Category Archives: writing advice

Was Allen Edgar Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death an Apocalyptic Short Story?

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 Albert Goodwin‘s painting Apocalypse (1903)

This coming Monday I will bring back my podcast episodes  with  episode  9 discussing post-apocalyptic fiction  because  my  work in progress novel takes  place in a post post  apocalyptic world  and I will delve  further into the world of  the blue hour  on my next podcast episode.

“The dagger dropped gleaming upon the sable carpet”. From Tales of Mystery and Imagination … Illustrated by Harry Clarke, by Edgar Allan Poe. London : G. G. Harrap & Co., 1919.

I was curious about something and so for today I want to talk a little bit about  one of my   favorite   writers and  inspiration , Allen  Edgar  Poe  and one  of his works  The Masque of the Red  Death. And I will attempt to answer the question , was the Masque of  the Red Death an Apocalyptic  Short Story?

 Let’s first analysis what an apocalyptic story is.

A sub-genre of  science fiction that  deals  with  a world ending  or being  destroyed.  It may  involve trying to stop the impending apocalypse, or  deal with the  fall  out of the apocalypse itself or  it may deal with after  the  event happened and include the existence of pre-catastrophe civilization has been forgotten or mythologized.  Often take place in a non-technological future world, or a world where only scattered elements of society and technology remain.  It  also has the themes of  a pandemic, uses symbolic  language,  prophetic  vision formula, or  a context of oppression, persecution and despair.

A big check  for my  work in  progress. My world was destroyed  twice .(more  to come about that  later on my next podcast)  

Okay but  what about The Masque of the Red  Death is that an apocalyptic  short story?

Let’s delve deeper?

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The Masque of the Red Death was written by Poe and published in 1842 and was  simply put , a tale about  a  personified  plague  that kills a prince who  thought he could  hide himself in  a  castle  to avoid the bubonic plague outside his door.

Front page of The Castle of Otranto, by Horace Walpole (1717-1797)

The prince  literally  invites his friends  to come join  him and he  throws a  ball while the  bubonic  plague  is going on.  That’s crazy.

Now  Poe’s  short story is usually classified as Gothic  Fiction and  was said to be influenced by the first Gothic novel, Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto. And Poe  was said to adopt many  convention of classical  Gothic  fiction.   An example  is  the castle setting  he uses in the story. But  when Poe first published the story   in 1842  he himself  classified  the tale in a tagline as  a fantasy.

But does knowing this one thing that Poe’s story involves the  bubonic plague itself automatically makes it  an apocalyptic tale? The bubonic plague was in fact a pandemic. I’m afraid not  . It simply has elements  of  the apocalyptic genre and most likely a subgenre of horror fiction  .  

If you liked this blog post and you want to see more content involving my work in progress During the Blue Hour Follow , Like , share  . But first  LET’S START A DIALOGUE

Did you ever read the The Masque of the Red  Death ?  

 I  want to know so let me know in the comments  below.

 You can also interact with the podcast on Gab @duringthebluehour

 #writing #writingadvice  #worldbuilding  #AllenEdgarPoe #TheMasqueoftheRed Death #gothicfictiongenre #fantasyfiction  #apocalypticfiction

My top 3 Questions for Creating a Writer’s Pinterest Account

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Image by Photo Mix from Pixabay

You want to know a secret about me? I ‘m not  really keen about social media . I  hate  it.  But  in this day  and age social  media is the king and  the  go to for all  types of business and  everything  else you can  imagine when it comes to marketing  your brand.   So whether  a person  likes to or not  they have  to use  social media to interact   with the world and their audience. 

This is only my opinion  but I feel like  for new writers and authors  it  is a catch 22  situation.  Especially  if you are an independent or freelance writer  like me. Those old days  when the publishers  market  your work for you   has  come and  gone.  Even then  I feel like  that was an old wives tale .  You  still had to market yourself back then too. Today  you’re  only lucky  for  someone to market your book  if  you have  a number 1 bestseller.  So  independent  writers  must  market themselves.  And is  widely known that  you should always try to  grow your  brand or awareness  of who  you are  before your book  comes  out for publication.  That  leaves us with social  media. Like  I said  I’m  not so keen  on using  social media yet  I’m using this blog  to  tell  you my opinion. I never really  did well on  other social media sites but  I’m  pushing forward  and will make my books  known  wherever  I can.

So  today I’m working on  researching  a  Pinterest account for Discovering the  Blue Hour Podcast . I never really delved  into Pinterest before. 

 I  was told about Pinterest through a friend  . I don’t really know anything about  it.  The closest comparisons I  came to for it was it’s like Instagram. But I never really  did  well  on  Instagram.  However  I thought  maybe  I’d  give Pinterest a chance.  

But I  have some  questions first before  I dive  head first in another social media  account. Here are my top 3  questions  for creating a  writer’s  Pinterest account. 

  • How can I use Pinterest as a writer?
  • How will  Pinterest  help me  move forward as a writer and author brand ?
  • As a writer  what are  my goals   for a  Pinterest account ? 

These are the 3 questions I’m exploring  about  Pinterest as I research to open my account.  I will get back to you on my results later. 

If you liked this blog post and you want to  see more content involving my work in progress During the Blue Hour Follow , Like , and share  . But first  LET’S START A DIALOGUE

Do you have a Pinterest account?

 I  want to know so let me know in the comments  below.

 You can also interact with the podcast on Gab @duringthebluehour

 #writing #pinterest  #socialmedia #writers #authorsbrand #writingadvice

A Writer’s Summer Reading List

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I mentioned in recent post  how good it is to be a writer and read outside of your written genre  while  working  on a  work in progress novel. Its summertime. And you know what that means?  Work on  our novels ! Yes that is true but I don’t mean just  that.  Summertime  is the perfect time to read as a writer. Yes . It’s time to pack up not just your writing pad and pen but also a good reading book and  head on to the beach. I sure am. 

I mentioned  the  current book I was planning on reading . Well I  started the book but I still have books I want to read  and I  have compiled  my current summer  reading list . So here   are the  books  outside of my written genre I’m planning on  reading for the rest of the summer.

Outlander  by: Diana Gabaldon

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Okay so  I kind of wrote 2 post on this TV show/ book already . If you have read my other  post  you know how  I critiqued  the show  so far . So I bought  the book and  started reading it the other  day . Even though  I’m only on  chapter  2 . I will  hopefully  be finished  with it soon .

Hot Halcon Nights: A Tale of the Pan-Galactic Empire (Tales of the Pan-Galactic Empire Book 1)  by Joseph Isenberg

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My next  summer  read after Outlander  involves  a humorous  science fiction  space  fleet   story about  the 81 century and genetically modified  lemurs . This book was referred to me  and sounds very interesting  and fun and I  can’t  wait to read it.

Black Swan Rising by Lee Carroll

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This is a book  that  delves  into the world of  watchers , fae and magic .

I read this book years ago  but  will  reread it  this summer  because the last time I finished the book  the  sequel  wasn’t out and so I forgot about the  book  all  together .   So it would be a  refresher  before  reading the sequels in  the series. 

So these are only three books right now that  I’m reading and planning  on reading this summer . But there will be more because  I haven’t finished my own  novel yet and I need more inspiration outside of my genre of writing about werewolves.

If you liked this blog post and you want to  see more content involving my work in progress During the Blue Hour Follow , Like , and share . But first  LET’S START A DIALOGUE

What books are you planning  on  putting on your summer reading list as you write and head on to the beach?  Or what books are you reading already this summer? 

 I  want to know so let me know in the comments  below.

 You can also interact with the podcast on Gab @duringthebluehour

#blog  #writing #readinglist  #summerreadinglist 

Is Your Novel’s Villain Really Evil?

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Image by Etienne Marais from Pixabay

A  while back  I created a podcast episode about  Villains and their motivations  and could  they be redeemable or  are they better off staying pure evil. You  can listen to that podcast here.

But  today I’m going to go further  in analyzing  this notion.  

The first question we need to ask  ourselves is what makes a villain evil?  Are they  born  evil or  influenced  by  their  environment?

In my work in progress   novel  During the Blue Hour  about  werewolves  none of the villains  are born evil.  They are more the 2nd option .   Influenced  by their  environment .  I ‘m going to   go  in detail about why a character might turn evil  based  on their environment.

So  let’s  start  off with this  notion that  every character  is a  hero of their  own story. They never see  themselves as the villain.

For example (spoiler) in my  work in progress series  my  main villain  throughout the series , a  she were wolf  supposedly is doing  all  her  villainess antics  for love.  That’s  right  folks  she turned  evil because  she is being  forced  away from her  true love.

Everything  she is doing   is  only justifiable  to her.  But  she is no way a sympathetic character  and cannot be redeemed able   because  her love turns into madness  which thus turns into insanity   where  there is no coming back to.

Examples  outside  of my  work in progress  would be :

Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty.  Do we  actually think she was just evil  for  the sake of being  evil.   There had to be  some motivation behind her  villainous actions   to turn her that way  and  I’m not talking about the live action movies  either.

 Another   example  is 

The Wicked Witch of  the West from the Wizard of Oz.

She is not just evil either.  Something  deep inside of her  made her that way . Some  versions of this story  has strategically   expanded  that notion  over the years  .  Giving a  clear reason . My  guess is jealousy.

From  my research and writing  my own villain  I have come to the conclusion  that a  writer  cannot  possibly write a  villain  that is born evil.  There  always  has to be  a reason  or  motivation  behind their actions   whether  it be something deeply rooted  in their  childhood  or their  overall  environment.

If you liked this blog post and you want to  see more content involving my work in progress During the Blue Hour Follow , Like , share  . But first  LET’S START A DIALOGUE

 What is your Villain’s motivation for their  evil  actions  in your novel  ?  

 I  want to know so let me know in the comments  below.

 You can also interact with the podcast on Gab @duringthebluehour

#blog  #writing #writingadvice  #Villains  #motivations

HOW TO WRITE THE FIVE MAN BAND IN YOUR NOVEL

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Do you  use archetypes  in your writing? Well  you know archetypes  get a bad rep  because  it  is said to be over used tropes.  But as a  writer I  feel like they are important to your novel.  

I learned about these archetypes  in-depth when I was still  in college years ago in my  film classes.   We had to read and learn about  Carl Jung  and  the 12 archetypes   also  about Joseph  Campbell  and   the Hero’s journey.   Those are  each an individual  post on it’s own  and  I will  eventually   write about them later .  

This is the thing  that I have learned about  writing novels and screenplays  is even  if you  don’t  like using them  and hate the analysis  of the  tropes and architypes you are still  using them  whether   you know it or not .  It’s like  subconsciously in grained   into  you if you are a true  writer .   And  there is  a such  thing  called a  true writer . Like  you know if you are a writer  if  you  do so and so.  (that’s a whole  other posts) but you get what I’m trying to say. 

So you use these  tropes without really knowing. 

One  type of architype  or trope I’m going to talk about today  is the five man band .   No not  the band group of the 80s/90s that this phrases is usually confused with  but  a literature/ gaming term/ trope that  was first coined in the 70s  by a   superhero franchise. The reason   I’m  talking about this is because I’m using it in my  current work  in progress novel  During the Blue Hour without really knowing.

 So let’s figure out what a  five  man band is ?  Who usually uses it in their novels ?  And How to use it in our novels?

The five man band is usually a set or group of characters within a hierarchal system    that form an actual  team with skills  that can contribute  to the group itself .   The five man ban has  to be at least 5  characters and have  a  literature   architype .   I think  since my novel  is  about a  pack of werewolves  I can put  a clear check mark  on that with having a story  involving   the  five man  band  trope.

Photo by Ronu00ea Ferreira on Pexels.com

Let’s go even further .

The first character is:

the HERO or LEADER  –  of the group. He is usually the one who has a clear  head and is very charismatic that anyone would  want to follow them.

The 2nd character  is:

Photo by Daisa TJ on Pexels.com

The LANCER or 2ND IN COMMAND–  they are usually a contrast  to the hero  or leader of the group . In  some cases  he  is much of a foil  to the leader. If the leader  is  nice and compassionate. The Lancer  is usually a  Jerk or opinionated.  They may also be a rival for the  Leader when  it comes to the love interest.    

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

The 3rd character is:

The SMART GUY– and is usually physically weak but  clever in everything else.  Also not  having any  active powers. Is usually a buddy to the big guy .

The 4th character  is:

The BIG GUY–  is the strongest person  physically  to the group.  He is usually the muscle. And one who is more loyal to the hero and lancer. They usually  will be the ones to  distract the villains.  

 The 5th character  is:

The  HEART – the peacekeeper  of the group.

Oh yeah and sometimes there is a sixth member  of the group that has to prove themselves to the rest of the group.

Okay  so my research  came  at a stall when I tried   to find which books used the five man band because it’s  usually used in tv and movies.  But  I’m  going  to take a guess  from the books  I  know  about  and read.

Example  of literature uses of the five man band  includes:

  • The Wizard of OZ
  • LORD OF THE RINGS
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
  • The Dresden Files
  • HUNGER GAMES
  • HARRY POTTER

These are just a few examples  but these are some  famous titles  who have  the five man band woven  into their stories.

So  how  can  we use it?

As a  writer   you just have to play around  with the characters and their architypes.  Sometimes  they will  overlapp. The roles are what matter.  Another   thing to remember is that in order  for you to have the five man band in your novel  your characters  must  form a  team  dynamic.

Try  to figure it out. It might be fun. 

Here is example  of my five man band  for my current  work in progress  , DURING THE BLUE HOUR. 

At the Beginning of the book 

Leader: Cristan

Lance:   Adrian

Heart/The Smart Guy: Imani

The Strong Guy: Bastian

The Sixth Ranger (MC) Sirena

At  the  End of  the book

Leader: Cristan

Lance/Smart Guy: Imani

Heart: (MC)  Sirena

The Strong Guy: Bastian

The Sixth Ranger Chemsen

If you liked this blog post and you want to  see more content involving my work in progress During the Blue Hour Follow , Like , share  . But first  LET’S START A DIALOGUE

 Who is the five man band team dynamic  in your novel ?  

 I  want to know so let me know in the comments  below.

 You can also interact with the podcast on Gab @duringthebluehour

PODCAST #2

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Cast of Characters Pt. 1: Choosing character names and exploring backstory

https://discoveringthebluehour.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/cast-of-characters-pt.-1-choosing-character-names-and-exploring-backstory-episode-2.mp3
What’s in a Name? Cast of Characters Pt.1 Ep. 2

The tall figure of a boy around seventeen or eighteen stood blocking the  door.   Sirena’s  heart  raced and she panicked. That boy. That boy was the same boy  at the  river stream who held her in his arms and  then disappeared. …

This week  I discuss  how chose my character names and  explore a little about backstory but this is only pt 1 so there is still going to be a lot discuss over a span of a couple of episodes. 

  • We  discuss character dynamics of  Teen Wolf  as a reference of  the wip During the Blue hour
  • Why choosing a character  name is important to the writer.
  • We  discuss The redemption arc of the villain and  how its important to their backstory . 

What does your main characters name mean to you as a writer? How did you connect with your  character? How do you choose you character names?

What makes a  villain evil ? Can they be pure  evil? How  do you develop  your  Villains  back story? What’s your favorite  werewolf show or book? Let’s start  a Dialogue .

So if you liked this second episode and you want to  tune  into next weeks episode subscribe, download , share  this episode.

Next episode:

Character Spotlight: The Main Character Sirena and  writing ballet 

  You can interact with the podcast on Gab @duringthebluehour

#teenwolf #characternames #redemptionarc