Good vs. Evil


(Sooooo I realized I’m going to need to take more campus pictures or something. I’ve mined a bunch of pictures from this one particular folder. But if I’m gonna keep up with posting photos, then I’m going to need a lot more pictures. What have I gotten myself into? Anyway, don’t steal this picture. Because I’d rather not have it stolen.)

What comes to mind when you hear “good” and “evil” in the same sentence?

I bet you think the phrase “good versus evil” is pretty cheesy, along with everything associated with it.

And in a lot of ways, you’re right. It’s the result of every awful TV show, movie, and book being advertised as “the most epic battle of good versus evil! Don’t miss it!”

SIGH.

Good against evil is a classic literary theme. Don’t count it out just because some crappy thing you’ve seen or read abused the phrase. Have you ever seen the movie Aladdin? Any Star Wars movie? Have you read or seen The Lord of the Rings trilogy? All battles of good fighting evil.

It’s unavoidable. There’s probably something you like that is good versus evil in some form. It may even be a children’s book you read long ago.

Pitting the forces of good against the usually more powerful evil people is pretty cool to witness. It’s awesome to see the plucky hero triumph through determination and maybe a bit of luck, even though (s)he is clearly outnumbered.

Everybody wants to root for a good guy. (But sometimes it’s fun to root for the bad guy. More on that in another blog post.)

So try not to be so judgmental the next time you see “good vs. evil.” Yeah, it’s probably another crappy mini-series. That’s inevitable.

But that doesn’t mean you should avoid writing about it. It’s a pretty good exercise in seeing what you value and what your characters are made of.

And it’s also fun to write clever heroes and dastardly villains. I’ve been writing a villain today, and I gotta say it’s pretty fun. I love characters that are misunderstood or at least a little bit crazy. Those are my niche when it comes to writing characters. They seem so much more fleshed-out and real than “normal” people. So I end up seeing a lot of psychological issues and trauma in my short stories and poems. They’re often some of my best work. Don’t count out the crazies and evil characters, whether they’re a good foil for a hero or not.

Heroes and villains don’t have to be cliché. They need flaws in order to be interesting. Maybe that’s your problem with heroes. Or maybe your problem with villains is that their flaws are so big and obvious that they’re easy to defeat. If you don’t like reading characters like that, then write characters that you do like reading about.

Isn’t that an easy solution? If you don’t like the way something is portrayed in any form of media, then just write it how you think it should be done.

Your assignment: Write a short story where a hero finds something really unusual in his or her small hometown. This unusual object somehow leads him to finding out that a sinister person is planning something bad to happen to the town. Remember, the hero doesn’t always have to win. 😉 Try to make your characters as three-dimensional as you can. If you wouldn’t want to read about them, then why would your readers?

I LOVE this. What an amazing idea!

Wow, thank you so much!! 😀 😀 I am so glad you’re enjoying my blog. ^.^ I shall endeavor to make sure you keep on thinking it’s amazing!

You totally just made it all very real for me. There are people I don’t know that are reading and paying attention to what I write. That is awesome. Seriously. I’m blown away by it. Thank you for making my day and being the first person to comment on here! 😀

Readers: You are wonderful. 🙂 Thank you for reading, and I hope you’ll stay with me on this journey through the land of authorship. I appreciate each and every one of you. ❤

(Also, please don’t be offended by how many smilies I use. They are so expressive, and they make it so much easier to communicate how I’m feeling. :))

I LOVE this. What an amazing idea!

Wow, thank you so much!! 😀 😀 I am so glad you’re enjoying my blog. ^.^ I shall endeavor to make sure you keep on thinking it’s amazing!

You totally just made it all very real for me. There are people I don’t know that are reading and paying attention to what I write. That is awesome. Seriously. I’m blown away by it. Thank you for making my day and being the first person to comment on here! 😀

Readers: You are wonderful. 🙂 Thank you for reading, and I hope you’ll stay with me on this journey through the land of authorship. I appreciate each and every one of you. ❤

(Also, please don’t be offended by how many smilies I use. They are so expressive, and they make it so much easier to communicate how I’m feeling. :))

WE WANT YOU (to get on with writing)!


(Remember what I said about all of you being seeds back when I started this blog? That’s you in the picture. You are small but growing and learning. But it’s not just you in the photo. So please don’t steal it–I ask this on behalf of the other seedlings out there. Thank you.)

So I said I’d do better today. I sort of did. I wrote, and what little I got done was pretty good. I’m writing a pretty callous character right now, so it’s pretty fun to have someone be casual about horrible, awful things. I’m looking forward to writing more of him.

But you know what? It’s not good enough. Remember when I was talking about “good enough” never being enough?

It’s still true. I didn’t write much. But I had time to write more. And in that time, I didn’t write. I’m lazy and stupid. And publicly berating myself. Because sometimes that’s what you need to do in order to make yourself be productive (hence the creation of the blog).

Here’s a good place for me to start making excuses. I had a headache that wouldn’t go away all day. I’m going to my youngest uncle’s commitment ceremony on Saturday. I have a vacation I’m leaving for on Sunday (more on that later in the post). Personal things are stressing me out. Upcoming college stuff really stressing me out. And so on.

Excuses are easy to make, aren’t they? But think about it: Haven’t you had a day worse than today where you still got more done?

I work really well under pressure. I spent a few hours in the hospital on a school day when I had my first kidney stone. And then I went and competed in an FFA competition that very night.

If I can do that, then am I not capable of writing more when physical problems are the least of my worries?

If you can take care of your physical needs, then the rest will come after. I know I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating in this context.

There’s still that guy I talked about who dictated a book by blinking one of his eyes. If he can do that, then surely I can do just as well without the handicap.

Surely.

Even then, I feel like I’m never good enough for anyone or anything. That crap can’t fly if you want to be a writer. Even if you suck or think you suck, you have to keep on writing if you want to have even the smallest, most minuscule chance of getting better.

Stop making “good enough” what you’ll settle for. (Man, I’m breaking a lot of accepted grammar rules in this post. And it feels great. If you can understand the English language really well, then you know exactly how to use it in an articulate way while not really breaking any actual rules of grammar.)

If you want to write, then stop letting things get in the way. This is your life. It’s time for you to start living it.

Speaking of life, I am going on a vacation and will be leaving Sunday. We are going to be in the car for a very long time, and Internet will be wired, so I may not be able to post that day. In fact, I may not be able to keep up my streak of posting every day. That makes me sad. 😦 But life outside of the Internet happens. Make up your own assignments on days I don’t post. I will definitely be doing some writing in my downtime, but please be patient if I don’t get in a blog post every day. Love you guys, but I do have family to spend time with. Hope to talk to you soon. 🙂

Your assignment: No matter how busy or awful your day is, make time for writing. Write when you wake up and before you go to bed. Write while you eat your dinner. Spend at least 10 minutes on each of these. If you spend more, then great! Keep it up. Don’t let the creativity stop! If you have to go to school or work or something, then make sure you get up early enough to plan for creative rushes. Don’t blame me if you’re late. If you eat with other people, then don’t write while you eat. But do it before or afterward. Just politely let them know that it’s something you need to do for yourself. If they can’t understand that, then maybe you need to reevaluate your relationships with them. Topics you should try to write about: a character who overcomes extreme circumstances to survive and/or succeed, a time when you found time to do something you enjoyed when people or life tried to keep you from doing so, and working under pressure. Okay, long assignment done! Get on with it! 

WE WANT YOU (to get on with writing)!


(Remember what I said about all of you being seeds back when I started this blog? That’s you in the picture. You are small but growing and learning. But it’s not just you in the photo. So please don’t steal it–I ask this on behalf of the other seedlings out there. Thank you.)

So I said I’d do better today. I sort of did. I wrote, and what little I got done was pretty good. I’m writing a pretty callous character right now, so it’s pretty fun to have someone be casual about horrible, awful things. I’m looking forward to writing more of him.

But you know what? It’s not good enough. Remember when I was talking about “good enough” never being enough?

It’s still true. I didn’t write much. But I had time to write more. And in that time, I didn’t write. I’m lazy and stupid. And publicly berating myself. Because sometimes that’s what you need to do in order to make yourself be productive (hence the creation of the blog).

Here’s a good place for me to start making excuses. I had a headache that wouldn’t go away all day. I’m going to my youngest uncle’s commitment ceremony on Saturday. I have a vacation I’m leaving for on Sunday (more on that later in the post). Personal things are stressing me out. Upcoming college stuff really stressing me out. And so on.

Excuses are easy to make, aren’t they? But think about it: Haven’t you had a day worse than today where you still got more done?

I work really well under pressure. I spent a few hours in the hospital on a school day when I had my first kidney stone. And then I went and competed in an FFA competition that very night.

If I can do that, then am I not capable of writing more when physical problems are the least of my worries?

If you can take care of your physical needs, then the rest will come after. I know I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating in this context.

There’s still that guy I talked about who dictated a book by blinking one of his eyes. If he can do that, then surely I can do just as well without the handicap.

Surely.

Even then, I feel like I’m never good enough for anyone or anything. That crap can’t fly if you want to be a writer. Even if you suck or think you suck, you have to keep on writing if you want to have even the smallest, most minuscule chance of getting better.

Stop making “good enough” what you’ll settle for. (Man, I’m breaking a lot of accepted grammar rules in this post. And it feels great. If you can understand the English language really well, then you know exactly how to use it in an articulate way while not really breaking any actual rules of grammar.)

If you want to write, then stop letting things get in the way. This is your life. It’s time for you to start living it.

Speaking of life, I am going on a vacation and will be leaving Sunday. We are going to be in the car for a very long time, and Internet will be wired, so I may not be able to post that day. In fact, I may not be able to keep up my streak of posting every day. That makes me sad. 😦 But life outside of the Internet happens. Make up your own assignments on days I don’t post. I will definitely be doing some writing in my downtime, but please be patient if I don’t get in a blog post every day. Love you guys, but I do have family to spend time with. Hope to talk to you soon. 🙂

Your assignment: No matter how busy or awful your day is, make time for writing. Write when you wake up and before you go to bed. Write while you eat your dinner. Spend at least 10 minutes on each of these. If you spend more, then great! Keep it up. Don’t let the creativity stop! If you have to go to school or work or something, then make sure you get up early enough to plan for creative rushes. Don’t blame me if you’re late. If you eat with other people, then don’t write while you eat. But do it before or afterward. Just politely let them know that it’s something you need to do for yourself. If they can’t understand that, then maybe you need to reevaluate your relationships with them. Topics you should try to write about: a character who overcomes extreme circumstances to survive and/or succeed, a time when you found time to do something you enjoyed when people or life tried to keep you from doing so, and working under pressure. Okay, long assignment done! Get on with it! 

Derailment


(Mr. Cone says, “I am a picture of a traffic cone in some grass. Please do not steal me. 😦 That would make me very sad.”)

Sometimes, life gets in the way. Sometimes, it’s a good thing.

Today, it wasn’t a bad thing, but it, however, has left me a minimal window in which to write.

If it’s something good, then let it happen, and have fun!! Seriously, don’t get upset if you don’t get to write because you got invited to a friend’s house or whatever.

If it’s not good, then try to laugh it off and get back on track the next day.

I know life has a way of throwing things at you that are bad and unexpected and affect you greatly.

Life happens. Let it.

Your assignment: Write about two different times your plans got derailed–one for good things and one for bad. How did it affect you? Did you react poorly? Why or why not? Get thinking. And relax.

(My apologies for another non-writing post. Life got in the way today, but I had a lot of fun. 🙂 I will do my best to remedy the lack of work tomorrow.)

Derailment


(Mr. Cone says, “I am a picture of a traffic cone in some grass. Please do not steal me. 😦 That would make me very sad.”)

Sometimes, life gets in the way. Sometimes, it’s a good thing.

Today, it wasn’t a bad thing, but it, however, has left me a minimal window in which to write.

If it’s something good, then let it happen, and have fun!! Seriously, don’t get upset if you don’t get to write because you got invited to a friend’s house or whatever.

If it’s not good, then try to laugh it off and get back on track the next day.

I know life has a way of throwing things at you that are bad and unexpected and affect you greatly.

Life happens. Let it.

Your assignment: Write about two different times your plans got derailed–one for good things and one for bad. How did it affect you? Did you react poorly? Why or why not? Get thinking. And relax.

(My apologies for another non-writing post. Life got in the way today, but I had a lot of fun. 🙂 I will do my best to remedy the lack of work tomorrow.)

Zombie Days


(So this is a picture of a circle of clovers. The dirt patch looks kinda like a skull, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t it be strange if your skull were to disappear immediately after stealing this picture? An odd thought indeed.)

Ummm, hey. Hi. *starts looking off in a random direction*

Oh, you’re over there.

Today was a Zombie Day. I didn’t accomplish much and didn’t leave the house. I haven’t been eating or sleeping much lately, and I guess today was the result of that.

Try not to let yourself get caught up in those downward swings like me. I feel like I’m sort of making progress. But I’m also rather caught up in all the crap that’s coming up these next few months. So please bear with me. Lots of college- and after-college-related things, among other stresses. Ugh.

Remember to take days off. I feel like I’ve probably said that too many times on here. But it’s important. If you’ve ever watched Dragonball Z, then you know that Goku takes a break every so often. Like, there’s a ton of stuff going on, and he’s fighting his butt off, and afterward, there’s a period of time where he just sits around and eats. It’s like that. Because even Saiyans know that you will burn yourself out if you’re always working. I know I’ve not been working a lot lately, but I’ve been stressing, and the two are often equivocal.

So let’s try to make sure we don’t burn out. Here’s a good place to start:
http://www.donothingfor2minutes.com/

Try it. I’m not gonna do it right now because I’m finishing typing this, of course, and then I’ll be heading to bed. But I’m gonna do it tomorrow. I’ll try to do better on writing and such tomorrow. I sincerely hope this entry makes some sense. I like being able to look at what I’ve done over the course of the day, which is why I do them so late at night. Here’s hoping I’ll be motivated enough to start this before I get terribly tired tomorrow.

Your assignment: Do nothing for two minutes. After you’ve successfully done that (Don’t stop until you do), listen to some relaxing music for a few minutes. See if it inspires any writing. If it does, then write something. If not, then just let the music roll over you until you’re relaxed. Sometimes relaxation is necessary before you can be productive. So just relax and follow the pendulum with your eyes…

Zombie Days


(So this is a picture of a circle of clovers. The dirt patch looks kinda like a skull, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t it be strange if your skull were to disappear immediately after stealing this picture? An odd thought indeed.)

Ummm, hey. Hi. *starts looking off in a random direction*

Oh, you’re over there.

Today was a Zombie Day. I didn’t accomplish much and didn’t leave the house. I haven’t been eating or sleeping much lately, and I guess today was the result of that.

Try not to let yourself get caught up in those downward swings like me. I feel like I’m sort of making progress. But I’m also rather caught up in all the crap that’s coming up these next few months. So please bear with me. Lots of college- and after-college-related things, among other stresses. Ugh.

Remember to take days off. I feel like I’ve probably said that too many times on here. But it’s important. If you’ve ever watched Dragonball Z, then you know that Goku takes a break every so often. Like, there’s a ton of stuff going on, and he’s fighting his butt off, and afterward, there’s a period of time where he just sits around and eats. It’s like that. Because even Saiyans know that you will burn yourself out if you’re always working. I know I’ve not been working a lot lately, but I’ve been stressing, and the two are often equivocal.

So let’s try to make sure we don’t burn out. Here’s a good place to start:
http://www.donothingfor2minutes.com/

Try it. I’m not gonna do it right now because I’m finishing typing this, of course, and then I’ll be heading to bed. But I’m gonna do it tomorrow. I’ll try to do better on writing and such tomorrow. I sincerely hope this entry makes some sense. I like being able to look at what I’ve done over the course of the day, which is why I do them so late at night. Here’s hoping I’ll be motivated enough to start this before I get terribly tired tomorrow.

Your assignment: Do nothing for two minutes. After you’ve successfully done that (Don’t stop until you do), listen to some relaxing music for a few minutes. See if it inspires any writing. If it does, then write something. If not, then just let the music roll over you until you’re relaxed. Sometimes relaxation is necessary before you can be productive. So just relax and follow the pendulum with your eyes…

Poetry!


(This is a photo of a trashcan. Almost anything that has snow on it instantly becomes more interesting. Just like how interesting it would be if you didn’t steal this photo. :))

Poetry is pretty great. All the cool kids are doing it! But seriously. I like poetry. Don’t stop reading!

If you’re one of the many people who gagged when they saw that this post is about poetry, please relax. There are two types of poetry you may be thinking of… 1. MySpace/DeviantArt/LiveJournal/diary/whatever poetry. 2. whatever they made you read in school.

Not all poetry is crappy. Not all of it is self-loathing or depressing or about cutting yourself (or how you’d like to cut someone else). Not all poetry is pompous or about trees (Hey, I like reading about trees. But maybe you don’t).

Poetry can be as mouthwatering as a good piece of fiction, if done correctly.

Poetry is about finding awesome words to describe ordinary things. If you like reading awesome words, then you should probably find some good poetry. If you don’t like the classics, then just don’t read the classics. Find what you do like. If you like reading poems that are about death and decay, then go find some. It’s not terribly hard.  I’d suggest Edgar Allan Poe, but I have a feeling if you don’t like poetry, then you may have already gone there.

I’m not saying you have to appreciate poetry. But if you like writing, then you shouldn’t leave out this form of it. Poetry is streamlined and allows you a lot more freedom than a short story. You can’t only read books or only read short stories if you like writing. Immerse yourself in the world of literature. There is so much out there that you’re missing.

Your assignment: Find at least one poem that either intrigues you or that you like. Try to imitate its style in a poem of your own about something completely different. Then write a poem in the opposite style. If the author plays with punctuation and how it’s used, then only use proper punctuation. If the author uses proper punctuation, then try to use as little as possible! If the poem is short and simple, then try to write something longer and more complex (You don’t have to go crazy on this one). And vice versa. Don’t let yourself get caught up in only things you like–play with your own style and figure out for yourself what works for you.

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