The Difference Between Discipline and Stunting Yourself as a Writer

Open Notebook Image on the post "The Difference Between Discipline and Stunting Yourself as a Writer"

When my whole life has revolved around one, one project for more than a month or two, I go into a type of cruise control. I zone out and just go through the same motions every day. I would absolutely kill to write something else, but as a writer I have always heard that if you stop at any point during a large project, you have hang up finishing it. Chances are you’ll never get back to working on your project because you’ll be too busy working on something else.

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First Rejection Letter of 2019

Stack of Rejection Letters

Not many people would be excited about receiving a rejection letter, and I’m thrilled that my work has been rejected. However, I am sure there are plenty of you out there who are also receiving your first rejection letter of 2019. While this isn’t fun, I do want to congratulate everyone who has received a rejection letter this year. Whether it be your first or your 50th, the fact that you submitted at all is a wonderful achievement.

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6 Ways to Make Your Characters Pack an Emotional Punch

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss - The book where the characters made me feel things.

I’m reading a book right now that is making me feel things. This, from a writer’s perspective, is an awesome accomplishment. The author has created characters that make me hurt. As a result, he has put me in scenarios that scare me, all despite it being based in a fantasy world. Even so, it moves me and carries real world weight for me as a reader. How cool is that? I wanted to take a moment and figure out what made this character real to me:

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Coming Back from a Hiatus

How this all started

Stack of Books on "Coming Back from a Hiatus"

I was in my senior year of high school, and I was trying my best to be a writer when being a writer had never been so accessible. Self-publishing was booming, and I wanted to boom right along with it. I read so many blogs, books, and articles on writing and publication. All of them suggested creating and cultivating a social media presence.

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Writing Topics for Creative Writers

Writing Topics - Notepad and Laptop

The struggle of every creative, fiction writer: coming up with new ideas. I constantly fear that the day will come where I have nothing new to write about, and while that is a valid fear, it probably won’t actually happen. There are countless blog posts with writing topics, story-idea-generators, and plenty of new fads that you can craft to fit into your own, unique universe. To help combat this fear, I am here with my own list of writing topics:

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6 Tips and Tricks for Strong Character Development

Strong, Developed Fictional Characters from a Manga

I think you’d be hard-pressed to argue against the idea that characters can make or break a story. In most cases, if not all, they are our guide through a story. More importantly, sometimes the story is their story. Regardless, your characters need to be compelling, or at the very least realistic in some manner. Now, when I say realistic, I don’t mean they have to be human, but they need to have depth. Much like ogres, your characters need to be like onions; they have many layers. Now, “how,” you may ask, “does a character get so onion-like?” Never fear, here are some tips and tricks to consider when developing your little onions… er, characters:

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What I’m Reading: “Gyo,” “Uzumaki,” and “Tomie” by Junji Ito [part 3]

The Junji Ito Special Edition Trio: Gyo, Uzumaki, and Tomie

Warning: There *might* be spoilers ahead.

Tomie
Of the Ito-trio, this was the most… meh, for me. It certainly started with the worst art, though by the end, it was just as beautiful as the art in Uzumaki (my fave). The story also follows a pattern, like Uzumaki. Each chapter follows a structure, and almost always ends the same, which made this manga boring and predictable for me. This one also took me the longest to finish, which I blame on the lack of diversity in each chapter’s plot. Speaking of plot, let’s go over how this starts.

Tomie begins at a school where a young, female student (that we never see again past the school portion of the story) tells us that her friend Tomie Kawakami was murdered, chopped into pieces, and scattered about the town. Who could do such a thing? Well, Tomie is quite the looker, though her bully attitude leaves much to be desired. She entertains the affection of a particularly jealous boy but maintains an intimate relationship with her teacher. On a field trip, she confesses to her teacher, to get him to marry her, that she is pregnant with his child. The jealous boy overhears, becomes enraged, and goes after the teacher. The teach, on the other hand, becomes enrage, and pushes Tomie off a rocky precipice.

Believing she is dead, the teacher encourages all the male students to remove their uniforms and help chop her into pieces. They all comply while the girls watch in horror. Much to their surprise, Tomie is still alive, but the teacher has already started, and he won’t stop. Hesitantly, the other boys follow.

Once she is separated into pieces (and the teacher perversely confirms the pregnancy was a lie), everyone takes a piece of her and hides it. With the deed done and the murder unsolved, life goes on… including for Tomie. Soon after she is brutally murdered, she returns to school, acting as if nothing has happened. From there, she guilts her murderers to turn themselves in, kill themselves in various ways, commit themselves to mental hospitals, or encourages them to kill her again in places and situations where they will be caught.

The story starts off as ghostly, revenge narrative, but quickly devolves into something much less interesting. Tomie goes from getting revenge on her killers to just ruining the lives of strangers. Of course, some people deserve the Tomie curse for various reasons, but there are some that are just randomly cursed by Tomie. When Tomie is the reanimated victim, despite her garbage personality, I am still rooting for her. Yas queen, slay your killers (literally). Once she started hurting the lives of strangers, she was more of an annoying catalyst for the various plots.

In a lot of ways, Tomie’s role becomes more figurative. She becomes a representation of various sins, vices, and obsessions. There is a story involving Tomie being dissolved in alcohol. It is quite clear Tomie represents or is the catalyst for alcoholism as the men find themselves unable to keep themselves from drinking the alcohol.

One thing I was happy to see, though, was that the way the original Tomie died made a constant occurrence throughout each story. It was a nice reminder of the ghost-revenge narrative from the beginning, and it really helped tie all the stories together in a morbid way. Men are uncontrollably drawn to Tomie. They become so enamored with her beauty that they, quite literally, want to cut her to pieces, only to find she can regenerate and multiply as a result. I found this super clever since the men were the only ones who took part in tearing her apart. Thankfully, the women aren’t spared either, but are usually tortured because of the men in their lives being tortured.

Overall, Tomie was super fun in the beginning, dragged in the middle, and left me kinda unsatisfied at the end. Still would recommend for any Junji Ito fan, because I can see elements of his other works, but I probably would not recommend this to every horror/body-horror manga fan.

Thanks so much for reading! Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Comment below, and let me know! Want to know what I am reading next? Join the book club: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/565422-lissywrites-book-club

Lissy