Books

Aban’s Accension on Wattpad

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Accension, not ascension. Yes, I know how to spell!

Accension: The action of kindling or the state of being kindled. (From The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary) It is related to the verb “accend.”

This is an old word, but it completely describes what is happening in this the second novel I wrote during National Novel Writing Month 2010. I wrote it, revised it, sent it out to Beta Readers, revised it, revised it some more. But I remained hesitant about publishing it on my own. It was supposed to be edited and published, but that fell through. So I stuck it in the figurative drawer unsure about what to do. Then last month BiblioCrunch hosted an #indiechat on Twitter with Wattpad, and I had my answer!

I have begun posting Aban’s Accension on Wattpad, one short easy-to-read chapter at a time.

Coddled and controlled, living a sheltered life with her parents in small-town Ontario, Aban receives a surprising letter one day: Her grandmother has left her her entire estate, including a house in Toronto with a mysterious male tenant. In a spurt of unexpected independence, Aban leaves her secure home intending only to see her inheritance, intending to return home. What she finds instead upends her life and everything she had believed.

I hope you will check out the first chapter up now and look for the succeeding chapters. If you join Wattpad, using your Facebook profile or unique login, you can add it to your library and get notified every time I post a new chapter! Plus you can find lots of great free reads!!

Concussion is Brain Injury

BiblioCrunch and Twitter

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When having trouble with a company, go to Twitter. So it was with BiblioCrunch when I had a tiny problem: no response to my support request email within the 24-hour window they had promised on their site. I tweeted my plaint and expected nada, for it was on Saturday, usually when all but the largest companies are off.

Within a very few minutes, I received a reply — an apology and a request to email her directly. And I received a DM with the email address and another apology. I hopped to it and sent an email. But as swiftly as I emailed, they were swifter in reply and in helping me sort out my problem.

And then they went further: they offered to post my book cover and links on their Facebook and Pinterest pages, and they had noticed my book launch tweets for my soon-to-be-released book Concussion Is Brain Injury and offered to send some tweets my way too. Now that's a company that understands customer service! No wonder they sponsored National Novel Writing Month and were one of the NaNoWriMo winner goodies (yup, I had another winning November; though for the first time ever, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this novel). I now look forward to using their site!

 

News

NaNoWriMo 2012

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It was an awesome, draining NaNoWriMo month of writing, studying, reading, and barely any time for posting. Once again, I used my Google+ profile to post on my novel-writing progress during National Novel Writing Month 2012, which for the first time ever did not follow an even course. For your eye-bugging-out pleasure to find out why, herewith are my posts in chronological order:

1 November 2012

NaNoWriMo has begun again. I faced this day with trepidation and emerging excitement. I woke up early this morning. Felt so sleepy. Yet the writing pulled at me. At last, it was time to write another novel.

This one is grim, in a way. Yet as I wrote the last chapter — always I write the last chapter first — I could feel that inevitable optimism? hope? seep through. The last chapter was the same yet different from what I had first envisioned it ten months ago. Yup, the theme, the idea came to me and then soon after I saw how it would end before I saw anything else about this story.

This year, I’m trying Scrivener for the first time. Scrivener provides a NaNoWriMo template, and it has a full screen writing mode where all you see is text, none of that distracting menu stuff. I had gone through the tutorial last month, and this morning decided I would try it. I rather liked it. I particularly liked the fact it gave me the word count automatically. 2015 words today. I wonder if it will give me the total as I write the next chapters? I guess I’ll find out tomorrow. But right now: breakfast! I’m starving!!

2 November 2012

The funny thing about writing is that it takes you when it wants you. I was kind of tired this morning, and then the words for chapter one began to fill my head willy nilly. It didn’t care I wanted to sleep, it was time to write, dammit!

Okay, okay. I knew the general way this chapter would go. I had seen it play out in my mind for months now. Still, some of the details surprised me, like my lead character Simon playing with his peas. The first sentence took me by surprise too. In some ways this kind of writing is both scary and liberating. Scary because you don’t know how much or what you’ll be writing, liberating because you can just let go and let your subconscious do the work with a little conscious work here and there when the words appearing on the computer display don’t look quite right. Another 2000-day: 2,008 words to be precise.

3 November 2012

Boy, my arms and hands ache. For the second day in a row, I typed fast and furious. But the sun is out at last, and it was nice to type in the light and be able to actually see the keyboard. Practicing my touch typing skills is not actually part of my writing plan.

There seems to be a discrepancy between Scrivener’s word count for today and NaNoWriMo’s (once past the first day, you enter the total word count of the manuscript, and NaNoWriMo calculates today’s word count). It’s off by 5 words. I’m not sure how Scrivener calculates the total word count, but I assume it’s not adding up all the chapters then add 5 words just in case. I should probably prepare myself for a slight difference in NaNoWriMo’s word count total at the end of November and Scrivener’s. So far, I’m ahead of where I should be at this point. Total: 5,851 words.

5 November 2012

I seem to be averaging just over 2,000 words per day. This reminds me of when I wrote Lifeliner (http://jeejeebhoy.ca/lifeliner). I began with being able to write about 800 words. By the time I’d made my laborious way through the book and revised it, I was able to write about 2,000 words at a time. I have been able to write up to 3,000. But after that I definitely lose track of what I’m writing, where I began and how that led up to where I ended. I check my outline every night and morning to ensure I know what I’m supposed to write for that day. With Lifeliner, I had all these research notes too, so it took some time to condense them down to daily notes that I could get through and remember well enough to write that day’s chapter. Fortunately, I had lived and worked on that subject for years and years, so my memory had been solidified long before my injury, and my brain injury hadn’t kiboshed those memories. Still, it was the details that could hang me up, and I needed to refresh my memory of the details and how all the medical, interview, article stuff hung together for that day’s chapter.

With this book, there isn’t nearly as much research. Not even remotely, thank heaven. More, it’s like an accumulation of experiences, thoughts, observations, and readings on this subject from the time I was in my teens until now have suddenly merged in my sub-conscious and demanded that now’s the time to write.

Depending on who you believe, I either wrote 2,073 (Scrivener) words or 2,076 words (NaNoWriMo, calculated from total to date) today. (I suppose I should beef up my novel description a bit…not ready yet though.)

6 November 2012

Wow. I wrote a lot today. I didn’t think I was writing any more than usual. But I guess I got more into the flow of Simon’s thoughts than I had before, taking me in surprising directions. My arms and hands hurt. I’ve shot past 10k words and even past 12k! Woot! 12,278 words so far.

7 November 2012

I chickened out. I was going to introduce a book, which I did. I was also going to have him read some of the passages “out loud” so to speak, but I didn’t do that part. I don’t think it was just because I’m feeling so drained that the thought of searching for the passages I wanted to quote was too much, it was more because it didn’t feel right. I need the book to be introduced but  its content to be only hinted at, at this point, to let the reader speculate for a little bit. So Act I is done.

8 November 2012

I’ve begun Act II. This chapter went pretty much as I’d outlined it. A few tweaks, and added some foreshadowing. I was surprised how many words I’d typed for such a simple scene. But I don’t think I stretched it out. I’m going to have to write down a list of all the people I’m introducing willy nilly and their occupations before I forget, else I’ll have to spend time I don’t have to go back through the previous chapters to find out their names etc. Almost 2400 words written today; 16,703 total. That total is the number of words I used to write in a chapter before my brain injury, which I did for Lifeliner. Now, I write 2k to 4k per chapter. Oh, how I have changed! And I am so ready for a nap!

9 November 2012

My fingers flew faster than I could keep up with my conscious mind today. My sub-conscious pushed them along until suddenly near the end it stopped and said to my conscious mind: okay, your turn. You finish up. Oh, great, thanks. Stutter, type, pause, type a word, halt, think, think some more, type another word, pause, finally see what it is I need to write. Type it. Don’t like it. Delete (bad NaNoWriMo participant, no deleting!). Try again. Works. Lean back in relief. Under 2000 words today, 18,630 words total.

10 November 2012

Today, for the first time, I got into my book, instead of being solely driven by some urge or my sub-conscious. It was like my conscious mind caught up to my sub-conscious and began to feel engaged not just taken for a speedy ride. I think thinking about my outline, moving chapters around in the Index Card app on my iPad, helped a lot. The new sequence made more sense for where I’m going.

Today also heralded the beginning of poetry in my NaNoWriMo novel. I wrote a couple of haiku. Added a poem I wrote a few years ago. I like things in threes. 🙂 Has a nice feel to it. Although I took my time over some of the prose, putting a bit of a brake on my flying fingers so I could actually engage, funnily enough, the haiku popped out pretty quickly. Time will tell if they’re any good!

Today also saw the most words I’ve written for NaNoWriMo 2012. Didn’t feel like that many words were popping out when I was typing away! 😀 I’ve now passed the 20k word count total mark. Yay!

13 November 2012

Well, I made it. Christ Baty, the founder of National Novel Writing Month, wrote a pep talk yesterday that so exactly described how it’s going for me (and everyone else!), I burst out laughing. It felt good. For a brief moment. And then it was back to feeling like my characters are like baked potatoes and my prose like a leaden, plodden wannabe. At one point, when I hadn’t even hit a thousand, I ran out of steam. How on earth was I going to fill today’s word count? If I could only get to 900, maybe 1000.

Then salvation. I’d forgotten part two of a conversation. I stuck it in, fleshed out the final scene — as in I put in lots of details to pad that count — well, to be honest, to put off writing the final, final part of the scene. Flipping through the print version of Roget’s helped in that quest too. It’s not like the ending of today’s chapter is particularly awful, it’s just that I’m kind of procrastinating going on with the rest of my day. But I’m done, so I can’t.

I hit the 25k mark yesterday! Woot! I was so flabbergasted, I fell backwards (figuratively speaking) instead of blogging on it. So I’m tell y’all now. One moment I was far away, the next I was past and jogging on to the next milestone. It’s going too fast this month!

15 November 2012

Today’s word count is low, lower than the daily 1,667 you’re supposed to write during NaNoWriMo. But that’s okay. I’m ahead in the total word count and am past the 30k mark; besides which this is a transition chapter.

I was staring at my outline this morning, feeling distinctly unhappy with what was on tap for today. It didn’t feel right. But I couldn’t see the big picture of where I’d begun up to where I was as of yesterday. So I grabbed a piece of paper and drew the line of the plot so far. Suddenly, I saw what should happen today. Totally NOT in my original plot or even idea for this book. I so did not see this coming. But it feels right. It ends one sub-plot line and opens up possibilities for what will happen. I almost feel like the ending has to change. But that ending is firm. Oh sure, little details will need to be tweaked. Nothing else though. Realising that, I know now I can’t go off into pollyanna land, I need to stay true to my vision, of what I want to say. So this chapter is a transition, a sudden 90-degree change in his life, yet he will remain on the same path.

30,943 words to date; 1,326 words written today.

16 November 2012

It’s my birthday today. I’ve written a chapter for NaNoWriMo every birthday since 2009 — that’s what happens when your birthday falls in the middle of a writing frenzy. But it’s been good. Today though, I turn 50 (a pointed reminder of all the losses and time since my brain injury), and I took it out on my poor character. Felt good. 🙂

I had no idea what I wanted to write after I willy nilly changed direction yesterday. Where was he going to go today? I tried to find a quote I’d read. Well, the kobo iOS app no longer has a search feature. Imagine that! An eReader that doesn’t allow you to search the text of a book, even behemoth-sized books when such a feature is de rigeur, you would think. So I went searching elsewhere, knowing that copyrighted books are not completely searchable on the Internet. I found some possible leads on the computer in long ribbons of text that made my brain hurt, and on the iPad, I had a great deal of trouble finding what I wanted. It did not help that mid-search, Windows decided to restart my computer. The little warning hadn’t popped up over the other windows, keeping itself nicely hidden (it does that sometimes). Finally fed up, I opened Scrivener and began banging out my fury. It helped. But I think my solution will be to move the ebooks I need for this book to another eReading app that allows searching. But today I wanted to write not mess about with ebooks and apps. Once you start doing that, your morning is gone and so is the writing time.

2,199 words today; 33,142 words so far.

17 November 2012

I was talking to a couple of people yesterday about the difficulties of writing my dark-but-not-bleak NaNoWriMo novel when I’m in a good mood. A mood, that if it ever falters, is soon lifted again by one of my weekly gamma brainwave biofeedback sessions. I should’ve written this book a couple of years ago when my mood was in the right vein. But then I wasn’t ready to anyway.

The problem isn’t that I can’t write. When I sit down to keyboard, the words flow. The problem is I feel too detached or too positive, and I find the words are going in the wrong direction. And I wonder just how emotive the story is anyway if I’m not feeling it. I can’t use music to create the emotional resonance I need because sound distracts me still. And it’s not an easy mood to get into; any dark mood isn’t if you must do it deliberately. But I need to feel what this guy is feeling so that I can convey it well. And I’m not.

After discussing it, I realised I needed to find the courage to connect to those feelings and then find a way to get out once the chapter was written for the day, otherwise I’d be covering everyone I met in spiderwebs of gloom. I did that this morning as a test, knowing no one would be in mood danger from me today. I wrote way, way more words than I have before, even though the fatigue started to pull at my muscles and shrink my body into my chair. I so, so want a nap. But the funny thing that happened is that I began to see opportunities for humour in a way that I hadn’t before, proving to me that in our darkest moments is when the silliest humour comes out in startling fashion. I don’t think my character will see any humour, but as long as the reader catches glimpses here and there, that’s all right.

36,688 words total. 3,546 words or 3,531 words today, depending on which program you believe.

19 November 2012

My outline and my current thoughts about my NaNoWriMo novel keep crashing into each other then veering away. Today, the setting coincided, but the conversation was completely different from what I had planned originally. That’s what happens when you “kill” off a character, or in this case, dump her. My mood too wasn’t quite up to snuff for this scene, once again, but near the end, I felt like I could feel it. Maybe I’m just doing too much mental work, what with my philosophy course and preparing for the book launch of my newest book Concussion is Brain Injury, for my brain to be able to feel the feelings. It’s not like the part of the brain that controls emotions is fully healed yet anyway. All in all, I’m happy with today’s output.

41,181 words to date; 1,739 today.

(Update: Added a couple more lines of dialogue. The mind doesn’t stop thinking just because one has stopped writing. 🙂 )

21 November 2012

I didn’t write yesterday. I think that’s the first day I’ve missed during  a NaNoWriMo month. I’ve missed days during ScriptFrenzy; but in previous Novembers, I had outlined books with 30 chapters and studiously wrote a chapter every day, no matter what.

This year, I don’t have 30 chapters. I have fewer. I’ve made a humoungous change in plot, some of my chapters will now have to be tossed completely, and I’m zonked from fatigue. I want to take a loooonnnnng nap. Not write. But after one lost day, I told myself it’s like riding a horse — you get off and don’t get right back on, you’re toast. Reading NaNoWriMo sprints on Twitter, seeing tweets from writers diligently writing, helped poke me too. Certainly made me feel like a slacker. So I took my dead muscles, sat myself down, and stared at my outline. Oh, what the heck, I thought. Whatever comes, comes. Another 2,000 words for today. Not bad for a chapter of mainly dialogue.

23 November 2012

NaNoWriMo writing session went well today. I ignored my outline and went with my gut. Let the muse lead, I declared! I was also too cranky (we will refrain from saying why!) to have the patience to ponder my outline and think about what should come next. Luckily, my imagination took control and I went with the flow. The scene unfolded into another scene; even as I thought I had come to the end of the chapter, my fingers continued to type. Cool. I feel much better too. My gamma brainwaves must be cresting on a high. 🙂

46,592 words total. Almost there!

30 November 2012

So OK, I finished two days ago on 28 November 2012, and I didn’t blog about it right then and there! Tsk. My excuse is I wrote for a long, long time for me, suddenly noticed the numbers on the clock, scarfed lunch, and ran out the door. When I returned, I couldn’t believe I’d finished — how could I blog on something unreal? 😛

I had wanted to finish my NaNoWriMo novel on Monday, but life conspired against me. Same again for Tuesday, but come Wednesday morning, I was not going to let anything get in my way. I was oh so close to the 50k mark and the final day of writing was approaching rapidly. If I didn’t watch out, it’d be gone and for the first time since I began writing NaNoWriMo, I’d “lose.” Bad for the ego that.

But first I had to decide what this final chapter for me to write would be on. I had pretty much tossed out the rest of my outline and was all at sea. Realizing thinking was only going to hold me up, I grabbed the edge of an idea, and went for it. I typed furiously, finished, saw the final total word count with relief, then eyeballed the chapter. Oh dear. I was missing something, specifically a transitional chapter before it. I had no time left. But I had to write it, for the words were starting to write themselves in my mind. Oh fine. I’ll create the chapter in Scrivener, but I’ll type it later. Uh uh, decided my fingers. They went crazy on the keyboard. For a short while.

I sat back again. NOW I was finished.

I validated later: 52,999 words for National Novel Writing Month 2012.

I AM A WINNER!!! Woot. Woot. Woot!!!

 

News

Camp NaNoWriMo: The First Days

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I am once again blogging at Google + on my writing experience during a NaNoWriMo event, this time Camp NaNoWriMo. I’ve never participated in Camp NaNo before, and it’s different from the November event fer sure. It’s casual and uses camping motifs. I’m not posting every day like I did before, but here are the ones for the opening weekend.

1 June 2012

I hadn’t written the minimum number of words, I realised, when I checked the word count in iA Writer after I’d finished my first chapter. Do I try and add more or make up the word count tomorrow? Oh, what the heck, the scene could use more details, maybe stretch out the bickering between the first two characters of my story. Sometimes word count goals are useful. The scene, I think, is much better for adding another 200 words. But still I’m short 59 words. Oh well. I’ll make THOSE up tomorrow.

Oh yeah, didn’t I mention? I’m in Camp NaNoWriMo! The summer version of the annual National Novel Writing Month that I participate in every November, for the last three years anyway. I thought I would try this new event in June with a lighter kind of novel, one that doesn’t require extensive background reading or research. I need a break after all the physics I learnt (and relearnt) last summer!

I wasn’t sure how it’d go, if I could do it at this time of year, especially as I have other books I’m supposed to be revising and preparing. But I’m liking it — so far. I’m feeling pretty peppy after typing out 1,609 words using my Apple Bluetooth keyboard. No way I could type out that many words using the iPad’s onscreen typepad. Let’s hope tomorrow goes as well!

(Check out the comment on G+.)

2 June 2012

When I awoke this morning, I absolutely didn’t feel like writing, mostly because apart from a couple of lines, I had no idea what I’d write. Plus I hadn’t decided on two of the characters’ human names yet, and I needed them now, that is, if they were going to appear in the last chapter. Of course, I got out my iPad anyway and began writing, whether I wanted to or not. Camp NaNoWriMo was bustling with activity and calling me to get in on the action.

The two nameless characters had to appear at the start of the chapter. I wrote and hoped their names would appear on the screen like magic. Well, not like magic, but close enough, long enough to get the main action of this final chapter going. I say “final” because I usually start writing my novels wih the last chapter. I like to know where I’m going. This month was slightly different in that I began with the first chapter, or probably more like the prologue, because I needed to know where I was starting before I could know for sure where I’d be ending up.

More words today than yesterday, yay! 1,846

Books

Writing, Revising, and Heat

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Camp NaNoWriMo (or as I like to shorten it, Camp NaNo) is in two days, and I ain’t ready, not by a half mile, I ain’t. I’m also awake too early. You’d think those two sentences would mean I could get my Camp bus in gear and set off. Nope. Instead I’m punchy from lack of sleep.

Monday, I finished my third NaNoWriMo novel Time and Space. I did those final find-and-replace kind of edits, the ones where I blithely hit “Replace All” and then wonder what I’m replacing, if the software will make some sentences look strange or have the grammar police, with me leading, charging after it screaming, you screwed up, there’s an extra period at the end of that sentence! Well, that’s what editors are for, I soothed myself while I went on to my next Find-and-what-the-heck-Replace-All edit.

Monday, I spoke to my editor and discovered, holy cow, my brain injury book will be started on next week! And here I was moseying along, not chivvying my feedback person to get the rest of the feedback to me. I had already made a change here and there since sending my manuscript off to Iguana Books, and I was planning on incorporating the feedback I’d received a couple of weeks ago, planning being the operative word. So tout de suite to the computer I went before the humid heat descended and rendered me heat-comatose on the couch!

I rewrote the opening and chucked out lots of good stuff. Maybe I’ll slot bits and pieces back in in other places. Maybe not. The hardest part of writing — or sometimes when in a mad frenzy of rewriting under deadline, the easiest — is cutting things out. I don’t usually have to do that because my first drafts are always too short. Time and Space after two revisions, is finally over 80,000 words. But Concussion IS Brain Injury was over 100,000 in its very first incarnation. I created it from my over-60 blog posts on the topic. I’m a bit wordy when it comes to brain injury, or maybe not wordy, but I do have a lot to say.

At the same time as I was incorporating feedback, I was getting some blog posts out of my head and into the computer so that I could add them to my brain injury manuscript. I got one written and published. And then the muggy heat wave hit. And my body decided enough with writing or doing much of anything. Thankfully, it’s cooling down today. The birds are happy; the raccoons are banging up a celebration; and I’m blogging.

Books

Camp NaNoWriMo?

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I’m thinking of doing Camp NaNo.

In 2009, I wrote my first novel She during National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo as it’s popularly called. It was just the thing I needed to help me write as my brain injury had robbed me of initiation, of the thing that gets you organized and doing things. I went on to have She edited and published over the next two years.

In 2010, I tried out ScriptFrenzy, NaNoWriMo’s smaller script-writing cousin. I wrote a screenplay adaptation of my first award-winning book Lifeliner. I didn’t show it to anyone; I didn’t feel it or I was ready yet. Then in November I participated in NaNoWriMo for the second time and wrote Aban’s Accension — now at Iguana Books waiting and waiting and waiting to be edited.

In 2011, I joined ScriptFrenzy again, this time writing a stage play on the insurance game. That one I’d like to do something with, but am not sure what. Yet. And leaving it practically to the last minute, thinking I’ll never be ready in time, even though I had been doing background physics reading for months, I launched myself into my third NaNoWriMo and third novel, Time and Space, which I’m currently revising.

2012’s ScriptFrenzy this past April was a purely creative exercise for me. I began with a title and an idea. I had no outline, no sense of how it’d end. It was … interesting. But I liked the flexing of my purely creative muscles. This radio play is for my eyes only. On the other hand, I’m looking forward to writing a book in November intended for public consumption. I already know the ending, the basic story arc, as I’ve been pondering it for awhile. However, in between then and now is Camp NaNo.

The folks who run NaNoWriMo started Camp NaNo last year. I thought about joining but went nahhh. This year, the person-who-organizes-me sat me down in January and said let’s get you writing regularly. Add Camp NaNo to your schedule. Okay, but I have no idea what to write. You’ll think of something, she retorted in that-don’t-give-me-silly-excuses way.

Okay then.

She recommitted me this past week to doing it. She was right too, I do have an idea. I’ll talk about it later. First, I gotta go check out how this Camp operates.

Books

Diving Back In To “Time and Space”

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I’m about to restart revising my third novel Time and Space. And I must say I’m finding it daunting. I did the easy stuff a few weeks ago – typos, small mistakes, things like that – and promptly got sidetracked. But it’s time now to answer some big questions my Beta Readers posed, which means I must remember my manuscript and what I was trying to say. Do I want to answer the questions or leave it up to the readers to discern? How do I flesh out or explore more some concepts? What was my original intent about the language each century’s denizens use? I did write notes as I revised my novel after my first draft and before sending out the manuscript to my Beta Readers. I hope like heck I noted down who speaks how!

The physics aspect of it passed muster with my engineer friend, and that is such a relief. It was hard the first time understanding and remembering current concepts in theoretical physics so as to launch off them and come up with ideas on how the two futures work. I feared I wouldn’t remember and understand it all if I had to go in and edit it again. Thankfully I don’t.

I know I’ll get right back into the manuscript once I start. But there’s the rub: starting, diving in, launching WordPerfect and reacquainting myself with my story. Well, I’d better get to it … Um, first though, a snack sounds good. And maybe more coffee … some chocolate …

Writings

Best Writing Style Is …

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Many blogs and magazines write about how writers write. Newbie writers lap these articles up as if they’re gospel and try to emulate. I know, I’ve been there. But the more I see how others write and how my own writing style is evolving, the more I realise there’s probably as many ways of writing as writers.

Some write at the ghastly hour of four A.M. Some write in the evening. It’s kind of like exercise that way: there are those who like to get up and moving first thing and others who’d rather wind down a long day with a good run. But then there are some who write on the train to work, or maybe at the coffee shop during mid-morning break … or maybe mid-afternoon break. Some would never darken a coffee shop with their laptop or iPad to write, maybe the would to browse or check Twitter, but not to write.

Some prefer total quiet with no one around. Some like noisy cafes or the kitchen table with the family running around and the dog chasing them barking away. Some prefer music with their writing, any music will do. While some will be choosy, carefully going through their selection to produce just the right mood for that day’s typing or writing.

Some will sit in an armchair, a pad of paper in hand and a fountain pen or maybe some ballpoint they picked up on the subway. But others will sit only at their computer in their ergonomic desk chair, the keyboard at exactly the right height. And a few will dictate either directly into the computer using a nifty program like Dragon NaturallySpeaking while others will dictate into a handheld recorder, or these days into one’s iPhone, whenever the urge hits them.

Some are disciplined and will sit down at the same desk at the same time every single day, even holidays. Others will only write when the urge hits them. Some go for the middle, being disciplined during writing months like ScriptFrenzy yet also writing when the urge wakes them up at one in the morning.

My writing style is a bit all over and depends on what it is I’m writing. Some blog posts get written on my iPad as soon as I wake up. Others I write only on my computer in broad daylight. And still others I write on my iPad in front of the TV when the news is annoying me or when I can’t focus on what’s on but need to write but don’t want to turn off the TV. Novels I write only on my computer with no music, no radio on, writing books, dictionary, post-its, notes, and my iPad scattered around on my desk or within reach. My iPad because it has all my research and outline notes on it (backed up in other places!). This year, I’m writing ScriptFrenzy on my iPad in the early morning, at the beginning of April before the dawn but now that the dawn is moving earlier and earlier, it’s after the dawn.

What I’ve learnt: The best writing style is whatever makes you write.

News

Time and Space, a NaNoWriMo Novel, Sent off to Beta Readers

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Finishing a novel and handing it off to my Beta Readers always makes me feel both nonplussed — am I really done? I forgot something, I’m sure I did — and at loose ends. I wander about my place, wondering what I’m supposed to be doing. Sometimes my pocket calendar is insistent enough to point out all the tasks that have piled up and are waiting for me; most of the time, I ignore it and flop about from kitchen table to computer to TV and back again, doing a lot of staring and mindlessly turning on and off of iPad. Bejeweled Blitz took up a little bit of time — until I got fed up with my really, really low scores. Really, where are those exploding gems?!!!

Anywhoo, yesterday I went through the dialogue of three of the main characters, sticking with one character at a time and not listening to the radio or reading during breaks so as not to lose their “voice” in my head. Today, I wrapped up some vocab consistency chores — it boggles my mind how authors of old ensured consistency in futuristic or accented dialogue with no search and replace feature in their pens or typewriters to do things like removing every “me” in certain dialogue. I also stumbled across a couple of details I’d begun and never finished. Was it serendipity that Ctrl-F for “me” landed me next to the first one? And the second one? I finally added a line that dropped into my head the other day, cleaned up a thread, and converted the whole thing to PDF. My part is done. What shall I do with myself? Oh yeah, update my website.