To be honest, I think it’s hilarious that I picked the most stressful November (for the Americans anyway) to give this challenge a go for the first time. My experience has been a juggle between caring for my mental health and simply enjoying the writing process. Distractions and interruptions have been abundant and when my mind gets too exhausted from pushing them away, all it wants to do is escape with a video game or book because my mind is too tired to plot a story. I’m having to be incredibly patient and constantly remind myself how important this is to me.
The progress I’ve made so far is significant. I won’t give up.
Comment below and tell me how your experience is going if you’re taking on the challenge and if you’re a fellow writer who isn’t writing a novel, do you have any tips to ward off stress during a writing session? I would love some pointers. (Yes, I’ve already tried take a break from or delete social media.)
My head has been stuck in the books lately and when that happens blog posts seem to gradually fade, haha. Between studying, blogging, and my other music projects, I’m missing my novel and the VPD entries again. So I thought maybe I should take NaNoWriMo seriously and see how far I get. Once Samhain passes, taking on the NaNoWriMo challenge will be intimidating for sure, but I just really miss my novel, or rather the world I’m building and my characters. It’s dark scifi-fantasy novel and the first draft was over 400 pages and over 136,000 words. Working on the second draft definitely came with some struggles (and a lot of panicking, to be honest), but that beautiful big-picture view of the entire project and the awesome information I’m retaining from my psychology classes keeps connecting the dots between my characters and all the ways I can torture-DEVELOP them. Hehehehe.
So basically, I’m really enthusiastic and can’t wait to take on this challenge along with report my daily progress. Also, my cover song and poetry reading will be finished within this week and posted in the first week of November. I hope you’ll like it and thank you for your patience. I’m getting much better at actually completing projects rather than jumping around from one to another aren’t I? Good for me. Are you a fellow writer thinking of trying out NaNoWriMo as well?
First and foremost, I found classical lofi and I love it. Second, I’ve accepted that my writing and creative career is being accomplished in chaotic baby steps. I make small achievements on a daily basis, I think, but thanks to the mental health issues I have, sometimes I forget that daily progress. There’s a lot … Continue reading Classical Lofi and Honest Chaos – [Just Me/Video]
In this entry, I apply advice from screenwriter John Truby to the first draft struggles I’ve been dealing with. Additionally, I run into a helpful plot structure from Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat and create my own character profile template!
I romanticized storms all my life, until I saw within myself a lightning strike shattering me. The fractals of my psyche flew out of reach. I felt their razor edges dig into the thinnest barriers of my consciousness, forcing me to scream, laugh, weep, rage, and die repeatedly. Those fractals seized my imagination at the … Continue reading Lightning Strike – [Stream of Consciousness Poem]
After such an intense year of repeated exposure of people, either famous or not, and their ugly under bellies, I expected that the people worship craze would decrease. How many Americans voted with the idea that “their saviors” will save a country so they won’t have to take any of the responsibility? How many celebrity … Continue reading Stop With The People Worship – [Just Me]
Horror and magical realism are my favorite genres to blend. My first published attempt at doing this is my horror short “Autonomy Bleeds Black” where pain and power manifested into elemental forces. One of my favorite magical realism works is Pan’s Labyrinth directed by Guillermo Del Toro. I’m a huge fan of Del Toro’s and am grateful that Pan’s Labyrinth was my introduction to him. In interviews, he’s described this film to be very personal as someone who lived under strict and religious conditions, but used fantasy works and other genres to escape. Often our escapes become reflections of our inner world and help us interpret what’s going on within us subconsciously and consciously.
…These genres are mirrors, but for their effectiveness to withstand any resistance to our personal revelations, we writers have to hook the audience in with familiarity and give them the illusion of control.
…Is writing the second draft supposed to almost feel like you’re writing another story? Well, it doesn’t feel that extreme to me, but there’s a lot that needs to be added, changed, and polished. I don’t know why this seems strange. During this writing session there are times I feel like my first draft is a botched mess and the fact that I’m having to fill in details that were obviously necessary must mean my writing needs a massive amount of improvement, but harsh inner critic aside, I’m fully aware that writing will always be a practice. The best I can do is remain teachable, open, and devoted to the craft.
Just like music makes the mood for a social gathering, atmosphere and archetypes are key elements to the mood of any work of fiction. In art, mood and tone with colors range from cold to warms; I know in writing we have to explore all sorts of sensory details, so what I learned today, and also what I consider today’s triumph, is conveying a character’s demeanor with common attributes we associate with a Jungian archetype.
One author I was thinking about after my writing session today was F. Scott Fitzgerald. I think I may have blogged or written about his vivid writing style before. One night I decided to listen to The Beautiful and Damned on audiobook hoping it would help me go to sleep. It was impossible. The diction and rhythm of his writing kept me awake and invested in Anthony’s life, family, grandfather, and the girl in the tub. The narration is omnipotent third-person. There isn’t a lot of dialogue, but every scene has ambience, the internal conflicts and emotions of the protagonist are interdependent on the atmosphere of every scene. Of course why wouldn’t it? The American 1920s was a very lively time where your status and progress in life determined whether you were all the rage or not. Although there’s a looseness or almost carefree façade to the high class life of that time, there’s also a stress and competitiveness digging inside their guts. Fitzgerald wasn’t just narrating (and parodying, I think) about a time and characters he meticulously understood, but…
So, I dedicated this week to working on updates with my horror short “Autonomy Bleeds Black”, which is why I haven’t uploaded a VPD or blogged much of anything else this week. I knew I had to give the horror short some time to make sure my marketing is successful and that my dream of my short stories becoming movies becomes possible.
However, I miss the crap out of my novel! I’m going to work on it today and write a VPD as well as share my other ones. I guess this is the risk of having more than one writing project. Have you ever had this feeling though? Where you miss the world and characters you created? It’s gotten to the point where I have designed playlists for my characters with Spotify when I want to think about them (it’s very fun!). I honestly love this feeling and can’t wait to get back on track.
Also, I started the audiobook called Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke. Have you read it? I absolutely love it so far. It’s definitely a must for artists of all types who need inspiration or encouragement, especially if you’re a poet.
Switching From Confidently Editing and Writing Anxiously
I have to be honest, I didn’t miss the anxiety that comes with wanting to make sure every word you write is significant. The ideas bursting inside of me while I was editing was really exhilarating. Now I’m back to layering the story down, brick by brick, word by word.
The first draft was easy for me. I heard something the other day while I was listening to writer podcast “The Writer’s Routine”, hosted by Dan Simpson, that writing the first draft, aka writing the vomit draft, can be easier than the second draft. The writer being interviewed said he always ends up being very perfectionistic about every word, not to mention he said he’s a lyrical writer so he definitely wants flow and artistry to be prominent in his storytelling (probably most writers want that, but some of us REALLY care about it…obsessively). Hearing that from American-noir writer (who happens to be British), Chris Whitaker, author of We Begin at The End, was really comforting. I was thinking, “Yes, I totally understand that,” but then there’s the other voice inside of me, the voice striving to live a fulfilling life and often challenges my guilty pleasure with, “I know perfectionism tends to cripple me rather than heal me.” Very true. For the first draft, I let my perfectionism go, but now that I’m writing the second draft… I’m wondering if I need to bring back the ol’ harsh inner critic.
To be honest, I think it’s hilarious that I picked the most stressful November (for the Americans anyway) to give this challenge a go for the first time. My experience has been a juggle between caring for my mental health and simply enjoying the writing process. Distractions and interruptions have been abundant and when my … Continue reading How’s NaNoWriMo Going? – [Just Me]
“How To Ignore People” is a video by YouTube Channel Philosophers of Life I came across today. I wanted to share because we need to be more considerate of who we allow to have influence in our life. Depending on how those people are, they encourage or discourage your sense of self-worth and affect your … Continue reading How To Ignore People – [Video]
For a good page turner, you have to do more than a cliffhanger. Cliffhangers are our scapegoat for suspense. Avid readers catch on to that real quick. To paraphrase one of my favorite authors on suspense, Donna Tartt, “Suspense is when two people are having a conversation and there’s a bomb counting down to explode under their table.” Oh the many factors to consider… Do the characters talk about the bomb? Are they oblivious? Is one character beating around the bush about the bomb? Does the other character understand the other’s subtext? Is the bomb noticeable? Is the bomb ticking loudly or silently? Is the timer for the bomb a good amount of time or minutes away from going off? Who planted the bomb? Considering the factors needed for a suspenseful page turner is all about context. If it isn’t rich enough, the audience will assume the predictable: the bomb will go off, the characters will die and that means the characters weren’t important in the first place. In other words, lack of context makes the audience apathetic and cliches make them cynical. All interest dies. So, while I was thinking about the resolution for the first part of my novel hoping to make sure I don’t emotionally shutdown my audience, I did my best to keep it like a chess game and maintain the captivation through a series of power plays.