After Camp NaNoWriMo

It’s been two weeks since Camp NaNoWriMo has ended.

Final Thoughts?

I was unprepared for the complexity of my story. Even from the beginning, I knew it was going to be complex but I didn’t plan enough for that. Luckily, Camp NaNoWriMo showed me that. Blue Moon is a story that needs to be planned. A beat sheet should, in retrospect, help me write the story better the second time around.

Writing a novel in a month has always taught me something. It has also shown me my limitations and what I need to improve. This time, it was planning and execution. Granted, this was the first draft. The first draft of a book that isn’t even completely written yet. Blue Moon and I have a long way to go before it is ready to shown to the world and I’m okay with that. There’s still a lot for me learn.

On a different note:

I am officially finishing editing and revising my story, Clan of Ash. Now, I’m working on my query letter and searching for agents before sending out queries by September. My summary has to be fixed a bit more and I have to research more agents but I’m close. I’m planning on rereading my novel once more before sending it out. I’m not sure if this is a good idea but I’ll take my chances.

Speaking of reading, I finally got around to reading the books on my kindle. I have a few paperbacks around the house that needed to be read first. Hopefully, I can stop buying books long enough for me to finish reading all the ones I have already. Then again, buying books help authors. The struggle is real.

I’m still working on revising Crimson Queen and Phantom Blade (two stories I have on Wattpad). I have also been working on another story on Wattpad as well. It’s been busy and productive. For now, that’s all I can ask for.

Camp NaNoWriMo, Day 11

I’m happy to announce that I did manage to catch up on my word count. Thanks to careful planning and calculations on my part, I have been able to reach my word count for the day without sacrificing any other activities.

There’s been a lot going on lately. My sister and I agreed not to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo for our collaboration story. Unfortunately, there were too many things that we needed to work on and it just wasn’t the right time to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo together. Luckily for me, I had been writing my own story so I’ll continue to write that one on my own.

With the collaboration story, my sister and I still intend to write the story. That hasn’t changed. We just won’t be on a deadline per say to write it. It’s a bit disappointing but it couldn’t be helped. For next time, I’ll be fully prepared for a collaboration story if it presents itself.

A few other things going on is that I have also been working on other stories as well. Now, these aren’t other side projects for Camp NaNoWriMo. No, I’m not capable of doing something like that. Writing 50,000 words for one novel is tough enough. I’m not doing that for two. What I meant is that I’m writing weekly chapters for one of my stories on wattpad. It’s called The Vampire Prince goes to High School.

Yes, I know how it sounds. To be truthful, I don’t even like this story. It would be no issue for me if I stopped writing it. However, there are too many fans that like this story and so that is why I continue to write. I do it for the fans. They deserve closure and I’m going to give it them.

The other side project I mention is the rewrite of Crimson Queen. It’s another story that I wrote on wattpad and it’s been completed. I have been rewriting the entire story and adding more depth and side stories. The first draft was just plot and it needs to be beefed up a bit more.

These side projects keep my creative juices from drying out. Writing one story, motivates me to write another. It might explain why I am exhausted by now but I won’t stop. I will reach my goal.

Lastly, another one of my game reviews has been posted. It’s called Shapeless. You can read it here. It’s a game where you match shapes to create a different shape. The tricky part is that you have to shift the entire board to match the shapes. It took me a while to get used to this. I like it because it passes the time.

Conflict: the bread and butter of a story

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As July approaches, my sister and I are hard at work planning out her story. By this point, I should say our story but that still feels weird. I don’t believe I will ever consider this story as mine because I had no say in the idea development. Saying that, if collaborating helps my sister finally write her story then I’m more than happy to do that.

Recently, we discussed the source of conflict of the novel. While we don’t have the most of the middle and the ending planned, we still wanted to plan out what would drive the story forward and what kind of obstacles the main character, Nina, would face. I like to term this discussion as: “how do I make the life of a character more difficult?”

First, we started with the external conflict. This conflict derives from external forces. Meaning, the conflict comes from outside forces like a flat tire on a way to a job interview. Or a jealous co-worker secretly sabotaging the main character’s report. It can also be two people arguing.

Now, Internal conflict comes from within the main character. I like to think of these as feelings or simple terms: the inner struggle. e.g. stopping to help someone who fell or hurry to an important appointment. Or pay your bills early or buy that book you have no room on yourself for. It’s also choosing right from wrong. Depending on the character and/or situation, right and wrong can be different.

Not only did my sister and myself identify where the conflict was coming from, we were also able to expand on those ideas. Furthermore, Nina, the MC, will be overwhelm with her new position and current one and she believes there’s been a mistake and waits for the moment where someone else replaces her. This leads to her work being sloppy and incompetent and it further leads to confrontation with the boss and others in the managerial positions.

I’m happy to say that Nina’s life will be very, very difficult.

On a different side note: two of my reviews are up. One of them is called Tubocity. The game is an endless runner as you try to see how far can you get as you jump and swipe your way past obstacles.

The other game is called Picture Perfect Crossword. It is exactly what is sounds like. Players are given a picture to name. They select letters at the bottom of the screen to fill out the crossword puzzle.

Of Surprises and Collaboration

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It has been a very productive week. A few unexpected surprises came knocking but they were all taken with a stride.

First, I would like to announce that my plans for Camp NaNoWriMo have changed. As of right now, I will no longer be writing my fantasy novel I titled “Blue Moon”. The reason for this has nothing to do with having no idea what to write about or even the desire to write. No, this has to deal with my sister.

Long story short, she was the person responsible for uncovering my innate desire to write stories. She’s the one who got me into writing. While she hasn’t been as active in writing as I have, I still envy all her ideas because I think they’re amazing and why couldn’t think of that. She is after all my twin and the youngest (well middle child because we have a young brother). So, now and again, she sends me updates on her stories and I give her feedback.

One story in particular she wants to really write has been given her trouble and she just needs the motivation to write. What did I do? I volunteered to help. My Camp NaNoWriMo this year will be a collaboration with my sister.

While I have collaborated with other people (strangers) it hasn’t been really successful. It was definitely communication and the plot was almost nowhere to be found. I’m not exactly sure how this time will turn out. It should be better. It’s not like she’s a stranger to me. However, I’m if-y about my role in all of this. Yes, I’ll be writing the story too but I don’t want to be the ‘leader’. I think it would be best if she came up with the plot and I helped guide her.

My goal is to be the guiding hand. I’ll take a step back and have her dictate where she wants the story to go and if she gets stuck, I’ll make something up. I’ll build bridges so she can get to the next scene.

The other bit of news is that my review for Chronology  has been posted. It’s a mobile game where you play as The Inventor to try to unravel the mystery of the present state of the future. The game allows you go travel to the past and present to overcome the obstacles.

The third piece of news is that I have successfully been creating character sheets for a long standing story I have titled ‘Shadow Beasts’. I’ve planned and written the story in script format for T.V. Actually, I decided to create a television show for my brother because I didn’t like any of the cartoons/shows he was watching.

The idea has evolved and changed over the years and with each revision, I’m starting to get closer and closer to the final product I envisioned. There’s even hope that it might be developed into an actual show by a friend who has started up his own animation studio of sorts. Nothing is in the works or set in stone. It’s just talks for now but it is something I’m thinking about and I’m certainly hopeful.

Early Year Accomplishments

 

318093a6c0732513e5aac1dba5fd352cIt’s not really a secret – I think – that I haven’t been reading as much as I should. However, that has changed. I didn’t make any New Year’s Resolution or anything like that. My goal, as ever, is to keep writing and working on my books. Perhaps its because I hadn’t found a book that I really liked or sucked me in but good news is that I found some. Well, two to be exact.

It’s not like I went out to buy any new books. I had bought them before (a few months ago) and only now got to read them. Turns out, it was a good idea to look through my kindle and bookcase. Now, I won’t go into a review of each book but I would just like to say that I am proud of myself. I managed to finish two books in less than two weeks.

That still doesn’t beat my record of reading four books over two days but I think it’s progress. Besides, who doesn’t need a small pat on the back once in a while? I hope to continue my streak of reading and I’m currently working towards reading a third book this year. I don’t want to make it my goal to read every book on my kindle and the four books I recently bought at half-price books but I do intend to read a lot more than I have.

I’ve mentioned that I had stopped reading because I had spent all my undergraduate years reading for school and it took the fun out of it. Or maybe I didn’t but that’s the case. Yes, I know. Its a poor excuse. However, I do plan on reading those four paperbacks that I bought and more of the books on my kindle. While it won’t be a goal, it’ll be somewhat similar. I want to form a habit of sort and if I treat reading like something that I have to do then it won’t be fun and I won’t follow through.

Plus, I told my concerned BF that ‘No, I’m not planning to stop working on my books. I’m doing research.’ Reading is research. Because, these authors are published and if I can absorb their techniques into my own writing then they’re doing something right and I want to be part of that.

On top of it all, I forgot how fun it was to read. Scary, right? I don’t use reading as an escape, not really. It’s more like exploring new worlds and meeting new people. It’s amazing and I’m glad I got back into it again. I have high hopes of getting back into reading a lot more than I have.

Wish me luck.

P.S. The books I read are: The Keepers (Alchemy Series) by Donna Augustine and Blood Blade (Skinners) by Marcus Pelegrimas