Saturday, October 18, 2014

Being Loved is a Powerful Thing

I wrote another entry for the Brandon Sanderson contest. This one is split up into five mini-chapters. They'd be longer if I didn't have only 1000 words to work with!




"I killed your parents." 

A tear leaked down Layenne's rosy cheek as she trembled. "I love you," she whispered harshly, fist clenching at her side.

"I know," I replied softly, looking out the window over my kingdom. "I know." 


"My wish?" I questioned. Words were on my tongue immediately: power, gold, land, food enough to last a lifetime--but there was always a price for offers like this. "What's the catch?"

The fae-woman smiled, holding up a slender finger. "Clever you are, which will take you far. There is no trick to this--only in what you wish." 

I rested my ax on my shoulder as I considered her. She was a young-looking thing, though she was likely hundreds of years old. Curly, lovely, white hair spilled down her sky-cloaked back, shimmering like the white caps of the ocean as she walked. Sly, icy-blue eyes watched me from a perfect oval face, and pale lips parted in a smile.

I had come upon her while I was trekking to my cabin in the woods, as I did every day after work. The fae were an odd lot; they found it a shame to be in the mortal realm. So, in exchange for me telling no one of her visit, she would grant me a wish.

I frowned, not sure what to make of her riddle. "What do you mean?" 

"Yours may have a twist; it might not." Her voice was like the music of a siren.

I tilted my head, and began to think for a wish that would overcome common pitfalls found in stories. 

"What is your name?" I asked.

She gave a laugh like the clinking of icicles falling from a tree. "Rarely do I meet one as you," she mused. "I am called Winter. What is your wish, young lumberman?"

I rubbed the handle of my ax with my thumb, pursing my lips. "I wish . . . to be loved by all who know me."

She paused, then narrowed her eyes as she grinned, revealing cruel, sharp teeth. "It is done," she said as an icy cold wind picked up around us, biting into my skin. "I won't regret your wish." 

Before I could ask her what she meant by that, she vanished.


"I want t' promote you."

My ax bit into the cedar tree, and Arvid waited patiently for me to pull it out. Three days had passed since I met Winter. "Promote me?" I asked finally, turning to him. 

"Yes," he said. "I'd like you t' come t' Market with me and sell th' lumber." 

"Why so suddenly?" 

"You're th' best man I got 'round 'ere," he said, then raised a hand to a Jerold as the older, more experienced lumberjack passed. "No offense."

"None taken!" Jerold said, grinning as he looked to me. "Everyone here thinks the same."

"Alright, then," I agreed. "I'll come with you to Market."


I hopped down from the front of the wagon to help Arvid unload lumber to some rich man's cart. A woman oversaw the work, along with some men. She was dressed in a fine wool coat, and her dark brown hair brushed against her shoulders each time she turned her head to watch someone work with owlish eyes.

"Lumberjack," she called to me as I was returning to the cart. 

I paused. "Yeah?"

"What's your name?" she asked curiously, climbing down from her perch on her wagon. "I haven't seen you at Market before."

"Davin Sen, m'lady," I said, tipping my hat. 

"Don't you recognize me?" she questioned curiously.

"'Fraid not. Should I?" 

She covered a smile with a gloved hand. "I'm Layenne. Princess Layenne."

"Oh," I said dumbly, and then gave a short bow. 

She giggled. "I like you. Come with me, Davin. I have someone I want you to meet." 


"Davin! We're going to be late," Layenne declared as she swept into the room. She clapped in delight at my appearance. "You look positively devastating!"

Admiring myself in the mirror, I smiled. I did look devilish in the three-pieced, black suit. I would likely be the center of attention that night, much as had happened the last few balls. I ran a hair through my blond hair, and turned to her.

She was my perfect compliment, dressed in a lovely white cloth that wrapped around her body like the feathers on a swan. Her smile lit up the room as she came over to me, tugging my clothing into place. I gently took her hands, and she looked up at me.

"I love you," she said, and I knew she was telling the absolute truth.

It warmed me. No one said it out loud except her, though I knew everyone did. Three months had passed since my wish, and my life had never been better. Not a word of anger was ever directed my way any more, and there were very few that wouldn't give me whatever I wished.

"That's why we're getting married," I reminded her with a smile, then gave her a soft kiss. 


"Step down from the throne." 

"Not so soon, young Davin," King Aldric said in his slow way, giving me a smile. "I have a little life in me yet. The kingdom will be yours and my daughter's before long."

That was not soon enough.  I wanted the kingdom now. "Can you call mother in for me?" I asked, sitting down. 

Just a minute later, Queen Delmi stepped into the study, with her maidservant, Alyssa, supporting her at her side. "You have need of me?" she asked, exhaling as she was helped into the third chair. "You may go, Alyssa."

The girl gave a small curtsy, her wistful eyes lingering on me as she left the room. I smiled; her attention was rightly placed.

"I do," I said, standing. "Your time has passed."

"Davin?" the queen asked with some concern as I unsheathed my sword, although her love for me was strong enough to contest the concern.

Just as I would have it.


Thursday, October 16, 2014


Did I mention I'm in a poetry class? Welp, I'm in a poetry class. My teacher and I don't really agree on the ways poetry should be written (he likes enjamblement (cool word, that. Enjamblement. Just say it a few times out loud) and I cringe whenever I see an enjambled sentence. Enjambled), but it's going well so far.

I also have the sneaking suspicious he doesn't like giving full marks, because I couldn't find any fault with my last two assignments . . . of course, that might be me thinking spitefully, but y'know.

I liked my latest piece of poetry that I made up on the fly for my assignment, so here it is!:

Cucumber Melon
By Mariah Burkett
Flipping the bottle this way and that,
I sit it on the table,
Watching as little silvery-green blimps
push their way to the surface;
Leaving little bubbles in their wake,
Like streams of fairy dust.
I twist the ridged cap,
And breathe in a sweet perfume--
Not an overpowering scent,
But that which smells of summer;
Of fruits and gatherings;
Of cantaloupes and cucumbers.
I touch the viscous liquid,
Then gather some in my palms,
And turn the faucet on.
Rubbing smooth green between my hands,
And listening to tiny bubbles pop,
I dip my fingers in rushing, warm water. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

2nd Draft of Counterfeit

People had issues with my characterization, what the power was, the chapter structure, and a few other things in my story. So, I've rewritten it, and hopefully it's better now!

Here it is!


Who the hell let a reporter into my office? I thought with a scowl as my door swung in, permitting a young woman. The permeating scent of stubborn determination filled the air like a bad perfume, and she strode to my desk, extending her hand while flashing a winning smile.

"Good morning, High President," she greeted cheerily, blue eyes sparkling. She had an odd clip to her voice—a familiar accent, but one I couldn't place. "I'm Laura Brown."

I considered her for a moment, then, still frowning, deigned to stand and shake her hand. "Good morning. Now I would appreciate it if you leave. I'm busy enough without rude interruptions."

"Actually, that's what I'm here to talk to you about," she said, stepping away and making herself comfortable in one of the chairs across from me and folded one black-clad leg over the other, her foot bouncing happily.

Laura's aura was confident—only the slightest amount of fear tinted it. She knew that  I could have security come and toss her out if I chose.  How did she get in here, though? Who didn't run this past me?

Reporters were a obstinate lot. They were the sort of people that I had a hard time dissuading from bothering me.

"What's it like to be the ruler of the world?" she asked, and I could feel smugness in her aura at the fact that I had not called for security yet.

Exhausting. And fairly boring. "Busy enough," I said, sitting back down and taking my reading glasses off, "even without a nosy reporter in my office." It wasn't the right thing to say to get her to go away—I knew that it would be harder than that. Like the time I had had to convince the congressmen to lower the age for the American Presidential office.

Laura didn't take the hint; instead, her aura grew more bold after a moment of irritation, and I finally turned my attention fully to reading her.

I'm not about to let this opportunity slip out of my hands, she was thinking as she opened her mouth to speak.

God, I'd wish she'd leave already. I have things to do. Annoyingly dry things—I was far off from eliminating the paper system of the 'old' world—but I had to do them nevertheless.

I held up a hand, stopping her before she began. "I am not interested in discussing—"

"You're bored," she interjected idly, cutting me off.

"Excuse me?" I asked, though I was more surprised than irritated.
"There's nothing else for you to do, nowhere else up the ladder to go," she told me matter-of-factly as she flicked the end of her pony tail over her shoulder.

How did she . . . ? I thought with surprise, scrutinizing her closer.

Like a shark sensing blood, she pursued, the scent of triumph tainting the air. "Rising to power was like a game to you. Each step higher was just another piece to take out."

Though they had to be guesses, her guesses sounded confident. Very confident.

My ascent to power was public record. It had taken a lot of political maneuvering, greasing of hands, and countless debates. Fortunately, I had always had money and some power in the political world—my parents had had connections, even back then—and it hadn't taken long for me to shoot up the ladder.

As confident as me, I realized, remembering how I had climbed up the social ladder. Could it be possible . . . ?

"What makes you say that?" I questioned while leaning back in my seat.

Giving the same, perfect-teeth smile, she continued as the scent of triumph and smugness growing stronger. "As soon as you turned eighteen, you ran for mayor of Seattle. Against the odds, you won. Then you made state governor. Next thing everyone knows, you're the king of the world a short ten years later."

A year had passed since then, and I was having some troubles wrangling down rebel groups from several of the more mulish countries who refused to accept a once-American as their leader.

Wait, I thought with surprise as I realized something. She had gotten me to ask her a question. Blazes. I didn't respond to her prodding—she hadn't asked a question, after all—instead frowning deeper and starting to pick apart her aura. This was a foe worthy of my full attention.

You don't know me. The message came through brightly, and shock grew through me as she gave me a sly smile. I wonder how you came to power without the aid of something greater?

Inconceivable, I thought, baffled by the thought that there was another like me. There had never been another who could match what I could do.

"Do you consider yourself a good man?" she asked—another question that caught me off guard.

Dammit. I had to stop letting her do that.

I was hesitant to answer the question, which would give me away if she really was like me. Indeed, I could feel her aura shifting, although she waited for me to respond this time. "No," I finally said, shifting a paper on my desk. "I don't. When was the last time you elected a good man, though?"

"We didn't elect you," she informed me, and I gave a small nod. This was true. Democracy was a step I had skipped when I started taking over the other countries. "What do you consider yourself?"

It was a question I had asked myself for a long time. Though I had never thought myself a good man, I had done great things since I took over. I had ended world hunger. I was on the way to achieving world peace. I had allowed new technologies to come forth that had been repressed—a water-powered car, for one.

In those aspects, I was a hero to many. But the lengths I had gone to achieve to achieve power, and the reasons, were not heroic by any means. Using the ability to sense wants and hear thoughts to emotionally—and otherwise—manipulate people had never been the trademark of a hero. I bent  

 "A villain, perhaps," I said. I had, after all, abused an extraordinary gift given to me to attain a position unlike any other. Then I cursed myself again. She was a bloody reporter. Whatever I said today might be in tomorrow's news.

But . . . the allure of someone who was like me at all was strong.  

"And why is that?" she questioned further, leaning forward.

After a long moment, I said, "Because there was no one to stop me."

She smiled broader, and I could hear from her aura a distinct message:

Not anymore.  

"I believe that will be all," she said, standing.

I stood with her, extending a hand while smiling at the challenge—something new and foreign, but welcome. "Well met, Laura Brown."

Monday, October 6, 2014


The End

"So," the woman sitting before me asked, smoothing her skirt down as she picked up her pencil and notebook. "What's it like to be the ruler of the world?"

"Frankly?" I replied "Exhausting." I leaned back in my chair, looking lazily out over the city.

This was not the expected answer. I could feel the surprise emanating from her. The blonde reporter looked up sharply, bangs swaying on her forehead. "Excuse me?"

"First there was the political maneuvering to get to this spot," I said idly, wiping off a speck of dust from the seat of my black chair. "Then there's the baggage that people expect you to take care of when you're the leader." I sighed, standing and turning to the window completely, clasping my hands behind my back. "What good is owning the world if no one follows you? In order to keep my kingdom, short of making everyone hate and fear me, I have to please the people."

"Well . . ." the reporter said as her pencil scratched frantically across paper. She cleared her throat after a moment. "Not a lot is known about how you rose to power . . . ."

"Mm," I said, rolling my shoulders. "Okay. I'll bite."

What could it hurt to tell everyone, now that I was the undisputed ruler? Perhaps a hero would rise against me.


The Beginning

"I had always been a people-pleaser. In school, I was always the 'teacher's pet.' I wanted people to think the best of me, and I always knew just what to say to get people on my good side. In essence, I had a superpower--and unlikely one, but one nevertheless." 

I paused, thinking as I tapped my thumb over the other. The girl was anticipating my next words, her aura abuzz with curiosity. I smiled to myself, then continued.

"I've had it all my life, yet I know no one else who can do what I can--I can sense what people want to hear. I can 'read' people's emotions, as it were."

The woman shifted in her seat as she scribbled. You can tell what I'm thinking? her aura seemed to say, the sharp scent of trepidation in the air. I glanced back at her with my smile, and her eyes darted away.

"Years passed. I graduated high school with a diploma, and found I had nothing. Years of sucking up to teachers, my parents, and other students had gotten me nowhere--except for a stinking diploma, which any old loser can get. 

"That's when I decided I was done. I had honed my art enough at this point that I knew what I wanted to do. I didn't want to be teased for being a kiss-ass anymore. I wanted people to kiss my ass, for once in my life.

"It didn't start out as 'world domination.' First it was becoming mayor of the city. I can't tell you how many hands I had to shake, how many meetings I had to attend, the debates I had to give . . . but in a short six months, I was elected president of the city." 

I paused to chuckle. "I wanted people to bow down to me, and how they did. And then, I realized, I wanted more. Next it was creeping up to becoming state governor. Then I slowly worked my way up to being a congressman--I barely met the minimum criteria of being twenty-five, at the time.

"Little did people know, six years later, at age thirty-one, I would be the youngest president--or likely the youngest, anyways. I never was all that good at history--America had ever seen. 

"And then, like dominoes, the others fell before me." I smiled. The foreign nations had been a bit harder to conquer than America, due to their obstinacy, but I had won in the end. "It's easy to win when you know what everyone wants--and you have the power to grant it."

Everything in Between

Her pencil scribbling on the page was the only thing heard in the office for a moment. She wanted to get all of this new information down.

Then there was silence in the office as I continued to survey the city below. I could feel her aura behind me--wondrous, in awe of me. That was to be expected.

"You once declared yourself as evil," she finally said, her aura becoming curious again.

The way of a reporter, I mused. In awe one moment, then right after you again.

"Why is that?" she questioned when I didn't respond.

By the time I had taken over the world, the world didn't know what had happened. One minute there were wars and contentions, and the next, unified beneath my flag.

"I'm evil because there was no one to stop me," I replied simply.

The confusion was evident all over her face. I didn't need a supernatural ability to sense it. "How would that make you evil?" she questioned. "You ended wars--world hunger, even. You're a hero!"

A wry smile twisted my face. "Just because you can doesn't always mean you should. I could manipulate you right now into sleeping with me."

"But you aren't," she pointed out, emphasizing it with a pencil wag at me.

"Yes. Mostly because I have no interest in doing such a thing," I mused. I didn't care because I could manipulate anyone the hell I wanted to sleep with me. People had ceased to be of great interest to me long ago, after so many years of twisting them to what I wanted. "However, I used base emotional manipulation to get where I am today. Tell me . . . when has that ever been the act of a hero?"

She paused, mouth open as if to respond. Then she shut it, frowning as she scrutinized me. Her aura was wary--almost betrayed. A counterfeit, it accused.

It would be right.

I smirked. "What was your name, again?"

Sunday, October 5, 2014


I've always thought taking over the world was a bad plan for a supervillain. Once you're the leader of the world, there's nothing left to conquer, and you have to maintain control. If you don't maintain control directly, then you run the risk of one of your underlings gaining more influence and power than you.

Of course, I suppose you could just kill that person off, unless they killed you first. Being a supervillain just doesn't seem fun. Happily Never After was one show I think described this pretty well. What if Rumpelstiltskin had gotten the baby?

Why did he want the baby? What would he do with a baby? I don't go around trying to con people out of their babies. (Well, I'm not a villain either, but nuances.)

Anyways, back to the reason of this post. I'm writing another flash fiction! This one is for a contest, though. It's on Figment (a site I don't trust; read its Terms and Conditions and you'll figure out why) but it's put on by Brandon Sanderson.

In case you didn't read my magic systems ramblings, or you missed the fangirling in between the lines, I absolutely adore Sanderson's work. He's one of the very few people I would find meeting/talking to flail-worthy (the other people mostly consist of ThePianoGuys).

I deleted my account off Figment a while ago after I read through their Terms and Conditions, but the possible prize of talking to Sanderson is enough enticement to make me go back. At least for a little while.

It makes me wonder if he'd respond to an email of mine, or just delete it as fanmail. I wonder if he responds to fanmail. Maybe I should ask him. He's a cool guy.


The contest prompt: “If you were a super-villain, what would your one power be? And how would you use it to conquer the world?” --Brandon Sanderson

So far, I have the following. It's only about 250 words, and it will be the first "chapter" of my flash fiction. I have yet to even figure out what power my supervillain has, to be truthful. (I'll stop talking now. Here it is):

"So," the woman sitting before me asked, smoothing her skirt down as she picked up her pencil and notebook. "What's it like to be the ruler of the world?"

"Frankly?" I replied, snorting. "Exhausting. I wish I could quit." I leaned back in my chair, looking lazily out over the city.

This, of course, was not the expected answer. The blonde reporter looked up sharply, her bangs swaying on her forehead. "Excuse me?" she questioned, surprised.

"First there was the political maneuvering to get to this spot," I said idly, wiping off a speck of dust from the seat of my black chair. "Then there's the baggage that people expect you to take care of when you're the leader." I sighed, standing up and turned to the window completely, clasping my hands behind my back. "What good is owning the world if no one follows you? In order to keep my kingdom, short of making everyone hate and fear me, I have to please the people."

"Well . . ." the reporter said, and I could hear her pencil scratching frantically across the paper. She cleared her throat after a moment. "Not a lot is known about how you rose to power . . . ."

"Mm," I said, rolling my shoulders. "Okay. I'll bite."

What could it hurt to tell everyone, now that I was the undisputed ruler? Perhaps a hero would rise against me.


This WAS going to be about those Flash Fictions

There's one form of writing that I can sort of say is done, if you consider that I'm probably never going to write more on it or with those same characters. Flash fiction! I have several of these little things lying around. Two friends and I even have a site for it. Okay, those are mostly the really silly flash fictions we do late at night.

Tonight, however, I've written two semi-serious flash fictions! I figure I might as well share them. Because, hey, what else am I going to use my blog for? (And we don't want another year passing in between posts, but shhh.)

Here they are!


Prompt: Write a scary story, somehow including bugs.

Oh dear, she thought to herself as she skidded beneath one of the emergency containment doors before it shut all the way, barely getting her antennae out of the way before it met the ground. How did I end up in this mess?

She skidded to her feet, finding it hard to gain much purchase against the metal floors as she shot down the corridor. There wasn't enough space in here for her to use her wings . . . .

"Stop right there!" she heard someone shout in Kuloyn. She was startled enough that her feet stopped moving—however, the slick floor carried her right past the corridor that a guard was running down.

Keep moving! her sense screamed at her, and she began her mad dash once again.

Something clinked in the way of her path on the floor—A ptsorit grenade! she realized with dread, vaulting over it—just as it released its gas, the hazy fog-like gas filling the corridor. She shuddered in pain as her antennae twitched violently at the confusion gas, and she stumbled into the wall, holding herself up with two of her limbs. Can't . . . stop . . . here . . .

She slid to her knees against her will, gasping, her senses blurry with pain. Then she fell face-forward onto the ground.

So my thought for this one is that the main character is a bug-like alien in a High Tech Fantasy universe, and she's in trouble for something. Oh, and she's also in some government facility. And running for some reason.

Silly character. Doesn't she know that running is the international sign of guilt?!


Prompt: Beneath the smiles

Silver rays cast shadows about his body as he travelled across the field, pulling his cloak closer to himself. He squinted up at the two moons in the sky, exhaling a breath that fogged around his face. Inio and Sala sure were bright tonight. He wondered vaguely if he should have paid more attention to Brother Taro's sermon early that week, but shook his head.

For a moment, he was distracted by the moons in the sky, then he continued walking, blinking dull spots of light out of his eyes. He froze as he made out a smiling face behind his eyelids, and his breath caught in his throat as he stared, unwilling to close his eyes again, at the forest in front of him. Closing his eyes again, he exhaled as it was revealed that the light spots had disappeared.

"By the lights!" he snarled as he opened his eyes, jumping back from the person that had seemed to appear out of nowhere. His green aura flared around him, casting a sickly light on the red-auraed man. "You scared the light out of me, Ronos!"

Ronos gave a half smirk. "I try."


This one has a bit more of a story than the other one. Well, in the setting, anyways. I have no idea who Ronos is or the young man from whom I presume is telling the story. I also learned new things about the world from this snippet.

Basically, I've been envisioning this magic system based on auras for a while now. I really like Brandon Sanderson's writings, and I've spent a while trying to come up with a magic system that resembles one of his, without being one of his or one of somebody elses'. It's really hard to make a complex, good, unused magic system, by the way. Especially without being accused of just ripping someone else's work off.

Example: I mentioned that I wanted one of the colors of the auras to increase physical attributes (such as strength, senses, hair length, stamina, speed, etc.,) and one of my friends mentioned that it essentially does what pewter does in Sanderson's Mistborn series. Of course, I informed her that it would also have to include tin, and that Mistborn isn't the first thing I think of when I think 'enhanced physical attributes.' 

Actually, I think Runelords (which, apparently, has horrible characterization and plot, and reviewers are pretty sure the author is both racist and sexist. I think at the time I read the book, I didn't notice (it was a few years ago. Like, maybe when I was twelve or thirteen.)), which has a fabulous magic system. It basically consists of taking stuff from one person and giving it to another (which really is twisted and awful when you put it like that. Both the good guys and the bad guys did that in the book, although the rationale for the good guys was that their people were willing to give up their attributes). 

Anyways, it just brings up the age-old topic of "There is nothing new under the sun." It's hard to create anything original. And generally, one element of a magic system won't be very original. 

Where did I start with this? Oh, yes. Auras. Magic system. 

The system would consist of the following colors (most common to most rare): Silver (white), Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red, Black. I'm not sure what all the colors would do quite yet, but I've been working on that. Supposedly, Black is supposed to be the most powerful, and white the least powerful.

I toyed around with the idea of White being the most powerful (the original list included both silver and white), and that it was more of a genetic abnormality. See, it was my initial thought that they could have all the powers of all the auras (except for black), because white is all the colors. Then I was like, "Crap, that's too much like the mistborn from Mistborn." And if I had done that, then I think I actually would be starting to rip Sanderson off. 

Everyone on this world would be born with an aura of one of the basic colors. 'Calico' auras would be ridiculously rare--that's what my notebook says, anyways. I wanted to avoid making this like other magic systems including auras--like the Nicholas Flammel magic system, where only a few people have pure auras. 

Continuing on, the auras are heredity. I decided that, instead of being the most rare, White would be the most common because the magic system is based (very loosely, hah) off light (if you didn't catch all that, VIBGYOR is the colors of the rainbow in backwards order), and at the point in time I'd write any book, a Red, Blue, and Green-auraed person would be in many lines. 

Come to think of it, Black would be the abnormality, since it can't exactly be made from those three colors. I wonder if it's like UV. I should look into Black light for this, shouldn't I? It'd seem more purpley to me than anything, though. I'll think on that. 

Where was I? Right. So, Black, being the most rare, would be the aura of nobility. They would generally be pure-bred, seeing as we don't want some purple aura popping up in a royal child somewhere! I think the only way a 'calico' aura could be made is by mixing with a black aura, but I'm not sure about that yet. 

Red and Greens would primarily make up the Noble class, while Orange and Yellow the Merchant class. Blue, Indigo, and Violet, would be classes above the Silver/White commoners, but still commoners nevertheless. 

So, while not knowing about what each individual color does, I do know some things about the magic system. In order to use the powers of an aura, one has to be trained in it. Except for silver/white, I think, because I want theirs to be something super mundane like shining. How fun. Not glittering, though. Distinct difference. 

I digress, again (three times in the entirety of this blog, so far). Auras are something like hair or height to everybody. Everyone is born with one, and one person might have a stronger aura than another. However, everyone can strengthen their aura, much like strengthening a muscle. 

Weight training == strong muscles.
Magic training == strong aura.

Using up one's aura makes one faint. I've decided that a full night's rest == completely replenished aura. Likewise, if one is getting poor sleep, then that directly affects their aura. Again with the muscle analogy, exerting your muscles at some point gets tiring, and one can pass out from over-exerting themselves. That's basically what happens when someone uses up all their aura. 

I think I'm running out of things to babble about. I guess I'll post some ideas I had for each color. Imagine a question mark after all of these.

Black--Aura drainer/dampener
Red--Physical manifestation of aura 
Blue--Enhancement of physical attributes

Obviously, I have to figure out the primary colors first before I can work out the secondary ones. In light, Red, Green, and Blue are those, by the way. Put them together, and they make white. My list of potential powers, straight from my notebook:

Elemental control (fire, water, air, metal, etc.,)
Riot/Soothe Emotions ((This makes sense for you Sanderson fans >_> Basically, make people angry, or make people peaceful.))
See future
Magic Bolts
Magnetism (Like ferric lure, for you 40Kers)
Physical Attributes
Aura dampener/drainer/booster
Physical manifestation
Electrical disturbance

Some of these I don't think will ever even really be considered, because I want this magic system to mostly affect only the person using it. I think Healing and the Black Aura might be the only exceptions to that. Hmm. Actually, I was thinking it'd be cool to have one color be able to throw their aura at another person (via magic bolts), so maybe only half the magic system affects only the person using it. 

So much for that plan.

If you have any advice on what you think the other colors should be, or you can think of other powers to add to the list, you should totally share it with me. Magic systems are hard, yo.  

Also, Indigo might get lumped together with Violet, but then that would take away my new-found curse of 'Nine lights!' so I'm not sure. Maybe they once thought Indigo was part of violet.

P.S. I just remembered I have something else to babble about, but I can't stick it somewhere up there without disrupting the flow. 

Auras can also take shape, depending on how a person is feeling. One does not have to be a magic user for this to happen. It's like having a second face, in this way. It can be controlled, with or without the help of a person's magic. So, a flaring aura == angry. A jagged aura would probably indicate prolonged anger instead of just a flare of it. Peaceful auras reflect calmer moods (obviously). And so on and so forth. 

P.S.S. I also found out that holy names in their world consist of four letters, have two consonants, and two vowels, and end on a vowel, whether feminine or masculine. Other names tend to be 5-6 letters long, and I believe there is an attempt to put consonants on the end. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

NaNoWriMo Maddness

Did I mention that I participate in NaNoWriMo? Or that I'm in the middle of writing a novel and have been for over a year now? Well, if you didn't know, now you do.

NaNoWriMo is coming up! If you don't know what that is, have a link. NaNoWriMo is what motivated me to start seriously writing. The first time I participated in it, I lost--however, it was an extreme triumph for me to get 27,000 words on a single project, for that was more than I had ever done! Subsequently, I won a few nanos, lost some more (I think I've won 3 or so out of 14 or 15 attempts. I started November, 2011. Since then, camp nanos, script frenzy, nano itself, etc.,).

Nano didn't fix everything for me, however. I still have not managed to finish a single story. The only stories, long or short, I can claim to have finished were for a school assignment, and I really didn't enjoy writing them. I'm not sure our snotty Teacher's Assistant enjoyed reading them either, but she was the one that forced us kids to write stuff we didn't want to, so whatever.

This is the part where my current novel comes in. As I mentioned, I've been working on High Eldress for little over a year now--the longest I have ever stayed focused on one story before. It sort of astounds me to think I've had it for so long. Not to mention, my word count is up to something like 75,000 words (it's split into two google docs (although I have it backed up somewhere), so it's painful to load and check).

I have great hopes for High Eldress getting finished. I hate that it's taken me so long to write it, but I keep reading in places that it takes years to write a novel. I hope that doesn't refer to the first draft of a novel, since I'd like to get it done this November.

A lot of people don't agree with Nano's philosophy of "quantity over quality." Frankly, I don't either. However, I think it's a great motivator. Without the insane drive of trying to write 2,000 (okay, 1,667) words per day, I would have never gotten anywhere in a novel. I initially wrote around 48,000 usable words on Eldress in Nano '13, so I've only written about 20k in eleven months. That's hardly 2k a month, considering it. How bothersome.

I do believe, however, that one can write for both quantity and quality, and that the latter shouldn't be thrown away in the face of the former. I'd like to be one of those people someday that can whip out a story in three days. Perhaps a crappy first draft, but I've been told that those are okay to have. Generally, what determines a book's quality is how many times it's rewritten.

Eldress is the only book I've never gotten distracted from. The only book I've never gone, "Hey, this is boring. I want to write something else," with. Yes, I've cheated on my novel a little bit by starting other novels here and there, but they ultimately come up with nothing. I think my current novel has the greatest amount of character development I've ever written and the most complex plot I've ever written (which could be saying just about nothing in both aspects, considering a lot of my writing is probably stereotypical, and a lot of published authors have way more characterization and plot intertwinement, but everyone's gotta start somewhere! (Or so I've been told)).

I'm excited to finish. This November is giving me a chance to do that.

We won't think about the rewriting and editing part, for now. But I think that will come much more easily than pounding away at the keys.

The thing I think is most important in writing a book? Determination.

Don't give up on yourself, or your writing.