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My Favorite Villain

Posted by Makayla Yokley on December 12, 2015 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Let’s be honest here. Ready? You sure? Because it’s about to get real up in here.


 

We love villains.


 

Even if we don’t like the things they do, and even if we’re rooting for their demise, no matter how horrible they are we still find ourselves enthralled by them in either a positive or negative way. They’re fun. Fun to write. Fun to read. We love to hate them. Hate to love them. Them Love Hate To. No matter how you slice it we all have a favorite villain.


 

Mine is Harley Quinn from Batman.

 


I don’t know why I love her. She’s just fun. She doesn’t take anything too seriously, and now that I’m thinking about it maybe that’s why I like her as a character. As a person with a happy-go-lucky (*Sarcasm*) mixture of anxiety and depression I tend to get uptight about a lot of stuff. Not to mention I’m overly nice. I’m nice to people I shouldn’t be nice to. I’m nice in the face of absolute cruelty. But Harley doesn’t let anyone (Except the Joker, but what other choice does she have really? I mean, aside from being insanely *pun intended* in love with him you kind of can’t stand up to the Joker unless you want an exploding Jack-in-the-Box in the face) walk all over her. She stands up for herself with a smile on her face and a giant mallet ready to smash their silly bones to dust.

 


Not to mention she’s a hell of a lot more acrobatic than I am and that’s impressive all on its own.

 



Now if I didn’t already say so (and I don’t think I SHOULD say so, because we ARE talking about villains here) I’m going to say it now and be done with it: I’m a fan of her character. Not of all the terrible things her character DOES. Okay now we’re done.

 


What about you guys? Who’s your #1 favorite villain? What about them makes them your favorite? Tell me in the comments section!

 

A New Medium Pt 2

Posted by Makayla Yokley on November 17, 2015 at 7:45 PM Comments comments (0)

 

Last time we talked about writing by hand vs writing on the laptop, and at the end of the post I mentioned coming back to you guys with the results. To be honest it took me a little longer than I expected to get this post finished since I've been busy lately, but here I am now! And I've got a lot to say!

 



Let me begin by saying I loved writing by hand . . . until the cramping started. When I was in school my writing wrist was strong enough to write pages upon pages of notes a day without any pain. But its been a few years since then and apparently my wrist has grown weaker, because now I can barely write for an hour before pain begins to shoot up my hand from my wrist. That being said, though, while I was actually DOING it I enjoyed it. The fact of flourishing my letters, drawing some of them out into lovely shapes and curls, helped. I can't say why (mostly because I don't KNOW why) but it did.



 

Also, writing by hand helped me be more considerate with the words I chose since I couldn't simply backspace and try again. I kind of have it imagined like my fiancé drawing with pens instead of pencils (and not just because I'm WRITING in pens). When he makes a mistake in his art he has to integrate it into the piece somehow because there's no erasing it to try again. That being said, I'm also not going so slow as to overthink what is being laid out in front of me.



 

I couldn't write a whole novel this way, though. A few chapters here and there? Sure, okay, that works. But if I tried to write a whole novel I'm afraid it would come out less than impressive. There are certain passages I can write better by hand and others I write better by typing it. Slower scenes are better written by hand and more action-packed scenes are better typed-- and I think I have a theory as to why:

 



You've got time to really think during a slow scene. I know, not too much of a stretch there, right? But let's think about this for a second: a slow scene is by no means demanding on you to get there and get going right now right now right now. A slow scene is by definition (my definition) ripe with time to consider what’s happening and to plan accordingly. This works better when you can take your time with a pen and a piece of paper, because everything you're writing down needs to be considered before it touches the paper. But action packed scenes needs what’s happening to happen at a moment's notice. Typing, especially those who type a lot and can do so quickly with minimal backtracking, is better when you want to get through a scene quickly. I found that, when I was trying to hand-write a fast paced scene, it didn't come out with nearly as much punch as ones which I typed.

 

 

 



So in the end I don't think one ought to stick exclusively to just one method. Mix and match. Write this scene this way and that scene that way, as long as it helps you further the piece in the optimal way.

 

 


A New Medium

Posted by Makayla Yokley on October 14, 2015 at 6:20 PM Comments comments (0)




For most of my life I wrote my novels on a computer. A desktop computer, laptop, and a tablet to a lesser extent. My wrists and fingers are trained to search out the keys and sometimes I can manage to do it without even looking. The only time I didn't write by hand was when I didn't have an oppertunity. When I was in high school I wrote bits and pieces in notebooks during class and would transfer them over when I got home. Before I became unemployed I did the same thing at my job, writing during my lunch hour on the days they extended my hours and I qualified for break time (it was a part-time gig, so I usually only worked four hours. But when they had me on Sundays I worked a lot longer, meaning I got a break), and when I took my college classes I still remember myself sitting in the back of my American Literature class with a fat five subject notebook in front of me while I wrote. But, more often than not, I typed up my stories. 


Lately I've been wondering if there's any stock in writing by hand. We all know a lot of the old masters did it (though to be honest that was due to a lack of any other option, but lets just skip over that . . . ) and even some of the newest of us say they've written a lot by hand. I just read an article about another writer doing it, and part of me wonders if the success they had will apply to me as well. The author mentioned how the act of writing it down gave them an oppertunity to choose their words more carefully, and that it goes through another bought of mental editing when they type it up on their computers. 


I've written by hand before, as I mentioned. Sometimes it's the exact thing I need to unclog the creative pipes in my brain and figure out things I never would've seen when left with alone with the blinking curser on my laptop and about a thousand pages of internet to distract me. I don't know what it is about writing by hand. I think I read somewhere once that it stimulates another part of your brain and helps you find another perspective. Especially if you write in cursive. Cursive writing is like painting or drawing. It causes another part of your brain to react when it would otherwise stay asleep while you wrote. 




So I've made the decision to write something by hand, alongside typing up another project I've been so enthralled with lately. I want to see if it makes a difference. I want to see if it truely does help move along the project I'm writing by hand but also if it makes the typed up one flow any easier now that I've hit a block. 


After a while I'll do updates on if its made any difference, if the writing is better or worse or unchanged after having been handwritten, if it helped the typed project at all, and just about anything else that has anything to do with the subject. 


Stay tuned! 

Bad Day

Posted by Makayla Yokley on January 15, 2015 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (0)

I didn't update last night because it was, like, two thirty in the morning when I finished working so I decided I could just do last night's update today! To be honest we're glad we even have an update at all. The reason I was up so late was because it took that long to do anything substantial. So anyway! Here's the update on "The Scavenger," my post-apocalyptic steampunk novel!


Project: The Scavenger 

Words Written Today: 3697!

Total Words: 25417

 

 



Story Achievements
: Character development (our youngest main character is shown to be wise beyond her years) and the main plot has begun! More characters have been introduced, and while doing that I've hammered out the rest of the plot beyond "The Scavenger," and I'm super happy with it! A little part of me died of excitement when everything fell into place!

Real-Life Achievements: I'm not sure it counts as "acheivements" if most of my day was actually pretty bad, but it's all I've got today. The lightbulb by my desk burned out so my writing space is dark (and I'm SUPER supersticious so that threw off the balance of what's been working for me so far writing-wise), I had to fight for a lot of those 3697 words I wrote, I was victim to every little stupid emotion that decided to hit me today for no valid reason, and I burned my fingers on my coffee cup because I put hand lotion on before I went and made it and the handle was slipping.



Normally I hate writing negative things and putting it out there for the world to see. Frankly, I see these bad things as my problems and I know no one else is probably interested, but sometimes it's nice to vent a little. Especially if all I've got to vent about is superficial stuff like that!


Oh! And my cat came to visit while I worked today!



Writing and Shopping!

Posted by Makayla Yokley on January 12, 2015 at 2:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Today I proved that what I said in the last post about doing a high word count on my Post-Apocalyptic novel but not being able to have a life outside of that was wrong. Go figure!


Project: The Scavenger

 

Words Written Today: 3695!

 

Total Words: 16216



 

Story Achievements:We learned a little bit about the MC's past, and it helped another character have a better outlook on the future.

 

 

 

Real-Life Achievements: I went shopping with my mom today and bought some really nice new outfits! I've got to take one back (I didn't take a picture of it) because it was too small, but we're going to exchange it for a bigger size and I'm going to use my $15 coupon I got at that store for spending $30 today, which will make the dress cheaper since it's also on sale!

(Forgive the not smiling xD I was so preoccupied trying to hold the camera just right that I forgot to make a face)


 

 

 


 

Monsters!

Posted by Makayla Yokley on January 11, 2015 at 1:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Lots to update on today! Holy crap! Based on how the day started I really didn't expect to get a lot written in my Post-Apocalyptic novel, but I surprised myself!


Project: The Scavenger

 

 

Words Written Today: 4079! (The most I've EVER written in one sitting!)

 

 

Total Words: 12521




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Story Achievements: OH MY GOD WHAT DIDN'T HAPPEN? The third of our main characters got informed on what the confidant was told less than a chapter ago, we got some insight into this character's past, AAAAND we got to see the Flesh Puppets in action! I loved writing them, they're so twisted and scary and MEAN. I can see how they did what they did to make the setting what it is!



 

 

Real-Life Achievements: Pffft, four thousand words and you want me to have done something else today? Fat chance! I did manage to play some Fallout 3, which was fun, and I had lasagna for dinner. Other than that though the whole day was pretty much devoted to working on The Scavenger, and I'm glad it was! Now I can go to bed feeling productive!


And here's a picture of when I hit 10k! I always love documenting when I cross into a new set of tens (10k, 20k, 30k, ect.)!



 

 

A Day of Writing and Sleep (A.K.A Best Day Ever)

Posted by Makayla Yokley on January 10, 2015 at 1:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Here's my update on my post-apocalyptic novel!


Project: The Scavenger

 

Words Written Today: 2471

 

Total Words: 8404



  

Story Achievements: A rendevous between two friends and a decision is made to turn lemons into lemonade.

 

Real-Life Achievements: Mostly I spent today sleeping. I woke up at 11-ish, took some medicine for my cough, and went back to bed only to wake up again at 2:45-ish shocked that I slept so long. Then again, I've been up all night for five days straight and I'm still sick, so I think it's okay that I slept so long.

 

Lifting the Fog to See the Clear Horizon

Posted by Makayla Yokley on January 9, 2015 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (0)

I'm posting my progress from last night (I was WAY too exhausted to do a post when I finished) so I'm doing it now! Here's my progress on my steampunk post-apocalyptic novel about a scavenger who is forced to join a secret organization and carry out their nafarious ( ? ) deeds!


Project: The Scavenger

Words Written Today: 3176 (wow! )

Total Words: 6053

 

Story Achievements: A confidant was told about how the heroine joined the secret organization and a brief fight insues before comfort is given.



Real-Life Achievements: I've been sick for the last week with an awful cough and it's been keeping me from sleeping. On Wednesday I got some medicine from my doctor and I've been taking it as often as it'll let me (I have to wait six hours between each dose) and it's really been helping. Most of the symptoms are still there, but I can feel them lessening. I guess it takes more than three or four doses of medicine for it to work. Also! I played with my steampunk tarot card deck and got the best possible reading I could've asked for! Now normally I just treat this as a game and don't put that much stock in it, but this time the cards told me that as long as I keep my eye on the prize, work hard, and don't sych myself out I'm destined to use "The Scavenger" to get an agent this year! Again, I know not to put my whole heart in a tarot card reading but I figure if it gives me confidence to do what I need to do, why not believe it?


 


Writing Process Blog Hop!

Posted by Makayla Yokley on March 29, 2014 at 2:30 AM Comments comments (0)

I’ve been asked by my dear friend and fellow author Samantha LaFantasie to participate in a blog hop where I talk about my writing process. I’m kind of curious myself as to what that exactly is. It’s something I’ve never really sat down and thought about, it was just something that happened naturally, so I suppose we’ll all find out together!


 

What am I working on right now?


At the moment most of my attention is focused on doing edits for two projects: A paranormal thriller called Bad Blood, which focuses on vampires; and the third book in my steampunk fantasy series The Violet Chronicles which will be titled Briar Light.


Bad Blood has been something I’ve worked on on and off for the last handful of years since my sophomore year of high school (which was… Gosh… six years ago? That can’t be right! Has that much time REALLY passed? ) and have finally gotten a good feel for it. I’m a firm believer that when you’re ready for a project all the pieces will fall into place and you’ll know how to make certain things work that wouldn’t do so before. When I first started working on this story six years ago (still doesn’t sound right) there were so many elements that were wrong. I didn’t understand why they were wrong, but they were. So I put the story away and only brought it back out when I felt I had something new to say. Until recently I never got past the first chapter. Now it’s off at my dear editor friend, Sam—yes, same Sam! She’s a great editor—and I’m awaiting its return filled with comments on how it could be improved.


Briar Light has been a huge struggle for me. I lost my confidence halfway through and it made me nervous to even look at it. Lately I’ve found that confidence again and have been making incredible progress on the edits. Much more progress than I ever thought I would, which is a huge ego boost for me! I’m hoping to get it out sometime this summer, but I’m definitely not making any promises. This fall might be a more realistic timeframe to be honest.


On the writing side, I’ve got quite a few more projects in the works than I like to admit. A young adult fantasy, a paranormal romance, one or two regular romances, and the fourth book of the Violet Chronicles called Seventh Snow. Hi everyone, I have a works in progress problem.



How does my work differ from others in the genre?


For the sake of time, I’m going to focus the rest of the hop on Briar Light. We could be here all night, folks, and I don’t know about you but I’ve got a roast in the oven that needs attending to (Not really, I’m not sure I like roast. I can’t think of a time when I’ve ever had it, but hey, these are the jokes!).


Briar Light, and the Violet Chronicles as a whole, is different from others in their genre because they mix the elements of traditional fantasy and industrial rawness of steampunk. Like fantasies with mages and elves and dwarves? We gotcha. Want robots, steam powered doohickeys, and corpses reanimated with electricity and clockwork? You’ll find that and more within the Violet Chronicles.  


Along with the mixing of these two genres, plus pretty much a hundred more here and there, the Violet Chronicles also holds onto the fact that our protagonists are still young adults—the oldest being twenty. They’ve got to suffer through horror after horror as they try to combat an occultist religious group in an attempt to save a world that has done nothing but cause them pain, but while it’s easy to forget their still kids, they still have the same fears and desires as any normal 16 to 20 year old. They get crushes. They have a past love life. They have friends. All of this, mixed with our main protagonist Violet Seymour being an escaped murderer and Hero, conspires to make their lives incredibly difficult.


Not to mention that the entire series is several fairy tales working together to create one, large, new fairy tale. Now, this isn’t always apparent. Mostly the characters themselves embody the traits of fairy tale characters. Violet, for example, is Little Red Riding Hood (Please contain your collective groans. It’s not my fault if Little Red Riding Hood is the best one, therefore the most used by writers) while the antagonist in The Ruby Curse is based off the Russian fairy tale “The Snarling Witch.” The second book, Triton, is based around the original Grimm version of “The Little Mermaid.” Briar Light will be a tweaked version of “Sleeping Beauty” in the most awesome way possible—but here I am going on in a long winded description! I think you get the point now, don’t you?

 


Why do I write what I do?


I’ve always been drawn to stories where I can create my own world, which is why I love science fiction and fantasy. I like the idea that by simply putting words into my computer or down on paper, I’m able to give life to this new place. I can give it people who live and work and play there, people who create a civilization.


This isn’t just about building a whole new world from the ground up. I like manipulating the world we think we know too. I like taking the mundane and giving it another dimension that we can all pretend exists even if it doesn’t really.


Although, I never want to lose the human element. As fantastical as their worlds may be and as far removed as they might feel from our everyday lives, these are human beings with feelings and desires and the more the trials surmount the more they feel themselves reacting to it. It’s human nature. I abuse them relentlessly so that when they triumph, they deserve it.


That is my biggest thing. I don’t think anyone suffers more than our heroes in the Violet Chronicles (Can some of the fans back me up on this?) yet somehow they find a way to keep on going.


How does my writing process work?


I sit down and write.


Not helpful, I know, but true!


Thanks for stopping by! and don't forget to check out some of the other hoppers:

Audra North

Alexandra Haughton

Amy Jo Cousins

Petra Grayson

Jody Wallace

Julia Kelly

Shawna Thomas

Jeanne Hardt

DT Dyllin

Alexis Anne

Annie Welch

Samantha LaFantasie

 

Magic of a Good Day

Posted by Makayla Yokley on February 25, 2014 at 10:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Yesterday, I had a pretty bad day.


Kind of awful, actually.


One of the worst I've had in a while.


But that's okay. Days like that happen every once in a while and really the only thing we can do is pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and try to do better tomorrow. Today, I did do better. Tuesdays are my designated write-in dates with fellow author, my editor, and one of my best friends Samantha ( http://samanthalafantasie.com/ ). Lately we haven't gotten to get together as much as we would like. Thanks to the frigid weather and sicknesses on one or both of our parts, we've had to keep getting rain checks and deciding that next week will definitely be the week no matter what. Even with that promise having spilled from our lips, we still pushed it back. It's okay. We both understand that the other is busy, sick, or it's just too damn cold to go outside.


Today we finally got together and had an absolute blast. We didn't do much actual writing, but Sam did finally get her "You Beat Me In Our Nano Word War" reward. We went perusing through a store I heard about online but never got to go shop (It turned out to be super expensive and neither of us had the money to spend there. I mean, come on! Who justifies selling a little dragonfly necklace for upwards of $40? That's highway robbery! What, was the gold real? The gemstones in them more than just flashy beads? Then again, maybe I'm just cheap), and because no movie theatres were open when we tried to go see a movie we decided to just go ahead and have lunch at Red Lobster. We laughed and talked and had the exact kind of day I needed after yesterday.


I'm not going to go into details about what happened to make it as bad as it was, but just know it was twelve shades of suck all around. Sam was there to listen to me vent about it, to ease my guilt, and today erased it all together. I don't need to feel as crappy as I did when I've got friends like her around me. I'm super grateful to the people who deserve it.


Anyway that's not what this post is about. It's just a good aside.


The point of this post was what happened after I got back from my day with Sam. I've been having a hard time making my brain work lately, but having a day out was exactly what I needed to dislodge whatever was keeping me from doing good work. I got home, sat down, and wrote When I checked my word count, I realized I wrote 2k words in maybe an hour. This may not seem like a lot to some people but for a person whose word count as of late has been near the 1.5k mark at best, this is pretty good. Best part is I feel like I could keep going.


So if there's someone out there reading this post who is just starting out writing, here's a piece of advice: Sometimes it helps to get out of your head. Go on a date. Go out with a friend. Talk, laugh, do something to open up your mind. Maybe this is why I've heard writers say that you've got to go out and experience life if you're going to be so conceited as to write about it.


I'm going to go try and get some more work done before I stop to work out, so I hope everyone enjoyed the first post on the new site!