A Writer's Guide to Torturing Characters - Part 2

A little while ago, I posted on torturing characters physically.  Now I am going to talk about the emotional side.
Characters being hurt emotionally is extremely important.  It is a part of every genre, as the physical side is not.  Our beloved fictional people become so loved by us because of this emotional hurt.  In the Ilyon Chronicles by Jaye L. Knight, most of the readers have fallen in love with Jace because of his past and his personality.  (I won't spoil what his past is for you.  You will just have to read the book :D)  We just can't help wanting to give him a big hug!

So how can you hurt your characters emotionally?  There are many ways to do it (so many that I cannot name them all here)!  It also depends on the genre.  It would be a little weird if the MC's best friend was murdered by an alien in a contemporary novel.

1. Someone close to your MC dies.  

The way they die will most likely vary according to your genre.  How will this affect the MC?  It really depends on the character.  He or she may be crushed for weeks, barely able to get out of bed and eat.  He or she may cry for a day and then be able to get on with their life, still with that ache in their heart.  The character could become bitter and angry, not mourning at all.  Depending on the situation of death, the MC could deny that their close friend/family member/etc. really died.  The possibilities for this are endless.  My tip for this is to know your characters.

2. They are physically injured.  

This does have an emotional impact on the character.  The MC could have cancer and be slowly dying.  That would sure impact the MC's emotions.  He/she could become really depressed, sad, angry, or try to live out his/her last days to the fullest.  Think about Frodo in Lord of the Rings.  Not only did the Ring have physical effects on him, but it affected his heart.  He became attached to the Ring, even though it literally became heavier.

3. Basic needs are taken away.  

Yes, this is something physical, but it also has an emotional impact on the character.  Will he or she become inhumane and eat anything?  Will he/she be scrounging for water and ditch his/her family?  What is he/she feeling?

I only covered a couple of the ways that you can impact a character emotionally.  There are many other ways.  Just remember that it is important that things hurt your character for them to grow in the end!


The King's Scrolls Blog Tour

The King's Scrolls, the second book in the Ilyon Chronicles, has been released!  Isn't this so exciting?  I have the privilage of participating in the Blog Tour for it!

About the Book: Following the harrowing events that brought them to Landale Forest, Jace and Kyrin have settled comfortably into their new lives and the mission of protecting those under the emperor’s persecution. The fast approach of winter brings with it the anticipation of a quiet few months ahead. That is until the arrival of four mysterious, dragon-riding cretes who seek aid in a mission of great importance—not only to their own people, butto all followers of Elôm.
Hidden in the vast mining valley north of Valcré, a faithful crete has spent years sharing his knowledge with the destitute miners and their families and is known to possess what may be Arcacia’s last surviving copies of the King’s Scrolls—the Word of Elôm. Joining the cretes, those in Landale must find the creteteacher and bring him to safety, but it is a race against time. Should Daican’s men find him first, execution and the destruction of the Scrolls is certain.
When disaster strikes, all seems lost. Could Elôm have a plan even in the enemy’s triumph?

My Review: The King's Scrolls is a fabulous sequel to my favorite book in the world, Resistance.  I admit, when I started this book, I had very high expectations.  I was not dissappointed.  :) I think that Resistance is still better, The King's Scrolls is in close second. 

To start, I will talk about the characters.  In Resistance, Jace was my favorite.  He was so deep and lovable.  I just wanted to give him a big hug.  I love him even more in this book!  He is so sweet towards Kyrin and admits his fears like a great man would.  Kyrin was the main point of view character in this book.  She is such a real character and I relate to her so much.  I really love getting to see more of Liam and Marcus!  I am so excited to get to know them better as the series goes on!
I remember when I was reading the middle of the book, I had no idea what would happen next.  I thought that it was over.  I didn't see how the situation could get any worse.  Jaye, you are amazing with plots!  I have noticed this about her other books.  Around halfway through the book, it is the lowest point.
Please, please, please read this book! 
Just as a note, I recieved a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.  Thanks, Jaye!

About The Author:
Jaye L. Knight is a homeschool graduated indie author with a passion for writing Christian fantasy and clean new adult fiction. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

You can connect with Jaye on her websiteblogFacebookGoogle+Twitter, and Etsy.

I also have the amazing opportunity to interview her here!  And here it is:

Do you have a favorite book in the Bible?  If so, what is it?
I have so many books I like to read in, but if I had to pick one, I think I’d say Psalms. I particularly love chapter 119. I think I’ve read through Psalms more than any other book in the Bible, and every time I find more to highlight or underline.
What is your favorite part about being published?
Probably getting to share my work with everyone. It’s terribly scary, but also very exciting. Writing is a very solitary endeavor, but once you publish, you get to involve many more people. As hard as it is to get criticism sometimes, it’s worth the risk when you hear from readers who love your work. There’s nothing like it. It almost makes me cry (good tears) sometimes to read the wonderful reviews and messages I get. Even after eight years of publishing, it’s still incredible to see how God is using the talents He’s given me.
If you could make any character come to life for one day, who would it be?
Ooh, a tough question. One of my own characters? Well, I’d have to say Jace. I mean, how could I not? It’s Jace!
As for a character from a different work of fiction . . . uh, that’s even tougher. Aragorn. Yeah. Definitely Aragorn . . . or Kien from Books of the Infinite. But then I might fall in love with him and he’s already in love with Ela. :( Lol! ;)
If you could pick any song to be the theme song of The King's Scrolls, what would it be?
I listen to a lot of instrumental music while writing and Triumph and Loss by Audiomachine was one of the main songs I listened to for TKS. It really fits the overall mood and feel of the story. If I were to pick a song with lyrics, Even If by Kutless would be really good. It really fits the theme and message behind the book.

If you could pick any book to be made into a movie, what would it be?
Books of the Infinite. *nods enthusiastically* I would love to see that. It would be amazing. :)

Thank you so much for coming over to my little corner of the Internet, Jaye!

There are a few other little goodies that go along with this too.  :)  

Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a themed Epic Winter giveaway! Prize pack includes an autographed copy of The King’s Scrolls, a CD by Future World Music (some of Jaye’s favorite writing music), a dragon bookmark, a stone hawk pendant (much like the ones mentioned in the book), and a few packages of Twining’s Winter Spice tea to sip while you read! (Giveaway is open to US residents onlyCannot be shipped internationally.)


Check out this awesome quote image thing that Jaye made for The King's Scrolls!

This is all so exciting! :D

You can buy The King's Scrolls on Amazon and get an autographed copy here!

Make sure and visit the other blog tour posts for what is left!  You can see all of the previous posts by going here: http://jayelknight.blogspot.com/2015/02/the-kings-scrolls-has-arrived.html
Tuesday, February 24
• Review at Shire Reviews
• Review and Author Interview at The Pen of a Ready Writer
• Character Interview (Leetra) at A Writer’s Faith
Wednesday, February 25
• Tour Conclusion at Jaye L. Knight



Get To Know Your Character Challenge Submission

Here is my short story for the Get To Know Your Character Challenge over at Red Lettering!  The prompt I chose was, "Your character has lost something importantwhat is it, where is it, and why do they need it?"  It may be hard to see what he lost, but I will explain at the end of this post, after you have read it.  :)
My villain doesn't really have a right-hand-man or minions, so I did the villain himself!  Meet Vladimir...

Vladimir stopped and looked around the slum just outside of the sparkling city.  Tears formed in his eyes as a young child ran past in tattered clothing.  There was no "middle class" anymore.  One was either wealthy, or stuck in poverty.  Nobody ever moved up a class.  Nobody ever moved down.  

A young woman flashed a smile.  He grinned and walked over to talk to her.

"How are you?"

"Sir, could you spare any money?" the woman asked.  "My mother, she..." the woman trailed off.

"Say no more, here are a few dollars," he reached into his pocket and handed her a few crisp bills.  Her eyes went wide.

"Five dollars?  You must be so rich!" she gasped.

"Where I live, five dollars is not much," he said.

"I wish I could live where you live."

"Maybe someday you will," he gave her an encouraging smile.

"Thank you so much," she skipped away as if she was half her age.  Vladimir gazed in her direction and his heart was warmed.  He had just made her day by giving her five dollars.  Then, to his shock, a group of people came running after her, shouting murderous threats.  They surrounded her.  A deafening scream pierced his heart.  All was silent.

The crowd dispersed, but the woman he had just talked to lay on the ground, blood pouring out from her chest.  The crowd had killed her.  How could anyone kill another for money?  Are things really that bad?  

He stumbled back into the city, dazed by the experience.  Barely saying hello to his mom, he shut the door to his bedroom.  Vladimir fell on his knees and began to pray.  At first, he prayed in his heart, but he couldn't keep it in.

"Why would you let this happen?" he yelled.  "How could you let people go so deep into poverty to murder for money?"  There was silence.  "Are you even there?" He picked up a pair of pants that was strewn on the floor and tossed it across the room.  He sat still for a moment, but the stillness fuelled his emotions.

"Vladimir, honey!  It's time for dinner," his mom called.  He groaned and got up, putting on a straight face as he opened his door.

He glanced at the empty place at the table.  "Where's Dad?"

His mom sighed, "At work, probably."

"But he said he'd be here tonight!  He promised me he would," Vladimir stared at his lap, attempting to keep his face emotionless, manly. Vladimir's mother touched his arm, but he brushed it away.  "Don't touch me."

"I know this is hard-"

"But you don't really get it.  I saw things today.  I saw somebody get killed.  You always say that God will take care of everything.  Where was he then?  Where was he now?  You see, God isn't real." He gasped, astonished that he had actually acknowledged the doubts that had been toying with his mind.  

"He is real, and you know it. This is as hard for me as it is for you-" she was interrupted by Vladimir storming away.  

He ran to his room and yelled wildly.  The scene of the woman being murdered replayed in his head.  The shock, the pain, it all came with it.  Finally, he whispered, "I have to do something about this."  His face hardened.  "Someone has to play God."

What Vladimir Lost: He lost his faith in God.

Where God Is: God is everywhere at once!

Why does Vladimir need God?  Everyone needs God.  Everyone

A Writer's Guide to Torturing Characters - Part 1

Torturing characters is something that every writer has to do.  Depending on the genre and story, it may be physical or emotional.  The fact is, it is a necessary part of writing.

"But Alea," you say,"I love my characters."

Dear reader, I love my characters too.  But if the Ring of Power didn't torture Frodo's mind and body, would Lord of the Rings be as interesting as it is?  The stakes wouldn't seem as high and there would not be as much tension and excitement.  There wouldn't be as good of a reason to root for Frodo to destroy the Ring.

Here in this first part, I will go over physical injuries and the do's and don'ts that go along with them.  Just so you are aware, I am not a doctor, I am just going off of research I have done.  Please do not use this article to try and treat your own problems.  When in doubt, go to a doctor!


- DO make the physical hurts help the story along.  
          When considering harming a character, ask yourself these questions to make sure that it will help the story.  Will it cause the stakes to be higher?  Will it cause more tension?  If it is just there to hurt the character, I do not suggest adding it.

- DO research the injury.
          It is always good to make sure that your chosen injury wouldn't kill the character if it was real life.  Just because you saw it happen in a movie doesn't mean it is realistic.


-Pretty much don't not do the above things.  :)

The most common injury we see in movies in books that aren't portrayed realistically.

1. The Blow On The Head

          We see this in all kinds of action movies and a lot of books.  The characters get knocked out for a while and all they wake up with is a headache.  But what really happens when someone is hit in the head?
          Being hit in the head can cause brain injury.  A brain injury is where the brain hits against the skull and becomes bruised.  This almost always happens when someone is hit very hard on the head.  If untreated, a brain injury can result in brain damage.
          Some mild symptoms of brain injury are:
               -Brief loss of consciousness
               -Memory issues
               -Dizziness and vision problems
               -Headache and/or vomiting
               -Being sensitive to light and/or noise
          There are also some possible serious symptoms.  If these occur, a doctor is necessary or the person could die.  These symptoms include:
               -Slurred speech
               -Can't stop vomiting
               -Different sized pupils and/or abnormal eye movement
               -Weak muscles
               -Surgery if brain is bleeding
               -Rest with someone waking the person up every 2-3 hours to make sure the patient isn't in a                coma or acting abnormally.

I don't know what you plan to do to your character, but if you plan on injuring them, I highly encourage you to research the injury so that you can write it in the most realistic way possible.  If you have a friend who is a doctor, it may be helpful to talk to them about your idea and what the effects would be.


Snippet from "Death Like Sleep"

Here is a snippet from my WIP (work in progress), Death Like Sleep.
Chapter 1
"Are you comfortable?" The woman with the perfect blonde hair I had always remembered asked.
"Yes, ma'am," I replied before readjusting myself in the bright white lounge chair.  The paper covering crinkled.
"This may pinch for a second," the woman said, her voice buttery.  "Turn your head for me."
I turned away from her and pulled back my chocolate colored hair, revealing a small square where there was no hair, only a black chip.  A small pinch ensued as she connected a wire to it.  I bit my lip.
"All done, Miss Valvo.  Now, what music would you like to listen to?" She brought me some headphones.
"Soft, calming music, I think."
"Okay, put these on." She handed the headphones to me and flipped a switch.  Sweet music filled my ears.  I closed my eyes.
"A little review," the smooth voice of a man asked.  "Who is the ruler of the Confederation of Facta-est?"
"Vladimir Fang," I replied.

That's all I have for you.  :)  Please do not post this work anywhere else or say that it is your own work. 

Here is some more information on Death Like Sleep

Title: Death Like Sleep
Date Started: July 21, 2014
Date Finished First Draft: November 3, 2014
Statues: Editing
First Draft Word Count: 20,463
Time Spent Editing: 1059 minutes
Genre: Science fiction/fantasy
"It doesn't matter.  Wherever you want.  You have about a million to choose from," I laughed lightheartedly.  Suddenly, my vision blurred and spots flew before my eyes.  The world began to spin.  Was this was vertigo feels like?  My heart pounded.  Was I dying?  I struggled to take a breath and my knees buckled.  My eyes closed and my head never hit the floor of the stadium.
When Lyric Valvo wakes up in a strange forest that she doesn't recognize (more due to the fact that she has never seen a forest), she and her best friend Finn are mistaken for runaway soldiers and treated harshly.  On top of that, Lyric has a strange attraction to sharp edges.  Could this be related to something that happened just after she was born?  How did she get to where ever she is?  Are the fabled Mind Wars real?

The synopsis is a work in progress on its own.  :)

Character Interview with Lyric Valvo: https://craftingstoriesinred.wordpress.com/2014/08/05/character-interview-lyric-valvo/


Screenwriting 101

I have made short movies ever since I was 8 years old.  We never used a script, always ad-libbing.  They turned out awkward and overall, bad.  So, we started writing scripts for out movies.  However, a script for a movie isn't called a script.  It is called a screenplay.  It looks much different than a script too.

Writing a script is different than writing a novel.
This is a very true thing.  Though you do write down actions, it is the dialogue that counts.  You can have beautifully written action blurbs, but if you have boring dialogue, it won't be an interesting movie.

Now that we have that fact established, I will go over some tips.

1. Make all dialogue necessary.
          This is true for a novel too, but for a screenplay, it is even more true.  Dialogue takes screen time.  You don't want a whole bunch of "Hi!  How are you?" lines going around.  It is okay to butt in the middle of a scene, as long as it will still make sense.  Also, make it natural, yet witty.

2. You won't be able to share what the characters are thinking.
          This is one of the hard parts of writing a screenplay.  When writing a book, you can have the character thinking and feeling certain things.  The reader knows this because it is clearly spelled out for them.  But in a movie, it is up to the dialogue, actions, and actors to show this to them.  Make sure the dialogue conveys emotion without somebody saying, "I am scared."

3. Make sure and tell the directors and actors everything that goes on "behind the scenes".
          What I mean by this is that in the little "action blurbs" between the dialogue, what all the characters are feeling, how they are supposed to be talking, how they move, and what actions are taking place.

4. One page of properly formatted page of screenplay equals one minute of screen time.
          This is important to remember so that you can calculate how many pages you need to make your screenplay.


The format of a screenplay is very different from a play script.  If you have never seen one, I suggest you take a look at one here: http://www.imsdb.com  At this website, there are a ton of scripts from real movies such at Narnia.  I don't know how accurate the scripts are to the movies, but they provide good examples for what they look like.

1. Put "Fade In:" on the top left corner of the first page.
          The first thing to put on the first page would be "Fade In:".  You would also do this whenever a new scene has begun.  This is directions for whoever edits the film.

2. At the beginning of each scene, after "Fade In:" you put something called a scene heading.
          This is where tell the people reading the screenplay if the scene is inside or outside and where it is located.  For outside, it should look something like this: Ext. Bob's House - Day.  It could be night too, or something more specific such as "sunrise".  For interior, it would look something like this: Int. Bob's Kitchen - Night. (Or day.)

3. After the Scene Heading, put action or introduce a character.
          This depends on if you plan to set the scene without characters first.  For example, if the movie takes place in New York City, your first shot might be an overview of NYC, possibly showing the Statue of Liberty.  You would explain this, instead of introducing characters.  Using this same scenario, here is what it would look like: In New York City, skyscrapers gleam in the sunlight.  This might be the entire first scene.  If it is, skip to step 5 and come back after you have started a new scene.  If you plan to introduce a character, here is what you do.  First, you describe them.  When you mention their name for the first time, make sure it is in ALL CAPS.  For example: AMY, a woman with fiery red hair in her mid twenties, walks on Broadway, her heels clacking against the pavement.  Make sure you do this for every character.  Now, not for all of the extras, unless one is important.  Remember, not all characters who speak have to have a name.  For example, you could call a baker who has one line and isn't called by name on screen, BAKER.

4. After you are finished with action, write the dialogue.  This is where formatting gets a little bit tricky.  Here is what a normal line in a play looks like:

Amy: (turns her head to Ray) I wish we didn't have to go home tomorrow.

Here is what this would look like in a screenplay (you might need to click on the picture to make it larger):

See? The dialogue is in the center with margins.  The header to show who is speaking is always in CAPS, even if the label is THE BAKER.

5. After you finish writing your scene, make sure and put "Dissolve to:" at the end.
           Put this at the very end of the scene, on the right side of the paper.  Why is on the right side, I do not know.  :)

6. Go back and do the steps over again until you have finished the script!

Proper Font, Spacing, etc.

Font: Courier
Sizing of Letters: 12 pt. Font
Spacing of Lines: Based on what I have seen, it looks like between different parts, dialogue, action description, etc., there is a space between those lines.  The alike parts are single spaced.
          Action: Left Margin - 1.5  Right Margin - 1.0  Width - 6.0
          Dialogue: Left Margin - 2.9  Right Margin - 2.3  Width - 3.3
I highly encourage you to look at a screenplay for yourself.  Here is a link to the script for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.  Again, I haven't read it, so I don't know how accurate the script is to the movie, but it does provide a good example.  http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/Chronicles-of-Narnia-The-Lion,-the-Witch-and-the-Wardrobe.html

Helpful Resources:
- This provides a good diagram for format.  http://www.writersstore.com/how-to-write-a-screenplay-a-guide-to-scriptwriting/

- Example Script http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/Chronicles-of-Narnia-The-Lion,-the-Witch-and-the-Wardrobe.html




"Captivated" Review

For the last several years, Elmorhirian has watched as his sister and closest friends all marry and settle down. Now, he just has to figure out how to navigate the confusing, sometimes aggravating, captivation of his own heart.

My Review: This is such a cute story.  I loved being able to travel back to Dolennar again and see one of my favorite characters, Elmorhirion.  If you have a few minutes and you have already read the Makilien Trilogy, I recomment you read this.  I love Molly's selection for Elmorhirion's future wife.  (I will post no spoilers.)  If you have not read the Makilien Trilogy, you should read that first, as this will make more sense.  Be warned that this story is very short, around 5,000 words, so expect to read it quickly.  Overall, it is an adorable story!

About the Author
Molly Evangeline is a 25 year old independent author with a passion for writing Christian fantasy and clean New Adult fiction. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Molly weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God's love shines as a light to offer hope. She is a homeschool graduate and has been penning stories since the age of eight. 

*Disclaimer* - I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.


Faith and Writing

When I first started to like writing, before I got serious about it, I did not write Christian stories.  Of course, they were still clean, but they didn't include God.  I had thought about including these things, but I didn't know how to incorporate Him and still have a good story.  Granted, they were not good anyways, but that was my thought process back then.  :)

A while ago, my sister and two of our friends wrote a "book".  It was absolutely horrible, and it didn't include God.  One of our friends read it and said something that has really impacted my writing.  I don't remember exactly what she said, but I know it was something like this.  Christians are for God, so they need to promote God in all they do, let people know that you are for God.  

That really changed the way I thought about a lot of things and is why in my writing, I include my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!


Clean Books

Something that is very important to me is reading and watching things that are clean and don't go against my beliefs.  I don't appreciate all of the trash put in secular books, movies and TV shows.  It bothers me and it sticks in my brain.  I don't want to see/hear/read it.  It is not necessary.  That is why one of my goals as a writer is to help have more clean books.

I know that there are a lot of them out there, but there always needs to be more!  And they need to be more available.  I would love for libraries to have a bunch of Christian books!  I want people to know about them!

How do you feel about this?