Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fashion Plot for a Nude

Trinidad's Daystealer Wardrobe Plot Line
by Paula Williams

Personality dictates a characters' clothes, but what if your protagonist arrives on scene nude? Since my main character comes to earth without clothes, I had to give her an eclectic wardrobe from a variety of sources. This is how I did it. 1. Analyzed character and setting. Once I got my story drafted, I pictured the characters and setting of each scene and imagined the clothes she and others would wear. In the story, Trinidad owns no clothes, so she begs, borrows, or steals them, which provides for a range of fashion. However, Alani, her human friend, has a definite style that reflects her perky personality.
Alani's Daystealer Wardrobe Plot Line
Alani's Daystealer Wardrobe Plot Line
My male leads are opposites--one mysterious and the other open--so their pieces show their character. Can you tell from their wardrobe plot lines below which is which? 2. Searched the Internet. I went to the Old Navy website and found ensembles I thought Rick and Alani would wear in a beach town. The Nadirian wardrobes were mostly futuristic clothes or period pieces from their past. 3. Reexamined my characters and plot. Sometimes the clothing dictated a personality change or helped develop the plot. When I saw a collection of hooded dresses, I knew they would fit the silent Kolme from Nightstealer where many of those pieces dictate her actions. All in all this brainstorming project was visual and very satisfying for a writer who has to take a break from words every once in a while. Where do you find inspiration in fashion?
Saba's Daystealer Wardrobe Plot Line
Saba's Daystealer Wardrobe Plot Line
Rick's Daystealer Wardrobe Plot Line

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Draft Plot with Music

by Paula Williams

portishead artwork
Throughout the ages, music has inspired writers. Plato said music was a moral law. "It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything." Shakespeare believed that music was the food of love, Tolstoy, the shorthand of emotion, and Angelou, a refuge. For a writer, music can be the most inspiring tool in their drafting arsenal.
I turned to music before writing Bonestealer. For a couple of weeks, my earbuds became an umbilical cord to my laptop where I first scrutinized my collection to find the voices of my characters already in Daystealer and Nightstealer. Then I discovered Spotify. I signed up for a free month trial without ads and dived into their site to develop a plot with these steps:
  • Discover new songs: Search for new songs from the artists with your character's voice. For me, I was drawn to Within Temptation, Linkin Park, and Red and found even more songs that fit into my plans.
  • Use the FIND button: Search for songs with keywords that show the themes of your book. A few of my key words and phrases were memories, past, chained, don't care, all alone, bones, Mongolia, forgiveness, and sacrifice. I found more songs and artists in a variety of genres I probably wouldn't have listened to otherwise. spotify
  • Pull down a lyric app: Spotify has a couple of lyric apps that show the words while listening. Many times, the song's message trumped the melody in determining the song's placement on my Bonestealer playlist.
  • Note ideas: Many times, the song can deepen your understanding of a character or aid in developing the plot. I noted these ideas for future use.spotify playlist
  • Place the music in order: Arrange the music on Spotify's playlist in the order you imagine it to be "sung" in the story. For instance, Skies of Mongolia (Treat) inspired me to write the first setting on the plains of Mongolia. Later, Fist Full of Sand (The Bravery) and I Don't Care (Apocalyptica) reflects the attitude Saba has toward Trinidad about their predicament. The most surprising discovery--Portishead as the the virtual voice of the Bonestealer.
  • Continually review playlist: As you write, listen to the songs again. After a couple of weeks, I had over 100 songs on my playlist, a basic plot, and clear direction of where I wanted to take my characters, but sometimes my writing went down a different road. At other times, the song didn't seem as inspiring, so I deleted it from the list.
  • Keep ears open: During the first draft, continue to listen for more music to add to your playlist.
  • Revisit the list: When you experience writer's block, go back to the playlist and listen again. The ideas inspired by the music will return and sharpen and you can write again.
How do you use music to inspire creativity, be it in writing, painting, or even in your relationships?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Borrowed from the Big Bang Theory

by Paula Williams

Pinocchio has his Jiminy Cricket, and Ariel, her Sebastian, but unlike Flit, Pocahontas's little hummingbird, Trinidad’s Gem is a “bird of a different feather.” Her little friend, a bumblebee hummingbird that can fit into a thimble, vastly contrasts with the talking animated companions of Disney movies. Only Trinidad can hear Gem speak (for the most part) and is a biological automaton.
When I researched the term biological automaton, I found no such thing so thought it a perfect term for a fantastical being. An automaton is a self-operating machine or robot, whereas a biological entity is a living organism. Used in a sentence as a personality trait, someone can be as mechanical or apathetic as an automaton. This particular characteristic I found compelling, but he is more than Trinidad’s embodied conscience. He is the proverbial messenger who brings bad news and whispers warnings in Trinidad’s ear but with a “Sheldonesque” attitude borrowed from the Big Bang Theory.Sheldon of Big Bang Theory
How an entity can be both biological and robotic is the stuff of science fiction and fantasies. In Daystealer I never explain how Trinidad created Gem in a past life, for she herself doesn’t remember. However, she does recall a memory where pieces of Gem are strewn on a laboratory table. In other memories, we see Gem’s evolution from robot, to caged automaton, and finally to his present state--a freethinking, free-flying bird more biological than automated. To get an idea of who Gem is, here is an except from Daystealer:
I left with Gem chittering before me. “Taking Rick, a dreadful idea, taking Saba, a frightful idea”—he flicked his tongue toward Dom―“taking this guy, slightly above sucky.”
I chuckled at Gem. “Who programed your database?”
“My multifarious vocabulary, I got from Tota, but attitude, all you.”

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


On a future Earth--oppressed by death and disease, divided by prejudice and strict boundaries, and ruled by monsters and machines--lives a predatory race who has secretly survived off humans for thousands of years. With the world recently thrown into chaos, though, they fight for their own survival. 

The STEALERSAGA series is a record of the heroic tales of Trinidad, a ruler of the Nadirian realm beneath old San Francisco, and how she saves her dying race and rescues the fate of humanity.
STEALERSAGA novels are not merely fanciful creations of the mind. In developing a race with history, mores, and gods, I've delved into a myriad of interests and odd bits of trivia--from brain research of memory loss, the monogamous nature of the Wandering Albatross, and the life cycle of an immortal jellyfish to Ancient Egyptian mythology, powerful symbols and amulets, and the practices of Mongolian shamans. During your journey with Trinidad, you'll travel across the globe through a variety of cultures and terrains, and in this blog, I want to share that world's creation. These thoughtful musings, snippets of song and literature, and curious (and sometimes terrifying) images will widen the curtain into the Stealer world, a world I'm afraid might be our possible future.