Creature in the Waves

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TaniwhaNew Zealand

Beings that reside among dangerous currents, may be guardians or predators.

  • They live in deep pools, hiding out in rivers, dark caves or, the deepest of all pools…the sea! They like being in dangerous currents or giant waves!
  • Good? Bad? Both? They’re considered kaitiaki, or protective guardians, of people and places in some legends. However, if told through other legends, they’re depicted as monsters who steal/kidnap women to marry.
  • Taniwha loosely translates to shark species of the Proto-Oceanic word, “tanifa.”
  • So, shark species means it probably looks like a fish of some sort, right? Right! Depending on the body of water. It’s beensaid there are some taniwha that appear to be alligators. There are a few legends which describe the taniwha as a log.
  • If someone comes across a taniwha, they might turn into one after they pass.

Consistently Inconsistent

Anyone writing a novel should always remember: consistently consistent. From the basics like character names to heavy lore details that provide rich world-building.

Telling a linear story will make you, as the writer, feel better about your product. You’ll feel encouraged to share your story more so than before.

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In order to write consistently within the words, planning is necessary. We are definitely a broken record when it comes to this topic, but that should prove how important the process of planning out your novel really is. We’re talking plot outlines, world outlines, character bios, etc. All of these are needed to create the base of your novel. If you’re not incorporating mapping time, you’re not going to write a consistent story. You’ll end up writing ten different inconsistencies and your book will never see a virtual shelf. Ever. If you need to research, take time during this stage of your writing to get the gist of it. Relating your world to the reader’s will build the bond everyone wants to have with their favorite books.

Once writing has begun to unfold, your writing style for the novel at stake should remain relatively consistent (unless it’s part of the storyline…then do what you must! Just do it in a cohesive manner.) Tone with the narrator and characters shouldn’t change throughout the novel unless tragedy strikes and alters their perspectives. The plot can change slightly, as you uncover more during the writing process, but if it’s drastic…return to your outlines. You can easily incorporate these new changes in your story; it’ll also help you see where the changes will begin to morph the rest of the tale and avoid any inconsistencies!

On Location

It’s not in everyone’s best interest to sit in their home office to write. Works for some, not for the rest. A few may take a ride in their car to a local place they find inspirational. Others take a hit to the wallet and hop on a place to their most relaxing destination. The purpose isn’t to escape the process of writing, but lay the seed of inspiration and nourish it with the surrounding scenery.

Is anyone a location-inspired writer? If so, where do you like to write?

Coffee shops?

The beach in a comfy chair with your toes in the sand?

In a hotel with a magical view of snow-capped mountains?

Local park?

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La Chupacabra

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Chupacabra Puerto Rico

Bear-sized, spiky creature that drinks livestock blood.

  • Breaking down the word, chupacabra can be translated to “goat-sucker” (chupar means ‘to suck’ while cabra means ‘goat’.)
  • It’s primarily found in Puerto Rico but it’s been reportedly seen as far north as Maine, and as far south as Chile. Occasionally, you’ll hear of the creature popping up in Europe.
  • The chupacabra’s first reported attack happened in 1995. This myth is still very young!
  • Appearance varies on the place; it can be the size of a small bear, can have scales (making it more reptilian), a sharp spine, or may have quills. But guess what? It’s only supposedly 3 feet tall (can be up to four feet) and hops like a kangaroo. It’s sometimes described like a dog.
  • They’re motive is similar to a vampire; their victims are always found drained of blood – not slaughtered.

Canada’s Loch Ness Monster

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Ogopogo British Columbia

Lake-dwelling serpentine monster.

  • Sightings started in the 19th century but have been discredited to being a legendary water spirit, living in Lake Okanagan.
  • Other than having the body of a snake, the head has been described to be that of a snake, horse, or even a goat. Sometimes it has long ears or horns with blue or brown scales.
  • It eats flesh. That means humans…turn into prey. Hunters become the hunted. Native Americans never traveled across the lake without sacrificial meals on board. Now, its believed the monster dwells in one of the corners of the lake.
  • It’s very similar to the Loch Ness monster of Scotland.
  • The ogopogo is sometimes thought to be an extinct whale or marine reptile.

Out Of Control

Relinquishing creative control can feel like the end of the world. One cannot simply do everything and have a successful book launch.

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  • Let your editor edit. You’re paying them to do so. Give them space. Let them work. And if they don’t meet their deadline, let ’em have it. All hell will break loose. Be easy on your editor who’s focusing on the substantive editing. They need to pick apart your story and ask questions. Don’t flip out on them. Take a chill pill.
  • Unless you’re designing your own cover, you’ll also need to take a step back and tell yourself: “I’m not the expert.” Give the designer what they need, info-wise. Maybe a little more. Be realistic in your feedback and don’t get irrationally angry if they don’t follow your original request. They may have a marketing tactic or two behind their reasons why. Just ask.
  • If you’ve hired PR to help with your marketing, then you need to lay out your terms and conditions to a degree. Once again, you’re paying this person to do a job for you. They’re the expert. Not you! They will treat your upcoming work with TLC and sketch out a marketing plan tailored to a genre and audience. If they don’t, something isn’t being done right. Ensue virtual yelling.

Think of this time away from your work as a vacation. Go to the beach, go for a hike. Drink a nice, cold pina colada. And when you’re notified from any of the people you’ve hired about your book…

Panic.

The Cannibal Monster

This is one of the last two areas of the world we are traveling too. So, let’s venture into the deep woods of the Americas to start the beginning of the final countdown!


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WendigoAlgonquian Tribes

Cannibalistic beastly humanoid, possibly once human.

  • This creature is aligned with murder, insatiable, and cultural taboos against “normal” behavior. They’re also associated with the winter, the north, coldness, famine, and starvation.
  • The Wendigo is bigger than a human, and whenever it feeds on human flesh, it grows! It never gains weight and will always appear thin. They’re always hungry so watch out!!
  • There’s also an explanation as to why they may have been human once before turning into the Wendigo. When they were human, they may have been incredibly greedy. Or if the human was in contact with Wendigos for too long, they would become one.
  • Powers include: mimicking human voices, possession, controlling weather, manipulation of darkness (sunset), control of forest creatures, healing, and incredible strength and speed.
  • Believe it or not, there is a psychological disorder called the Wendigo Psychosis. People diagnosed crave human flesh even though they have access to normal food sources.

Proof It Once, Proof It Twice…

…Third times a charm! Right? Right?

Unfortunately, that’s not the case when it comes to editing and proofreading your novel. If you’re trying to save money and doing everything by yourself is your only option, we want to be there for you.

Meaning, we’re going to give you some advice.


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  1. Take some time away. We mean it. You may not be able to do a vacation getaway from your writing, but you could leave the room. That’s like a vacation, right? Leave your writing domain for an extended period of time and take a breather. You deserve it! And plus…if you jump into proofing and editing immediately, you’ll end up critiquing yourself as a writer more so than edit your actual book.
  2. Figure out what you want the process to be likeWhile you’re away from your writing space would be the best time to do this! Mapping out your editing goals will help you focus on what’s important and needs to be done. Don’t let your mind wander!
  3. Sit down.
  4. Make sure you’re reading your book as a strangerAnother important part of taking a break is coming back with a new, fresh perspective. With healthy distractions, you’ll be able to forget (for the most part) what your book was like and when you start to re-read, you’ll think…”What did the author say?…Oh wait, that’s me.” You’ll notice details differently, too.
  5. Get into the reading groove. Maybe you’ll read very slowly, maybe you’ll read it aloud to yourself (or force someone to read it for you…ALEXA.)
  6. Pace in your space because it becomes too much.
  7. Don’t worry! We always see writers attempting to word particular things differently. Don’t worry about that. Sometimes…you just have to use the word ‘said.’ There’s no reason to get fancy. Focus on other bits, not that.

Letting Characters Write Themselves

Writing is an experience which changes from person-to-person. Some are very straightforward: outline the work, write as they’ve planned, and stick to what they initially imagined. Others…this one is for you…let the writing take over. Some may let the characters do the writing for them. Even with an outline to give an overview of what’s to come, sometimes a character’s personality or background won’t allow what’s been planned to happen the way the writer may want. (And we don’t recommend forcing it!)

The character may become the author of their own story – you’re only the vessel!

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If you’re feeling as though your story is straying away from the original plan, don’t worry – this may come with purpose.

During the editing process, make sure everything links together. Even if your character takes the wheel and steers you in a new direction doesn’t necessarily mean they’re always going to be right! Nervous about taking the leap? Duplicate the document, re-read each chapter as it’s written, refer back to your notes and put your brain to work!

Writing doesn’t have to be a cut-dry part of your life; your characters have a story you’re destined to tell, so let them help you tell it.

The Grandma Snake

We know what you’re thinking: Grandma Snake? What the heck kind of myth is that?

It’ll make more sense as you read…


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Baba Yaga Russia

Mysterious old woman who floats around in a mortar.

  • The description may say a singular old woman, but this myth opens the possibility of running into not just one but three baba yagas (can it be plural?) Crazy part? They’re all equally as deformed and terrifying to look at it.
  • Not only does she float around in a mortar…she’s armed. With a pestle. The thing you use to grind stuff up in the mortar. Sounds like if you get her mad, you know what will happen to you.
  • She can be found in the forest, in a hut. Most people who come across her seek her out for a maternal role or something in relation to forest life. (Read some of the stories – they’re crazy!)
  • Baba Yaga may be seen as a villain, but she’s portrayed as a helper or ambiguous being in a story.
  • The meaning of her name varies (take a peek at the title again); baba has a variety of meanings, ranging from grandmother to sorceress. Yaga doesn’t have a clear translation but most believe it revolves around serpents.