Following Oracular #1: An Introduction

Hey, all!  Ereinne here!  I bet you all missed me so much.  Come here so I can give you all a hug!

Tiri groans.  “Nobody wants to hug you, Ereinne.”

Shush, you.  Nobody wants to hug you when you talk so rudely to them.


My story is Oracular.  Some of you know this.  Some of you also know that this was the novel that Morgan wrote for NaNoWriMo 2014, and then spent most of 2015 editing.

As Morgan so nicely put it recently, our story sucks and is completely and utterly broken.  (Her words, not mine.  I vehemently disagree, of course, and am of the mind that the story is brilliant.)

“Right,” Kalvias says.  “Because you think everything is brilliant.”

“Either that, or she likes disagreeing with Morgan,” Cimizelle says, rolling her eyes.

You both are as bad as Tiri.

Anyhow, the point is, the story is being built back up from the very bottom, so that soon, Morgan can properly edit it and make it so shiny perfect that…that…

“Don’t bother making metaphors,” Tiri says.  “You’re no good at them.”

Ereinne glares at her.

Nobody here is cooperating with me very well, and this post is not easy to write.  I’ll just try to get through it quickly and hope if I talk fast enough, Tiri won’t be able to interrupt me.

Tiri rolls her eyes.

We’re staring a series of blog posts following the re-development of Oracular.  Mostly, it’ll be about us characters and about the world we live in, and somewhat, it’ll be about the plot.  Occasionally, there might be a post or two complaining about how Morgan procrastinates too much, but otherwise, that’s what we’ve got.  So ta-da!

So this is a short post, but we just wanted to let y’all know about this!  For our next post, we’ll introduce you to the concept of the story, and a little about us, the characters, and what roles we play.

Hello…? Anyone Home?

 

Um, hi.  I’m…Ceveth.

So…today is November 21st (though I don’t think you’ll see this until the 22nd), and things…didn’t quite go as planned.  As far as NaNoWriMo, I mean.

Screen Shot 2016-11-21 at 10.07.08 PM.png

As you can see, Morgan didn’t exactly write this week.  Percy (whom you met in the very last blog post, I think), the protagonist of the novel, was having trouble finding his voice and… Well, basically, the long story short is that here at Studies in Character, NaNoWriMo is…kind of done.

I’m sure most of you get that, especially with Morgan being a college student and all.

So what’s happening instead?

The usual stuff, mostly.  Mine and my siblings’ story gets the main focus again.  (We’re part of the Cyberspace story.)  And at the same time, there’s been slow progress made towards the Oracular story.  In fact, Morgan drew the beginnings of a map.

WallMap.png

So what about with the blog?  There have been no posts for a month.

No, of course not.  We’re still here, and hopefully, we’ll be more apparent over December and the holidays.  There will not be a Character Studies this month, but we should be back on schedule next month!

So how’s the writing and/or NaNoWriMo going for everyone else?

Character Studies (October)—Costumes! Ish!

Character studies is a monthly interview (often broken into several parts).  For more info, see here.

CS1a.pngInterested in participating?  Copy/paste the following questions, pick a character to answer them, and then share the link back here so we can go check it out!


So Kellyn suggested we have a Character Studies where one character answers questions about another.  First off, that’s an awesome idea, and second off, it’s perfect for October!  While all (or some) of our authors are dressing up for Halloween, we’ll dress up as our fellow characters!

So it’ll basically work like the normal Character Studies, except you, the character, will pretend to be one of your fellow characters, and answer the questions how you think they would, rather than how you would.

This month we’re intentionally only doing one set of questions (unlike last month’s accidental one-set), but we’ll hopefully also get some other cool posts up, so you might not even notice there’ll be no part two!


  1. First off, who are you and who are you pretending to be?  What’s your relationship to the person you’re pretending to be, and why would you (or your author) pick them?
  2. What’s your fashion sense?  (Or, if you want, what do you/your “costume” look like?)
  3. Trick or treat?
  4. What’s your opinion of yourself? (Interpret this question how you will.)
  5. Best thing about you?  Worst thing about you?
  6. You look in the mirror, and it’s mocking you.  What is it saying?
  7. Kittens or puppies?
  8. Coffee or tea?
  9. If you had to pretend to be this person for a whole week, what would you do?
  10. Bonus: Best cake flavor?

Beautiful Books: “Aesthetic”, This Year’s NaNoWriMo Novel

Note: A little bit in this post, but mostly in future posts, we’ll be playing with the post formats a little.  So don’t be alarmed if anything seems bizarre or different or if there’s a little bit of “Morgan, are you sure you slept last night? Because I’m not sure you did”.  We’re just experimenting, trying to find something more interesting and fun, so anything you see isn’t a guarantee, and we’ll happily listen to any feedback you may have.


“Kivessa here, hi.  Beautiful People this month has a focus on, instead of a character, a book, which makes it quite nice to use for NaNoWriMo.  So today, you get to see a brand-new character you’ve never met—the protagonist of this year’s NaNoWriMo novel.

“Without further ado, here’s Percy Arrington.”


Hi, I’m Percival—Per—er, Percy, the, um, p—protagonist in this year’s Nn…NaNoWriMo novel.

I guess you knew that.  This is a little odd.

Kivessa interrupts Percy’s awkward stuttering. “Don’t worry, Percy.  The author-lingo gets easier the more you use it.”

I see.

What inspired the idea for this novel, and how long have you (er, your author) had the idea?

Well, I don’t know a d—date, but it has been a while since Morgan had the idea for my novel.  I do know that she put the story together using several images and writing prompts she found on P—Pinterest.  She found a d—dozen or so, and found a connection between them all that resulted in my story.

This image is what actually inspired my character:

Describe what your novel is about!

Um…

In a world of black and white, he grew up in color.  Almost since birth, Percy Arrington has had the unique ability to draw in colors no one has seen before, especially for a world where color is only seen when linked with emotion.  He’s become a celebrity, the single most famous artist alive, and still at the young age of nineteen.

When Percy decides he’s tired of living under his parents’ watchful, even tyrannical thumbs, he attempts to strike it out on his own.  His parents are unwilling to let go of him, and the media follows him.  He ends up near-penniless with only one skill he can call his own—painting.  No life survival skills to speak of.

As if this isn’t bad enough, Percy starts to find odd drawings—childlike doodles that are eerily similar to a few of his own childhood drawings.  He dismisses them, but the drawings appear again and again—until he starts to get the sensation that they’re followinghim.  But how could drawings be following him?

“That’s the summary?” Dazant asks, raising an eyebrow.

“Nobody ever accused Morgan of being good at writing book blurbs, that’s for sure,” Kivessa says.  “She doesn’t even mention any real conflict!”

Percy seems to be blushing.

W—well, there’s not so much a—any plot yet.

“Typical of Morgan,” Dazant mutters.

What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!

The closest the story has to an aesthetic at the moment is its Pinterest board, which…is lacking.

https://www.pinterest.com/duskydragons/aesthetic/

Introduce us to each of your characters!

There’s…me, and J—Jolana and Saidra.

You already know my name, and sort of a little about me.  I’m an artist.  Jolana is a girl living in the apartment above me, and Saidra is her roommate.  Saidra’s quiet, always reading a book, and I s—suppose Jolana is quiet, too, in a way; she likes to talk mostly when she has something to say.

I’m not very good at talking about other people.

How does [the author] prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)

I…don’t know.  I’m still not sure how this…breaking the fourth wall…thing works.

”I know this,” Kivessa says, peeking in over Percy’s shoulder.  “Morgan in fact does hoard chocolate.  She never researches—we scold her for this on a regular basis—and she doesn’t so much outline as babble incessantly to her writing buddies.”

What are you most looking forward to about this novel?

Not really anything?  I don’t know.

Possibly drawing something, or maybe meeting J—Jolana.

List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

It’s a variation of modern-day Earth, with a few alterations.  As far as most people are concerned, it’s a low-magic world, with the exception of myself.  What you all call synesthesia is very common on my world.

Most people (meaning everyone but me, as far as I know) see things in black and white, until they feel some kind of emotion, and then it sort of sparks a little color in their vision.

I’m not sure if that’s three things, but that’s the extent of the world-building so far.

What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?

My goal is to be m—myself, and destroy the perfect mask I was forced to wear for so many years.  Everything that made me create it in the first place stands in my way.

That sounds cheesy.

Ceveth snickers in the background; Kivessa rolls her eyes and says, “Authors like cheesy things.  Ours does, anyway.”

My goal is to figure out who I’m supposed to be, I guess.

How does the protagonist change by the end of the novel?

I…hope I reach my goal?  But there’s also… Jolana… and… well.  Things change because of her.

Ereinne, who’s supposed to be staying out of this blog post, jumps in, flailing and squealing something about a ship.  Percy looks very concerned, and Kivessa leans over, whispering, “Don’t ask, don’t encourage her, don’t say anything at all.

What are the book’s themes? How are the readers theoretically going to feel when the story is over?

Well, there seems to be a theme of exploration and adventure?  Theoretically, I don’t know, some kind of satisfaction, I h—hope. 


Kivessa eyes the post over, frowning her little frown.  “Percy,” she says, “you didn’t give much information, you know.  You didn’t even mention that your drawings talk to you.”

Percy’s face is decidedly pinker than normal.  “I—I don’t like to talk about th—that.”

“You also didn’t tell anybody what you or the two girls look like.”  Kivessa pauses.  “Wait, Morgan hasn’t even figured out what you look like, has she?”

“Not yet.”

Kivessa sighs.  “She’ll get to that, I promise.”

Boring Update Stuff

This post is a little weird to write from the perspective of a character, so today, you get to actually see me, Morgan.

There’s going to be changes around both my blogging style and the way I am present in the blogosphere.  Most of these changes I’m not happy with, but they are, unfortunately, necessary.

This is a longer post than I intended, so sorry for that, but if you want to skim, I tried to bold the important bits.

In the blogosphere:

First off, I won’t be able to read all of the posts that appear in my Reader feed.  The thing is, I love reading all the posts that show up, but there’s so many of them, I often procrastinate until I “will have time to do them all”, and then by that point, there’s so many, I can’t even remember how far back to go, nor do I actually have the time to do so.  (When I tried to look at it earlier this evening, I realized I hadn’t been caught up on anything since the beginning of last month.  That’s pretty sad.)

I’ll still be here, I just won’t read or comment on every post.  I’ll still read some, though, I promise, and if I read the post, I will do my best to also comment.  If there’s a post you really want me to comment on, just let me know, and I will happily do so.

On comments on the blog:

That being said, I will still do my very best to respond to every single comment that’s on my blog.  (Or, rather, my characters will attempt to respond.)  If you don’t get a response, then either A. I didn’t see the comment somehow, B. I commented in my head and forgot to actually post the comment thing, in which case, just let me know and I’ll rectify it, C. a comment didn’t seem necessary or I couldn’t think of anything to say.

Also, regarding HTML within comments.  As you know, currently when a character responds to a comment, they say something within brackets that are colored with the corresponding color, as dictated by the chart on the sidebar.  However, the color often doesn’t show up if you look at the post a certain way, and honestly, putting the HTML in is time-consuming.

So, instead, in comments only, characters will have their name before their actual comment.  This won’t be the case in the actual blog posts; those will continue to remain in brackets.  However, comments will now look something like this:

Ereinne: Hi!

For blog-ish stuff:

Now we get down to the formatting of the blog and my blogging style.  I love using my characters’ voices, although I admit it is often hard to pull off, especially in certain scenarios.  As you may have noticed, it’s very difficult to balance a cast of ten, and so you often see some characters a lot, and others very little.

The characters come from two different projects, Oracular and Sleeping in Cyberspace.  The former is an old project that I am actually planning to shelve for a while and come back to later, when life is less hectic (well, if such a thing exists) and I have a better mindset to tackle the problems that this particular project has.  Cyberspace, on the other hand, is my current WIP.

Why am I telling you this?  I am going to limit the appearances of the cast of Oracular, and focus instead on the three characters from Sleeping in Cyberspace. That is, expect to see more of Kivessa, Dazant, and Ceveth, and less of…everybody else.

Does that mean they’re gone?  Absolutely not.  Ereinne will still probably do her best to introduce as many posts as possible, Tiri will still make contrary comments, and so on and so forth.  But it will happen admittedly less often.

Is this permanent?  No, and it might not even last long.  Maybe in a month or two, I’ll post again, saying that the reverse has happened, and you’ll see…more Ereinne or something.

You may also see “guests”—that is, small appearances from other projects, such as from my NaNoWriMo novel.  I can’t guarantee if/when/how often those will happen; that’s sort of to be determined as it happens.

Blog posts might not be that consistent.  Although anybody who’s followed the blog has probably already gotten that idea.  I’m a full-time college student, and blog posts take a while to write.

I will still be writing Character Studies.  Of them all, these are the easiest and sometimes the most fun to write; plus they seem to be my most popular posts, so don’t worry, those will still be around.  (And also, we have something planned for this month that I think’ll be extra fun.)


Recap, in case you skipped to the end: I’m officially going to be seen less often, both on my blog and on other blogs, but I promise I’m not disappearing.  Meanwhile, the formatting of comments is going to be slightly different, for your convenience, and you will see some characters post less often.

A Note on September’s Character Studies

Ereinne here, of course.  This is pretty late in saying, so many of you probably guessed this, but for those of you who didn’t or who were hoping, here it is, officially.

So Morgan is a terrible person (and I can say that, because she’s my author) and didn’t figure out the questions to the second part of September’s Character Studies.  Seeing as September’s almost over, she’s not going to get to it in time.  She says it’s because she’s a busy, full-time college student, but I think she just procrastinates too much.

So there will be no second post this month.  It’s very sad, I know, and so I’m going to (unofficially) say that if you want the full twenty questions, by all means, you are allowed to add your own!  If you don’t want to, then here’s part one.

In other news, we have three months left of the year, which means three more themes!  So if you have any requests for a theme, now’s the time to share them!  What kind of questions/themes do you want to see in the next three months?

Coloring Your Descriptions (Bring Your Own Markers)

Something is different.M.png

You aren’t sure what, exactly, but something is definitely odd.  You peer around you, trying to place it. Everything looks how you remembered.  The sand is cool beneath your feet—wait, didn’t you have shoes a moment ago?—and you curl your feet around the miniature sand dunes.

The sun—no, there is no sun. A moon.  Three moons?  They’re bright, and if you hadn’t looked at the sky and spotted how many stars there are, you might have just assumed it was that twilight phase, between day and night.  But it appears to be night.

There’s a girl.  She’s standing nearer the shore, although you realize when you see the waves that you had no idea there was a beach here.  Silly. Why else would it be so sandy and cool?

The girl looks up, and when she spots you, her face lights up and she gathers up her skirt so she won’t trip over it as she runs towards you.  She’s barefoot, too.  Her dress looks like the sun—yellow and orange and too bright to look at it. It’s out of place, here in the moonlight.

“You made it!” she says.  “Doesn’t this look amazing like this?” She pauses. “I’m Ereinne.”

Oh. The loud one who talks too much.  You start to get a faint idea of what’s going on.

“We’re trying something different,” Ereinne says, already starting to babble.

Looking at her involves looking at her dress, which kind of makes your eyes ache.  You look at the ocean, instead.  The waves pull themselves up onto the beach, and release—again and again. Pull. Release. Pull. Release.

Soothing, actually.  You’re too far away to get your feet wet, so you just watch the water.

You realize Ereinne is still talking. Something about blog posts and trying something new and lots of fun.  Finally, she stops and looks at you—you can tell from the peripheral, because you still don’t want to look at her dress—and cheerfully says, “You’re stuck with me for this entire post.”

Honestly, you aren’t sure if you’re groaning or smiling.

“Well,” you say at last. “What are you showing me?”

“Description!” Ereinne cries, bouncing on her toes. How does someone even do that in the sand?  “You already noticed the beach, so let’s describe people.”

She bounces in front of you. Her dress glares at you. Your eyes sting.  “You see my dress?”

Well, yeah. How could you not?

When describing someone, describe them how you would notice them,” Ereinne says. “So my dress is the first thing you notice. But what do you notice next?”

Notice next! This dress was going to make you go blind!

Determined to not wander into the depths of blindness, you lift your face.  Ereinne has ringlets of dark brown hair framing her face—obviously styled.  Otherwise, the most noticeable thing is how startlingly blue her eyes are in her round face.

She nods, looking satisfied.

“See?” she asks.  “You just describe what’s noticeable, and don’t worry about describing everything. You didn’t need to describe that I’m average height, or that I have very nice ears.” She brushes her hair back to reveal an ordinary-looking ear.  “You also can describe extra details through action later on, but don’t bog us down with details!”

Or info-dump us with dialogue, you think dryly.

“So that’s how you describe people,” Ereinne says, still with the same cheerful tone you’re starting to think is her normal voice. “Now your surroundings!”

Rain clouds appear in the sky.  They look stormy, although it’s hard to tell—maybe they’re just dark because it’s nighttime.  The rain starts as a sprinkle, but slowly grows harder.   The lightning—

“Whoa, whoa, WHOA,” Ereinne interrupts.  “What are you doing?

You stare at her blankly.  You were…describing the rain clouds?

“No, no, no,” she says with an exaggerated head-shake.  “Firstly, never just describe something how it looks.”

Well…how else are you supposed to describe it?  Okay, you do know that you’re supposed to use all five senses when you describe something, but you don’t think you were doing that bad.

Ereinne keeps shaking her head.  “When you describe something, use all five senses—but also describe how it makes you feel.  Your emotions and feelings don’t just stop because you’re looking at something.”

Okay, fair enough.  You nod.

“You know what also doesn’t stop?” she asks.  You have no idea, so you wait for her to continue.  “The action,” she says.  “You think that you’ll just hold still while the author describes it?”  She snorts, as if this is the most ridiculous thing she’s ever heard.  Try to mix the description in with the action, so the story doesn’t seem to just ‘pause’.  Now, you wanna try again?”

You shrug.

The rain clouds from before roll backwards in the sky, as if the weather is being rewound.  You stare at it a little wonderingly, and then—

Storm clouds blow in out of nowhere.  Abruptly, the air is heavy and agitated—staticky, even.  You can almost feel it rubbing against your skin uncomfortably.  The clouds obscure first one moon, then the other two, shrouding the beach in darkness.

You frantically search the beach for some kind of shelter, but it’s too dark to see.  What should you do?

The thunder catches you off guard, and you startle at the sound.  Ereinne yells something at you, but her voice is drowned out by the sound.

Behind you, the sky lights up with lightning.  You try to remember—what should you do when you’re caught out in a lightning storm?  Hide under a tree?  No, no, not that…

You start running down the beach.  No way are you just going to stand there and wait for the lightning to strike you.  When the rain starts falling, in heavy drops that sting a little when they hit your skin, you’re hardly surprised.  You are quickly soaked.

There is no shelter on this beach, anywhere.  What in the world are you supposed to do—

The weather freezes.  You stop, startled all over again, and look around you.  A lightning bolt is frozen in the sky, halfway through jumping from one cloud to another, and the raindrops are just hanging in the air around you, as if waiting for permission to continue falling.

You gawk.

“Wasn’t that so much more awesome?” says a voice behind you.  You turn, and there’s Ereinne.  She’s as sopping wet as you, but her grin is as bright as her dress.  “See, there was action and emotion and—okay, we did make it a really extreme storm, but you have to admit, it was awesome.

You just stare at her, and when you gather your words, you only have one question.  “What did you do to the rain?”

She waves her hand dismissively.  “Oh, I just paused it.”

“You—you paused the rain?

“It’s a blog post.  I can do whatever I want.  It’s not like I don’t break the fourth wall all the time.”

You continue to gawk.  She continues to smile widely.

“Well!” she says after a pause.  “That’s the end of this blog post.  I hope you enjoyed it!”