light at the end of the tunnel. However, I will also say that this frustration pushed my curiosity on how it would end and spurred me onward.

This book had a great blend of real and fantasy elements that made it feel like a well-written classic and simultaneously a modern historical tale. If you enjoy stories surrounding folklore and adventure, this is definitely for you.

I give it 3.8 out of 5 stars due to the slowness at times and the editing mistakes scattered throughout.

I was asked to review this book.

If you would like to check out Legacy of Luck it’s available from Amazon for $4.99.

If you would like to submit a request for a review, send to kldimago@kldimago.com.

Combatting Fear (Review)

Mild-mannered kindergarten teacher Neve Botticelli leads a double life. Thanks to a childhood tragedy and her paranoid father, she’s a survivalist who’s learned to live off the grid.

When self-made billionaire Micah Kincaid storms into town in search of his son, Rowan, he’s pushy, entitled, and stands for everything she despises. Micah can’t believe a kindergarten teacher is barring the way to him getting crucial information or even just a glimpse of the boy his cheating ex kidnapped. They share only one thing in common: either will do anything to protect the four-year-old, who they soon discover is being held for ransom by an outlaw motorcycle gang.

But as they work together to get Rowan back, they start to see beyond each other’s masks. Could falling in love be even more dangerous than hunting down deadly criminals?

This book was difficult for me to rate. It felt like there were two parallel aspects to the plot, so I’ll talk about each of them in turn. The main line of the story centers on Micah Kinkaid trying to regain his kidnapped child and explores the extent of the question: how far would a father go for his child?

This aspect of the plot was well done as it progressed from what seemed to be a mere case of run-away mom to a full-blown gang threat and lives at stake. At each twist and turn, whether Micah would be reunited with his son and have a happy ending in that regard was made even more suspenseful and toward the end, my heart lurched for Rowan. It was definitely full of action and kept you guessing at how everything would play out in the final showdown.

I loved how fully Micah threw himself into finding his son, and his desperation and raw emotion were very believable. Despite his worth as a rich businessman, his desire to physically find his son spoke volumes to his love for him and very much supported his consistent claim throughout the story that family was the most important thing to him. It definitely was a huge aspect of his character and the progression of his development throughout the book.

The other aspect to the story was the development of a romance between Micah and the other main character, Neve. This part of the story felt forced to me. It was made very clear that Micah and Neve were different, and I suppose opposites attract, but the actual explanation and development of their romance at times seemed contradictory to the actual characters.

Neve did not seem like the type of character to lose control of herself and as the reader, trying to understand her feelings and thoughts was difficult. Half the story was supposedly told from her point of view, but I never felt like I was in her mind or seeing things from her perspective, other than visually. I felt like there was more ‘telling’ than ‘showing’ when it came to some of their behaviors and at times, it seemed that Micah and Neve were physically attracted to each other, but beyond that I didn’t understand what was really there.

While I could fully understand the confusion when in Micah’s point of view to Neve’s motivations for helping him, when in Neve’s point of view, it was still very unclear.

As for Micah, I could see his confliction and emotional instability for much of the story. Though there were still times that I didn’t quite understand his being drawn toward Neve either. I think he was conflicted due to the situation he was in trying to find his estranged wife and kidnapped son, though at times it felt more like he just wasn’t sure what to make of Neve or if she was really a woman he would be in to.

I will say that toward the end, it was clear that they did love each other and wanted to find a way to be together despite their differences. And their romance was much more warming and believable once the official showdown was closer. As a result of the entire conflict with the kidnapping and rescue, the characters’ trauma and changes were very felt and made a difference that was understandable to their development. I would definitely say it ended well.

Overall, I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. It really was difficult for me to rate since I loved the action and it was clear the plot with the kidnapping was thought out and well written and developed, but the two main characters left me confused and wanting at times. However, if you’re looking for something filled with action and a warming story about what a parent would do for a child, check it out and see what you think.

I was asked to review this book.

If you would like to check out Combatting Fear, it’s available from Amazon for $4.99.

If you would like to submit a request for a review, send to kldimago@kldimago.com