i never thought you did

Hello, folks! You’ll be glad to know I’ve reached over 14,000 words in Amori and have a new sneak peak for you. This time, it’s in the form of a Photoshop edit:

This is one of Gale and Amori’s earliest exchanges. I can’t tell you why they’re having this conversation, but it’s sort of a pivotal point in their friendship. A baby step in the right direction, I guess you could call it. I had the material, so I put this together! Hope you like it. :)

twelve

Hello there, folks! It’s one of those lazy days, but I thought I’d do a skimpy update, partially to let you know I’m still here, partially because I’m still so excited about Amori. So, I’ve got all sorts of stuff in the works. I’m working on a secret promo-type-project-thing for the story that will hopefully not be a secret for much longer, as I plan for it to be up on YouTube soon. That’s all I can say. ^.^

I’m also thinking about setting up a page with photos and the plot of the story, but I’m hesitant to make a big deal out of it (I know, I know, I already have). Seems like it hasn’t gone well when I’ve done that in the past. Although, this story has no deadline, no pressure, and a lot of promise. I’m confident that I’ll finish it around 50,000 words by the end of the year. At least, that’s my goal. I’m about a fifth of the way there (12,000 words to be precise). :D

I’m also trying to scrounge up another sneak peak for Likeness of Life, but I’m moving really slowly with that right now. The dolls have their own problems going on, and it’s one thing to deal with them. Having to post episodes about how they are dealing with them is a whole lot more trouble. ;)

Anyway, so long! Until next time! Best wishes,

Liz, Amori, & the Dolls

P.S. Forgot one thing! I present, a sentence from Amori:

Maybe it’s funny, maybe it’s just relief from the tension of the last twenty-four hours. To me, it’s the chance to sneak off for half an hour and be alone and unnoticed. Okay, mostly alone and maybe not unnoticed. But this gives me the illusion of freedom for a few minutes, which is better than a drug.

The New Amori

Sorry if all these updates about Amori are getting a little old, but…well, maybe I’m not sorry. :P But while I’m on the subject, I’d like to show you something.

For those of you who haven’t been keeping up with my blog (or don’t remember), I had originally chosen Hailee Steinfeld as my character appearance for the main character in my Hunger Games fan fiction, Amori. After doing an edit that I was really proud of, using a photo of Hailee, I delved into the story and started having problems picturing her doing the things my character was doing. I realized that I liked the actress best as a more innocent, positive, smiling type character.

Suffice it to say, that’s not Amori. Yes, she is more innocent in the way that she is not as motivated by anger or revenge, as dystopian characters tend to be. But she is solemn. She has been wounded. She has aged beyond her years. She does not look like an eighteen-year-old. So I started digging. A lot of frustration, loads of pictures of different actresses, way way too much research, and watching a bunch of GIFs later, I settled on Seychelle Gabriel.

She is Amori.

What do you think? Can you see Seychelle growing up in District 12, sitting in the cafeteria in 13, talking to Gale in the bunker during the bombing? Because I can. I must give some credit to my sister, though. She was sure that Seychelle was right for Amori even when I was completely doubting whether I’d made a huge mistake in choosing her. So thanks, sis! XD

Another point of interest. Anybody who’s been poking around my Pinterest might have seen my Journey of an Artist board, and on there is an old, old, terrible, awful, horrid drawing I did of one of my story characters from long ago. When I first decided I loved The Hunger Games a few years ago I made a mistake. The mistake I didn’t want to make with Amori. I wrote a non-fan fiction called Candles, about a girl named Evergreen Walker who is surviving in a dystopian world I knew nothing about except that it was very similar to Panem.

Originally inspired by Jennifer Lawrence as Ree Dolly (not Katniss), I ended up changing her to suit my imagination. Originally she wasn’t supposed to look like some actress. I doubt now even if she looked completely human. But anyway, I realized several of her defining features are actually similar to Seychelle Gabriel’s.

Left: Seychelle Gabriel. Right: Drawing. Definitely a drawing. :P

They have the deeper-set eyes in common. The subtle lines beneath the eyes. Narrower chins. Dark brown hair. Etcetera. I seriously doubt whether Candles will ever see the light of day again, so it’s nice to have a piece of Evergreen Walker in this genuine Hunger Games story. :)

exploring the hunger games universe

Writing fan fiction is fun. You have your foundation already. You can stay in the la la land of your latest favorite universe. But it’s also hard. You can’t let your imagination take over too too much, because you don’t want to go against the already perfect and beautiful place of your dreams.

Not that The Hunger Games is perfect. Or that Panem is beautiful. But I’ve been living in that universe…practically. Kind of. Not really, except when I’m on Pinterest a lot or rereading the books a lot or just thinking about Peeta a lot. Which I do sometimes. :P

1. “I’m being so quiet as I walk down the hallway that it should be surprising that he hears me.”

The first line in a dystopian story. No idea what it was about. No idea who the characters really were. Then I thought, Oh, this should be set in District 13. Just a random idea that sounded satisfying. First thing I did with the scene that followed that line, was look for appearances for these characters. Headed to Pinterest.

This is what I found.

actress_hailee_steinfeld-wide

Hailee Steinfeld

Looks serious. Good balance of attractive and natural. Perfect for dystopia. Or Panem. So I went to a baby names site and found the unique but not-too-weird name of “Amori,” which means “industrious.” Cool.

I was feeling pretty good about this story by the end of the day. So I told my sister about it, and she was like, “So she’s going to end up with Gale?” Maybe not, but it gave me an idea. A lot of Mockingjay finds Katniss and Gale separated, and you have to wonder where he’s at all the time. The rest of the puzzle came together when I decided that Amori is from District 12. And she trained for the Hunger Games, like a Career. And she used her knowledge to help save people before the bombing in 12. Alongside Gale. The perfect beginning of a fictional friendship. ^.^

So. New beginning.

2. “I wake up screaming his name. Immediately I’m aware of the darkness of my compartment. The sweat covering my body. My displaced blanket.”

Sounds a bit like Katniss, right? I know. I console myself with the fact that Amori is, indeed, similar to the Mockingjay. And I will never hope to publish this work, because it’s set in someone else’s world. Oh, and by the way, she’s not screaming Gale’s name. It’s someone else. ;)

But anyway, I needed a prologue. Something that tells the story of the evacuation from 12.

3. “The quiet lasted an hour. I don’t even remember what happened exactly, except that everything was suddenly in chaos.”

But it didn’t flow. It was too vague. So I began to study. Rereading scenes of Mockingjay, making notes on how Suzanne Collins created such a masterpiece. How she made it so real, yet didn’t sacrifice the poetry of writing. How she didn’t waste words, but didn’t ignore flow.

And I knew I didn’t want to confuse the events of Mockingjay, which is, of course, when the story takes place. So I made a loose outline of what happens and the relative time span, and started filling in the blanks of Amori’s story, gleaning from both the book and Part 1 of the movie (which makes for an interesting mixture). I’m currently at a grand total of 3,622 words, and (for those of you who know what happens in Mockingjay) Amori is currently witnessing President Coin’s announcement about the victors’ immunity.

In short, it’s often times hard, sometimes confusing, most of the time slow going, and all the time just plain fun. If you ever want a project that’s more a test of quality than storytelling, then fan fiction, I think, is really good experience. Especially without the pressure of making it perfect, because I don’t think fan fiction can be perfect. Really, a lot of times it’s really just one big “what if” scenario set in a world someone else created. But I can now recommend it from my own experience. Wish me luck! XD

Writing Update: Name Change

Well, folks, looks like The Pioneers is going to suffer a name change. I’ve pretty much decided to call the story Freefall instead. It sounds sort of funny, but the name has a hidden meaning that is revealed throughout the story. Here’s a preview of what I’ve been writing.

Sitting there with her in the silence, in the dark, a thought hits me. “Sierra?” I whisper.

“Yes?”

“Did I ever tell you how I first started wanting to be a singer?” I ask her quietly.

She shakes her head a little. “I don’t think so. I mean, I thought you always wanted to be one.”

I let out a breathy chuckle. “No. The thought never crossed my mind.”

Hope ya’ll enjoyed! ;)