Well, it's been a warm and sunny weekend in a so-far rainy April. Back in the days before whatever it was happened to me, weekends meant a news update on my epic series accompanied by a wordy writing tip. I figured that since my series is indeed continuing here, I had better get back into the habit of weekly updates. Especially since Story of the Dead is two weeks away from its less-than-grand finale (it actually ends quietly and reflectively, unlike any of my other books), meaning that boring two-month period in between epics is about to start once again, to be ended by the arrival of Book 5, working title A Strike of Lightning (ASOL will be its designated abbreviation).
Now for a shameless grab at new readers: For those who clicked this entry out of curiosity and aren't familiar with the Dairuno Toa series, it's a pet project of mine that I've been working on for nearly 2 years and plan to continue working on for at least 3 more. At heart, it is about the struggles of a character of mine named Guutana. Relatively early on in the series, he becomes a supernatural being who is capable of immediately regenerating after death in any form; he has unlimited power and knowledge. His job (at first) is to travel the multiverse, making every last one of the infinite alternate universes more or less identical to the main universe. After this task comes the endgame of the series, in which Guutana leads the inhabitants of the new composite universe into war against those who were corrupted by the overarching villain in the series, Koenori. The series can be followed by those who enjoy the long-term mysteries of this universe I've created, and by those who just follow the short-term drama and philosophy contained in each installment. You can find links to the current four installments in the content block at the right titled "My Writingz".
News on Book 5: As I think I mentioned in an earlier entry, I am writing Book 5 by hand in a notebook. After I complete it, I'll type it up and edit it in the process, and from there post it on BZPower. There's really no particular reason I'm doing it that way, but if it ends up that this experiment is a success, future books will probably be written this way too. Here's a quick excerpt:
"Never should've opened that letter. Should've thrown it away as soon as I lay my eyes on it."
"Would you shut up?" replied Eilaiki. She was a spunky Ga-Matoran, the only one who seemed not at all afraid about what was going to happen to the little group.
At the opposite end of the spectrum was Kebeshu, the Ko-Matoran speaker that had prompted Eilaiki's comment. He was beyond anxious, beyond pessimistic, and at least this time, beyond justified.
Other inhabitants of the small room included Auserv, a Ta-Matoran; Abakkon, a Po-Matoran; Zyrleck, a Le-Matoran; Eolirk, an Ak-Matoran; Feyain, another Ak-Matoran; thirteen members of the race known as Kuranieru, and a large spider from the Southern Continent known as a Fenrakk. Each of the Matoran of the group had received a latter summoning them to Destral from their homes in the village of Voya Nui. Destral was off the coast of the mainland, although no one could ever remember it being there before.
Upon arrival, silent unfriendly Rahkshi had whisked the Matoran into the "waiting room" they were now in. One of the Kuraneiru, named Nizarkha, told the Matoran that a Makuta, guardians of the Matoran race and associates of Mata Nui himself, was going to arrive at midnight. His name was Osoxu.
Writing Tip of the Week
Every few months, I find something unsatisfactory about my writing and then spend the next few months trying to improve upon it. By the time I'm satisfied, I'll find another problem. At the moment, what I'm working on is making characters who are realistic. My work is populated with two kinds of characters: fun, charming kinds that you can never get down for long, and angsty, whiny kinds for whom suicide is something most desirable. There are a few who fall in between those two (Qedono is the prime example, I'd say) who tend to be my favorite characters. Several characters switch between the two at least once; several more do it regularly. Stepping back, most of my characters are two-dimensional at best, making them very predictable, unrealistic, and generally boring.
What I'm striving to do now is have characters display a range of emotion, which in turn causes them to act a number of different ways. With a character like Qedono, everyone expects every word out of his mouth to be sarcastic. There may have been about three lines he had in the entire series so far where he was in too much shock to think of something witty, but that's about the extent of his emotional fluctuation.
As I roll along in Book 5, I'm trying to make characters have a general personality trait that people can identify them with, while also allowing them to act entirely differently at times. Characters' reactions to events should be based on their personality, but sometimes an event that should effect them one way will effect them another way entirely, for various reasons. Also, conflict and plot developments need not all come from external sources. A character's own flaws can provide interesting developments.
Anyway, take from this what you will. I can't give too much in-depth help with this because I'm still teaching myself how to do it.