hijabi: photo of hinata smiling gently. (hinata gentle smile)
after a while you notice a trend with your favorite characters. generally speaking, we like protagonists that face challenges. they don't even have to succeed, we just wanna see them make a real effort. and it won't feel like it counts if there's nothing actually at stake. we expect the main characters to make it through, yeah, but there has to be an actual threat. there have to be constraints. something has to stand in the way.

somehow even shounen manga and anime manage to pull this off, even with their ridiculous power ups and implausible physical abilities. (then again we gotta suspend disbelief any time we're watching animation or looking at illustrations.)

there are other factors that go into making solid characters. they need to be convincing. they should have backgrounds, opinions, motivations. characters drive the story forward. at least, they're supposed to. figuring out how exactly they're going to do that is half the fun of writing.

personally, i like characters that...
  • struggle with insecurities and/or mental illness
  • go the famous "bad guy turned good" route
  • change their perception on the world or the people who live in it for the better
  • despite their own shortcomings do their best to pull up those surrounding them, friend/foe/stranger
  • are big sweethearts
characters should have flaws that balance out their strengths. their human after all. if they don't they probably fall into some mary sue/wish fulfillment category and the former is particularly alienating to fans. to rule out wish fulfillment altogether strikes me as silly. after all, there are many elements of escapism in all types of stories, acted or animated. a little indulgence is fine, it just has to make sense and not go overboard.

character creation is pretty fun. i've had lots of projects that hardly get past the character and world building stages because of how fun it is. anyway, i've got stuff to be doing. seeya!
hijabi: photo of hinata with looking up in slight surprise. (hinata looking up)
so i recently discovered a few things.
  • official english translations of light novels exist... and in kindle format, to boot!
  • weekly shounen jump only costs 99¢ in the kindle store
  • digital manga is really cheap on the kindle store (i've seen volumes go for $4.49)
  • you can read whatever manga you buy in the kindle store on comixology
for some reason comixology tends to be a lot more expensive than the kindle store, which is strange because i thought amazon owned comixology...? anyway, at least i didn't get ripped off. i love reading comics. manga used to bother me because the small print on those tiny pages seemed to teased me in their microscopic sclae. with the digital comics i get a crisp, clean picture that i can enlarge to whatever size i want! haha! take that, paper!

it surprises me to see so many manga i'd wanted to read years ago on comixology--stuff i thought no one remembered or knew about. that's good for me! now i get to float in that lovely cloud of sweet, sweet nostalgia in something old yet new.

tbh i was typing this in a separate tab and i completely forgot what i was gonna type about because i kept switching between them so here, you get an abrupt ending. wait, i just remembered. i don't feel like writing about it in this entry, though. welp. abrupt ending redaction, redacted.
hijabi: photo of zuko looking away, clearly tired and uncomfortable. (zuko grumbly)
if the spoilers i'm seeing on tumblr for harry potter and the cursed child are accurate (and many of them line up with each other) then i'm glad i decided NOT to preorder the book (screenplay?) because... yeah. just. wow lol.
hijabi: photo of hinata looking over her shoulder in disgust. (hinata disgusted)
fanfiction. comics. picture books. chapter books. webcomics. short stories.

throughout my life i've always liked reading. like with most kids, the pretty pictures never hurt. i used to swallow books whole. sure, i was easily distracted, but certain reads managed to pull me in for hours without pause. i became obsessed with finding (and occasionally writing) what i considered "good" stories.

over the years i started becoming more aware of my limited time on this planet. i figured if i'm gonna read a book or webcomic it better be good. anything that didn't fit my personal idea of excellence earned the shelf or the drop. after all, i owed it to myself to only find the best, right?

of course in the back of my mind i knew that wasn't totally true. there's as much, if not more to learn from bad literature as there is from the good. note: that just because conventional standards indicate something is well-written, it may not be entertaining or meaningful. the same applies in reverse. think about your favorite kid shows. looking back, you may realize some of them are kinda terrible. but you enjoyed them nonetheless. there's more to writing a gripping story than merely checking a list of agreed upon grocery items.

the majority of work out there probably isn't worth your time if you're looking for a well-written, meaningful read. but that doesn't mean it's not a useful learning tool. humans more easily point out flaws than points of praise. most of us have sat down to check out the latest show or trilogy only to come back disappointed, perhaps even thinking we could write something much less cringe-worthy ourselves.

personal taste and experience will dictate how much you enjoy certain works, but overall the idea of a perfectly written book is the most unrealistic fantasy one can have. we're human. we've made mistakes and will continue to mess up spectacularly for the rest of our time on earth. but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try.

so i kinda wanna make a goal for myself right here and now. read more. read stuff i hate. read stuff i wouldn't usually pick up. read stuff i like. read read read to get a better understanding of what works, what doesn't, and how i can improve myself.

i suffer from perfectionist tendencies that lead to unnecessary procrastination. i forget that the best writing doesn't come out in the first or second or third draft, but after multiple thoughtful revisions. i'm gonna write stuff that sucks and that's alright. what matters is that i keep making content.

that's part of why i like journaling. takes the pressure off creative processes when i can just say whatever i'm thinking. warming up is only half the fun, and creating art is one of the most rewarding and touching things a human being can do to connect with the rest of the world. i pray that i'll be able to craft stories that matter to people for all the right reasons. now i've just gotta start.

oh. about the title. i don't like light novels. at least, not their translations. the style is a bit bland and the writing can sometimes be comparable to stories i wrote for school assignments in middle school, but that's okay because even though i wrote some awful prose i clearly had ideas and drive. the execution may have lacked but looking back i can appreciate the effort i put forth. some pages i wrote back then still impress me! i want to get back that burning fire i used to have, and to do it i think i should readopt the same attitude i had back then.

take a cool idea and do your best to make it come to life. sprinkle in as little or as much wish fulfillment as you'd like--and don't pretend it's not there--but make it interesting. more importantly, have fun. and don't lose sight of what makes your story shine.
hijabi: photo of hinata with open mouth and eyes in shock. (hinata shocked)
i'd love to give it a try.

audience: *GASP*

is it weird that i'm already preparing for nanowrimo? actually, now that i think about it nano is even closer than when i started planning the project i wanted to pursue. i wanna publish something. i don't care if it's garbage. i just want to write. and write and write and write.

part of the reason? passive income. excellent source if you're struggling to take care of yourself, though not always reliable. the other part? telling stories. telling good stories. stories that make people think.

so i think i'm going to set some goals.
  • write a thing
  • edit said thing
  • edit a lot more
  • self publish said thing (probably for free)
  • probably some more editing goes here
i remember that at some point i practiced coding my own ebook. maybe i'll add that to my goal list too.

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hijabi / hinata

September 2016

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