Make-up is to writing

My sister and me with make-up on

Me without make-up on

*For those who are boys and reading this post, don’t skip it. I’m sure there are boys out there who are into make-up, and even if you’re not one of them, just imagine this as advice you’d tell your girlfriends when they don’t understand your writing obsession.

So, this morning I woke up in a dream-like state. I kept thinking my sister was lying next to me, talking to me about how there was a smudge under my eyes. I nodded, thinking how understandable that was because I went to sleep with my make-up on (which is something you shouldn’t do, but because I rarely wear make-up, I totally forgot I was wearing it and didn’t take it off). But whatever. I only wore a little bit of make up. Easily fixable.

And that was where my writing brain thinking-ness started.

Make-up is like writing. (You’re liking these analogies aren’t you? I know I am.)

How?

By the saying both make-up users and writers know: less is more.

Make up is only supposed to highlight what’s already there. To make a clear face that’s already pretty, even more beautiful. Use too much, and well, it’s not so pretty. It’s fake looking. And sometimes, if you don’t know your face well enough, you might end up higlighting the wrong features.

In the same way, that’s what people do when writing. Showing vs Telling. Not “showing” enough makes the story dull and plain (like a face with too light of a make-up). “Showing” too much and it’s like an overload and the readers wouldn’t know what to focus on (like someone wearing too many color eyeshadows and bright red lipstick with pink blush caked on someone’s cheeks). What you’d need to do is know when to balance the act of “showing” AND “telling.”

To do this, you’d need to know your story well enough. What do you need to stress? That the man is nervous because he’s being narrowed down as a suspected murderer? Or the cate in the corner of the room licking himself? I’m sure the man being nervous is more important in the scene so that’s something you’d want to “show.” As for the cat? If you really need the cat in that scene, just telling the readers he’s there would be enough. Don’t color him in or else you’ll leave the readers wondering if there’s some sort of connection/importance between the man and the cat.

If you’re able to do this, you’ll have a prettier and cleaner manuscript, with a good balance between showing and telling.

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Truth and Dare

Truth: Although trying to tell the readers as much as you can about the story and its characters may seem to fasten the pace as you write the novel, it actually drags down the story.

A couple of days ago, my family and I went to Six Flags: Discovery Kingdom instead of the camping trip we have been planning for forever. It was really fun. I haven’t been there since the eighth grade field trip. I ate funnel cake, went on pretty much ALL the thriller rides…I even found the raft ride (which is so freakin’ hard to find. I had to ask five workers with the map in hand just to find the ride). From 10 in the morning until 9 at night, it was non-stop riding and eating.

It wasn’t so much fun for my mom. Unlike the rest of us – we slowly built up the “levels” of the rides – my mom’s first ride was on V2, a ride that goes upside down the majority of the time. It was too much for the first ride and she ended up sick. She even left the park soon after because of it.

This is something some writers do to the readers. Instead of building up the intensity of the conflict/story/characters/ect, the writer goes straight to the action (which may or may not work), info dump, or have a story with so much impact in the beginning, the more the reader reads, s/he ends up disappointed because nothing could compare with the beginning. When the writer does this, like my mom, the reader will get sick of reading the rest and would go home (or in this case, put the book down).

And that’s something we writers do not want to do.

So…

Truth: Too much, too fast = makes the reader sick

Dare: Although it may seem TOO slow to you as you write, slowly build up the characters and conflict. Read the story out loud to see if it flows. Have someone read it and ask your CP if the pacing seems off.

Nook review

So I graduated a few weeks ago. And the day after I graduated, I finally became 18. And so, as a birthday/graduation present…..

My mom got me a Nook.

HOW EPIC IS THAT?!

So I was sitting down and kinda lazy when my mom asked if I wanted to open my graduation present. “No, I don’t want to go to the car. It’s too far.”

But, when my sister came running in the house yelling “OH MY GOSH” I ran to the car. Haha. And so, this is where my review starts.

Nook Review

It was pretty easy to set up, which for me, means a lot. I’m completely computer ick, so this was really great. The instructions were simple and easy to follow. And, if you want more in-detail instructions it’s in your nook in the library > my documents > nook tour. Or library > my documents > nook user guide

You do have to set up a BN account, which was also pretty easy. just go to BN.com. then, register your nook…and you’re ready to play around!

The one I have has these features: web (yup, I could go on the internet), library, shop, games (took me an hour to beat 1 sudoku game..on easy), “the daily” which is pretty much a place to check up on the new stuff happening on the nook, reading now tab, settings, and audio.

The books that come pre-in are: Dracula, Little Women, Pride and Prejudice, Dead Reckoning sample by Charlaine Harris, and The Throne of Fire sample by Rick Riordan. Not bad, considering.

On my first day I was able to upload 8 free books- it takes a while to find ones that have good reviews. It was quick and easy to do and I was able to read the books within a few minutes. Oh, with audio by the way- meaning I uploaded some of my songs onto my nook and it was GREAT being able to listen to the music while reading.

I have yet to upload my own documents, such as my draft I’m revising A Princess Summoning, but I’m looking forward to it. Your able to highlight, make notes, bookmark, “go to” specific pages, find words, look up words, change the size of the font, and did I mention you could listen to music while you’re doing all this?

Since most of us are writers/readers on here, this I’m sure is the selling point. Once I realized I could do this, I really can’t wait to start revising my story. It’ll make it, hopefully, a lot faster writing and revising my works since I don’t have to wait until I get home to do it- it’s portible.

By portible, I mean it’s super light. Like, VHS light (okay, hopefully the majority of us know what those are). Soo, okay maybe not super light like a cell phone. But it’s lighter than a computer and definitly lighter than carrying around a 500 page book.

So yeah, I like it. It’ll be good to have when I need to upload textbooks for the fall college classes. And to edit my novel. And to check facebook. And listen to music.

To sum it up:
1) it’s easy to use
2) it has pretty much everything you need
3) it’s fun and portible

Graduation

So it’s official!!!! Yesturday was my graduation. I am now…well, not a college student yet, not until the fall, but neither am I a high school student anymore. It’s a bit strange. Even stranger, it’s my birthday today. So the day I graduated was the last time I was a 17 year old. I stopped being a high school student and became a real adult at pretty much the same time. It was like the universe was telling me I was ready to make a difference.

But then, I don’t feel any different. In fact, today is like any other day (except that my facebook is getting filled with birthday wishes and graduation pictures).

So, since I have time since I’m forbidden from going to my school as my underclassmen are taking their last day of finals, I thought I’ll share my graduation with all of you.

Lets start with…the graduation practice (this post might be jumpy). I barely made it on time, which was good because if you don’t show up…well, you can’t walk the stage later that day. It was funny though. A friend of mine won the award “most likely to be late to graduation” as a senior award…and she was 15 minutes late to the graduation practice. Our Vice Principal was using her mic to call out her name to make sure she was there…and was getting awfully worried when my friend didn’t show up. Haha. πŸ™‚

Then I had Panda Express with my friends for lunch. Which was nice considering it wasn’t the WHOLE group of friends…but just the four of us close friends. My friend Mario and i are going to the same community collge (same some moolah) and are probably going to the same UC afterwards so we know we’re still going to stick together. But my other two friends are going straight into UC schools- one got a full ride to UC Merced, and my other friend is aiming to be a doctor at UC LA. So yeah, probably the last lunch we’ll have together.

Then I came home to this:

my sister decided to carry me

And this:

showing off our muscles

And then transformed to this:

Don't I look so grown up? πŸ™‚

Backstage, I waited an hour so I won’t be late for graduation. I had an awesome cap:

My cap. I actually messed up the first time...luckily i had an extra cap

but my friends’ were pretty cool looking too. One had an arrow sticking out pointing to her, another had a clown on her hat (which was perfect since she’s such a clown), another had a pokeball (cuz she’s asian like that! lol).

That hour of waiting went on super fast. When I heard the music I reached for my friend’s hand. We held on super tight with held breaths. I had butterflies in my stomach. My friend in front of me during the walk twisted her ankle though because she was wearing these REALLY HIGH high heels. So warning girls: don’t wear such high heels. They are not fun.

Then the ceremony went by fast. I felt like crying, but as soon as I felt the tears coming, the speech became funny. I love my c/o 2011.

Then…it was over.

And now it’s today and I’m 18.

If you guys want to hear more, I could go in more details. But i figured you probably don’t and would rather just see pictures. So here you go!

I feel so loved by my family!

Ramble: finals, studying, weight training and other exciting news

This is probably really bad of me…but I really should be studying for finals. Especially for math, since I always consider myself horrible at it…but because I’m good at hiding from my friends and family my struggles with it (they just think i complain just to complain…not that I’m struggling for real), no one is really taking my studying seriously.

Which pretty darn sucks.

But then, it’s my fault for making so many excuses. Like: I need to update my blog (heh) or I “need” to check what’s the lowest score I can get on my math final and still pass the class (that way I know how much/hard I need to study).

I bet this won’t come to any surprise by now about how excited I am that I only need ONE year of math in college and then…no more math. FOREVER. πŸ™‚

So, anyways, studying. I actually don’t do it very often. And if I do, it’s mostly for science or history. I can never figure out how to study for math and english is easy for me.

Oh, did I tell you guys that I bench pressed 95 pounds during my weights class today? Yup. Exciting news, right there.

Oh, and that my school’s yearbook is officially out.

Oh, and that I’ll be graduating in three school days.

And, this weekend, I’m visiting a friend I haven’t seen since the 4th grade. He moved to Hawaii, and this weekend, he’s down visiting Cali. So, after years, I get to see him again!

Sooooo….yup. YAY!

I can’t wait util it’s summer vacation. GO SUMMER.

Hi, my name is Monica. And I’m a versatile blogger.

To think that after spending the whole day volunteering all day at KidsFest, waving signs while dancing to Lady GaGa with my friends, and braving the cold and rain to see the dance class I used to be in perform, to see that I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger award by Sonia? Pretty awesome stuff.

So here’s the deal: after checking out Sonia’s blog, I realized there are two things I need to do to accept this award:

1) admit 7 random things about myself
2) pick 5 other people to give this award to.

So…okie doki. Here I go then. πŸ™‚

Seven Random Things About Me

1) I think it’s fun to use pick up lines on my friends. Just because it’s funny to see their reaction. And because when I do it, it’s pretty realistic (I still get embaressed after saying the lines; I’m blushing like mad) so my friends are forever flustered by what I say.
2) I like to carry around my big stuff animal to track events. It sort of became the team mascot between my friends, since it’s green and yellow (my school’s colors). It’s so ugly, it’s kind of cute.
3) I’m graduating high school as a 17 year old. In a week. BOOYA.
4) I’m often told I look like a middle school kid without my glasses, but when I DO wear my glasses, I look like an english major college student.
5) I’m pretty innocent. My sister tricked me once in the car, saying the car isn’t heating up because all the heat was defrosting the windows…in which case I touched the windows to see if it was true. She was laughing like crazy in the back seat.
6) I have no sense of directions. A bad thing when I’m running out of time and really need to meet up with someone. A good thing when I’m by myself and want to explore the world around me.
7) I have a pet elephant. Ok…not a real one. It’s this really big stuffed animal one that I got at a garage sale. It’s really cute and I’m able to sit on it which makes for an epic time when reaching homework deadlines.

Okay…I don’t know if that’s random or not, but there you go!

Now for the nomination of other blogs for the Versatile Blogger Award:

I haven’t been around in the blogging world for very long, but here are the people I talk to/stalk that are amazing (not all are writing blogs). πŸ™‚

Dramabeans

LetTheWordsFlow

YA Highway

Terribleminds

the strangest situation

The different types of story reviews

I’m sure I mentioned this somewhere, sometime, but in case I didn’t or you don’t remember, I’m a writer and reader of wattpad and fictionpress. And one thing I always wonderered about as a newbie on there was “how do i get reviews/feedback?” I post stories because I need the feedback and constructive crits. The people on FP and WP? They are my crit group. My beta readers. I dont have editors where I am, cuz none of the people around me outside the internet is into writing.

But, I didn’t want just any ol’ type of reviews. I want ones that matter. So for those who wonder the same thing, check what Dice says.

post by Sage Dice Darwin

Now, about getting reviews and networking and such, the best thing you can do is give yourself a funny name. Like ‘Close Your Mouth You Spork’ for example. But if you can’t bring yourself to do that, the machine gun review strategy still works. Fire off as many well-rounded reviews as you possibly can, ask them to review you back. Enough decent people will get around to it. Just watch out for a few different types of writers.

First one to look out for is Selfish Writer. This kind of writer here is only out for themselves. Selfish Writers wants you to give them bags and bags of reviews. But, they don’t really care about you or your story. The only way they’ll review you back is if it’s in their best interest. If you stop reviewing their story, after a long while they’ll start to notice and miss you. Then they’ll try to get you back into their fold by reaching out to you and tossing you a useless review or two. Almost always less reviews than what you gave them. And at the end of this bone, they’ll subtly try to convince you to continue reviewing their story. If you do, they’ll take you for granted again and stop reviewing your stuff, untill you stop again. A pathetic cycle, right?

Next is Golden ** Writers (not reviewers). This kind of writer thinks their urine is worth more than your writing. They’ll post their “masterpieces” here and just expect you and everyone else to review because there storie iz soo awwsume!!k1!!. As if you owe it to them as a payment for being allowed to experience their timeless works of (crap) art. If you think a writer is a GPW, stay far away. Because they’ll never review you back. Their returning your review would mean admitting that exchanging reviews with you is fair trade, which implies that their legendary tales do not soar majestically above pedestrian works here. And that really, their stuff is on the same limbo-low level as the works of one of the common fictionpress peons (you). Trust me, they’ll never do it. Huge Ego waffles taste good and go down easy. However, Huge Ego personalities taste like trash and are impossible to swallow. Avoid the GPWs.

Then there’s Don’t-Like-Reading Writer/Reviewers. Since you have to read to learn to write, they tend to suck. And not know it. When you review them and ask for a return review, they’ll do things like giving you their standard review. You know, the one with no mention of anything specific about your story. Why do they give those? Simple. Because they didn’t read your story past the seventh syllable. That’s why. These rats have the attention span of a block of fuzzy green cheese. Only use these if you’re looking to pad your stats, to catch the eye of the higher quality reviewers. Understand, though, that they’re not evil. Just not the ideal reader. Manage your expectations, use them for what they’re worth, and you’ll be fine.

Then there’s the Holeass Writer/Reviewers. They are just losers with nothing better to do than to hurt the feelings of other writers, but being overly critical to the point of being a Holeass. They’ll do something like go on a long rant about how you misplaced a period and how the period — and the entire English language — have been disrespected by you and your “horrible” writing.

The quicker you can spot one of those kinds of writers and dodge them when firing off your reviews, the less headache you’ll have. And if you come across them, you’ll know what to expect. See their ** coming. And it’ll turn into your favorite comedy.

And once you can spot the people who can’t/won’t help you, that’ll make it easier for you to target the people who are worth reaching out to and connecting with.

If you want to read any of Sage Dice Darwin’s work (which I suggest you do- he’s a funny guy and has an amazing writing voice) you can go here.Β Thanks!

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