Where Do I Go ?


I finished my first draft and I was filled with the feeling of ” oh my… Yeah, yeah” with music and beauty floating around my head and then something happened.

All the things that I would read said the same thing. It said  let your book ruminate and give it time to become something that you can then successfully read and revise without that oh so helpful thing where your mind just adds the missing words that you meant to write , so that your words make no sense to anyone else.

This phase is all about adding and subtracting and fighting the increasing feeling that you are an idiot that wrote the worse book ever written.  That your book will make people run screaming into the streets and cry and weep and scream, they will pull out their eyes and deny the fact that they ever read anything, ever. Somehow your book will actually make other books you love less good. That authors you love will read the book and say ” No, never” to your requests to write a forward.  This is probably not going to happen. This has not happened to the various dubious novels that have been written in the world, both recent and long ago. There are people that count novels that I myself view as painfully bad among their favorites. So what are the odds that no one would read my book and at the very least say it was interesting, or entertaining? And I will not bring about the end of the world. I do not have that power.

But I do have this feeling that is completely and utterly fear-based.  I am afraid of my book. Just a little but the more that I think about what it would mean if this is terrible. The fear of what would happen if I am not a writer worth reading.  I am also thinking of what might happen if I am a writer worth reading. If I write a book that is worth the notice of people that matter, people like me that love books and reading to the point that they can invest years in the lives of people and places that never were. So I am in revisions and now I am realizing that either way fear must not be the thing that stops me. If it is, then I will be a failure of epic proportions.

So if you are having issues like mine there are a few quick and dirty tips that can help to make the experience a little less terror making .

Revision Tips

  1. Start revising as soon as you can 

Figure out what is your best timing but don’t wait too long. Often Procrastination will start pretending to be something cleaner, like reflection or research.

  1. Don’t spend ages making your first draft look pretty

This is just wasting time, include all the details you need to learn, but don’t try to produce a work of art. This is a ROUGH draft. It is just that, ROUGH.

  1. Take short breaks

— Every hour, not every 10 minutes. I enjoy using the pomodoro timers to help me myself on task.

  1. Use revision guidelines 

Cathy Yardley has great tips on her blog. I add also that you should treat the revisions just like you would treat your writing , have a plan and have a schedule on what you will finish each day .

  1. Get yourself drinks and snacks

So you don’t make excuses to stop every 10 minutes…

  1. Sit at a proper desk
  2. Don’t turn yourself into a revision zombie 

There is nothing that you can do all day every day without burning out. It’s really important that you keep time to do things you enjoy… like movies, shopping, sports, Frisbee, rock-climbing, making model planes ,porn, whatever tickles your fancy… When you’re doing these try to relax and totally forget about revision.Meat_Grinder_zombie_7265759848_1

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  1. Read the book aloud when you can 

—hearing it really does help. If you can, record yourself.

  1. Find the right environment to revise

NOT in front of the TV. NOT listening to the radio. Music can sometimes be OK, but you need to find the right kind. It’s got to be something that’s just there in the background that you’re not thinking about at all. Music without singing is better as you won’t be tempted to dance around your bedroom like a big fool.

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Here and There and back again , the road to revisions


I completed my first full novel draft. I am beyond happy over finishing it , I am joyous. I am less than happy over the idea of doing revisions I am , what’s the word, scared shitless. The problem is that whilst I do believe that I have the ability to write  I  fear  after having poured a few tens of thousands words into a book that I will look at in and find that it is not only no good but that it is actively awful. I mean no redeeming factors , I am going to show it to an agent or publisher and I am going to be laughed at in an ugly fashion , told that I am the worst this to happen to the written word since reality TV and banned forever from all writing groups, societies and  unions that have been or ever will be , even if I start said group, society or union.

That will most likely not happen . I mean the odds are that it will not happen. I may not make any money. I may not find the wherewithal to complete the 3 books that will complete the story but I will likely not die of anything, be shunned, be shamed or feel the need to commit anything, suicide , myself , to a weird hair color. Most likely I will simply fill in the plot holes and deadly boring spots, do a second revision for length or content and be good. I am not saying that this is my magnum opus but I think that It at the very least , ok. and brings me to the point of today.

I am a crazy sick writer person , like many of you , I write and then I rewrite and then if you let me I will rewrite and research until what I have is a 60000 word polished turd. Not that it is my plan but if you are too precious about your writing , second and third and tenth guessing every single word and phrase choice you will eventually have something that no one , including you , want to read for pleasure. writing is a very private thing, and it is very personal but if you want to make a living at it  you have to be willing to have a good enough point . your beta readers will help with that . people who have the honor of reading your first polished draft , people who like your writing , and love or at least like you and are willing to be honest about the quality of your writing whilst ( I am using whilst today) refraining from saying things like ” don’t you think the dog could be a corgi , I had a corgi when I was a kid” kind of things.

when I started writing my novel and read all the books that I could about writing and they all said ” wait” X ” time before you start revisions” and I thought , I can’t wait I have to do it now. and now I have to revisit those said same books to hear ” but don’t wait too long because ”  basically you lose your story mojo. and having done three chapters of revisions so far with the help of “Rock Your Revisions” and a few tips from other people I have managed to do the first pass , make some notes and low and behold , I am not dead and my writing while not perfect is , at the very least , okay  . and for a first novel , a solid dose of okay is , at least, okay.

How Do E-Books Change the Reading Experience? – NYTimes.com


The advantages of e-books are clear. E-books are immediate. Sitting at home in Pakistan, I can read an intriguing review of a book, one not yet in stores here, and with the click of a button be reading that book in an instant. E-books are also incorporeal. While traveling, which I do frequently, I can bring along several volumes, weightless and indeed without volume, thereby enabling me to pack only a carry-on bag.

And yet the experience of reading e-books is not always satisfactory. Yes, it is possible to vary the size of the font, newly important to me at age 42, as I begin to perceive my eye muscles weakening. Yes, e-books can be read in the dark, self-illuminated, a reassuring feature when my wife is asleep and I am too lazy to leave our bed, or when electricity outages in Lahore have persisted for so long that our backup batteries are depleted. And yes, they offer more frequent indicators of progress, their click-forwards arriving at a rapidity that far exceeds that of paper-flipping, because pixelated screens tend to hold less data than printed pages and furthermore advance singly, not in two-sided pairs.

Nonetheless, often I prefer reading to e-reading. Or rather, given that the dominance of paper can no longer be assumed, p-reading to e-.

I think my reasons are related to the fact that I have disabled the browser on my mobile phone. I haven’t deleted it. Instead, I’ve used the restrictions feature in my phone’s operating system to hide the browser, requiring me to enter a code to expose and enable it. I can use the browser when I find it necessary to browse. But, for the most part, this setting serves as a reminder to question manufactured desires, to resist unless I have good cause.

Similarly, I have switched my email account from the attention- and battery-consuming “push” setting to the less frenzied manual one. Emails are fetched when I want them to be, which is not all that often. And the browser on my slender fruit-knife of a laptop now contains a readout that reminds (or is it warns?) me how much time I have spent online.

Time is our most precious currency. So it’s significant that we are being encouraged, wherever possible, to think of our attention not as expenditure but as consumption. This blurring of labor and entertainment forms the basis, for example, of the financial alchemy that conjures deca-billion-dollar valuations for social-networking companies.

I crave technology, connectivity. But I crave solitude too. As we enter the cyborg era, as we begin the physical shift to human-machine hybrid, there will be those who embrace this epochal change, happily swapping cranial space for built-in processors. There will be others who reject the new ways entirely, perhaps even waging holy war against them, with little chance — in the face of drones that operate autonomously while unconcerned shareholding populations post selfies and status updates — of success. And there will be people like me, with our powered exoskeletons left often in the closet, able to leap over buildings when the mood strikes us, but also prone to wandering naked and feeling the sand of a beach between our puny toes.

via How Do E-Books Change the Reading Experience? – NYTimes.com.

The Year of the Writer!


In 2014 , I will make everyday better, everyday stronger . I will push to the end of my book and write every single day.

This is my resolution. 2014 , the year of the writer. 

The Joy of Writing – Mary S. Sentoza


Writing

Writing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

When I was young, I always enjoyed writing, and in some ways I believed it was the one thing I was good at. I would let my mind drift away and experience happiness while I was seeing my thoughts expressed in written form on the page before me. I was often praised for the quality of my stories, but sometimes my parents would worry because I stayed in my bedroom and wouldn’t go anywhere until I finished what I was writing. I was always very focused and didn’t want to stop until I was done. At the time, they didn’t realize writing was my source of joy. Even though I am older now, writing continues to give me pure joy.

 

via The Joy of Writing – Mary S. Sentoza.

 

 

 

Best Books 2013 — Goodreads Choice Awards


Fiction

And the Mountains Echoed

Mystery & Thriller

Inferno (Robert Langdon, #4)

Historical Fiction

Life After Life

Fantasy

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Paranormal Fantasy

Cold Days (The Dresden Files, #14)

Romance

Lover At Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #11)

Horror

This book was voted for by Stephen King‘s fans when he asked would they prefer a new chapter in the ” Dark  Tower” series or a sequel to the shining. They asked for this , so he wrote them both. The only book on the list that I personally read  already , Dr Sleep is the continuation of the Torrance family story , Danny Torrance , the little boy from ” The Shining”  with some brief but memorable moments with some of our old friends , both the wonderful (Dick Hallorann makes an appearance) and the terrible ( Some of our pals from the Overlook are back to rekindle some nightmares). This is a very well written and highly anticipated book that is great as a capper of the old story and as a stand alone novel. Stephen King with acknowledged help from his son , Author Joe Hill , makes this just the right amount of creepy fun. -Brie Stoll

Doctor Sleep (The Shining, #2)

Memoir & Autobiography

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

History & Biography

Jim Henson: The Biography

Nonfiction

The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum

Food & Cookbooks

Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist

Humor

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened

Graphic Novels & Comics

Beautiful Creatures: The Manga

Poetry

The Fall of Arthur

Debut Goodreads Author

Tangled (Tangled, #1)

Young Adult Fiction

Eleanor & Park

Young Adult Fantasy

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)

Middle Grade & Children’s

The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, #4)

Picture Books

The Day the Crayons Quit

 

via Goodreads | Best Books 2013 — Goodreads Choice Awards.

What is Sexy


I am in the beginning stages of my novel . I am enjoying the writing and it is moving forward but I have found that the first chapter is almost lurid with the detailed sexual scences and I am gaining fear that it may send the wrong message, or it may be seen as titillating for the sake of titillation.   I have decided to allow an except of the text to be viewed with the hopes that people will critique it. I am going to do a larger piece in the company of writers but since those who read this blog are my first readers I thought that I should begin here, with the people that I hope to touch in future

 

He had loved her in white. Her body in the taut fabric stretching across her body threatening to expose her naked flesh beneath. He loved her in white. She was so sexy in white, her tanned skin shone against it so well. She was wearing white everyone she came to him, she was in white when she died. The next time he saw her they had become the ruined grey of funeral vestments.

She liked to tease him, he knew that. He would watch her at the bus stop, stretching unnecessarily. He tried not to let her know that he was watching, she was in white then too, a tee shirt, with blue jeans and a bra visible through the light cotton of the shirt. The bra was the soft pink that he had come to most associate with the color of her nipples. He had seen those nipple. She had seen him passing in the backyard of her house and she had looked at him then removed her bra, she looked at him, she wanted him to see

She wanted him, she had finally told him as much one day when he was working at the store. She had entered with the gaggle of her friends, all giggling and loud girlish voices. It was odd to him that they always seemed to be yelling or giggling, or both. She had stayed behind, having manufactured some pretext or another, forgotten soda, or incorrect change.  She had come into the aisle and looked at him. She had gotten close and in her breathy little girl voice she had asked if he thought she was “hot”

He hadn’t answered, he wasn’t sure why she was doing this but he was sure that she was playing some game. Then she leaned in and said “I think you are smoking hot, I always have,” She gave him a smile of infinite slyness and sweet sexy desire and said “I want you, I don’t know why but I just do”.

She ran from the store after that, taking her place among the giggling swarm and more than likely covering for her friends having seen her talking to him by expressing that she thought he was “weird”. She had tossed her hair and walked with her friends but she had spared one glance over her shoulder, giving the store and him inside a slow, sly, sexy smile. That smile was genuine. It was all want. A week later, she had shown him her naked breasts and her nipples, the soft bubblegum Pink color of them.

 

This book is not going to be for the faint of heart or the prudish of nature but I would like to not be associated with porn.  I mean , there is definitely an aspect of this that will be fully sexual and it is about a serial killer ( did I ever say that before , not sure) but I don’t want it gore for gore sake or sex for fuck sake .

Don’t Speak


The Six word story or  the six word novel is a concept that was supposedly started by Earnest Hemingway . It is said that he was bet by a friend that he could not write an effective story in 6 words. There have been  many that said that it was not Hemingway that actually wrote the passage but I like to think that the very Manly Hemingway did think up the sweet , sad story of a life cut short, and hope dashed.  Funny , takes more words to explain the story than it was to write .

For sale: baby shoes, never used. – Six Word Stories.

Ernest Hemingway's 1923 passport photo

Ernest Hemingway’s 1923 passport photo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Motivation


Stephen King, American author best known for h...

Stephen King, American author best known for his enormously popular horror novels. King was the 2003 recipient of The National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Taken at the 2007 New York Comicon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

What makes me more , what makes me try everyday to do something that is hard, something that is unexpected and to some , absolutely odd. I want to be an author more than almost anything. I don’t want much, just to be god , at least to the people whose world I create in my head and then give to you, to the world. Why would anyone want to do this?  Money? sure . I mean some of the wealthiest working artists are writers. Tom Clancy, Stephen King and James Patterson are all Millionaires many times over , J.K. Rowling  is a Billionaire and the wealthiest private citizen in Britain. But then again . Melville died a largely uncelebrated, Authors have a higher than average amount of drug , alcohol and self abuse , many of your favorite books are written by people that committed suicide. So why?

 

I don’t think  I have any choice in the matter. At times , as I have said here, there have been times when I felt disconnected to the world and only writing made me feel connected. The times when I live in my head, the times when I argue with, make love to , shoot and kill , and run and die alone , because they are all me , all the charecters , are the things that make me feel. That is … all.

 

The Casual Vacancy by J K Rowling (2h)

The first non Harry Potter JK Rowling (Photo credit: Gwydion M. Williams)

 

 

 

The weight of the world


English: A man handcuffed to a bed and blindfolded

English: A man handcuffed to a bed and blindfolded (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey (Photo credit: ellebnere)

I do not want to sound like a hater, I hate that I might but someone please tell me what the hell is so appealing about 50 shades of Grey? The book is written in the worst style, it twists the subject matter out of perspective and I have YET to talk to one person who is actually into BDSM or Dom/sub that like this book. So tell me who the audience is ?

That adorable little rant is just an into , I want to do the right thing, I want to be proud of my writing but when 50 shades inspires everything from movie to musicals I start to wonder. Is it better to be artistic or successful? Should you try for the nobility of real writing or should you play to the path of least resistance ?

Stronger…


Stronger (Kelly Clarkson album)

Stronger (Kelly Clarkson album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

What doesn’t kill me might make me kill someone else!

 

 

 

Serendipity


I love words. My favorite words are whimsical (also whimsy), Umbrage, Contracou, and Serendipity. I like the sounds of these words, I like the meanings and I like being the kind of ridiculous smart ass that would say them in normal conversation. Yes, I do and no I don’t care if you don’t understand it. Take the meaning form context and quit being stupid. Have I mentioned yet that I am a little bit of a bitch, not a huge one but a little bit? I don’t suffer fools gladly, I just can’t.  There are too few hours in a day.

Anyway, serendipity is high up there because it’s such a gorgeous word. It sounds ridiculous, almost childish. It has so many syllables. If I was a different kind of person I am sure I would have a child named Serendipity. And the meaning; A happy accident, or pleasant surprise. Those things in our lives that count as serendipity are so pleasing that it becomes almost to be viewed as miracle. Small or large. I once stuck my hand into a pocket of a coat at the thrift store; I rarely do that , and walked out with the coat and 18.00. The coat was 2.00.

In my life I have been blessed with no just feeling but accepting serendipity as a part of my life. I walk out of my home and expect that sometime soon the gods will smile on me , with free coffee or a scavenging opportunity for something I really want or need ( I once for a gold necklace in my scavenging that I sold for 100 bucks) or just a moment of viewing my lucky bird flying past. The male cardinal, by the way.

I said all that to say this; I think the best thing about my life is that I have always been able to find that belief in wonder, in magic, in serendipity. That the rough and sometimes quite unlovely things that have occurred in my life have never robbed me of those things. I am nearly forty and I still squeal at the top of my lungs when I am excited. That I never attained the dreaded bitterness that makes us decide that everything sweet, kind and wonderful is for kids. I don’t know why I didn’t. I just didn’t. And that’s fine.

By the way, zemblanity is the opposite of serendipity. Promise me you will stay away from this guy, when you can.