Pages

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.

Daily Thoughts: 11/15/11

Sorry for the somewhat uneven amount of posting, but I'm still figuring out a way to post every weekday.


First of all, I made a TV Tropes thread here for my article dumping needs. My goal is for every day is to gather up certain posts that pop up on the list of blogs I follow and link them here. I'll also state my thoughts on them.


Character Clinic: Salvador Geel and Demon "Possession": Personally, I find the whole concept of split personalities interesting. I have at least one character that has it, although I won't be (re)writing his tale any time soon. However, I hadn't heard of Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified is something I hadn't heard of a lot. Split personalities forming through religious belief...lots of potential for that. Unfortunately, only two protags I had conceived are explicitly religious.


Other Side of the Story: Guest Author Anna Staniszewski: Write What Makes You LaughWe all know the expression "No tears for the writer, no tears for the readers". All you need to do is to substitute "tears" for "laughs", and you're all set. It's something I should aim for often. Considering that I react less than most readers, inducing a laugh while writing should be a good sign.

Now, personal stuff: I accidently turned off my alarm clock in my sleep and ended up sleeping through my morning writing session. I didn't feel good for the next twenty-five minutes while I got ready, but a dosage of Florence + The Machine's "Ceremonials" shifted the mood for school. Still, I'm behind today. Had that ever happened to you?


And I'm using one of those paper holders with two ends and a metal piece that binds a folder together. My mom gave me three. However, it keeps slipping off my writing folder...not that I'm using it at the moment. All my writing is done raw on the computer now, and now I'm getting writer's block with the folder. Oh well. At least productivity went up.

Daily Thoughts: 11/11/11

First of all, I will quote a forum post:

  1. According to my stats and the fact someone used a Russian search engine to reach my site, one of my to-be regular readers lives in Russia.
  2. My mom is going to be working with an author on a book on gardening.
  3. That same author is considering creating a writing class for high schoolers. My mom enlisted me on crafting an idea for it. At first, I was hesitant and all worried about it catering under my writing level, but I typed it up on e-mail. The author loves it. Hopefully, she'll go through with it.
  4. My hip-hop teacher is going to dance with JLo.

To elaborate on Point 3, the idea is for a Critique Circle. Every student brings in a story, they learn how to critique another writer's story by spotting the strong and weak points, and then they critique everyone else's story. With hope, if my idea is used, the students will provide varied constructive criticism. I'll present some of Manifestation Files, since I'll probably get into the class free due to the connection mentioned in Point 2.

Now for a link: The Other Side of the Story: Need a Jump? Four Ways to Fix a Stalled Story

Personally, I think the forth point of the list stands out the most. In Manifestation Files, there's plenty of small sub-plots that sort of rotate out. Besides the Dramatic and Character Development arc, there's the romantic arc, Bryan-Kyle arc, Bryan-Jeb, arc, a bunch of other storylines you won't understand out of context...

It doesn't addresses the possibility of the sub-plot replacing the main plot and becoming the point of the book after revision, but that's an interesting scenario, but one that probably won't happen to Manifestation Files.

Now, NaNoWriMo. From the pace I'm going, I won't reach the end of the book by the time November ends. I'll drop the project once I past the 50K milestone and take a break before starting on Draft 3 of Manifestation Files. It's mostly for practice, anyways. I'm getting better at writing a story without long-handing before typing.

Daily Thoughts: 11/9/11

I'm deciding to try rearing this blog back to its original purpose: to record my daily thoughts related to writing.  I'm going to play around a little bit for the next few days, to see if I can fall into a habit of posting.

First, a forum re-post:

While working on a science project with three other people (that are around the same level than me), my writing was brought up. One of the classmates said how my writing is good (from what I have written at school). However, I brought up the Four Stages of Competence and how I was somewhere between a two and possibly a three. One of the other classmates bragged how he was number four in note-taking.
Thinking about it, I'm a little too shy on showing people my actual writing.
Yep I am. I'm not in a position to measure my competence, but I know I'm "Consciously Incompetent" at least. Oh, how I remember the days when I was "Unconsciously Incompetent". That was a rude awakening I had.

Now, reblog: Heather's Brewer's blog. Now I finally know why the comments weren't going through. It's sad thinking about how many of them probably went unread, with Mrs. Brewer being an author and all.

And now for the real post that I'm re-blogging. It's about an anti-bullying law...that allows religiously and morally motivated bullying...and the latter part was tacked on at the last minute.

This is the type of stuff that makes me cringe. Our politicians can do better than that.

Now, back on topic: American Quirks for Authors. I love writing posts that cover topics that are rarely touched on, like this. Considering how the co-protagonist of my main project is British, this will be useful when I write my 3rd draft.

Oh, and NaNoWriMo?


Act I is finished! The climax of it was somewhat disjointed, but I'm picking up momentum.

NaNoWriMo: Depression Harmonica

It's NaNoWriMo, and it's time for me to reveal my project for it.

The working title is Depression Harmonica. In my own words, the genre is a Young Adult Historical Post-Steampunk Fantasy. However, Steampunk is enough for marketing purposes. Take an alternate 1930's, a world over-runned by rebels in a resource wars, and music as magic, along with a quirky narrator, and hopefully the rough draft won't be utter trash.

Yet again, that what the NaNoWriMo people encourage, right?

To go into detail, the protagonist of DH is name Blue. He's a fifteen-year-old boy living in  the villes (the world's Hoovervilles). He's good with slight of hand, along with trickery...as long as he doesn't have to do any talking. Let's say he lacks a bit of tact. However, he has a love of the arts, which he has to suppress in a city where art is the least of one's worries.

The plot is ignited when Blue makes the reckless decision of putting card games over food, and ends up starving. To cure his pangs, he breaks into a car hidden in an alleyway. Unfortunately, the owner happens to come before Blue can leave, and the man happens to be a member of one of the many criminal syndication in New Orleans.

Before the man could harm Blue, a mysterious woman swoops into the alleyway. The man is confused and annoyed at her appearance. Her justification for being in the villes, yet wear such elegant clothes, that she likes the sounds of the inner city. This doesn't roll with the man, so he attacks her.

He gets clobbered and knocked out for his troubles.

The woman runs out of the alleyway, but not before dropping a package onto the ground. Blue, being the starving teen he is, snatches it. It has an address for a town up in the next state. But his hunger keeps his motivation on more immediate needs.

One act later, Blue is run out of town by said criminal syndicate. On his journey to the town, he discovers the presence of Bards, humans who had contacted a disease that made them vampires. But not of blood, but of music. They also have the power to use an instrument or their own voice to wield music against others.

While Blue could ignore all of this magic, the package doesn't let him. Because it's a MacGuffin.

That's all that I'm going to share right now. I'll probably leave some updates for when I reach certain milestones of the story. I'm forsaking long-hand for typing only in order to free up reading time and working time at school. Wish me luck! And hope for another blog post!

Current Word Count: 1782 words.