mardi, décembre 21
lundi, février 8
"Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task." ~William James
(P.S. I have about 5 plot bunnies circling my head, and I'm afraid I can't write about them just yet. So here's the only advice for today - advice I'm going to use myself, too. When you have a lot of plot bunnies, write them down in a notebook. Ha. I'm afraid I didn't give very good advice, if you are a writer, you would already be doing that without my advising. Okay, I'll stop now.)
VIVA LA VIDA.
Okay, that came out of nowhere.
I'll stop now.
samedi, janvier 23
"Heart don't fail me now!
Courage don't desert me!
Don't turn back now that we're here"
-"Journey to the Past", Anastasia
That list up there could be further from the truth. I wish that was my schedule, you know, surviving meaning eating, watching TV, snacking, reading, then going back to bed. But no, there are so many things to do that - I shall quote my twitter, "I want to do so many things at one time that I end up worrying about which I should do first and result in doing nothing at all." Yes, that is how I'm feeling, dear friends. I'm sorry I haven't properly greeted you, so Bonjour! And hello. I'm sure you were afraid I was going to have that two month absence that could possibly happen, yes, I was afraid of that, too. But here I am. Of the things I worried about doing, I decided to do this first. Well, let us get updated.
The Things I Want To Do All At Once That I End Up Not Doing At All/ The Things Worrying My Mind
- I stil haven't written the 2k I was going to write again. I know! God has given me two weeks to make up for it and I don't do anything but worry!
- I finally critiqued that mess of a story for my friend because I agreed to. Have I not told you about my critique buddy yet? Long story short, I critiqued her query and she was so happy with my harshness (it was not a pretty query) she wanted me to critique her whole novel, and because I saw some sort of story in the midst of the horrible grammar and punctuation and sentence structure of her critique, I agreed. I told her in my query critique that you want your query to be good, so it will reflect your writing. Well, her unrevised query just about did reflect her writing. I will be talking about one of her mistakes today. But all in all, she's a good person, really, and I like her. And I don't mean to be mean to her, I even consider her as a friend (well, we are on Facebook). So all is not completely lost.
- All the projects. To name a few, I have to make three commercials avec mon amis and that won't be pretty because mon amis get easily distracted, and that distraction resulted in an F on a previous assignment. God help those too trusting! The commercials are supposed to be about The Merchant of Venice, which, after putting on a production of the play with my stuffed animals as characters, actually makes sense to me. Allow me to quote my twitter (again) - "Merchant of Venice isn't as confusing as I once thought...thou hath not as confuddling as ere...I don't think I said that right". Then I have to think up another (stupid) science project. Then I have to research my health project, which is going to be on thyroids (my mom, uncles, and aunt has it, so I'm scared). And then I have to write a story book in French about things I do and don't do in the seasons (par example: J'aime mangez en hiver, mais je n'aime pas nager en hiver [translation: I love eating in winter, but I don't like swimming in winter]). Grrr.
- I want to join ABNA. I'm thinking of submitting my nanonovel, you know, for the heck of it. Problem: I haven't edited TROAP at all, don't have a pitch ready, or anything else. Ah, well. I've been meaning to do that. BIG PROBLEM: Submissions are in TWO DAYS.
- I actually liked Crime and Punishment. Me and Raskolnikov have something in common: We're going insannnnnnnnneeeeeeee!! At least I didn't murder something, though my grades are in jeopardy.
- Get my friend and other friend presents because it's their birthdays!! AHH
Okay, so that's all that has happened. Those are my concerns. Okay, I'm going to make a schedule RIGHT NOW. (Schedules always make me feel safer).
- After this post (which was also in my to-do list), finish my bio hw and try to read some of the chapter on taxonomy
- after bio hw, start the french project. but don't expect to finish it all today (it'll come out sloppy)
- After getting tired with that, conscience should be somewhat calmer. Do any other hw that I have forgotten.
- Start editing TROAP and start 2k
- Sunday: Wake up early and cont. edit TROAP and finish 2k
- If don't finish TROAP by tomorrow, that's okay, submissions still open
- Get done with all hw today so have time to do all this writing business tomorrow!
Okay, that has cleared my mind somewhat. So, back to the true topic of this post because you all don't really care about my insanity...
The Series of Actions Disorder...dun dun dunnn...
Okay. So as I mentioned, my critique buddy has a problem with this. Allow me to give an example and you try and figure out the problem (hint: the title of this section)
Lila walked to class. She sat down and took out her notebook. The teacher was hairy like a monkey and he sounded like one too. He was Mr. Gorilla, the science teacher. Lila felt like falling asleep. Then when class was over, she walked past a hallway of students and walked into her next class that smelled like peppermint and oil. After school, she went to her car and turned the window down, glad to be out of school, aka, prison.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS?! It was something I saw frequently in my partner's WIP. A character who goes to one class, then to another (I can't reveal any specific details or excerpts since I agreed not to show any of her work to anybody...and I'd like not to be sued, thank you very much) and then to the other. Then she did this, ate this, walked here, sat there. Chit-chatted here then walked there. Oh, quelle horreur! Not only did it not develop the plot or give us any indication of the character's personality, but it was just BORING. You know, I don't care if your MC has science last or if the science teacher's name was Mr. Gorilla (a name that bears a lot of resemblance to my english teacher's). I don't care if she ate pie, but never ate the crusts because she didn't like crusts. I honestly don't care if she grabbed a banana and realized she didn't like bananas and threw it in the garbage. Imagine reading pages of this robotic action! Yikes, indeed, my good friend. I said something about that, in my honest harshness that is neither overly cruel, and certainly not overly sugar-coated.
Now I ask you, my friend. Do you read this when you are editing your WIP? Think closely about it. How much pain did you suffer reading my own crude example up above? Yes, imagine that and reconsider what you are writing. I daresay, if your book was in the library and I picked it up because the book cover was nice (which I should immediately stop doing and I will tell you why in another post) and decided to skim the first few pages. If, my friend, your first few lines were those lines up above, I would surely put your book down and take care to avoid it in the future. And you don't want that, do you? Of course, I can only speak for myself. But I am so certain that agents would do the same, I would bet actual money on it.
Also, there was another irk I had with my partner's manuscript, and that was...
Unnecessary Details...*shark song*
There was a lot of a emphasis on what the character was wearing. Not only was there particular care into describing what the MC was wearing, but it was depicted in the way up above. Yes, you guessed it...a series of actions. (Example: I put on my purple shorts. I wondered what would go well with this, and I decided on the rainbow striped tank top. Then I put on my orange shoes, and voila! [Sidenote: I advise not to wear this outfit, not in this era, good friend]). Also, there was an emphasis on the specifics of the shirt. Like, it had a picture of Dora the Explorer on it. Unless your character is dressing for a particular reason, for example, she finds herself in Antarctica and I take great effort to describe to you exactly how many layers of clothing she put on. You see, not only do I show you that it is extremely cold outside, but I also give you a sense of what is appropriate to wear in Antarctica (which in that case, would not be purple shorts and a rainbow striped tank top).
I made this mistake in my early writings - too much emphasis on what my characters were wearing when really it didn't matter at all to the story. Nowadays, I would only mention what my characters were wearing if...
- My FMC is going on her first date with love interest and it matters what she is wearing and how long it took her to choose that outfit because she is striving to look her best
- Or I would mention beforehand my character is wearing a scarf (maybe the scarf is blowing in the wind and hits her in the face or something) because later on, it's that same scarf that saves her life (Not sure how, but anything's possible).
- Attire has something relevant to event (i.e. a mask in a masquerade)
So I hope you got something out of that. Remember, what I'm saying isn't right and it isn't wrong either. I'm just telling you something to consider and think about. Maybe, it will even help you out. (I could be the next Shakespeare, Just kidding! Oh, am I jesting.)
Au Revoir, my good friends! Remember, I go to school now and cannot update you as regularly as I used to.
After the Break,
"I try to leave out the parts that people skip." -Elmore Leonard
dimanche, janvier 17
"The world has lost its glory,
let's start a brand new story now, my love
Right now, there'll be no other time
And I can show you how, my love"
-"Words", Bee Gees
Things that happened since I last posted on you:
- An earthquake in Haiti. My heart and prayers go out to all those people there, to the ones trapped under the ruble, the ones who are helping, and the families of the ones who died. I hope that Port-au-Prince can be restored soon.
- On Friday my school had an academic rally and it turns out I'm one of the "Top Ten Freshmen" and I didn't even know it. I had to sit in a "special seat" in front of everybody along with all the other top ten people though I don't believe it was special because they put these humungous speakers right behind us. All I can say is LOUD. I think I might've gotten more deaf. So then I had to walk on this red carpet and shake hands with the principal, who didn't even bother giving me a certificate recognizing my position. All I have for proof that I really was in the top ten was the paper taped to my "special seat" which states my real name (and if you didn't know it already, my real name is not Vanille, Vanille c'est mon nom de plume). It was enough to convince my parents.
- My friends and I are nerds. Our honors biology teacher won't sign our papers to allow us to go into Chemistry AP because we're "too young" and it's a lot of work. But my friends and I are determined nerds so long story short, we went to the counselor's office. He said that the prerequisites are an A or B in bio (I have an A) and completed Algebra 2 (I'm still in geometry) so only 3 of my friends are qualified whilst the rest of us are stuck in geometry. We might take summer classes at a college. But what's unfair is that we freshmen are actually smarter than those sophomores so why do they get to go and we don't?? Whether or not we make it through is still unknown, I'll keep you updated.
- My Creative Writing teacher proposed this thing where we'll write like a paper of short stories, poems, and whatnot and sell it to students in the school. When she asked me if I thought it was a good idea or not, I pretty much nodded my head and forced a smile on my face, because I knew whatever I said would not change anything since it seemed pretty much decided anyways. Great. Now the whole school will be reading my writing. Can you say, help?
- One of my goals has been to watch the movies that we used to have on video but can't play anymore since everybody's switched to DVDs. We finally restored one of our old movies - Anastasia. It's a bit more cornier than I remember (the last time I watched it was eight years ago and I was six), but still good.
- I now own a Beatles shirt that says "Can't Buy Me Love" :D
So that's all that has happened. And maybe it gives you an idea of why I couldn't post as often as I'd liked. As promised, the next post will be strictly on showing don't tell (though there may be some references to my life). Okie-dokie!
Showing not Telling: Part 1
As before, I made a post on adverbs and how you can show some adverbs. Now, I will present to you another way you can know if you are telling and not showing.
Let's take these words: angry, sad, happy, joyful, pleased, confused, stressed, miserable, cheery (trying to think of non-depressing words), and moody
What do they all have in common?
A) It's only words! And words are all I have, to take your heart awaayyy
B) I don't know
C) They are emotions
D) Nothing! I see nothing!
If you answered C, then you are correct! Here is your million dollars and brand new cat! Just kidding. I don't have a million dollars and a brand new cat to give you, you will just have to settle for the knowledge that you are intelligent.
But what do emotions have to do with showing not telling, Vanille? Well, mon ami, I will show you right now! Let's take these examples:
As Tommy stands before Lila, holding his brand new cat and million dollars, Lila is very angry that he got these things by cheating and scrolling down to see the answer! Now, Lila has to settle for the knowledge that she is intelligent! BAH!
Fluffy is a happy dog.
Now, brace yourself for the next examples which are unedited and quickly written.
As Tommy stands before Lila, holding his brand new cat and million dollars, Lila's thoughts twirl in a fury, crashing into each other and circling her head, each calling out to her attention. She can't catch them all, but one message is apparent: Tommy got these things by cheating and scrolling down to see the answer! Lila's heart races and her cheeks become warm, then so hot, it's as if her thoughts are steam that pours from her ears. She can't hold it all in any longer and she slaps Tommy's face, the stinging bringing satisfaction to her tingling palm. No way is she going to settle for the knowledge that she is intelligent. "Bah!" she spits at the crumpled figure named Tommy who is curled on the ground, aiding his bleeding nose.
Every morning Fluffy licks his master's nose to greet him to the bright new day. During breakfast, Fluffy bounces up and down on his cute, fluffy paws and his eager, drooling tongue sticks out from his smile in the hope that master will be kind and give him a bit of bacon. Next is Fluffy's morning walk in which master is yanked around the neighborhood as Fluffy runs, barking, to every pedestrian, chases the always-frowning-cat next door, and pees in neighbor's petunias. At the park, Fluffy wags his tail as he races to get the yellow frisbee master throws.
What's different other than the fact the last two are longer?
Well, in the last two I have shown the words angry and happy. Pay close attention, there are certain words that are related to certain emotions. Notice my use of words "fury", "crashing", "hot", "slaps", "spits". All these words contribute to the emotion "angry". And then notice the words "bright", "new", "bounces", "eager", "smile", "wags his tail," and "yellow". These all contribute to the emotion "happy", except for "wags his tail" which can only be used on, well, dogs. I just showed you that Lila is angry and that Fluffy is happy without saying it directly as the first two examples. :) And I just realized that I also showed you that Fluffy is a dog rather than telling you like in the first example.
So if you can see my stance. If you notice a phrase like 'he is happy' or 'she feels confused'. Maybe you should reconsider if you can show this instead by use of body language and dialogue. Though of course, if you want to describe someone briefly, you can say, "she was a pleasant old woman who always gave me cookies when I passed by her house". Notice word pleasant, but then I go the extra step to include exactly why she's pleasant, and it's because she gives cookies (and isn't that pleasant?). (I am aware pleasant is not an emotion, but can fall under the word pleased). Sometimes I catch myself writing things like, "Tommy is sad" or whatever. And I ask myself, "can I show that instead?"
So always keep that in mind! And that, folks, is part one of showing not telling!
After the break,
"When you are describing,
A shape, or sound, or tint;
Don't state the matter plainly,
But put it in a hint;
And learn to look at all things,
With a sort of mental squint."
-Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll)
mardi, janvier 12
"I'd smile when I was crying
I had nothing but a life to lose
Thought I had a lot to prove
In my life there's no denying"
-"Everyday", Bon Jovi
Bonjour mes amis!! This post isn't going to be about writing, though I'll just post this as a reminder that the next post (or the post after that) will be all about showing, not telling, and the keyword is emotion. So, if you could remember that for me then that will complete what I want to say about showing and not telling. And it's showing and telling people, one of the shiny golden rules of writing! Mind you, all this stuff I post here is from a really, really young writer and it's best if you don't just take my word for it because we all have differing opinions in the internet-universe so its best you check out other websites on the same topic. What's on here is just my view, and I may not always be correct. Just as a reminder...
So, I know you're dying to ask (well, maybe not dying. You probably don't care, either) but school is okay. Not thrilled to be there, but not overly depressed either. I just finished my homework. And I'm not even in AP classes (yet). There's this whole disagreement because my parents want to get me in AP classes in my sophomore years, but the teachers don't want sophomores to take AP classes because it's too "hard". So that means that, for example, I want to get into AP Chem (yah, I'm pretty smart :P ), but my current bio teacher doesn't want us to, she wants us to take regular CP Chemistry first. Mais, ma parents want me to "be challenged" so I think there is going to be a lot of corresponding between them and my counselor.
Now that I've bored you with all this totally unrelated dude news, let's get to the writing bit in my life. Well, remember the 2K I worried myself over all during break? Well. Yesterday I went to my creative writing club and who was there but absolutely nobody! Not a soul in sight except for the English teacher at my school and also the "leader" of my creative writing club. (Mind you, she's having her book published!!! I don't know much about it except that it's titled Promise Rock and I've been meaning to ask her to read a copy of it.) Anyways, I went in and was all like, "Is there a meeting today?" And she told me no because (surprise, surprise!) not many people were there so we'll all just get together next week. (You see, us writers are a scarce type of human). I told her I wrote the 2K, she said that's good. Then I left because there wasn't anything there.
Une problem - The 2k I told her I had will be different next week. Yes, I had this 2K in my backpack (the one I was so excited about, do you remember?) but you know what? Remember also when I hit an OMG-what-if-I-really-suck moment? Well, I managed to convince myself that what I was writing was absolute, excusez moi, crap. So I'm going to write a whole new 2k and I still don't know what to write about. Ahh short stories. Why couldn't she just ask us to write a novel? That would be easier.
Well, I just wanted to post this update even though it's totally unrelated dude just to assure you I haven't forgotten about you in the rush of homework and your normal school dramas. But you betcha next time we'll get into serious writing talk. Kay? Tata. American Idol's on today in 3 minutes and I have to goo.....
After the break (I feel proud saying this now)
"Omg, American Idol's on and I have to go there can't be a quote du jour!" -Vanille
P.S. Did you hear Simon Cowell isn't going to be there next season?? I know! What the heck is that?! Simon Cowell is American Idol. Ellen Degenerous (did I spell her name right?) says it's up to her now to be mean, somehow, I just can't imagine that.
dimanche, janvier 10
"Ain't got nothin' but love babe
Eight days a week
Eight days a week, I love you
Eight days a week, is not enough to show I care"
-"Eight Days A Week", The Beatles
Ahhh. Before I start, I would just like to say that my nails are painted le colour noir and that I had forgotten how much I hated waiting for them to dry (you can't eat anything!). Now that I've said that, I have brought with me rather, no, very depressing news. I'm going back to school tomorrow. Doom doom doom. And I'm absolutely dreading it. As Dolly Levi says, "Goodbye, goodbye, goodbyeee!"
A quick reflection on my three week break. All I remember most is movies, movies, and more movies. And I remember reading almost all the queries in query shark. I faintly remember going to San Francisco, but that was so long ago, long ago.
I really don't know what this post is going to be about. But I'd like to say I recently hit a OMG-what-if-I-really-suck? moment. I abhor those. Now, my mind's all in flutter like what if I'm not good enough? And it's all confusing, confusing! I don't know how to explain it, but allow me to compare myself to Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment right after he murdered that one lady (I need to catch up on my reading). That's exactly how I feel, but I haven't murdered anybody, I just feel extremely sucky. I look upon my writing with disdain, especially my 2K which I am seriously reconsidering. It's too late now! Tomorrow is school (doom, doom, doom) and I'll have to turn it in! *headdesk*
I want to quote something I said in Steph Bowe's blog when she asked the post about our writings. I said:
My writing? Well, I imagine writing as words floating around in the air and I
have to pick them like I would an apple from a tree to create the most pretty
sentence (or apple pie). And if I get writer's block or lack of inspiration, I
usually end up pacing around the house, trying to find that perfect word that
will get me back on track. I like exploring writing, like different POVs or
genres. I'd like to get published before graduating high school, like you did
Steph, lol. But though I think my writing is knock-your-socks-off-awesome (who
doesn't feel like their baby is the most adorable in the world?)I don't think
it's quite yet ready for the publishing world. I'm still waiting for that
knock-your-socks-off-awesome story, and so far I haven't found it, or it hasn't
come to me. I've been writing since I was little (as most writer's have)and I
think I'm going to pretty much end up writing for the rest of my life.As for a
sample of my writing, why, this comment reflects it quite well. ;)
So yeah, that's pretty much it. Now you know how I write. When I can't find the words, I hit writer's block. Or a wall. (When you're looking for words in the air, you're only lookin' up. I especially hate it when the word is on the tip of your tongue and you know it starts with a certain letter, but you just can't catch it! Oh, yes, look at me all funny but you know exactly what I mean.)
Oh, oh! I know what to talk about now that's totally unrelated to my writing.
Why so sullen? Oh, sure. Adverbs might not be fun in English class (believe me, I know) but here on this blog, I'll try and make it as interesting as I can in my current state of mind.
You know the golden rule in writing, show don't tell? (I'll cover that later when I'm more sane and less dizzy). Well, as I critique in critique circle I see a lot of adverbs. To me, there are two types of adverbs.
- The ones you can show
- The ones you can't show
Allow me to make lists
The Ones You Can Show
frustratingly, protectively, passionately, fearlessly, noisily, rudely, merrily, bravely, calmly, hastily, irritably, obediently, politely, solemnly, wearily
The Ones You Can't Show
absolutely, faintly, exactly, extremely, especially, usually (I've taken these from this post) exceedingly
Do you get what I mean? Let's show the adverb frustratingly
Original: "Oh, geez, I don't know!" I said frustratingly.
Revised:"Oh, geez, I don't know!" I cried, pulling at my hair. But even that pain didn't cover the rising feeling of doom at the thought of school tomorrow.
You see the showing not telling? You get the idea I'm frustrated and that mere thought of school, right?
Let's try another using hastily
Original: I hastiliy put on my clothes and ran out the front door.
Revised: I shoved my pants up, snatched a random shirt from the floor and yanked that on, too. My eyes flashed to my alarm clock. Good grief, late on the first day of school! Stupid clock! I dashed downstairs, having a second to give a quick kiss to my mom and flew out the door like my butt was on fire.
Okay...so not the best imagery, but you get the idea. I showed you hastily instead of telling.
Now, regarding the adverbs you can't show, check back on my post and spot those adverbs. Let's take this example I made up right now,
I am absolutely certain that my first day back at school will heavy my backpack with all its pointless homework.
You see? Maybe you can show absolutely, but I categorize those kinds of adverbs as OK since you can't really show it. (Speaking of advebs, the author of Crime and Punishment uses them like every other sentence!! Oh, well. It was written well before we had all these "writing rules"). There might be people out there who aren't even okay with those kinds of adverbs and say scratch it out all together. Of course, if I scratch out "absolutely" my sentence will still make sense. But I rather like it with the absolutely; it better depicts my disdain.
That's something to keep in mind. Remember, if it's an adverb you can show, then show it for goodness' sake! Some of those adverbs in can't show can be shown like "faintly". But the way I used it in this post I believe is allowed in my book. It's those other adverbs like carefully you have to find a way to show. Now, that wasn't too bad, was it? :)
To digress, I'd like to talk about something popular in romances and that is kisses. If there's one phrase I see when reading those scenes is this:
He/She deepened the kiss.
Nooo! Even somewhere in the Nanowrimo forums, someone said they thought this was overused. And since you saw me put it in this color, you know I agree, too. At first when I read that, I was like, I never seen that before. But if you go out there and read all these WIPs, they are there! Yikesss! Keep that in mine, romance writers. I won't be too happy to see this and if you're on Critique Circle and I see it, you bet there'll be something in my inline critique about it.
Okay, that's enough for today. As always, I wish I have been of some aid to you and your writing. Wish me luck going back to school and especially (ha!) my sore back which will not be happy to have the heavy backpack on it again. (Eeks! I said 'back' way too much. This is one of my pet peeves, but I'm feeling way too confused and dizzy to edit it, all my energy went to adverbs).
After the break, (or in this case my finished winter break)
"The founding fathers... provided jails called schools, equipped with tortures called education. School is where you go between when your parents can't take you and industry can't take you." -John Updike, The Centaur, 1963
& just for fun/I couldn't decide which one I liked best
"I think everyone should go to college and get a degree and then spend six months as a bartender and six months as a cabdriver. Then they would really be educated." -Al McGuire
P.S. I hope I didn't jinx myself with the late example
P.S.2. Speaking of after the break, American Idol's coming back on! I forgot the exact date, but I know it's in this month. Yays! I love the first audition park. Edit: Radio said it's coming on Jan 12! Maybe there is a silver lining to every storm cloud! (or something along those lines...)
vendredi, janvier 8
"My heart is like an open highway
Like Frankie said, 'I did it my way'
I just wanna live while I'm alive
'Cause It's my life"
-"It's My Life", Bon Jovi
Hey everyone! Well, I didn't make it to the finals of Nathan Bransford's contest. Yes, yes. I know, a shame isn't it? Hold all "awwws". Haha! Just kidding. I think like a pessimist most of the time, so I was already prepared to lose. Anyways, the finalists' entries were pretty darn hot and I know they deserved it more than I do. BTW, I voted for Jenny's because it's more, to me, like what a teen would write. And Jenny won, too, so congratulations! I think I'm going to head over to her blog (if she has one) and say it. The other one I liked was the one (man, I forgot the username) about getting bullied. It was pretty darn hilarious. The others I didn't feel captured the teen's mind. Haha. In other words, it was too poetic or insightful.
I have bad news. School's starting in two days (after this weekend) and I know I'm going to get bombarded with homework, so I may not be able to post regularly but you're darn right I'ma try my best. Now, enough of this school talk. It's depressing me.
Topic of the day is: Don't Worry About Starting Over!
Yesterday, I just could not write. Whatever I wrote majorly sucked. I had written this thing and I was too lazy to rewrite it, but I really wasn't having fun with it and you know that voice in the back of your head that's always right? Yeah, well, it was telling me "this majorly sucks". And I knew it in my heart too. So I did something a slacker like me doesn't do often: and that was start over. So, I'm starting over with this fresh new piece of paper and half-way through the voice tells me "this is going nowhere". And I knew it in my heart, too (repitition intended). So, I got out this other piece of paper, cut my story in half, rewrote the decent half, and continued in a new direction. And while I am writing, the voice is telling me in this really weird Jafar (the evil guy who looks somewhat like a monkey in Aladdin) voice "much better" (I think that's what he said when Jasmine pretended to fall in love with him !!). And I was happy I pleased the voice but a little creeped out too. Now, I'm back on track. I think if I would've continued going on the first path, I'd be coming to this blog with more bad news other than school. (Can you say ex-WIP?)
Let me give some examples off the top of my head:
Take Christopher Paolini, the author of Eragon. I remember reading somewhere, I think in his acknowledgements, that he had to start this scene all over (the horror!) because I think it was his mother who said it was not good. And now look at it, much better, eh?
And, I mentioned this before already, the original storyboard for Aladdin. Some guy said "I don't like it" and they had to start all over in a limited amount of time at that. But I've gotten a glimpse of deleted scenes from the old storyboard and have a general idea of the storyline. I have to say, the new one is much, much, better. Did you know Aladdin used to have a momma? Yep, that was before she was cut off from the whole film. These guys were really attached to her (there was even a song related to her: "Proud of Your Boy") and they didn't want to let go, but it's a good thing they did. A really good thing.
See? You need to make some sacrifices and not be lazy (Vanille) to start all over. If there's a little voice inside your head that sounds oddly a lot like Jafar or the Chesire Cat, then you must listen. (Unless the voice is telling you to kill somebody). I'm glad I started all over because I know that if I went in the direction I was going in, the book would turn out all screwed up and I don't want a screwed up novel now do I?
Anyways, I'd just like to add that I've been writing by hand now. (Writing by hand?!) Yes, I do, in my pretty cursive. Pourquoi? Parce que, my novel is now set in diary format, which means my characters are writing by hand. I thought I should get the feel of it, like I'm the actual character. Isn't that a good idea? I think it's a darn hot idea. (After rereading My Most Excellent Year, I've taken to saying that a lot).
Have a darn hot weekend everybody! (I know it's January...)
After the Break,
"I dip my pen in the blackest ink, because I'm not afraid of falling into my inkpot." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
P.S. I think it was this reason I stopped writing my ex-WIP. While I was writing, I wasn't really feeling it and I knew I was heading in the wrong direction but I didn't want to start over because I liked my purple prose too much (haha). But no fear, ex-WIP. I'm going to come back to you eventually and start anew. There's no way I'm throwing away hours of research on you for a couple of thousand words.
mercredi, janvier 6
"I'll pretend I am kissing
The lips I am missing
And hope that my dreams will come true
And then while I'm away
I'll write home everyday
And I'll send all my loving to you"
-All My Loving, The Beatles
Things That Happened Since I Last Posted On You
- I cut my hair. Well, I didn't cut it, the hair salon lady did. What a disaster that would be if I did. *nervous laugh* So now, my hair is mildly shorter. Wonder if my classmates will notice when I go back to prison,*cough* I mean school. :) Oh, did I mention I apparently have a cowlick on my right side? o_O
- We went to this big bookstore that used to be Border's till they ran out of business. There were approx. four people in the whole building, including my mother, me, and the one cash register lady. They were having a sale, five dollars or less for every single book. Heaven, right? Except they were all old books. I was allowed to choose one book so I chose My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger. I've already read it, but I didn't want my mom to know that or else she'd make me chose another book. Shhh..I freaking love that book! I'm rereading it and have just rediscovered my freaking love for it.
- I FINISHED THE 2K FOR MY CREATIVE WRITING CLUB! *excited yelling not suitable for this blog ensues*
Things That Did Not Happen Since I Last Posted On You
- Read Crime and Punishment. Hey, My Most Excellent Year is just too good and too distracting. ;)
Oh yeah, I finally finished it. It's a roller coaster. Are you ready to hear the whole story? Well, I'll try to make it short.
Originally, I wanted this next post to be about a serious talk with Sleeping Beauty (the Disney movie). And I would have pointed out many issues I had with it, even though it was my favorite movie when I was in 4th grade (I even dressed up as her for Halloween). But then in my woe, I realized it would be impossible for me to write a decent story with all the necessary elements such as climax, resolution, because I have this problem with purple prose (Purple prose is a term of literary criticism used to describe passages, or sometimes entire literary works, written in prose so overly extravagant, ornate, or flowery as to break the flow and draw attention to itself.) Yeah, I have a problem with that. I'll blog about these topics later, though. So I was seriously freaking out and I thought, hey I should blog about my problem with purple prose, which is overflowing in my ex-WIP (ex-WIP?!?! Will explain later). But then my mom banned me from the internet and wouldn't let me back on if I didn't finish my 2K. Though I did manage to sneak on to enter in Nathan's contest.
So, in incredible woe, I looked back on my ex-WIPs to get an idea from them, and I did (see, I do eventually come back to them.) I had this, what I thought was, great beginning. I knew the middle, but I didn't know the end. You'll now see why I'm weird. I do all the editing in my head. No skeleton first draft for me, nope, everything gets organized in my head because I'm not going to bother typing or writing out something and just changing it later. I don't know, but once I write something down, it feels final, you know? And then I'm reluctant to cut it out. Maybe you don't know and it's just me. *shrug* Great possibility. Anyways, in the middle of all this great thinking, I entered in the contest (do I really have to hyperlink it again?). What's crazy is the idea for the contest was my very old original idea for my 2K (here's another example of why you should always keep ex-WIPs or at least keep ideas in a notebook). After I did the first diary entry, I thought I really liked where this was going, so just for fun I did a second journal entry and I thought, this can really go somewhere. Before you know it, a plot is forming in my head and I'm terribly afraid my current WIP has now changed and my other current WIP has now retired to ex-WIP. Oh, do I have to go into all the details? Okay.
Why I Had to Ditch My WIP
- Time was running out (by that I mean my break was coming to end) and I still hadn't written anything for it. I think I was becoming bored *le gasp!* with it.
- Rereading the 6K, I realized there was way too much purple prose.
- I watched how they made the Aladdin movie, which was really interesting, and I found out they had made this whole story board but some guy said "I don't like it" and they had to start all over. I got a glimpse of their old story board, and I have to say, the version they have now is way better than what they had then. This got me thinking maybe the plot in my head for the WIP was like their old story board. And in truth, I didn't like it that much.
- I watched Bridges of Madison County, which is based on the novel by Robert James Waller. While watching it, the more I thought Wow this is an amazing story line and Man, my story line is crappy. I cried at the end of the movie. I don't if it was because I so felt the character of Francesca losing her love or because I was mourning my WIP which seemed as flat and dry as the plains of Iowa.
Thus, ex-WIP. Ta ta, farewell, I hate to say adieu but this new project inspired by Nathan's contest is really intriguing and I'm actually having fun writing it. I feel like I'm back on track now, thus the new label: woohoowriting.
Anyways, there's something I want to talk about that's non-related to my writing, though it is related to Nathan Bransford's contest.
I'm reading through all these diary entries and I'm seeing a lot of this:
- The friend who has everything. Everything meaning: Pretty, thin, and has all the boys chasing after her.
Read this. What's number 20? Uh, huh.
Might I say, cliche alert? If you don't believe me, go and skim through the entries yourself. This was seen a lot along with teens (well, the prompt was to write a diary entry in a teen voice) complaining about how stupid a diary was. Though, I didn't have a problem with that as much as I did with the beautiful-friend-who-gets-everything. I'm not saying it's bad, but I'm seeing it a lot and I have to wonder if it's the only thing that teens to seem to have a dilemma with. Not true. Sure, sometimes I get jealous if my friend makes a new friend and I feel like an antiscoial loner, but it's not the top thing on my mind. I'm not going to be writing a journal entry about it and there's no way my life is revolved around my contempt for my friend-who-gets-everything. Hmm. Well, it's definitely something to think about. And if you're reading this and haven't entered the contest yet, I suggest not doing it on a beautiful-friend-who-has-everything and try to set yourself apart from the crowd, kays?? Unless, of course, you can twist the concept in some way, which I'm always a fan of. ^.^
Well, this has officially turned out longer that I meant to. I wish you all Happy Writings!!!
After the break,
So in the spirit of Nathan Bransford contest, I give you this quote:
"Keep a diary and one day it'll keep you." -Mae West
P.S. I don't know how the heck Nathan Bransford is going to read all those entries (there are approx. 500 +) and be the sole judge. By George, I myself was skimming and skipping through those entries There were also some good ones that I wouldn't be able to choose from. My, would I be a horrible judge.
P.S.2. My mom read the 2K and said it was pretty good! :D Before you say what I know what you're going to say, let me say this (whoa): My mom isn't one of those parents who are biased and say everything their children does is pretty much flippin' awesome. My mom is harsh, and whenever I allow her to read my writing, she usually hates it. But this time, she actually liked it (but with some editing suggestions, of course). I'm really proud. She said I really do have a talent for writing. (I knew it ;)) When my English teacher gave me a B- on my essay, my mom said "You're not a good writer." GAH! But this convinced her back. Okay, maybe I can't write essays that have to be specifically structured, but I think I'm hecka of a storyteller. ;) IMO.
dimanche, janvier 3
"A whole new world
A new fantastic point of view
No one to tell us no or where to go
Or say we're only dreaming"
-A Whole New World, Aladdin
Bonjour, baby (line from Paris When It Sizzles) and Happy New Year! I hope you had a good New Year's Day. Mine was like a normal day, as per usual. Excusez mon absense. See, we went to San Francisco. Pourquoi? Parce que, we wanted to see my most likely future college - University of California San Francisco. And boy, did we see it. I have to say, it was slightly...depressing. I don't know if it was because of the fog, or that we were on top of a hill surrounded by steep roads plunging down in an all of sudden manner, or the graffiti, or the people wearing gray who just looked sad. But it was just, man, I don't really want to go there. I was thinking I'd be okay with it, since I could work as an intern at Curtis Brown, which they should have in SF since I know Nathan Bransford works in San Fran (I didn't see him :( ). I don't know if interns get paid or not, though I'm thinking not, but I told this to my parents and they were like okay, whatever. And I am very happy I'd get to be an intern because remember my secret when I grow up wish? To be a literary agent? A LITER - *clomps hand over your mouth* Shhh...They don't know yet.
Why, I haven't even told you why my parents are considering sending me there. Remember, I'm to be a pharmacist as a backup job if I fail miserably at whatever I want to be? Well, it turns out that UCSF is "apparently" one of the best pharamacy colleges out there. My definition would be one of the "only" since in my University of California handbook, it seems like UCSF is the only college with any pharamacy related things. *sigh*.
Anyways, I'd just like to report that out of the 19 pigeons that came flying at me, thanks to my great agility, none of them actually hit me. Save for two. :P San Francisco, I'm sorry, but I don't think you're the right city for me. Everytime I go there, I usually end up being quite sad. Maybe it's because we get lost all too frequently. Maybe it's because of all the people pushing me when I walk down the street. Maybe because whenever we go there, my parents are arguing, usually about directions. Though, come to think of it, they do it quite often regardless of the setting. Maybe it's the worn-down buildings, the traffic. Or maybe it's the pigeons with their cocking heads and hungry, snapping beaks. I don't know, but I'm scared for the future-to-be-me if I do end up in UCSF.
Anyways, I always do seem to get off topic, don't I? A little bit more about non-writing related topics. You're probably wondering why the first post of the year has a picture of Jasmine and Aladdin and why the song du jour is A Whole New World. Well, mes amis. I have discovered I absolutely adore this movie. It's been sitting in my DVD cabinet since fourth grade, unwatched for so many years. Only recently have I opened the dusty DVD case and put it in our new blu-ray DVD player (Did I mention we also got surround sound and did I mention it sounds exactly like the TV? Well, to my deaf ears anyway). You know what I realized? I use the words "well" and "anyway" much too often. Haha. Anyways, or should I say, anyhow? I discovered I really like the movie! The plot is amazing, the characters are so distinguishable and hilarious (Genie, I'm a lookin' at you). I love the storyline, and everything. Even if it did have a happy ending, that's alright since all Disney movies do and I did want Jasmine and Aladdin to have a happily ever after. *dreamy sigh*. Wouldn't it be fun to live in that world? *Thinks back to angry Cave of Wonders, hungry children, men selling fish, and maniac advisors like Jafar* Maybe not.
This leads to my topic of the day, which is Happy Endings. This is going to be short and I'll probably dwell on it more seriously in the future, but I'd just like to get some thing writing related in this post so it won't always be about me. On the topic of happy endings, I'll post something I posted on the NaNoWriMo forums.
"Eh. :/Some romance YA novels, like Sarah Dessen's, have happy endings. And it's sweet, but there is something Sarah Dessen does that I really admire. And that is when she does happy endings, there is always still some sort of conflict. Like, someone dying, or a broken friendship, you know?
I don't think that YA books -need- happy endings. It's nice. I don't particularly enjoy happy endings, I find them cheesy and annoying because I know that that is not how it is in real life. But there are some books out there that just have a happy ending and it fits, you know? And it's rare, and only a few talented authors can manage it, but overall, no. I don't want to read a particularly happy ending.
My ending is neither happy or sad. It's kind of inbetween. Which I also like. Because that's how life is a lot."
So you see my stance. And also my username on Nanowrimo (add me! :) ) Let me delve into this a bit more.
I'm getting a bit annoyed at those stories that end in complete misery and just leaves me crying and asking, "Why? WHY?!" Titanic, the movie, did such a thing to me. And afterwards, I thought to myself, what a great movie. And it was. Did you know everyone thought it was going to be a flop? So far from the truth. But I digress...now it seems that sad endings are being overused. You know the ones where everyone dies, the woman's left standing is pregnant, blah, blah, blah. Oh, it gets on my nerves! It's like happiness doesn't exist in those stories and I absolutely hate it because though I am a teen and do have my depressed-sighing-why-was-I-born moments, I do also have those rare happy times, too. And to read books of sadness just gives me no hope for my future. Though I'm not saying you should delete all those sad moments and replace them with rainbows, lolipops, chocolate (See's of course), puppies, raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things...things. I like those bitter-sweet endings. As stated above, because that's how life is. Sometimes so joyful, you feel like leaping off walls (we are not ninjas, my dear friend) or so depressed you hide out in your room with the blinds closed. It's a balance, yes? Aladdin, I'll excuse. For one thing, he doesn't have parents and was quite poor. And I do enjoy a good happy ending once in a while, which most of the old Disney movies do marvelously (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, though Sleeping Beauty and I need to have a serious talk). As I said, few talented authors can pull it off. I'm afraid I'm not one of them and I'll have to go on doing my speciality, which are bitter-sweet endings with hope mixed in, just to leave the reader drooling. ;)
That's all for that, I'm probably going to revisit this topic later since I don't feel as if I've conveyed myself as I wanted. But a brief interlude before the ending of this post, which I'm afraid will have to end in some degree of misery.
Things I Need To Do
- wash the dishes
- finish reading Crime and Punishment
- WRITE THE 2K FOR MY CREATIVE WRITING CLASS
Yikes! I haven't started it at all. Oh, don't look at me in that way. I've hit a serious case of writer's block. I haven't even wrote anything for my WIP since last year and it pends on 6K. But my WIP doesn't have a deadline. THIS 2K DOES. Why? WHY?! Parce que, I only have one week left in my winter break. Then it is bon voyage, I'm back to prison, aka school. And on the Monday I go back, my creative writing club expects me to have a neat, 2K short story for them. You see, we're going to combine them all and try to publish it, which I don't see happening since we all have such...varying writing styles and genres. But if we do get it published, it may very well be my debut and I want it to be good. Unfortunately, inspiration strikes at the most unwanted times. I think I'm going to get the idea for a most brilliant story on Sunday night next week. So why, POURQUOI VANILLE have I not started? It is a mere 2K, silly Vanille. You can pull 2K easily out from you, why, look how long this post is. *headdesk* I know! I've hit writer's block. I don't know what to write, all I know is that I want to write it good. Unfortunately, I cannot write good if there is nothing to write! So as have probably known, I am currently freaking out. Thus the label, writingwoes.
After the break,
Sorry to have left you in such misery. Wish me luck, will you?
"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day. "
-Edith Lovejoy Pierce