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  1. So, I've been busy with End of All (my online graphic novel) working out, making drawing tutorials, and a bunch of stuff.

    I'm about to post page 37 of End of All. Wow! I wish I had time to update more than once a week, but I just don't. I should just higher two artists or something. Maybe I can afford that soon.

    I'm just glad I wrote the whole story before I started. I recommend to always write the whole story before you start posting a graphic novel online.
  2. It's been a while, and I thought I'd write to my blog about what I've been up to. Well, I've been working on my online graphic novel End of All. It's a fantasy with sci-fi elements.

    It's fun to write a comic script because you get to focus on creating a story. You don't have to worry so much about sentences. You don't have to worry much about description, and the other aspects of a novel that I don't like to do. The best part is that you can finish a script in no time at all. The only thing slowly you down is your imagination, your ability to create a story.

    Also, I'm an artist, so it's fun to draw the scenes as I see them in my head.

    If the graphic novel comes out good, which I think it will, I think I will stick to this medium to tell my stories. Sure, I'll still try to get my novels published, but graphic novels are the path for me. I think. I'll see.
  3. External Stimuli could be description.

    External Stimuli. A beautiful description of a Japanese garden, which I don't feel like writing. :p

    Reaction. (1) She gasped and brought her fingers to her lips. (2) Then she shoved her hands in her pockets because she didn't want the group to know she was in awe. After a quick glance around, it seemed none of them had noticed her over reaction, and (4) she sure hoped Jack hadn't noticed.

    Within her reaction to the description, she reacts to her automatic reaction by shoving her hands in her pockets and glancing around, and then thinking about Jack. Of course, there would be no need to start a new paragraph for that however. Typically, reactions to internal stimuli are in the same paragraph as the stimuli, but reactions to external stimuli are in separate paragraphs.


    It is helpful to practice writing scenes using ERTE units. At first, the process is slow, but the more you practice the more your brain gets used to the process, and eventually, writing ERTE Units is second nature. Even so, it is always a good idea to do an ERTE units pass when rewriting, just to be sure you didn't miss any reactions you could have written.

    This can be very helpful to break up a dialog heavy scene and to add life to it. After each person talks, see if your main character can have any of the four reactions listed in this article.

    Example of dialog before an ERTE units pass.

    After about five minutes of traveling, Cloud said, "You know I'm just a diamond worker?"

    "What do you mean?" She asked.

    "You fill lightning capacitors; I fashion diamond products. It's not what I wanted to be, though."

    "Yeah," she said, sounding interested. "What did ya want to be?"

    "Forget it. You'll laugh."

    "I won't."

    He looked down at his feet and kept walking. "I wanted to be a dancer."

    A huge smile filled her face.

    "See, I told you," he said.

    "I didn't laugh."

    He kicked a small rock. "You wanted to, though."

    "Well, why didn't you dance?"

    After an ERTE units pass.

    After about five minutes of traveling, Cloud said, "You know I'm just a diamond worker?"

    "What do you mean?" She asked, because she really had no clue what he was on about. She couldn't understand the worried yet shamed look on his face.

    "You fill lightning capacitors; I fashion diamond products. It's not what I wanted to be, though."

    Skyla ducked under a low hanging branch that was full of green and rust-colored leaves. "Yeah," she said, sounding interested. She was careful to sound interested, and she was, because this seemed important to him. "What did ya want to be?"

    "Forget it. You'll laugh."

    No, he didn't, she thought. He couldn't play the "I'm not going to tell you," card, not after bringing it up. She hated when someone was about to tell her something, then made up an excuse why they wouldn't tell her. Why even bring it up in the first place?

    She skipped in front of him. "I won't," she said, knowing that she would try really hard not to laugh.

    He looked down at his feet and kept walking. "I wanted to be a dancer."

    A huge smile filled her face, but she managed not to laugh. Even if she had laughed, it wouldn't have been because she thought it was funny that he wanted to be a dancer, but because it caught her off guard. She had no clue he was an artsy type.

    "See, I told you," he said.

    She nudged him with her shoulder. "I didn't laugh."

    He kicked a small rock. "You wanted to, though."

    She could tell he was sensitive about this, so she decided not to crack any jokes. "Well, why didn't you dance?"

    It went from 98 words, to 273 words.

    Another thing I try to do during an ERTE units pass, is think of ways I can describe what is around them using their actions.

    Okay, I think that about covers it all. I hope this three-part series helps.
  4. And now, onto the final part in the series. We know how to write inhale scenes and exhales scenes, but what in the world is an MRU? Motivation Reaction Unit. Blah. Boring. Some dude name Dwight made up the terminology.

    I don't care for the terminology. The way I think of it is like this. Write about what is happening outside of your character, and then have your character react to that outside stimulation. After that, if necessary, have your MC counter react.

    Before showing an example, here are the following points you want to keep in mind when your MC reacts to external stimuli.


    1. Automatic response. Shivers. Adrenaline rush.
    Teary eyed. Gasp. Jerk reaction. Cuss. Shaking. Throw arms up. Flinch. Heart pounding.

    2. Willful bodily response. A physical response in reaction to an outside source. Pulling away. Jumping. Slapping.

    3. Speech. Character says something in response to the outside source.

    4. Thoughts. Thoughts or introspection in direct response to the outside source.

    Taking Control and Counter Reaction

    5. Body. Does she do something else as a counter action? An example would be: she punched the person in the nose. Now she is taking control of the situation, rather than things just being done to her.

    6. Speech. Does she say something to take control of the situation?

    7. Thought. Do her thoughts shift to taking control of the situation?

    Here's an example:

    Exterior Stimuli. The puckered pedals at the end of the bulbous flower moved like lips. "Hello. How are you?"

    Reaction. (1) Alice jumped, gasped, and her eyes bulged. (2) She looked around as if making sure she was alone. (3) She wondered if the flower had actually moved, but she was positive that she heard a voice.

    For Alice's reaction, I think about the four points, automatic response, willful bodily response, speech, and thoughts. In Alice's above reaction, I only used three of the four, because I didn't feel she needed to say anything yet. It is a good idea, especially upon rewriting, that you look at every external stimuli and ask yourself if your MC could react. Then go through each point and see what reactions she could have, if any.

    Taking Control. (5) Curiously, Alice extended her hand to touch the flower.

    Now Alice tries to take control of the situation by counter reacting. As a counter reaction, she wouldn't have an automatic response, so there are only three responses to choose from. I went with a body response. I could have gone with speech, but I save that for her next reaction.

    Exterior Counter Reaction. "You didn't ask permission to touch me," said the flower.

    Now the ping-pong match has started. Next, if applicable, make the other character counter react. Then, we start all over again, with Alice's reactions to external stimuli, and I think about the four points again.

    Reaction. (1) She snapped her hand back as if the flower were a rattle snake. (1) Her heart raced, as (4) she thought about how indeed the lips of the flower moved. And just how could a flower have lips? (3) "Did you just say something?" Alice asked, not entirely sure what was happening.

    The order of the reactions should be logical. They can be in any order, so long as they are in a logical order. I would have to write about her hand snapping back first, because that is the first automated response, followed by her racing heart. She wouldn't have the thoughts before snapping her hand back, for example. I left out two because I couldn't think of anything for her to do.

    It makes more sense to have the flower counter react, than to have Alice take control of the situation.
    Exterior Counter Reaction. The pedals on the end animated once more. "Of course, I said something. Don't flowers talk where you come from?"

    When it comes to external reactions, you are limited to speech and movement, unless you are writing in omniscient POV or your MC can read minds. So you think about the following three things when an external character is counter reacting: Automatic response (movement and sound only), willful body response, and speech.

    The parts we have then are:

    External Stimuli
    Taking Control/Counter Reaction
    External Counter Reaction

    We could call them ERTE Units. Blah.

    We covered one kind of external stimuli, which is another character, but that is not the only kind of external stimuli. Before going into more types, keep in mind that your MC could be reacting to a group of characters. In such a case, you might write several of their actions before having your MC react.

    Okay, so what are other types of external stimuli? You're probably already thinking of them. Environment. Let's say Bob is hiking on a rocky cliff side.

    External Stimuli. A rumbling crashes above Bob.

    Reaction. (1) Adrenaline triggers Bob's senses and he shoots a glance up at the rumbling.

    External Stimuli. A mass of boulders and dirt tumble toward him like an angry entity.

    Reaction. (3) "Oh, Crap," he says (1) as his weak heart pounds dangerously fast. If he were healthy, he wouldn't have hesitated, but would have sprinted along the cliff side to dodge the onslaught of bludgeoning rocks. (4) His mind races through ideas. His only option is to hang off the cliff and hope the rocks will bounce off the pathway and over him. Hopefully, they won't crush his fingers in the process. (2) As quickly as possible, and ignoring his faulty heart, he hung over the cliff.

    I included all four reaction types in this example. I also added a bit of narration, which fits into none of the reaction types.

    Narration, another kind of stimuli, can be external or internal. So your character can react to it.


    External Stimuli. The walk to Freemont Creek would be long, perhaps too long just to catch some crawdads.

    Reaction. (2) He stopped walking down the cracked sidewalk. (4) He thought about closer places he could go to catch crawdads, but couldn't think of any.

    Taking Control. He decided to play video games instead.

    He reacted to the narration, and then he reacted to his own thoughts by taking control. Here is another example of internal stimuli.

    Internal Stimuli. Oh, wait, if John fired the gun now while flower particles filled the tiny room, a flash from his gun might cause the cloud to combust.

    Reaction. (2) With his thumb, he slowly guided the hammer of the revolver back into place.

    I have to break this up into two parts.
  5. The exhale scene follows the inhale scene. Typically, the exhale scene is shorter than the inhale scene, but if you are writing a romance novel, then the exhale scenes will be around the same length as the inhale scenes.

    Here are the parts to the exhale scene, and they don't have to happen in this order.

    Exhale Scene
    1. Establish your character's emotional state, which is the result of the actions in the previous inhale scene.
    2. The character gets control over her emotions and decides what to do next. If needed, have the characters review recent events.
    3. The character analyzes facts to figure out what she can do next.
    4. She formulates a plan and dedicates herself to it.
    5. She acts in a way that sets up the next inhale scene.

    For an example, I will continue where I left off in the inhale scene. I left off with Sandy failing to reach her minor goal, which was to find her hairbrush. Her boyfriend is going to show up in five minutes.

    1. First, I would establish her emotional state. She is freaking out. I would write a lot of introspection in this scene. 2. Then she works out her emotional freak out and decides that she will need to do something else with her hair. 3. Sandy looks at her options. 4. She can brush her hair using her mother's brush, which will leave it frizzy. Oh well. She does that, then she puts a lot of leave-in conditioner, and then she puts it back in a ponytail. That will have to do. 5. After finishing with her hair, she goes outside to wait for her boyfriend because she doesn't want to let him in the house, where her family will most likely embarrass her.

    This sets up the next inhale scene. Her new goal is to meet her boyfriend and get in the car quickly so that he doesn't have the chance to meet her family. A new problem presents itself, though. Her ex-boyfriend stops by, and she needs to get rid of him before the new guy shows up. Du dun. Du dun.

    You continue to cycle through inhale and exhale scenes. Sometimes you will want to skip the exhale scene all together. Or sum it up in a short paragraph or sentence.

    You could end the chapter when the MC reaches or fails to reach her ultimate goal. You might want to end the chapter with a cliffhanger as well. So in this case, the chapter ends when the date ends, and oh boy does it get crazy.