A big big welcome! And @Julie beat me to all the links! :D We're very happy to have you join us and I cannot wait to learn more about what you're creating. I have a small thing for wizards and fantasy novels! :D
Yay! Happy to help! ^_^ Yeah, I also didn't want to fall into that trope, but there was also no logical way to fall into that trope because the Sheqwuan had relatively little interaction with Earthborn humans until 25-40 years before the main events of the story.
That being said, when you're brainstorming, try thinking about what interactions are logical for the aliens and humans to have had before they became anti-human. I would also think about what their first meeting was like. First impressions are important, ya know?
Right now it happens a bit late in the story when someone threatens to turn her in for living alone in a house with her little brother and no adults. Everybody's dead at this point.
But I want to move it up to when her mother dies. In the current story, the mom asks Synta to help her OD on her pain meds so she's not a burden on them anymore. And then get out of there. Take her brother and run. Synta refuses to choose, still thinking it will get better, and her mom ends up dying while she's out running errands one day. I'm really thinking I'll have her go ahead and help. It's a defining moment. And... foreshadowing because she watches someone else get accused of the same thing later. It would bring an extra layer to that story line if she's worried about getting caught herself in the background of all that going on.
@Sian I am a fan of Murakami's stories too especially his short stories. I like how he play around with reality.
FOr me, most of my influences for magical realism are visual like surrealist or abstract paintings. I also get a bit out from graphic novels especially from the artist, Junji Ito. I think one of the biggest players and influence is the comic, Mushishi.
I really enjoy this series, and if you have a sneak peek at it, you can have a feel on what my story tries to capture especially the "marriage" of normal and paranormal
I think part of getting past that has to do with how you prep for a story, tbh. Some people can just dive in and go straight on through, but other people have to do a tiny bit of plotting/worldbuilding/what have you to keep going. And having time, of course :P
Time is part of it for me. A general lack of organization is another. I usually need prompts or people to bounce ideas from so I can anchor my thoughts to something, otherwise they're all over the place and people are like, 'what are you talking about?' I also struggle with thinking my own ideas are worth writing about, so there's another area I can improve on, hopefully. I guess we'll see what future posts bring.