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

authors versus teachers

 

  Before I get to my whole sha-bang, let me tell you guys something exciting:

I’m in my senior year of high school. Graduating in less than a month. And not only that, but I’ll be graduating as a 17 year old. (Forget about the fact that my birthday is the day after graduation- I’ll still be 17 when I walk the stage which just makes me feel so smart.)

Ahem. So, with that out of the way…being an almost-adult here and have been writing since the second grade, I thought I’ll share a ramble on writing. Like…the picture above.

Within my twelve years of school, you know how many times I’ve been asked that type of question/ been told to me by an English teacher? A Gazillion of times. I bet you have too.

And frankly, as a writer, I’m pretty sure, most of the time, the reasoning behind the blue curtains, isn’t what the teacher is saying. Because heck, in my writing, I tend to pick colors I like and that seem to fit the mood of the story. But I don’t get that in depth. Maybe sometimes- because as a writer, when I make something symbolic like that work with the storyline, I feel pretty darn impressed. But really? Nah.

Yeah, I’m digressing here, but I figured before I totally lose you, here’s my little fun writing question for you all:

Do you believe/tend to write like “the teacher” or “the author” more? Why? As a writer yourself, do you also get annoyed/amused/frustrated when teachers go in depth about something that seems like the picture above?

Microsoft Word Shortcuts + Anti-Procastination tricks = Happy Writers

picture fromhttp://1.bp.blogspot.com/-vM_w-IaNZEQ/TaRd-7Sb89I/AAAAAAAAARk/K_CZZIV5dCQ/s1600/Hungry-LazyDilemma.png

Don’t let the above picture be you when it comes to your writing!

 

I realized something: I’m actually not that lazy.

Okay, okay. I know…shocking. But I think that’s going to change soon. Why?

Because when I’m typing my MS (aka “Manuscript”- darn, should have put this in the vocab post I wrote), I was doing everything from actually spelling out the full character’s name or whatever, and boy was it a pain to do. It wasn’t until I found this niffy blog that I found out that I was actually doing it the hard way.

Microsoft shortcuts? Seriously? Bring it on.

Because The Intern did a good job explaining it as is, I’ll just give you guys the link. (Sorry, I don’t know how to do that clicky thing that would just pop the link up…but still, check it out.)

http://internspills.blogspot.com/2011/04/7-mindblowing-microsoft-word-tricks.html

Also, to go along with what Vicky had said about procrastination, I also came across another niffy blog post that just might help you keep your butt on the chair and your fingers flying across the keyboard! (As you could tell, I’ve been procrastinating with reading blog posts. Haha.)

http://rapidprogressive.wordpress.com/2011/04/25/lets-talk-about-it-later/

Let me know if any of this is helpful and if one of those procrastination tricks actually work for you. And if you’re still having trouble going through your writing hurdle, feel free to hit me up on wattpad, fictionpress, or email me! I may or may not be of much help, but just releasing some built up stress just might do the trick.

know your words: writer’s vocab

if you're going to pick at words, it's fun to use chopsticks. 😉

So I was talking to other wattpad writers on chat and I threw in some words I figured most writers would know about such as beta and agents. In return, I get “LOL…i have no idea what you are talking about…”

It confused me. How is it someone doesn’t know what I am talking about? But then I realized I was just a freak who goes on way too many writing blogs, picking up on words others aren’t even aware of. So here’s my list of words with their definition. Hope you have fun with it, and if you have any other words you’d like to add to the list, place it in the comments!

Writer’s vocabulary (in no particular order):

MC: short for Main Character

Character: the people who is in the story

Secondary character: people who are not the main focus of the story, but helps the MC. They are characters who you know just as much as the MCs, but they don’t hold the storyline

Throw away characters: characters that don’t hold much significance but are there. EX: a waitress at a restaurant

love interest: the person the MC is in love with/ has potential to be with the MC in a romantic way

love triangle: when the girl has to pick between two guys to be with

Incest: when family members are in a romantic relationship

Shonen-Ai/Yaoi: BoyxBoy love

Shoujo- Ai/ Yuri: GirlxGirl love

foreshadow: to show or indicate beforehand, suggestive of what is to come

Telecasting: can be confused with foreshadowing, but really, instead of hinting at something to come, you are practically screaming it at your audience. (EX: Little did Mary Sue know, her life is about to chance.)

Mary Sue/ Gary Sue: characters that are all the way around perfect. A replacement of the author- someone everyone wants to be because she/he is perfect and has no problems whatsoever in getting what the character wants

Agent: a person who is hired to try and help you sell your novel to a publishing house (they do more than that, but this is the gits of it)

Work shop: conventions where authors get together and tear each others novel/chapter/story apart

Beta: someone who edits your works over the Internet. Someone you may not meet face to face, but acts pretty much like an editor

Editor: depending on the type, they are people who edit your work. They find the inconsistency of characters, find plot holes, line edit, etc. They are your best friend

MG: short for middle grade; books that are written for middle grade schoolers in mind

YA: short for young adult; books that are written for teens in mind

Rom-com: short for romantic comedy

Active voice: When the verb of a sentence is in the active voice, the subject is doing the acting. Ex: Steve loves Amy.

Passive Voice: shows action done to a person or thing Ex: Amy is loved by Steve.

CP: short for crit partner

NaNoWriMo: short for National Novel Writing Month where the goal is to write 50k words of a novel in one month (November)

Self-Published (SP/ Self-pub): books that are published, not by a publishing house, but from the authors themselves. You could usually do this through Createspace or places like LuLu

Revision: keeping what you originally have in your first draft, but changing it up a bit. You may switch the format, move scenes around, rework the dialogue, etc, but the characters and plot is pretty much the same

Edits: finding the little mistakes like grammar and spelling

Rewrites: when you completely start a-new. It’s like writing fan fiction of your own story.

Big Q: Has other names, but it stands for “The Big Question.” It’s the question that encompasses the whole book. EX: Naruto, the manga. The Big Q is whether or not Naruto is going to be the best ninja around.

I’m positive there are more words that could be added to the list. I mean, a lot of words. These are just the ones that pop into my head.

I really hope this was useful. 🙂

Do you have any more words to add to the list? Say so in the comments!

Starting a new project

“Do you remember how it felt, wearing shoes for the very first time?”

That was what I asked my friend one day before track practice. She gave me a very weird look and blankly said, “No. I’m a senior. I was probably two years old when I first put shoes on.”

I laughed and explained why I asked the question in the first place. Before I went off to the track and talked to my friend, I was putting my track shoes on at my locker. I wasn’t really paying attention- the process was repetitive. I knew how to put on shoes. But then, there was some sort of oddness. My shoes felt as if it was trying to conform my foot into a new direction. It kind of tingled.

But I ignored it and put on my other shoes, without looking, and searched through my bag for the sunscreen (which was ridiculous, now that I think about it. There wasn’t even any sun out that day). I walked.

After half way out of the hallway, I finally got fed up with the weird footness (yeah, that’s now a word) that was going on and looked down, ticked off that I probably injured my foot so I couldn’t run that day.

No, no. It wasn’t anything like that. I just put the shoes on the wrong foot. Opps.

Okay, before this makes me sound completely stupid and irrelevant to the writing process, there is a point.  

Writing is like putting on shoes (bet you didn’t think I was going to say that, now did you?). You may not remember when or how or why you started writing, you may have just that tinkling remembrance of the joy you felt in writing your first manuscript. And then, when you were done and ready for your new project (or your revisions or editing or rewrites stage), it may just as well feeling as if you had put your shoes on wrong. You’re going to feel as if you remember knowing how you wrote drafts before- you have been working on it for years. Or, if it was your first time writing a story, you at least wrote in school for how long now? Twelve years? It should be easy.

But staring at a blank page? Frightening and odd. You just gotten used to a page filled with amazing tiny words. The feel of the keyboard under your fingers? Silly. Your fingers used to fly across the board…why is it now skittering hesitantly?

You may feel stupid. “How did I even write this last time?” you might say in annoyance. You may give up because it felt so uncomfortable and weird and new.

But this is me saying don’t give up. Take a step back. Breath. Look down. You may just need to do a little bit of adjustment, switch the shoes back to its proper place, and soon, you’ll be running.

-Choppy

How do you feel when you start a new project? Any advice you’d like to give to other writers about tackling the first draft?