The Cannibal Monster

This is one of the last two areas of the world we are traveling too. So, let’s venture into the deep woods of the Americas to start the beginning of the final countdown!


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WendigoAlgonquian Tribes

Cannibalistic beastly humanoid, possibly once human.

  • This creature is aligned with murder, insatiable, and cultural taboos against “normal” behavior. They’re also associated with the winter, the north, coldness, famine, and starvation.
  • The Wendigo is bigger than a human, and whenever it feeds on human flesh, it grows! It never gains weight and will always appear thin. They’re always hungry so watch out!!
  • There’s also an explanation as to why they may have been human once before turning into the Wendigo. When they were human, they may have been incredibly greedy. Or if the human was in contact with Wendigos for too long, they would become one.
  • Powers include: mimicking human voices, possession, controlling weather, manipulation of darkness (sunset), control of forest creatures, healing, and incredible strength and speed.
  • Believe it or not, there is a psychological disorder called the Wendigo Psychosis. People diagnosed crave human flesh even though they have access to normal food sources.

Proof It Once, Proof It Twice…

…Third times a charm! Right? Right?

Unfortunately, that’s not the case when it comes to editing and proofreading your novel. If you’re trying to save money and doing everything by yourself is your only option, we want to be there for you.

Meaning, we’re going to give you some advice.


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  1. Take some time away. We mean it. You may not be able to do a vacation getaway from your writing, but you could leave the room. That’s like a vacation, right? Leave your writing domain for an extended period of time and take a breather. You deserve it! And plus…if you jump into proofing and editing immediately, you’ll end up critiquing yourself as a writer more so than edit your actual book.
  2. Figure out what you want the process to be likeWhile you’re away from your writing space would be the best time to do this! Mapping out your editing goals will help you focus on what’s important and needs to be done. Don’t let your mind wander!
  3. Sit down.
  4. Make sure you’re reading your book as a strangerAnother important part of taking a break is coming back with a new, fresh perspective. With healthy distractions, you’ll be able to forget (for the most part) what your book was like and when you start to re-read, you’ll think…”What did the author say?…Oh wait, that’s me.” You’ll notice details differently, too.
  5. Get into the reading groove. Maybe you’ll read very slowly, maybe you’ll read it aloud to yourself (or force someone to read it for you…ALEXA.)
  6. Pace in your space because it becomes too much.
  7. Don’t worry! We always see writers attempting to word particular things differently. Don’t worry about that. Sometimes…you just have to use the word ‘said.’ There’s no reason to get fancy. Focus on other bits, not that.

A Brief Guide to Shaping the Next Generation

What lesson do you think kids (we’re talking teens, tweens, and drama machines) these days need subconsciously taught to them? Is it something you remember neglecting when you were a little one yourself and regret wholeheartedly? Or maybe it’s something you were never taught! Writing a YA novel can open a door in a young adult’s mind which will start them on the road to success or down a path of self discovery.

One thing to remember in writing a story for a younger audience is you want to tap into their emotions. This is a time in one’s life where they’re channeling all sorts of feelings: some old, some new. They’re trying to sort things out and maybe, just maybe, your book can assist them along the way.

You know what else teenagers are trying to sort through? The latest trends. You don’t have to be a genius to know this one. You were a teen once, right? Remember how you wanted to go and grab the most popular pair of shoes or learn every word to the number one hit on the radio so you could scream along with your friends and not feel like an outcast? Utilize teen culture to cultivate your world, your characters, and your readers. Don’t rely on trends too heavily though – it’ll make for a bad YA novel. Mainly because you’ll hear in the back of your head, “Mooooooooom!/Daaaaaad!” in a whiny tone to stop trying to be cool. You want to be able to speak to your audience, eye-to-eye, and connect with them.

Speaking of an audience, know who you’re targeting! You should that for any book before you start writing but it’s easy to write a book about young adults rather than for young adults – catch my drift? For example, Stephen King’s IT is about young adults, tweens, whatever…but it’s written for an adult audience. Don’t aim for adults: know how your audience talks (don’t go crazy with slang either, it’s not that important), what they like, what issues they may encounter. You want to be able to relate, not have your reader feel like you’re talking about them to another adult right in front of them.

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Oh, and stereotypes. Tropes. Get rid of them. Or if you’re going to use them, please make the idea original. Please. The future leaders of the world are begging you to.

Antagonizing Antagonists

Purpose. Almost every antagonist has a purpose.

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Are they trying the “take over the world” tactic? What got them to this point? Evil isn’t born from the black; it’s molded and crafted by life’s doing. If you’re writing a classic villain – give them the unique back story to give them epic purpose.

If your story is that of the everyday, then where is the bad guy? Are they standing right next to the main character? Are they in the cubicle next door? Are they after the same goal as the protagonist? The opposition is what gives the antagonist in this scenario purpose.

Here’s another one: your character is going against the government, or any large institution, “1984”-style. Why did this entity grow to be the way it is Why is the protagonist going against it? There shouldn’t be a “pure evil” motive because that means there’s someone behind the whole thing. It starts to blend in with other potential antagonist. Don’t confuse yourself! But there’s always…you guessed it…purpose behind the institution.

A new favorite and trend we see in writing is the internal antagonist. This mostly revolves around characteristics of the character and being held back by these traits. For the first time throughout this piece, purpose is stripped from the “antagonist” and comes to fruition out of some event or comes to light. These become more realistic because it may be an accurate portrayal of life itself.

So…take to the books and get writing your perfect, purposeful antagonist. Alright, we’re done using the ‘p’ word.

Jumping Through Time

A story can include one of two things: flashbacks or skipping to the future. We don’t think recommending the two is a great idea but if executed cohesively…sure! Why not! Let’s discuss.

Sometimes, writing flashbacks can help a story flesh itself out. Readers understand the plot better, the character better, ANYTHING! But what happens when a flashback becomes more than a flash back? Meaning, what happens when a brief moment takes up a whole chapter? Is that acceptable? There isn’t any reason why it shouldn’t be acceptable – other than not being written properly. Make sure flashbacks are quick and easy. They’re meant to be memories triggered by people or items or occurrences surrounding the character or plot. Here’s an idea: it doesn’t necessarily have to be written in the perspective where the character is brought back to a moment in time…but rather, induces a feeling, an image flashed in the character’s thoughts. Something like that.

Skipping ahead in time is also a way to get the story moving along. Readers don’t need all filler details and a story doesn’t deserve that either! A few months can pass in the story in a matter of words, as long as the reader is caught up with the characters and ongoings in their world, what else is needed? Questions should never be left unanswered, too. If they are, there better be good reason for it. Did something happen prior to the time hop that wasn’t resolved during the time not mentioned? Well, it better come full circle because then the reader will not be happy (they’ll scream, “PLOT HOLE, PLOT HOLE!” and write a whole review about how the plot hole ruined the story for them.)

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So, now that we’ve lectured about time and the relationship it has with your story – let’s build a time machine and have some fun!

Mood Rings

We’re not going to talk your ear off about how mood rings are real and they need to be taken more seriously…no, instead, we’re going to talk your ear off about colors and symbolism in your writing.

Using colors to accentuate the mood you’re trying to convey in your scenes may help your form of story-telling improve. It could be your main character can now see surrounding characters’ auras and the auras tell your character how a particular person is feeling. Or quite possibly there are colors within a room to set a mood in which your character is about to enter.

Use this color bar image we found on the great, big internet to give you a start on what sort of colors to use in your writing!

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Head Count

We’ve talked about killing off characters more than once on this blog…but today we’re discussing how many characters you should keep ALIVE to complete your tale.

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First of all, you need your protagonist. Usually there is only one of these but sometimes there are more. It takes a certain type of writer to have more than one protagonist.

Character count: 1

Next up, we have the deuterangonist. Or more commonly known as the sidekick. Let the confusion start here. Limit your sidekick to a single being, or two. To this we say: have fun. They’re very important characters who need to be just as well-crafted as the protagonist. If you’re still getting the hang of writing, stick to one.

Character count: 2

The antagonist becomes our next character to focus on. Don’t be fooled though; the antagonist doesn’t always have to be another person. Your protagonist could have very real inner demons they can’t shake like struggling with mental health, addiction…and so on. This should almost always be a single thing. Think of it as your target that you’ve zeroed in on and need to destroy. Your protagonist would think the same thing.

Character count: 3

Love. If your character finds their love along the way, there’s another character to include on your list. The love interest character could cross over in being a deuterangonist. There’s one less character you have to flesh out!

Character count: 3-4

If your main character is on an epic journey for the books, a mentor is always a plus. Most characters aren’t all-knowing and if they are in your book…well, this is about to get awkward. Keep a mentor down to one…they usually get killed off at some point.

Character count: 4-5

Secondary characters matter, as well. Two of these slightly developed beings in your story would be enough. Your subplots usually revolve around these characters and they contribute to the main plot line with the protagonist.

Character count: 6-7

Last but not least, we have the tertiary characters. These are the characters that aren’t really talked about in great detail but they’re still contributing to the protagonist’s journey the number to this is subject to the kind of story you’re writing.

Then you’ll have flat characters that aren’t too important at all. These are the characters your protagonist comes across in passing.

How many characters do you limit yourself to in your writing? How many do you think is appropriate?

The Bubble Has Burst

We’re talking about the creative bubble bursting. If it has, this may be a bad sign. PSA: this is not okay.

In the situation where your creativity has run dry, we have a few kind words to send your way. Take a step away from your computer, notebooks, or brainstorming station. It’s time for you to recharge your creative energy in hopes of coming back with a bang.

Creative spurts or waves…they come and go. That doesn’t mean you have to exhaust your brain and learn to hate what you once loved.

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Meanings Here and There

A lot of prominent writers (the ones who land traditional pub deals, go on talk shows, get to see their books become films…) tend to write with deep meaning between the lines. A writer can use ways to create meaning behind the face value of the story using symbolism, their protagonist, and general commentary on society outside of the fictional tale.

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Research becomes a writer’s best friend in this scenario. When research is applied to the writing, particularly in the setting, creates meaning for the story as a whole. Knowing where your story will take place will help narrow down symbolism as well. Check out folklore, mythology, any literary history of the country you choose. Even names contain meanings sometimes.

You also have to keep in mind that your subconscious will become more apparent in your writing and the only person who will notice is you.

Re-read your draft and see if you’ve executed the story and given the deeper meanings justice. And if you haven’t, well…what are you waiting for? Get back to it!

Fighting Game For Writers!

We are big advocates for demolishing writer’s block. We’ve talked about a variety of methods, websites, and apps to use against a writer’s worst nightmare. Here is a new one for you: Fighter’s Block.

So, after playing around with the online app for a few levels, I can officially declare this as a fun way to defeat writer’s block. There’s only a select amount of characters you can choose from and there’s only one enemy unlocked but there are little details in the structure and immersion of the game which makes it worthwhile.

Let’s break it down!

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Cute pixel sprites go up against each other in a game that challenges you to write, write, write before your character’s health reaches zero. You start off by choosing your hero (you can choose between Red or Karen, Quin is locked until you reach level 11) and your word goal for that particular level. Once you click fight, the battle has begun.

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You’ll notice the health bar of your character slowly (or quickly) diminishing if you’re not typing. As you write, the character’s health is regenerated and the enemy’s lowers.

To add more flair to your experience, you can customize your fighting background and writing difficulty to challenge yourself. The theme can be changed to different color schemes that can better your playing/writing experience. With the opponent you can easily change its speed and attack which works against you as you’re writing.

Your writing space can also be customized. From font to the display of your text box, this game is perfect for any writer looking for new ways to get back into the swing of things.