Friday, October 28, 2016

Writing Multiple Points of View

When I did the One Year Adventure Novel in high school, one of the rules was that my novel must be written in first-person, with one perspective. At first, that felt incredibly limiting. I had never written first-person before; I wasn't sure I would like it. However, as the wonderful Mr. S explained, limits help boost creativity. First-person would help us young writers focus more on the story.

Fast forward, and now I've written two other main stories in first-person: Through Time, my Beauty and the Beast novella, and Truth in Space, my journal-entry project that I posted here a while back. I also find myself favoring it for flash fiction.There's something really satisfying about writing in first-person.

Writing Multiple POV

Nonetheless, not all stories are meant to have only one viewpoint.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Happenings of the Month: October 2016

Happenings of the Month Oct 2016

Entertainment of the Month:

  • Movies/TV

So, last month I said I couldn't think of anything I'd watched; recently, I realized that I did actually watch something. In fact, October Baby was such a wonderful movie that I must make up for my oversight this month. Besides, it just fits, this being October and all. October Baby is a movie I first saw about three years ago and really enjoyed. Last month I saw it again; I had forgotten just how impactful it is. This movie focuses on a young woman named Hannah (Rachel Hendrix), who has dealt with significant health challenges all her life but doesn't know why. After she collapses during a college play, she learns that she is not only adopted but also the survivor of an abortion attempt. This news throws her world into chaos, and she sets out on an impulsive road trip with her best friend, Jason (Jason Burkey), and several other college students. The movie is gorgeous – beautiful music, framing, and acting – and makes itself deeply felt, telling a story of forgiveness, acceptance, and hope that I know I will return to again.

  • Books

The Dark Talent is the fifth and most recent release of Brandon Sanderson's series Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians. This series… Seriously, I'm not even sure how to describe this series, and that is doubly-true for this book. I don't think I've ever encountered stories like this before, with a save-the-world adventure, a highly self-deprecating hero, a liberal dash of humor, and even a slice of writing advice. Yet these books are so much more than that, amazing and highly entertaining to read. Sometimes I try to imagine writing them, and that just boggles my mind. The series gets progressively darker throughout, coming to a pinnacle in this book, yet it still feels appropriate for its younger audience. I highly recommend this series, but it's going to take me a while to fully wrap my head around it.

  • Music

"I Have This Hope" – Tenth Avenue North – This is a song off Tenth Avenue North's newest album, Followers, and, ya'll, I want this album so badly. It's beautiful and this song, in particular, speaks deeply to me, telling of the hope we have in Christ and setting it to a soaring, violin-led melody.

"Okay" – The Piano Guys – This song is just fun. And sometimes you just really need to hear that everything is going to be all right.

"Rage and Serenity" – Henry Jackman – There are a few soundtracks that I just really love, and the score from X-Men: First Class, is one of those. You can argue the merits of the movie, but this particular scene is one of the most poignant, in my personal opinion, and the song, though short, always catches at my heartstrings.

My Life This Month:

I feel so stretched out, unable to quite keep up with everything that's going on. Everything, of course, isn't even multiple things. It's one thing: school. Ugh, just thinking about it is giving me a headache. I've got a group project that's proving to be rather challenging; I have a paper that's due much sooner than I would like; everything's just colliding all at once. Must be midterms… Or getting there, anyway.

Part of it is a control issue. I feel the need to take on a lot with my group project because I'm not convinced anyone else will deal with it. I want to control my grades. I want to maintain my GPA. But my life isn't mine to control. I just thought about this recently, actually. Being organized is fine, but we are not in control of our own lives. We were never meant to be. God is the Author and Sustainer of our lives. Of my life. I've got to learn how to let Him run it. I find that particularly difficult to do with school, though. Yet that's the single biggest consumer of my time right now. (Should that place belong to my relationship with God, though? I realized that as I typed my sentence, and now I'm wondering what's happened…)

I've also gotten really off track with my devotions, and I can feel the effect. It's not a good one. I need that time in the morning with God, and I haven't been putting a priority on it. What is the point of my life if I'm shoving God out of it? I want my life to matter. I want Him to use me. But I keep putting my priorities on other things. I think I've gotten really off base, and I want to be on the right one again.

I did launch my YouTube channel this month! YouTube, as it turns out, is slightly more of a pain to navigate than I expected. Nonetheless, I did successfully post my intro video. You can check it out here

Other Web Happenings:

I Have This Hope Video Journal | Mike Donehey – In this video, the lead singer of Tenth Avenue North explains the story behind the song "I Have This Hope." I discovered this slew of video journals when I looked up the YouTube video of the song to share with you. They're really encouraging; I particularly enjoyed this one. And Mike is unexpectedly hilarious.

Respecting the Past: A Philosophy for Historical Fiction | One Year Adventure Novel – This link will take you to all three of the historical fiction posts written by the fabulous Rachel Garner. Each deals with a different aspect of approaching historical fiction, and, as an aspiring hist-fic author myself, I found them extremely helpful.

Pros and Cons of Signing with a Small Press | Tessa Emily Hall – Here author Tessa Emily Hall lays out some of the things to consider when you're looking at publishing with a small publishing house

How was October for you? Are you drowning in school? Read or watch anything interesting? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sunday Psalms: Chapters 42-43

Sunday Psalms Chap. 42-43

Psalm 42:11 "Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God."

This is the chapter that begins with "As a deer pants for water."

Friday, October 21, 2016

That Moment When I Was Throwing a Temper Tantrum

A quick note that I posted my first video on my new YouTube channel about a week ago. You can find it here.

A couple months ago, I went through a really rough couple of days. I was miserable. The future looked dark. I was questioning every decision I had ever made.

And suddenly I realized that I was acting like a five-year-old.

Temper Tantrum

Friday, October 14, 2016

Reading Through My Bookshelf: September's Reads

Well, today was supposed to be the day on which I revealed the finalists for my Light and Dark Contest. Considering that I received exactly zero entries, however, that is rather difficult. I don't know what happened, ya'll. I was so looking forward to reading your stories, and you seemed excited about the contest. But I've got nothing. So, that's unfortunate. Nonetheless, I do have a post for you today. It's even a bookish post!

Reading Through My Bookshelf September

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Sunday Psalms: Chapters 36, 37, and 39

Sunday Psalms Chap. 36, 37, & 39

Psalm 36:1-2 "An oracle is within my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes. For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin."

These verses nearly make me shiver with the danger they portend.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Being Purposeful in Your Singleness

A reminder that this is the last day to enter my Light and Dark Writing Contest. Email me at rachelleoneilwriter [at] gmail [dot] com with your entries.

I don’t know what culture you grew up in, but I know that, for many conservative Christian girls, singleness is hard. We tend to hold up marriage as the ultimate prize, and all our hopes and dreams thus rely on that. When a relationship doesn’t come right away, it can feel like our lives are in stasis. I’ve certainly felt that way before.

But it’s not true.

Sure, marriage is important and certainly desirable for me, but that doesn’t mean that singleness has no purpose. I’ve been reading a lot of articles about being single lately, and I’m trying to train myself to think more purposefully about this time in my life.

Being Purposeful in Singleness