Make the most of your time

When going back and forth between projects, or getting caught up with what life throws at you, you neglect the project that you’ve poured your soul into. And when you return to the beloved project, you can’t seem to find the right words. Sure, you can always plop some words onto the page but it isn’t flowing like it use to. Even when your words weren’t perfect, you kept going.

Well, what now?

Well, I’m not sure honestly, I’m still trying to figure that out myself. But I have passed the time doing things that will be beneficial later:

  • Read books that will develop your craft 

Personally I think this is a no brainer. This will help pass time as you’re trying to think of the next words to say (and may even inspire your next words). And if you’re struggling with adding more to your book in terms of scenes, character development, plot and, hell, even grammar and sentence structure, it will help you in the long run.

It’s also important to be a little selective of the books that are picked up; you can have all of these books about writing but it’s up to you, the writer, to finally apply or adapt what you’ve learned into your project. As well as something you can return to for a source.

  • Research literary agents

If you plan for your book to go to big publishing houses, it’s recommended to get a literary agent. I recently finished Chuck Sambuchino’s “Get a Literary Agent:…” and I found it so helpful and insightful. Literary agents are the writer’s eyes in the industry and your advocate.

Sambuchino suggests in the book to create a list of agents that may be a good fit for the book you’ve finished. He really stresses the researching about the agent you plan to query to; find out what books they’re looking for, see what they’ve sold, etc. If you have multiple projects, creating an Excel sheet may work best with tabs for different projects.

For smaller publishing houses, it’s possible to submit your manuscript without one, but be sure to check submission guidelines.

  • Hop into another project

Sometimes starting a new short story or novel can help. It will take your mind off what you’re struggling with in your main project. This way you’re keeping your mind moving so you don’t get into a slump that can leave you high and dry for months.

If starting a new project doesn’t seem too appealing, maybe what you need to do is create or draft a scene that will be later on in the future. This is a little trick that I like to do, especially if I’ve been thinking about it over a few days (or weeks, and/or months). Letting it stew in upstairs and then writing about it may help get the jitters out.

Even stepping away from the computer to write in a notebook or journal would be helpful.

  • Listen to music that keep you mind moving on ideas

Every writer has that one artist that can spark their imagination. If that’s not the case, then that’s ok too. Maybe instrumental music may work best — it can be anything. As long as it allows you to focus, or zone out, while thinking about your novel.

Hopefully these tips will keep you moving toward your ultimate goal.

Advertisements

Writing Vlog 1

The reason why I decided to talk about these three is because I find myself thinking about the story lines often. They are all in three different stages as far as writing. Torque is the most developed out of the three; The Ghost Kings has a few pages written but still needs development as I write; and Spirits is not as developed and has the least written as far as the story goes.

I hope you all enjoyed my late video. I’ll be back on a normal schedule on Monday – with a regular written blog post. Feel free to subscribe on YouTube and leave comments below.

xo Arisa

Video and blog post

Hey Guys,

Sorry, I did not post Monday, or last week with the video. I decided that I will reshoot my video and post it this week – it will be up on Thursday. I will also do a regular blog post for Saturday.

Don’t worry, I will get back on my Monday blog post, Wednesday video (for the following week) schedule soon after this week.

xo Arisa

Keyboard v. Paper

Lately, I’ve been in the mood to write. But, not necessarily on my computer or my phone.

I can remember what it was like to write to the very first draft of Torque (then called Fangs: Taste of Blood) and how easier it was to finish it on paper. (As easy as writing a novel would get.)

When I tried to rewrite the second draft, I went for paper. Well, pen and paper as JK Rowling would say. But then it was hard. So at that time,  I turned to my shabby laptop I got from my brother.

It was easier at that point to write on the laptop. I didn’t get that far into rewriting Torque – maybe 30 pages at that time. Then something happened to the computer where it shut off  and it wouldn’t turn back on.

I was sad and really upset. All that work down the drain and I was actually liked that version better than my written draft, but each way of writing has its own pros and cons.

KEYBOARD

Pros: 

– Easy sailing: 

When you grow up learning how to type and use computers every day, you learn a few tricks here and there. And you type faster than your parents or writers who don’t embrace the keyboard as much.

If you misspell a word, autocorrect from your phone or the red squiggles will let you know that you’ve made an error.

– Research:

Using the computer and Internet has made it easy to get the job done when it comes to research. If you stay focused enough, meeting your writing goal can be done with ease.

Cons:

– Distractions: 

The Internet is a wonderful thing. A tool that many writers use to help develop ideas, find connections, research and more. And that’s the thing.

Some writers may find themselves on the computer lost in “research.”

Admit it, as writers, we’ve all done this. You go to write, but go to research first and that research turns to your favorite social media platform.

When it comes to writing on the phone, you get texts and notifications from the millions of apps on your phone.

 – Screen time exposure:

For work, I’m on a computer (or phone to take a quick break) for 7.5 hours. So, writing on the computer before or after work can become daunting for me. It’s too much screen time.

It’s the same for people who have to use a computer or tablet for work and many of us who constantly check our email on the phone.

Too much screen time can strain your eyes as well and if you’re not in a properly lit room – it makes it worse. So, don’t forget to turn on the light when writing into the evening when you’ve used natural light as a light source.

– Technology:

Why this is a con, you may ask? Well, as reliable as some tech pieces are today, they crash or reset. When that happens you can loose everything. All of your hard work gone.

Remember to back up anything that’s written. Whether it be with Google Drive and Google Docs, another cloud system or an external hard drive.

For Mac users, if you haven’t started to use your Time Machine, maybe you should consider using it. Though I don’t have it,  I will eventually activate it. (I am recent grad, so getting an external hard drive is not high on the list.)

PAPER:

Pros: 

– Less distractions: 

This one is pretty self explanatory. Just make sure you’re settled into your favorite spot, you have you drink of choice and your phone is set on DND.

– Easy proofing: 

The mistakes made while typing can be found easier once it’s printed. After writing all day, the eyes tends to skip over repeated words or tend to skim in general. This is something that I know that I do when I am typing and editing.

For neatly handwritten things, put the story or outline away for a bit (give it two weeks, and if time is not your friend, give to someone who can proof well) and come back to it. Your eyes will catch the skipped words or sentence structures that really do not make any sense.

– In light loads, it’s not as heavy: 

When traveling with a specific notebooks, whether it’s the story or a separate writing notebook, can be easier than putting your laptop in a bag. You don’t have to take it out of the bag at airports, so that’s a plus.

If you decide to travel with multiple notebooks, make sure you take the ones you need. There’s no need to travel with three five subject Five Star notebooks to a destination, unless you’re moving.

Cons:

– Damage: 

There could be no coming back from a tea, coffee or water stains (this goes for computers too). Because paper clearly doesn’t have a save button, material can be destroyed if not properly stored.

It would be best to invest in a scanner or a scanner app on the phone. Even your phone camera with cloud storage can get it done. Though it’s a lot of extra work to syphon through all of your papers, but it creates a back up of your paper documents. (I would use this technique if I missed notes from a class and my friend had them.) Just make sure to not accidentally delete them, not all smart phones have a photo recovery, unless they do.

– Clutter: 

Pulling out papers to reference  when writing a certain scene, or when you’re trying to remember a character description. Next thing you know you whole area is cover is paper, and you can’t realize where a paper was place. Then you’re looking for that paper for minutes or hours and it was in front of you the entire time.

Find the best way to organize writing materials even when you’re not writing. One day, you’ll have all this paper that’s probably not needed. Be sure to do an annual cleaning before it gets out of control.

– HAND CRAMPS:

I think that says it all.

I know there are more pros and cons that I have left out, so feel free to leave them below or which method you prefer.

Until next week (with a video!),

xo Arisa

The write environment

…See what I did there?

Anyways, let’s talk writing environments. For me, I have a hard time writing in my room, living room, crowded places, so it’s really important to me to find a great place to get things done. This all started when I wanted to leave the house to write. It took me at least three times to find an open and relaxed environment.

Panera and two coffee shops later, I found a decent spot at the library. Go figure, right?

The first place I was sent to was closed down forever, the next shop was closed because of the holiday weekend and wouldn’t be open until July 5.

But as I was feeling a little upset about putting money in the meter twice, I was at a stop light and looked to my left. And there, the public library seemed opened. I prayed it was open after I turned around, and it was.

It was a great thing. I didn’t write any fiction, I did write a new cover letter without my mind wondering too much.

Though, I’ve never let my current environment stop me from writing; like right now I’m writing this in bed. I can’t be too picky on where I want to write because of timing and other factors.

I do think that every writer should have a place where they can go and not be easily distracted. This is why I am not a big fan of writing at home so much. Daily life can be distracting from what needs to be accomplished because of the comforts of home.

For me, crowded spaces produce too much other energy that becomes distracting. Someone could start to people watch, rather than watch their words fill up a blank page. Or maybe a busy place is what some people need to help them focus. If you’re one, kudos to you.

Third to First | Progress Update

As some of you may know I am writing a novel, struggling, but I’m moving along. Back in December, toward the end of my end of my winter break, my portfolio director told me to switch my third person to first person.

It would make the readers feel more connected with my main character, Cori. He also noted that it might make it easier to do world building, so the reader doesn’t feel so lost.

But before he suggested first person, he asked me if Torque was in ever written in first person. Funny enough, he was right when he asked. When I first wrote Torque, Cori was eighteen years old and at that time I was way younger. She had a juvenile perspective.

The differences between the beginning in both versions on Torque.

I didn’t want that last draft because I wanted her to seem older, so I wrote the story in third person.  But I guess I when I did that I lost the close connection that Cori could have with the reader.

Currently, I am having a hard time getting back into Cori’s headspace.  I think it’s because it’s been years since I was there and I’ve made so many changes to Cori as a character that it’s hard for me to figure out her voice.

I’m still going to push through this and do my best to finish at least three chapters by the end of March, so my portfolio reader can take a look at it.

I’ll do another post sometime in the next two weeks, depending on how busy I am. Let’s hope I’m not too busy.

Booktube and Blog name change?

I’ve been passing time by going on YouTube watching beauty videos and peoples’ life vlogs, when I discovered the wonderful thing called BookTube. For those that do not know what BookTube is, it’s a community of video bloggers who talk about books. I forgot who I started watching first, but the more and more I kept watching the more I want to do something like that. Basically join the BookTube community and also talk about my writing, with progress updates and possibly share short stories (under 15 minutes because that’s the limit for non-YouTube partners).

When I was in Italy, I vlogged what I was doing on certain days. I was going to upload them, but my friend said he would help me edit and when we got back, two weeks later he went back to Peru. So, my Italia adventures will be waiting to be posted. I might just upload it all together. I loved doing it. One of my favorite videos is when I was in Munich and I was recording my bike ride through one of the parks. So I feel like I will be doing that in the future, when I had a solid idea of how I am going to conduct my channel.

I have been thinking about changing my blog name to Arisafwrites. I feel like the current blog name can represent any writing blog, so I might as well personalize it for me. I am not set on the name change to Arisafwrites, but I will be changing it in late Aug. or Sept.

I am going to keep this post nice and short. I will update later this week with a book haul of the books I bought or borrowing. I will also do a TBR list as well.

Until Sunday! Ciao.

XO Arisa

I don’t know what I’m doing but…

I seriously don’t know what I am doing, but I hope to begin the film script soon. I have set up a time with my friends this past Monday to help brainstorm some ideas and hopefully begin something.

Since I have no clue what I am doing, I have asked two of my theatre friends and my college writing professor, who studied film to help. Of course my theatre friends will be guide in regards to content and plot in this form of writing. My professor said he was going to send references to help with structure and ways to set up the script. I’ll eventually search the for references myself.

When my friends and I talked on Monday, I told them the truth about not knowing what I’m doing. So one of them told me to write a 10-page script and told me not to think about what I was writing. All I could think was: “How am I not supposed to think?”

I am used to thinking about what I’m writing and whether it will make sense and if the plot will match down the line. The 10-page script will be challenge for me to do, but I am up to it. I must finish by the next time we talk to each other.

The reason why I want to create a film script is because I want to try something new with writing, for fun and because of my college writing 2 course. The course was based on the analysis of film and writing papers on them. Watching the films made me want to know what was the process like for the writers of the movie. The dialogue is the backbone of the movie then the visuals.

I think that when stories are created and turned into a great visual masterpiece, it’s pretty freaking awesome. Lately, I have been looking a graduate schools that offer film or television programs. I am finding it hard to chose what I want to do for a Master’s degree.

I think this will conclude my rant about not knowing what I am doing.

And for you Trekkie fans, go see Star Trek: Into Darkness. I found it quite delightful, I want to see it again. (The lens flares don’t disappoint.)

XO Arisa (If you guys have good references for script writing, format, etc.  comment below.)