Sunday, June 28, 2015

No Bad Timing, Please


It's 2:48A.M. of Friday. This post will be published on 8:00A.M. of Sunday. I just decided to write blog posts before continuing to edit "10th Commandment." In my previous post, I wrote about the main distractions in writing. Honestly, this blog has been another distraction.

It's like, I'm writing my novel quickly and without writer's block. And then I have to publish a new blog post, so I observe my readers and choose my topic. After writing my blog post, I have to review my novel outline all over again just to get back in the story. It's always like that and it causes so much delay in writing, both in the novel and on this blog. Things would be faster if I did only one thing for a longer period of time.

I just hope that I won't make a mistake. One of the things that happen to me in scheduling posts is bad timing. Like, when I've always hated Nutella and wrote about why Nutella is so yucky. And then I meet a person who convinces me that Nutella is actually good, and I tweet about how Nutella is so nice. But the tweet comes out at the same time as I've scheduled the post that said I think Nutella is yucky. I mean, it can be quite a trouble to schedule posts. I always have to have things all planned out, and must check back every now and then if there are any statements I'd like to take back before they're out in the public.

Note: I don't eat Nutella. I just used it as an example because almost all of my friends keep talking about it haha

3:19A.M. Update: I joined Camp NaNoWriMo July 2015. Here's the plan. If I still don't finish "10th Commandment" once July starts, I'll write part of it for Camp NaNoWriMo. And then switch to "Only the Good" once "10th Commandment" is finished. It's allowed. I did that last April 2014, when I switched to the middle of "10th Commandment" after finishing "From the Human Chain."

All I have to do now is prepare the outline for "Only the Good."

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Writer's Devils

It's 4:04A.M. and I'm rewriting this blog post for ... I lost count. Last night, I finally finished writing one of the most challenging scenes of "10th Commandment." So relieved to get it over with.

Never sit next to a box of chocolates when you're trying to concentrate. Because the chocolates always win.

One of the most terrible enemies of writing is distraction. Noise is our main devil. I think that food goes next. And ... for me, YouTube. YouTube is the wonderful, dreamy, and beautiful land of procrastination.

Those clock and alarm apps that they let you download online are actually useful when you need to finish something on time. They keep my concentration intact. I had an analog clock app floating in my desktop in my previous laptop. I think that I should download a new one.

Of course, after you've sacrificed your comfort zone just to deliver a good novel, you should celebrate. Last April, I promised myself that when I finish Camp NaNoWriMo, I will go on a road trip to Antipolo. I already got that. Now, after finishing this novel, I think I'll ... wait. I still can't decide what I want to do to celebrate. I'll let you know what it is once I've decided.

I'm currently listening to this. It's my fave movie theme song ever. It's from "The Next Three Days."

Speaking of movies, I just watched "Survivor" a few hours ago. It's totally my kind of movie theme. The story could have been far better, though. I hate the ending. It's corny. Also, I've been waiting for Kate to get a disguise earlier in the story, but ... alright, I won't spoil another movie. I'm starting to develop the bad habit of spoiling movies for other people, and it should not be maintained. All I'm saying is, no other female lead movie character can be more memorable than Beatrix Kiddo.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Where Both Sides Meet


It's 3:08A.M. and I just finished having a break. A few hours ago, I was in the mall, buying Father's Day gifts. The previous nights have been spent rewriting more of "10th Commandment." It's 68% finished. I'll always remember how I wrote that novel, because I never imagined it to be like that. Well, I'll maybe write about what happened one day. It's just too beautiful, that I have to keep it to myself for now. :)

Anyway, novelists like me are quite known for loving a whole lot of music. We listen to music while writing. Most people think that it takes a great deal of silence to write a novel. Truth is, it's one way or another. Total silence does help in writing a good novel. But if noises keep getting in the way of your concentration all the time and they're out of control, blocking them with a noise that you prefer also helps in writing a good novel.

Most of us love rock music. As for me, I listen to a wide variety of music. Screaming rock stars also help me focus, but I switch to Mozart's melodies every now and then. My top faves for writing both novels and poems are My Chemical Romance and, yes, Mozart. Symphony No. 40 is goooood.

Still, there are BAD music for writers. For me, "Pompeii" and "Of the Night" of Bastille always kill all inspirations for poetry. I don't know why. I find their songs and music videos unforgettable, but I focus on them only when I really need to stop myself from writing. Like a break mechanism for writing.

We also have to constantly promote our works on our own. It's horrible how this has more effect on whether our works will get read or not than our writing style, but it's the moment when we have to be totally careful with our words. I can't tweet when a couple of people are fighting next to me. It gets me in fight mode and my tweet ends up seeming so like a war freak. That's why some of us still listen to music beyond the time for creativity. I met this Eagle Scout last year who listens to screamo metallic rock when responding to his fans, because it keeps his spirits up.

For me, only a few songs force me to be sunshiny smiley happy. Two of them are "Brighter Than the Sun" by Colbie Calliat and "Stay the Night" by James Blunt. Such sugary corny music, but it works when I'm trying to deal with another one of those people who've misread what I wrote.

My Chemical Romance is not for Twitter. They only make me yell at people, and behave like I have too many problems with everyone. So the band stays in the time for writing novels and poems, and not for sending smileys to new readers.

During my break from writing a while ago, I added some lyrics and synced them on the Musixshakes app of Spotify. It's fun to give lyrics here during break time. Today, I did "Desiderata" by Les Crane. In April, I did "King Park" by La Dispute. In May, I did "Hallelujah (Chorus)" from Raymond Leppard, "We Will Have Won" by Ben Mink and "O Salutaris Hostia" from The Cathedral Singers. Please let me know if the lyrics got misspelled.

Oh, and by the way, I'm currently listening to this. The movie wrecked the real Greek epic poems, but the song says it exactly as Homer meant it. (Photo credit: me. The photo of my previous post views Antipolo from Marikina. This photo views Marikina from Antipolo. I can't even see it from here.)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

They Still Want the Villain


It's 2:37A.M. of Thursday in the Philippines. I'm going to write this blog post before continuing to write "10th Commandment," so that I don't get too sarcastic again haha

I mentioned in my previous post that the villain does not sing. I just love to create variety in my writing and had to make him different from all of the other villains. He's my only villain who likes to dance. You know, I don't really dance. I had to research on a lot of dancers for the character, and had to settle for who most people consider to be the best, Justin Timberlake. It's horrible how I had to watch the whole "Mirrors" music video just to get to the final dance part, describe it in writing, and trasfer that description to the description of the villain.

In another topic, I was just reading my journal before writing this blog post. Life had been too busy to keep a journal, but the man I mentioned in "Parts of a Day" advised that I do it everyday to keep myself from accidentally spilling my deepest secrets on this blog haha He was like, "Put your private thoughts on your journal, and put only what needs to be said on your blog. Maintain a solid line between the two."

My friends have always been horribly curious about what I write in my journal. They think it's all about some guy that I've been secretly seeing when they're not looking. That's funny. In the past, a few have succeeded in stealing my older journals to read them and share them. Unfortunately, they never found what they were looking for. *evil grin*

I was just rereading my entries about the creation of the villain. I mentioned in "Just. Keep. Writing." that the origins of the character are unclear. Each entry just flashes back to a certain time in the past that involved the same character. Just going back through the years. The last year was 1990. The character turned out to be my only creation that wasn't inspired by a person. It was inspired by an idea.

The character was in my first ever novel. I wrote it at the age of 10. I never finished it, but it was titled "206." It was about a 14-year-old boy named Leonardo, who kept witnessing murders. As the story progressed, he was somehow connected to each murder and had been causing people to get killed. I don't know if I can revive the novel, since I can't imagine a good ending for a story that had a questionable protagonist.

(Photo credit: me. Taken last Sunday in Barangka, Marikina City. The summit of the mountain in the distance is Antipolo City.)

Sunday, June 14, 2015

They Want the Villain

Sitting here in front of my laptop at 7:22AM, Philippine time. I had been writing my book, of course.

The power of procrastination is so irresistible, that I wrote only 1,600 words instead of 2,000. Wait, I guess I'm sounding as sarcastic as my villain again. That's just because I've been spending too much time with him again. He is that one character on whom I'm free to be as sarcastic as I please. I usually control the sarcasm in other places because people totally hate it. Anyway, fave line from the villain for now: "Don't even grow a brain to whack me right now."

It surprises me how people want to know so much about this character. What is so special about him anyway ... hmmm. Well, he's hot. This guy isn't afraid to break the rules. And I can predict my friend asking me after reading this post, "Well ... Charlene, is that your idea of 'hot'?"

Of course not. There are many other facts about the character that I'm not saying. I was trying to read a new article from my friend in writing last week, when this message from my curious friend kept popping up, "Who's Luke Evans?"

I don't know much about the actor. In fact, I learned about him only last April, while I was frantically looking for real people to base my villain on. It's just by coincidence that he has also played many other characters who have been in my poems. I heard him sing just yesterday and, my, he sure sings well! Too bad, my villain is the only villain I created who does not sing. All of my other villains love to sing. It's one of the traits that distinguishes this character from my other characters. I think that my villain will sing if we threaten to kill him. Joke.

God, I'm bad at jokes.

Anyway, I got to start my Sunday now. I'm officially having a cold. There have been so many times before when I had to write while being sick, so this is nothing new. Will be back to writing tonight.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Other Way Around


It's 4:17A.M. of Thursday, Philippine time. You know, I shouldn't have done what I did last Sunday. I mean, cutting a post short just to doze off haha That was wrong. Shouldn't do that again.

I just spent the past hours writing the recent story behind "10th Commandment." It's about everything that happened to me starting January 2015 to present. I need to keep track of these backstories because I gotta focus on the real meaning of the novel.

Anyway, I said in my post, "And the Bloodbath Begins," that I was simply going to revise certain parts of the novel and finish it. I said that it was because the first draft had characters whose actions didn't match their personalities. I also said that I will leave the novel in May and return to it in June to mix its revised parts with the best parts of the original draft.

I ended up revising the whole story. I got to the part that I left in 2013 at around the first week of Camp NaNoWriMo. I was focused on the words "diabolical" and "twisted" while writing it. I finished writing the whole story early and read it. Well ... it did end up being diabolical and twisted. So horrible, that I decided to add a good side of the plot just to make it gentler.

I kept writing the new version until the end of April, winning in Camp NaNoWriMo. Once I got enough free time and consulted blogs, books and other writers about my concerns, though, I learned that I shouldn't worry about making it merciless. It's just how crime fiction is written.

So I removed the additional plot and just put together everything that I wrote in April. After rereading it, I noticed that some scenes were so vague. It's like I was thinking of something else. I've been rewriting those parts to make them alive, and I'm staying within the original "diabolical and twisted" elements.

The only part I'll never change is the part where the villain raised his gun to the protagonist's head. It's never as it seems.

Before I go, check out this article about writing novels. It's hilarious!

(Photo credit: me. Taken on June 4. A new mountain that I visited last Thursday. It's a little opposite to Antipolo.)

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Quick Post

It's 4:54am of Sunday in the Philippines. I just finished reading an article from the old Newsweek. Before that, I was listening to my Spotify playlist and writing down the memories that the songs brought back. I use music to remember. Before that, I was planning to sleep.

Yesterday morning, I was struggling with my villain again. After spending so much time in the minds of Evelyn and Gerald, it's always hard to move over to the villain's mind.

I went to Antipolo the other day. The weather was so great. I love to describe traveling up there as "a free fall." When the vehicle you're on travels at full speed down the mountain, it's like you're falling. The winds are so strong and the trees pass by rapidly. All you see are the numerous cities far below the mountain range. It's both scary and fun.

Well, I'm truly tired right now. My insomnia was back in the past seven hours. Please excuse the shortness of this post, I'm just very tired. I'll try to write a longer post next time. (Note: Still looking for a photo.)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Writers


I take photographs through my cell phone. All of my photographs are taken from my cell phone. It's given to me by my other sister as a gift for my 22nd birthday. That's why I'm not changing it. It's hard to replace the things that family gives you.

Anyway, at 3am of Wednesday (Philippine time), I finished doing the final edit on 50% of my novel. I will just rewrite the scene where Evelyn meets the villain for the second time. I just love that scene! And I bet that some of my readers will hate it. Based on experience, whoever they are, those readers love whatever I hate and hate whatever I love. It has always been that way. It's like how cations and anions produce charge haha

On the other hand, there are people who are like my mind twins. We all agree at the exact same time. The people who are like this are usually fellow writers.

I mentioned in my other post that my close friends work in other fields. Most of these people are in the military, politics, and law-enforcement. One of the people I based my villain on is, ironically, an undercover policeman. I can't name him because, well, he's supposed to be undercover.

It's hard when you're the only writer in the place. That's why it's nice and heart-warming to meet fellow writers. I remember talking with a fellow novelist about how we make a silent squeal with joy when our hard work has come to a very positive outcome. And I was recently sharing concerns with a bunch of authors on Rachel Thompson's page about how we feel so tense when our readers don't say anything at all.

I miss this world a lot whenever I'm with Harvard students.

(Photo credit: me. Taken on June 1.)