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Category Archives: Writing Challenges

What Hides In Their Hearts vs. Writer’s Block

Hello, yee reader of this post!

In case you haven’t heard, I have two books published (look for information on the first book I published “What Lies In The Dark” on the “published works” page, if this is news to you) which just so happen to be part of a four to five five book series that I am writing titled, Trials of Three.

Consequently, I am writing the series as I publish it. This means that the time between when books come out depends on how long it takes me to plot, write, revise, redo, rewrite, and polish the book. Last year, my two books were released within relatively close range of eachother at about only a five month time span in-between the two releases. That is a very short time span to write books, given the amount of things that have to be done to self-publish a short novella.

In that respect, I intend for the third book to be released sometime late July or early August this year. I realize that’s a larger amount of time in-between books than before, and before you go a’wondering if the longer wait can be blamed on lack of interest in the series, I shall explain it to you.

First of all, I haven’t lost interest in my series. So that small handful of people that are eagerly awaiting the next book (you know who you are) be concerned not. I have a plan. This is what happened:

I wanted to start work on the third book (which you now know has been dubbed “What Hides In Their Hearts”) immediately after I published the second, but I found myself in a bit of a writer’s rut. So I took a stepped back away from it for a bit to reassess my plot, characters, world, etc. and instead started work on the second draft of my novel.

However, my “short” hiatus has gone on for quite awhile (four months, really) and I need to get working on writing it or else my poor beta readers are going to be sorely rushed to do line edits. On that note, I could start writing today only that I’m still stuck on just one aspect of the book.

Where to start.

This book is planned to have a lot of material and, unlike my novel which has proven to always have a good starting point, I could present any number of things in the first chapter. All of them give the reader equally important information, which can all be given at any time in the book.

Now, what does this have to do with you, you ask?

Well, I need your help to get me out of this little pickle of a writer’s block, or else I might never start writing it, and that would just be a shame. Gavin, Brian, and Emuna still have a long way to go before their journey is over. Thus I have concocted an age-old way to solve disagreements.

* insert drumroll here *

A majority vote! Also known as a poll. Which you’ll find pleasantly located at the bottom of this post…somewhere. Once I get to putting it up. You can’t miss it… I hope. I dunno. I have to tinker with WordPress some.

Anyways, on this vote, there are basically four options to what you want to be contained in the first chapter of the book. You could either; find out what happened to Terminus, bring in a new main character, learn more about one of the main character’s past, or be shown more of the powers that Emuna and Brian have.

Of course, I realize those options are extremely vague. So if you want a bit more back story (assuming you know at least a little bit about the books here) here are a few short explanations of the poll options:

Find out what happened to Terminus: This one is kind of pretty self explanatory. Terminus was swallowed by a powerful form of Luze earlier on in book two, and I never explained entirely what occurred to him. This scenario would give you a glimpse into what, exactly, happened. Do note though that this option is not promising that I’m bringing Terminus back, merely that I am clarifying the technicalities behind his disappearance.

Bring in a new main character: Pretty simple, I guess. I intend to present a new main character early on in the book to add to character conflict and story morals. Also…said character is just awesome.

Learn more about one of the main character’s past: If you haven’t guessed, this book is slightly a bit more focused on the psychological aspects of my main characters. Due to that, I will be presenting a lot of new information about their past and some of the situations they have all gone through to make them who they are. Choosing this options means that I will have one of the characters ‘open up’ within the first chapter of the book. Note that if you choose this option I am going to put up another poll, asking which character you would like to hear about most. Depending on your choice, I may or may not use that as the character that talks about their past in the first chapter.

Be shown more of the powers that Emuna and Brian have: So, you’ve all seen a little bit of what luze can do, but I’ve been keeping it pretty vague as to exactly what extent of strength these two characters have in their whimsical powers. In this book, I will touch a little bit more on that (and a little more in the next book, too). Choosing this option will ensue that you will get to learn some more about luze within the first chapter.

Just in case you’re wondering, this poll will be opened until the end-ish of May/whenever I feel like I’ve gotten enough votes and choose to close it. There’s really no officially set date, but the sooner I’ve gotten a lot of votes the better. 😀

Well, I guess that’s pretty much it. So, help me out a bit, and vote on the poll, please? We can’t let writer’s block win this battle!

-Bethany Faith

P.S. Just for the record, this post ended up being way longer than I intended. Sorry about the lack of short, easy, readability there, folks.

 

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Why Do You Write ‘Dark’ Stories?

I write dark stories. I’m sure there are darker tales out there, but when I really let my heart write, my stories are sad. If I were telling them vocally, they’d be sure to draw a few tears and make a few hearts wince. And because of this, I’ve been asked more than once why I write like this. 

I seem so happy to people. So care free. Almost ignorant, if they don’t know me that well. But then in the next instant, I’m writing dark Fantasy which, in rare cases, doesn’t actually have a mention of God, but rather, just strong, Christian morals. 

Consequently, I say I write dark because I want to reach a particular audience. People who would read dark stories, maybe people like me. Or maybe people not so much like me. Just an audience who wouldn’t pick up a book if it said rainbows and kittens, but would eat up a book that said death and depression. This doesn’t, however, mean that my stories are going to be all dark. 

See, it’s often hard to remember that, even in the darkest of nights, as Christians, we always have a light. A hope. A Savior. The light shines brightest when the nights are darkest; and hope is strongest when situations are hopeless. 

It’s as though we have a diamond which shines its own light. Sometimes it is out in pure daylight, where sun is surrounding it. And, though the diamond still shimmers and shines brightly, it seems to blend in with the other sources of shimmering light. Soon enough, it almost blends in with the surroundings, and it seems average. Then we can get distracted by the other lights and loose focus of that little diamond. 

Take that same diamond shining light though and put it in a dark room, where no sunlight shows. It’s a lot easier to focus on the jewel when it’s in the dark room, where it is the only hope to cling to. You can then choose easily. Do you want to drown in the darkness, or cling to the light? 

That’s why I write dark. Because the depression, the struggles, the sadness, everything hurtful, can help focus on the Hope, the Strength, the Savior, everything good. And a lot of the world is struggling; Christians and non-Christians alike. However, show that the pain can and does have light in it and it suddenly isn’t so painful. In fact, you’re thankful for it. 

-Bethany Faith

 

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Where To Begin — Introduction

So, since I’m going to start posting once a week, I decided I’d begin my new idea of posting things that aren’t stories with a series on writing – shocking, I know. 😉 

I realized that sometimes people who are just starting writing aren’t entirely sure where to begin, because it can seem daunting. There’s all these voices telling you to outline, plot, develop, learn grammar, read books,  revise, rewrite, re-edit, reheat breakfast on high for 1-2 minutes…(Okay, so that last one isn’t relevant to writing really…) 

So all these things being thrown at once often times will confuse you. Which means you’ll either just start ignoring everything (even the good advice) and just start writing, but reach some brick walls you can’t get through because you’re writing blind, or you’ll give up then and there, because there’s just too much to do. 

The cool thing about writing though, id that it really isn’t that hard, but it isn’t easy either. Writing is (more or less) sort of like math. Not as in it has numbers and such (it’s nothing like math in that sense) but its one of those things that you might have trouble figuring out and then when you figure it out, you go “Ohhhhh” and feel sort of silly it took you so long to figure out. Has that ever happened to you in Math? Well, writing is sort of like that. Only that it doesn’t take that long to figure out if you know the basics. 

So that’s what I intend to give you. The basics. 

Writing is something that has lots of different parts and lots of different things to learn, but fictional writing is all built up on three, basic subjects.

Writing style.
Storyline.
Character Development.

And then there are sub-categories to each of those, which we will get to later. But that’s all you have to understand to start writing, isn’t that awesome? Once you grasp these three basic concepts you can start writing and as you advance further in your writing you’ll advance further into these three categories. Eventually, you’ll find writing super fun, super easy, and super understandable. 

So then I’m going to start posting a three part series that I’m going to call “Where To Begin” 

Now, there are plenty of books you can get on how to write (and I would suggest, if you find writing still hard to figure out that you look into reading a few of those), but this will sort of just be a crash-course in how to write fiction. Some of what I mention will be personal preference and some of it will be things that all writers do. I’ll tell you which is which as we go along. 

I’ll post the first part, “Your Writing Style” next Saturday and I’ll build up from there. 

I look forward to writing this and I hope you gain something from it. Thanks for reading!

-Bethany Faith

 

100 Theme Challenge: Day 17

So, since I skipped so many days of this, due to novel writing and character development and all that other crazy stuff us writers do to get novels finished before we die * cough * I mean…writing. 😉 I figured I’d post this on Saturday instead of waiting aaaaaaaall that time until Monday. 😀

One Moment

Never again would I be the same when I must carry around the scar of this moment. I would never forget the screaming and tears. They would change me forever. I would wear them in my heart; a badge that proves I have fought in wars. It would be like a ghost that whispers in my ears at night and haunts my every move; the memory of the sudden fight.

I knew this the instant it happened. I knew my life had changed and would never be the same. The moment I saw anger rising, I felt my world change.

 

100 Theme Challenge: Day 16

Theme: My Inspiration

Whispered Writings

It came like a flash of lightning. It was as silent as the cat that hunts in the night; unexpected and mysterious. As if it were a nightmare that caused my heart to beat faster, it woke me with a jolt.

Without much time to record my thought before it vanished into my forgotten memories, I rushed to where I could write. I Picked up my pen, a sword for a writer, and dipped it into the black liquid. Expertly, the sharp tip grazed against my white parchment.

The letters formed themselves. The ideas came without thinking. My inspiration whispered and the words were written.

 

100 Theme Challenge: Day 15

Theme: Tears

Tears On A Hillside

Rain fell down from the sky. The droplets of water landed nearly silently on the green grass, but if one was quiet, you could hear their chorus of plopping and dripping. Dark clouds covered the sky. The air was filled with a sheet of rain and the heavens were covered with a blanket of gray fog.

The green grass bent when the droplets hit it and swayed when a gust of wind came. A few rocks sat on the hillside, scattered here and there by many years of being undisturbed by anything but the weather.

Nobody had dared to come up the hill since the dark event had taken place. It seemed as if the memory lurked there, haunting all who would dare to disturb it. It had been precisely ten years since the occurrence. Ten years exactly, not so much as an hour off.

Lightning flashed above the hill. Thunder cried out in response. Rain powered down at a greater speed and quantity. It seemed, almost, as if the clouds where crying for the life that had been taken.

The tears of the sky trickled down one of the rocks. The clear liquid magnified a small stain on a boulder. The stain of blood that could not be removed, no matter how loudly the clouds would sob.

 

100 Theme Challenge: Day 14

So, this was an interesting theme because there were so many different ways I could portray it. Originally, I thought I would just go the traditional route and write the beginning of a “boy meets girl and they fall in love” type story. But that was boring. So instead I took a sentence from something a friend of mine wrote and used that as inspiration for the story. So…it’s doubly themed. 😉 I just titled it the sentence that I used…because I’m lazy, haha.

Theme: Love

The blood falling to the ground from your friend’s throat, bubbling with the last breaths of the life he gave for you.

It all seemed surreal. Fake. As if I wasn’t really there. I could feel the sweat make its way down my brow. My sword felt lifeless in my hand. Somehow it was heavy yet weightless. I swung it through the air without thinking. Expertise was in every stroke. Years of training floated away. A lifetime of planning seemed to vanish. Now it was just me. In a war.

I hardly noticed anything but the man that I had engaged in combat. He was a good swordsman. His sword came down strong on mine. It caused my arms to shake more than once. His eyes were cold as he glared at me. I could see his chest heave with great breaths as he grew more wary. He was a great swordsman, perhaps. But I was greater.

I began to congratulate myself on my advanced fighting skills. My mind drifted from the battle to other thoughts. Women could fight. I was going to prove them wrong. Today, I would be the first girl to have fought in a battle. I would be a legend. Someone told about in stories.

The battle became foggy as I sunk further into thoughts of fame. My sword strikes began to fall short. Breathing grew more heavy. Arms grew more weak. I soon found that my enemy seemed to be growing in strength. He grinned at me and his lips moved with the words of a taunt. I glared back at him. For a moment, I took my eyes off his sword to stare into his eyes.

I barely caught a glance of his sword. It flashed brightly in the sunlight as it slipped expertly pass my defense. I took in a breath. Then I was on the ground. My body was shoved out of the way of the fatal strike and another took my place.

My eyes widened as they watched. The sword of the evil man plunged into the chest of a young soldier. The tip protruded from the other side of his body. Slowly, tears slipped down the boy’s cheeks. Blood trickled from his mouth that opened in a silent scream.

I looked away at that moment, unable to see much more. I would never be able to forget that boy. I had never spoken to him. I had never seen his face before. And yet, for what reason I am not sure, he gave his life to save mine.