Thursday, 28 July 2016

30 Day Challenge: 5 current goals

Okay, let's get the obvious one out of the way first:

1. To get a book published
Of course I'd prefer it to happen rather sooner than later. But I also try to be down to earth about it. It's more important that I write what's important to me, and spend as much time writing and editing it as I feel I need. I don't want to rush because I might just be at my biggest growth spurt as a writer right now. There's a dramatic difference in skill with the beginning and ending of the last novel I completed. It's like they were written by a different person, or at least years apart, not months. I know my stuff isn't ready yet, but I'm getting so much better all the time, so I hope that soon something is ready, that I am ready.

At the moment I'm writing for a contemporary YA novel competition (not my usual thing) and I only have three months to complete the novel that is still in the beginning, since my summer job has kept me so busy, so I guess that's a goal in itself, but let it be inside this bigger goal, since its just one way I'm trying to achieve this.

After that, I have my fantasy series to complete, which is still probably going to take me more than a couple of years, since it was only half way through and then I started writing the first book all the way from the beginning again...

2. To improve my drawing/Strenghten my style
I've only recently realized how much I've been trying to draw ”by the book” all these years. How much I've been trying to do the same as those who are actually good at it. But it has struck me: Why would I try to draw like people who don't draw for the same reasons or aren't about expressing the same things I want to express? I'm bad with anatomy. So what? I don't even want to draw realistically, so that shouldn't be my main concern. I'm good with faces, expressions, colours and contrast. And those are enough to express what I actually want to: feelings and atmosphere. It doesn't mean I don't need to get better at anatomy. It just means I should approach it in favour of the things that are more important to me, on their terms, to strengthen them.

I don't want to draw a mountain so that you can see in detail exactly what this particular mountain looks like. I want to draw so that I can make you believe there is a mountain there, and that it's there for a reason.

Not so good, no.

That's going in the right direction.

3. To improve my flexibility
This is probably my weakest area in ballet. Well, not in every single place, it seems my sides are more flexible than average and my attitudes and arabesques aren't half bad, so I guess my back isn't that stiff either. But I can't do a spagat, and I've never been able to lift my leg all the way up along my side with my hand on my heel. I guess I haven't really had to worry about it enough before, in class it's been enough to just do everything to the extend you can. But in our last performance we did can-can and we were supposed to end it in a spagat. There was only one other person besides me, who had to cheat, hiding the other leg under the big can-can skirt, since we couldn't get it straight.

This was the can-can skirt.

So, I'm trying to make it a habit to stretch my legs everytime I'm reading or watching something. So far, it's really hard. I might have to ask for someone's advice... so far I've only heard ”Just stretch untill it stops hurting” but the problems is, it doesn't. It just gets more painful. Either I'm doing something wrong, or the problem is that I've only been asking people who are naturally flexible.

My heels are my true achilles' heels, as well. (Heh heh, not so funny... I'm sorry, I couldn't help that.) They're just naturally stiffer than those of most non-dancers I know. Yeah... sad. I'm always worried that someday, they'll just snap. I'm trying to do something about them as well, since it makes me cheat in pirouettes, which is a shame, since otherwise, those are basically my only strong suit.

4. To finally start typing fictional characters on my personality blog
I type all the time. If I haven't typed someone I've read/watched it's because a) They're really hard for me to type and it's an on-going process or b) they aren't realistic enough to type which probably also means they weren't very interesting as a character.

But for some reason when it comes to actually writing about those typings, I keep putting it off. I guess I want to be exactly 112% sure of their MBTI, enneagram tritype, wing, and instinctual variants before writing anything.

But I want to do this because 1) It's just so interesting, plain and simple. 2) It's a good field for discussion, since when you're talking about real people, you can only really do it with someone who knows the person as well as you. Fictional characters can have so wide audiences. Sure, you can discuss celebrities too, but 3) you can get the thought processes of a character from the fictional work way easier than you can get real people's thought processes, and that's why, when it comes to the theory, I find fictional characters a better learning tool than real people. (Of course, I always recommend watching real people for practical learning, but the theory is just as important and the fictional characters are ideal for that.)

5. Finish my degree work
Yeah, the most boring goal. Okay, it's not like I'm not interested in my subject, of course I chose something that overlaps with literature, so I have an excuse to read more fiction: The images of God in self-published Christian fiction. That's my subject. I've read my material and I know approximately what's going to be in every chapter, and I think I've found some interesting spectrums and dichotomies in the way the concept of God is formed and used in these stories.

But you know, writing fiction and blogging about personality theories is just so much more interesting than actually doing the work: the academic writing. (Sorry I'm going to go Jungian here:) It's. So. Extraverted Thinking. It's always the same thing for me as an Ni-Ti looper: I don't actually do the work the way I have to present it. The Te part of the work is the last part I do. I fake it every single time, I've done that since middle school porfolios, since you're expected to reach your conclusion in a certain step by step manner. But I can't do that. I get to the conclusions first, I come to them in a complicated web of relationships of cause and effect, and then I have to go back and figure out how exactly I would've have gotten there, if I was using Te. And it's tedious.

But, my goal is to be done by Christmas. Unlike fiction, I write school papers the best in the morning, when I've specifically woken up to do them. So I'll have to welcome early mornings once summer's done.

This is the book that made me want to research Christian fiction. Check it out!

So, that's my five. Hope I didn't forget something important. I'm tired.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Blog survey for writers: 6. Where, when and with what

6. Where are you most comfortable writing? At what time of day? Computer or good ol' pen and paper?

Short answer: In my room, at night, on my laptop.

Long answer: I don't think my comfortableness has anything specific to do with my room, I just need a place where I can focus. And it's not usually a place with other people there, because they would get my attention way too much. Sometimes, when I'm already in a great flow I can block out pretty much any sensory information and write anywhere but not on an average day. People are far too interesting.

Specifically, I usually write on my bed rather than the desk.

Sometimes I do get fed up with my room though, and that's when I go to the library. I can usually find a quiet enough corner there and when I'm not in the writing mood exactly, going somewhere specifically to write, helps me get over the difficulties.

One of my favourite spots.

I write any time of the day I can, but it's true most of my writing and the best of my writing has probably always been done at night. That's when I usually feel my best in general. My natural waking hours seem to be something like from 12 am to 3 am, whenever I don't have school. Morning is probably the least likely time for me to write, but I remember a few times I've miraculously gotten up early and started writing, and then it's been great. But it's really rare. When I don't have school and I get immersed in writing I write pretty much all the time, barely eat or sleep, untill I'm done with what I want to finish (but that usually lasts max three days).

I write on a computer because it's easier to edit on it. It took me a lot of time to get used to it, though. I prefered pen and a notebook untill my first year of high school when I decided I couldn't keep it that way forever. Now I'm fully in tune with the computer.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Blog survey for writers: 5. Youngest and oldest characters

5. By age, who is your youngest character? Oldest? How about ”youngest” and ”oldest” in terms of when you created them?

I have a few characters I've written about before they were born so one of them has to be the youngest but I'm not sure how to decide that. So, meet one of them, Lila.

She's the one on the left. I don't want to say much about her since I have high hopes she'll end up between covers some day. But let's just say she's a strong mage with peculiar magic and a spicy personality.

The oldest one is just as hard to know, since I have a few characters who've lived multiple lives (and there could be more of them than just the ones they remember).

If I count together the known lives, then my oldest character is Deimos from Four Colours, I guess. I don't know his age precisely but it's somewhere between 450-530 years.

If I'm only allowed to count the age achived during one life then the oldest is Nene, a half giant I wrote a short story about. She's 423 by the end of the story.

My newest character then, would be Ia. I know next to nothing about her, except that she's the neighbour of my newest protagonist Jaro, and I have a vague idea about her role in the story but I haven't actually even mentioned her in it yet. I think she'll show me more soon, though.

And it's impossible to know who was actually my first character, so I'll go with the oldest that I still write about. And, they're actually all the Four Colours, since they were created at the same time.

Monday, 18 July 2016

30 Day Challenge: Your five favourite songs

Huh. I've never liked answering these questions since I've never had anything like a favourite song of all time, so... I guess I just have to pick five songs I like listening the most at the moment.

This one has such a good energy:

This one is a guaranteed cry:

This is just so hopeful and beautiful:

This is the most perfect song for one of my characters I've come accross yet:

And hearing this song pretty much raised one character of mine from the dead:

I don't have much more to say about them, so this is it.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Blog survey for writers: 4. Your first story

4. Tell us about one of your first stories/characters!

I don't remember what my first story ever was. Actually, I'm not even sure what counts as a first, and I have trouble deciding between the few that could be ”one of the first”, so I will write about the first ”novel” that I finished, since this question seems vague enough. I've never let anyone read it, and I'm not planning to, but it might be pretty hilarious to analyze now.

It's called Linnea of Senjova and it's a ballet story. It totally rips off from Ballet for Drina by Jean Estoril (=Mabel Esther Allan). Those were my favourite ballet books when I was a pre-teen (kind of still are) and I must have read them all five times before elementary school ended. Since then, I have started many ballet stories, at some point I probably wrote about nothing else, but Linnea was the first long one I finished, at the end of middle school.

It's probably a pretty boring story for anyone who is not interested in ballet. I fell in love with ballet when I was, like, five, and never fell out. So the story reads like that. You know, sometimes you come across stories that can make a boring subject really relatable, it seems like it's written for anyone, even though it's about an obsession the characters have that the reader might not. This is not that kind of story. It's just something that I, as a Betty Bunhead, wrote for myself.

Here's Linnea, with the silly notes I always made for every character at the age I wrote this...

So um... Linnea is the stereotypical protagonist. The young girl who suffers from incurable ballet fever, shows high reluctance to do anything that doesn't involve ballet, and is ridiculously career oriented at age eleven. That's probably the most ridiculous thing about this story. Completely unrealistic number of eleven-year-olds who know they want nothing more than to be a dancer, and are so willing to take risks and make sacrifices for it. Eh... actually the characters are way too mature for their age in many other ways too. I probably should've at least made them middle schoolers but hey I blame Drina (who's story starts when she's ten). :D

So it's a story about a bunch of bunheads. Friends, bullies, rivals. The uphill battle of trying to fit ballet together with school, relationships and free time. The joy and pain of knowing what you want at a young age. The everyday classes, the performances, auditions.

Linnea's friend Rosa.

Of course, Linnea is one of the most talented dancers in her age group and on top of that she has The Something no one can quite explain (=Protagonist Powers) but what always makes her stand out from the rest. Basically it's the perfect combination of everything from technique to charisma. It's what everyone is always looking for in ballet stories, so of course I had to write about that ideal. Plus I didn't want to write about a relatable character. I didn't want to write about someone who had weak ankles, stiff heels, and too long toes. I wanted to write about someone inspiring, and yes, at that age, it was someone ideal. Not a Mary Sue exactly, but someone who could actually meet the inhuman requirements to become a ballet dancer. I guess this is the aspect that makes Linnea the most like Drina.

Other than that, I mostly ripped off the atmosphere from Drina, (It's clearly more British than Finnish, for example...) not so much the plot. It's kind of surprizing to me now, but Linnea's story is way less sensationalistic. There are no dead parents who were secret ballet celebrities without their off-spring knowing about it. No one has to do ballet in secret from their parents. No one is a favourite to some celebrity. No one does anything ”bigger” than getting in to a good ballet school. The biggest injuries are twisted ankles. The biggest show case is a small folk festival in Estonia. What causes the most drama is that Linnea and her ”Draco Malfoy” are in the same class at school.

Linnea's rival Netta.

The story does include a huge number of genre clichés, though, and some of them multiple times, such as:
  • Someone getting injured right before a show
  • Accidentally running into your celebrity hero during a weak moment and getting inspired
  • The bully is the biggest challenger of the main character
  • The bully has an untalented minion who only follows the bully for status
  • The main character having to choose between two talents while the choice is freakishly obvious all the time
  • Deliberately being late in order to give your role to a hardworking understudy
  • The main character's family situation getting between them and their dream
  • The Important People accidentally seeing the main character at the right moment
  • The big slump after the perfect performance since ”nothing can ever be as perfect”
  • The best friend is ultimately the second best

The story is pretty down to earth with those clichés too... but they are there.

Even though this story is pretty horrible, it's kind of nice to see I wasn't such a different kind of writer back then. Just a lot worse. It's still about the same things I like to write about now. It's about everyday life, relationships, and personal growth. I like to find the ”magic” in the ordinary, wander in the web of relationships, and go through the highs and lows with a character trying to achive their dream.

Some of my favourite things to write in Linnea were:

  • Classroom scenes. Probably the least interesting for anyone who's not into ballet but I really liked to spent time describing the mundane barre work and just how everyone is doing in class in general. Describing it from the point of view of different characters is fun, I liked to switch between the students and the teachers.
  • The performances. I'm a sucker for ”stage magic”. I don't know if I could describe it at all, but it's always there. Everything is just a little bit more magical on stage, or behind the stage, in the middle of the costumes, the stage smoke, the dark corners, and storages...
  • When something clicks in a character's brain and their dancing is taken to a new level, or they solve a major problem in one area of dancing.
  • Psychological loops. I'm not sure why they are so satisfying to write. Maybe because the answer to them is always so simple, and when the character gets out of the loop, it's like enlightenment to them? Like when Linnea thought she was falling behind because everything felt so hard, but the truth was her physical awareness had become more detailed and everyone else thought she was improving.
  • Linnea skating with her neighbour Kim (also a ballet dancer) and how they developed their own unorthodox ice ballet for fun. (Neither had ever really taken skating lessons.) And how skating together all their chilhood helped them when they started doing pas de deux in ballet class.
  • Whenever Linnea went to a quiet place with no one around, like a forest, and started dancing just for herself.
  • When Linnea and her friend Rosa practiced together in Rosa's little ”studio” and got lost into coreographing with classic dance music.

Things I'm not proud of:

  • Linnea being so morally superior to her bully, Netta. She's too proud to show anger in front of Netta, and she feels like she's winning if she treats Netta well, when Netta treats her badly, but I haven't written that clearly enough. It just reads like Linnea is always right.
  • Kim being so mature about his crush on Linnea. I mean he's barely 13 at the time, but he never blushes in front of her, never acts weird, he seems to be at complete peace about keeping it a secret all the time. I'm not saying he can't be mature, it's just that he seems to control his feelings a bit too well. He should be allowed to be at least a little bit more awkward about it.
  • The way I erased the possibility of competition between Rosa and Linnea. They were best friends, so apparently I didn't want them to compete. It's made clear indirectly that Linnea would win in the end because Rosa isn't as artistic on stage, but everytime there's a role they both want, or some kind of evaluation, there's an exuse why the other can't do it, or isn't at their best. Like when Linnea twisted her ankle right before they were both auditioning for a solo, and then Rosa was inspired to get it for both of them. They never succeed at each other's expence.
  • Rosa and her crush Jori. It's the weakest relationship in the story and their dating seems shallow. I probably wasn't that interested in Jori as a character, and so their relationship didn't become much more than something to give Rosa a distraction from dancing.
  • Too many lucky coincidences. For everyone. Like Kim and Linnea getting to talk to their favourite dancer just because he happened to be passing through their town, and walk by the lake they were skating at, and notice they must be dancers and drop to say hi.
  • Netta the bully never does anything selfless. I guess it's understandable since she's only shown through the eyes of Linnea, Kim and Rosa, who hate her, but even so, there should be times when they'd see Netta might not be all bad.

Okay, it was pretty interesting for me to look back at this. There's things I like under the trash and it certainly was fun to write at the time. I'd still like to write a ballet story in the same style with some significant improvements. But I guess that's not one of my priorities at the moment, so I'll see about that.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

30 Day Challenge: What are you afraid of?

Well, lots of things.

But I only have one real phobia.

Bees. And there's no way I'm going to cheer this post up with pictures of them. I don't know exactly why I'm so afraid of them. I've never been stung by one and there's no incident related to them that could've made me fear them. In all the memories I have of them, I was already scared.

I remember my mom trying to make me get over my fear by walking me through our big yard, that was full of clovers (= full of bees), on a bright summer day. I must have been five or six. She held my hand so tighlty I couldn't get away so I closed my eyes and cried while being dragged through the yard. And probably refused to go outside at all for the rest of the day. That incident only made me more afraid of bees. I know my mom had good intentions but it really didn't work.

Another memory that increased my fear didn't even happen to me. I was playing basketball with my siblings in front of our house. (If you've read my ”20 questions” post you know that I don't like basketball very much but what wouldn't I do for my siblings?) My sister was wearing a bright yellow shirt and once she started sweating a lot, the bees were drawn to her. None of us saw any of them, she just suddenly cried, fell on her knees, and threw the shirt over her head. Her back, and the shirt, were full of bees (I don't remember how many) and she was in a lot of pain, but guess who was the one who refused to go outside for the rest of the day? Yep, not her.

Okay, I really really don't want to spend much more time reminiscing about bees, even though I've began to tolerate them a little bit better in the recent years. I don't really leave myself out of anything because of bees... but things like, walking a street where there are rose bushes on both sides, are still a hell for me. Hearing the bees all around me makes cold sweat run all over me and when one passes me by, I just freeze. And don't move untill I'm sure it's gone.

There was one time last month I did pretty well though. A bee sat on my shoulder when I was outside with a camp full of teens. I guess it doesn't happen too often since I can't remember the last time? Even less that it wanted to stay there. Okay, it was horrible, absolutely horrible, I could hear it stretch its wings beside my ear and every moment I was more and more sure I couldn't stay still a second longer, but, well, there's never anyhing else I can do, so I did. And evetually it went away. And after it was gone, I was kind of glad it had happened and I'd survived it. Not that I want it to happen again. Absolutely not.

Other than that, I'm just pretty much afraid on anything your common cautious, worried person is afraid of. Accidents, diseases, natural catastrophies, wars... you name it. It makes me uneasy to sit in a table with candles close to me. I only go on a motorcycle if my (ESTP 6) brother is driving. I always triple check keys, pin codes, e-mail addresses, numbers and stuff.

So things like that.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Blog survey for writers: 3. Names

3. How do you come up with names--for characters, and for places if you're writing about fictional places?

With characters, they often come out of nowhere, just like the characters themselves. It's like they already exist. At least when it matters, I should say. I don't think I've ever come up with, at least, a main character without already knowing their name. They just sound right and I don't really have to think about them. (Except a couple of times when I've had to change the name because of a too strong association. Argh, that's REALLY hard for me. It feels like I'm beating my mind up.)

Examples of characters who were ”born” with their name:

Ririn and Evangelica from "Ashland".

Dina from "Anem".

Then, sometimes I do have to decide names for less essential characters. And I always have to do it with places. They never seem obvious to me and if someone looked close enough, I bet they could tell that I find naming places the least interesting.

I don't have an actual plan for this. Well, I don't have much of a plan with anything regarding writing. I go with the flow. But here are some ways the names come to me:

  1. Wait. Just wait long enough and a name will pop up. Once it does, it's usually the right one. Possibly several but the choice never seems hard for me. I named a character "Leco", because he just sounded like a Leco, and that's how it usually goes.
  1. Let whatever names you remember come to your mind and a bell will ring once it sounds good. If it's a fantasy story, just alter it a bit to fit the universe. I like to use names that have a familiar sound. I named a character "Nia" and it came from "Nea" (which is a popular name in Finland).
  1. Look around, find text, and start switching the syllables around. If it doesn't work, start changing letters. At some point, something will sound like a name. Once I named a castle "Labelend" because there was "Yellow Label Tea" on my table.

That's pretty much all there is to it.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

30 Day Challenge: Your proudest moment

I'm pretty sure I forgot about continuing this challenge because I couldn't answer this question at the time. (Not that I'm any wiser about it now.) Anyway, let's forget about that silly idea about answering in comics since it feels forced now. I have another challenge to do already but maybe I should just get rid of this one at the same time and make both a weekly thing for a while. :D

Ahem. Who can honestly decide their proudest moment? Maybe some people can. I certainly can't. This reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend some years ago. She had a random question for me: Three things about myself that I'm the proudest of. I had no idea what to answer. She had her answer ready and seemed so sure about it. But to me, this clearly isn't something I've thought a lot about. Maybe never, really. When I tried to answer it in this challenge the last time, I ran into a wall because I realized that most of the things that came to my mind were about other people, not me.

I guess that's just how I am? Of course I'm thrilled when I succeed, but I feel more lucky than proud. When the people close to me do, I'm thrilled and proud.

So, I figured that the moments I actually remember feeling proud for myself as well, is when I've achived something with other people. I still don't have just one moment in mind, but in general. I can recall that most of my fondest memories from school and hobbies are things like these.

So how about I reminisce for a while and see what comes up.

The moment after a dance concert when everyone stands together on stage.

This never stops being magical to me. No matter how hard it was, how much extra work appeared out of nowhere, how many mistakes happened, how much people yelled or fought, at this point none of it matters. At least it seems to me that it matters next to nobody. Everyone is exhausted and happy.

This is especially true of folk dance. No matter how much ballet means to me, it's still folk dance that takes the unity of the dancers to another level. It's especially amazing at big, international dance concerts. Sometimes it really feels like the more people there are, the more connected everyone is, which sounds like such a challenge. These events have never left me cold, whether I'm on stage or in the audience, I just feel so proud of everyone involved.

Almost any school project with the whole class involved.

My class from elementary school to middle school was known for good team spirit. It's pretty easy to see where that initially came from. We were the music class, so we had a hobby in common and we always had some performance to work on. (I think it was pretty much the same with the music classes in other grades too.) Our class definitely had its cliques but everything we did together we really did together, and it was always so much fun.

Most of it was about music of course. Be it a concert, a CD project, or a camp, all of it is a special memory to me. And that's because we never did just what we were supposed to. Our class was always ready to do more by ourselves, we came up with plays, dance performances, even cheerleading, and found ways to include it at school. If one person knew what to do, they could get the majority of our class to do it too. I was so proud of every project, because I always got to feel that we gave it our all.

The moment after a big successful family party, when everyone sighs for relief.

Parties are a big thing in my family. The preparations are always such a hassle, a massive amount of work, usually a lot of yelling, stomping, slamming doors, and tears. The parties are mostly my mother's thing, she has a vision, knows how everything should be. The rest of us often don't, but we try our best.

It's pretty safe to say the parties always turn out great in the end. But I think it's even better when the guests have left, and for a moment everyone is really satisfied that the work is over, and that it was worth it. At that moment everyone shares the feeling, everyone has the same look in their eyes: everyone thanks each other for the hard work. Every difference is put behind for a moment, and I'm really proud of my family.

Being able to hold the concrete results of a massive amount of work with someone.

I really mean this in a literal sense.

Like every time I filed new pages of the exchange comic I drew with my friend. To see it grow. To feel the weight of the years we'd drawn it.

To print a collaboration story, see it ”come alive” from the printer, page by page.

To read any portfolio of a group project, to see every string drawn together in that form.

Putting together a scrap book for a group, seeing memories from all the years together.

When everyone is enjoying a group project and contributing to it from their heart.

I guess this is what gives me one of the highest highs in general. And totally overlaps with everything I said already. But these moments I get to stop for a moment and just look at the people involved, and see that they're totally unselfconscious, because they're having so much fun and putting all their energy into what everyone is doing.

My high school theater dioloma project Case Casanova is one of my clearest and most treasured memories of this. We had such a great group.

Silly stuff I do with friends.

I actually do feel proud about silly accomplishments with friends. Like marathoning a series we love, or playing a successful (friendly) prank on someone.

And these are the ones I have nothing to do with, but I'll mention them since they keep coming to my mind:

When someone does something ”I always knew they could”. I think I can say I understand people's strong and weak points well, so I easily feel proud for them, because I often have more than a general understanding of what they needed to overcome, and what needed to click just right.

When awards go to the right people. This is totally subjective of course. Sometimes I feel like it's so great when someone is recognized for their pure talent, and then other times I'm so happy when someone's hard work is recognized, or when someone who can create a really good atmosphere gets the spotlight. It depends on the circumstances. I guess this is relevant to me because in some places only certain kind of efforts get recognition, and then it's always the same people.

When friends who fight or disagree a lot defend each other. This always warms me up so much. When people who never seem to see things the same way, or even seem to be having that great time together, are ready to put themselves on the line for each other.

When someone faces what they fear. Looks like this is related to the first one. But there's sort of a different drive in facing what you fear. I usually have a good idea about how scared someone really is, so in the moments they overcome it, all I see in them is power, and I can't help but admire it.

When things ”click” and someone realizes something about themselves. Or admits something. That's growth, and I'm a fan of growth.

When someone uses their priviledge to help someone else. Self-neglecting doesn't impress me, I'm all too familiar with how much that actually helps anyone. Nothing grows from it, but this is different. This doesn't make anyone smaller. When people realize there's a constructive way to help others, I'm overjoyed.

This is my best attempt at trying to answer this question. : P

Friday, 1 July 2016

Blog survey for writers: 2. Gender

2. What gender do you prefer to have as a protagonist? If you have no preference, what gender do you most often have as a protagonist?

No preference. I don't think I've ever counted this either. So, let's see. I guess I'll count the protagonists from all the projects that currently seem to have a future. Most of them are still in progress, or I'm rewriting them. Not counting short stories.


  • Valter Forrest, originally from a silly school play called Case Casanova, then recreated as a detective novel with fantasy elements. On hiatus, because I decided in high school that I wasn't mature enough to write it the way I wanted it to be. I was definitely right, but the characters in it are dear to me, and I think that in a few years I could write it again.

  • Roux, from a draft currently titled Warlock. It's a very surrealistic story about love in a world where life and death work quite differently than in ours.
  • Elias, from a speculative story called Locks, for now. He's a high school teacher who comes across a group of students who seem to have formed some kind of a cult.

  • Jaro, my first asexual protagonist from a story I've working titled Closet. Set in modern world with no speculative elements (rare for me). It's about the everyday life and relationships of a few high school kids. Most of them are LGBT+ in one way or another.

Valter Forrest and his rival/partner Cherry.


  • Sessa, from a middle grade kind of novel with a title I'm not sure how to translate well. It's a linguistic reference to the Finnish name for Sleeping Beauty. It's about a girl who attends a magical ballet school. I wrote this in high school and it's crap but I want to write it again.
  • Dina, and Semira from Anem, the only dystopian and the only religion themed story I've ever written. They live in a medieval-esque village overruled by religious elite.
  • Viola, from the first title, Villa Viola, in what I've planned to be a series (I haven't started writing the others yet though), based on an exchange comic I drew with my friend as a kid. Set in a world where people go about their lives based on strong intuition, which Viola has trouble relating to.

  • Lilea, from another magical school story, also called Lilea, since I discovered that Lucky Islands was a bad name. (Don't worry, it's not like Harry Potter.) The students learn magic through music and Lilea is not very interested in her instrument.

Dina, having a weak moment. Overly dramatic, I know...


  • Yene, from a scifi novella Miss Anti-luck about a bunch of people sent to do community service in an alternate universe.

  • Felix, from my only historical story ever, called Mimina Optimus Maximus. It's about a roman theather troupe and originally written with a girl called Mimina as the protagonist, but later I felt like it was better from Felix's viewpoint.


  • Then there's my massive fantasy project currently named Ashland, with three female protagonists Sofie (though she's really gender apathetic), Evangelica and Ririn, and one male protagonist Hart, in its newest version. Before rewriting, I had written two novels in this series with so many viewpoint characters it was really hard to draw the line between protagonists and supporting characters, so I don't really know how to count them.
  • Jade and Oliver, from an exchange story of the same name (this time, written) with the same friend I drew the exchange comic with. Written in the middle of Twilight hype. We wanted to write... a somewhat different kind of paranormal romance. All the ideas weren't half bad, so I have the permission to rewrite this story as well.

Sofie, Evangelica and Ririn.

So, it looks pretty even for male and female. A few more female protagonists but like I said, there's no preference related reason behind it, so I guess it's just random. Everyone just pops up in my head the way they do.