Monday, January 30, 2012

Majoris Panis en de Arsus

This was such a great idea I had, but now it requires me to actually know stuff about stuff. Um...that may be a problem. Fortunately, we live in the Age of Information! With Wikipedia at hand and anything I want to know accessible via Google, I shouldn't have a problem putting this into motion. I just have to do the mental grunt work.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Um

Yesterday I had a great idea for how to improve my story goal. It doesn't really change it, it just makes it a bit more specific and should help me to write a more engaging plot. Yay!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Summary

I found a guide to help me form a plot outline and make a summary so things are definitely looking up now! I still have tons of brainstorming to do, but one thing at a time. I had a great idea for how to choose a character name for Part 2 in the middle of the night last night so I'm excited about that. By the way, what is it with Part 2 butting in all the time?!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Understanding God

Over the last four days I've been taking tons of notes on all the aspects of forming a plot and here's what I have figured out so far.

Down One Main Character
I was going to have two main characters, a boy and a girl. I wanted to tell both their stories equally so readers of both genders would be able to identify with it. However, as I started looking into it, I realized that may not be possible. A lot of the scenes are depicted with Marie alone. She's typically the one being followed because her life is in some parts derived from mine. Alex lives in Georgia and is only interacted with through letters. So it's not possible for me to make their "screen time" even. I am also considering calling the book "Marie", as least as a working title, and I clearly can't just leave out the other main character from the title. That brings up the issue of titles.

Choosing a Title
Because I'm already planning to do a series, I need to have titles that go with each other. Naming the book "Marie" would work well if, say, the second book was titled "Sarah" and the third "Alex", but that is far from the direction I want to go. I have never been good at choosing titles, so this may prove difficult.

Developing the Plot
My biggest issue so far has been the plot. The articles I've found have been unbelievably helpful, yet I can't seem to get past setting a goal for the protagonist. This is because a Christian lives life differently from most people. There are several goals that a Christian has that are not tangible, but spiritual. These are:
  • Surrender to God's will 
  • Sharing the Good News
  • Shrugging off sin
In essence, God leads our steps, yet we still have choices to make that determine some of those steps. This comes down to understanding freewill and God's ability to turn bad choices into good.

In some ways I can relax and just go by whatever a Christian is supposed to do. I live it, or try to, so that shouldn't be too hard. Or is it? You see I have to determine what God would choose for Marie and I am a far cry from God! Here is my greatest challenge and I haven't even gotten to the book describing heaven or the new earth. #Headache

My Plan
I'm going to look up some testimonials and read stories in the Bible and try to get a sense of how God works in people's lives. He's still such a mystery to me, but I know there is a method to His ma--um...majesty? ;-)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Stop the Presses!

I'm going to suspend the actual writing of my story until I can figure out exactly where I want to go with this. The plot needs to be much, much better--as in I actually need to have one. I know where I want the characters to end up, but it's something that happens to them, not something they can chase after. So I have to give them some sort of mission, something that compels them to action, to give the book a reason for being told. Otherwise it's just a series of daily events that have no real significance. I have a lot of thinking to do.

I'm starting with this website called Daily Writing Tips that has a lot of great information and resources to help writers understand what makes a book worth reading. We know when we love a book, but why? What are the mechanics of a good story?

Things to think about.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Epicness Needed

Edit: 1/13/2012 - Okay so what I want to say sounds really silly after watching this cinematic this morning. I woke up thinking about that scene in the game that made me cry so much and I cried again, which is weird for me. I just thought, "I don't understand why this hurts me so much" and struggled to go back to sleep. Then I woke up again at six o'clock and suddenly, just in my heart I heard, "She doesn't have a father." and everything became clear. All my life I've looked up to men who are sometimes significantly older than me and I've always known this burden was the cause. It's not like I don't have men in my life who I can look up to. I just don't have any that I'm close to. This must be why I have a heart for the leader of the Assassins. I've heard a lot of people say that there is something about a father that nothing can replace. So I cried out to Jesus like I rarely have before and clung to my Heavenly Father and hoped He would satisfy what a game could not.

But come on, I love this game, so...
I thought I'd better post one of the first cutscenes of it. I love watching this =D Still can't figure out if it is real or animation. When he puts his hood up it looks a bit 3D animated. I don't know, they've always been good with cinematics. Which is why their movie should be sweet! I don't know why people are afraid the movie will be a flop--have you seen the cinematics and trailers of the games, people?! If the movie is anything like them it should be amazing. Especially since Ubisoft wants a lot of control, while most companies have to give over so much control to the studio. I do hope they do the storyline of the games and not some random stuff like the short films they've already made.


Here is what Ezio says at the end of Revelations that I find very beautiful and I don't think it spoils anything:

"I have seen enough for one life...Desmond? [that's his descendant]. I heard your name once before, Desmond. A long time ago. And now it lingers in my mind like an image from an old dream. I do not know where you are or by what means you can hear me. But I know you are listening. I have lived my life as best I could, not knowing its purpose, but drawn forward like a moth to a distant moon. And here at last I discover a strange truth: that I am only a conduit for a message that eludes my understanding. Who are we, who have been so blessed, to share our stories like this, to speak across centuries? Maybe you will answer all the questions I have asked. Maybe you will be the one to make all this suffering worth something in the end. Now, listen..."

earlier on 1/12/2012:

I finally watched all the cutscenes for Assassin's Creed: Revelations. I cried at the end. =( When I went back later today to watch one of the last scenes, it made me cry again. I can't figure out exactly what has impacted me so much about these games. I haven't even played them. I've just been watching the cutscenes for each game for the last few days, which can be as long as a few hours each game.

I think I like it so much because there are elements that everyone can agree on. Granted, it is definitely a tad anti-Christian in that it claims the Apple of Eden didn't open man's eyes, it simply created illusions. Hearing my favorite character say that the Bible is just stories does hurt, but you know sometimes people don't agree with you.

It does have elements of what make stories great, though. The characters have a sense of destiny, and they live with such purpose that is truly inspiring. Their entire lives are completely committed to being assassins, even to the point of cutting off their ring fingers so they can never be married.

The characters' stories also have significance to future generations. Everyone wants their life to mean something in the grand scheme of things, and to leave a lasting legacy beyond just our generation. These two things have been instilled in all of us by God. Furthermore, we all want to know how our ancestors' lives have impacted us and how we are like them. So there are many reasons why the games strike a chord with so many people. Maybe they just like dropping off a roof to assassinate someone.

Okay, so why am I posting this on my story blog? Well, you see, I haven't really been able to write because I simply cannot think about anything else but Assassin's Creed. I can't even write about my story on my blog specifically for my story because AC is so in my head. I think the immersion has stretched outside of the game now that my two new favorite songs make me think of AC and with my TV on the verge of breaking, I've been on Youtube a lot. I could read that book in the corner that I stopped reading before Christmas, but...meh. What I would like to read is one of the AC books. That would be sweet.

Ahem...

Oh yeah. I was going to say that I wish my story had this kind of impact on people. I mean, when I think about it, the deaths that are supposed to have the greatest impact simply don't. Everything people do in this story is so ridiculously ordinary and unexciting, probably because my life is so ordinary and unexciting. I thought that was what I wanted, but now I'm not so sure. I need to figure out how to write modern day stuff as epically as I can write the end of the world and even then my writing isn't that extraordinary. *Sigh* I'm inspired, I tell you! I just don't know what to do about it because I feel so incredibly inept.

Basically, I just need people's lives to string together somehow. I need those moments where you go "Oh my gosh, that's that person from Chapter 1!". You know, those things that kind of come full circle in the story. I do have a few things like that, but as I said, they are so bland. -_-

So now I have multiple layers of writer's block and am extremely sensitive emotionally. Great. Just what you need during the winter when there is nothing else to do.


I couldn't find the exact thing I heard at the part that made me cry like a baby so I'm thinking it must be a special edited version. -_- this is probably the closest thing to it, with the violins and all. See it was like this, but with piano or light strings and then at 0:57 the strings get louder and it's just sooo sad!! 0:40-1:12 is where that is by the way.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Another day, another song

...another page, another tear. Writing your savior's death in gory detail and the emotional pain it causes is really a dark place to be mentally.

Since I've lately become extremely interested in Assassin's Creed, I listened to this song while writing. It's the one from the opening intro of Ezio in Masyaf and gives me just the right atmosphere.



I've been watching a playthrough of Assassin's Creed: Revelations, so I haven't gotten to the end. I just know something really sad is coming because people have been talking about it. What does this have to do with my story? Well I decided a few days ago to base Jesus on Alta—ór's character--the strength and authoritativeness--(how many scrabble points is that?!) not the killing he does, obviously. So I don't know. For some reason, his character has really gripped me and I'm not sure how I'm going to take the ending emotionally. Silly, right? It's a video game character for pity's sake! If only they didn't look so stinkin' realistic in the cinematic of the game. You know how sometimes you wish a storybook character was real, like Mr. Darcy or Gilbert Blythe? They have actors who personify them, but you know it's just pretend and you can let it go. In this case, the cinematic was so incredibly lifelike that it was like looking at it all in reality. If only I had the ability to do that with my story.

Anyway, I've been writing for about two and a half hours so I had to take a break and get my thoughts out while they were fresh. I'm pretty exhausted mentally, so no more writing today.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Merchant Prince - Updated Entry

Edit: I decided to add a bit of the text I wrote today, Tuesday, to add to this post, which was originally done on Saturday. Yes, this is the climax of the 2nd part (which may be the 3rd, depending on how I have to cut it.) but this is something I just can't keep locked away. 

--

Before taking time to write today, I came across a fan video for the game Assassin's Creed. The music they used is by an instrumental band I'm already familiar with called Two Steps from Hell. They do music for movies and trailers. I hadn't heard this particular track before (Merchant Prince) and I haven't stopped listening to it since. If it's not on my mp3 player, it's stuck in my head. I hear it before I go to bed and I hear it when I wake up. Then I choose to turn on the song and listen to it some more. =D

That first day I heard it, I went out on my porch to write, knowing this song was probably going to impede my progress. I decided maybe I could use it to help me write Part 2, the part that deals with the end of the world. Nothing was coming to mind except what was in the video I had watched, so I just sat and watched the sunset and just let myself dream for a bit.

Like discovered treasure, all these images started coming and I couldn't even write them down fast enough. The beginning of the song made me think of the losses that are going to come in the end, but then when the music became this really bittersweet melody I pictured Christ returning and the final fight with Satan.

I can't even put into words how this song makes me feel. It makes me so incredibly happy, but then it's like it comes around full circle into sadness. When I began picturing Christ's return and all that encompasses it in the story, it was like unlocking something precious and I cried. I actually cried over an epic piece of trailer music. I've cried more than once over this little beauty. That's how you can tell that something has really touched me.

So you want to hear it? Part of what I wrote is below it (as much as you can read without spoilers). If it seems choppy, that's because I'm skipping parts you can't read yet. ;-)) I have also put markers where certain parts of the story coincide with the music. It does take longer to read than it does for the song to get to the next part, so you may need to play the song again. Also something you should know...my Jesus character is a little Altair-ish (the main guy in the video at the bottom). Yeah, didn't get influenced too much ;-) *sarcasm*. Not the killing, just the general authority and presence and youthfulness that he brings. He was only 33, you remember.


0:00 -- Marie saw before her the crumbling ruins of the city she once knew and thought of those she had known who were buried under it...Her heart was heavy. She allowed her knees to sink to the ground and watched the chaos around her. This wasn't how she thought it would be. Heaven was so beautiful and peaceful. She thought the peace would follow her to earth and she could share it with those who were suffering. Instead she began to suffer with them and could only provide what little wisdom she had acquired out of all there was to know and understand. None of this made sense. There were angels to guard and the Holy Spirit to guide. Why were they even there?

She felt a strange trembling beneath her. Something was happening... 

1:00 -- There was a light in the sky, moving fast like a comet, brighter than anything she had ever seen, even in heaven. It seemed to encompass the entire sky, lighting the world just like the dawn. The clouds put on their best clothes and the mountains literally bowed! 

His valiant white horse rode with power beneath Him, dressed in deep purple and silver, a mane like fire. The King was pure beauty itself, comparable to nothing that had ever been or ever would be. We were made for Him. Everything we've ever loved was our hearts crying out for His Presence, and at last He had come.  

1:12 -- Her face was to the dirt in reverence, beaming in pride. When she looked up, He had come around to her, a broad smile on His face. Her heart leapt within her, tears of joy streaming down her cheeks. 1:19 -- This was the One she loved; her friend, her brother, her husband. He had died for her, fought before The Almighty on her behalf, and worked all of her life to bring her to this moment. She had lived in His Holy City for ten years...and she was reduced to tears of rapture. How much more wonderful for those who were seeing for the first time! 


1:30 -- He dismounted swiftly and pulled her up off the ground. His arms hung at His sides, the stance of a King. She waited, knowing something was going to happen. He simply closed His eyes. 1:35 -- An enormous power began to flow through Him, His mouth opened slightly and His forehead creased. In a few instants, the area was filled with people, their clothes like those Marie remembered wearing in heaven. He had raised them to immortality. His love had conquered after all. Now there was just one more thing to do... 

1:41 -- The remainder of the song is dedicated to Jesus and Satan's final battle, if you can call it a battle. It's more like a one-sided butt whooping. ;)

Rough, to say the least, but that's basically how I roll. I just let the words flow and I'll worry about arranging them better later.

The Assassin's Creed fan video that features the song. Don't ask me why it's showing Altair's backside from one of the fight scenes. o.o I don't think you get a choice about what the thumbnail shows when you upload something onto Youtube.