Writing

Of Writing Robots & Lazy Humans

Procrastination Station took me to Reddit today (as it often does), where I came across a 2-week old AMA (a Q&A sort of thing where anyone can ask the poster of the thread anything) by R. L. Stine, whose books I’m sure have kept many of you up at night on more than one occasion, and one person was asking him about his writing process.

RLSTINE

24 BOOKS IN ONE YEAR? Holy crap. Okay, so Goosebumps and Fear Street books aren’t that lengthy, but it is still amazing to me that  one can be so productive with their writing and keep up a constant stream of ideas. The last book I finished writing was 2 years ago. Last year I only was able to squeeze out 15 thousand words. I just… wow.  Continue reading “Of Writing Robots & Lazy Humans”

Books · Writing

Editing is a HUGE pain.

Nearly a year ago, I asked you all to pretend my book didn’t exist. I had become extremely critical of my old writing, and I could no longer bear having a book that I did not feel proud to read myself, let alone ask others to do so. So I started working on the second edition. I did not imagine it would take so long, but so many things have happened in the last year and I really, really fell behind.

BUT I’M DONE NOW. Finally oh my god. I did not think it would ever be over.

I have edited Puppet Parade to a point where I could read it without cringing inwardly. I don’t think it’s perfect now, but at least I don’t hate it, right? Right?

The book has now gone from 131 thousand words to a little shy of 105 thousand – that’s around 26 thousand words deleted, each unnecessary, a filler that added nothing to the story, but I was too hung up on these words. I didn’t want to kill them. This time, however, I hacked and slashed without a moment’s hesitation. Here are some things I noticed in this blood bath: Continue reading “Editing is a HUGE pain.”

General · Writing

Letting Go

I have always found it difficult to let go. I could probably describe myself as a hoarder… of things, feelings, relationships, jobs… I have a collection of currencies that I began when I was six, and a collection of boarding passes that I’ve started since 2007. I also collect cards, pens, notebooks, books and even broken gadgets. Once a thing acquires any sort of sentimental value, no matter how small, I cannot bring myself to throw it away. Once I become emotionally invested in something or someone, I can never forget about them or the feelings they’ve left within me.

I’m supposed to be on holiday now, taking a break from the stress of months and months of exhausting work. But I cannot stop thinking about it. I can’t stop worrying about what’s going on. I check my email regularly, I try to make sure everything’s going smoothly. I can’t wait to get back so I can grab the reigns again. It’s terrible.  Continue reading “Letting Go”

Reading · Writing

Don’t read my book!

Yes, you heard me. I don’t want anyone reading  the book I worked so hard to write. Not indefinitely, of course, but at least until I correct my horrendous writing mistakes. There are two reasons I avoid reading my books after I’ve published them:  1) I don’t want to find that I’ve missed some awful typos (like writing “nut” instead of “but), and 2) I don’t want to see how bad my writing is.

Sigh.

When they tell you that a writer is their own worst critic, they are definitely not joking. Seeing the words I wrote nearly three years ago makes me cringe. Heck, seeing the words I wrote five months ago makes me cringe. On one hand, that’s a good thing because it means I’m improving and my writing is becoming better and better, but on the other, it means I don’t like anything I published in the past. I’m almost embarrassed by it. Continue reading “Don’t read my book!”

Food · Reading · Writing

Sweet Snapshot Sunday #3

It’s time for another one of those posts where I share drool-worthy pictures with the masses and giggle with glee as hunger starts bubbling within you and… er, I mean… what? I don’t do anything like that. I don’t.

*clears throat*

Work has been hectic as always, but I finally allowed myself to leave the house for a few hours and expose myself to some sun. I swear I am so pale you would not believe me if I said I was experiencing my hottest summer in years. Plus I was getting very crabby and was desperate for a breather. I went to one of my favourite “sweet haunts” – Magnolia Bakery. Next to my No. 1 dessert – the Snickers Icebox Pie – I had a Chocolate Chunk Blondie with a layer of chocolate on top aaaand a Vanilla & Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake.

They were all very delicious. =D

Vanilla & Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake
Vanilla & Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake 

Continue reading “Sweet Snapshot Sunday #3”

Reading · Writing

A Writer Who Doesn’t Write.

Of all the things I’ve been neglecting lately and pushing back to the deepest, darkest corner of my mind, I think my writing has collected the most dust. I’m not just referring to blogging – though that has started to  gather some cobwebs – but rather, to what allows me to call myself a writer.

cobwebs

When I first published Puppet Parade in 2012, I was determined to release at least one book a year. More than two years have passed since then and I have yet to make a dent in that resolution. It’s not that I don’t have ideas or works-in-progress, as it happens I have one completed first draft and two novels in the making… and about a dozen ideas for future novels. The problem is that I lack time. Continue reading “A Writer Who Doesn’t Write.”

General · Reading · Writing

Slap my wrist and call me busy!

One of the perks of being a game writer is that I actually look forward to going to the office in the morning, as compared to my old job where I practically had to forcibly roll myself out of bed. It feels more like a fun activity than an actual job, which I really like; I don’t feel stifled or suffocated by the tasks assigned to me, and I’m having so much fun writing up characters and histories and story lines. Plus, for the first time ever, I was finally able to see one of my characters brought to life by the hand of an artist – I cannot tell you how loudly I squealed when I received the first sketches, haha.

However, the one downside is now I find myself behind on quite a few things, including reading, social media, blogging, writing and editing. I actually deactivated my Facebook because it was proving such a huge distraction, and I all but completely forgot about my Twitter. It’s been ages since I sat before my reader and checked out the posts on my feed (and I feel so guilty about that and promise I will try my best to catch up!). Any writing goes to the game instead of my actual novels, and the editing of The Muse Bunny is currently on hold.

I actually don’t remember the last time I was this busy, and yet at the same time I don’t mind because it’s the kind of busy that is fun and productive and involves really friendly people who I enjoy working with. Pretty soon I will able to reveal more about the game; I’m actually excited to let you all in on the details! =D I’m just so proud of how it’s all coming along so nicely.

So… basically this is a post to let you know that I’m alive and haven’t forgotten about this blog or the blogs I follow. 😉 Hopefully I can work out some sort of schedule eventually that allows me to juggle everything without any trouble. That said… how are you all doing? Have you been caught up in any projects of your own too?  =]

Writing

Sorry – you didn’t make the cut.

weasley twins 2
The best kind of twins.

My most recent bout of  Writer’s Block lasted more than three months. It’s nothing compared to my five-year Block, but it was still frustrating. I felt stuck and didn’t know how to move forwards or backwards from a specific point in Penny for Your Dreams. For the first time since forever, I was actually editing  and rewriting before completing my first draft. I rewrote one particular scene five or six times in hopes of striking an appropriate chord with my novel. Ultimately the solution turned out to be rather simple.

I was incorporating what I’d hopped would be Weasley twins incarnates into my novel. I liked them. I wanted to give them a lot of spotlight. I really wanted other people to like them. However, I ended up realising I could never produce characters that measure up to the Weasley twins.  Not only that, I can’t even write twins without making them sound cliché or cheesy. So I did the next best thing and got rid of them. Well… more or less. Continue reading “Sorry – you didn’t make the cut.”

Writing

NaNoWriMo for the Uninitiated

Now that October’s here, many people are waiting eagerly for November. While some scramble to finish up any works in progress, others try to outline their brand new story ideas down to the last detail, or else try to come up with a plot before the first of November. Why? Because NaNoWriMo.

If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, here’s a brief intro:

NaNoWriMo (short for National Novel Writing Month) is a writing event during which people from all over the world attempt to write at least 50,000 words in 30 days. That’s impossible, some of you might say, but I’ve seen people write more than 900,000 words!

Continue reading “NaNoWriMo for the Uninitiated”

Writing

Oh dear. I wrote like that?

Now that I’ve finished writing The Muse Bunny, I’m faced with something considerably less pleasant than the completion of a novel that has ailed me for quite some time… the dreadful editing process. Or more specifically, the reading-my-novel-and-realising-what-an-awful-writer-I-am process.

Since the writing of this novel spanned more than four years, I’m quite concerned about the differences in style. The way I wrote four years ago differs from the way I write now. Some of my sentence structures are different, I don’t used “pretty” and “seemed to” as often, I pay attention to how many times a word is repeated in a paragraph or a page, I’m a better judge of what is necessary and what constitutes an info dump, I know better not to go crazy with speech tags and I know that too many adverbs can be a bad thing. I also know that too many one-liners on a page can now cause me to twitch.

Continue reading “Oh dear. I wrote like that?”