Musical Mondays: We Are Giants

mm-we-are-giants

When I discovered YouTube, my music taste changed completely. I still listen to a wide variety of genres, though. I’m the type of person where my music taste ranges from, “you’ve gotta listen to this!” to, “please don’t judge me.”

The majority of the artists I listen to now I found through YouTube. They’re mostly a cappella and violin. Two things I never thought I would ever really be interested in, but they’re amazing and beautiful.

I started Musical Mondays to showcase songs that inspire me. Songs that inspire me to keep moving forward, stay positive, be the best I can be with what I’m passionate about, and most of all, just be me and be happy.

We Are Giants is an inspirational song by Lindsey Stirling and Dia Frampton. It’s a song about taking risks and standing up for what you believe is right. You be you and live your own life.

There are no steps to turning writing into a full-time career. You have to be passionate, determined, hard-working, and learn to be a little patient. You don’t necessarily have to go to school or even have experience, but the publishing industry is tough. Even if you make it, it’s not guaranteed to pay the bills.

We Are Giants encourages taking a chance, taking a risk. Just do it. You’re not just some small writer trying to make it. You are a giant who is going to be seen and heard. It may not be today, but it will happen.

I hope the song has some meaning for you. Below is the music video and below that are the lyrics with my favorite lines bolded. Enjoy.

Lyrics

Do you feel like you’re second-hand?
Do you feel you’re afraid to stand alone?
Cut away every safety net
Live your life so you won’t regret the road
Feels like you, standing there so small
Just the space between the stars
Don’t be afraid to risk it all
‘Cause we are we are
We are giants
We are giants
We are giants
We are we are
We are giants
We are giant
We are giants
We are we are
Raise your flag, let your voice be heard
Put your heart into every word you say
All your failures’ a cornerstone
Build a house with the things you’ve thrown away
Feels like you, standing there so small
Just the space between the stars
Don’t be afraid to risk it all
‘Cause we are we are
We are giants
We are giant
We are giants
We are we are
We are giants
We are giant
We are giants
We are we are
Feels like you, standing there so small
Just the space between the stars
Don’t be afraid to risk it all
‘Cause we are we are
We are giants
We are giant
We are giants
We are we are
We are giants
We are giant
We are giants
We are we are

What did you think of the song? I hope it inspired you as it does me. Let me know in the comments below!

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Inspiration Station: How To Write

Inspiration Station How to Write

How do you write a novel? Simple.

1. Prepare a beverage for yourself.
Coffee? Tea? Hot chocolate? Water? Whatever you prefer to sip on during your writing session, get it ready.

2. Sit down at your desk.
Self-explanatory.

3. Turn on your laptop.
Twiddle your thumbs while you wait for it to boot up.

3.5. Open your notebook and pen.
If you prefer handwriting over typing, then good for you. You skip five minutes of waiting. Notebooks don’t need to load.

4. Write.
Start putting letters together to form words. Words form sentences. Sentences make paragraphs. You get where this is going, don’t you?

What, you don’t know where to begin your story? I can’t do everything for you.

How do you spend your writing sessions?

6 Tips on Naming Characters

IS 6 Tips on Naming Characters

It’s not as easy to name characters for a book as it seems.

Just like the plot, setting, and word choice, names take a lot of thought from the author.

1. Make sure we can pronounce the name.

Can you pronounce Iphnkch? Neither can I.

2. Use a unique name.

I don’t know anybody named Iphnkch, but there are other unique names out there. Flip through a baby name book and pick out out of the ordinary names that maybe you haven’t heard of before.

Also, it might not hurt to make up names once in a while, especially if you’re writing in the science fiction and fantasy genre. When I make up names I scramble the letters in names I know. For example, I have a character name Lechar in one of my novels. I spelled “Rachel” backwards to make “Lehcar” and then switched the “C” and “H” to make the sound flow better.

2. Check the meaning of the name.

The meaning behind a name can be a hit or miss. Sometimes it matters, sometimes it doesn’t. Some readers will already know the meaning behind some names, some readers won’t. Some readers may look up the meaning, others won’t. However, I do think checking the meaning of a name is fun for the writer and can hold a hidden meaning behind the plot–if the reader does decide to look up the meaning. Maybe that’s just me, though.

3. Check the setting and era of your story and name choice.

Check the top 100 names for each year. Check the origin of each name. The top baby names from the 1950s are much different from what they are today. Also, make sure you get the origin right. It’s doesn’t make much sense to have a female born and raised in Japan and speaking Japanese knowing no English named Amanda.

4. Let the first and last names flow together.

When I say let the first and last names flow well, I mean watch the syllables. You don’t want the first name to be one syllable and the last name be six syllables long. It will take the reader a while to get through and may end up twisting their tongue. I prefer having both names being anywhere between one syllable and four syllables, occasionally five syllables.

Alliteration is also fun, too. If you want someone’s name to stand out and roll right off the tongue, alliteration is the way to go.

5. Choose carefully.

There’s about 7 billion people on this earth, according to Google. There are too many people to count with the same first name. Ironically enough, there are plenty of people out there with the same first and last name. Make sure you give each name justice and make a note that each character is purely fictional and not based off of anyone in any way, shape, or form. You never know who might be offended, especially if they’re name is used as a murderer.

You also probably want to make sure the name isn’t from a main character of another big novel or series. For example, you shouldn’t name your character Harry Potter or Katniss Everdeen.

6. Nicknames and middle names.

Nicknames are fun. I think a nickname definitely shows personality in the characters. Some people have nicknames based on their full names (for example, Nicholas and Nick) and some have nicknames based on something they love or something they did. It’s almost like a memorial for something. Nicknames can mean a lot of things, so have fun with that. Also, it says a lot when certain people call the character by their full name and others call the character by their nickname.

Middle names are a hit or miss. There is no reason we should know any character’s middle name unless something huge is happening, like they’re taking a big test or doing something for the government. Even then, a middle initial would probably suffice. I give all my characters middle names just in case. If you give your character a middle name, you should make sure the middle name flows along with the first and last names.

Inspiration Station: Prologue/Epilogue

IS Prologue Epilogue

What is a prologue?

The beginning to start the beginning. A prologue is usually a chapter before chapter one. Sometimes it has something to do with the novel, sometimes it doesn’t.

With that being said…

Do I need a prologue?

Ask yourself, “will this prologue contribute to the plot?” If the answer is yes, then you can probably get away with having a prologue.

If the answer is no, then I wouldn’t bother. Some readers ignore prologues regardless of whether they’re important or not. You want your prologue to have some significance to the plot to start the novel off right.

What should my prologue be about?

There are a few ways to utilize a prologue. Depending on your plot and genre, some ways are probably better than others. You need to use your best judgement on which opening works best for your novel.

Past Protagonist

Take a dip into the past long before your novel even starts. The prologue can be a few years before chapter one, it can be a couple of days before.

This can be written in a different POV, as well. The prologue can explain something that happened long before your main character was born.

As long as there is relevant information to help the plot along, the prologue should be good to go.

Background Information

If your novel is set in a new, fictional world some background would be useful to the reader. There are some things that should be explained before they’re thrown into a brand new world they know nothing about.

New world or not, you can always give information on other things such as a background on the main character.

Just be careful not to info-dump. You want the information to be relevant to the novel and interesting enough to the reader.

If it’s something that will be explained throughout the novel, then don’t bother to explain it in the prologue. Some things the readers should be able to figure out on their own as they read the novel.

What is an epilogue?

The end to end the ending… I’m going to hope that made sense.

While a prologue helps begin the novel, an epilogue helps end the novel.

Do I need an epilogue?

Ask yourself the same question you would ask about your prologue. Will it be relevant to the plot?

Most epilogues are used as an “aftermath” of the story. If you can wrap up your plot and give the readers a more satisfying ending for the characters, then an epilogue might be useful to the story.

What should my epilogue be about?

Most epilogues take a peek into the future.

Wrap-Up

Did your novel have an intense climax? Did it end immediately after the resolution? Use the epilogue to explain what happened to the characters and the world after that. It can be a couple months later or a few years later. Give you characters a “happy ending” or at least the ending they deserve.

Explaining Life

Was a character pregnant? Fast forward a few months and explain the baby. It shows that life goes on despite the plot. Show how the characters have moved on with their life after the plot of the story.

Explaining Death

Did any characters die? Fast forward and show how the other characters cope. Again, show how the characters have moved on with their life after the plot.

Sometimes prologues and epilogues aren’t necessary. Epilogues seem to be more common than prologues. Most readers like to know what happens to the characters after their hardships of the plot.

Good luck with whatever you choose.

If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful, check out my posts about Beginnings, Middles, and Ends!

Inspiration Station: Ending

IS End

Is your novel part of a series and you want your readers to go out right away and buy the next book? Maybe it’s a standalone novel, but you want your readers to check if you have another other novels out or in the works.

Here are some ideas to wrap your novel up with a neat bow…

Tie up any loose ends.

Make sure all your plot points have a purpose. Make sure all questions have been answered. Sometimes it’s okay to leave your readers guessing (especially when there’s a sequel), but you should pick and choose what to leave up to the reader. You don’t want to leave out any huge plot points.

Have the ending to make sense.

Don’t rush the ending. Give the reader as much or as little information as possible about the plot and the characters.

Create a lengthy ending.

If you have a 500-page novel, don’t wrap everything up in a couple of paragraphs. Give it a couple of chapters; let the reader really think on it.

End on an image.

My favorite piece of ending advice comes from Stanley Kunitz: “End with an image and don’t explain.” Explain what you need to about the plot, but let the reader create their own sort of epilogue for the characters.

Endings are difficult because you want to leave the reader satisfied. If you give the characters an ending they deserve, then readers will most likely agree.

If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful, be sure to check out my posts about BeginningsMiddles, and Prologues/Epilogues!