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Writer's Update: Cats and Christmas

All right. I managed to remember for a second time.

First of all, I'm not doing a Weekly Round-up this Friday. Sorry. It's just that there hadn't been enough articles on my watch-list to justify one, and I don't want to dig up all the holiday greetings. I'll be resuming it 2012 though, so bear with me.

First of all, I got four writing craft books (guess who wrote what):

  • Save the Cat
  • How to Write a Damn Good Novel
  • Character & Viewpoint
  • Scene & Structure
So far, I finished Save the Cat, and I'm reading How to Write a Damn Good Novel. Writing-wise, I also received a crate for archiving my old writing, an iPhone, and more loose leaf.

Really, these writing crafts books help my passion for writing a bit. I want to apply these techniques somehow. However, in the middle of reading Save the Cat, I had a scary thought: Aborting the 3rd draft of Manifestation Files, and skip to rewriting.

In retrospect, I'm glad I didn't do it (I couldn't really, I was on a road trip). I'm writing an all new scene that patches up the cause-and-effect chain, and help savage the relationship of the duo. I'm getting a better scene of structure. Once I have that down, the rest will follow.

However, doing my 750 Words is so hard. The problem is that I hold it off until night. At that point, I don't feel like writing, but once I start, I want to continue, but since it's late, I don't want to. Confusing, right? Well, let's say that I'm no longer aiming for two NaNoWriMo days per day. More like one and a half (about 2500 words). I need to wake up earlier and write earlier.

By the way, happy holidays. Speaking of which... What writing-related stuff did you get for Christmas? Please comment below.

Weekly Roundup: 12/23/11

Happy holidays, readers!

(Sorry for the somewhat wonky formatting. For some reason, there doesn't seem to be a way to remove the highlight).

Monday:


Daily Thoughts: Christmas in Garfield

Since I'm on winter break, I'm composing and posting this early. Say, had anyone read this Garfield script last Sunday? (Open image in new tab for full size).



My thoughts upon first reading this: How is she able to call him if the power is out?

Writer's Update: Timesinks and Conference Calls

I want a Strange Festive Medigun for Christmas.
Time to beg Mom for $20.
Okay, time for my first Writer's Update...right before my bedtime! (With a picture!)

Reason? Well, there's Team Fortress 2. It's having it's Christmas event right now. Even though I'm trying idling (running the game on minimum settings just to get the items) to save time, Bejeweled caused my entire afternoon to drain away. I swear that tomorrow, I'm uninstalling it from my desktop once and for all. Timesinks aren't good for a writer like me. It's fortunate I'm immune to TV Tropes' allure--unless one of my siblings keep a video game page open.

Oh, and I had a little trouble doing my 750 Words. YouTube led my astray with Florence + the Machine. Hopefully, I'll be getting the album Lungs this Christmas, to reduce Internet distraction.

Lesson? Cut down on time sinks and distractions.

Weekly Roundup: 12/16/11

I know that it's Saturday in the Mid-west. Blame Team Fortress:

Monday:
Tuesday:

Wednesday:


Daily Life: Announcements and Such

Once again, I would like to apologize for not blogging. For some reason, even though there had been time, I hadn't gotten to posting on Blogger. The round-up's okay though. If you want to cheat and peek at them like Christmas presents, go here. All previous links are also on that thread.

Notice that I made a slight modification to the title of this post. "Daily Thoughts" doesn't really fit. So to match up with the title of this blog, I'm making it "Daily Life". Handy, huh? (Plus, there had been plenty of tweaks to the blog design. Perhaps more?)

Speaking of which, I'm going to try something different yet again: A proper schedule.

Okay, I'm going to try to find someplace to jot down a little journal for this. I'm also going to try delving into the news. So basically:


  • Saturday-Sunday: Nothing
  • Monday-Tuesday: Daily Life (Optional)
  • Wednesday: Writer's Updates
  • Thursday: Daily Life (Optional)
  • Friday: Weekly Round-up
Titles may change though. Daily Life will be anything that got to do with my life, writing or not, or some current events and such. Writer's Updates will be everything I had accomplished with writing during the week. I'll probably have that Thursday. Weekly Round-up, of course, will have my list of articles that popped up on my 20+ blog watch-list and had caught my attention.

Since I'm making myself only have to post two times a week, this will hopefully yield better blog content. Keep on watching!

And anonymous watcher #4, don't be shy.  

Weekly Round-up: 12/9/11

I'm sorry for not having a Daily Thoughts this week. I'll get to it--soon.


Note that I'm experimenting with different comment schemes. Shorter takes a shorter amount of time.


Is it me, or people blog more on Wednesdays?


Monday:

Tuesday:

Wednesday:

Daily Thoughts: Twitter and Bonding

Guess what? I finally took the time to get a Twitter account! I already put a few tweets on it and followed people in the writing world, along with a few pop singers while I'm at it. Hey, I might get lucky. ;) 

But first, I'll have to look for spam bots. Three already tried to follow me (all three went onto the block list, of course. I'm not interested in any of that stuff).

My account's @chihuahuazero. I'll be using it for mostly writing purposes, so don't forget to follow. If you do, I might too.


So, time for something non-writing related.

One of my siblings came home from school after taking a science quiz on bonding. Apparently, since there were only three real choices, the science teacher decided to have a little fun and add a fourth test answer, all which are play on words based on the word "bond". Fortunately, my sibling decided to note this on a loose leaf of paper.

I "snatched" it from him and it's on my desk right now. Here are the real answers:

Daily Thoughts: 3rd Draft Start

As of December 1st, the 3rd draft of Manifestation Files is in progress. So far, I'm 4K words in.

Basically, it's my chance to get a solid structure so I can finally do scene-by-scene editing with no fear of having to make major changes that reconfigure everything. (Hopefully). After I write each chapter, I'm posting it onto my school's Google Docs system to show with a few fellow students that I shared the document with. They're my alpha audience. Although they don't really have critiquing experience, they'll catch blatant errors and give their thoughts about it before I decide to find some beta readers.

So, stay tuned.

Now, I hadn't done my 750 words today...

Weekly Round-up: 12/2/11

Sorry for not posting a Daily Thoughts yesterday! m__m

I'll get to it later this evening though. But for now, read through my round-up:

Monday:

Tuesday:

Wednesday:

Thursday:

Friday:

Guest Post at Superhero Nation

Although I'm going to do my Daily Thoughts later, I want to get this out of the way first.

Today, my writer's review for the YA book Priscilla the Great went up on Superhero Nation. Basically, I use my writer's mind-set to list an amount of observations and opinions about it. But only after correspondence with the blog owner, B. Mac. He helps a lot with revising.

(If you happen to be around months ago, you may remember that this is my 2nd article. Here's the 1st one).

Check it out, for both of our sakes.

Also, check out this. Nominate Superhero Nation as one of the Top 10 blogs. Don't waste your only nominate on me. I'm okay.

-takes out tissue and blow nose- I have a stuffy nose.

Thanksgiving Summary

Since I don't really want to spend too much time on this, since it's getting late, I'll make this quick. Hopefully, Daily Thoughts will continue Thursday, once I'm writing again.

In short, I finished NaNoWriMo. It was only an hour into my car trip down south. It was a modest achievement, really.

Unfortunately, I had done little planning for the 3rd draft of Manifestation Files. I just had no idea how to plan for it, so I'll be jumping in blind again. However, I have a general idea about how the first part unfolds, so I'll do some planning along the way.

Oh, and I'm doing another guest post, a review, on Superhero Nation. It should be up tomorrow or Thursday. If you're interested, check it out.

Happy rest of November! ;)

Weekly Roundup: 11/25/11

Okay, time for the first official round-up.


Even though the latter part of the week had been quiet due to Thanksgiving, there's still a good amount of articles I'm ready to dump on you in one day. 


Ready? Okay!


Monday:

Tuesday:

Wednesday:

  • No articles, sorry.


Thanksgiving Greetings (Thursday):

Thursday:
  • Superhero Nation: Building Up Romance: On Thanksgiving, my watchlist was graced by this guest post article. It's a simple guide, but it covers the basic bases quite well. It only covers the romantic interactions though. I'm wondering how the "friendship" building part of the romance and the bonding works. Perhaps next article?

Friday:
  • Again, nothing. To elaborate, a grand total of three articles appeared in my fifteen-item watchlist, and none of them are on the craft of writing.
Despite the dry spell, read away. And say to each person that "C0" said hi.

Daily Thoughts: Ironic Thanksgiving with a Side of Mario

Okay, I chose today's title like I do with my book tiles. Kill me. (later).


First, the non-writing news. School had more than a few quirks during the day before Thanksgiving Week:


  • The cafeteria was virtually out of food. There were no trays, the fries ran out, and I barely got peaches. Considering this is Thanksgiving Week, this is quite ironic. Because at Thanksgiving, there's a lot of...you know. At least they had tons and tons of cookies.
  • My school had our yearly Turkey Trot. We got to chose whether to walk a mile, or run. I chose the latter. Final time? 7:10.
  • ...And then the entire school congregated in the gym to watch people shave teachers' hair and throw pies at their face. Oh, and watch the cheerleaders dance to a pop medley of questionable content. "Mr. Saxobeat", "Moves Like Jagger", some song that is probably called "Turn Me On"...radio these days. People got no radar.
  • My math teacher had the technology teacher hook up a NES to the SmartBoard. The whole class took turns playing Super Mario Bros 3. Many deaths ensued.
Now, writing. 

I decided to practice my skills by rewriting a scene from Manifestation Files with long-hand. To be honest, my writing is better in terms of the prose part of it. Too bad that doesn't translate to my NaNoWriMo project. When you're doing a rough draft, the prose can be laughable. But yet again, that's the whole point of it.


Now, I will be going to the South for Thanksgiving (unfortunately, not Memphis). I'm not sure if I will post tomorrow, but I will see.

Daily Thoughts: Flashdrive Out, Charger In.

Note: I fiddled with the format of the blog a little more. I doubt that any of you would notice, but things are now a tinge more compact. Also, I decided to stop posting articles daily...and instead do a round-up on Friday. Expect a long list of links later this week.


Oh, and look at the title of this article.

So, I have good news for myself, and some bad news.


  • Good News: The charger for my laptop came in. Now I have more opportunities to type, and my sleep cycle should be more consistent.
  • Bad News: My flash drive, with my NaNoWriMo project, broke/died/infected/who knows.
  • Good News: I have a back-up.
  • Bad News: The back-up is on my laptop--and I hadn't updated it since last week, when the charger decided to die.
  • Good News: At least Manifestation Files is still intact, because it was included in last week's back-up.
  • Bad News: Half of my NaNoWriMo is now trapped in my broken flash drive, and I don't want to spend money to retrieve that one folder.
  • Good News: I think I can do the 2nd draft of it without the entire thing.
Moral of story? Back-up your files...in more than one way.
Alternate Moral: Be extra careful if electronics start to drop dead.

Now, if you excuse me, I'll be watching my hip-hop teacher dance with JLo on YouTube.

Daily Thoughts: 11/18/11

It's Friday!

Articles:
By the way, I'm thinking about making my own round-up by saving up all the articles until Friday. What do you think of that?

Daily Life:

I have to make this a little fast, since I didn't do any typing on my NaNoWriMo project at school.

Instead, I did a little writing in my manila folder. I wrote two one-page stories (one using 2/3rds of the prompt I mentioned last post), and a micro-fiction on someone else's lunch pass which is a twist on "why did the chicken cross the road". Here it is:

Flash Fiction:

The chicken wanted to get to the other side, but he was afraid of the cars zooming by.
 He took a deep breath. "I can do this." he thought.
He then ran across the street.
Halfway, a bicycle split him in half.
Exactly forty-two words. Not the best (very simple), but I did get a few laughs out of my lunch table.

Question:


Should I save up all my articles to post on Friday?
 
 
 

Daily Thoughts: 11/17/11

All right, although Thursday isn't a mandatory day to post for me, I have plenty to talk about.

Articles:

Mystery Writing is Murder: 9 Pieces of Bad Writing Advice it’s Best to Ignore: This is to the people who hate writing books. While some of these are well-known exceptions (since some of these rules are often wrong, like number two and number eight), others are not, like number one. The last point, how a good critiquer should both point out a good and the bad, is one of the large jewels of this post. We wouldn't want to scare someone off and make them think they're a writer with absolutely nothing good about them.


Time to Write: Flash fiction ideas to keep your brain active!: I'm plugging in a writing prompt. Write a micro-story involving a mouse-trap, with the protagonist loosing the phone. Rube Goldberg comes to mind for me. How about you?


The Other Side of the Story: Stop That Fighting! Conflicts Aren’t all About the Punches: At first, I thought this post would be about how "conflict is having to decide between two choices". But then it goes on about the different types of conflicts. There's the small conflicts that lead up to larger ones, the emotional conflicts, friendly competition, and then the cat pouncing around a breaking vases while having little stake to the plot. Keep that list in mind.


Professor Mungelton: Looking in Someone Else's Mirror: This isn't a writing link and this only applies to bloggers. However, shady links had been popping up in my referrals and it seems to be that I'm not the only one. So, look out for any .tk sites or any other shady-looking ones. You don't want your computer getting sick.


Daily Life:


Time to mix the writing and the non-writing.


It turns out my dad's charger isn't compatible with mine, so that's a lost cause. If my new charger doesn't come on Friday, it may put a blow in my NaNoWriMo word count. At least I have a lead, and it seems like my study hall teacher will let me use the laptop to work on my story. All I need to do is to focus once I'm done positing so I can do the next 750 words.

And I managed to use my new manila folder for some writing on the side. It's for a long-term collab (called Ashwood Landing) that's on haitus, but it's work. It involves two of my character, discussing a little of the mundane and then the plot-relevant, along with some exposition. Although it may not survive, it's practice.

Now, non-writing: I was one of the students who used the heart rate monitors in PE class. I ran laps after warm-ups. Apparently, I go beyond 180 easily, and my steady heart rate is possibly 115-125. I'm not sure yet. Is that normal? My heart is probably fast.

And I found out today: Turn in 20 cans for the food drive, receive a homework pass. I'm jumping on that.

Question:

Will any of you do the writing prompt mentioned above, or at least brainstorm about what you would write?

Daily Thoughts: 11/16/11

I'm still fiddling with format. First of all, I'm going to try holding back the labels and see if I can keep them consistant and not using every relevant label. Perhaps this format will make reading this easier.

Article Dump:

  • Mystery Writing is Murder: Talking to Readers: While I look forward to answering (or non-answering) questions about my stories, I rarely think about answering questions about the writing process. This is a neat list I might keep in mind, with questions like "How did you come up with your protagonist?". In my case, I created Bryan as a foil from Finn.
  • The Sharp Angle: Is Your Gag Running? Better Go Catch It: In this case, the running gag doesn't have to be funny. It's basically having a character say a line, do something, or otherwise repeating something throughout the book. Using it to strengthen association with a character sounds like a good compare-contrast tool, like Book Ends. Perhaps I should try it out.
  • The Other Side of the Story: Hey, Who Said That? Polishing Our Dialog Tags: While this post has some of the much-said information about dialogue tags, like adverbs, it also brings up other concepts. For example, avoiding dialogue tags. It also brings up the topic of when to internalize a line of dialogue, and when to have the character say it out loud. I'm guilty of messing up the latter. 
Daily Life:

First of all, if I hadn't said before, the charger of my personal laptop died. It should come in the meal somewhere between...Friday and Monday. Too bad Saturday is no longer a mailing day. And my dad's charger isn't even compatiable. 

Fortunately, I got a windfall at school. Using my study hall time craftily, I got a whole period of typing. I achieved my NaNoWriMo goal early. However, I hadn't done any more typing, although I should do a little more of it--I'm not sure though. Without my laptop, and with all my homework done, I have a lot of free time until my 11:30 "go-to-sleep" time.

And two of my classmates in my "Room of Requirements" class are doing NaNoWriMo, but with smaller word goals. It's good that they're using it as an excuse to write. I wonder when I should do critiquing.

Question:

Any of you had encountered windfalls of writing time? Please comment below.