Murphy’s Destiny #2: Meet the Characters Part 1

As I mentioned yesterday, I would be posting twice in the writing life series this week in order to play catchup. Between getting a tooth pulled and putting my seventeen year old cat down, I’ve been falling behind in posts, but no more!

Today, I wanted to introduce you to the characters of my current project and in case you haven’t already guessed, it’s called Murphy’s Destiny, a fantasy novel revolving around four sisters whose magical powers stem from the four elements (fire, water, air, and earth). The book follows them as they battle the forces of evil in an attempt to regain their home. While I came up with the idea for this post several weeks ago, I must confess that while I sit here in front of my computer, I am having trouble with the book and am feeling stuck so the hope is for this post is to A introduce you to the characters of the book and B to help get the creative juices flowing again for Destiny. In the meantime, I am working on another project, but more about that one in a later post.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I use Scrivener to do all of my outlining and writing and when it comes to characters, I use character templates that I found on the web (I will try find it and link it below) and just put my own little spin on it. I categorize my characters into the following categories: major, secondary, and minor. Because my cast of characters is so long, I will be breaking this up into three parts and in today’s post, I will be introducing my major characters. See where I’m going with this? Good.

Now that I got all of that out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff…

First off, we have my main character, Viktoria Murphy. She is the oldest sister and has the affinity for fire. As the oldest child, she is responsible for her coven and works hard to make sure that she doesn’t lose her sisters, who are the only family that is left. Next is the second oldest sister and Viki’s second in command, Camille Murphy, who has the affinity for earth. She is considered to be the “mothering” type and is always quick to be the voice of reason, often times talking Viki out of doing something that Cam might think is dangerous. After Cam, we have the twins: Anastasia and Jade. Ana is the older twin and has the affinity for air. Like her element, she is quiet by nature, but can also be fierce when her temper is up. Her younger twin sister, Jade has the affinity for water, but don’t let that fool you for she is neither soothing or calm. She has a temper that should never be messed with and almost always questions her oldest sisters authority.

Keeping an eye on all of them is Cole Francis, long time family friend who also works with Viki, but doesn’t always mean they get along. In fact, the two of them butt heads almost daily over the littlest things and while some of you might think there is a romantic angle there, trust me when I say there isn’t. The very thought of having that kind of relationship is enough to make them shutter because at the very heart of it, the two love each other like brother and sister.

Last, but certainly not least, no fantasy/action book would be complete without an antagonist and in this case, that would be Iris Keeley, whose taste for vengeance has been ingrained in her from a very early age by her own parents and on Viki’s 18th birthday, decided it would be a good enough time to extract her revenge (that’s all I can really say without giving away the whole plot).

Well, there you have it! you have officially met the major players in this book and in the near future, I will probably go into more detail about them and what makes them tick, maybe in the form of character interviews or something like that.

Until we meet again!

B.

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My Writing Life #3: What’s in a Name?

I’ve been a bit behind schedule when it comes to posting and in order to get back on track, I will be posting twice in the my writing life series. The first one being this one and I will hopefully post the second one tomorrow, no later than Thursday.

Today I wanted to talk about you guessed it, pen names! I’ve mentioned before in the About Me section of this site that I myself use a pen name in order to protect identity and privacy, but also to protect my family. The other reason that I made the decision to use a pen name was because my real name is so long and my last name can be hard to pronounce  and hard to spell. So for me, choosing to use a pen name just came natural to me.

Choosing a pen name on the other hand, was a whole other story.

For some, writers will choose names that have nothing to do with their real names or lives while others will just shorten their names. Then there are those, like myself, who choose to use their initials. I think I also mentioned on the About Me section (these days I feel lucky enough just to remember what I did yesterday) that the initials I chose to you were the first letters of mine and my mothers first names while the last name is my grandfathers first name. Thus, B.J. Roy was born…so to speak.

While using a pen name might make sense for some, like myself, it’s not meant for everyone. My suggestion for anyone who is thinking about using a pen name is to take the time to think this through. Choose a name that has some meaning to you, but is also easy to say and spell. Most importantly, make sure that you will be happy with your name as once you are known for that name, you are kind of stuck with it.

That’s all for now!

B.

 

Anxiety and Depression: Living with Mental Illness

This post is out of the ordinary for me in terms of writing and what I want for this blog, but  all the same, I thought it was worth talking about since I found out somewhat recently that a lot of creative people suffer from sort of anxiety and/or depression and that is because they both come from the same part of the brain and I don’t know about you, but when I heard that, everything kind of fell into place as far as understanding why I am the way I am.

This isn’t something that I talk about lightly. In fact, there are many people who I consider close friends and colleagues that do not know that I have a form of social anxiety and have even suffered from depression. From of the outside looking in, you might think that there is nothing wrong with me. I get up in the morning, go to work, come home and maybe go out with friends, go to bed and get up the next morning to do it all over again.

What you don’t see and what I don’t show the world is the struggle that I go through every single morning to get out of bed. Nor do you see my feet falter when I fight to put one foot in front of the other. I must say that medication helps me to get on with my day-to-day life, but I think what helps me most is writing.

I don’t write because I dream of one day becoming this famous author. I write because it lets me escape, if only for a few hours and to forget that I have anxiety. I write to give myself peace.

My Writing Life # 2: Scrivener

I was supposed to post this Friday, but with my childhood cat dying and getting a new kitten, things here at my house have been kind of hectic and to be honest, this is the first time I’ve been able to get some free time in order to do anything that involves writing so here we go!

Ever since I started writing, I have been doing so long hand with nothing more than a battered old notebook with the cover torn off and a pen that was probably missing its cap. This was something that I have done for years because it was so easy for me to pack it up and take it with me wherever I went. However, as I began taking the planning stages more seriously, it became more difficult to take my writing with me while out and about.

Enter Scrivener.

This program practically saved my writing. I heard about this program through several different writing groups on Facebook and decided to download the free trial. Within a day of me downloading this program andscreen-shot-2017-02-14-at-10-27-55-pm exploring it, I bought it and have been very happy with it ever since.

I use this program to not only write my book, but I also use it to outline as well. Instead of chapters, I name the folders after what I want to happen in that particular chapter and then I name the scenes after a characters POV. Doing it this way actually helps me to keep track of whats going on in my novel and I find it easy for me to go back and forth whenever I need to check on something.

For more information and pricing, you can check out the Scrivener website here

 

Characters

Good evening everyone!

I must admit that I mean to write this post earlier today, but between doing the laundry, cleaning my kitchen and doing some grocery shopping, time got away from me. Today (or rather tonight) I wanted to talk about characters and the importance they play in books. Whether you read books or write them, you know that just about every single book has at least one character in it (hopefully more). As I write my own book, I’m reminded how important characters are to a story.

You can have an awesome plot jammed pact with the perfect amount of action and romance, but without characters to put that plot into action, there won’t be a book…at least not a very good one. One of my favorite parts about writing is the planning stages and creating characters that I hope readers will love and connect to. I’m always on the hunt for pictures on the internet for people who I think would fit the physical description of my characters. For example, I looked to Pinterest to find fantasy type pictures that resembled my characters.

Anyways, if you’re anything like me and you have trouble keeping tack of your characters, then you’re probably looking for ways to keep track of the amount of characters that you have in your book. One way that I have found useful, is to name all of your scenes after that characters POV (point of view). This can be done using flash cards or Scrivener or any other methods that you use for outlining. For every scene that I write, I name that scene after that characters POV and I do this for a couple of reasons. The first being so I know who I am writing as and the second being so I can keep an eye  out for any type of power struggle. What I mean by that is if one character is getting all the scenes, but another character isn’t saying anything, then there’s obviously something wrong there and I need to make some adjustments.

Hopefully after reading this post, you will realize how important characters are to books (if you haven’t figured that out already). As for me, I’m going to shut everything down and try and get some sleep as the day is finally catching up with me.

Ta-ta for now!

B.

Murphy’s Destiny #1: The Idea

Before I begin with the second installment of the my writing life series, I must apologize for my absence for the past week or so. Between work and having a tooth pulled, I haven’t felt much like writing and in fact, I don’t think I’ve written more than three or four sentences over the course of a week.  Yesterday,  I took a turn for the better and managed to hack out around four or five pages.

Now, on to the series…

My current writing project is a fantasy and to be honest, this is my first attempt at writing in this category. Before now, I mostly wrote mysteries and thrillers that were….well, lets just say they weren’t that good. Anyhow, the idea for this book which I have proudly names Murphy’s Destiny, started out as a piece of fan fiction I was thinking about writing based on some characters of mine that I created through the popular computer game, Guild Wars 2. It never got written due to the fact that the stories that I had worked up for those particular characters kept changing and evolving.

What started out as a simple piece of fluff, quickly become something much, much more and I quickly found myself reading anything and everything I could get my hands on that had to do with writing fantasies. When I first started this project, I thought about separating the book into a series or at least into a trilogy, but after writing the plot for the first (and eventually only book) I realized that I didn’t have enough information to make up multiple books.

So, here I am sitting at my computer writing about what I consider to be my baby and I have to say that I haven’t been this excited to write in about a month or so. You must understand, see, that it isn’t because I’ve lost interest or don’t believe in my book because I do very much, it’s just that I found myself doubting my ability as a writer and thinking that maybe my story wasn’t good enough or strong enough to make it to publication.

Now that I’ve done told you all about my book, I think I post this and do some writing before I call it night.

Until we meet again,

B.

Small hiatus 

Earlier this week I had to go to the dentist for a tooth ache only to realize that I had to have a tooth pulled. This development has slowed me down a little bit and as a result, I haven’t done any writing.

on-hiatus

While I am feeling a little better, I’ve decided to take the rest of week off and focus on myself. Not to worry though! I’ll be back next week with more blog posts and writing fun.

Until next time,

B.