Posts Tagged ‘serialized’

I don’t mean going without sleep for 72 hours straight. (Yeah, you only have to go without sleep for 48 hours anyways.)

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However, I want to talk about exercising your creative muscles. I really don’t exercise my physical muscles as much as I should, but people forget that while writing isn’t really physically demanding, you do need to do a lot of work in it, as well.

So, what do I mean by pushing yourself to the limit? A few examples of how I pushed myself in the past will be in order. The first time was when I was still writing the Line of Corruption. This was maybe late 2011, or early 2012. I was writing a massive battle, and it was honestly the first time I’d written something like it. I’d written huge battles before, but it was the first time where the impact of the results affected the main characters so strongly.

In order to keep up the pace and momentum, I wrote it like a reader would read it. Nonstop. I wrote eight thousand words in one sitting. The next day I wrote four thousand words, and on Saturday, I wrote another four thousand words. That was how I ended Part I of Line of Corruption.

I was creatively drained afterwards. Didn’t write a word for maybe a week. But I was done with Part I. It clocked in at around 53k words. Writing eight thousand words is not as difficult as I assumed before I wrote it. It’s really a question of whether or not you want to persevere. See, the reason why we normally don’t write ten thousand words in one sitting is because you will probably hit a creative wall. And there are two things you can do.

1. Call it a day, and see if you can scale the wall tomorrow with the proper equipment.

2. Channel Jackie Chan, and try to jump over the wall and hope for the best.

That’s how I always saw it. And at times, I really wished I took a few karate lessons. Since the grammar mistakes were ridiculously bad, and I immediately removed those mistakes the next day, but the point is that it is possible if you are willing to throw caution to the wind. That’s how I like to write. Make it risky. I like to think it worked, because the fight scenes had an urgency to them. (Because dinner was in thirty minutes, and I had to wrap it up before then.)

So, there’s your first example of when I pushed myself. Second example is when I wrote Radio Silence. I was preparing for NaNoWriMo, and I had a cool idea for a horror story. So, I just wrote the first four thousand words in one sitting. It’s not as impressive, I guess, as the part with Line of Corruption. But I did push myself because I had no idea what I was going to do with the story.

So, what the next hundred words was going to entail was a mystery to me until I was literally a dozen words away from writing it. That’s how I did it. And it worked out. Then, around January, I pushed myself again with an Urban Fantasy story. I wrote five thousand words in one hour. I was chatting with my friend at the time, and every time I wrote a thousand words, I’d send him a message challenging him to beat it.

I liked the story a lot, but I made a lot of mistakes. Mostly with verb tenses. I’d written it in first person perspective, and I hadn’t written anything like that before. I think I may have deleted it, but I may have it on a forum I made with some of my writer friends where we can post our writings and critique each other’s work even when we’re not online on Skype.

So, tomorrow, I’m going to push myself again with Radio Silence. My goal is to get to Chapter 8 by midnight. I’ve got two big fights planned between Gordon and a prisoner, and it’s going to be a lot of fun writing them. I at least need to finish writing Chapter Six because I held off on posting Chapter Five last friday so I can post two chapters next Friday. (No worries – it’ll still be suspenseful. You’re welcome. -dodges a burning trashcan- )

The point is, pushing yourself as a writer is never really a bad thing. Sure, you make a lot of mistakes along the way, and I certainly wrote some pretty incomprehensible things while I was pushing myself, but it’s at times like that when you can test your determination. You get to see just how stubborn you are. I’ll most likely set out an hour tomorrow so I can write Chapter 6 and 7, and as a bonus, I’ll make a video of myself writing it. A few months ago, I learned how to record my computer screen by using this program, Screenflow.

So, prepare yourself for a video after I post Chapter Five and Six. You’ll see a lot of deleting, terrible punctuation errors, and massive factual errors. I know, sounds like a lot of fun.

It’s really a video for the people that are most interested in how I write things (yes, all ten views will be myself re-watching it to see all my mistakes), and I’ll most likely speed up the video on Final Cut Pro X so it isn’t so dreadfully long. Hope you’re looking forward to it.

When have you pushed yourself as a writer? I’d love to hear your stories down in the comments, and I bet they’re a lot less mistake-filled as mine. Have a cool day.

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As some of you may know (since I’ve been screaming it from the rooftops), I’ve been serialized. I’m really quite glad about this, but I’ve been getting used to what being serialized actually means. It means being consistent and writing on a schedule. You don’t actually have to follow a schedule. You can post chapters whenever you feel like it, but I prefer sticking to a schedule. I post a new chapter on Friday for three weeks. No chapter on the fourth week because that’s a bit too much, even for me.

I used to write whenever I wanted to, and that actually worked quite well for me. Now, I have to be able to write a whole lot within a week so it can be edited properly before getting published. It’s honestly a dream come true. I like the fact that I now have people looking forward to reading the next chapter of my story. It makes me try a lot harder, and I’m currently working on something for a chapter in Radio Silence’s future where I do something really experimental.

But, there are downsides to this. Like I said in a previous post, I came upon a problem in writing a chapter for Radio Silence. I’ve since overcome that problem, but it still made me stop and think: “What if I wasn’t able to get over it?”

So, I will most likely be writing a lot more vigorously so I’m at least two to three chapters ahead of everyone. Chapter 4 of Radio Silence has already been written, and I’m working on Chapter 5 now. It was really cool to suddenly start writing on a schedule because it made me feel like a bona fide author. It also gave me some perspective on the problems some authors have when writing. I’ve seen and read the complaints of people when a writer can’t reach his/her deadline and isn’t able to get the book out in time (I was one of them, most of the time), but until now, I never realized just how hard it may be for a lot of them. Like I said, I am far from a professional writer.

Yet, I have been writing in the mindset that with a single sentence, everything could come crashing down around me. I didn’t have this feeling with the Line of Corruption because I felt safe with the knowledge that any mistake I made would be spotted and fixed long before it was ever published. Now, there’s a week – two weeks, maximum – before a chapter of Radio Silence is posted. I reread each chapter about five times, even after it’s published. But, I always keep in mind that each chapter has to be at least as good as the last one, and it would be great if each one is better than the previous ones. That’s how I write my chapters lately.

“Okay. So, this chapter’s going to be better than the last one. Oh, wonder how I’m gonna write a better chapter than this.”

It forces me to write beyond what I thought was my limit. I constantly come up with ways to make each chapter substantially better by trying out something I would never have imagined when I was writing the Line of Corruption. So, really, this post is more about how cool being serialized is… and why I think that it’s cool, even with the dangers. One thing I’ve enjoyed immensely since I started writing Radio Silence itself is finding new songs. As some of you may know, each chapter of Radio Silence is named after a song, and while I write that chapter, I listen to that song on repeat.

This has kind of gotten on my nerves when I had to listen to a song on repeat when I wasn’t even a fan of it. But, for the sake of matching the chapter to the tone I’d intended when I started it (and because the song was just perfect for it), I persevered. “Wow, listening to a song you don’t like. How do you do it, Jian?”

Eating healthily, and exercising regularly. Take that to the press. So, anyways. Those are my thoughts on writing on a schedule. I know it’s a really short post in comparison to my old posts, but I hate to try to drag things out to a thousand words when I can easily say it within 700. So, hope you’ve enjoyed this post. This was really a post telling other writers that if they’re afraid of the whole serialized thing… it isn’t bad at all.

For one, I am technically a published writer. So, that’s something to brag about at the Sunday dinner. (Be careful, though, because they might not give you dinner if you do it too often. )

Have a cool day.

~Jian

I love them. I love seeing people comment, I love discussing things with people that disagree with something I’ve said (granted that s/he approached it in a civil manner). And if possible, I try to reply to comments as fast as possible. The people that voted for Radio Silence, for example, have also taken the time to pass on their compliments in the comment sections. This is something that I really appreciate, and it was a lot of fun to read their praises and compliments.

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These are just some of the comments on Radio Silence that I have enjoyed reading, and loved replying to each and every one of them. I can’t begin to appreciate the effort people put in registering, voting, and then commenting for me. It was really inspiring. If you want to read all the comments, you can go to Radio Silence, scroll down, and read them. (Not sure about this, but I think you need to register an account to read them. Not sure.)

I was originally going to talk about comments in general, i.e. on places like Youtube, Rotten Tomatoes. All the usual suspects. I was planning on talking about those people that comment derogatory statements that (normally) make no sense at all, and generally ruin the pleasure of reading the comments for everyone.

But, considering I don’t really have a lot of experience with that kind of thing (fortunately), I’m just going to talk about what I do know. Which is the satisfaction of reading other people’s opinions. Earlier, I wrote a post about drafts that a few people disagreed with, but I honestly didn’t mind them disagreeing with my views on them. I was pleasantly surprised by it, and I had fun replying to their comments.

I mean. I can’t say I would’ve enjoyed it if they’d gone: “YOU’RE WRONG. I HATE YOU LIKE A DOG HATES A CAT.”

But fortunately, my readers are cool. 8)

I’ve also written posts where people agreed with me, and I of course enjoyed reading about those. But, a buddy of mine has told me that the reason why most of his readers don’t comment when they disagree is because they’re afraid the blogger and her/his followers will just rip them apart. Now, I find this very interesting.

See, to an extent, it is actually a reasonable fear. If we’re talking about Youtube (for example), and the subscribers of this person are very… loyal. It’s a normal occurrence. But, it was interesting to hear that people even fear this on intelligent blogs. I think that it’s sad that this happens, so I decided to write an entire post about it. If you disagree with me, please comment about it. As long as you say it in a relatively civil and intelligent manner, I am completely okay with it. I’d be happy to find out why you think I am incorrect, and if your reasons are all right, you may even sway me.

So, just thought I had to get that out there. I don’t think I have to say that it’s cool to comment that you liked what I’ve written, since I think everybody likes to hear that.

I hope that people will continue to comment in my future posts whether or not they agreed/disagreed with the point I made in a post, because I honestly find the opinions of others very enlightening.

Thanks for reading.

~Jian

Chapter 3 of Radio Silence is out!

I also have some news about Radio Silence. It has been chosen for Jukepop Serials’ Editors Picks. I was amazed when I found out because not only did so many cool people decide to vote for me… even the people at Jukepop Serials think Radio Silence is good. So, again, thanks to all my great followers that take the time to read and then vote!

If you haven’t read the previous chapters, I’ll have the links down below.

Chapter 2: Have You Ever Seen the Rain?

Chapter 1: Another One Bites the Dust! 

Enjoy!

~Jian

Well, I was tagged by Erica Dakin in this new meme that’s been working its way through a lot of writers. It was interesting to respond to these questions because I had to resist from writing a very long complicated answer. (Well… I may not have restrained myself all that well.)

So, without further ado, my answers.

1. What’s the name of your current WIP?

Well, I’m technically working on two WIPs right now. There’s my serialized story, Radio Silence, and there’s the Line of Corruption. I’ve already finished writing it, but I still need to work on it a lot more.

2. Ready to do a cover reveal?

For Line of Corruption? Definitely not. The cover I’m envisioning would be too complicated for my sister to do, so I think I’m gonna wait around and be vigilant for an opportunity to make the cover it deserves. For Radio Silence, I’ve already revealed it. Since my sister is an awesome photographer, I chose from the large assortment of photographs she’d taken the past few years, and picked the one I thought best suited Radio Silence.

3. How many words are you into it? 

For Radio Silence, I’m 7,759 words into it. I still need to write a lot more practically every day if I want to be on schedule for the serialization. For Line of Corruption, I have 112,459 words written. While I consider it finished, I still have a few chapters to add that will tidy it up. Not to mention the editing process will most likely shave off a good couple thousand words. (See, I use a lot of unnecessary words..)

4. Goal word count by the end of the week?

I don’t have one. I tried doing that, but it didn’t work out. I lost all motivation to write. The only goal I have is actually writing. I’m pretty sure that having goal word counts and being able to stick to them would make my life a lot easier, but I specialize in making it more difficult than it has to be.

5. Goal word count for the entire manuscript?

Nope. Don’t have that, either. At best, I have a chapter count, but even then, I rarely stick to it. For Line of Corruption, I planned it as a short story… It numbers over forty chapters. I do know, however, that I won’t go over 110k for Radio Silence.

6. What genre does your WIP fall within?

Line of Corruption falls into Dark Epic Fantasy. Radio Silence falls under Horror. Now, while I’m not very strict in word counts, I am very strict when it comes to genre. Before I wrote a single word, I chose which genre the story would fall under.

7. When would you like to publish this project?

Once I’m done editing Line of Corruption, as soon as possible. Radio Silence is already published, but I think I’m going to publish it as an eBook once I’m done with all the chapters. Each chapter is heavily edited before being posted, so it will most likely contain much fewer mistakes than LoC. (The mistake I had with LoC was not rereading the stuff I wrote…)

8. Go to page five of your manuscript and pick a random sentence to share with us!

From Radio Silence:

“Another one bites the dust,” said the entire band of Queen.

From Line of Corruption:

He couldn’t preserve the look on his eyes as he died now that his eyeballs had been popped.

I copied and pasted sentences that wouldn’t really give away too much of the story. I wish the meme asked for an entire page, rather than one single sentence. I’m tempted to go: “Well, you see, I wrote that because of this, that, and him…”

You can read Chapter One and Two of Radio Silence here, though.

9. Will this WIP turn into a series?

I’m planning a trilogy for Line of Corruption. Radio Silence may turn into a series, but it depends on my thoughts on it once I finish writing the entire thing. I’d originally planned a long series for LoC, but I decided that would be a bit too much. I figured a compact trilogy would be the best option.

10. What has been the hardest challenge in working on this WIP?

The biggest problem I had with Radio Silence was the fact that despite the whole spirits possessing ghosts thing, it was still based in the real world. So, the fighting scenes had to be polished, but it taught me to work a bit harder while writing the fight scenes. For Line of Corruption, I think the hardest challenge was finishing it. At 75k, I wondered when it would finish. I loved writing it, but I was beginning to fear it would be another one of my unfinished stories. So, I set a goal for myself. Finish it before my birthday, and that’s what I did.

11. What has been your favourite part of working on this WIP?

Now that is a tough one to answer. I think my favorite thing when writing LoC was just… the freedom. I freely added characters with questionable morals, I killed off whichever ones I wanted.. This may sound nuts to some of you, but in my first book, I didn’t know I could do that. I didn’t know the author could just grey characters, or kill off all the good characters. (Not that I killed off all the good characters..)

So, it was a fresh change from writing my first book. Definitely. For Radio Silence, it was using music. As some of you may know, ghosts are possessing the people in Sheriff Matthews’ town, and the only way he knows a person has been possessed if a song suddenly starts playing on the radio. It was really fun to listen to songs, use them, and make them eerie.

12. Any special treat planned for when you finish the final draft of your WIP?

I’ll probably take out my entire family for dinner. I couldn’t have written anything without their help, so I figure that when I’m done with my two WIPs, that would be the time to give them all a treat.

13. Tag 3 2 people to complete this WIP meme:

T.K. Trian

Caleb Hill

Louise James

Hope you enjoyed that. I felt like I was actually being interviewed, so it was really fun for me to write. Now, I just need to wait anxiously for them  to accept my tag.

~J.A. Romano

Edit: Added two people to the tags. Decided I should extend this meme to more people. (insert laughter)

As some of you may know, Radio Silence was serialized a week ago. Chapter One received a 142 votes, a near unprecedented amount of votes for a serial with only one chapter. It’s all thanks to my family taking the time to ask their friends to vote for me, and thanks to all of you that chose to vote for me. When I saw I’d gotten so votes, I almost fell off my chair. It’s amazing, really. Cannot thank them enough. However, I still need votes. So, it would be awesome if you guys and gals would take the time to vote for Chapter 2 of Radio Silence. Maybe by next week – with all of your help – I’ll be in the top 30!

Chapter 2 of Radio Silence.

Above is the link to Chapter 2. If you have yet to read Chapter 1, here’s the link: Chapter One.

If you like both, please take the time to register an account and vote for both chapters. I would really appreciate it. Thanks for everything!

~Jian