Writing Up Wednesday #1: Which Character is Your Favorite?

Today I discovered a new writing meme created by Lizzy @ The Bent Bookworm. Every week, there will be a theme for Writing Up Wednesday that highlights an aspect of your current writing project, and a link-up below Lizzy’s post where you can share your responses. The theme for this week is favorite characters, and you can click here to see Lizzy’s post.


Nico Deverow is my absolute most favorite character out of the “shaman novel” that I am currently editing/might as well be rewriting from scratch. His family holds one of the highest seats on the royal council, which basically means they rule the world. The Deverows are ruthless. They made their fortune in blood money, and they’ll kill if they have to in order to keep their power and status. But Nico doesn’t exactly fit into that picture… He can’t conform to the system of “academic magic” the council has created, and therefore he is “a disgrace to his royal blood.” On top of that, he has his own gift/curse to contend with! He can see auras, the spirits of the restless dead, the residual imprints of meaningful events, and pick up on the emotions around him. And… No one can ever know about any of this because those are shaman powers, and a Deverow having shaman powers would put his family’s precious reputation at risk. Nico learns to lock all his powers and true feelings inside, only showing the world the heir to the royal seat that they expect to see. He doesn’t trust anyone, and no one trusts him. His mask is flawless while really he’s shattering. He turns to a magical drug called Bliss and self harm as a way to escape it all. But eventually he finds some allies, and by the end of the book, he’ll be well on his way to becoming a true shaman.
Here’s a little scenario from Nico’s daily life: You enter a crowded room where a violent murder took place twenty years ago. Your gaze is immediately drawn to the translucent scene of the murder being played over and over again. You watch the knife flash in the moonlight that drifted through the window the night it happened, witness the woman’s silent screams, and watch as the blood stains the marble tiles. You know that this has happened hundreds of times in this room, and that if you allow yourself to get lost in the scene, you will witness other deaths that were never spoken of. You look away from the scene, blinking as colors swirl around you, fading from black, to white, to gray, to green, to purple as auras touch and move apart. It makes you dizzy. Everyone’s emotions stab at you like knives. You want to float again, but you can’t, not now, not here, not yet… You have to get through the gathering first-act royal, act normal, pretend you belong with this crowd that cares for nothing and no one but power.

Share Your Opinion?

Got any thoughts, (good, bad, or bloodstained), that you’d like to leave in the comments? Just kidding! Please don’t leave me any bloodstained thoughts! That got pretty dark, but Nico is a dark character. He actually came to be before any of the plot was formed, which means I worked the plot around him and his family, which means the whole book is kinda dark… Anyway… I’d love to hear about some of your characters, so feel free to drop your links in the comments if you do this! Also, don’t forget to check out the link-up on Lizzy’s post because there are lots of awesome writers out there!

The Playlist Shuffle Tag

Hey! So… I got to messing with some code, and somehow I accidentally deleted all my scheduled posts, and I am in the process of getting them back, but until than I bring you this random tag that nobody tagged me for! I won’t tag anybody specific since I wasn’t actually tagged, but if you wanna do it, you literally just shuffle your music library of choice, post the first fifteen songs, (NO SKIPPING), and write your favorite verse. I’m just gonna shuffle now before I write another run-on sentence! This should be interesting because my music library is pretty… eclectic.

  1. Demi Lovato – Heart Attack

So I’m…
Puttin’ my defenses up
‘Cause I don’t wanna fall in love
If I ever did that
I think I’d have a heart attack

If you’ve kept up with me for a little while, you know that I match my main characters with theme songs, and this is the song for Vivien Deverow!

  1. Reiki Tribe – To The Heart

    This is instrumental but SO relaxing….

  2. Kellie Pickler – Tough

I wanted lace, I wanted pearls, to be a princess like
The other girls.
But life came hard, to my front door.
And I grew up trying
To even out the score.

  1. Demi Lovato – Warrior

Now I’m a warrior
Now I’ve got thicker skin
I’m a warrior
I’m stronger than I’ve ever been
And my armor, is made of steel, you can’t get in
I’m a warrior
And you can never hurt me again

  1. Lady Antebellum – Down south

I was born I was blessed
Right place, right time I guess
Ain’t no good reason why I left
Except to run and roam
Would you take me back and take me in
Let me be your child again
Kiss my cheek forgive my sins
And let me call you home

  1. Reiki Tribe – Sleep Therapy and Relaxation

Pretty flute music…

  1. The Band Perry – Independence

Patient anticipation
Up till now I’ve been hurry up and waiting
At a bus stop in independence licking an ice cream cone
I’ve been kicking I’ve been scheming
This is as close as I’ve ever been to leaving
Five blocks away, a stone’s throw from home
But I’m as good as gone
I gotta get gone, gone, gone
Shooting like a gun, a gun, a gun
Skipping like a stone, stone, stone
Far as I can run to where freedom is free
There’s a road like a long gray ribbon far as I can see
And it’s pulling independence out of me

  1. Selena Gomez – Kill Em With Kindness

The world can be a nasty place
You know it, I know it, yeah
We don’t have to fall from grace
Put down the weapons you fight with
And kill ’em with kindness

  1. Dean Evenson & Li Xiangting – Green Quiet Mountain

This whole album can take me straight to my happy place.

  1. Walk Off The Earth – Rule The World

They say no way, oh, I say I’ll rule the world
Ain’t afraid of the walls, I’m a break ’em down
They stay the same, oh, I’m feelin’ high as a bird
Ain’t afraid of the ground, I’m a stay up
I say yeah yeah yeah, they say no no no
They say slow slow slow, I say go go go
They say no way, oh, I say I’ll rule the world
I say I rule the world

  1. Lorde – Royals

This whole song kind of carries the theme of my story because my world is ran by a bunch of power-hungry royals, and these kids are forced into the royal life when they really do not belong there.

  1. Imagine Dragons – Demons

When the days are cold
And the cards all fold
And the saints we see
Are all made of gold
When your dreams all fail
And the ones we hail
Are the worst of all
And the blood’s run stale

And this one’s also on my writing playlist! I promise I did not arrange this!

  1. Cassadee Pope – I Am Invincible

I’m invincible
I’m unbreakable
I’m a diamond cut to last
I’m unstoppable
I’m a hero
Like a phoenix from the ash

  1. Miranda Lambert – Roots & Wings

I got red dirt stains
On my boots and jeans
Calloused fingers
From my guitar strings
Wild like the wind
In the tall pine trees
I got roots
And I got wings

  1. Twenty One Pilots – Heathens

We don’t deal with outsiders very well
They say newcomers have a certain smell
You have trust issues, not to mention
They say they can smell your intentions

This is possibly the creepiest song I have ever heard, but it’s on my iPod because it gets me in the mood to write those really dark scenes! insert dagger and pen emoji here

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow (Spoiler free!)

Girl In Pieces
“Everyone has that moment I think, the moment when something so momentous happens that it rips your very being into small pieces. And then you have to stop. For a long time, you gather your pieces. And it takes such a very long time, not to fit them back together, but to assemble them in a new way, not necessarily a better way. More, a way you can live with until you know for certain that this piece should go there, and that one there.”
― Kathleen Glasgow, Girl in Pieces

Title: Girl in Pieces
Author: Kathleen Glasgow
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 416
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Published: August 30, 2016

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.
Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.
A deeply moving portrait of a teenage girl on the verge of losing herself and the journey she must take to survive in her own skin, Kathleen Glasgow’s debut is heartbreakingly real and unflinchingly honest. It’s a story you won’t be able to look away from.

My Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
This is going to be one of those reviews where my words simply cannot convey how beautiful and heartbreaking the story really is. Sometimes you just have to read things yourself to understand the full scope of the words, but I’ll try my best!
Girl in Pieces was NOT an easy read for me. It took a long time for me to finish, but it wasn’t because of any fault in the writing. It is a very… I’m going to call it “heavy” read that deals with a lot of rough situations and difficult subjects. I am not typically one to read such, so I was a little out of my element. I originally picked up the book because I saw lots of really amazing reviews floating around youTube, and I am addressing some of the same mental health factors in my own work in progress. I thought it would help me out with research for my story to read from a character’s perspective who had those issues, but I really didn’t expect to get sucked into the story like I did!
The entire book is narrated in first person by Charlie Davis, a 17 year old girl who has gone through more than anybody should ever have to go through in a lifetime. Her father committed suicide, her best friend committed suicide, her mother abused her physically and emotionally, and the only source of comfort she came to know was her “tender kit,” a box containing the pieces of a broken mason jar and everything she needed to patch up her own cuts. She wrote her pain on her own body; every physical scar came to represent a much deeper internal scar that no one but herself could see. She shut the world out, built up a wall, refused to let even herself in sometimes.
Charlie’s story unfolded over three parts, each part revealing another layer of character growth. The beginning is rough, choppy, and somewhat disjointed, but it wouldn’t have been true to Charlie’s character to do it any other way. Charlie isn’t a character that anyone can just instantly connect with; you have to understand her first. The middle was smoother, but had a bit of a lost quality to it. Charlie was on her own, completely alone, and didn’t have any idea how to find her place in the world. She relapsed into old ways, fought her way back to the light, got caught up into toxic situations like she had before, and fell into the darkest point of the whole story as a result. The third part came full circle. Charlie found friends, came out of the silence again, and found a place where she belonged. The writing of the final part has an almost lyrical quality to it, and it gives a sense of hope and strength for Charlie’s future.
After finishing that last page, I feel like I understand self-harm and PTSD in a way I didn’t before. It’s one thing to read out of my psychology text book, perform extensive Google searches, and watch more youTube videos than is probably necessary or healthy, but another thing entirely to read something shown through the mind of a character with a particular disorder. Like I said before, this isn’t something I would normally read. I’ll almost always pick fairies and rainbows and witches trying to kill people over a YA contemporary, but something drew me to this book because I am trying to incorporate some of the same issues into my novel with a fantasy twist. It is definitely on the darker and heavier side for a young adult novel, but I realize now that it’s important for stories like this to exist because people are in all kinds of situations. As terrible as it is, there are a LOT of teenagers in situations like Charlie’s. I actually Googled the exact statistics because of my psych nerd tendencies, but I didn’t write them down, so I’ll spare you.
Throughout the book there is a strong theme of letting your voice be heard, of letting your story be known, and at the end of the book, Charlie is ready for the world to know her story and hear her words. It stresses the need to find an outlet for emotions, be it writing, or drawing, or music. In a way, I think that writing is an outlet for authors to share their own stories with the world. Even if they create their own fantastical world from scratch, it’s still going to hold a part of them in it because it came out of their brain. I somehow managed to not cry while I was reading Girl in Pieces, but that author’s note almost did me in. You’ll understand more if you actually read it, but it is clear that Charlie Davis and her story is Kathleen Glasgow’s way of sharing part of her own story in order to make an impact. It’s books like this one that really get the message across more than any news article ever could.

Conclusions:
Girl in Pieces is NOT for the faint of heart. There’s a lot of blood and drugs and alcohol involved, and some harsh language. Don’t read it if you’re gonna have a problem with that, (I am warning you now!)
■This is a book that is going to make you think about some rough stuff. If you don’t wanna think, go read something with unicorns and rainbows!
■It’s a little hard to read in some places because the writing is a little choppy, but it wouldn’t be true to character otherwise.
■The ending is beautiful, and I know it will give somebody hope.
■The whole theme of the book is to let your words be heard and your story be known. Charlie made her story known by the end of it, and I know her story will help a lot of people understand those like her.
■This book is amazing, and it gets a five star rating!

Share your thoughts?
Have you, or are you planning to read Girl in Pieces? Tell me what you think of the book, (or my rambling review), in the comments or on Twitter @Cheyenne_writes!

The Music Tag

Hi Guys! I ran across this tag on Word Wonders, and while it doesn’t exactly pertain to writing, I am going to post it because music tends to inspire a lot of what I write, especially the personalities of my characters. 

 

The Rules 

*Link the blogger who tagged you. 

*Pick the first ten songs that come on shuffle, (no skipping!) 

*Write your favorite lyric/verse from each song. 

*Tag other bloggers. 

 

My Songs 

  1. Run Daddy Run” (from the Hunger Games soundtrack), by Miranda Lambert and the pistol Annies 

“Momma’s been crying  in the kitchen, 

Sister’s been afraid of the dark, 

And I’ve been gathering the pieces, 

Of all these shattered hearts.” 

This song, and these lyrics especially, have been greatly influencing one of the characters in my current WIP. I listen to it every time I sit down to start writing from Diana’s perspective. 

  1. Eyes Open (also from the Hunger Games soundtrack), by Taylor swift 

Everybody’s waiting for you to break down
Everybody’s watching to see the fallout
Even when you’re sleeping, sleeping
Keep your ey-eyes open” 

Again, this pertains a lot to my current story because every body’s kind of out to get everybody else in my story world right now, and if my characters don’t watch their backs, they might end up with their throats being cut by a corrupted shaman lady. 

3. Let Your Tears Fall by Kelly Clarkson 

It’s not a crime to fall apart sometimes
It’s not a crime to ask why to ask why, you cry
Let your tears fall
Let your tears fall” 

4. Just A Dream by Carrie Underwood 

“Baby why’d you leave me

Why’d you have to go?
I was counting on forever, now I’ll never know
I can’t even breathe
It’s like I’m looking from a distance
Standing in the background
Everybody’s saying, he’s not coming home now
This can’t be happening to me
This is just a dream” 

5. No Cure For Crazy by Kellie Pickler 

“Now I ain’t prim and proper

No country clubbing, champagne popper
Dropping names, sipping Sonoma wine 

I’ll be barefoot on the bar
White lightning buzz from a mason jar
Chasing my whiskey with a damn good time 

Well there ain’t no cure for crazy
I ain’t sorry baby
Wheels fell off of my trailer
Daddy taught me how to curse like a sailor 

I’m an all-night, long neck, train wreck
Two queens short of a full deck
Good luck trying to save me
There ain’t no cure, no cure for crazy” 

6. Brave by Sara Bareilles 

“Everybody’s been stared down by the enemy

Fallen for the fear
And done some disappearing,
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, just stop holding your tongue 

Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is” 

7. Dirt Road Prayer by Lauren Alaina 

“And so I go where the green grass grows 

The weeds are high and the sun hangs low
Look to the sky and I say, hello
Like it’s the very first time
It doesn’t matter how long it’s been
I can talk to God like he’s my best friend
Take my heart lay it down again right there
In a dirt road prayer” 

8. Safe & Sound by Taylor Swift 

I remember tears streaming down your face
When I said, “I’ll never let you go”
When all those shadows almost killed your light
I remember you said, “Don’t leave me here alone”
But all that’s dead and gone and passed tonight 

Just close your eyes 

The sun is going down
You’ll be alright
No one can hurt you now
Come morning light
You and I’ll be safe and sound” 

9. I Am Invincible by Cassadee Pope 

Cracks run through these walls, But they still stand strong
Oh heart covered in scars, But my fear is gone
Oh I will fight, I will survive 

I’m invincible
I’m unbreakable
I’m a diamond cut to last
I’m unstoppable
I’m a hero
Like a phoenix from the ash
Oh-ah, oh-ah, oh-ah-ooh
Nothing gonna make me break or shatter
No one’s gonna tell me that I don’t matter, no” 

I absolutely LOVE this song, and now it’s stuck in my head again… It also goes along with the eventual transformation that my story is going to achieve, so that makes it even better! 

10. Fight Song by Rachel Platten 

Like a small boat
On the ocean
Sending big waves
Into motion
Like how a single word
Can make a heart open
I might only have one match
But I can make an explosion 

And all those things I didn’t say
Wrecking balls inside my brain
I will scream them loud tonight
Can you hear my voice this time? 

This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me” 


I Tag 

* Em at Keystrokeblog.com 

* Universenotebook 

* Anyone else who wants to do it.