Taking it Day by Day

Have you heard of that cliche that you should take things day by day? It’s cliche for a reason because I often find myself overwhelmed by the bigger picture. I’ve had my worries about the future for most of my life and I don’t know if it will ever truly go away, but one of the things that helps me maintain my sanity is taking things day by day.

I’m at a very exciting, albeit difficult, time in my life. For the past 10 years I have ignored my life’s calling to pursue writing with the bullshit excuse that it’s not very profitable or sustainable as a career, and that it’s “unrealistic” to find any success with it. Always worried about having enough money to survive, I’ve limited my choices on how to earn it, along with my happiness.

So what I’ve done is settle for typical 9-5 jobs working at warehouses and retail stores, and although I got my financial needs met and that anxiety would go away when I can see several digits in my bank account–I’ve always ended up feeling empty when I hit a certain point.

Whether it was a certain amount of money or a level of mastery at the jobs I had, I could never ignore this sinking feeling inside me that I’m missing out on something big. A sinking feeling that has paradoxically woken me up every morning while also pinning me to my bed with dread.

Even when it came to the jobs I loved at first, especially the ones I had most recently, there was a certain point where I would resist going to work because I’ve grown tired of it.

As of this post, it’s been 11 months since I quit my last job managing a friend’s business. I took plenty of time off this year finish the 3rd draft of my novel, play video games, and continuously expand my music library thanks to my discovery of K-Pop. I gave myself the privilege, that not many people allow themselves, of living hedonistically without shame. That is to say, everything I did was meant to please me and only me, as that was my primary goal every single day.

Why?

Because I have spent my life in service to others whether it was through my caregiving jobs or retail. Even more notably was when I managed an escape room hosting 20 people an hour on an almost daily basis, only to come to home to have my sick grandmother to look after when she was still alive.

Needless to say, I lost connection with myself, and when she died, it gave me the proverbial shock of realizing how short life really is. I kept managing the escape room place for a couple months after her death, and I never felt the same. All the high energy and genuine interest in giving my guests the best experience possible started to become fake until I couldn’t fake it anymore.

I lost my patience. I lost enthusiasm. I lost myself.

I had to quit and give myself all this time to reconnect with myself to remember what has been the most important thing in my life all along; writing.

No matter what I’ve been through the past decade, writing has always been there to keep me sane and possibly from giving up on life. Whether it was writing a novel, going to school for creative writing, or even doing BSBS Reviews last year, anything to do with writing has kept me from giving up.

Nowadays I find myself shedding the hedonistic shell I built for myself this year, and once again want to be in the service of others. Only this time, I am sharing my true gift, which is the wealth of wisdom I have acquired from my many years of studying the art of writing.

I am hosting bi-weekly writing workshops at a cafe I love frequenting, and no matter what the turn out is, I am happy to just be doing something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time and that’s to teach other writers how to improve their craft. Another cliche they say is if you wanna learn something, teach it because that’s how you can reinforce what you’ve learned while also improving on it within yourself.

I don’t know what the future holds.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get a sold out workshop.

I don’t even know if I’ll ever wow anyone enough at these workshops to inspire them to hire me as their writing coach.

In fact, tonight being my third workshop ever, the feeling of wanting to run away has yet to leave me. I’m scared of failing, but I’m also more scared of succeeding because I’m not used to this. I’m not used to putting my all into something I love and having it be my primary source of income, let alone activity. Writing has always just been a side hobby until now.

One thing I know for sure is that I made a committment to show up. Rain or shine, empty or full attendance, money or no money, I want to get up there and present my knowledge to the world for as long as I need to because I have a yearning burning desire to do so.

I’ve been booked from September to November to host bi-weekly workshops, and as much as I want to run away and cancel all of this, I remind myself to take it one day at a time. To enjoy all those days and hours I spend perfecting my presentations, writing and rewriting what points I want to deliver. To enjoy all those days and hours I spend stressing over whether or not enough people will come.

 

Advertisements

Why Subtitles Improve Your Writing

“Marriage?” He scoffed. “We can barely afford this house.”

“But we’ve been together for 10 years,” she whimpered.

He sighed and leaned back with his chair creaking beneath him. “You’re right, but–“

Have you ever come across these kinds of expressions while reading a book and wondered what they meant? Or maybe your mind filled in the gaps based on the context of the scene? Whichever was the case for you, I highly suggest that whenever you watch a TV show or a movie, that you put on the subtitles, even if the characters speak your native language.

Here’s why:

lily 0lily 1lily table clatterlily 3lily 4

Watching TV shows and movies with subtitles on allow you to learn three fundamental things:

  1. How dialogue is written
  2. What sound effects and expressions sound like
  3. Rhythm and beats of a scene

1. Dialogue

The most obvious reason why you should try watching TV shows and movies with subtitles on is to see how punctuation works, and maybe even expanding your vocabulary with new sophisticated words characters may speak.

If the characters are also incredibly nuanced in the way they all speak, seeing the phonetically written versions of their speech along with listening to how they deliver their lines, will also help you get a sense of certain word patterns different characters use. Do they speak in long bursts with little to no breaks in between words? Do they seldomly speak? What kinds of words do they often use?

For extra measure, having a notepad ready to jot down your observerations can help inform the kind of unique dialogue your story may benefit from.

2. Sound Effects and Expressions

With that opening sample scene I came up with, despite the lack of detail, I’m sure you can get a sense of how the situation might feel like for both the man and woman. Even if you don’t know what a scoff is, you can sense that it is something he is passive aggressively dismissing based on his following dialogue.

While you can get away with knowing what special words like scoff and whimper mean, you might run the risk of misusing them in either having them used in the wrong context, or simply breaking a certain character’s personality.

The man in this sample scene is anxious about marriage due to finances, and it doesn’t sound he really loves his girlfriend. If he did, maybe his sigh would come earlier because marraige is something he does want, but his financial woes get in the way.

Furthermore, the creaking of his chair can add to that scene to convey that he and his girlfriend are indeed in financial trouble, so much so that they are sitting at a table with low quality wooden chairs that creak.

Watching something with subtitles on can often help you hear what all these non-verbal expressions and environmental sound effects may sound like. It wasn’t until watching some TV shows and movies with subtitles on did I truly understand the difference between laughing, cackling, and chuckling.

3. Rhythm and Reason

Referring back to those screenshots of the scene from How I Met Your Mother, I originally wanted to only post pictures two, three, and four, but then realized I would be depriving you guys of this fundamental lesson. Watching with subtitles on can also help you understand the rhythm of a scene.

The first shot is silent, with Lily and Marshall sitting next to each other minding their own business. Marshall calls Lily’s name and she nearly jumps out of her skin because by screenshot number three, she is startled and hits her legs against the table causing it to clatter. She asks Marshall how long he’s been sitting there and in the final screenshot, she curses having the eye patch for obstructing her vision.

Had I not put the first and last screenshots, this scene would have no set up and no pay off. It would be devoid of context and the impact of Lily’s fright wouldn’t feel as full without that silent moment between herself and fiancee. Furthermore, without the final screenshot, the scene wouldn’t be as funny without her cursing the eye patch.

Learning how subtitles are spaced out between a scene, as well as how sound effects and expressions interject between what the characters are saying, can help you establish in your own work the rhythm and pace to which your characters interact.

I will definitely write more later on this concept of rhythm and beats in a scene, but for now, what I would like to emphasize is how helpful it is to get a sense of how that all feels on your own terms.

So give it a try; watch your favourite TV show and movies with subtitles on, specifically your favourite scenes in each story to see why they move you the way you do. You will be surprised by how the spacing between lines drastically affect the feel of the scene, as well as the new vocabulary you might come across in terms of non-verbal expressions and environmental sound effects.

Did you find this unorthadox writing tip helpful?

What has been your experience with subtitles?

Do you have your own piece of unorthadox writing tips? Feel to share all this and more in the comments below!

 

 

Music Review: Dreamcatcher – Fly High

img source: https://www.soompi.com/2017/07/28/watch-dreamcatcher-showcases-vocals-new-live-fly-high/

Alright we are now at the final stretch of this music video review series! Thank you for taking this journey on with me as I still cannot contain my excitement for this group that marries my two favourite music genres packed into one powerful group.

Today we take a look at the Prequel to the Dreamcatcher lore, before they were became nightmares with their latest release Fly High.

The Music:
The song starts off with a brief piano intro and once the full band kicks in there’s a noticable drop in the heaviness we’ve grown accustomed to, yet some heaviness is sprinkled in for brief moments throughout the song. It works for and against the group for a few reasons.

It took me a moment to accept this brighter side of Dreamcatcher, but the YouTube channel manager did remind us in the comments that this is indeed a prequel to their other two music videos. Keeping that in mind it makes sense that it does have this bright, happy sound, though despite the distorted guitar being a little less bassy and crunchy than before, it’s still there and brings the heaviness here and there throughout the song.

At first I felt like the pre-chorus with the chugging riff was too short, that it could have gone another couple bars. With Dami rapping “it’s like a big black hole in my heart, I’m trapped in the dream,” and Sua bringing back the melodic vocals, the vocal trade it initially made it sound like an abrupt transition. But then I listened to the instrumental version of the song and it made sense to have that transition happen between the palm muted power chords to the regularly strummed ones.

On top of that, the benefit of listening to the instrumental version made me notice the second verse features a more groovy bassline than the first one. It’s not just sustained root notes of the palm muted power chords, but a groovy and melodic bassline! So that harmonized rap part that Gahyeon does is extra special to me now, because not only have I not heard many harmonized rap sections from other songs, but it’s also backed by a sweet instrumental modification that I appreciate.

Then we get to the bridge that makes me feel ambivalent. The heavy breakdown part is amazing and so is the clean vocalized part, but the transition between the two feels rushed. The thing with all their songs in general, I still feel like they can benefit from an extra 10-20 second instrumental break where the rock riffs can shine, along with the complex choreo that the girls do.

Even from listening to the instrumental version, the bridge transition feels abrupt. It’d be better if the palm muted riff was repeated with regular strums while the lead guitar did a more melodic solo. Some nasty licks are happening at that part and I was disappointed that it didn’t go anywhere else before the girls start singing again.

With that said, the rest of the song is still pretty epic. The vocalized bridge does rise gradually enough to help deliver the epicness of the final chorus. It’s complete with Siyeon doing some high pitched harmonizing, while the chorus has been modified to include instrumental break beats that emphasize percussive parts of the main vocals.

The outro leaves us with a gentle departure and Dami now saying she’s trapped in a nightmare, instead of a dream. There’s a cool visual for that part in the choreography, but I’ll let you see it for yourself in the dance version below.

The Video:
Well damn, where do I begin? Even if this music video is shot in brighter lighting and more vibrant colours, it still carries the weight of impending doom with it. Aptly so seeing as we finally get to see more about Dreamcatcher’s lives before they met their untimely fate.

It looks like it could have been a deliberate thing seeing as it starts off with Jiu capturing a spider, and Yoohyeon later in the video burning it to death. It has been confirme by the group that the spider was cursed and killing it put them in danger. But that’s quite curious seeing as there’s some strange happenings even before that sequence like Gahyeon being held down in bed by a bunch creepy hands. It’s reminscent of the forest scene from Good Night except it’s not happening out doors, and extra tatoo’d hand comes out to shut her eyes.

So I don’t know, man? Maybe the house was already haunted no matter what and killing that spider was just another way to curse it even further. Also curious is when Siyeon and Sua standing by the forest entrance, and at first they’re in their pyjamas, but later emerge with the hooded cloaks similar to the ones from Good Night.

I’m still racking my brain wondering if they have body doubles that kill them, or if they become those hooded figures themseles. It’s confusing considering  that at the end of the music video, it appears there’s already an old timey photograph of the girls. I guess we’re not supposed to know if it’s them, or just look alikes that have lived in the same house before them.

My theory is that the boarding school is cursed to operate in a strange time loop that involves spiritual dopplegangers that haunt their living duplicates. The dopplegangers either kill or posess the bodies of their victims to continue their bidding, and are in need of physical bodies to inhabit to do so. Otherwise they are just formless ghosts that roam the house.

That’s what I originally thought when Jiu catches another version of herself playing piano in a room before she starts running down the hallway and out of the house. Coupled with the confirmation of the cursed spider playing a big part in it, and not being just a random act of sadism on Yoohyeon’s part, it kind of confused me more than clarified things.

Either way, it’s fun to speculate what’s happening in a medium that presents all this imagery at such a fast pace so it definitely requires multiple viewings to fully understand. And why not? Fly High is an awesome song with an equally awesome music video. So awesome that it left out a lot of the choreography shots as always, so below is the pure dance version.

Hope you enjoyed my reviews! Let me know what your theories are on the narrative, or if you have some more canon info confirmed by Dreamcatcher themselves, I’d totally appreciate it.

Make sure to check out my reviews on Chase Me and Good Night, and if you like these songs, please support the group by purchasing their EP’s and mini-album at:

  1. iTunes
  2. Kpop Mart
  3. Yes Asia

P.S. Physical copies come with beautifull crafted photobooks, a randomized trading card, a poster and of course the CD itself. Either way you go, show your support and get these hard working girls up on the charts so we can more rockin K-Pop tunes from them!

Music Review: Dreamcatcher – Good Night

Welcome to Part 2 of my Dreamcatcher Music Video Reviews series.

They’re the perfect group for me, they’ve got vocals and visuals for days, yadda yadda yadda…

This time, let’s just skip the preamble and jump straight into dissecting the music and its accompanying video!

The Song:
So first off, the music box melody. It’s reminiscent of the kind you’d use to soothe a baby to sleep, except it sounds really creepy and accelerates in speed before a drum hit drops to prepare you for when the full band blasts into your ears. This time around, they wanted to go straight to the rock and man that lead riff just screams anime intro. Plus, it’s the same melody as the music box, so A+ for reusing a melody with a different instrument. It always gives a refreshing feeling to familiarity.

The 1st verse seamlessly quiets down, but maintains the heavy feel with a distorted palm muted riff that’s backed with an acoustic drum kit (keep that in mind for later). I like how it kinda teases you a bit with a full band burst coupled with power vocals for just one bar before returning to the main riff. This time it’s not palm muted and the drums are starting to pick up with headbanging crash hits to prepare you for what’s next.

The pre-chorus kicks in with a bassdrum counting us in, and the closed hi-hat whispering what will soon be in full force with crash symbals in a few seconds. The guitars in this part is like Chase Me, once again doing some sustained single chord strikes per bar and we plummet into the first chorus, and..

It kicks ass!

It involves a vocal trade between Siyeon and Yooyeon, the main and lead vocalists of the group, and it’s amazing how their individual voices alone are enough to carry the chorus. Many K-Pop groups simply stick to using the whole group harmonizing or singing the same melody together to give a sense of power to it, and that’s with much softer instrumentation. The girls in Dreamcatcher are more than capable of individually belting it out to suit the high adrenaline instrumentation.

Now for the 2nd verse, we introduce the rappers Handong and Dami trading lines over an electronic hip-hop drum kit. That main riff from the first verse is back of course, but backed up by a drum kit that sounds more suitable for a rap section. It’s got that deeper, more sustained sounding bass kick that you would hear at a club, and a muted sounding snare hit that’s a cross between a clap and rim shot. Little touches like this give the song a lot of character as each section lends itself well for whichever vocalist happens to be showcasing their talent at their designated parts of the song.

Yooyeon’s belted vocals then welcomes back the full band along with the acoustic drum kit, yanking us back into 2nd pre-chorus and chorus that are pretty much the same as before, but that’s okay because something special happens a bit later anyway. No need to get too technical just yet.

The bridge in a way feels like how a dream does. Or more in particular, a nightmare, wherein it seems to calm down not once, but twice, or maybe even more times before you’re shaken out of your skin. We’re given some gently strummed acoustic guitar chords and softer vocals that gradually pick up in volume, and just when you think Siyeon’s power vocals are leading us back to the heavy stuff, we get a surprising anti-drop to an appregio piano riff. The exasperation at the end of Siyeon’s part also gives me chills as it adds to the effect of trying to escape a nightmare. You can scream as loud as you want, but you’re still trapped.

Then finally, Jiu gives us some cool distorted vocals to make way for Yooyeon’s final delivery of the chorus. Something interesting happens that throws me off every time, and that’s a momentary key shift for one bar. That’s it. Instead of bringing the whole song to that key it only does it once before resuming back to normal, and as much as I love musical complexity to the max most of the time, this isn’t one of those times. I just don’t think a full modulation would work for this song, so kudos to the composers!

The Music Video:
My God, this is where the fun of fan theories begin. So much happens in this music video and since we only have the limitations of quick cutting and visua language to go on, the story might be to comprehend, but I’ll give it a shot.

We come back to the ghost hunter guy having found a study room packed with books that could possibly give him some answers. Meanwhile we see the girls dressed in white night gowns running through an eerie forest as they’re being chased by masked and cloaked figures. This could possibly be a flashback alluding to the night the seven girls were murdered.

As the ghost hunter is going through the room collecting clues, the present day ghost versions of girls become increasingly aware of how close he is to solving the mystery. Maybe he wants to help them, but they just don’t want to? Maybe they’re enraged and are content living on as Nightmares, and if they were to be exorcised, they might cease to exist? Either way, they are watching from the other side of the mirror.

A book with a chain lock on it seems to be pretty important. Important enough that one of the Nightmares snatches the book off the desk to bring it into the mirror world where I think they begin to rip and burn the pages. This is what leads me to believe that a lot about their murder could be discovered, but are refusing to be understood so they can continue their haunt.

What I found pretty cool is how in the mirror world the girls are tearing up books, and as the camera focus shifts back to our realm, the ghost hunter dude is just standing there seeing a bunch of books get ripped up all on their own before he himself gets trapped into the mirror world. The Nightmares are then presumably taking physical form entering our world after trading places with the ghost hunter.

As the music video ends, the cloaked figures are walking around unmasked and they look just like the very same girls they were chasing. This could either mean these girls were chased by their evil dopplegangers, or they over powered the cloaked figures and fought back? I’m not quite sure, but I bet those wooden crosses they fashioned out of branches and hung on trees might hold some answers. If anyone with more knowledge on the whole occult stuff can educate me on the meaning of those, along with anything to do with dreamcatchers in general, I’d greatly appreciate it!

One of the cloaked figures happens to drop that same book with the chain lock on it, and it’s hard to tell if it was deliberate or not. Though it does raise the question; how did that book find its way back to the mansion?

Ah, the mystery thickens and I’ve never been so invested in a music video’s narrative before until now!

Stay tuned tomorrow for my review on the Prequel to all this madness.

What are your thoughts on Dreamcatcher’s music and their music videos?

What are some of your favourite narrative concepts in music?

Are there a set of lyrics, a set of songs, or even an entire album that you love that is dedicated to exploring an overarcing theme or narrative?

Let me know in the comments below!

And just like Chase Me for those who want to see more of the choreography, here’s the dance video for Good Night. That intro sequence with the puppet choreo is awesome.

 

Music Review: Dreamcatcher – Chase Me

Today I’m gonna do something I haven’t done on this site before and that’s review three music videos from one of my favourite artists. It eludes me why I haven’t done a music review, being such a music lover with a ton thoughts and opinions, but I am so fascinated by this group that I can’t contain my excitement.

I’ve been a metalhead most of my life, but have recently taken an interest in Korean pop, and while I do like having the divide between fast, heavy, and aggressive metal vs the often cute, bubbly, and soothing K-Pop, I have been dreaming of a K-Pop group adapting some rock music since they already do explore so many genres of music anyway.

Enter in: Dreamcatcher, which is literally a dream come true for me. They have the melodic catchiness and complex choreography of K-Pop beautifully woven in with the fast paced and distorted guitars of metal. Group “concepts” are a huge deal in concisely categorizing K-Pop groups in terms of their fashion style, overall group personality, and music style, and maybe I’ll write more about that later, but for now let me just gush over how unique Dreamcatcher is when it comes to this element of K-Pop.

The concept is that these seven girls girls are Nightmares that haunt people in their sleep and that there’s a whole mystery behind their murders before they became ghosts. We will now explore that mystery in the music videos made for their title tracks, as well as geek out over the musicality of each song!


The Song:

Up until now, distorted guitars in K-Pop have been mainly used for solos in otherwise softer tracks. They’ve been scarcely used for some rhythm riffs in other songs, but even then the overdrive and bass has not yet been cranked up to the level it’s at in this debut track by Dreamcatcher.

I love how it starts off with a nice soothing piano melody accompanied by their equally soothing, yet haunting vocals. As the pre-chorus kicks in there are some sustained distorted guitar chords, and then bam! A full out rock chorus catches you off guard and those soothing vocals amplify their own power by belting out a catchy melody. It’s mostly a bunch of power chords, but used to great effect since the focus here is the vocals. Then the first chorus ends with a fast and melodic riff laced with some background vocals chanting the title of the track because why not? Remember this riff for later!

Now we get to the 2nd verse, and a huge gripe for me when it comes to any song is when a 2nd verse is too identical to the 1st one. I like to get some variety after all, and if the 2nd verse has a completely different backing riff from the 1st then a song instantly has my attention. However, if it’s to be the same riff, there should be some variances with the accompanying instruments. Maybe the drums are more prominent, or there’s a lead melody layered on top that wasn’t there in the 1st verse.

Chase Me’s solution? Just add rapping when the drums kick back in.

And it’s awesome! Even if I don’t understand the language fully I love Korean rapping. They have a good flow and it’s nice that they rap in key of the song, and of course Dami, the rapper in Dreamcatcher in particular delivers her lines with a swag that says, “if throwing rock into the mix of K-Pop wasn’t enough, then take this!” Also, if I’m hearing correctly, I believe the bassline has more groove to it in the 2nd verse, which refreshes the instrumentation a bit.

Remember that riff I told you to remember? Well it comes back but in palm muted form for the bridge, and rightfully so since this time the vocals are saying much more this time. It’s a pretty sweet deal with how they let the distorted guitar do some slow soloing along with the vocals before softening up for a clean guitar version of the chorus. This, I think, was a very good way to pace the song as it feels like a rollercoaster of emotion. There’s a good balance of rise and fall, especially when the full chorus kicks back in quite percussively with break beats in sync with the vocal rhythm.

Sure, you can copy and paste a chorus three times in a song and call it day, but having putting a new spin on it just before the song ends is a sure fire way to maintain momentum without getting stale.

Overall, Chase Me is a well composed song that strikes a neat balance between calm and chaos.

The Music Video:
A horror themed music video is uncommon for K-Pop, and Chase Me happens to deliver with the creeps in a moderate way. That’s to say it’s not over the top horror with jump scares, gore, and grotesque imagery, rather you have the simple trick of the girls thinning in and out of existence after they take turns messing with the guy investigating the house.

I believe he’s supposed to be a detective/ghost hunter and he’s scouring the house for clues as to what happened to these girls. Why were they murdered and why do their spirits still linger around to haunt whoever dares to enter their home?

It’s a very unique introduction to the group in terms of their sound and style, as well as the over arcing narrative that would be used for their music videos. With just enough creeps and tiny ways to mess with the ghost hunter’s head.

Unfortunately a lot of the cinematic elements interrupt the very very cool choreography for this song. So it’s a tough experience wanting to get the best of both worlds, which it doesn’t. While you do get the best of the horror story, you miss out on a lot of the cool parts of the choreo.

Thankfully there is a separate video where you can watch just the girls dance, and man, I never used to appreciate hip hop dance crews or even dance in general until I got into K-Pop. On top of impressive ways to move with the music, and the ever changing group formations, what sets Dreamcatcher apart is their ability to do all that at break neck speed.

Stay tuned for Part 2: Good Night…

Your Novel in One Chapter

fightclub17.jpg

When I go shopping for a new book to read, I like to open potential purchases to the halfway point and read whatever I stumble upon. Why that’s madness, you must say, how will you know what’s going on dropping in the middle of all action? You need to start at the beginning! 

I assure you that I at least flip a few pages back to make sure I’m reading at least the beginning of that midway chapter. I’m not a monster.

My reasoning behind this is because I want to know if the author is able to maintain a strong focus on theme, characters, and plot throughout the entirety of their novel. Something always needs to be happening that not only progresses the story, but also encapsulates the spirit of all that has transpired so far.

Simply put, every chapter in a novel should encapsulate the entirety of the novel in and of itself so that if you were to isolate any chapter from the novel it belongs to, it can read like a self contained short story.

One of my favourite books actually started off as a short story that then became a much later chapter in the full novel of Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. It’s the chapter where The Narrator shows up to work with cuts and bruises on his face after having fought in a fight club the night prior, and nobody at the office has even the slightest nerve to ask what happened to him.

This is such a great story in itself because it raises so many questions and depicts something completely out of the ordinary. Despite it being very minimalistic in its narration, it is actually a very jam packed experience.

What I personally love about Fight Club and Chuck’s work in general is the ability for his stories to tell a lot without saying much. It’s pretty much implied how bored The Narrator is with his 9-5 job and life in general if he’s willing to get beaten to a bloody pulp at a late night underground fight club, and not even call in sick the next day.

Encapsulating a Novel Into One Chapter

Basic Plot

 

So this is a very basic plot line graph commonly used to organize the entirety of a novel. It helps you introduce your characters, settings, and themes, and build toward a climactic moment that defines the whole story. This allows you to easily detail the story into three acts: beginning, middle, and end.

What I’m proposing is structuring your chapters in the very same way as if that chapter defines your entire novel if it were to be taken at face value. This way your story has a strong emphasis and focus on what it’s all about at all times, with very little time allotted for the story to drag for a moment.

And that’s not to say that pacing wise stories aren’t allowed to slow down, of course they are, that’s when some details get the time to sit and simmer with the reader. Likewise, if a chapter is short and quick paced, the very little details you provide should still be just as fleshed out with knife like concision, very much like the original short story that later gave birth to Fight Club.

In order to create a well focused chapter, even to you pantsers out there, I highly suggest using a chapter graph that divides chapters into three scenes, and even having those three scenes divided into three mini acts of their own like this:

Chapter graph

Every chapter you write won’t have a clear cut structure like this, and like some rules, you might break these guidelines from time to time, but generally this is the structure that ensures your chapters can also function as self contained short stories.

Click here to download your FREE Chapter Graph!

 

 

There, Their…They’re Everywhere!

Homonyms! There There

They’re everywhere and their usage seems to change here and there.

What’s a homonym? It’s a word that sounds the same as another word and may or not be spelled the same, but most definitely has a different meaning. Today we’ll look at the big three T’s that are commonly used and confused.

When To Know They’re There For Their Own Good

A lot of people seem to confuse these three bewitching words pretty often, and it’s understandable since the sound is used in common everyday conversation. I don’t say this from a high horse, but I rarely ever get them wrong, at least now I don’t. Here’s a little system that helped me remember which witch is which.

There – In Reference to a Location

When you ask somebody the whereabouts of a location you ask “where is it?” And if they’re kind enough they’ll respond, “over there.” An easy way to remember this one is to form the association in your head between the words where and there.

For extra measure, you can also remind yourself to replace the W in where with a to make there. 

(Where – W) T = There

There, there, you’re getting it, right? Moving on!

Their – In Reference to Ownership

What are the three important letters you need to remember when you lend someone your favourite video game without getting anything in return at the time of exchange?

I.O.U. which is something you should scribble down on a napkin to create a lawfully binding agreement that they’ll owe you something in return later.

I wish I kept that in mind 15 years ago when I lent my friend Tenchu 2: Birth of the Stealth Assassins. It took him five years to pay me back the amount I spent on getting a new copy because he lost my original one. *Shakes fist* but let’s not dwell on the past shall we?

When I say it’s my video game and not yours, (but you can borrow it for now…) those two words imply ownership by a person.

So to remember to spell this one as theirlike to keep in mind that while I‘m referring to someone else, in their point of view they refer to themselves as “I.” I would be referring to your ownership in third person perspective if I were to use their.

I know that one is kind of convoluted, but simply put:

Your + Speaking of You In Third Person = Their

(Third the D) + E + shifting of the letters = Their

They’re – In Reference to Several People

It’s a contraction of the words they are.

C’mon, it can’t get any easier than that.

seriouslee

 

What other homonyms would you like some clarity on?

Was my pseudo word math a bit too much?

Did you find this post helpful?

Make sure to let me know in the comments below!