New Year, New Font, New Passion

January 10, 2011

I’ve always used to Times New Roman to type. Always. I’ve never even considered using anything else to type.

But, this year, I spontaneously decided to change the font of my WIP to Georgia… and I love it! Ever since changing, I’ve had a renewed passion for writing, and the words are just flowing out onto the page. I’m easily going over my daily 250 words which I try to write each day, in record time! (It can usually take half an hour to get my 250 words. I haven’t timed myself in Georgia font, but it doesn’t feel like 30 minutes).

What font do you use to write?

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Revision Blues

November 5, 2010
  • My chapters are too long. They need to be cut in half. This would also probably make me move quicker in my revision, as I think I’m much more likely to work if I can do it one chapter at a time.
  • Smaller chapters = less time needed to revise = able to find more time = done quicker
  • When I wrote the chapter I had NO idea on correct apostrophe use. GAH!
  • Oh-my-god-how-can-I-only-be-reading-chapter-nine-when-I-started-reading-over-in-july?
  • Exam Block begins today. There goes any chance of editing for the next week.

How are you going with your novel?


Getting the Idea

October 27, 2010

As I said on Monday, I recently found some work I did in Year Four, on the topic of authors. On Monday, I shared with you what a good author looks like, and today I’m going to share a few more notes from my Year Four work. In this post, I’ll be looking at some ways we can find ideas if Writers Block strikes (which stems from how authors get their ideas).

Interview People: Talk to your friends, your family, etc, and learn about any adventures they may have had. Even a small tale they’ve had might spark an idea.

Watch People: This is fun to do. Watch  people think about what they might be talking about. Look at their actions. Try and write a story about their conversation.

Real Life Events: Remember that time you… Even mundane  events in your life could spark a bit of inspiration.

Art: Paintings can be inspiring. You may remember how I planned on writing some short stories based off a picture. I’ll get to it one day. Look at a picture, and try to imaging what could be happening in it.

Eavesdropping: I’m the self-acclaimed King of Eavesdropping. I do it all the time. I can’t help it. Particularly on the bus. People seem to like to recount their adventures from the weekend, and I listen.


Ode to the Termite

August 18, 2010

I wrote this a while back, on a sunny afternoon while watching some termites scurry around their nest (nowhere near my house). It’s a fun piece which I’ve been meaning to post for a while.

An ode to the termite,
A small humble beast.
White in flesh and naught in brain,
This creature is ‘simple’ at best.

Your daily schedule is work, work, work,
But at night you feast, feast, feast!
And feast you do, on wood and bits,
Surely, you must consume heaps!

And as the sun rises,
To work, you must go back.
And regurgitate last nights meal,
hack it up, yes, hack! Hack!

It’s for your house, your home,
A beacon in the barren.
A mighty fort it must be,
to prevent yourself from becoming ant carrion.

These beasts from hell, these evil ants,
From every mile they do come.
They come with a single intent,
Slay, slaughter and overrun

Defend yourself!
Your goal when they attack.
Defend yourself with jaws enlarged,
Big enough to bite back.

You may fight for minutes,
You may fight for hours.
But rest assured,
You’ll fight those six-legged beasts until the fort remains ours.

An ode to the termite,
A small humble beast.
White in flesh and naught in brain,
This creature is ‘simple’ at best.

You mean no harm,
Although because of your city dwelling cousins it may be.
You work and eat and work and sleep,
And that doesn’t bother me.

To read more of my work, check out The Bookshelf.


Time to Revise

July 19, 2010

It’s been a whole month since I finished my WIP.

Longest. Month. Ever.

I though 19 July would never arrive. I’ve been itching to get stuck into revisions for what seems an eternity. But, 19 July is finally here, I can’t wait to get started.

I’ve been sick the past few days, and spent all Sunday sleeping. I’m still sick, but not as sick as yesterday, so I’m  staying home today. Perfect to start revising.

You can see my Revision Plan here.


Why People Like Wikipedia

July 15, 2010

Lately, I’ve been puzzling over why people like Wikipedia. What makes it so appealing as a research tool, even when people know any idiot can writing anything in it. Then, I cam to the conclusion:

Using Wikipedia is like eating McDonalds.

Why do people eat McDonalds? They know that McDonalds food isn’t healthy, but people still eat it.
Why do people use Wikipedia? They know that Wikipedia information can’t be guaranteed, but people still use it and quote the information as 100% fact.

So what makes Wikipedia/McDonalds appealing? First of all, the familiarity. No matter where you go, you can be guaranteed the same meal anywhere. McDonalds burgers are the same in Australia, America, and Europe.
All Wikipedia articles are the same. No matter what article you look up, whether it be Alexander the Great, Elephants, or Goldfish, you can expect that all the information will be there, and presented in a familiar format: clean white background, text in a simple font/size, no flashing adverts, and a few pictures. Wikipedia even has sources listed!

Secondly, McDonalds is available worldwide. You can eat McDonalds in France, China, India, Egypt etc.
Wikipedia has articles on everything. Readers and researchers can be virtually reassured there’ll be an article on the topic they need. There’s no need to go scrolling through Google looking for a page on  Topic X, which was referenced in Topic Y.

That pretty much sums up my thoughts on the issue. But, if McDonalds is so unhealthy, why do people eat it? The food is fattening, and if one was to eat it all the times, one would face serious health problems. Surely a salad sandwich is much better for you? But, as I said above, McDonalds the same throughout all the stores, and McDonalds can be found everywhere, and people like that.
Wikipedia is the same. Although the information cannot be guaranteed correct, and any old lies could be written in, people still use it. But, like I said, people like Wikipedia because of the familiarity of the site, and because Wikipedia has an article on everything.

I can’t really think of a conclusion, so I’ll leave you with this:

Did you know that from any page on Wikipedia, you can click on five links to end up on Adolph Hitler?


The Proposed Revision Plan

July 8, 2010

While I’ve been waiting to begin editing my WIP, I’ve been busy coming up with a plan of action on how to revise, and I’ve listed the plan below:

  1. Initial Read Over: I need to read through the novel, chapter by chapter, and take notes of what needs fixing. Also in this stage, I’ll fix basic formatting problems (basic stuff really, to break myself into revision).
  2. Characters: First of all,  I plan to focus on the characters. In particular, the MC, Lily. I’m not sure about whether or not she could be considered plagiarized as Lara Croft. I’m wondering how it might work if she was an archaeologist. That would mean major cuts, and killing off minor characters.
  3. Plot: Secondly, the plot will need changing to reflect the changes made in characters. I want to increase the length of the novel, a wordcount higher than what I want in the end, so I have words to cut. I think that if my wordcount is already lower than 80K, it’ll be harder to cut.
  4. Rewrite! Now I put my changes to paper. Rewrite the MC, and kill off unneeded characters. Add to the plot. I’d ideally like to boost the wordcount towards the 90K mark – that’ll give me lots of room to cull words. Also, during the rewrites, I’ll make changes according to the notes I took during the rough draft stage (only the changes still applicable).
  5. Read and Repeat: I’ll conduct a second read through, and fix any problems still remaining. I’ll repeat this step until I can’t find any more.
  6. Waiting: After the rewrites, I’m going to let the story rest for a few weeks, maybe up to a month or two.
  7. Beginnings: I’ve known it for a while: My beginning sucks. SUCKS. It’s unexciting, contains too much backstory, and is a poor attempt to drawing the reader in. I’ll work on it during step 3, but really concentrate on nailing it here.
  8. More Waiting: I’ll leave the story to sit for a while, so I can come back with fresh eyes.
  9. More Rewrites: Fix any remaining problems with regards to characters and plot.
  10. Basic Spelling/Grammar Check: I want my spell checks to be done at the very end, because, the way I see it, if I check over the entire thing, then edit more, I’ll have to recheck spelling. But, I want the spelling and grammar receive a basic check before the next step.
  11. Another Read Over/Give to Readers: Now, I want to send copies to Beta Readers (or whatever they’re called) for their opinions, while simultaneously conducting another read over and take notes of my own.
  12. Compare Notes: After getting back notes from the readers, I’ll compare the notes with my own, and identify problem areas.Then, I’ll fix said problem areas with rewrites.

    From 8, I imagine I’ll be letting the story rest for a few weeks, then repeat 7 and 8 until done. Then… I guess I’ll be done with the major problems. Which means…

  13. Prose: Going through each chapter, I’ll fix the prose, and other language related problems here (overused words, modifiers etc…)
  14. Final Read Over: By now, I’m hoping everything will be complete. But, one last read over can’t hurt. Hopefully, I’ll find any remaining issues, and fix.
  15. Spelling and Grammar: Go through each chapter real closely, finding any words spelt incorrectly.
  16. Give out Family/Friend Copies: Let non-writers give read through, and give me their opinions. I’ll look at their feedback, and fix any problems present.

After family, friends, and the stranger off the street give me their opinions, and the problems are dealt with… I think I’ll be done!

Tell me: What are your thoughts on my revision plan? What do you think will work, and what wont work? What would you do differently?