Archive for October, 2012

As some of you may have noticed (or not), but I have activated a new theme. It seems to fit the type of blog I’ve got, don’t you think? No? Well.  like it…

Okay, fine! Fine! Sorry. Still won’t change it though.

To the topic at hand, I am talking about the art of suspense. We all know a little bit about suspense. Who hasn’t watched a movie like Die Hard, where you’re constantly in suspense about what is going to happen next? No one, right? Point is, we all know suspense, but how many can claim they know how to use it properly?

I won’t even lie that I can use it. No, that’s too heinous of a crime for me. But here’s a little something for you folks. The art of suspense is leaving the reader/viewer knowing absolutely nothing. It blends well with unreliable narration used often in books like Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe. I know what you’re thinking. That is absolutely ridiculous! You liar!

Well, that’s unreliable narration for you. Except, I am not lying this time. Have any of you watched Pulp Fiction? I just watched it earlier today, and the thing that most of you probably liked is the fact that you NEVER knew (spoiler) what was in the briefcase! What was in that briefcase? We know there was probably a lightbulb inside. We know it was very… Surprising. But nothing else! And Quentin Tarantino shows you the reaction of John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson near the beginning of the movie, so you watch the rest of the movie in constant suspense. What is in the damn briefcase?!

No idea. And that is the point. You know next to nothing about it, but you do know someone like Marsellus wants it. And it was valuable enough for four guys to steal it. The art of suspense is to never give the reader what they want.

“Tell me if he’s going to die!”

Nope. I won’t.

“Then tell me if the guy chooses the girl next door!”

Never. Not until the end.

 

That is the point, you know? You start something in suspense, and you FORCE the reader/viewer to get on with everything. It grips them, and by the middle of it, they are HOOKED. They can no longer cease watching or reading or listening. They are screaming at the book or screen for not telling them, but they cannot stop watching! And I think that is something every writer aspires to do. To force the reader to do something they no longer want to do, and then to MAKE them want to do it. Sounds rather weird, but it’s really quite true.

I’ll talk about unreliable narration tomorrow. Hope you people like this post, and tell all of your friends and enemies about it. Thanks a lot for all the follows (again) and for all the likes. Really means a lot to me.

Well, for me it is. I don’t know about you guys, but it’s terribly embarrassing for me. Now, I know what you’re thinking… You’re thinking I have a very good singing voice. And you’re thinking, “Why should you be embarrassed? It’s natural for you to have mistakes here and there.”

Oh, it is, but the problem I have with going back to the beginning is because I could have done it all so much better had I known then what I know now. It’s the oldest story in the oldest book, really. As all of you know, a writer improves, basically, with every page. Whether insignificantly or significantly, they improve with every comma they place, with every period they put, and with every exclamation point they type! I started this about… A year ago. It was around September, I believe. Looking back on it now, I could have done everything so much better. The dialogue, the characters, and even the fight scenes could have been made one of the BEST of all of my works.

That is why I am always embarrassed to read my past works. Yes, we learn from our mistakes, but what if you’ve already learned it? Then it simply becomes a mistake that you can’t learn from, and you have to blush and all as you correct it and sweep it underneath a rug! The prose could have been improved exponentially with a few tweaks in my writing style, but in order to make it the best of the best, I would have to rewrite about 75 pages. Not an option. The only thing I can do is remove the unnecessary dialogue, and paragraphs that did nothing to the story.

Now, I love my book. Oh, and it isn’t true that every writer loves their book. Stephen King mentioned in his autobiography On Writing that he hated his first book, Carrie. He just didn’t like the story or the characters. Yet that is how he first got about… Twenty thousand dollars, was it? In his time, that was A LOT. Of course, nowadays he’s a millionaire (I think), but that is still a lot.

Point is. I love my book. But re-reading it from the beginning is one of the most embarrassing things I can do. I don’t laugh at the simplicity of the writing, I simply roll my eyes at my stupid mistakes. But I think it’s important for every writer to see their worst mistakes, and get so damned embarrassed from them that they never make the same mistake again. Because if they do, it’ll be much more embarrassing.

Editing is incredibly embarrassing, and while you sometimes don’t learn from your mistakes, you sure as Hell can avoid doing ’em in the future because of your embarrassment.

Now, I wanna give a thanks to all the people that started following my blog. Guess a lot of you really hated that post and hated my incessant blogging.

I’ll try to keep you all entertained without becoming a clown, but let’s face it, halfway there already. So, I bid you adieu!

To write or not to write – that is the…

Dilemma.

What? Did I just butcher a famous Shakespearian quote simply for the purpose of my selfishness? Yes, I did. But, it does serve a purpose other than that. Well, kind of. You see, I discovered recently that you should always write. Why? Because it’ll be harder to start again. There will always be “tomorrow” as they say. Or there will always be another “excuse”, as I say. I mean, you cannot tell me you have not procrastinated once or twice, you imaginary readers that also write.

The longer you put off writing, the chances of your prose becoming less fluid after starting increase. Not to mention you’ll write a considerably low amount in comparison to your “golden” days. In the last week, I’ve written over eight thousand words, and I just spent fifteen minutes writing 1,459 words in a short story.

No rest for the wicked, and even less rest for the writer, as the title thingy says.

The point is this; write. When you don’t feel like it, write. When you do feel like it, write. You should always put time aside in your day to write, otherwise it’ll be harder the next day to “find” the time. Yes, we’re all busy, but if the workload is imaginary or you’re exaggerating your, let’s say, homework just to put off writing since it’s soooo hard; don’t. Write.

And remember!

Like if you hate this post, and Follow if you hate me. Talk with you guys later, then… Or not..

Yup. It is finally alive. My beautiful, slightly daft, though definitely pretty, book is alive at last! -cue the fog machine and storm effects-

I’m tempted to start jumping up and down, but as I completed it hours ago, I don’t think that’d be really appropriate.

Oh, yeah. I know what you’re thinking. Why am I just informing you awesome imaginary, slightly schizophrenic, readers now? Well, I’ll tell you why! Because I was busy watching Tv with my sis who is ill with something I don’t care to name because I’m really inconsiderate.

But you already know that, don’t you? Hell, I don’t even remember your names… And there are only TWO of you!

 

Back to the point. I have COMPLETED my book at a spectacular 112,013 word count. That, my dear friends, amounts to 223 pages divided into Three Parts. This is a spectacular achievement for me, as it should be for ANY writer; no matter how experienced they become. After all, it is simply a humbling experience to just COMPLETE something you sweltered (not really) for, something you bled for (yikes, no), something you cried for (Can’t risk losing face), and something you loved. (Not… Nah, just kidding. Really do love the bastard.)

Now, a lot of you are probably wondering what the next step is right now. (Probably not. ) And I am gracious enough to give you an answer. The next step would be lots and lots of editing. Yup. That means reading the entire thing until I’m sick of all of the characters, until I’m reciting every single page from memory (well, maybe not EVERY page), and until it is PERFECT grammatically and… Spellingly wise. (Quite the wordsmith, are we?)

And then I’m going to send the first five pages to the Donald Maass Literary Agency. Hopefully, they’ll like it enough to ask for a few more chapters, and then hopefully they’ll like those enough that they’ll ask for the entire book. Then, if they like the entire book (enough), then they’ll pick me up as a client! Some of you imaginary readers may know of it (you should since you’re part of my subconscious… Or whatever.), but I’ll enlighten you new fellows. The agency, I mean. Donald Maass is the agent of the LEGENDARY Brent Weeks, one of my favorite authors. They also have a lot of ties with epic fantasy and Orbit Books, a great fantasy imprint, if there ever was one. Their clients include the likes of Brandon Sanderson, after all!

So. I have a lot of work to do.

I’ve also started working on a NEW project. Yup. No, not the sequel. You see, I want to take a break from the Unsung for a bit. It gets tiresome to write about it nonstop, after all. So now I’m working on this idea I had back when I was only at a mere 100 pages for the Line of Corruption, and it’ll be very short in comparison. A breezy 60k or so. For now, it is named Death has a job, but its name is subject to change.

Anyways. This was an exciting day for yours truly. Oh, and have I mentioned that I wrote another 2.2k yesterday after my post? Yup.

And did I tell you I wrote another 4k just this morning?

I didn’t? Well, tallying it all up, I’ve probably written around 6-8 thousand words in the past 4-5 days. You see, I was really determined to finish my book before November 7 so I can say that I have completed not one, but TWO books by the age of 14.

Oh, my first book was this epic fantasy book that was really horrible, truly. No structure, terrible plot. Ugh, hated the characters. It was about 60k words long, which amounts roughly to 161 pages. The font size was huge so it would soothe my ego to see I’d gotten to page 161. Ah, to be young again… is to relive my worst nightmare.

Fortunately, I have moved on from adolescence. (Well, dude, it was about two years ago.)

Shut up.

But yeah, I’m no longer petty or childish. I no longer write blog posts for imaginary readers, either… Now I just write them so I can re-read them and laugh. (Yes, I am that egotistical.)

Well, hasta luego, people!

Oh ho ho ho!

Nah, I’m not Kriss Kringle. Unfortunately. Can you imagine? All those cookies just by working hard ONE night a year. What a lucky bastard. Oh, back to the topic. Guess who wrote another 600 words yesterday after my post, ‘TIS ALIVE. Yup, that’s right. Brandon Sanderson.

Oh, wait, I mean me. Yeah, I wrote another 600 words last night. And guess who just wrote 1,300 words literally minutes ago…

Robin Hobb.

And me.

As the title above, “Avast ye writing!” I said to myself. I deserved a break, you see. And what did I do with that break? I started writing sentences improperly with the word, “And,” and I came here to brag about it to all you lilly livered… Uh, yeah, not many read this blog, so I don’t have many to brag to… So, I came here to post a new blog about my writing progress, and I’m making ASTOUNDING progress toward my goal of finishing my book by the end of the week.

Off I go!

Not to write, of course. I did just say that I was taking a break, didn’t I? Come on. I’m not a machine! I’m gonna watch television now, and you can throw all the chairs you want, I won’t go back to writing for another hour!

The insipid blogger J.A. Romano has been hospitalized, and authorities are looking into the perpetrators of this assault. 

Okay, not really. My book isn’t finished, yet. But, it’s very, very close. -dodges a chair being thrown-

I am not procrastinating! Honest! Well, I might be slightly. But I did write 600 words yesterday and another 400 words today. In all, that’s 1,000 words, so I am officially… Let’s carry the one… Subtract the five thousand… Oh, I am officially SIX pages closer to the ending. Yup. And you actually thought I was procrastinating!

Hah, bet you feel ridiculous now.

Back to business. I was joking with a friend and I told him about my intentions of finishing the book by the end of the week, and he dared me to scream, “IT’S ALIVE!” when it’s done.

To wit, brother… I was going to quote Shakespeare, then, but I forgot the phrase. Some of you may know where the popular phrase, “IT’S ALIVE!” hails from. Anyone? And you call yourselves film students?! Thou should be ashamed! 

Aye, that is correct. It is from the classic movie, Frankenstein. It’s Alive is muttered by the legendary Colin Clive, who sadly like the also classical movie inclined actor Bela Lugosi, died a very young age. On a rather unrelated note, is it just me or does every single actor/actress/singer born around 1900 die a very young age? Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, James Dean, Colin Clive, Bela Lugosi, etc.

The list goes on!

Oh. Yeah. Back to the topic at hand. So…

Writer’s Log: Progress is rolling at a snail’s pace.

End of Writer’s Log.

Earth Date: October 20

I wrote about 362 words earlier this morning. I was writing up a fight scene with Maheus and Ambrose pinned against Silas and Hunter. I have to say, this is the most fun I’ve had writing about two people trying to kill each other. Well, the fact that I normally have fun writing about such things is a sign that I’ve been doing this for far too long, and the normal reaction would be for me to be horrified by the fact… But I’m not normal, and it merely excites me that I’ve been doing this for a while now. I was writing it while listening to the song, All My Loving, from the version in the movie Across the Universe. It really is quite good, though not the song for the mood at the time.

I watched the King and I after spending the entire day at the mall. I loved it, but I went to sleep when it was nearing the ending because I knew the King would end up dying. I have to say, if I wanted to watch everyone to die, I’d re-watch Lost, or Game of Thrones, or even Star Wars Episode III. The day before that, I watched West Side Story. I really hate it when they kill off the protagonists in musicals. If we’re watching a musical, we obviously aren’t asking for realism. That is, unless you expected us to believe gangs snap their way through NYC, and the notion of fighting with guns is a preposterous one.

Writer’s Log End: Day 1 not productive enough.

Earth Date: October 21, 2012

I haven’t written a word yet. But I wanted to tell you all that my WiFi is operating at a snail’s pace, and I can’t even watch a youtube video without refreshing it five times in a  row. Hell, I can’t even Tweet that I’m watching Hello, Dolly! right now! That is how slow it is compared to its usual speed. It really is quite annoying. Oh, but yeah, I’m watching Hello,Dolly! with Barbara Streisand. It’s actually a pretty good musical. I can’t understand some of what Lady Streisand is saying on account of her fast talking and slightly Southern accent, but the songs are really good. And Mr. Millionaire is so hilarious. : )

Anyways. I’ll post later. I think I’m going to watch either Dracula or Frankenstein later tonight. Not sure. Never watched a black and white movie before. Might be that this is the “lucky” day, ey?