Friday, August 31, 2012


Yes, I realize that it's Friday and I missed Writing Wednesdays again. I APOLOGIZE OKAY. I WAS SICK. *sticks tongue out* Oh, wait, there's a smiley for that...

Anywho, I have another blog post for yooou! I was talking to my friend Annika (TWO 'N'S OKAY PINKY I DID IT THIS TIME) about how incredibly underloved pyrokinetics are. Seriously, think about it. There are, like, none in canon fiction. And when there are, they're, like, evil and stuff. Fire is not evil, okay? It represents hope and fierceness! At least, it did in Lord of the Flies. Not that anybody wants to revisit that book...

Right, so, I've decided to list my favorite pyrokinetics! Oh, by the way, pyrokinetics are wonderful people who can control fire with their minds. (And it's PYROKINETIC, not TELEPYRIC. I mean, I bet they're both right, but pyrokinetic sounds cooler.) There are some limitations considering-- some can only control it when a flame is present, some can only go for a short amount of time, some can use their hands and others can light separate things or places on fire-- but they all have it to some extent. By the way, there may be some spoilers if you haven't read the books or seen the show of those characters I'm about to list, so... don't blame me if you're spoiled and you don't like it. xD My top five, in no particular order, are:

Philip "Torchie" Grieg:
 Hidden Talents/True Talents
So I don't know if I ever told you, but I'm a sucker for those "innocent-as-a-puppy" guys. They're just soooo cute, and Torchie is no exception! Actually, he's one of my favorites, because his power is so friggin' destructive but he wouldn't hurt a fly. You might not know him-- he's from a two-book series about supernatural kids that I stumbled across in middle school. One of my favorites. You should check it out, forseriously!
Avatar: The Last Airbender
Come on now, you know this one. Zuko's the exiled prince of the Fire Nation, which means he's got BAMF firebending skills. I love Zuko so much because you could always tell he had a soft side, and when he joined Aang and the others I was like, "YES I KNEW YOU WEREN'T EVIL!" So that made me happy. 'Course, dude's got an attitude problem but that doesn't necessarily mean he's evil, right? Plus it helps that he's cute. (I think him and Katara made a better couple than Katara and Aang, but whatever, to each his own).
Leo Valdez:
Heroes of Olympus
Another famous pyrokinetic, although he's a bit underloved in the series. I love Leo so much because for one thing, controlling fire is rare and dangerous and that singles Leo out for being special (not that he wasn't already being Sammy Valdez's great-times-whatever relative and the spitting image of Hazel's old boyfriend). Also, he's Latino. And he's trilingual. Well... is Morse Code a language? You get what I mean. He's a runner (one of my favorite types of characters) and ADHD (I find it more prominent in him... and cuter) and is freaking hilarious. I seriously love him. He's one of my favorite fictional characters of all time.
You don't know her, because the book hasn't been published (yet), but this chick is the ultimate back-talking, baddie-taunting, sweet-and-sour Australian queen of battle humor. Her pyrokinetic powers are a bit different than others'-- like, her skin burns you, for one thing. Poor girl's always gotta wear gloves. But she's funny, wicked awesome in a fight, and is about as talkative as a jackrabbit. Definitely one of my favorites. (Also created by my friend Elyse, so no stealing (not that I would think you guys would haha)).
Lucky Freeman:
The Lucky One
Oh come on, how can I not include my own pyrokinetic? Lucky's a seraphim, an angel with amazing flame-controlling powers! 'Course, that makes for a really inconvenient disability when Lucky gets angry, or excited, or basically any other extreme emotion, 'cause then his hands spontaneously combust and he has a hard time explaining it to regular mortals such as ourselves (although I would totally understand).
So there you have it: my favorite fictional pyrokinetics. There may be more (I didn't really look anybody up). Who are your favorites? Anyone I missed?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What's in a Name?

So I was gonna totally rant about how underloved pyrokinetics are (as my friend Annika pointed out, they all seem to be evil) but then I had this very nice Twitter conversation with this lady whom I don't know about names. Names are very hard to get down in a character. They've got to be perfect. Names practically define their character and personality! The ambience in the room changes when people look to that character.

I've seen plenty of common names. Just look at the Top 100 Names for Girls (and Boys, for that matter) as seen HERE and HERE. See how Sophia is at the top for girls? Now look at my MC for Death and Other Things I Fail At.

Oh, look at that. It's Sophia.

I swear I didn't mean to do that.

My point is not to go out of your way giving unique names to your characters. I mean, if the time period calls for it I doubt you'd name a 1820's Englishman Jay Javelpin. Well, you could, but it would be odd. My point is to name the character what seems to fit best for them. Sophia, to me, means bubbly and excitable, while at the same time curious and intelligent. The actual meaning of the name is wisdom, although I don't go basing my characters soley on the meaning of their name (like my own name, Jasmine, which means absolutely nothing).

I guess it's partially why naming characters is so hard. Authors are so concerned about not having the same name as everybody else ('cause honestly, who else is going to name their character Percy after Rick Riordan made him famous?) that they go out of their way to think up a name that'll fit. I'm guilty of it, I admit, but naming was always more about the personality of the character than trying to be original. Take the nameless little girl in Way to Kill. Yeah, I still haven't found a name for her yet. She's mute and never talks, she has wicked skills with knives, she's only twelve years old and she's Native American. What I want to call her is Jasmine, but that's my name. So even though Jasmine fits, I have reservations naming her that, because then won't people think I'm conceited to call a character my own name?

(Not that that stopped Jay Clark, but still).

So anyway, I don't know what I'll do. I just wanted to point out that having unique names isn't everything to the plot of the book. Nor is basing your character's personality on the unique names you picked. It's kind of a meet-in-the-middle sort of thing, you know? Names need to fit the personality, the ethnicity, the mood of the novel. Names are important, you know. They're what sets the groundwork for the characters to become famous someday. They become synonyms for great (or terrible) books-- like Percy, Cullen, Jace, Katniss. Those names we'll remember... and not just because they're unique.

Thoughts? What are some names you like to use? What are some names you see often?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Heroic Much?

Mkay, so I seem to have this annoying habit of making my male MCs heroic. I mean, in Oops Rocky got kidnapped by a "crazy homicidal kidnapped chick" (his words, not mine... well, they are mine, but you get the picture) and yet once he found out that she was only trying to keep her brother from being killed he immediately offered to help. Like, seriously?

And in The Lucky One, Lucky's pyrokinetic and half angel, half demon with a human heart. He's like the whole friggin' package. Understanding, gentle, fierce when he has to be, and freaking hilarious in battle.

Even the characters who aren't the protagonist get heroic tendancies. Aidan, in Way to Kill, is a self-sacrificing Slayer who is seriously drool-worthy. And Eli in Death and Other Things I Fail At stands up to his father and the rest of society to defend Sophia.

They're all so... perfect! *pulls hair out* Did you know that when we did Character Superlatives in NaNoWriMo's YWP forums, Lucky won five awards? Funniest, Wittiest, Most Charming, Most Accident-Prone (yeah, okay, this is true), and Best Character Overall. That's ignoring the Best Couple catagory (Jasmine and Lucky won that, from SHIFT) and the catagories he got second place in (Most Likeable and Most Unique).

... This sounds a lot like bragging, but really, I'm appalled.

I didn't mean to make him so perfect. :P

'Cause seriously, are guys like that in real life? I wouldn't know. I've never actually really held a conversation with one, soooo... I'm basing all my male characters on idealistic boyfriends? Wouldn't be the first time an author did that, I don't think (Jace. Enough said).

Anywho, yeah, it's not so bad. Boys are so hard to get down. Tips would be great. ;D

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Brotherly Love

Whoo! Last two weeks have been BEYOND busy! Sorry for poofing on your guys. However, I am back with a writing-related post on-- you guessed it-- bromance! I absolutely love bromance. There's something about affection between guys that makes a girl's heart melt.

So, what is bromance? It's not a slash pairing! Bromance is strictly brotherly friendship between male characters. There are quite a few types:

Tolerance: My personal favorite. Character A is the big, brooding bad boy, while Character B is annoying/funny/idiotic best friend that grows on Character A, even after being shoved away many a time. Ex: Jason and Spinelli (General Hospital), Dillon and Ziggy (Power Rangers RPM), Lightning and Mater (Cars).

Bickering: My very very very close second favorite. In which Character A and Character B apparently hate each other's guts, but over a period of time come to rely on their constant gripes at each other until it's so natural they don't even realize they're friends. Ex: Tony and Clint (Avengers), Merlin and Arthur (Merlin), Shawn and Gus and Lassiter (Psych), Wes and Travis (Common Law), Tony and McGee (NCIS) ... too many to count.

Mentor/Sidekick: Similar to Tolerance, I should think, in most reluctant mentor/sidekick partnerships. But the real friendship we see is when the mentor finally admits he cares about his protege. Ex: Anakin and Obi-Wan (Star Wars), Bruce Wayne and any of the Robins (Batman), Kyrian and Nick (Chronicles of Nick).

Big Brother/Little Brother: The one in which one feels responsible for the other one. Ex: Jack and Daniel (Stargate SG-1), Morgan and Reid (Criminal Minds), Castiel and Dean (Supernatural).

Rivalry: What's bromance without constant competition? Ex: Han and Luke (Star Wars), Legolas and Gimli (Lord of the Rings), Steve and Dano (Hawaii Five-O).

Besties Since Birth: Okay, maybe not birth, but since childhood? Few things could cement a bond so strong. Ex: Chuck and Morgan (Chuck), Kendall, Logan, James and Carlos (Big Time Rush), Shawn and Gus (Psych)

Partners: Oh, you know this one-- in practically every cop show there's some bromance between partners, am I right? Ex: Sam and Callen (NCIS: LA), Lee and Carter (Rush Hour), John and Sherlock (Sherlock), Ryan and Esposito (Castle).

Unwaveringly Loyal: Those who stick by your side no matter what the cost, no matter what fights you've ever had, no matter how bad you've treated them. Ex: Sam and Frodo (Lord of the Rings), Jason and Sonny (General Hospital), Hiccup and Toothless (How to Train Your Dragon).

So as you can see, the list is pretty much limitless. There are people who fall into mulitple catagories (I didn't add Sam and Dean, and Frank and Joe, because they're actually brothers and I don't think that counts :P ) but there were far too many to mention. Believe me, I would if I could've!

I like bromance because it shows a guy's vulnerable side. It's kind of gratifying to know they have a heart, isn't it? There is truly nothing better. ^_^

Honorable mentions:
  • Timon and Pumba (The Lion King)
  • Han and Chewie (Star Wars)
  • Shaggy and Scooby (Scooby-Doo)
Have a favorite bromance type? In books, TV, or in a movie? Tell me! I'd love to hear your opinions. :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sweet Sixteen

That's right.

It's my birthday.

I'm sixteen.

You guys can party now.

Okay, seriously, today's my sweet sixteen! AND it's a Wednesday! So I guess you can guess what comes next right? A BIRTHDAY themed Writing Wednesday! \o/ Let's get this party started!

The prompt comes from the first line in Chapter One in my novel, The Lucky One: My sweet sixteen started off okay and went downhill from there.

Here we go!

My sweet sixteen started off okay and went downhill from there.

For one thing, it was sunny. Despite the fact that it was just kicking off the month of August, there is rarely any sun anywhere within a 500 mile radius of the city of Seattle. Most people may take that as a good sign, but in reality, it made me nervous.

I woke up early. The night before had been difficult-- not only was there a full moon out (I don't really sleep during full moons, for some strange reason), but I was way too excited about turning sixteen. That said, it really wasn't that surprising that the time was just barely past seven in the morning as I peered through bleary eyes at my clock.

Should I get up? I listened carefully, hoping for any noise that would indicate my parents were already awake (and hopefully setting up a surprise birthday party for me). Only silence reached my sensitive ears.

I sighed. There was no way I was getting back to sleep, but I did not want to get up now. It was way too early, and everybody was probably already asleep.

My stomach growled. That settled it, then. I had to get something to eat, or it would drive me crazy. With a huff I threw the covers off of me and climbed out of bed.

As I opened my door I noticed three things.

The first was that Mom's bedroom door was open, and the bed was empty. So was my brother's to the right of my room. And although I couldn't see into the bedrooms of my two toddler sisters from here, I could tell by the lack of noise that their rooms were vacant, too.

Second, the hairs on the back of my neck stood straight up, my eyes widening, an odd fight-or-flight reaction I was unused to having as I looked around the house. Everything, from the bookcase to my right to the staircase railing, had been broken, strewn about, or shredded. My house looked like Wolverine had taken a buzzsaw and hacked everything to pieces.

And the last was that my cat, Stallworth (who is actually a girl but named after a boy), was sitting patiently at the foot of the staircase peering up at me with wide yellow eyes.

I suddenly decided that this was not going to be the best birthday ever like I'd originally thought.