Editing, am at a loss.

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Written by: on Saturday, January 19th, 2013

I decided for the year of 2013 that I’d try to spend time editing and revising one of my manuscripts that I hammered out for NaNoWriMo. I decided to focus on my first attempt from 2010 because at least I did my best to smooth it out so that the story flowed from beginning to end.

So I dug out Caspar and the Lunar Magic and pretty much… did nothing. Well, I guess technically I did some writing. I wrote down a quick summary of each chapter in my notebook so that I could quickly glance and know where I am at. I’m still dealing with such a huge manuscript. Scrivener has been suggested to me several times so I downloaded that and gave it a whirl. I felt that it complicated things. Or maybe not. I don’t know.

I just don’t know how to edit it. I don’t know how to add to it. This is terribly frustrating for me because how can I write a manuscript and not know how to polish it into a story that I’d be proud of? Maybe it’s a skill I just lack. I don’t know. We’re almost three weeks in and I still haven’t written or changed a scene in the book. I’ve been searching around, reading blog entries, watching youtube videos, trying to figure out something that would help me take the manuscript aside and go, “Ah-ha! I think I know how to start working on this thing now.”

Books I’ve read since:
Night Mare by Piers Anthony

I ordered Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke. I’m about halfway through that. Then on Christmas day I was given a Kindle Fire HD. I looked into ebooks there and am a bit surprised that a lot of kindle versions of books are either more expensive or almost the same price as a physical copy of the book. I feel more compelled to buy the cheap-o paperback version instead of shelling out a good chunk of money for a digital version that might just up and disappear if something happened to my kindle. So far I’ve downloaded a handful of free classic books. I’m about halfway through on Allan Quatermain by H. Rider Haggard. The one thing I’ve noticed about the Kindle Fire HD is that it is very difficult to read on it. I have turned down the brightness but still… I feel more compelled to use it as a tablet – playing on apps or surfing the web instead of actually sitting down to read anything on it. Still, it’s a pretty nifty thing to have.

NNWM, Books

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Written by: on Saturday, December 1st, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012

I didn’t make an update about NaNoWriMo when it first started on November 1st. When I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo for June and August, I lacked willpower and interest to really sit down and write. So those two months were a major ‘miss’. I figured I’d participate in NNWM this year but to not bother mentioning it…

Turns out I won! I wrote 50,091 words! I hit my goal on the 29th and figured I’d probably write more on the last day but as the day went on, I wasn’t in the mood to write so I settled on my final word count.

The story I wrote was originally titled “The Indigo Travelers” but then the story changed a bit and I retitled it to “The Veilkeepers”. About halfway through the month, I felt that maybe “The Veilkeepers” might’ve sounded too ‘fantasy’ and that I should go back to “The Indigo Travelers”, something that might sound more earth-like? I don’t know.

I didn’t end the story even though I met my goal. It was about these freak storms and strange purple walls that had appeared one day and suddenly there’s people who now have purple eyes. The government swept these purple-eyed freaks into three internment camps across the states. My main character, Andy Grimsley, is trying to figure out what’s going on and is learning things about himself.

This was a new experience for me. I’m used to sending my characters on an adventure. They go from Place A to Place B to Place C, and before you know it, there’s a whole adventure in the bag with a nice little ending – and I’m praying along the way that I have enough to reach the 50k goal. In this story I wrote, they were at the internment camp all along so it really forced me to have to develop social situations. It was difficult to develop characters because it was a lot of struggling in one place and trying to make situations happen. Towards the end of my goal, I did have them leave the camp through a veil… so I guess at some point I’ll have to keep writing it out and see where it goes.

One thing I am extremely thankful for was that I didn’t hate the story. I didn’t stress and struggle and hate everything. I just wrote the next situation and kept it moving.

I think, from now on, I probably should skip on the camp sessions of NNWM so that I won’t lose interest in the official NNWM. Three for three on that so far; 2010, 2011, 2012. 🙂

Books

I had to put “Hood” (by Stephen Lawhead) away. It just seems to go on and on, and it’s a real struggle to stay interested in the characters. After putting it down, I read:
The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Inkspell by Cornelia Funke

Currently reading: Night Mare by Piers Anthony

Even though I had put The Thief Lord down a while back, I decided to pick it up again. It wasn’t boring but it just sort of went on and on… then I reached the end and was incredibly surprised. I loved the ending of the book. So I decided to crack open Inkheart and I loved it. It was *nothing* like the movie. The movie was so goofy and weird… After reading Inkheart and Inkspell, I placed an order for the final book of the trilogy, Inkdeath. Waiting for that to come… hence why I’m reading Night Mare by Piers Anthony at the moment.

 

So what’s been going on?

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Written by: on Saturday, September 1st, 2012

I finished the August session of Camp NaNoWriMo with 10,527 words. A lot more than the June session. I think I may have burnt out on trying to do so many NNWM sessions.

I have read six books:

JK Rowling:
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Howl’s Moving Castle – Diana Wynne Jones
Death’s Excellent Vacation – compilation of stories by various authors
The Black Gryphon – Mercedes Lackey

And current book I’m reading is Hood by Stephen Lawhead

I also happen to have an awesome new bookcase. I love it. I saw it listed on Craigslist and had to get it. Glass door fronts to keep most of the dust off the books is what I’ve been looking for! Gypsy looked at it, of course, but she can’t seem to get back down once she’s up there. hehe.

Camp NaNoWriMo – August session

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Written by: on Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Tomorrow starts the first day of the August session of Camp NNWM. I plan to participate but I wouldn’t be surprised if I fart out pretty quickly too. I guess the heat and humidity makes it difficult to buckle down and there’s also that lingering cough since June too. Ugh. hehe.

So less than nine hours to go. I guess the book I’m going to focus on is the third book in my trilogy. Maybe I might have a fighting chance this time around.

NNWM June ends / Harry Potter Books 1 to 4

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Written by: on Sunday, July 1st, 2012

“How did you do on NaNoWriMo?”

Me: NaNo? Oh, um… I quit after a thousand words or so.

It’s true. I could not get myself to focus at all whatsoever on writing a novel through June. It was the first time that had ever happened to me. I don’t even know if I’ll participate for August’s session after that.

One thing I do know for sure, I absolutely want to write a third book to finish my ‘creators’ arch from the other two books I wrote. I don’t know if I’ll ever sit down and heavily edit all three books so that it’s an ‘incredible journey’ but the ideas still pick at me here and there. I guess my story, ‘The Bookmark’, for June’s session just wasn’t ready to be told yet.

 

I also re-read the first four Harry Potter books:
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Or as Dumbledore said in the movie: Gobladayfayah)

I plan to finish the last three in the series.

So how’s that word count coming along?

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Written by: on Friday, June 8th, 2012

So how’s that word count coming along? It isn’t.

There’s always a new experience. Always. It’s fun. Isn’t it?

I wrote 928 words on the first day and petered out.  Day four, I wrote 188 words, bringing my total up to 1,116 words. Haven’t made another effort since.

I seem to have zero willpower and interest right now. I feel like the car is sitting in the driveway and there’s no gas left in the tank. Don’t worry, I grabbed the red gasoline tank and hit the road to find some more gas but it just seems like there’s no gas station anywhere. I don’t even see one on the horizon.

I really did expect to be in the zone like my first three NNWM sessions but I am just not feeling it this time around. I do have the notebook here but I’m lucky if I can focus on the story for more than a few seconds before I think about other things going on.

Camp NNWM – Day 01

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Written by: on Friday, June 1st, 2012

I’ll have to settle on this as a first day word count. 928 words. A far cry from 1,667+ words for first day count. Am I upset or bothered? Nah. I don’t know if it’s because I’m coming down from November’s session or something but deep inside me, a voice keeps telling me to just ‘take it easy’ this time. If it’s not coming, I don’t want to stress myself for hours on end. It’ll come when it comes…

This might change down the road if I get in the mood to hammer out a higher word count though.

All I got so far is Alice, the main character, interacting with her family a little bit and then heading to the store where a new book has just hit the shelves. No ideas are coming to me just yet but again, I just want to take it easy. I’ll have to look at my fantasy world and see what else is going on in there that’ll add to the main story.

Signing off for now.

Bugs in the Camp NNWM Cabins!

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Written by: on Thursday, May 24th, 2012

A bit of silliness going on is all!

We were assigned to cabins yesterday. Something went wrong so they re-assigned us this morning. Then something went wrong again and they re-assigned us for the third time. NNWM has tweeted that this go is for real this time.

The first cabin, I was in with a bunch of writers in the fantasy genre which is what I requested. Unfortunately it appears that my request for writers in the fantasy genre was ignored for the second and third try. It’ll be weird to chat with cabin mates that don’t have fantasy as their preference.

We’ll see if this is the final time they shuffle us around. 😉 I’m not too worried until June gets here to see if the cabin is really our final for the month.

As for the story, um… more plots needed, yup. hehehe.

Camp NaNoWriMo 2012

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Written by: on Thursday, May 10th, 2012

So it’s that time again. Camp NaNoWriMo is coming up.

Instead of running July and August like last year, it’ll be running June and August. I guess a month break in between since it was crazy when they suddenly went from July to August and a lot of people struggled with trying to confirm their word count.

I do have a story in mind. I already titled the story as “The Bookmark”. I am really working with a very basic idea. The main character finds herself in a fantasy world with thanks to a bookmark. That’s all I got so far story-wise. I did work on the world layout by making a quick sketch of what the world is like.

I think that my enthusiasm for participating in NNWM is sort of at a low point. Instead of it being something I look forward to, I find myself just not being able to focus on any story for more than a couple seconds. This makes it really difficult to develop characters and the like. It could be because summer is about to be in full swing. But I’m a true pantser. I might be able to wring out yet another story and meet the 50,000 word goal at the end of the month.

Pottermore.com Opens…

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Written by: on Sunday, April 15th, 2012

I’ve read all the Harry Potter books and have seen all the movies. So naturally I was curious as to what Pottermore.com would be like. I missed out on the whole “sign up early and be one of the early beta testers”. I found out that the site opened earlier today (or technically yesterday) and signed up, waited a long time for the e-mail to arrive, and finally logged in.

Everything seems to be divided into chapters, which would explain why the site suggested reading the book along with the site. I didn’t dig out my book though.. I was most eager to know what house I’d be sorted into. J.K. Rowling emphasizes to answer truthfully.

I loved the wand I ended up with. Dragon core. Love it. Couldn’t have asked for anything else.

Then came to the sorting hat. I answered everything truthfully and somehow… I was sorted into Slytherin. Slytherin was the last house I could have ever expected. I was rooting for Gryffindor or Ravenclaw but suspected I’d be shuffled into the Hufflepuff house. To be sorted into Slytherin came way out of left field. I was so stunned. How did my answers translate to me being a bad guy? Okay, okay, after the initial reaction, I read the message to Slytherin’s house and my jaw literally dropped to the floor when I found out what famous wizard had been sorted into that house (I won’t spoil it in case others get sorted into that house). Reading the house message seemed to indicate that maybe Draco Malfoy was a bad egg and the whole house isn’t like that. Maybe Slytherin isn’t so bad at all afterall. After finding out who was sorted into Slytherin, I can live with the sorting hat’s decision.

Maybe I should dig up the books and re-read them again.