So I was originally going to do an album for FAWM (February Album Writing Month) that would be for Rachelle's band, The Swinging Jennys, from Music Land Maestress. But I have decided I'm not going to do that after all. I'm still going to do FAWM, but write songs for myself instead.
It's not that I don't like Music Land Maestress. I do. I'm just stuck on it. Chapter 8, the one I did during JaNoWriMo, was way too long, even for the part I did finish. So I need to distance myself from it.
Also, I was going through my author site, trying to figure out what needs updating, and I just had this overwhelming feeling that I had lost my focus as a writer. Maybe it was just me, maybe it was God trying to tell me something. I don't know. But I think I need to focus on those works presented on that site - Darkly Bound, The CYA Files, The Tales of Walden, and TimeSavers - for the time being, and put Music Land Maestress on the back burner. (Which reminds me, I should shoot John Cusick an e-mail asking about my query critique. It was supposed to come within 60 days, and I think it's been nearly that long since I submitted it).
One idea I had was that maybe I should do Music Land Maestress as a series - probably YA given the age of most of the characters. Cause as one book it would be WAY too long. (Case in point, the book as of the end of NaNoWriMo was only 7 chapters long - and already over 50k!). Maybe the first book would cover the discovery of Symphony, Coda, Ranvois, and Melody (the part of the book I already have done so far), and then the following books would go into finding the others. Is there any precedent for this, other than like the Sailor Moon novels (which are pretty good btw)? If you know of any, please tell me in the comments! I would like to find any examples I can read.
Well got to go to work. Plus I need to get to work on my FAWM songs - the first week ends on Friday!
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- Current Mood:Pensive
So January is ending...and with it the events I chose to participate in for January, namely JaNoWriMo and Choose-Your-Own-Novel Month. I finally came up with an idea for the latter, and just finished writing a rough version of the decision trees of each storyline today. They will all tie together somehow, probably in an epilogue. Kinda like a Seinfeld episode, where each character's plot ties together in the end. My tentative title for this loose story collection is Their Side, Our Side, Elsewhere. Still need to actually write the stories, but due to the format I want to type it up, which I'll have to wait to do till I get home.
JaNoWriMo hasn't been that successful. I was doing fine for awhile, but then I think I got stuck, and at this point I've pretty much given up on it. It's taken me all month to write one chapter, whereas for NaNoWriMo I wrote seven! I think I just got distracted. Plus I created a really strong monster for Allegron and the girls to fight but not a way to defeat it. Oops.
Eh well, by the grace of God (or maybe sheer luck), I'll get over this and succeed at my writing endeavors for February. Might have to set Music Land Maestress aside for a while though.
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- Current Mood:Tired, sad, pensive
- Current Music:"Easy" by The Commodores
After some thought, I am trying to make a more definite list of what works I would do if I did all the NaNo-form events I wrote about before. Here's what I have so far:
January: Music Land Maestress continued (JaNoWriMo, in progress), text adventure of undecided plot (Choose-Your-Own-Novel Month, not started yet probably going to try to work on that this week)
February: Debut album (or maybe demo) for Rachelle's band The Swinging Jennys (February Album Writing Month), TARDIS Thoughts blog-every-day challenge (NaBlPoMo)
March: Darkly Bound editing (NaNoEdMo)
April: The CYA Files (either Camp NaNoWriMo or April Fools), various (NaPoWriMo)
November: Sci-fi police procedural I wrote the ending of for school (NaNoWriMo, going to try to win as a rebel this year), musical based on the Dark Mercury Arc of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, the live-action TV drama version of Sailor Moon, which I already have a summary written for. (NaPlWriMo)
Other months: currently undecided.
More on this to come!
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So I have decided that this year I will try to find whatever opportunity I can each month to work on my craft. Not that I won't do other things, of course; I still have to eat, sleep, go to work, etc., and I have other interests and hobbies. But I am going to try to work on my craft as much as I can.
Toward this end, I have consulted that link to NaNoWriMo-style events I linked to before and I am starting to form a tentative schedule of which ones I'll do. Here's what I have:
January 2013: Janowrimo (in progress), Choose-Your-Own-Novel Month (entered but not started)
February 2013: February Album Writing Month, will likely write an album for my character Rachelle's band. Will probably also spend this month (and some of January) re-typing-up Darkly Bound. Oh and also I am thinking of doing NaBloPoMo (or is it NaPoBloMo?...anyway, it's National Blog Posting Month) in February with my Doctor Who episode analysis blog TARDIS Thoughts.
March 2013: NaNoEdMo (National Novel Editing Month) with Darkly Bound.
April 2013: Possibly April Fools and the April session of Camp NaNoWriMo; definitely NaPoWriMo (as mentioned before)
May 2013: Undetermined.
June 2013: Undetermined
July 2013: May be a break month due to a family vacation in Hawaii. Or I might do the July session of Camp NaNoWriMo.
August 2013: Possibly AugNoWriMo.
September 2013: Possibly SeptNoWriMo; definitely prep for NaNoWriMo.
October 2013: GothNoWriMo (maybe). Prep for NaNoWriMo.
November 2013: NaNoWriMo and maybe NaPlWriMo (National Play Writing Month), though that might be too much.
December 2013: The Plot Whisperer, where you refine the plot of your novel (maybe).
There are also non-month specific challenges, like 750 Words and SciFiWriMo. NaBloPoMo is also non-month-specific, but I want to get things moving on TARDIS Thoughts with the new eps coming in April. Basically, the only one I'm not doing is WriYe, technically, because it's too late to start that.
I'm hoping to accomplish a lot in terms of writing this year. I want to finish my NaNoWriMo novel, Music Land Maestress. I also want to revise Darkly Bound. It's been dormant for too long. And I'm planning to do NaPoWriMo in April, as well as possibly the April session of Camp NaNoWriMo. And maybe check out some of the NaNo-form events listed here. The "blog every day for a month" challenge sounds interesting. Also the GothNoWriMo challenge, where you write a gothic novel in the month of October. I've never written a gothic novel, but one of my favorite novels, Jane Eyre, is a Gothic novel, so I suppose I know what they are like. Anything that gets me writing more is worth checking out, I guess.
Besides that, I need to update my author website and probably change the layout to make it more "today." And also promote myself more. I have a healthy following/followed ratio on Twitter (I have 64 followers and follow 47 people), I have 201 Facebook friends (double what I started with on day 1), and I have 81 followers on Scribd. (LinkedIn I use for personal, writing, and web design purposes, so I'm not going to mention it, even though I link to it from my writing website). Not viral proportions, but not too bad. I need to be more active on social media, though; I pretty much ignore my writing Facebook. Technorati authority for this blog is bleh.
So, I guess my resolution is to write more in order to develop my craft, to promote myself more as a writer, and to work on the two novels I mentioned. Reasonable enough, I hope?
Toward that end, I am doing JaNoWriMo. Which is like NaNoWriMo but way less organized and it takes place in January, as in this month. I'm not even sure what the rules are. I'm just using it as an opportunity to work on my NaNo novel some more. Hope I can get through it without going crazy!
Feel free to ignore this part of the post. I just had to re-set up my connection of this blog with Technorati, and that requires inserting this code in a post. Here is the code for that: 2BVWF8MPATJS
- Current Mood: awake
- Current Music:None right now
Just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!
I haven't been doing much writing, except stuff for websites, because after NaNoWriMo I just needed a break (even though I love writing, NaNo was pretty stressful). But I signed up for this unofficial thing called JaNoWriMo, so I'll have to start prepping again soon. I also want to try that NaPoWriMo thing in April.
I read a good quote from Stephen King the other day about screenwriting. Basically he got a book on how to write a screenplay on a whim, but he thought the book was b.s. But the screenplay form example in the back, he said, wasn't b.s., so he used that and wrote a screenplay for Something Wicked This Way Comes. It was an interesting thought.
Well, just wanted to post that. Merry Christmas!
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'Doctor Who' Personality Quiz: Which Companion Are You? | Anglophenia | BBC America
For anybody reading this blog who likes Doctor Who. I got Rose, which I'm happy about because I like her!
Anyway, the webinar I went to was this one from author and juvenile fiction agent John M. Cusick, called "Writing and Selling Sci-fi and Fantasy for Kids and Teens." (That link is not the official webinar page; that's not available anymore). Since I have a YA time-travel series in planning mode (TimeSavers) and am undecided whether Music Land Maestress is YA or adult, I thought attending this webinar would be worth my time. Plus, I'm off of work today so timing worked out too. Unfortunately, because I was trying to get my writing e-mail set up again, thinking the confirmation e-mail for the webinar got sent to that e-mail and that I wouldn't be able to access the webinar without it, and also because I thought the query letter we could send to Mr. Cusick to critique had to be ready before the webinar, I didn't get a chance to eat breakfast or have any caffeine before the webinar started (at 10am my time) and spent most of the webinar finding it hard to focus on things besides my hunger. I kept thinking I should get up and get some food, but I didn't want to miss anything (though technically I already missed the first 5 minutes because I was trying to figure out how to get into the webinar). Then again, I knew going into the webinar that I would have access to the webinar as an archive afterwards (which is why I didn't take any notes), so I could've totally gone and gotten breakfast anyway.
He did provide some good tips, and seemed like an overall funny guy. He's apparently a fan of Star Wars and Doctor Who because those were mentioned often (he even mentioned the term "timey-wimeyness"). I was a tad bit annoyed that he used John Green's Looking for Alaska as an example, though, because I did not like that book much at all. Frankly, I have not enjoyed any John Green books I have read, though Looking for Alaska was the worst of the lot just cause it was very edgy, with lots of profanity, drugs, etc. Ironically, I love watching John in the Vlogbrothers videos he does with his brother Hank. I just don't like his books. An Abundance of Katherines and Paper Towns, the other two I read, were better but not great. Some of the books Mr. Cusick used as examples were YA books I was unfamiliar with, but which he liked or had worked on. The sci-fi novel Feed, which he used as an example of how to build a world, particularly sounded interesting to me.
I was glad that Mr. Cusick outlined the difference between Middle-Grade and YA. I always hear writers talk about the "middle grade" genre of children's literature and never understood what that means. I mean, I know what YA is; I read quite a lot of it. Basically "middle grade" is like for ages 8-12. Though I suppose there are exceptions; technically, the Harry Potter books are for ages 8-12 but they always felt more like YA to me than children's books, what with the romance and the deaths and all the other "grown up" themes. I've read my share of middle grade books too, though mostly when I was actually that age. I was a frequent visitor to the library (both the school library and the public one), and also made great use of those Scholastic book flyers (like this one) when I was a kid. I also liked when we'd have the Book Fair at school every year; I actually bought Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted, now one of my favorite books, at one of those fairs. I remember I actually read my way through the entire fiction section of our small school library at some point. And the summer between sixth and seventh grade, I actually read a little over 100 books. (I know this because I was doing some challenge where you wrote down every book you read on a piece of paper, and you got a prize for every 10 books you read -- and I know I got at least 10 prizes). How is that possible? Well, it was summer, so I had a lot of free time. And also, we didn't have cable from when I was 5 to when I was 19, so I didn't have the TV to distract me. And I didn't have my own computer or video game system at the time. Nowadays, I have more distractions. I still do read a lot though. People ask me how many books I read in a period of time (month/year, etc) and I never can tell them because I just don't keep track. I have in the past, via the WeRead app on Facebook, I think also through GoodReads. Now I sometimes check into books with GetGlue, but GetGlue doesn't have every book in its database, and some books I don't check in to there, so it's not a complete record.
At any rate, I am uncertain whether the TimeSavers series (the one series I was mainly concerned about with this webinar) would be middle-grade or YA. On my author site, I advertise it as YA, but it was originally inspired by The Boxcar Children series, which fits more into the middle-grade age range (grades 2-6 specifically). I am going to send Mr. Cusick a query (a free query critique is included for those who attend the webinar, though it's for educational purposes only and is not a guarantee he is going to want to publish it or anything) and see what he says. In the query letter (which I already wrote), I do point out the Boxcar Children inspiration. I may also mention in the accompanying e-mail (if it's through e-mail that he wants it submitted) that this is the first query letter I have ever written, so hopefully he doesn't come down too hard. Normally, you wouldn't mention that in a query, but since this is for critique/education purposes only, I think I may be ok mentioning it.
So how did I write the query letter? Well, I just looked online for guidelines and wrote the best letter I could. I have some experience with the format, having learned how to write business letters in school and also having written cover letters for resumes I sent out. Basically, I went by the guidelines and started with a hook, then a summary, then a bit about the book itself (with the title and all), and then as best of a writer bio as I could come up with (I don't really have any special credentials, like a MFA or anything like that). Then I put a closing, then a signature, followed by my author web site URL and my author e-mail address. I did mention in the bit about the book that the book was "in its planning stages," which might be a faux pas because most people recommend NOT sending out a query before a manuscript is completed, though one seminar I went to at the SDCWG conference said otherwise. But I was at that part where you normally put the word count of the novel, and as I haven't even started writing it yet, I didn't want to lie and just put some word count. So I was honest. In that section, I also put in a subtle bit about the book being part of a series, as recommended by this one blog post.
At any rate, I will let you know how that goes. I haven't submitted the query yet because I wasn't sure how to. I contacted Mr. Cusick on Twitter to ask (since I had figured out he had a Twitter) and he said Writer's Digest would contact me about it. So I guess now I wait.
In other news, my author website and e-mail are operational again, thanks to me finding some useful posts on the Dreamhost wiki and figuring out how to upload my site and set up my e-mail. (I also found a useful forum post that explained how to set things up so you can FTP to your Dreamhost site via Dreamweaver, which I wanted to do anyway, so now I have that option...though I did finally figure out how to get into my WebFTP setup, or what most web hosts would call a "File Manager"). I set up my e-mail through Google Apps for Business so I could use Gmail, which I figured was easier than doing it through my webhost like last time -- basically it's a custom Gmail like Cal State used. The drag is that now Google Apps isn't free anymore; you can get a free trial but then you have to pay. But I set up a flexible plan that is only $5/user per month, which means it's only $5/month because the only user on the account is me. Also, conveniently, when you set up your e-mail up with them, they provide a step-by-step on how to set things up so you can access your e-mail on your mobile device. I already set it up for my iTouch using the iPhone instructions; I also told it I had Windows Mobile to cover my cell phone as well, but decided not to waste time setting that up immediately since I didn't have much time till the webinar started at the time. And the Apps setup (via Dreamhost) also includes Google Calendar (which might be useful to me in the future for book tours and the like), Google Drive and Docs (which I might be able to use for work excerpts, though I also have Scribd for that), Google Talk (yay chat! and yes, I have used Gtalk before, though not in a while), and Contacts. I also downloaded the free Mailchimp app from the Marketplace, in case I ever decide to send out an e-mail newsletter (Mailchimp is supposed to be one of the best services for that if I remember). I guess that's the one benefit to using Google for all this stuff - there are lots of resources available to you! I also set up a free account via Dreamhost for CloudFlare, a service that is supposed to help with performance, speed, and security for your website.
All right, that's all for now. Ta-ta!
- Current Mood: awake
- Current Music:"I Want You to Want Me" by Aly Michalka (Bandslam soundtrack)
I did it, everyone!! 30 days, 52,917 words. I won NaNoWriMo!! And on my first try too!!
I am now taking a well-deserved (IMO) break from writing fiction to catch up on other projects, web design being priority number one. I also want to finish this fandub that I made a goal of finishing by the end of 2012 and which I have been trying to finish for about 5 years, but have had to re-make several times due to suspended YouTube accounts and other such troubles, and never actually finished. So I´ll be busy for a while.
Anyway just wanted to post that. Thank you, God, for getting me through this challenge. And thank you, NaNoWriMo community--whether here on LJ, or on the NaNo website/forum, or on Twitter--for all their support!!
Oh one last thing...I went online this morning to look into ScriptFrenzy, a scriptwriting challenge run by the same people who run NaNo, because I was thinking of doing a script for my webmanga idea Enchanted Supermarket for it (well, ok, I really had that idea yesterday--to do it for ScriptFrenzy that is). But it turns out that ScriptFrenzy has been closed down due to lack of interest. And interest is key for these events, because they're run by non-profits who rely on donations and the sale of official merch (like the 2012 NaNo winner T-shirt I ordered yesterday). I guess I should've known, since I read there was now going to be an April session of Camp NaNoWriMo (ScriptFrenzy happened in April). Too bad. Guess I'll have to self-motivate in that case.
Just found out there is a poetry version of NaNo (tho it´s not run by the people who run NaNo...it was just inspired by NaNo) that happens in April, called National Poetry Writing Month, or NaPoWriMo for short. Which makes sense as April is National Poetry Month. I looked at their site, and apparently their challenge is to write 30 poems in 30 days, and it seems they use prompts. Might be fun, since I´ve gotten back into writing poetry recently, though not as much as I was in junior high. I mostly write them when the muse strikes these days, so my recent poems (besides ones written for school) all have some story/inspiration to them, like "Judge Frollo," a Petrarchan sonnet I wrote after watching clips of the song "Hellfire" from Disney´s The Hunchback of Notre Dame on YouTube, and "Cherish the Day," a poem I wrote in honor of Prince William and Kate Middleton´s wedding last year. But I do like poetry very much and would like to keep writing it. In particular, I´d like to write the rest of the "Canterbury Tales as a hero´s journey" epic I wrote as a possibility for a Brit Lit 1 project. (So far the only part that exists is "The Warlock´s Tale," a 6-page poetic retelling of the Pardoner´s Tale, written in alexandrines, i.e. iambic hexameter; I tried this form because I was also doing a report on Molière´s Tartuffe at the time, which is written in alexandrines in the original French...the only difference is that Molière´s alexandrines rhyme and mine don´t - I find writing metered poetry hard enough without going through the trouble of making it rhyme too, unless the form requires it, like in a sonnet).
My only worry about NaPoWriMo is that they use prompts. I learned last summer that I get somewhat stifled creatively if I use prompts. I don´t get writer´s block necessarily; I just feel limited, and as a result my writing ends up, well, like c***. I don´t know why.
Eh well I have plenty of time to think about it. For now, I don´t want to think about writing for a while.
P.S. I know the word count widget says my word count was over 53k. That is because the official NaNo validator is weird and is always off from the word count I get from Microsoft Word (which is the one I gave in the post).
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- Current Location:Home
- Current Mood:Relieved
- Current Music:"Una Novia Morena" from The World Traveler: Spanish Café