Review of The Snowflake Method

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As you may have known, I’ve been using The Snowflake Method to plan my novel, Battle Song. The Snowflake Method is a method created by Randy Ingermanson to design a novel outline. The idea is that you start small (one sentence), and expand it until you get to something large and complex (a fifty-page outline, then your first draft).

Here’s the link to his article about it: The Snowflake Method for Designing a Novel

I haven’t yet finished all ten steps of The Snowflake Method, as the last step is to actually write the entire first draft, but overall, this method has worked quite awesomely for me. In this review, I’ll share some of my thoughts, including my likes and dislikes, about this method.


My Favorite Part: The Outlines

I know, I know, I told you that I wasn’t a planner, and I didn’t like outlines! Well, that’s just what I thought. I love my outlines. Why do I love them? Well, for two simple reasons:

  1. They organize my writing and plot fantastically. Previously, I’ve struggled with writing my middle…which then led to struggles in writing the climax and the ending. But having an outline makes it easy to see how the story progresses and will serve as a great guide as I draft Battle Song.
  2. They make me feel so professional! Which is definitely the more important reason, haha. But seriously, it’s so much fun to be making notes about a certain spot in the book and be able to say, “But wait, in scene #42, she says…” It just makes me feel like a real author, which is such a cool feeling.

In The Snowflake Method, you end up making two outlines. The first is in a spreadsheet, with just a short explanation of each scene. At times, it was hard to boil down the essence of a scene into 10 words or so, because there was just a lot going on in each scene. Plus, I wasn’t entirely sure what constituted as a scene. However, I love being able to see the novel at a glance. Instead of having to scroll through pages to be able to find a specific scene, I can just look at the spreadsheet and go, “Okay, that happens ten scenes later, in scene #35.” (And referencing specific scenes is, again, ridiculously fun.)

The second outline is an expanded version of the first, taking those few words you wrote and then making it into a couple of paragraphs. This is actually an optional step, but I’m loving it. It’s so fun to imagine writing these scenes later on, and since I’m not actually writing anything, the first draft will still be fun. And it will be easy to write, because I’m outlining every scene.

I made a google doc for this step only, with header links for each scene, which allows me to navigate the doc easily. Each scene has a little template that makes it easy to fill out, too.

 

 

I’ve just been having so much fun with the outlines! That being said, developing the plot enough to get to the point where I could make an outline was difficult, and I ran into several large problems. Now, however, I only have to solve little problems, so planning becomes a lot more fun!


What I Liked: Expansion of Plot

The thing I like the best about The Snowflake Method is this idea of expanding your novel from a tiny idea into an thought-out outline. And the best part about this is that you don’t expand linearly–you expand from the center outward.

To clarify, it’s not as if you start at the beginning of the outline, write the first scene, then the second, and so forth. Rather, you start with an idea that slowly leads you to create a comprehensive guide to the entire book. You have a beginning, middle, and an ending all the way from the second step, which is only a paragraph long.

Which was awesome! In previous novels, I hardly ever knew the middle or ending of the novel when I started, but by using The Snowflake Method, I was able to come up with an entire plotline that actually worked.

The organization of these plot-related steps is very cohesive and smooth. By the end of each step, I had enough information to move onto the next step. Rather than being daunted by the idea of creating an outline involving every scene, by the time I had a four-page summary of the novel, I was ready!

Here are all the plot-related steps:

  • 1 sentence summary (logline)
  • 1 paragraph summary
  • 1 page summary
  • 4 page summary
  • Spreadsheet outline (short description of each scene)
  • Expanded outline (longer description of each scene) (optional)
  • First draft

I loved how these steps fit together, and they helped me create a plot that I love.


What I Disliked: Insufficient Character Expansion

There are seven plot-related steps above. But what about the other three? Well, those are for developing characters.

  • 1 page character sheets (including a 1 paragraph storyline)
  • 1 page character storylines for major characters, 1/2 page for minor
  • Character charts detailing everything there is to know about each character

To me, these steps just aren’t sufficient to create an entire character, especially one who develops in synchrony with the plotline.

The first two steps work well together, but then, you’re suddenly expected to know “everything there is to know about each character” (the last bullet point is, in fact, a quote from the Snowflake Method article). I ended up skipping that step (more or less), as it actually seems impossible to me.

Rather than that step, I researched character arcs and developing realistic characters, and I found an article about a very simple yet emotional way to develop them: Creating Deep Realistic Characters

This includes only 4 steps:

  1. The Goal
  2. The Motivation
  3. The Deep Dark Belief
  4. The Origin of the Deep Dark Belief

It was difficult to figure this out so late in the process, so when planning another novel, I will definitely move this sooner. I still have yet to figure out how exactly I will alter The Snowflake Method to fit my character needs (perhaps adding more steps?), but I will.

Which is actually another thing I love about The Snowflake Method: you’re allowed to, even supposed to, alter it to fit your needs. You can add, remove, and change steps all you want, so that it works for you.


No Worldbuilding?

There is no worldbuilding, or even setting development, involved in The Snowflake Method. Which can be a problem, especially if you’re creating a fantasy world.

There are two sides to this issue. On one hand, you want to be able to develop your setting enough that it can take part in your plot. On the other hand, you don’t want the setting to be so important that it constricts your ability to create a good plot.

For me, this wasn’t as important. I’ve started writing Battle Song twice, and both times I developed the world and the magic a little bit more. I already had enough information that I could incorporate it into the plot.

I don’t think there’s a way to include worldbuilding into the steps of The Snowflake Method, though. Character and plot are very much intertwined, while the setting may only have a minor effect.

I’d assume this is part of the “composting” that Ingermanson talks about: the time before you begin The Snowflake Method, where you spend time just thinking about your novel, collecting ideas. Doing some development beforehand gives you a solid backdrop while you create characters and plot, but you can always change it later on, if needed.


Overall

I love how The Snowflake Method helped me organize my novel into something cohesive and understandable! It needs a few personal tweaks and alterations to work for me, but there is definitely a solid foundation.

I would definitely recommend this method to anyone who:

  • doesn’t already have a planning method that works for them
  • wants to become more serious about writing
  • wants outlines that make them feel professional (obviously important)

Your Thoughts

If you’ve tried The Snowflake Method, what did you think of it? What were some things that you would change?

If you haven’t, how do you plan your novels (or do you)? What is your favorite part of the writing process (planning, writing, revising, etc.)? What do you think is the most important element to develop when planning a novel?

(P.S. I started drafting Battle Song the other day! So you should see a post about that soon!)

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The Snowflake Method (Becoming an Author, Part Two)

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After much procrastination, relaxation, stress-ation (aka school) and vacation, I am back! At least for today. No promises for the future, but hopefully I’ll post during NaNoWriMo, which I am…not really but kind of doing? Essentially, I’m not starting a novel during November, but I’m going to be working on planning one.

Which brings me to the subject of today’s post…the Snowflake Method, which I’m using with Battle Song! Are you excited? I am.

(P.S. Want to see my first Becoming an Author post? It was ages ago, but whatever. You can find it here.)


So what’s the Snowflake Method?

The Snowflake Method is a way of planning or organizing a novel, starting from a tiny sliver of your story (a one-sentence summary) to the full complexity of a first draft. Successive steps along the way help you expand it piece by piece until you’ve created an entire novel.

This ten step method was developed by Randy Ingermanson, and you can check out the ten steps here at his website.


Why am I using the Snowflake Method?

The first time I heard of the Snowflake Method was when my dad and I did Camp NaNo together (my first NaNo experience) in April 2013. He used this method to plan out his novel, but I didn’t really know much about it except for the basic idea (from basic to complex).

I used to shun the Snowflake Method without knowing much about it because I’m not a planner. I didn’t want to be a planner. I thought it would limit my creativity, freedom, and enjoyment–and maybe it will, but I’m going to try it out.

But lately I’ve been frustrated with how I can’t seem to finish a novel. I’ll write a few chapters or even 20- or 30,000 words…and then it fizzles away. In the past, even when I have finished, the middle of my novel has sagged. I can write a beginning just fine, but the rest? Not so much.

So, I decided I’d just check the website out. If it helped me, I’d try it out. And when I read through it, I realized that it was exactly what I needed.

I needed something to organize my work, to help me develop a functioning beginning, middle, and end, and to assist me in writing a novel that would affect other people–and that’s what it’s for.

(I didn’t worry about buying the book or the software. Like he says, everyone will do it a little differently, and I don’t think I need those things to make it work for me.)


Is it working?

Yes…as far as I can tell. I’ve only done the first three steps, so who knows? And I’m not sure if I’ll know until I actually write the first draft. Or technically, third draft? Because it will be the third time I’ve started Battle Song. But for right now, it’s helping me.

It’s not that it suddenly made me realize what everything was supposed to be–on the other hand, it revealed the problems with my story–the lack of a specific conflict, especially. When describing your novel in such a short time frame–one sentence–you have to strip it down to its very essence and build up from there.

Here’s that one sentence (or logline) describing Battle Song:

In a reimagining of The Little Mermaid, a warrior mermaid seeks divine forgiveness for her murders while forced to fight in a war.

It took me a while to figure out what the central conflict was and how to make sure it conveyed the interesting parts of the ideas (not just the fighting but also the religion and Amrya’s conflicted nature throughout the book), but now that I took the time to figure it out, I really like the logline and how it will affect my story.

Also, if you’re interested in starting the Snowflake Method or just writing a logline for your book, here’s the two sources I liked the best. (The readability is awful with a black background, but the information was clearly stated and helpful for me.)

Building the Perfect Logline for Your Book, Screenplay, or Other Story

Logline Workshop: Jurassic Park


Your thoughts?

Have you ever used the Snowflake Method? Do you want to? How do you plan (or not) your novels? Do you think that’s the right way for you, or could you improve? Do you have a logline for your current novel? If so, please share it! And what do you think of the logline for Battle Song?

Rambles on Writing #2: Things Are Looking Up

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In my last post, Rambles on Writing #1, I talked about how everything in my novel seemed to be falling apart and I didn’t know how to write it and the plot was terrible and blah blah blah all of my complaining. So a big THANK YOU to everyone who encouraged, advised, supported, and commiserated with me in response.

I said I wanted my next post to be more happy and so it is! I am much more happy. There are still things to work on (like maybe actually writing something in Enhanced, but I figured out most of the problem and kind of how to fix it. (I found more problems, too, but mainly smaller ones.)

The main problem with my plot, I realized, was that none of my characters really changed. I’d made all of these lovely little plots for them to go through and struggle with, but they weren’t really struggling because the plots didn’t really affect them.

First of all, I added in the moralistic dimension that my writing had been missing. Obviously, you don’t want a book to end with, “And that’s why you should always…” because that isn’t going to change people. But if you can write a book with inspiring characters and play with the reader’s emotions, then they can learn a lesson from it and apply it to them. That wasn’t happening before, but hopefully it will now.

For that, I wrote down a list of a lot of the life lessons that I’ve learned (or should have learned) and a lot of them just fit with characters. Like, “You can’t change other people, so change yourself,” goes definitely to Taira. And Kai’s is clearly, “Heroism means integrity. You have to keep to your standards no matter the situation or justification,” which is possibly my favorite one.

Some of the others were tricky, like with Will or Bennett, but I figured them out. (“You can make a difference” and “if you work hard enough, you can accomplish anything,” respectively.)

Then I took the plot and altered it just slightly so that it would affect all of them personally. Since Meryn is so separated from the rest of them and really isn’t participating in the main plot, she was the main problem, so I spent a couple pages figuring out why their plan would affect her.

And now I’m feeling much better about the plot. There’s still so much to do, but at least I know where I’m going and why it’ll affect the character and so hopefully I have enough to get back to writing on.

I may do a very short and basic outline so that I can figure out what I’m already supposed to have written and included, but I might not and instead just continue where I left off with the better plot. *shrugs*

Anyway, I know this is a rather short and bland post, but, hey, things are working out more and I’m feeling happy about the development I’ve done, so I figured that was worth sharing. (Don’t worry, I’ll have some more exciting posts after this busy weekend.)


Oh, and before the questions at the end of this post, here’s a quick update on blogging that I forgot to post a week or two ago-I’ve gotten to a thousand comments! The thousandth comment was done by Kellyn Roth, who well-deserved this honor due to her many comments on my blog (somewhere around 150 by now. Actually, I lied–nearly 200 comments!). Thank you all for all of your comments and your conversation with me! It’s been lots of fun.


How has your writing been coming along? Have you had any breakthroughs like I have had, are you stuck in writer’s block, or are you still just breezing along with amazing skills? I would love to hear about all of your novels–go ahead, ramble!

Spotlight #4: A Novel for Sundays

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In Monthly Dares: January 2017, I mentioned that on Sundays I was writing a different novel than Enhanced in order to try to honor the Sabbath more, and today I shall be talking about that novel!

The decision not to write my normal novel on Sundays came…I don’t know, a year or two ago, when I was doing NaNoWriMo. I decided that I wanted to not have to think about it or worry about it on Sundays, and just go to church and spend time with my family. Sometimes, it’s hard not to write when the characters are crowding my head, but I haven’t done it since then.

However, doing the 365k challenge this year posed a problem…if I was to write 1000 words every day, that meant I’d have to write a thousand words on Sunday as well. And so I found this novel that I’d written a prologue and part of a first chapter of beforehand and decided to continue it this year. (See, that way, it doesn’t count as starting a new novel, so I’m not breaking any resolutions.)

It’s a contemporary romance about this independent, stubborn girl (well, adult) named Scarlett, and some of the challenges she has to go through with her faith and life. I’ve read a lot of romances by LDS authors, and while some of them touched on the subject of their faith, I’d never really found one that really showed the progression of faith and how that changed the character–they were all just about the romance.

So this novel was born from me wanting to write something where the main character has to really go through some big spiritual development, with some romance on the side.

Basically the idea is that Scarlett has been running from her life for the past year or two because of a lot of really hard things that all occurred around the same time, and she just felt like she had to get away.

One day, she finds herself back in her home state of Utah, in a little town called Heatherfield, where her old car (lovingly called Miss Must) breaks down in front of a box of zucchini and a house for rent.

A series of “coincidences” occur, and Scarlett finds that everything has fallen in place for her to settle down for a few months in Heatherfield. Throughout her time in the little LDS town, she has to show her resilience and be humbled, to give up her pride and fears and trust in the Lord–and those around her.

It’s about her spiritual journey and how she herself improves, and has to give up things, and try new things, and fix her mistakes, and…I’m really happy about it. I don’t know yet what specific things are going to happen to her, but I love the concept of the novel and that I can include my faith and testimony in it, which is so precious to me.

Since this is a Spotlight, I’m going to include a little excerpt here of one of my favorite parts that I’ve written. It’s by no means polished, but I love its message.



All the way out of Heatherfield, my mind was drawn back to Lane and that old house. It wasn’t that either had been particularly special, but…it was just nice to talk to someone normally again.

Missy started stuttering as I drove past the church. “Don’t you dare break down again, Miss Must.”

Even with me threatening her full name, Missy still shuddered to a halt, just in front of the church where I’d prayed earlier.

I leaned my head against the steering wheel and closed my eyes. “This is it. Next time I can get to a car dealership, I’m going to buy something better than you,” I muttered to Missy.

After I let the threat sink in, I tried the car again. Nothing. I then tried to appease Missy, telling her how much I appreciated her, but nothing worked. What was it Lane had said he’d done? Something about the engine…or maybe the battery? I couldn’t even remember.

I’d learned in primary to pray in situations that seemed hopeless, so I figured it was worth a shot. Heavenly Father, please help Missy to start again so that I can leave. Thank you. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Nothing. Of course it hadn’t worked. It wasn’t like any of my other prayers had ever been answered; why should this one, the smallest of them all, be the one He listened to?

I looked out the window again at the church. On the other side of the street, just an hour ago, I’d sat there and prayed for an answer. I hadn’t seen a vision; I hadn’t heard a voice. I wasn’t even sure if the Spirit had said anything.

But five minutes later, Missy had broken down just in front of Lane’s house, where he’d shown me a house that should have been on sale but the owners were considering renting. And now, just when I was about to leave Heatherfield, Missy had broken down again.

Heavenly Father…? Maybe I shouldn’t even have to ask you this, but…is this the answer to my prayers? Am I supposed to stay in Heatherfield? Is this where I’m supposed to be?

I hadn’t even said “amen” when I felt something a little indescribable. I hadn’t felt it in a long time, the sense of warmth and complete peace that filled my heart, emptying my mind of all its doubts. The Spirit.

Thank you, I whispered to my Father.

Character Studies: Lil’s Beliefs

 

imageIt’s time for you to finally meet Lil! Yay, who’s excited? She got slightly introduced in this post I wrote before I left, about all the characters in Enhanced, but now you get to meet her even more fully. And yes, I do realize that these are the questions from July, but I’m not going to skip them because I want Lil to answer them. The questions are on beliefs, ideals, and morals, which will be lots of fun!

Character Studies is a monthly character interview hosted by Morgan Dusky from Studies in Character. You can find this month’s (well, last month’s) interview questions on her blog here and here.


  • Do you believe in true love?

Yes, I do, but it doesn’t have to be romantic. True love can be familial or brotherly or friendly as well, but it just goes deeper than normal love. True love is when you would sacrifice everything to help that other person.

  • How about love at first sight?

I don’t think so, not like how it sounds. There can be affection at first sight, longing perhaps, but not real love. That comes later, with time, lots of time.

  • Have you ever been in love—like really in love?

Yes. Yes, I have.

  • Do you believe in second chances?

Of course. Where would I be without second chances? I’ve made too many mistakes to count.

  • Is there something more to life?

I do believe so. I think there is a reason we are here and that we don’t die at death–not all of us, anyway. A part of us must stay alive, somehow. That’s what I’ve been taught to believe…that’s what I have to believe.

  • Do you believe in unicorns?  (Hint: If you say you don’t, somewhere a unicorn dies.)

*laughs* In that case, yes I do.

  • Are you superstitious?  Why?

I guess it depends on what you mean by superstitious. I don’t feel superstitious but maybe that’s simply because my beliefs seem normal to me. I believe that good comes from doing good and bad from bad,

  • Somebody you just met claims to be a time-traveler from the future.  Do you believe them?

I think part of me would believe them, and part of me would think they were just joking. They’d have to prove it, I think.

  • What would paradise look like?

Kaelan and our son son and I, all of us together. That would be paradise.

  • Bonus: What are your thoughts on balloons?

Balloons? Toddlers love them, and I think they’re pretty fun too.

  • What happens, do you think, when you die?

I don’t think we die–not every part of us. Some part of us keeps on living, survives the death, and goes on to a better place, a happier place where everyone can finally rest and be at peace.

  • Are you afraid of dying?

Yes. No. I…I know I’m supposed to know that something more will come, that I should be content with the future and what it may bring, but…I am frightened. I know there will be no pain, but what if it is not everything I was grown up to believe in? What if I die, and it’s just…the end? That’s what I’m afraid of.

  • What is the most irrational fear you have?

I’m afraid of getting hurt or wounded, and I’m not entirely sure why, considering I wouldn’t actually feel anything. Perhaps it’s just that everyone else is afraid, and they’ve passed that on to me.

  • Why are you afraid of that thing, even knowing it’s irrational?

I think what I said above–it’s sort of rubbed off on me from other people. And some part of me, because of that, is afraid that it really will hurt, that if my hand gets cut off or I get shot in the back, I’ll feel the pain for the first time I can remember, and I can’t imagine how much worse it’d feel without experiencing a smaller portion of it before.

  • You’ve just been threatened and told that if you tell anybody about what happened to you, you’ll die (or worse).  Do you tell anyone, or do you lie about what happened?

I wouldn’t tell anyone what had happened. If Kaelan… Maybe eventually I’d tell somebody, if I felt like it was safe, but I’d lie rather than run the risk of dying–or worse, having someone close to me get hurt because of it.

  • The one person who could save you is the person you trust least in the world.  What do you do?

I wouldn’t let them save me. I’d rather die.

  • Would you, or have you, ever killed anyone?

I’ve never killed anyone, and I never would. That’s horrible. To take someone else’s life…it’s so wrong, and I wouldn’t be able to bear the mere thought of myself were I to commit murder.

  • Do you have any recurring dreams and/or nightmares?

No. Blessedly, my sleep is normally very calm and free of dreams or nightmares, at least most of the time. When I do dream, it’s very odd, and nightmares are far and few between.

  • You’re going to die in exactly fifteen minutes.  What do you do with those minutes?

It depends on how I was going to die. If we were all being threatened and about to die, I’d spend my last minutes protecting my friends as much as possible. If I were alone…I think I would pray and pour out my soul to the sky. I would think of all I have lost, and all I have loved, of Kaelan and my baby.

  • Bonus: How long is your attention span?

I’m decent at paying attention, but the times when I’m not seem to always be the times when it was the most important.


Ahh, so there’s Lil! And I have finally finished this post, despite school being a little bit crazy busy at the beginning. (Short school update: I like all my classes and teachers, so I’m liking school, but I’m kept busy by homework and my marching band practices, not to mention things like writing and spending time with my family.)

Anyway, how did you like Lil? I feel like she made sure to answer some of these questions shallowly…but maybe the vagueness made her more mysterious or intriguing or something like that, heh. I do love Lil, though. She’s so interesting. Do you have any questions about her? I’m ready to answer them! (Unless there’s spoilers…then you’ll just have to wonder.)

And also, lastly, how have you all been? Is life getting busier at the start of a new school year? Anything exciting happening? Tell me about all the fun (or not fun, I suppose) you’re having!

Spotlight #1: First Draft Brie

First things first: Brie is not cheese, she is a character from Enhanced.

Second things second: What is this “Spotlight” you speak of? you may be asking. Well, I’ll explain it to you. During the week or two I’ve been gone from the blogosphere did you notice? I was (as well as procrastinating from Camp NaNo) thinking a bit about how to improve my blogging. And I decided I wanted to share more writing with you more often, but I can’t exactly write a short story every week. Then I thought of writing a novel solely on this blog, which would be fun, but I have no ideas, let alone motivation to actually do it.

So I came up with the idea of the Spotlight. Basically, weekly I will “shine the spotlight” on some of the writing I worked on that week, which will probably include excerpts of some of my favorite parts, anything that I really enjoyed writing, cool descriptions, thoughts, etc. Basically anything that I feel really struck me gets to be posted here!

That means that not only will you get to read more of my writing through excerpts, you’ll also get to know my characters a lot better and get a feel for my novel. Are you in? I hope so!


FIRST DRAFT BRIE

I was reading through my first draft of Enhanced the other day, and found myself thinking about Brie. She is…an interesting character.

Fun Fact: Taira, Will, and Brie all came from a short piece I wrote for an informal writing contest:

Taira took a step. That one step, into the new world, the world they had saved. Will and Brie walked after her, looking about themselves in awe. “We did it,” whispered Will. “We did it.” Brie nodded along, eyes full of wonder.

Taira couldn’t understand them. The world was too empty. There were buildings just down the road from them, with flashing lights and glowing signs, but it was still so empty. She finally realized why — the world had been silenced. There were no people driving cars along the roads. There was no music to be heard. There was no sound of jets flying over them. Everything was totally silent. The only thing that made a noise was the wind blowing the dirt around them, dirt devoid of any sort of life.

She felt like she was in a dream as she walked along with the others, into that maze of buildings. Empty buildings. A soft sound filled the air, a sound Taira wanted to run away from, to never have to listen to again. The sound of sobbing, the sound of pure sorrow, the sound of the worst pain in the world. They didn’t go down that road.

As they walked, they saw no movement until they came upon a little girl, kneeling in front of someone, shaking him. “Daddy, Daddy, wake up!” she said, as if not knowing that he was gone and would never come back.

The little girl looked up as they walked past, and Taira saw her wide eyes staring up at them, clouded with confusion. Taira wanted to go to her, to comfort her, to do something, but Will and Brie held her back. “You can’t do anything about it,” said Brie.

Taira pushed herself away from them, away from everyone, her eyes welling with tears as she ran down the empty streets, finally collapsing under a large tree. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. It had never been meant to be like this.

The plague had spread over the whole world, infecting almost everyone, with almost unnoticeable symptoms that led quickly to a sickness that was more painful than death. It spread easily, and only few people in the world had been able to resist it.

The only cure was death.

The only way to restore the world was to cleanse it from the disease, to purge it of all of the remaining plague. To kill everyone who’d contracted it.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. It wasn’t supposed to include pain and anguish. It was supposed to take that away, not leave children parentless and parents widowed and people with no one left in the world to care for them.

The tears streamed down Taira’s cheeks and her throat choked as she whispered a prayer, as if someone, somewhere could give her comfort. Those lives shouldn’t have been lost. Life was too precious to be cut short like that, in an instant.

They had saved the world, but had they destroyed it in the process?

Of course, Enhanced is much, much different than this excerpt. Nothing in this happens that does in Enhanced, but it was still the inspiration for those three characters (though you may notice that this Taira is much different than the one in her character interview, who is more of the actual Taira).

I don’t know where Brie really came from besides that, but for some reason, I decided that she was going to be really, really emotional. And kind of childish. And in a way, just relaly weird… I don’t know why, though.

There was a banging sound on the other side of his door, and Kai cautiously stood up and

opened it. Will stood on the other side of the door, looking relieved and also disheveled. “Taira’s missing,” he said.

“What?” he asked, the worry on Will’s face putting him on high alert. “What are you talking about, she’s missing?”

“She’s not here, and there’s this crazy girl in my room, and I have no idea—”

Kai held up a hand. “Hold up, just wait a minute and start from the beginning. What exactly happened?”

“Well, I was going back to my room, and when I came in, there was this girl sitting there on my bed, looking through all my gadgets and stuff. And then she said that she was Seth’s sister and she talked to Taira about something about getting a job here, but that Taira was supposed to come back before I did, and she’s still not here.”

“Seth’s sister?” asked Kai. “Brie?”

Will’s face registered surprise. “How did you know that?”

“I met her once a while ago.”

“And you remember her?” Then he shook his head. “I guess when it’s someone with a crazy personality like that, they’re hard to forget.”

*facepalms at self repeatedly*

Perhaps because of this…this awkwardness, though she did play a part in the beginning of the book, Brie kind of disappeared near the middle. But what I had forgotten was that I brought her back at the end of the book, and…she’s really more amazing than I had thought before.

There’s this part where I really, really love what she says:

Then Brie straightened and thrust herself out of his grasp. He reached out to grab her, but she was too far away already. But instead of heading toward where Jethro was, like he expected, she ran to Seth’s bedside, talking furiously and quietly to the figure there.

Kai began to walk toward her, as his inspiration said, and soon he could hear her softly-spoken words. “What do I do, Seth? Tell me what to do?”

Seth’s words were weary. “Stop fighting. No one can save us now.”

“No, I won’t leave you.” She leaned even closer next to her brother’s head where it lay on his pillow. “I won’t stop fighting. I’ll never stop. Have hope, Seth, please, have hope.”

“Brie…” he said faintly, “all of my hope died a long time ago.”

That second-to-last paragraph…I just love it. I won’t stop fighting. I’ll never stopIt just made me fall in love with her a little, and I had a lot of fun today developing her for the rewrite of Enhanced. Even though she’s still not a POV character, I am hoping to make her a little more major in the rewrite, and also more of the person she is in this last excerpt.

Also, I decided that Brie loves to sing! She’s really awesome…and I think that concludes our Spotlight for this week. Any thoughts on this Spotlight or Spotlights as a whole? Oh and one more thing for all you Miraculous fans out there: I was looking up what type of cheese brie was and apparently it’s similar to Camembert (but more mild). I suppose Plagg would like her.