Thursday, July 30, 2015

Passing By

I've disappeared from all over the Net again. Nobody's whacked my brains with an umbrella again and I'm certainly not being lazy again (the recent reasons why I get late at blogging). I've just been busy catching up on Camp NaNoWriMo. I reached 25,329 words as of posting this. There are only two days left to finis.

I've finished "10th Commandment" two days ago, and I have started writing "Only the Good."

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Stories Behind Stories


1:48A.M.
Camp NaNoWriMo 2015 July has only 5 days left before it ends. I have 43,000 more words to write. I plan to finish "10th Commandment" tonight. I wrote the climactic scene last night.

The ending in the first draft of "10th Commandment" ended differently from the ending of this current draft. The first draft ended like the movie, "John Wick." This new ending is based on the feedback on my blog post, "Quotes from My Novel."

They have this thing in creating books that they call "author appeal." It's what the author of the book thinks compared to what readers think. The ending of the first draft was based on author appeal, and sharing parts of the novel helped me change that. Author appeal is allowed in creation of books only if the author's thoughts are truly exceptional. Based on my current understanding of writing, though, the readers' opinions outweighed my own opinion about the story. After all, the first draft was based only on what I thought of what my readers will think. The feedback on that blog post gave me a clearer view on what my readers think, so I changed the ending.

Writing a novel is truly far more complicated than just writing. Whenever I talk to people about how I plan each scene and what the metaphors in the story actually represent, they get creeped out haha That's why I never tell what my stories and poems actually contain and just leave the interpretation to my readers. It would take a very thick book of juicy information to reveal all of the stories behind "10th Commandment," and I don't think I'll be the one to write that.

It's the reason why I chose to write crime fiction in the first place. There are just some true stories that are too true to be told. I mean, let's create fictional parallels instead. (Photo credit: me)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Where the Poems Went

(5:04A.M.)
Camp NaNoWriMo 2015 July word count: 6,088

I mentioned in my post, "What Happened," that my 3-day vacation allowed me to come up with new ideas about writing. One of those ideas was leaving Bubblews.

I've been there for almost 2 years now. It used to be a happy place that was the only website where posts had Dislike buttons, so that users can let each other know if they didn't like each other's posts.

Most people joined the website for the money. We were actually being paid for posting even very short articles on the site. As for me, I joined only to earn a Dislike. I was exploring what kind of poems from me people can love, and what kind of poems from me people can hate.

While a member there, I kept seeing my in-site friends getting upset and miserable for receiving Dislikes. I'd just keep cheering them up, unable to tell them that I actually wished their Dislikes were mine instead. Up to this time, I received only one Dislike there. Well, that's something. Mission quite accomplished.

Since what happened to us in January, all of the users of Bubblews have been losing inspiration to write. The place is not as happy as it used to be. I've tried to stay on the site, because I loved its cause. But recently, it's taking too much of my time and effort without giving me enough feedback. All of my friends there have quit, and I'm planning to join them. Also, the programmers have removed all Dislike buttons.

Right now, I'm thinking of moving my poems to this blog. I've recently been collecting everything I've learned into newer poetry themes. Only a few minutes ago, I finished writing a poem titled "Everything is Right." Every line in the poem says something wrong, but the final line says what makes all the previous lines right.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

That Day Again

Today has been a hell of a useless day. Well, no day is useless. Let me rephrase that. Today, I was useless. I didn't write "10th Commandment." I didn't attend my class. I didn't talk to any of my real life friends. I didn't do my job. And I'm writing this blog post at 4:19A.M. Yes, the insomnia is back. The worst part of it is I'm actually happy about all of these.

This happens to me once every month. Tomorrow, I'll be back to normal. This is the feeling of escaping everything I've been doing, and hiding from everyone I've been talking with to just try out different things. I bet other people who are like me go through this mood also.

It's pretty unbelievable how I've managed to maintain a blog in 4 months, because I actually have fear of blogging. Every time I blog, I feel that the whole world can see inside my head. It's like even when I'm not blogging and even when I don't tell anyone about them, everything I see and every emotion I feel is being observed by everybody else. Of course, in reality, this does not happen. No one is a psychic. If there truly are psychics, I don't think they'd be interested in my head, or in this blog.

The good side of blogging is it allows me to get to know who really reads what I write, and learn how to write better. It reminds me of the chicken that my family raised when I was a kid. His name was Eureka.

We raised him on his own, away from all chickens. He grew up to be a wonderful rooster, but he didn't know how to crow. He only produced tiny sounds that didn't sound like a chicken. It was only when he met another rooster that he learned how to crow. It's quite similar to me. Blogging gets me closer to the world of writing, and it teaches me how to write better. With "write better," I mean writing in a way that can be understood by the majority of readers, and not writing in a way that can be understood only by either Twitter fans, or Harvard alumni. (New writers are always warned to "don't write like a university book.")

Thursday, July 16, 2015

What They Say

11:49P.M.
I finally received critique on the first chapter of "10th Commandment." It's always better to learn the bad news first, so that the post will finish with the good news. The bad news is that the readers totally hate my extremely short sentences, the way I replace proper names with pronouns, and how I leave the overall ideas to my readers. They have other complaints like the real motivations of each character and some misplaced words that I didn't see while writing the novel.

Extremely short sentences has always been the main characteristic of my writing, even computers complain about it. I just write in the same way that I speak.

I don't talk much, I hate to explain, and I'm soft-spoken. Writers are very quiet people. It is said that a writer must know herself first and must live life to the fullest to write a good book. I've been trying to do both. I think that - instead of always going back to connect all of my short sentences into a longer sentence - rewriting the final draft of "10th Commandment" will require me to speak a little more often.

The good news is that they all love my descriptions and they're intrigued by the story. First chapters are very important in capturing the interest of the reader, especially in a time when even bad writers get to publish books and readers simply flip through first pages to look for which book looks most interesting to read.

The Book Genome Project has analyzed "10th Commandment" back in 2014 as most like "Mr. Mercedes" by Stephen King. I was real surprised when the Book Genome Project said that, 'cause I thought it was simply going to be compared with a less popular novel. I couldn't believe that analysis for a long time, but the readers' feedback confirmed it. I hope the following chapters manage to hold that interest as we all get deeper into what's hidden in Evelyn's home.

I can never be as good as King, though. He's the greatest of the greats in fiction novels.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

What Happened

Here's what happened:

A woman at home recently got into the habit of picking a fight with anyone she sees. It's unbelievable how people tried to bear with her personality. As the one who lives nearest to her, I've been her primary target. She liked to yell at me that I've never accomplished anything and that everything I do will simply get me killed. It was starting to get to me last week.

On Thursday, I was in that part of the house that had no lights and the back of my clothes had gotten stuck to something. I was reaching behind me and trying to undo the rope to free myself. She found me and demanded that I move aside. Of course, I couldn't move. I was about to finally finish undoing the rope, when she hit my back with a flashlight. She was saying her usual insults again.

I finally moved away, but turned to yell at her. "Enough! Stop it!" Bad move. She only got angrier. She screamed louder at me, waving her umbrella at me this time. It was in one of those waves that she hit my head with the umbrella handle. I still don't know how to describe the feeling of it and I don't want to remember it right now, but it was most like wearing an extremely tight helmet. It was painful. I just leaned there, holding my head in my hands. It's hard when you're not supposed to fight the person who just hit you. To my surprise, though, the woman stopped talking. I didn't know that that was the way to stop her. My sister came and gave me my mother's cold towel. We went to the hospital.

I went home a few hours later and decided to have a 3-day vacation from everything. I wrote messages to my friends to let them know I'll disappear, and wrote my last blog post.

It was nice to stay aloof of almost everyone. It's in my nature anyway. I just reviewed my Harvard Classics course, read indie books, studied computer programming, and just relaxed with my family. It's nice to hang out with people who have the same sense of humor.

My injury has turned into a bruise, and my sister and I have been coming up with all sorts of jokes about it. My friends can't find anything funny about it, though. They get alarmed by it. Everyone's been extra nice, helpful, and considerate in my old town. We even got a discount on ice cream. Yummy. :)

The good things that the 3 days of vacation brought are: my insomnia got cured, I'm writing poems again, and I got new ideas for writing.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Just a Break

Dear readers,

... well, just to make this message short, I got attacked by someone with an umbrella. She hit my head, and my forehead is a bit bloated. Sorry for the graphic description and negative news, but I guess I'll be alright in 3 days. Cabin mates, go ahead and speed write for our cabin. Friends, don't worry. I"ll be fine. Will join you again to catch up soon.

Thanks,
Charlene

Sunday, July 5, 2015

What We're Hiding


Camp NaNoWriMo word count: 1,937

12:32A.M.
I wonder why people keep suspecting that I'm hiding way too many secrets. With my lifestyle and this blog, what the hell could I still manage to hide hahahaha

Actually, I did try to hide two things last June. That was why I was so weird that month. Those two things are: a part of my novel is already published in two websites, and something new that I discovered about myself while writing my blog recently.

When I started publishing poems, I published them as an anonymous poet. Writers like me have a thing for going anonymous every now and then, because we're introverts. It was how I managed to focus on which kinds of poetry people liked, and which parts of my works I should emphasize. Most of the poems I'm publishing now came through that process. I'll do the same with novels. Don't worry, I'll make the novel public when it's ready.

As for what I learned about myself last April ... well, that's too personal. We're all constantly growing up each day. This is what my poem, "The Adolescent," was talking about. It described a young chicken who kept growing feathers. It was a metaphor for growing up. This guy I spoke with online about it was like, "Isn't it wonderful? Blogging actually helped you discover something new about yourself. Cherish it and just be you."

Oh, and by the way, I was hiding a third thing. I was just noticing some unusual patterns in my web pages. I've been noting down my observations of them all month last June whenever I wasn't busy with anything else and have also been keeping a list of the top possible people who could be behind them.

Anyway, I was just listening to this. It was one of the songs we had to study in Harvard Classics. Yes, we actually listened to Madonna haha

(Photo credit: me. Another mountain I climbed ... well, I forgot when ...)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Those Weird Posts

Camp NaNoWriMo 2015 July word count goal: 50,000 words

Current word count: 728

I just did my usual end-of-the-month blog check-up. It's when I read all of my posts for the whole month and look for errors.

Well ... I can't even bring myself to say it. *sigh* But here are the notes that I wrote down after reading all of my blog posts for June. You be the judge.

"Stop talking too much about yourself.

You knew Luke Evans before April, but only as Vlad and not as an actor.

You dance. You learned a bit of swing last year. A bit, but that's still dancing. You were meaning to say that you're not good at dancing.

Stop writing down all the technicalities of how you write your novel.

Why do you keep writing about what's behind your novel and not your novel?

'Musixshakes'? It's 'Musixmatch.' Your insomnia is too much.

Just tell them you're making progress with the novel, okay?

Stick to the topic."

Alright. I sure am making progress with the novel. I'm at that part where Evelyn finally decided to kill the villain. Of course, I won't tell if she did kill him. That's not within my job as a blogger anymore. Still, thanks a lot for reading! :)

I gotta get back to writing. After writing, I'll continue getting to know my new cabin mates. We have this thing in Camp NaNoWriMo that we call "cabins." It's a private forum that's consisted of writers who have things in common. Mine are all girls and all within my age range. Also, I'll try to figure out whether "Only the Good" should be in Crime or Suspense.

(written at 4:11A.M. of July 2)