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#FrankieWIP Houston, We Have a Problem…

Frankie Av

Sorry for the way I sound, but my throat is really sore. Between fibro-fatigue, catching the cold and a probable rewrite on the horizon, this week isn’t going too well!

Music by Kevin MacLeod at Incomputech.com

F.R. Donaldson lives in scenic Scotland. She is the author of the psychological sci-fi  MALEVOLENCE

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#FrankieWIP Mapping Chapters and Future Plans!

Frankie Av

Weekly update on my writing and how I’m getting on. This week I have some news on not only Emergence, but, also a third book!

Music by Kevin McLeod at Incompetech

F.R. Donaldson lives in scenic Scotland. She is the author of the psychological sci-fi MALEVOLENCE

#FrankieWIP New Shifts, New Routine…All Mucked Up!

Frankie Av

A little update, a little apology and a little explanation…

F.R. Donaldson lives in scenic Scotland. She is the author of the psychological sci-fi MALEVOLENCE

#WriteTip Character Bio: Kai Burton

Frankie Av

To be able to write a convincing character, you have to know your character inside and out. Not just their appearance or how they speak, but how they think and feel and why they act the way you imagine. You are the creator of this person, to convince others this person is real, you have to know the character and believe in them yourself. Take these two character bios for example:

1)

Name Bob Brown
Reason for being in story Street cleaner. Just a bit character for my main character to interact with

2)

Name Bob Brown-AKA- Can Man
Reason for being in story Can Man imparts advice to main character which will help her in solving the crime.
Interesting points for character and run down 1) Can Man cleans the street with a broom on which is tied a red ribbon.

2) Not paid to clean the streets, just does so every day.

3) Ribbon on broom is from a little girl who gave him the broom to replace the one which was broken the day Bob saved her from being hit by a car.

4) Bob moves stiffly because he broke his leg in the incident.

5) Bob cleans the street for no pay or recognition because his own daughter died when she tripped over a can and fell into oncoming traffic

Obviously this is only for illustration purposes. A bio like this is only relevant for your major characters. There can be bit-characters, background people who do not need a backstory. But having a little backstory for your main characters makes them more believable, makes them come alive in the mind of your readers. A character bio will make your character come alive in your own mind, and allow you to create a well rounded, believable character.

The character I’d like to show today is Kai Burton from my book Malevolence. He is the main protagonist of the story and much of it revolves around him. The person I feel resembles Kai the most is Gerard Butler. Though this isn’t an exact match, it’s near enough for me to base Kai’s character picture on Mr Butler.

 image host

 

Name Kai Burton
Reason for being in story Main Protagonist
Details DOB: 05/06/1973

Body: 6’2” tall. Dark blue eyes, dark shaggy brown hair. Perpetual five o’clock shadow. Well built physique. Small scar above right eyebrow.

Personality: Dependable, loyal, trustworthy and reliable. But also cynical, moody, stubborn and at times intimidating–especially following an event which took place two years prior to Malevolence.
Interesting points for character After almost fifteen years of service in the army, Kai has his fair share of horror stories. He suffers from PTSD and crippling nightmares, though he does not allow this to define him.

A very focussed and intelligent man, Kai is the one in the story who many rely upon for friendship and help.

Run down Kai struggled to find work after leaving the army and answered an advert to join the team at fictional Kali Institute in Edinburgh as a paid research subject. He and his best friend Logan McKenzie both entered the Mentis A-3 trial, and both suffered the consequences.  

Kai became what is referred to as a Mind Adept; an evolved person who developed telekinetic and telepathic powers. But it’s not easy being a Mind Adept; it’s not like it is in comic books or movies at all. In fact, it is extremely punishing for those who evolved into Adepts, especially those who were left with the most powerful effects of the serum. Most of the Adepts struggle daily with their powers, some even withdrew from society after finding it too difficult to live near other people.

Kai is one of the strongest Adepts. His mind is powerful, his abilities far reaching. He is able to hear and sense the thoughts and emotions of those around him and over quite a distance. He is able to project his own thoughts and emotions to others, as well as manipulate objects with his mind. But being this powerful has left him with a mind far more fragile than one might believe.

He has a hard time dealing with his abilities, even though he has been in possession of them for over two years by the time Malevolence begins. Often overpowered by the thoughts of others around him, Kai struggles to maintain equilibrium within his own mind. There are times his abilities overrun and he finds himself inundated with the psychological information from others. This can lead to a very dangerous condition called, Overload–something Kai has experienced on a few occasions.

  Kai has learned to protect himself against Overload and psychic saturation by blocking his powers. This puts him under a lot of psychological and physical stress, something which leaves him utterly exhausted. This is when he is at his most vulnerable and the danger of Overload is at its most high, therefore Kai tends to sleep a lot. This allows his brain to rest and recover from processing such large volumes of psychological information. If he does not rest, his powers get out of control and this can lead to dangerous situations.
  It is because of the danger his powers and mind pose that Kai made the decision to become a full-time tenant living within the Kali Institute. There are a few of the original test group living at the institute after self-contained flats were built in the below-ground levels following the disaster of the MA3 trial.

   Despite all of this,  Kai is actually the most balanced of the Adepts. His regimented and disciplined mind allows him to wield his powers far more skilfully than almost all of the others. He is highly proficient in their use making him the second most powerful of all the Adepts.

   Kai’s belief that the Kali institute had a duty to care for those affected by the MA3 serum, and his convincing advocacy of this belief led to management creating the homes in the below-ground levels of the institute. It also led to the formation of training and counselling programs for those who struggled with their powers.

   Kai is driven to find Louise–creator of MA3–with the hopes of forcing her to reverse the effects, and bring her to account for what she did during the trial.  As a result, he makes himself a target for her hatred and wrath.

And there you have it. The character bio of the lead male character in Malevolence. This is a slightly modified one as spoilers have been removed. But this character sheet allows me to understand Kai and his part in the story. I hope you find this as useful as I do and that this post will help you in your writing! 😀

F.R. Donaldson lives in scenic Scotland. She is the author of the psychological sci-fi MALEVOLENCE

 

 

#FrankieWIP Malevolence Ebook, Print Edition and Better Luck!

Frankie Av

So as promised, I have better news this week! I think I will just forget last week ever happened! Blurb print edition now on sale! Click the image! 😀

 

 

Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

F.R. Donaldson lives in scenic Scotland. She is the author of the psychological sci-fi MALEVOLENCE

#FrankieWIP Continuing Cosmic Crap

Frankie Av

I have been no more lucky today than I was yesterday or the past week. An update of woe… XD I broke my Vape pipe, see picture below video. And I’ve managed to draw a doodle, also below video.

Music by Kevin McLeod at Incompetech

Broken Vape pipe

The Dolls and the Beasts

F.R. Donaldson lives in scenic Scotland. She is the author of the psychological sci-fi MALEVOLENCE

#FrankieWIP Full Fibro Failure

Frankie Av

So I had to cut this twice as my dog kept barking! I apologize for not uploading yesterday, but the video explains why I couldn’t! And a little update on Malevolence print copy and Emergence manuscript.

The Spoonie theory mentioned in the vlog which Fibrolites and Lupus sufferers adopt can be read about here.

Music by Kevin McLeod at Incomputech.com

F.R. Donaldson lives in scenic Scotland. She is the author of the psychological sci-fi MALEVOLENCE

#FrankieWIP Happy Dragon Emerges!

Frankie Av

Fixed Malevolence PDF for print and Emergence is definitely emerging! 😀

F.R. Donaldson lives in scenic Scotland. She is the author of the psychological sci-fi MALEVOLENCE

#WhateverWednesday Scores of Scores

It has been a strange week so far. I haven’t even had my laptop on for two days, which is unheard of! It is usually on up to sixteen hours a day! Our heating system has finally been renewed and the workmen are gone, but now we have to decorate the house after ripping up carpets and floors. We also have to re-paper the walls after removal of old radiators, as well as get yet another workman in to quote us for new windows. So, it’s going to be a busy week.

Anyway, I know I gave Wolf’s Rain a right bashing the other day, and while I have not forgiven the awful ending, I have to say how much I love the OST. There is one song in particular which I have had on repeat since I heard it in one of the final episodes. I love it so much, it is now added to my Emergence playlist.
The composer is Yoko Kanno who is well known, respected and much loved in the anime industry for scores of beauty and heartache. Her talent is not wasted on Wolf’s Rain. It provided a score which underlined the harsh and dangerous journey the wolves took throughout the show. One song in particular, Shiro: Long tail’s is just a gorgeous composition.

Another of the songs is Heaven’s Not Enough with vocals by Steve Conte who also did the title song, Stray. Again, it is a haunting song and heartbreaking. This is the one I have placed in my Emergence playlist. It is so beautiful.

So in the end Wolf’s Rain wasn’t a complete loss.

I have so many original soundtracks, every one of them invoking different emotions and I find them so helpful when writing or drawing to enable me to concentrate while stirring my imagination. I couldn’t choose one favourite if I tried, but here are some of my favourite tracks which make it into many of my creative playlists.

1) Advent Children: Divinity I and II by composer Nobuo Uematsu. I use this one often when drawing or painting. It helps that this is from what is probably my most favourite film of all.

2) Caleb Leaves – Marco Beltrami score for the movie Knowing.
This one tears the heart out of me and I use it when I am writing a particularly sad scene. When watching the movie, this song always reduces me to tears as it lends to the scene so well. The slow build to a father’s grief is almost unbearable. It is a great writing song.

3) Flynn Lives – Daft Punk for the film Tron Legacy
This song is so powerful. It builds and builds into a gorgeous crescendo which makes my heart soar. I use this song and others from the OST for various things. Plus, it is one of my all time favourite films and soundtracks.

4) Oblivion – M8 with Susanne Sundfør on vocals, for the movie Oblivion.
I absolutely LOVE this song. I use it when painting and drawing and occasionally when editing. This is from another of my favourite films and soundtracks.

5) Baba Yetu, by Christopher Tin for the Civilization IV video game. I find this song so uplifting, so happy and just a perfect piece to use when creating and editing.

6) Che vuole questa musica stasera by Peppino Gagliardi, used in the movie The Man From U.N.C.L.E. This song is one of my very favourites. I think one reason is that during the scene in which this song is played, we get to see a nonchalant “Superman” eat a sandwich while his partner gets chased around a river XD No, seriously though, it is a beautiful piece of music and lends itself to many of my creative outlets.

Electric Romeo, and Serenata by Immediate Music. This is one of my favourite score orchestras. These guys are amazing and I have listened to them for years–as well as their lyrical band, Globus. Their songs are powerful, ranging from uplifting and joyous to sad and heart wrenching. I listen to their music during many projects.


This is only a tiny, tiny fraction of the music I use while writing and drawing. There is so much great music out there, from epic scores to silly ditties which can help bolster imagination and bring scenes to life in your mind. If I had the time, I would show you all my music faves, but that would take a very, very, very long time!
F.R. Donaldson lives in scenic Scotland. She is the author of the psychological sci-fi MALEVOLENCE

#SundayReview Wolf’s Rain: A Real Pain

Frankie Av

This review has many spoilers, especially at the end.

I have many anime on my to-watch list, some more urgent than others. I always intended to watch Wolf’s Rain, but only managed to in the past week. It has one of my favorite things in it; wolves, and so of course I was going to love it, right?

Wolf’s Rain is a twenty-six episode anime (If you don’t count the four recap episodes which sucked) about four wolves searching for a mythical Paradise where wolves rule the land. Wolves are thought to to be long extinct by the human characters in the show, but they are actually hiding among them, clothed in the illusion of being human. The search for Paradise was initiated by a lone wolf named Kiba who during his journey meets the other three wolves and convinces them to head for Paradise. They are driven by the scent of lunar flowers-also extinct in the land- but the scent comes from a young woman who has been made entirely from the last of the lunar flowers; the Flower Maiden, Cheza.

I watched Wolf’s Rain via Viewster this week, an ep or three at a time late at night before bed. At first I was enthralled: wolves who could speak and flowed from human to wolf form with ease from scene to scene. And they had a purpose, a reason to fight and make their way through a strange futuristic Earth where they were not the only fanciful aberration to the norm. There were also Nobles, people with silly masks and outfits who appeared to be supernatural in nature, and ruled a depressing human world with weapons and powers unseen on our own Earth. The wolves are hunted by many throughout the story. Indeed, there are so many hunting and harming them, you have to feel sorry for their flea-bitten hides and can’t help but cheer them on through the endless fights while hoping the story will get better, happier.

With all anime, there is an element of forgiving from the viewer. Wolves can not speak-at least, certainly not human speak- yet we forgive this for the entertainment and fantasy value. But there were things in Wolf’s Rain I just couldn’t forgive. One was the creepy knack of the characters eyes to balloon in their sockets. Obviously this was an art-choice by the animators and creator to give the characters a cuter look, but these bug-eyed moments gave me The Fear.

There was also the fact that no matter what the wolves were hit with, they came back bouncing after a few moments of being winded. Of course, this changed in the last two eps, but I will speak about that debacle in a while. They were stabbed with swords and knives, hit with cars and bombs, thrown into the air with concussive weapons and yet they got up and rejoined the fight. At one point they even fought a blasted huge walrus!

There were times when the story-line became so confused it was too hard to follow. There appeared to be many part-stories floating around but never fully explained. Things happened that were forgotten a few scenes later. (They ate the massive walrus once they defeated it, yet were starving soon after!) So many characters came and went you forgot who you were meant to hate or root for. Stories should not be so confusing that the viewer or reader are left bewildered. There should be a point when everything is eventually explained so the reader/viewer can say, “oh THAT’S why!”

The main antagonists of the story were so out-there I kept thinking, why the hell am I still watching this?! Darcia, the odd-eyed villain, was some freaky love-sick dude who lost his partner to a curse which was never explained. The creator felt that calling her coma-like illness a Paradise Curse would suffice, but what caused it? Why did it affect her so? Why did it not effect anyone else? At one point Darcia explains the curse was caused by wolf-kind, but this was not much of an explanation for a happening that caused the creation of the main antagonist. And even though Darcia was established as a villain, he really wasn’t that much of a baddie until the very last episode. Until then, I kept thinking, what is he? Good or bad? Why the hell is he even in this at all?! He doesn’t do much except brood and whine and walk around with a weird mask on.

The other antagonist, Jaguara, appears to be even worse than Darcia. It would seem she hunts down the remaining wolves on the land in order to eat their flesh and drink their blood, while searching for “The chosen wolf” who would eventually open Paradise for her.

Yet another antagonist is an old man and his dog, Blue, who hunt down wolves in revenge. He lost his family and entire town to a wolf attack and spent the rest of his days hunting and shooting them down. It is later revealed that wolves had not killed his family, that Jaguara’s forces did the awful deed, yet he still remained wary and hateful of the wolves, even when Blue-his faithful companion for years-eventually turned out to be a freaking talking wolf-dog hybrid!

Are you confused yet? Because when the story then went on to say things about space rockets and the Nobles being born on a different world, I thought, why the fuck not? Throw in some aliens just to spruce up the already confusing story.

Because….

I thought I had it all figured out when Kiba ends up in “Garden of Eternity” after passing out under a poisonous plant in the desert. (How he got there, I have no idea.) and meets a caracal. The caracal is the only other animal who takes human form. When Kiba eventually gets pulled from the Garden of Eternity by a native American chanting away over his paralysed body (I shit you not!) we get to see many portals of other worlds. At this point I thought, Ah! Alternate worlds and dimensions! Paradise is just another of these! I was wrong.

All the way through the anime I rooted for the wolves, cheered them on towards their goal. They would find Paradise! They would bring this depressing-as-fuck story to an end with a lovely happy ending where the poor battered wolves could live out the rest of their lives in wonderful peace!!! Imagine my frustration when this beautiful ending did not happen.

No. Instead of the wolves finding paradise, they found hell on top of a damned mountain. They fought their way up this mountain after miles of travelling (Honestly, all they did was travel, for miles and forever) Hell came in the form of Darcia, who decided Paradise should be his and SOMEHOW managed to turn himself into a wolf with the help of some dark orb which powers are never explained. 
He then goes on to kill the old man, who inadvertently kills the youngest wolf which is trying to protect the old man. *breathes* At this part, I did almost cry. The scene of Toboe, the youngest wolf, dragging his hind legs across the snow to lean against his killer is heartbreaking. Because up to this point, he will be the only one of the original wolves who you know will never make it to the promised Paradise.

Things move on and Darcia kills Blue, the dog-wolf hybrid. Then Hige, the wolf who fell in love with her. Then Tsume-the badass wolf of the story-dies trying to help Kiba reach Paradise. So by this point I am like, holy shit! They are all dead except Kiba! The very first and chosen wolf!

So I start to think that Kiba and the Flower Maiden will open Paradise and all his friends will be there, alive again and running though fields of green under skies of blue while howling and playing together. Then, the Flower Maiden and Kiba die. I looked at my husband, who looked at me and we both said at the exact same time “What the actual fuck?!” This is the one thing I absolutely can not forgive.

Now, in the scenes after, it is clear that when the Flower Maiden died she burst into seeds which apparently, with the death blood of Kiba, opened Paradise. We get to see what is meant to be the world rebooting into Paradise, as well as a scene of Kiba falling beneath water, dying as he laments his wasted life and fruitless journey. It has all been a huge waste of energy. But the Paradise is contaminated by Darcia’s evil and so Paradise is imperfect.

A new scene begins. It appears to be present day Earth in a big city where there are high rise flats, business buildings and traffic. Cars and motorbikes and people milling around a smoggy land. Then we see Kiba in human form, then Tsume on a motorbike, Hige eating a hot dog and lastly Toboe petting a cat. In the end, Paradise looks like our world as we know it, and the wolves don’t even know each other! Kiba begins to run, the others turn to look as if sensing something, and you can’t help but think that Kiba is searching for Paradise again. No wonder, so would I if my paradise ended up being nothing more than present day earth!

I would have to say the animation is gorgeous (with exception of the bug-eyes) It is smooth and the wolves beautifully drawn. The soundtrack is haunting and beautiful, suited to the anime as a whole. But while there are so many things I absolutely hated about the anime, I still love the wolf characters, and will imagine a better ending for this depressing and heart-breaking tale. I think if you look past all the messy plot lines and weirdness, there is a beautiful tale being told. It is also worth mentioning that I watched the subbed version, perhaps the dubbed version would explain more.

How would I rate Wolf’s Rain? At the moment I’d give it a 4/10. If I ever watch it in English, that score might change. 🙂

F.R. Donaldson lives in scenic Scotland. She is the author of the psychological sci-fi MALEVOLENCE