Monthly Archives: August 2015

Update: August

So this week’s blog post will really just catch you up on where I am in the writing process and give you an idea on where I am going. So the last update I did was really just me venting about the woes of editing. I was in the trenches of Book 1, titled The Gifted Complex. It was the second or third time I had revised the book as a whole, and I was just really struggling with the nitty gritty of the minute details there in. 

However, since then I have finished my revision. Well that’s not to say that Book 1 is finished completely. I still have someone reading through it for me to make more content changes and polish up the grammar. But currently my focus is on other aspects.

Currently I am working on building my platform. I have been diving into the world of Platforming as it refers to the building up of a foundation of followers, subscribers, or reviews online. My research has led me to realize I should have launched my website, 100% ready or not last year when I meant to. However, the perfectionist in me wouldn’t allow it. Looking back, I would be a full year ahead of where I am now in building my website’s followers. 

The other thing I am working on is my book proposal. A book proposal is what you use to pitch your book idea to people. I had one drafted up over a year ago, however, the book has gone through so many revisions and changes as a whole, that that piece doesn’t really work now.

With that being said, I have decided that I will look into traditional publishing as well as self-publishing, so I started work on one about a month ago. Even if I don’t end up going with traditional publishing, a book proposal is a good thing to have. It has the hook, the synopsis, chapter summaries, the overview of the whole series, and then some sample chapters. 

One of my good friends, the same one I have referred to several times, has been helping me revise it on Google Drive. We have read it through separately and together using Google Drive and making changes on parts to make it as compelling as we can. 

So, where does that leave me now? Well, my very next step is seeing where I am after the Kickstarter ends. If you haven’t, check out my Kickstarter here. If that is successful, my very next step will be to put my manuscript in for some editing. Also, I will be contacting some professional graphic designers in order to produce a real cover. Not the concept art I have on my Kickstarter. 

As of right now, the comments have been deactivated. We are working on it, but hopefully we will have it rectified as soon as possible. 

How to find Inspiration

Regardless of your field of work, inspiration is what separates the good from the best. We all need inspiration to make changes in whatever area of life you want to improve, change, or overhaul. 

In my world of writing, inspiration comes in all different ways. Sometimes it comes when I am listening to a speech, or a discussion. It could be just a phrase or a single word that sparks a whole idea. That’s when I grab my phone and use my note taking app and create a note, or if I am at home, I will write it in my notebook. But inspiration can be a tricky subject. It can be like a fickle child unable to remain in one place for more than a few minutes. Sometimes you try and you try, but inspiration is nowhere to be found.

So here are a few ways I try and find inspiration:

  1. Disconnect from the source. A lot of the time I need to remove myself from the situation I am wracking my brain over. After getting away from the topic I can start to get my mind working on other ideas, this helps my mind to clear itself out. Then, many times I will come up with an idea that is really helpful to my current situation. Now this isn’t always the fix, but more times than not my inspiration comes when I am doing something unrelated to my area of work. For me, music is a big one. I love instrumentals and classical music to help get my mind thinking.
  2. Talking it out. Now if you don’t have a mentor, apprentice, coworker, or something that you can talk your projects over with, I truly suggest you get one. Talking out a project idea can help you approach the concept at a new angle. Not only can you improve your own point-of-view, but you can get someone else’s. I have a close friend who has been infinitely helpful in getting my ideas rounded out, and he lets me bounce potential story elements off of him all of the time. 
  3. Exercise your body. Science is finally starting to show that there is a mental connection with exercise. I have to agree. When I was in grad school, sometimes the only way I could figure out how to write a paper was to go to the gym. I think getting your blood pumping just helps the mind to focus more clearly. 
  4. Jot it down. Writing is something I have a huge passion for, so maybe I am biased. I believe that writing things down can help you channel some sort of creative juices. And again, I mean writing with a pen and paper. 

So those are just a few of my techniques for finding inspiration. But they are not the only ways to reach the revelations we are all searching for in our own sphere of influence. So I would like to beg the question, what are your ideas for getting inspired? How do you get ideas to flow? Do you have a specific ritual, or a practice that helps? Please share your feedback. 

What is a Hero?

Heroes are one of the most common characters in books, movies, television, or pretty much any form of entertainment. Having a good hero is probably the most pivotal aspect of having a good story. Even if the main character is not the conventional “hero” most stories revolve around a protagonist that is enjoyable to watch. 

But I am wondering what makes a protagonist a hero? There are so many characters to choose from to use as case studies, it is hard to nail down one that is the perfect example. There are characters like Superman who are idealists and the shining beacons of all the is right and good. Then you have your darker, anti-heroes that are more in it for themselves or they use questionable means to accomplish their goals (e.g. Red  Hood.) 

This can lead to the question: is it right to do something bad if it will end in something good? I think Harvey Dent said it best in the Nolan Batman movies, “You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” So are the characters that do bad things to accomplish something they deem good really even heroes anymore? But then why is it only the goodie-goodies who can be good? It can be argued that those who are willing to go against what is right and do the hard work are even more heroic, right? 

So which is right? Are there gray areas? Or are they both heroes?

I guess I don’t have the answer, but hoping to spark the debate and offer a platform for discussion. If you have a thought or a hero you wish to nominate as the best example of a hero, comment below and state why they are a hero. 

What are your thoughts on what makes a character a hero?