Take a deep breath.
So this is it, the last post of 2016.
Thinking about this past year makes me feel tired. For both good reasons and bad, this has been a very emotionally demanding year.
I’ll remind you that I am a very empathetic person and feel strongly even for people I have never met before in my life.
This is great when I can be happy and excited for people and the good things happening to them.
But it also means that I feel deeply for people who have in some way been harmed, physically or emotionally. My heart breaks when I see someone in agony or who is morose.
(For those of you who are into the whole Myers-Briggs Personality thing, I consistently balance on the fence between INFJ and INTJ.)
I do think that the…fear-evoking events that filled this year have influenced my writing.
Not necessarily the events; more so the emotions have made their way into my writing. From the destructive fires in Tennessee, to the chaos of the U.S. election and since, to the Dakota Access Pipeline, to the goodbye videos from the individuals and families in Aleppo… This list could just go on and on.
Not to mention all of the famous icons who have passed away this year (2016 better back off from Carrie Fisher*).
(*Edit: RIP Carrie Fisher. 2016, you can end now. You had the chance to make up for your suckiness and you’re just walking backwards into the flames while laughing and flipping off the world with both hands.)
Like I said, though, not everything has been bad. There have been some good things this year.
- pandas are officially making a comeback
- the number of tigers is also rising
- for those of you Chicago Cubs fans, congratulations on the big win!
- Leonardo DiCaprio won an Oscar
- A breakthrough in freaking. Gravitational. Waves. Space is so cool.
- Puppies and kittens and other baby animals continue to exist
On a more personal note, a few weeks back I mentioned how I have jotted down my thoughts here and there regarding this year’s more negative events and repercussions (this is a positive thing!)
Well, NaNoWriMo definitely lead me to some situations where parts of my internal dialogue influenced character dialogue. I don’t know if I’ll end up keeping those parts, but I do think I needed to write them in the setting of my story.
And that doesn’t mean that I made the ‘good guys’ have all the good guy dialogue, either. One of my goals as a writer is to dance around in that grey area, giving my future readers something to really think about while or after they finish reading my books.
Sure, there are some people who are jerks just because they like being jerks. That’s a real enough thing. However, my hope is that I let readers think and feel for themselves to figure out which side they–and hopefully you– think is right about the issues presented.
I want to make you think while also entertaining you.
I try to remove the bias as much as I can while writing from the perspective of a character. I usually find it easy to understand the different perspectives influencing an interaction, so my hope is that this ability translates through my writing.
Tom Hiddleston once said something that really made an impact on me: “Every villain is a hero in his own mind.”
I build my characters and conflicting sides with this quote as their backbones.
For the most part, this quote is the case in the real world. People have wildly different opinions about things and act on those opinions.
But, like I said, it isn’t too much of a stretch for a fictional character to be a jerk just to be a jerk. There are real people like that, too.
Real life and real people are messy and that is what I want to achieve in an entertaining way in my writing.
Through peer review classes and a couple of close friends, it sounds like so far I am on the right track with my major WIP, my Dythoids Trilogy.
Speaking of this trilogy and good things to come out of this year, the completion of the rough draft of the first Dythoids book was definitely a major thing for me. I originally started it my….Freshman year of university and finished it a few months after I graduated.
Between proving to myself and others that I could write the rough draft of an entire book, easing myself into the writing community on Twitter, and building up this blog, I really feel like I’m taking steps in the right direction to get where I want to go in life. I feel like I have grown as a writer.
With this positive outlook in mind, I wanted to set some writing-related goals for myself for this coming year:
- Finish going through and summarizing each chapter of Dythoids: Book 1 so I can then go back and create a clearer timeline
- Finish the rough draft of Dythoids: Book 2
- Go back through and summarize each chapter of the second book and so I can create a clearer timeline
- Start the rough draft of Dythoids: Book 3
- Start building up a Dythoids series bible with help from Pinterest
- Have at least one short story or flash fiction piece accepted for publication
- Continue adding to my chapbook and polish it for self-publication by the end of 2017
- Stay on top of this blog and continue posting every week
- Reach 200 followers on Twitter by participating in various hashtags and connecting with other writers, readers, and artists
- Figure out how to use Pinterest to build up my author platform and have at least 5 pinnings of original content
I encourage all of you, friends, to join in and share your own goals for 2017 in the comments and then write them down where you will see them every day. Keep me updated on your progress!