Posted in Character reveal, Identity and Culture, literary updates, Original Stories

Black Heroes: Character artwork for the miniseries “Three Expats and A Winter”

Hola CTTBies,

I hope you’re doing well!

Not so bad on my side. Except that winter is starting here in Spain and I’m not so excited about it. I hate the cold weather … Anyway, it doesn’t cut down my enthusiasm! Now, let’s get to the topic.

Except for my diary “A Writer Behind The Scenes”, I plan to have all my stories illustrated. Although I select and design the traits and physical features of the protagonists, I’m a terrible drawer. I use an app to create a simulation, then I ask a friend of mine to complete the drawings for me.

Today I wanted to share with you the characters I created for the miniseries “Three Expats and A Winter”. I’ve heard a lot that there were not enough black heroes, or drawings of African characters that people of black lineage could relate with. I agree as well. The main protagonists (Johnny, Martins and Malaika) each portray a different aspect of situations faced by people of color. In the future, I’ll design more characters to go with the episodes. I hope to not only raise awareness, but also to generate a positive impact that will bring out a positive change.

The complete Season 1 is uploaded on this website (click here to read).

First sketching

First poster

Second sketching

Second poster

Take good care, and see you in my next post!

Nuna Blomevi.

Posted in Daily Life, Deep Thoughts, Life Moments, literature, New book, Original Stories, psychology, Raising Awareness

Circumstances, Background and Intentions: the fine line between good and evil


Reference Book: “Unescorted”, by Nuna Blomevi. 2020 © All Rights Reserved.

Warning: This post tackles delicate issues. May cause difficult memories to resurface or triggers in people sensitive to the topic or with traumas.

Mercy… Lately I’ve been choosing very sensitive topics. Less K-drama talks, more serious content. I’m getting more ideas for the blog as I edit my books. Currently under rewriting, my novel Unescorted principally spans over two stages: the heroine’s teenage years and her beginnings as a young adult. Centered on her life in school and her interactions with other people as she grows up, I address in the plot certain issues that plague our modern society: bullying, emotional abuse, peer pressure, sexual harassment and loneliness.
Being a great fan of psychology, I like researching the possible reasons behind people’s actions. “What kind of thoughts were they having? What logic did they process to end up doing what they did”? Of course, having a background reason or a rational explanation doesn’t excuse wrong actions (between good and evil, we all have a choice to make). However, analyzing thought patterns may help in understanding or correcting certain behaviours. I’m not an expert yet, so I will leave the rest to the specialists…  For now, I am applying the knowledge acquired to build the background of my characters. Still, the social problems I mentioned above occur so often in real life. It made me reflect quite a lot…
Here are some aspects I considered while writing Unescorted (read the excerpt here). They are based on some common contexts perceived from different perspectives:

Case 1

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

“X” is a quiet person and a homebody. He/she is not into parties and loud activities. He/she’d rather read a book instead of hitting the dance floor. “Y” perceives “X”’s behaviour as “not normal”, boring, too reserved or not cool, and constantly seeks to drag him / her along when he/she goes to have fun. What is the fine line between being nosy, invasive or being  genuinely caring? Should his/her intentions be interpreted as wanting to improve “X”’s social life, or is he/she being forceful?

      “X”’s response could be:

“I should go once, maybe I’ll like it”.
“‘Y” is getting on my nerves, I’ll just go so that he/she stops bothering me”.
“I don’t want to go, but I don’t have the courage to tell “Y”. I feel intimidated.”

Case 2

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

As a guy, “W” seeks to show confidence when flirting. When making a move on a girl, he relies on the “signs” she seems to transmit to deduce if it’s a green light or a red light. (How she smiles, strokes her hair, or how she looks at him). “Should I get closer?”, “Will touching her make her feel attracted to me?”, “Is her ‘no’ a real ‘no’ or is she playing hard to get?”; “‘M’s girlfriend kept rejecting him at first but she ended up falling for him. Should I insist with this girl? Maybe she’s just being shy. I like her and I want to her to be mine.” He may get these four responses from his love interest depending on the case:

Possible reactions from Girl “Z”:

“I like this guy. How should I let him know? Maybe I should try to get closer”.
“I don’t like him… Or maybe I like him a little bit? I said no, but I actually meant yes. I don’t want him to think I’m easy.”
“Let me play with him a little and see how it goes.”
“I don’t like him at all. I’ll tell him to get lost.”

Now here come the questions. This is not about judging between right or wrong, between good and evil. Moreover, there is an infinity of variables to be taken into account. The mood, the venue, the context, the relationship between the protagonists…

Photo by The Humantra on Pexels.com

All of them probably have their own way of thinking which will determine their decision.  “X” may cede to “Y” and follow him/her to a party. Whether he continues to go or not is his/her choice. Does that make him/her a pushover? Or: he may also stand his/her grounds and not go at all. Does that make him/her antisocial, inflexible or stuck-up?

“Y” may choose to keep insisting, and become pushy or nosy. Or, he/she may choose to respect “X”’s decision and let him/her be.  

Based on his “interpretations” of those supposed “signs”, “W”’s choice to keep pursuing a girl may turn him into a pervert, a jerk or get him the girl he wants if she finally says yes. What is the limit between flirting and sexual harassment? Depending on her response, he may get slapped, leave the girl disgusted, or get himself a girlfriend. It is his responsibility to know when to stop and not impose himself if she said no.
From one scenario to another, we wonder: how will the story end? I’m sure there are various answers crossing our minds. Beyond the novel’s context, these are situations we’ve heard of or that we faced in real life. I didn’t mention more serious scenarios because they are too delicate. “Why did “XY” murder “YZ”?” or, “why did “XY” mistreat “YZ” ?” Maybe I’ll write about them in the future if I start a thriller…

Nowadays, literature, movies, art etc provide a lot of backstories to explain the reasons behind the characters’ actions. The new tendency is “why the villain became a villain”. It’s not bad. But it made me recall certain court rulings that used the same principle. You might have also thought of one that marked you… Based on how the circumstances of the crime were explained, the law was used to a certain advantage. Some assaillants were said to have had “a moment of weakness” or to suffer sequels from a troubled past. Their victims “happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time” or were said to have somewhat triggered the criminal. However, the culprits didn’t suffer from any serious pathology except that “they were not themselves” or “they lost it for a minute”. That lapse was enough to destroy someone’s life. The victim is already hurt, but also blames his/herself from not having been able to escape. The feeling is even worse if there is no sign of repentance or if justice was never made.

Understanding circumstances or intentions behind actions may be good, but too much explanation shouldn’t cloud common sense. The facts can’t be changed: someone wronged another person. The person who was wronged wants things to be corrected, not explained. No matter how many turns the story is given.

Real life isn’t a novel, so it’s important to think through. And read between the lines. “How should I react in this situation?”, “Why am I doing this?”, “Is what I am doing hurtful to me or to another person in any way?”. Tick, Tock, count to three (at least). Let the heart express loud enough the intentions behind the actions. It may be time to hold back, or time to flee. Depending on our position and circumstances, (whether we are in X, Y, W or Z’s shoes) these golden rules might be helpful while considering our next move: “Don’t do to others what you wouldn’t like to be done to you” or “I don’t feel comfortable with this person, and I think this is a good time to run away”.

My original topic for this post was “Peer Pressure / Sexual Harassment: When your ‘no’ is forced to become a ‘yes’.” As I was typing, I felt like I should go deeper and deeper, and I got us into this meditation on good, evil and choices. Maybe that’s how strong the influence of intentions is.

(Image taken from http://www.thejadedmage.com/ No copyright infringements intended)
Posted in literary updates, literature, New book, Original Stories, webnovel

Chekhov’s gun, Harry Potter’s magic, Grimm’s longevity and Freud’s science

The magic literary sauce

Recently I have been researching writing techniques to spice up my novels. I’ve always said: if you want to become grand like your references who are successful, follow the steps that they took to get where they are. Apply the tips that worked for them and avoid the mistakes they commited. Our lives are too short to waste time experimenting. As I mentioned in one of the chapters of my diary “A Writer Behind The Scenes”, becoming a great author is not based only on talent, but comes by being humble to learn. (It’s also applicable in any other field). I love this quote from Cindy Trimm: “Your attitude determines your altitude”.

So far I’ve come across these great ingredients:

  • Chekhov’s gun

Remove everything that has no relevance to the story. If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it’s not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there.

I discovered this concept by chance while I was watching some short writing tutorials on Youtube (links at the end of the page) so I searched it on Wikipedia (read more on Chekhov’s gun.)

It has helped me to be more selective. Sometimes as an author, there is so much one wants to say; but it’s also important to learn how to appropriately transmit the relevant information to the readers, not just a word salad we understand ourselves.  I’m learning to avoid unnecessary details, but also to maintain a certain consistency in my plots.

  • Harry Potter’s magic and Grimm’s longevity

I am a great fan of Harry Potter… I completely devoured the story, the creativity is brilliant and the concept is innovative. I also love tales, especially those written by the Grimm brothers. They’ve accompanied me throughout my childhood until now. Aside from the fantasy component that I’m greatly fond of (which turned into my favourite genre as the years went by), I started to consider their tales from a more mature point of view. What made them transcend time, overcome the blackhole of oblivion and leave a steady legacy for 200 years? Their biography is so rich, I’m just starting to learn.

Now that I intend to take writing seriously, I am evolving from being an ardent fan/ reader to becoming a disciple.  I hope my own stories (Tales of Dreamland for example) will benefit from this admirable heritage.

Check the link I read: “What made Harry Potter so successful

  • Freud’s science

I am interested in Psychology as a science, so I do a lot of research on that field. In literature, I am a great fan of psychology novels, webtoons, series, korean dramas etc, whether it’s the main component or it’s combined with other genres.… “It’s okay, that’s love”, “Dr Frost”, “Yumi’s Cells”, “It’s Ok To Not Be Okay” etc… Any story that talks about how thoughts are processed or how the mind functions is my cup of tea. Although the title may suggest so, I don’t focus on Freud only but I research on the whole field in general. I just chose his name because he’s one of the most famous pionners.

As a writer, it’s a necessary ingredient that I add to my plots (my novel Unescorted is full of psychological allusions). It helps me define the characters’ traits and therefore make the story more understandable. It also helps to engage the audience in empathizing or relating with them, therefore making the plot more captivating. More importantly, I don’t want my stories to be only for entertainment or to pass time. Through them, I wish to raise awareness, transmit healing and cause my readers to reflect.

I hope you enjoyed these tips! What were your favourites, and why? And which other ones would you suggest? Let me know in the comments below!

Posted in literature, New book, Original Stories

Book excerpts – “Unescorted” (I)

Hello CTTBies! I trust you’ve been doing great!

As I announced it some days ago, today I’ll be posting an excerpt from the books I’m currently working on. I wondered which of them to post. These days, I feel inspired to blog about self-discovery and self-acceptance (click here to read the article) so I decided to go with my novel titled “Unescorted”. For those who haven’t heard about it, I had uploaded some of the chapters before. Notwithstanding, I wasn’t satisfied with the story and I’m currently rewriting it. All my apologies; I’m not a pro yet so it’s taking me some time. I’m also doing a lot of research to upgrade it from an amateur version to something a bit more polished. The final copy will be ready in early 2021. However, I’m too excited to keep the story to myself so I’ll be sharing some of my favorite parts. Like I always insist, my focus is not only on making the completed works available, but on the process as well. I don’t have much back-up yet so I have very little feedback. I’m learning the ropes by myself so I’d like to preserve these memories and experiences as a rookie.

I hope you enjoy it!

Title: Unescorted

Author: Nuna Blomevi. Copyright © 2020, All Rights Reserved

Keywords: Friendship, Sismance, University, Psychology, Social life, Young Adult, Chick-Lit

Summary: Sometimes, a lost friendship hurts more than a break-up.

As a recent highschool graduate, Tegan is a young adult who freshly enrolled into university.  Being an only child, her top goal is to find the ultimate best friend. Her previous attempts didn’t go too well, but she is still expectant to have better chances now that she is more mature and is entering a new environnement. She would soon be aware that building a perfect friendship was more arduous than she thought… Will she be able to adapt to her new life on campus, and will she find the friend she’s looking for?

Chapter 5:

Lies and Snares

When a guy tells a girl “Come over for some Netflix and chill”, she can suspect what he’s up to. But, when it’s her best friend who says that, she knows they’re only going to watch a movie.  However… Tegan was going to realise that there can be “plans behind plans”.

***

Tegan had heard of their bad reputation, but it was already late and the house was far so she couldn’t go home. Also, she was counting on Suri’s presence, (though she had proven to be somehow biased and unreliable in backing her up) to prevent any “possible” unfortunate events from happening.

The night felt like forever and the hours were going too slow for her. She waited in torture for the first ray of dawn light to pierce the dark sky.  She couldn’t sleep at all on the bed, and finally ended up lying on the sofa in the living room.  Why? Because of Anton who kept making allusions all along and finally groped her at some point.  Thankfully, it ended up as a stupid joke, but it wasn’t funny at all for Tegan.

***

Chapter 8:

The will to move on

Tegan came to learn a great lesson from this unfortunate long term event: it’s important to treasure oneself, and not to allow oneself to be disregarded by others with the excuse of wanting to be a good person; they wouldn’t value it anyway.  On the other hand: you can also make new friends, even better than the previous ones. She couldn’t quite remember where she heard the following encouraging words but they helped her a great deal to overcome that separation: “One day, we will all meet nice people who will love us as we are and treat us well”. Who knows, maybe it was the Universe sending her support and guidance.   

Chapter 14:

Learning new parameters: I didn’t know I could also hurt someone

Being an only child and having had only one close friend for a long time, Tegan wasn’t really the best with social skills. Amber and Jazmine were the first to tell her certain hard truths.

They came to see her in her room one day, saying they wanted to chat with her. Tegan was a bit perplexed because the atmosphere was a bit weird, and also because they came as a pair. In fact, she was anxiously wondering what they wanted to tell her.

  • Hmmm… Tea, you know, we really love you and cherish you, ok? But there are some things that we weren’t really happy about so we wanted to tell you how we felt.

***

Sorry… they’re quite short, but I’d like to keep you intrigued, hehe.

Besides, I’ll be posting some chapters from my other books. It’ll probably be my psychology fantasy novel titled “Tales of Dreamland”. It’s almost finished as well; just a few chapters to add and that’s it! Since it’s a tale, I’d like it to be illustrated and very colourful. For that purpose I asked a friend to draw some of the main characters and main scenes. The full book will also be available in 2021, though I’ll upload excerpts here and provide some BTS.

Well, that’ll be all for today! It’s late but I want to watch one or two episodes of Kdrama before going to bed. Goodnight, and see you in my next post!

Nuna Blomevi.

P.S.: Don’t forget to like and share this post with your friends, and follow CTTB on social media. Thanks!  

ありがとうございます, 皆さん!

감사합니다, 여러분!

Lol, I’m not sure about the above, so let me stick to the ones I’m fluent in: Gracias a todos; Merci à tous; Vielen dank, Leute!

Posted in literature, Original Stories, Story time, Tales of My Adventures

New series: “A Writer Behind the Scenes” (AWBTS)

A periodical diary about my experiences as a rookie writer

Hi CTTBies!

It’s been long since I wrote a new post…All my apologies. I’m going through a bit of a slump so I’m looking for new ideas.

Moreover, I’ve been really busy with work these days. Aside from my normal job, I’ve been working on my novels. I’m more than eager to publish them, but I’m not satisfied yet with some versions so I’ve started rewriting them.

On the other hand, I’m doing a lot of research to improve my blogging skills and increase the quality of the website.

Concerning that, I thought it’d be interesting and useful to keep track of my experiences as a no-fame rookie, so I’ve decided to keep a diary. Season 1 “The Invisible Life” is already available, with 11 chapters so far.

I’ve titled the diary “A Writer Behind the Scenes” (AWBTS in short). I will be publishing it in a webnovel format. You can have access to it by clicking on the previous linking or by checking on the thumnail on my homepage. It is the second series I’ll be posting after “Three Expats and a Winter

Have a nice time reading, and see you in my next post! Don’t forget to like, share and follow me on social media. (@Corner_TheTalkingBrain @NunaBlomevi). XoXo!