Category Archives: story progress

December 2013 Update

I’m calling this the “December Update” but it probably won’t be the only one I do this month. In it, I talk mostly about the recent Eikasia update, as well as my career goals after graduation, and the lil’ old fact that my birthday is tomorrow. ūüėČ

Fun Fact: After finishing the video, I got a call from my “Graduation Liason” (who was also my Financial Advisor once upon a time) and was informed that my graduation date was the same day that my baby son is estimated to be due! Another weird thing? My son’s due date is a day after my hubby’s birthday. So graduation, baby due, and husband’s birthday… The stars are aligned!!

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November 2013 Update

So this is super late! I was supposed to post this here but I forgot. I talk about school a lot and the fact that I’m close to graduating my degree program. (Among other things)

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Thoughts on Akumu Love Panic Ch. 13.4 (and the story in general)

Exported from Twitter by Storify.com:
  1. In the new #AkumuLovePanic update (which is finished at 2k words) we finally learn about Carlin’s past.
  2. The attention Carlin has received in this 2nd story arc doesn’t surprise me so much, as it just leaves me humbled #akumulovepanic
  3. I talk about this later, but what I mean is: Carlin’s backstory dominated this update, and I was embarrassed I hadn’t factored that into my outline. Chapter 13 was supposed to be done in 3-4 updates. Now it’s looking to be done in 4-6!
  4. In the 1st story arc for #AkumuLovePanic the story focused mostly on the plot, so the pacing was quicker. This was good and bad.
  5. Good in that the story was very focused and event-driven. Bad in that characters like Carlin are largely left unexplained. #akumulovepanic
  6. And Carlin was such a bewildering character too! I tried to keep her from getting too frustrating in my first round of edits #akumulovepanic
  1. If you thought Carlin was abrasive and confusing in the first story arc, you should’ve seen the rough¬†drafts. In those, less about her was explained, and her actions really came across as someone who was crazy for the sake of being crazy. It’s maybe for this reason that I arranged for Amaya and Carlin to be stuck together in close quarters for an undetermined amount of time.
  2. But I think in my next edits, I’ll have to tone her down even more. Kiyomi and Usagi hardly get much attention too. #AkumuLovePanic
  1. That’s one of my lasting regrets from the first ALP story arc. While we at least get SOME details about Carlin and Haruko, we get virtually nothing about Kiyomi and Usagi. I’d originally intended for Usagi to be a much more prominent character, by way of her being with Amaya all the time for Equestrian Club. Her presence was supposed to be a gateway for Kiyomi, but the story ended up going a different way, resulting in neither of them having much explained in terms of who they really were or where they came from beyond surface details.
  2. Hindsight is 20/20. I would like the 1st arc to find that good balance for character and plot. #AkumuLovePanic
  3. Honestly, I prefer character-driven stories, and so maybe that’s why I’m enjoying the 2nd arc more. #akumulovepanic
  4. I really think the 2nd arc is much more character-driven. It’s true this may feel uneven or even at the expense¬†of plot, but I feel less anxious about this somehow. Everyone is getting more attention: We finally get to see more of who Haruko is and where she lives, we see more of the awkward relationship between Amaya and her father, just recently¬†we’re starting to get more details about Kento, for the first time we had a glimpse as to what Amaya’s mother is like, and of course we’re getting more about Amaya’s past. The only ones who haven’t been benefiting from this as much are Kiyomi, Usagi, and Oyama. We’re even going to be learning more about Hideaki and his mother¬†Kishi¬†in a few updates.
  5. I know the attention has mostly been on Carlin, and when I edit the story, maybe I’ll find a way to spread that out a bit #akumulovepanic
  6. In the next few updates I was actually hoping to shift some focus onto Kiyomi and Usagi (finally), and of course, Haruko #AkumuLovePanic
  7. Carlin’s attention has mostly been a situational accident (her hiding in Amaya’s room) #akumulovepanic
  8. This is what I mentioned earlier–arranging for Amaya and Carlin to be forced to deal with one another on a more intimate level.¬†¬†I wanted the readers to understand Carlin, and recognize that Amaya’s view of her was skewed and lacking in information. Amaya isn’t a reliable narrator, and she even acknowledges this fact in-story. However, in order for the story’s perception of Carlin to change, I had to change Amaya’s view of her–thus the extreme situation.
  9. Some of you may have noticed her dialect has “lightened up.” This was purposeful. #AkumuLovePanic
  10. I’m talking about Carlin here.
  11. I was reading some older chapters and decided I HATED how her dialogue read. #AkumuLovePanic
  12. It sounded cartoony to me. Then I remembered some advice a teacher gave me a while ago #akumulovepanic
  13. “When giving a character a dialect, you need only suggest its existence for the reader–” #AkumuLovePanic
  14. “Once a form of speech has been established, the reader will recreate it in their head without need for constant prompting” #AkumuLovePanic
  15. One of the best advice I’ve ever received for my writing. I only wish I’d received it before¬†starting to write¬†ALP!
  16. So I started dialing back the contractions and instead focused on using the occasional slang and cadence of an Irishman #AkumuLovePanic
  17. I think it reads better. But this won’t be put in retroactively for a while now. I have other things that take precedent #AkumuLovePanic
  18. Senior year of college, editing Eikasia’s first market e-book, etc…
  19. Yeaaah…this new update took me by surprise. As I said, Carlin’s back story has humbled me. #AkumuLovePanic
  20. I didn’t realize how much attention it really deserved until I started typing it #AkumuLovePanic
  21. It was a nice reminder to respect my characters’ stories, a courtesy I’m eager to extend to Kiyomi and Usagi now! #akumulovepanic
  22. I realize that not all prominent characters need to have a complicated back story detailed to the reader to feel fully rounded. But like Eikasia, Akumu Love Panic has established a theme that time has a rippling effect, and the acts of yesterday affect the realities of today. In ALP this is especially true for Amaya, who struggles with her past of sexual abuse and the subsequent assault it ended in. It has shaped her greatly, and her past experiences are factored into many of her major decisions. With Carlin and Haruko, it is strongly suggested that their pasts have also greatly influenced who they are today. All that said, I feel it would be unfair to my characters to be blithe about their back story.
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Akumu Love Panic Chapter 13.2 Available

I UPDATED THE THING GUYS.

In this update: Amaya awakes from her strange dream journey, only to find that Kento has gone missing…

I know it’s been weeks since I last updated Akumu Love Panic and I’m sorry about that. As I stated in the comments for ALP 13.1 and also in my YouTube video, my priorities have shifted and so ALP will probably be seeing less frequent updates. I’ll try to update as much as I can, but with full-time school, an uneven work schedule, Eikasia, Kliff’s Edge, and my pregnancy, things may not happen like I want them to. I mean, I managed to update ALP today, but yesterday I missed the third update in a row for Eikasia. Nuts! But this will happen. The one thing that should be remembered, however, is that I will¬†always come back to my work. Just keep letting me know you guys are there. Thank you to those commenters on ALP, and those who contacted me through Facebook. If I got radio silence, the likelihood of my returning to the story¬†drops dramatically. I need to know I have an audience, even if it’s a small one.

Again, thanks for your patience guys, and I hope you like the new update. The Eikasia update WILL BE UP THIS WEEKEND. Even if that means a shorter update than usual!

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Dreams Quantified

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NEup8y0g-Q&w=640&h=360%5D
So while all of you are wondering where the HELL I am in terms of writing, here¬†I am, fantasizing about someday working for Quantic Dream. I think I may have mentioned how much a fan I am of Heavy Rain, and if I haven’t, then I am now. Heavy Rain was a formative experience for me. It showed me that not only could a game be engaging, like Super Mario World, or have a great sense of story, like The Longest Journey, but it was an epic marriage between the cinematic and video games.

One thing I have learned so far in my Creative Writing course at Full Sail is that video games is like the new frontier for storytelling. Its interactive format creates a new experience where a person is not passively experiencing a media source by themselves, but¬†actively¬†experiencing a form of media with someone else. Think about it. When watching a movie, do you¬†really¬†engage with the person next to you? (apart from when you’re talking through it—which doesn’t really count) So, in effect, I really, really,¬†really want to write for video games…at least for some time in my (hopefully) professional writing career. And if I¬†could¬†choose a developer to work for?

QUANTIC DREAM.

Their newest game, BEYOND: Two Souls, slated for release in 2013, stars Ellen Page. And oh my gosh you guys…every time I watch the trailer (which is fairly often) I cum a little in my pants. I’m beyond excited for its release. That’s really all I had to say in this post…

But I also recognize my absolute lack of updates, so I’m posting a chapter preview for Eikasia. I’m not posting all 735 words I have (big whoop) but hopefully you guys will believe me when I say I’m trying. Work and school has been taking turns kicking my ass.

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It’s going to be late…

…But the Eikasia and Akumu Love Panic! updates WILL come, okay guys? Just a bit late. I had work all day today, then tomorrow I fly to California to be with family after a year and a half away from home.
Just wanted to give a heads up!

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No seriously…

I’m totally TRYING to work on Eikasia (and thereby ALP!), its just that I got hit with some withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawals from what? Rest assured, I’m not a coke addict. But I do, unfortunately, take regular medication. So when I took that stupid 8 hour “nap” last night, I skipped my scheduled dose of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pills, and my dosage isn’t exactly mild. Actually my dosage is kinda…heavy. I’m not sedated or something, but going from 275 mg of “the stuff” to 0 mg of “the stuff” results in lots of¬†stuff kicking my ass. So at the moment, my body is like, “DUDE YOU SUCK,” and I’m just like…

OMFG, I’M ACTUALLY TRYING TO WRITE FOR ONCE, WHY IS THIS HAPPENING!?

P.S. I’ll send you special Eikasia goodies if you can guess the joke film reference I’m trying to make above.

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Cat Naps

Okay guys. Yes. I KNOW. I didn’t update Eikasia yesterday. I have ALP! to update today. So why the hell am I doing posts about documentaries at 7 in the morning? WELL…

Yesterday, I had my usual Sunday shift, which was absolutely KILLER. After discovering that I had a busy schedule this week right up onto the moment I fly back to California for a month (updates will resume during that time, don’t worry) I was practically dead on my feet. I lifted I don’t know how many pounds of food and dishware to the kitchens, and it felt like a damn marathon. My entire left side ached, my right wrist ached, my right ankle was all fucky, and everything throbbed. This wasn’t me being soft from days of not working. This was just the after effects of a lot of suck.

So after sitting at home with my husband Eric for an hour, I tell him I’m going to “lie down” for a little while. My intention was to continue reading Sharp Objects, then perhaps get started on Eikasia, which I was woefully behind on. But then my eyes started to burn and felt harder to keep them open, so I decided for quick cat nap.

Quick…ha! Yeah, right.

I ended up sleeping from 6PM to 2AM guys. Not lying. When I got up, I discovered my husband, who had stayed up nearly twenty four hours, had fallen asleep on the couch. This was part of the reason I never got up, because he was technically supposed to come in and hang out with me on the bed. Read that however you like that. The basic point is: I fell asleep, and nothing woke me up—not my phone, not my husband, and certainly not my everlasting guilt over how behind on writing I am.

I’m being a little facetious here.

Anyway, I once again have my gaming group coming in tonight at 8PM. But hey! Since my ass is up so early, I suppose I can knock out ALP! and Eikasia in one day! Right?

…Right?

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The Collection, and My Cautious Excitement For It.

EDIT (7/17/13): Having finally watched this movie, I will say that I DID like it. As far as the torture genre goes, there was really only one scene I can recall with any sort of prolonged grossness, and it was camptastic. The movie has a very anti-authoritarian feel that makes me think of such 90s cult classics as Disturbing Behavior and The Faculty. BUT, I did get a few details wrong in this post. The female lead from The Collection is not the same little girl from the Collector. The new film picks up very close after where the last left off.

So last Halloween, I watched The Collector¬†for the first time. What struck me was that: A) the protagonist didn’t piss me off, B) The villain was mysterious and scary enough to take him seriously, and C) The concept of a murderer who utilized deadly and sadistic traps was pretty damn awesome. If you think some of the Collector’s style is a bit too derivative of the Saw series, let me just stop you there. First of all—Saw one-through-whatever was terrible. Second, Jigsaw never captured his victims¬†with¬†traps, he always knocked them out, and placed them in a deadly and controlled environment of his own making.

The Collector’s methodology is completely different, at least under the parameters of the first film. First, he enters a strange environment—a rich family’s home—and rigs it with booby traps. The variability of just how the family members will be caught and when is so high that the Collector doesn’t really have absolute control over the environment. Also, unlike Jigsaw, his motives for killing are unknown. Like Michael Myers, the Collector seems to be some otherworldly man capable of surviving the impossible to do the unthinkable. Here’s the trailer for the first movie:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EE1sL7QWL5c&w=640&h=360%5D

Now, here are some spoilers for some of you who haven’t watched the movie yet (and I recommend that you do!)

In the first film, as some of you may know, a thief by the name of Arkin enters a rich family’s home due to circumstances forcing him to end his¬†abstinence¬†from crime. But things take a turn for the worst when a slasher appears to murder the entire family. Our protagonist has a choice—leave and save his own skin, or stay and help the people who treated him like dirt and who he planned to rob. In true Hero fashion, our man stays, and through his efforts, he is at least able to save the youngest of the family, a little girl named Hannah.

The big twist at the end was that the Collector was not done. No. Instead of our Hero riding off into the sunset, our maniacal slasher appears to kidnap Arkin and put him in the infamous Last Survivor’s Chest.

Now in the new movie, The Collection, which you can watch the trailer for below,¬†Arkin seems surprisingly whole and well. He’s even brought in to police as a sort of “expert” on the Collector, having been one of the few to survive his attacks. I’m truly curious to see how they explain Arkin’s escape from the villain at the end of the first film. And he isn’t the only one who makes a “return”. In the Collection, Hannah makes a return as a young adult. The trailer shows her heading off to some underground rave, but—surprise surprise! The Collector is there, and with a nasty trap for the crowd.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msSH5v6tK9k&w=640&h=360%5D

I suppose Arkin is assuming his role as protagonist again, which is fine by me. But I wonder if the charm that the original Collector had will be lost as the story enters into that scary and soulless world of franchises. It’s written by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan once more, with Dunstan directing again as well, and while I try to ignore their involvement with the Saw franchise, I still fear that the new school slasher film with old school roots will become hackneyed and ridiculously commercial.

Okay it’s safe now. ūüôā

The other day, I was watching the Hellraiser series inspired by Clive Barker’s novella, The Hellbound Heart, (which is currently available in totality on Netflix’s Instant Watch, by the way.)¬†Now while it is the lowest grossing slasher franchise to date, it’s still perhaps my second favorite, wedged right underneath Halloween, and just above A Nightmare on Elm Street. Why? It was because it’s iconic character, the Pinhead, was not a mute beast who killed with no reason. He had a reason: he was a creature of hell, and he¬†reveled¬†in inflicting the most extreme pain as a form of pleasure. Nothing convoluted or hard to understand about that, right? Even Michael Myers reason for existence seems muddied and confused throughout his long tale, but not Pinhead’s. And as he would put it:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKfupO4ZzPs&w=640&h=360%5D

The other reason I like Hellraiser so much is for its use of live special effects. No CGI, no fast cuts, no cutting corners. Everything in Hellraiser is right there for you to see, and it is horrifically imaginative: A woman whose throat is sliced upon and held that way by wire flossed through both her cheeks; a tall and muscular being with no facial features save for twisted skin and a lipless mouth whose teeth ceaselessly chatter; a fat and disgusting creature wearing black glasses whose stomach looks like a victim of circumcision gone wrong. The deaths, while at times over the top and cheesy, were still imaginative, and the special effects did an excellent job of furthering the atmosphere of evil and extreme violence. Throughout its series, I thought Hellraiser managed to retain these qualities.

Will the Collector be able to do this too? I was rather happy with the first movie, and while I’m sort of excited for the sequel, due for release in November 30th this year, I just hope that Dunstan manages to keep his original vision from escaping him. I mean, yes, he was involved with the craptascular Saw franchise of which I loathe, but he was also the co-writer of Feast, which I love to gory little bits. I haven’t seen Feast 2, so I cannot comment on that as far as quality goes. I just hope that the Collector is able to retain some integrity as the horror industry’s “sequelitis” worms its way into the picture.

Halloween is right around the corner kiddies, and it’s my favorite time of year. Expect to hear me talking about spooky things more and more as the clock winds down to October 31st. I’ll probably due a full review on Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, which I’m totally stoked for. I’ll detail the reasons why later, but for now. I’m done. Steam is doing a free-to-play weekend for Saints Row the Third and I wanna know if this game is worth even half of the hype it got when it came out.

By the way, Akumu Love Panic! is at some 2500 words so far! Nearly done, whoo! As for Eikasia? Uhh…wellllll….

I’m working on it. >_<

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I’m behind on updates! Yay!

Akumu Love Panic! readers and Eikasia readers…I’m sorry. I need to take a mental health day. There will be no update until next weekend. If you need reasons why, just check out my recent blog posts.

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