I'm not going to start this blog off by saying that it's been a while, because I seem to be doing that too often with my blogs.
My Nanowrimo 2010 failed. I got further than I did in 2009, but I still didn't reach the winning line. Well, my beloved puppy-dog had to be put down and I never got to say goodbye to him. It really hit me hard. I loved my dog more than anything. He was the coolest dog and I'd been proud to have him as my own. I don't even want to get another dog, ever, because none will ever compare to how awesome he was. I also received somewhat... devastating news about someone very close to my heart, and it took the wind out of my sails and left me unable to write for a long time.
That aside, big things happening this year. I went on holiday overseas for a month, I got married, I moved house, oh, and I have baby number three due in a month.
Also, our motherboard bombed on me when I got back from holiday and I think I've lost all my fanfiction work. I can't find it anywhere. Which... is something I try not to think about a lot because I had over 30 fanfictions I was working on, each in different stages of writing, and I can't remember bully-beef about any of it. I guess it's partially a good thing, because I've been working on my originals more frequently without the distraction of fanfiction.
I do want to apologise to my readers. I do read your reviews, and I appreciate each and every one of them. I'm sorry I haven't been able to respond to them personally as I used to. As you can imagine, I'm being kept quite busy with two little kids and another one due soon. I've only been able to find time to update this blog now - that says a lot about where my times goes.
I am keeping your reviews in my inbox, and once I can work out a routine in the next 5-6 months, you bet I'll be replying to them. Regardless if you'll have forgotten what your reviewed by then, I feel I owe it to you to at least say thanks for the R&R.
I'd also like to let you all know that I'm not abandoning any of my fanfictions. Yes, I've lost all my work, and it is going to be absolute hell trying to get cracking at them again, but they will be completed at some point or another. I tend to write fanfiction when I procrastinate with my originals, but considering how little time I have to write anything at all lately, I don't even have time to procrastinate anymore. But the fanfics will be finished. I never leave my work unfinished. It's just a matter of WHEN.
I need to start using this blog more often.
I'll save the small talk for last, because today I'll be blogging about November!
There are only 12 days left and I'm still as pumped about the upcoming challenge as I was at the beginning of October.
This year I'm well prepared for Nano. I'll be writing for the mature young adult (yeah, lemon, WHOOT!!) in the paranormal romance genre. Harry met Sally kind of premise, with the exception that Sally is not a Mary-Sue, and Harry isn't whom he appears to be. Or is he? O_o That's up for reader discretion, though. Rest assured, he is not some 'prince' of Far-Far Away disguised as average Joe. I'm more creative than that.
Seeing as I've spent nearly over a year plotting and planning this novel, and haven't given up on the idea of writing it in all that time, I'll be submitting it to literary agencies once it's complete. If an idea sticks this long it means it's one of those stories you just have to tell - and sell!
Now, the people on the Nano forums are really a bunch of lovely individuals. I'm excited to know that there are so many writers in my city. People I can connect with, finally! Sadly, I'm not that excited in reality. I tried to attend the kick-off party last year, and my excitement kind of shot itself when I saw how many people were arranged around that table. I ran away. Well...not physically, but I did pretend to just be another customer having a coffee with my family. I don't know if it might have been my partner being there to 'back' me up that had me lose my nerve. I'm naturally very impulsive, that's why I'm with my partner. He balances out my insanity with his sanity.
Hummm. Yes, I do believe he was to blame for my chickening out. This might be my pride talking, though, you never know. Anyway, the forumers are planning another kick-off party over the last weekend of October. I think we'll be spending that time with the neighbours and the children, whatnot with Halloween and all.
That's all I have to say about Nano for now.
Here's the small talk I warned you about.
The wind is terrible today, and oh look, we've got some dark clouds taking away the little sunshine we do have! D:<
That is all.
With fanfiction.net having a couple of glitches in the server that sent me on a nasty trip of paranoia that people absolutely hate me enough to have my account deleted, I've had an awakening of sorts. So, it turned out it was just a glitch in the system and it's been sorted (bravo to support, those guys are ace) but it had given me a big push back.
I have no backup of my fanfics, and I've got quite a lot of fanfics. When I realised that I might have lost years of work, hours of merciless writing, days and weeks worth of time spent plotting, all in less than a second, it made me detach myself from my work and kind of brace myself for it mentally. It would have been like losing a part of myself. Any writer who has accidentally hit the delete button or had their work somehow lost in cyberspace will know this feeling of having lost something you could never recapture. Sure, you could rewrite it - you are the author, after all, and your stories are extensions of your being. But you'll never get it quite the same as it once was. It loses that special element of raw emotion that you first wrote it with.
Like I was saying before I threw myself off course, I distanced myself from my work so that I wouldn't have an emotional breakdown. I'm still a bit detached from my writing at the moment after the initial terror and then relief of the glitch, and it's given me a new pair of eyes to look with.
I was ranting about how Enji has stolen the limelight in A Futile Second Chance (FSC) and how I was going to wrap up his scene/story before shifting the focus back to Dante. Now I've realised just how much I was babying that story. It never even occurred to me that I could cut out Enji's story completely and just move back to Dante, because I ended the last chapter on a note where I could go in either direction. As the author, I feel the need to show Enji's side of things - probably because I spent so much time writing for Enji that it would feel like a waste not to. As a reader, I'd lose interest when everything is all about Enji and there's not enough Dante. The fic is about Dante being forced to take Enji in and uncover the secrets behind the kid, after all. Enji's had his chapter or two of fame and served his purpose in that way.
So I'm cutting out Enji's bits - however much research and thought I put into making his first encounter with Vergil wicked. It's cut. It's gone. Bye-bye. I'll put those useless scraps in my Untold Tales folder.
Now I just need to get back into Dante's head and start cracking at the next chapter for FSC. :)
Linkin Park has been snapping their music through my headphones and into my ears while working on my fanfics. Like artists would listen to music to fit their mood and set the pace for their work and fuel the right emotion behind each stroke, writers listen to music too.
Some songs have inspired a fic or two, namely I Hate Everything About You (3 Days Grace) and Shards of Nostalgia (Broken - Lifehouse). Other songs stand as inspiration for a paragraph or a chapter.
So, why am I rambling about songs and moods and writing? Well, Linkin Park has served me well as of late. The Catalyst from their new album A Thousand Suns fits my Ragnarok fic like a glove. I have an insatiable desire to constantly try something new, to do something that no one has done before. To go where no man has...never mind, I'm not quoting star trek in my blog. With my apocalyptic fanfic for the DMC fandom, the ending is going to be a shocker. If readers go 'how could you do that?!' then I do believe I have accomplished my goal.
That aside, I have some beta work I need to get cracking at tonight, and the new chapter for IHEAY that I have yet to start from scratch. But first! Enji has been begging me to finish the next chapter for A Futile Second Chance. So has Dante. The irony! I'm planning on redirecting the attention back to Dante. There's been far too much focus on Enji, and he's had me write several chapters where it's all Enji Enji Enji. I don't have a problem with it, but Dante does. He's my lead, and he should stay my lead. It's only fair. That and it confuses me and puts me off when writers bounce from one character to the next like a rubber ball on a trampoline. I like for there to be order, and a single voice that speaks out above the others. At least, that's how I like to write. I've nominated Dante my main character and worked hard to have the reader empathise and love my version of him by hampering on Dante, Dante, Dante in the first few chapters. Then Enji grew up and sprouted a big mouth, and now I'm stuck with Enji and Nero and no Dante.
*Cue fangirl rage*
It's all part of the story. Is it integral to the plot to write what Enji gets up to? No! This is much more about how Dante acts and thinks around Enji than it is about Enji himself. So heads-up to my FSC readers - Dante's coming back, all glorious six feet of him!
I'm also going to do a few fics on the newly released and revamped Dante. If you're a fan, I need say no more. Whether they'll be crack fics or serious business, I can't be sure yet. I love Dante in every shape and form! Though I'd have to wait and see what Ninja Theory and Capcom smacks together for us. So far the only thing about the new DmC game that appeals to me is 1 - it's all about DANTE! (hyper fangirl cheer!), and 2 - he's chained to the walls and looks roughed up. He also seems helpless and out of his mind. Ahem. I'd like to know when Ninja Theory decided to break into my secret room and drag my tortured Dante out for the world to see! That aside.
He's chained to the walls.
Well, I have this fetish, see. I'm a sucker for strong guys getting beaten up or pretending to be fatally tortured to the point of total weakness. I say 'pretend' because they always get up and kick some mean booty at the end (and send me into a fangirl squeeing fit). Similar to what I did with Mikael in Illusion Collides. This new game has it! Now I don't need to go play DMC3 and purposely let those octopus floaty things grab him from behind and squeeze/shock the crap out of Dante. I like seeing him squirm. And groan, and scream (and my goodness, he screams in the trailer @.@)
If you didn't think I'd like that type of thing, you either haven't read my work or you haven't read my work.
Anyway. Hold onto your heads, though. There's a chance we'll get our silver haired bad boy back near the end of DmC. Let's just hope he kicks the smoking habit too (which I reckon he will - it'll also explain his craving for pizzas. Substitute one addiction with another, right?)
Happy reading & writing!
Hi to my fellow readers and writers! It's been a while since I've updated my blog.
So, to make it up to you all, I have this nice lengthy post just for you!
This is only a guide on how to receive and give CC that I've compiled based on my personal experiences.
I've said this just about everywhere and to everyone I've gotten into a discussion with about harsh critics and butthurt writers - and there seem to be a multitude of both as of late. So please read, take it to heart, and go forth and conquer!
Concrit, for anyone who doesn't know (yet) is short for constructive criticism.
1. Realize that even if you open your world and characters to people of every age, religion, sexual orientation and gender, not every person is going to like what you put out. This is the reality, and you can do nothing but accept it.
2. Don't be ignorant. If you ask for concrit, make sure your skin is thick enough to take the blows. If you can't handle it, it might be wise to specifically state that you don't want concrit but reviews are welcomed.
3. Concrit is not 'wow!' 'Love it!' 'More plz!' 'This is the best story I've ever read!' That's called praise by a fan of your work. Concrits are not layered with fluffiness.
4. Your pride will be shaken by genuine concrit. You might feel angry, or hurt. This is natural. Nobody likes being told that they're doing something wrong or that they've done something bad. Take a breather and go relax and think over what has been said to you before you jump on your horse and race into an unnecessary war. Once you've accepted that there is validity to the concrit, a simple 'thanks' to the person would suffice.
5. Don't question obvious critique unless you do so with the mentality that you want to know how to fix something. Be smart about it.
6. Implement it! What is the point in receiving concrit if you're going to ignore it and continue making the same mistakes?
7. Differentiate between the type of reviews you receive.
OMG this is so good!
Please update soon!
Wow this is the best!
- These build you a fanbase. They also build you a big head. You might not be as good as they say, and that will be to your detriment, not theirs.
Nobody wants to read this kinda stuff!
You have so many spelling errors it makes my head want to 'splode!
Stop writing. You're bad.
- Discard these without a second thought. These are trolls. DON'T FEED THE TROLLS!
- Heed it, I say!
Now on to the giving part! For all of you who deem yourselves as pro-concritics: read this and weep, and be humbled, because most of you are doing it wrong.
As per the dictionary -> Constructive Criticism: criticism or advice that is useful and intended to help or improve something, often with an offer of possible solutions.
Maybe now that you know what the definition of concrit is you'll do it right.
1. If you're not a literary agent, an editor/proofreader by profession, or haven't thoroughly studied the anatomy of writing in some tertiary form, or haven't been attending regular writer workshops and not writing daily for over three years, you are not ready or apt to leave concrit of any sort. Period.
Any well-versed writer will respond to your inadequate review and call you out on your inadequacy. Writers can be terrifying when they're tearing an inept reviewer apart, because often than not the writer's knowledge on their profession is vast and obliterates any newbie's attempt at coming across as clever.
2. Be tactful. It's unnecessary and immature to have to revert to the use of words such as 'sucks' or vulgar language. That classes as trolling.
3. Be CONSTRUCTIVE.
Highlight the faults first. If something is romanticized, overused, or Mary Sue/Gary Stu, you have to say where it is romanticized, how it is overused, why it is Mary Sue/Gary Stu.
How can you expect a plumber to fix a pipe if you simply show him into the house and say "There's a leak in the house"? WHERE is the leak?
4. Follow the right sum for concrit:
quote + error = how to mend.
5. Always finish your review by pointing out where the writer did good, whether it was the emotion they brought across well or whether the flow was smooth or whether the character was well portrayed. The writer can't come back at you with a pitch fork if you give them genuine concrit, but that doesn't mean they won't feel a little discouraged. They'll need you to tell them that their writing isn't all errors and flaws, that they did manage to do something right. Be honest. The last thing you want to do is give a writer false praise.
I believe that is all that needs to be said.
Happy writing, until the next blog!
It's not that easy to write a horror story. Many things that scare people have already been done in one form or the other on television and in literature.
So a few things I've picked up during my procrastination period are, first and foremost, to be original.
For me that's one of the hardest hurdles to get over. It's also why I let my imagination roam wild and I let my characters go into the abyss outside the box. If you have read my FF's you'll know what I'm talking about - when a story feels like it's starting to settle it means that it is becoming predictable.
That's when I change the direction of the story and throw one of my infamous 'twists' into the works; something no one saw coming and it follows the plot. My characters are still chasing after their happy ending (or not so-happy ending), they just decided to take a treacherous hike through the forest of doom instead of skipping along the clearly marked path to their destination.
Throwing these unexpected twists into my stories have had readers questioning my sanity and accusing me of being evil (although I will not deny the latter). But I'm not really.
I only choose the road I believe will develop my characters into the beings I want them to be, and you can't have character development if you're afraid to imprison your perfectly powerful little darling in the enemy's dungeon and have him slowly lose his mind instead of magically breaking out of his confinement, pronto!
Another thing I've gotten down to an art is developing the story itself. I'll have this wonderful idea for a novel, maybe dot down a scene or two, or I'll write a 'whole' first draft from start to finish. Then I leave it.
I go back over the details in my head; replay the whole story in my mind over and over. I leave it to fester, I re-think it time and time again. Truth be told, giving a plot time and space to grow inside of you will eventually produce a wild, beautiful tree. It will have branches that spread in directions you never would have thought of if you'd drowned it with water. And when the time comes to revisit it, you'll have a clear vision of which twigs to trim, which branches to break off, and which ones are necessary for the tree to flourish.
Then, of course, there's the roles your characters play that you need to consider. Minor characters that serve no purpose but to fill a blank white space with words need to be erased completely. Main characters that are necessary to tell the story must be original.
Each of mine in Shadow Legacy, the manuscript I'm currently working on, have clear goals they want to achieve. Haley, my lead protagonist, has her goals change throughout the novel, as her character develops and situations arise, from basic survival to protecting her family. Randolf's goal is to keep Haley alive and preferably in one piece, Jeremy's goal is mainly to woo Amber and avoid getting dragged back to his origins, and Amber's goal is unachievable - who can really make everyone truly happy? - but her determination for goodness serves as the spark that redirects the other characters toward the end.
Speaking of which, it's really difficult for me to write horror. Not that I lack the creativity to do so, just the opposite actually. The story has become so vivid in my mind that, yes, I actually get the jitters merely thinking of starting to revise it. A sleepless night of procrastinating later and here I am, coffee in hand, curtains wide open and music playing loudly.
I'm in the right mind to inflict my horror on the page, and once I have, maybe you too will be as scared as I am.
Until the next blog!