Tuesday, June 5, 2012

New Title and Survey

Hello all! I am in the process of changing my blog title. Any suggestions? In the mean time, I did a NaNoWriMo survey for fun. I participating and Camp NaNo this year. What age range are you? (Elementary, teens, 20's, etc) Teen

- Male or female? Female

- Country and/or Ethnicity (if you are comfortable telling this)? United States

- What number of years have you participated in Nanowrimo? This will be my fourth year

- Do you write books outside of Nanowrimo? I do. NaNo is an extra challenge for me and I always find it fun.

- Did you write before you participated in your first Nanowrimo? Yes, I had novels and short stories before my first NaNo.

- How long have you been writing fiction for? And if before Nanowrimo, what forms? (Poetry, short stories etc) I co-wrote my first novel at eleven and everything took off from there.

- Are you published officially (Large magazine, non-local) and books (non-self-published/POD)? You are allowed to do a modest plug here for published novels. =D No, not yet.

- What genre(s) do you usually write? Fantasy and other types of fiction I am unable to put into a gnere for some reason.

- What genre did you write for Nanowrimo? Fantasy and slightly more 'realistic' fiction.

- Do you treat your characters as real? Yes, I do. I write best that way.

- Are you an Improviser/Discovery Writer, a Milestone writer (set out certain important events to hit without the detail) or an Outliner? I am a Milestone writer, but I do have an outline I can look to if I need it.

- Do you believe in plot-driven, character-driven or story-driven? Story-driven. My characters and style differ from story to story and are therefore quite important. I believe a good novelist knows how to use all the tools given to him/her. I believe stories should be, well, story-driven.

- In what direction do you write? Forwards, backwards, skip around or mixed? I usually write forwards with a bit of skipping around from sceens I am bored with/inspired for.

- Do you determine the ending first, later, or when you get there? I usually know how a novel will end toward the middle.

- What do you feel is your weakest and strongest point in writing? My weakest points are spelling and just knowing how to be conscice. It does depend on the character voice, but I often sprawl all over the page without realizing it. My strongest point in writing is probably character voice. I can change my style and word-usage for any given character so long as I know what they are like and what suits them best. This may have to do with my background in theatre.

- What are you best and weakest at: beginnings, middles, endings? Beginings. I usually see those most clearly because that's often where the idea forms.

- What materials/programs do you like to use when writing? Miscrosoft Word and sometimes Write Or Die or Writen? Kitten! depending on my mood.

- How many writing project do you have at one time? Usually one, but I am able to deal with two, but no more unless they are in different stages of the writing process, such as editing, etc.

- Where do you get your ideas? (The dreaded question writers frequently get.) Life, inspiration from other books, dreams. It varies.

- Why do you write? (The other frequently asked question to writers) Why? Because I like it, that's why, and because if I didn't, my head would certainly explode from all the pent up creativity. :D

- Do you research? If so when? before, during or after? If so, how much time will you spend on it? It varies. I spent an entire year researching Chinese and Indian culture for one novel. For another, I researched nothing beforehand and did internet and book searches on the side if I had questions. It depends on the book and the type of research being done.

- Do you use primary, secondary or third-hand research? or mixed? If so, how much and how do you do it? (i.e. books, internet, interviews, etc.) I use books, internet, and people.

- Are you a hobbyist, or doing this for publication? Or in the crowd of if you get an edited book that you'll try to publish it? Would you like a career as an author? Everyone wants to get paid to do what they loove, so yes, becoming an author is the dream. I'd say 'goal' but it's not something I can acheive on my own what with agents and publishers involved in the process. My goal is to finish a novel I am proud of, and that's always the goal. I cannot write for publication- when it comes to fiction- simply because I want to avoid writing to please other people. I don't write to please people- that's what editing is for. At the same time, I don't believe writing should be done lightly in my case, so publication is, in the end, what I do this for. - Would you publish your Nanowrimo for this year if you got it cleaned up? I would, but not yet. It is actually a companion to another novel I'm writing.

- What books do you read inside of your genre? I read everything in the world of fiction, as well as some books on psychology as well as autobiographies.

- What _L_iterature (Call them classics, if you like) have you read and enjoyed and disliked (outside of classes, or at least list which ones with classes)? Include author please. A Seperate Peace by Knowles, Pride and Prefudice by Jane Austen. Too many to name.

- Would you have written this novel without Nanowrimo? Yes, but the start would have taken much longer did I not have a push.

- What have you learned from Nanowrimo (so Far)? I have learned that I write some crazy stuff. And that people will probably be afraid of me. Yup. In terms of writing? Self-discipline is a must.

- Has writing a novel changed how you view authors and read novels? Oh yes. I have a bigger appreciation for books now, of any kind. Writing a novel in itself is a difficult task. I also judge writers more harshly on style, voice, plot, etc. I have a better understanding of how these things are done. Or not done.

- If you were at a book signing and a person said to you, "Hey! I have a great idea for a book--you write it, edit it and all of that and then we go 50/50 on the profits. So what do you think?" What would you say to that person? (This does happen.) I think we need to adjust the work ratio, my friend.

-How would you kill someone with a peach? Could I beat them with it? Suffocation, I think.

Well that was fun.. :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Smiley Words?

I finished reading a novel that was pretty good, but it would have been better had it not annoyed me so many times. The problem? This appears multiple times:

"Don't worry," he smiled.

First, let me stress to you that I do not claim to be an expert in any field, grammar in particular. However, I do know that people cannot smile words. You can try, but nothing will come out. You can smile while saying words, but you cannot smile words. At least, as far as I know.

There are so many other ways to write this. 'He smiled. "Don't worry." "Don't worry," he said, smiling.' The list goes on.

I'm not sure why this bothered me so much when there are so many other things to focus on. I think that was the problem, though- little things like this make it much harder to enjoy the story.

Just my two cents. :)


Saturday, August 13, 2011

If She Can Vlog Everyday, I Can Write

Seeing as how YouTube is such a big part of my life now, you'd figure it'd take time away from my writing, distract me so all the pretty words in my head would fade.

Not true.

There's a girl on Youtube, one of the partners who gets paid to upload content there. It's her job. Her life. Like writing is for me. Kate records and uploads a vlog onto YouTube every. Single. Day. I've been a DediKater for about two months now, but she's on day 270-something. She inspires me- I figure, If she can vlogs everyday, why can't I write everyday?

You see problems with this idea? So do I! While it's a nice thought, sometimes life gets in the way of writing. School is supposed to be my 'job' of sorts, my priority. Most teen writers understand when I say it most certainly gets in the way. And, just as Kate cannot always post a long video, I cannot always find time to write more than ten words.

Here's the thing: That's okay.

Holy Lisle says something similar, actually. It's alright if you can only write a few words or even no words at all. You shouldn't beat yourself up about it. I think the sooner writiers realize this, the easier writing gets! I've learned to cherrish the time I AM writing, not dwell on the times when I am not.

I also learn to utilize the time when I CAN write. Free time goes to writing at least a thousand words a day. It isn't difficult and I often end up writing a lot more, or at least setting up a scene for future writing time.

So, I guess the lesson is, write when you can. Don't feel bad when you can't; there's always tomorrow. :D

It's been a while since I've done this.

Friday, June 10, 2011

No, DC. Just No.

I don't know if any of you read comics or watch Superhero movies or whatever. Hell, this may not be interesting to anyone. However, it's something very important to me, so I chose to blog about it.

DC has announced they are going to reboot their line of character, making them younger and more appealing to 'today's audience'. I don't know many people my who read comics, so I have no clue who the heck they're trying to make changes for. At first, I was a bit worried, but still quite curious about what they had in mind.

My favorite DC character is Harley Quinn, the accomplice and girlfriend of the Joker, batman's arch enemy. Those of you who have seen The Dark Knight will know at least two out of the three. Harls is just amazing to me. She was a psychiatrist who fell in love with the Joker while he was in Arkham Asylum. He twisted her mind, broke her down into something base, animalistic, and as free as he needed her to be. SHe's utterly mad and adorably dangerous. She gigles at death and is utterly devoted to the Joker (she did break him out of Arkham, after all) and likes hitting people with blunt objects. I can go on and on forever about how much I adore her and how complex she is. I just love her to bits and she's been such an inspiration to me for quite some time. I've studied the clown doll and her Mr. J as much as I could, and I even wrote two papers on her and their relationship. So you can see I love her.

Here's how she looked originally. The look that actually fits how twisted and beautiful she really is:

There's a video game that came out called Arkham Asylum. She had a cute outfit that made fun of her usual doctor's uniform. Plus, we also had the actress from the animated series in which Harley made her debute (the amazingly talented Arleen Sorkin) come to reprise her role as the voice of Harley. See, I'm not averse to change, although I did miss her usual costume. Still- Harley was there and I could console myself with the idea that she hadn't found her costume yet or that she would rather make fun of her usual uniform. Overall, she was fun, pretty, and the usual dangerous clown doll we all know and love. I'm just trying to explain that I don't instantly hate change. Until now.

This is her new look. And it makes me want to . . . I don't know. Cry, I think. 'Harley' looks terrible, unrecognizable. And this is what 'today's audience' wants? A NON-CLOWN? And yes she's a more sexual character by nature, but . . . who is this? I don't even recognize her. This means her relationship with the Joker might change as well. I assume, with this thing as a 'sidekick', he'll become a more sexual character, as opposed to the asexual one he's always been. After all, we want to appeal to 'today's audience', don't we? *throws something at far wall*

No, DC. Just no.


Even if you don't know what I'm talking about- well, I'd like your opinion on which is better. It might help to get an outside opinion.
Please comment!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bored blogging :)

I'd just like to say I only have a week of school left before summer vacation. :D Yay! As always, I've been so busy . . . blogging sort of got put on the back-burner. I hope, with the coming days, I'll get back to it.

This summer I'll be doing Camp NaNoWriMo. Whatever that is. No, really, they only just announced it a few weeks ago. It's supposed to be like National Novel Writing Month, only instead of November, you'll now have the chance to write in the summer- I'm guessing July. Although June would be very nice, of course!

As you know, I have a sort of secret project going on. Planning is coming along great and the story is really forming into something . . . creepy. I'm supposed to use a word like 'Beautiful' or 'nice' here, but that would be wrong. It's creepy. Well, to me, at least. I can tell you it is not horror- but that's all I'm saying for now. :D

I REALLY hope Camp NaNoWriMo is soon because, while I don't need the motivation to write, it does help keep things moving. And I get a bit of competition in. AND I get an excuse to work on the novel relentlessly for a whole month! Well, I was going to do that anyway but now I have an excuse!!!

Have a nice day!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Change It Up :)

While working on my new project, I came across something I wanted to share with you. Authors are constantly telling you to avoid stereotypes and to ‘think outside the box’ when it comes to characters. I’d heard it, but I never fully understood the impact it could have on your work until now.

My next novel has a minor character who is an assassin. I was very tired when I wrote the scene and didn’t really try to figure out anything about the character since I didn’t think it mattered. I called him ‘Victor’ and went on writing. Or tried to, at least. I didn’t get very far before scrapping the whole paragraph. On a whim, I started over, this time calling the character ‘Viper’.
That little change got me much farther.

Why? Because Viper is a girl, and a very strange one at that. She’s supposed to be an assassin, yet her very being screams otherwise. White-blonde hair swept back into a ponytail, light blue eyes, minimal make-up, a cream-colored outfit, and heels. She’s mute, so anything she could say to negate the image she projects is not likely. While it may not be the most original appearance, I find myself intrigued now, and so does my main character. Viper opens up an entirely new atmosphere than the throw-away ‘Victor’ did, and for that, I am grateful.

I can more forward now.

So, today's lesson: Think outside the freaking box already! :D


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I Swear, I've Got to Start Blogging More Often!

It’s been a while since I last blogged, so I think bullet points are in order if I’m going to recap what’s been going on:

* So, I was invited to audition for Talented Theatre in February. I made it! So, every week, alternating between Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I meet for Talented at school. Basically, I now get to work with some amazing people on whatever crazy thing we’re doing that day. I love it!

* I wrote an essay I’ll be posting here soon: Mad Love: A Psychological Analysis of Harley Quinn. My psychology teacher certainly enjoyed it!

* I was offered the chance to take an online writing course for free. Holy Lisle’s 7-week Plot Course is very helpful, even after only two weeks! I think it is the only free course available, as it serves to entice writers into possibly taking the other courses one day. I’ll certainly be taking it again next year, as it is something beneficial to all writers, not just novices. While plot isn’t necessarily difficult for me after three novels, this course added extra insight to characters, scenes, and beginnings I would not have gotten otherwise. The simple exercises resulted in more ideas than an hour’s worth of sitting in front of the computer scene. Ha ha! Anyway, it’s disclaimer time: I am in no way affiliated with Ms. Lisle or anyone associated with her. I only wanted to make this writing course known to anyone who might be interested.

* Just in case you were wondering . . . I took Ms. Lisle’s course specifically because I had only just started a new project and felt it the perfect opportunity. Since I don’t want to build it up before I actually finish, I’m keeping info on the project very hush, hush. For now.

I promise to post on a more regular basis. I’m working on a schedule or something right now.

For your entertainment, here’s the latest blogging sensation, the poster-child for How NOT to handle a review, Ms. Jacqueline Howett. I’ll refrain from giving my input for now, as I’d like to see how you react in the comments. Go read this review, then read ALL of the author’s comments below it. All I can say is ‘Wow. Just wow.’ *shakes head* This woman must be what gives the other Indie-authors a bad name! The review was highly professional, in my opinion, and certainly not as harsh as it could have been. Anyway, enjoy: