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.)


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.

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.


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.

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. Thanks!

Diss the haters

Everyone hates bullies. Haters. They suck. Two faced dweebs? Even worst.

Luckily, I’m pretty toughed skin. I’m not very fast to react to comments (which makes me look really stupid when I’m being dissed in person cuz there will be a long pause in the middle before my comeback), but that’s a good thing. Especially against haters.


Well, you probably hear this a lot on writing blogs, but it’s a good thing to follow: you’re not always going to hear flattering things, so taking your time to respond to critism or, you know, flamers on your writing is a good thing. Now, I’m not saying that everyone who reads your stories/comments are just saying mean things to be mean. Or because they hate you. Or because they can. Sometimes you’ll get a response that hurts a lot and you’ll feel like commenting right back saying that he’s an idiot who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. But, taking a few days to reread and think it through will help you realize they aren’t actually flamers at all. They actually gave good advice, whether you agree with it or not. And you should thank them.

But, there are haters out there. Flamers at their worst. To tell you the truth, I got flammed a couple of times on my first draft of a story I wrote. The flame comments were stupid, made me laugh, and I was kinda giggly cuz I didn’t think someone would ever flame me in the first place (I had this weird idea that only really good writers get those, so I felt slightly honored). But after a while they got annoying. And it hurt a bit.

[EDIT: So my sister was reading over my shoulder just now, and she laughed at the word “flames” and “flamer.” Since I’m so used to those words by now, it made me realized not everyone knows what it means. It simply means people who talk bad about you, the author, instead of saying constructive crits about your story. They attack you with no real reason at all.]

So here’s what I’m saying: diss the haters- secretly. Complain about it with your friends. Feel slightly honored that someone took the time to give you something to laugh about later. Don’t let it bring you down, and reply back with a simple “Thank you for your time” or dont reply at all.

Because really, you’re better than them.


 Hey, Choppy here. I came early from school and thought I’ll share with all of you about some of the stuff on my fictionpress forum: “What about the manga section?” Contrary to the title, we actually don’t talk about mangas all that much. In fact, it’s infested with tons of writing advice (with randomness as well, but those are fun to read too).

The best way to know you’ve come across useful info on the forum? When the posts are long. It’s not hard to miss. You’ll have to go through tons of the pages to find them though, so I thought it would be nice to compile it on here.

So, let’s get started, shall we?


Everyone has trouble figuring out their character’s name. I know, for me, I go though all the time. Names always seem to be the thing- you want a name that fits. That will be remembered.

TheArchimage wrote this about it and I thought it would be really useful:

“When naming characters, I typically raid a book of baby names for ideas, especially ones that include meanings and origin. I try to have the meaning of the name at least vaguely relate to the character. I have a few other rules about names, as well, some of which are listed below:Minor characters will have names from the same origin, while major and main characters will have name origins different from the norm to help them stand out. If I have a scene involving Ronald, Frank, Bill, and Mikhail, it’s immediately clear who is the most important character in the room even if it’s the very first chapter. This can also help develop the characters of the main movers and shakers of the story. This is of limited use in manga stories taking place in Japan; their homogeneous culture means basically everyone will have a Japanese name.

The first name is exactly one syllable shorter or longer than the last name. These names sound the most natural to the human ear and flow more easily than names where the number of syllables is the same or the difference is greater than one.

Any main character with a name longer than two syllables should have a nickname two syllables or shorter. Any name longer than two syllables is too difficult for other characters to shout out in the heat of the moment (such as when the character is put into mortal peril or has done something that really ticks someone off).

Unless you have enough characters that it can’t be avoided, no two characters of the same “tier” (main-major-minor) should have names that start with the same letter, and above all no two names should be nearly identical. Anna and Annie are too similar for a reader to easily distinguish between them, but even Aaron and Addison can cause confusion over several hundred pages.”


 Okay, so hopefully that helps some of you guys! I’ll try posting other advice people came up with on the forum and bringing it over here when I have time (going through all those forum pages take a while.) If for some reason you can’t wait and would like to find the advice and follow the conversation on the forum, the link is below.

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 from

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.)

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.)

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!

Lets get physical

That's actually my date for senior ball (he's a freshman) putting the corsage on me

I’m sure you have all seen something like this before:

A whisper in the main character’s ear from her crush-sure, he may just be that close to the main character (let’s call her Jenny) because the room was too loud otherwise to hear each other, but who cares? His sweet breath is tingling her cheeks. She could feel his body heat, hot and sticky. Jenny’s heart feels as if it’s going to explode.

Yeah. I’ve seen it. Or some sort of variation of it-a close one to “the whispers” is “the hug greeting” (in which case you could actually feel your crush’s chest rising up and down as he breaths). And I have to admit, people think like that when they are near their crush. A rush. Definitely.

And this is me not bashing it. That’s right. Those examples up there? I love them if done right. It’s a good way to get the characters to realize their feelings and to get close.

If anything, this is me giving more ways to get your characters closer. Like, really close. And hey! You just might want to try this out too. 🙂

Five ways to get physical:

1) Telephone

An innocent game. Similar to “the whispers.” This is a great game to play with a big group of friends. Of course, this is a bit different from “the whispers.” Because this game tends to get naughty (people mishear what was said and the words that are supposed to be passed along changes to more inappropriate phrases) your crush that’s next to you might not only whisper in your ear, but you might also get to hear his laughter…up close.

How to play: Everyone sits in a circle. Some one starts by whispering whatever they want in the person next to them, ears. It goes around the group. When you come to the last person, s/he announces what he believes the first person had said.

2) Hand games

Another innocent game. Well, depending on what type of hand game you play. But in general? Good way to get close to your crush. (And I’m talking about those children hand games like “Miss Mary Mack.” I know some people might take the wordings in a wrong way, so this is just to clarify.) It shows playfulness. Plus, that hand you always wondered about (is it smooth? Rough? How big is his hand compared to mine?), you can finally touch it without being weird.

How to play: Depends on the hand game. Basically, it’s different hand movements.

 3) The backseat

Not everyone can drive. And what irritates me a lot when reading YA is when a character is obviously not old enough to drive, drives. But if your friends can and you’re allowed to hitch a ride from them, the backseat is the way to go. Especially when the car is packed. Snag a seat next to your crush and not only would your legs be bumping into each other, but you may just have that awkward sweet moment when the both of you start blushing like mad as you both blurt “I’m sorry!” But, instead of you trying to separate, he holds you closer because “he’s trying to be a man” and would rather you be hugging him than the friend that’s on the other side of you.

4) Twister

A lil’ more advance here. But what better why to get physical? A little bit of hugging and awkward positions. But hey! You might end up this close to his face as you stare at each other from your position. And you might even crash into each other, so you can have the aww moment like this:

not so much as "Aww" but that game of twister was so much fun.

How to play: Spin the spinner. Follow directions. Nuff said.

But wait! We’re not done yet. One more, guys. And this one is fun. Trust me.

5) Lap Tag

If you haven’t played this game, do it now. It’s super fun.

How to play: there’s two circles. The inner circle and the outer circle. Everyone but one person is paired with an outer and inner person. For example: person A is outside, person B is inside. C is out, D is in. Person E is alone. B sits in front of A. And D sits in front of C. E is still alone.

You can have as many people to play, but it has to be an odd number since one person can’t have a partner. When E calls out two people who’s in the inner circle (in this case B and D), the inner people would try to tag E’s lap. BUT, the outer people would try to hold them back. Whoever gets to leave their partner wins, and it kinda goes on and on like so. If the person “keeps” their partner, then they switch places and now A is in the inside while B is on the outside.

Confusing? It’s not. It’s just hard to explain. Check out youtube. There bound to be a video on there.

So you could see how this could be very physical. I knew some of my guy friends who used this game as a way to hug his crush, hold him back, and to get the feeling of being held back and wanted from her. Plus, you could get into really sketchy positions that if done elsewhere, you’ll get strange looks (but because this is a game, it’s pretty normal to get into). It’s kind of sexy though, too, and fun to watch. Especially when you see your friend pin a guy down and sitting on top of him. RAWR.

Warning: It’s a pretty violent game. You’re clinging, wrapping your legs around your partner, and there can be times where you can’t breath since your partner is holding onto you so tight. There’s hair pulling, biting,veins popping, bruising, ripped jeans, pants getting pulled off, ect. If you’re a weak person, you’ll probably cry (or if you’re like me, you’ll get injured to the point where you’ll have to take a few days off of track because of the intensity of the game).

So, sounds like fun, right? Really, these are great way to get your characters of your novel close to each other in a physical manner without being too awkward and in ways that you normally wouldn’t see in YA novels (or any novels for that matter, so far I’ve seen. Though, it would be interesting to read). Frankly, I play all these game- played lap tag a few days ago actually with a group of friends. And can I say “intense.”

How do you have your characters get close to each other in a physical manner? Any unique ways?

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.


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?