I’m still writing.

I’m still writing.

This project finished ages ago, or at least it feels like it.

But I’m still writing.

I’m really happy with myself, actually. It was meant to be a short story for school, but after submitting it (I purposefully kept it open ended,) I kept going.

It was supposed to be turned in ten days ago, though…

I feel like part of why it took so long was because it gave me a reason to write, a deadline to meet, and an excuse to write in class or in lab.

I didn’t manage to get in all of the literary devices we were supposed to, though. Partially because I totally forgot to until it was too late, and partially because I just wanted to get it done and submitted already.

But I am writing. In fact I stayed late in the library just for the purpose of writing, which is really nice. I took that idea with the vampire and kinda twisted it and molded it to fit into the idea that short story I wrote a while ago had.

I still want to try my hand at the whole “vamp/human romance” thing (which I know is totally cheesy), but I like where this is going.

Right now it’s about a girl, Elise, who gets pulled into a different universe (it kinda works off of that whole multiverse theory thing, except with magic) and she has to find her way home. I’m honestly only on the fourth page in google docs, but I figure it’s not bad for a short story, especially since I’m nowhere near done yet.

Also I really hope no one from the 20% project is still reading this. Talk about embarrassing, considering this blog has basically turned into my writing journal.

But hey… if you are there… welcome? I guess? and where were you during my actual 20% project?

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Thinking in Written Form.

So.

I’m back.

I kinda always intended to come back. It doesn’t look like we’re doing another “20% project” this semester, and this is no longer for a grade, so I don’t really know why I’ve returned.

It just kind of always felt nice to get my thoughts and feelings out into written form, kind of helped me process them.

Plus I really don’t want to abandon writing again, so I think I might stick around.

I doubt I’ll be posting as often, since this isn’t a weekly grade anymore, and I never had any readers aside from my teacher, but I would like to come back and continue to “think in written form,” I guess.

I’d like to continue writing, but I feel like a full fledged book was a bit ambitious on my part. I should probably start much smaller, writing short stories or series until I can handle writing longer things. I do have a few ideas, one of which came about while playing the Sims 4 Vampires, but it seems everyone and their mother has written a supernatural love story. Though mine was somewhat inspired by Carmilla, both the book and web series, in that it involves lesbians.

Ah yes, the human/vampire romance trope.

Should be fun.

And since it was based off of a Sims game I kind of have some of it fleshed out, too. Though the most I’ve done with it is draw the two main characters, Lucia and…. “To Be Named.”

I picked the name Lucia specifically for it’s somewhat bloody background, that of Saint Lucia of Syracuse, who had her eyes gouged out and was made a martyr.

Should go without saying, but that’ll be the vampire’s name.

Or maybe it’ll be more fun to make that the human’s name.

Who knows.

Oh right, I’m supposed to.

X

The final blog posting.

After this I have to make sure all of my static pages are up to my standards and that’s it.

I guess I should talk about the “Ted Talk” I had to do. I really don’t remember much except that I looked at my paper way more than I should have. Was I swaying like I usually do when I stand? Don’t know, can’t remember. Did the class clap for me when I was done? I mean probably, since they did for everyone else. All I can remember is I got up, my mouth went dry as soon I was standing, and I spoke and kept awkwardly looking between my paper and teacher. Then I sat back down in my seat and had to try and stop myself from shaking.

Enough of that though. I’d like to forget all of what I do remember as soon as possible. Since this is the final blog posting maybe I should reflect on what I did and learned, and talk about what I’d like to do after.

Almost all of what I learned and how I feel about the project was in my talk, but the important parts were: I didn’t finish but don’t feel bad. I don’t feel bad because I learned what it’ll mean if I pursue writing as an actual career. I understand that I’m not likely to be the next John Green with a smash hit, so the project really showed me how difficult it is to divide your time well enough to do everything you have to, while giving yourself time to have a social life and have some fun. Another really important lesson is that I need to devote more time to planning, development, and outlining, since if you don’t at least have a vague enough idea of what you want to happen five scenes later, you’re probably going to get stuck.

After this I know I’d like to continue to write. The other reason I don’t feel bad that I didn’t reach my goal is because I remembered how much fun writing was. I don’t know if I’m going to jump right back into writing this story, but I’m not throwing the idea out. I’ll probably just set it aside to develop it more, and focus on things that I have a better feel for.

I don’t really know what else to say. I kind of wanted this to be all dramatic and meaningful, but it just kinda turned into this instead, kind of like most things in life I guess.

I should probably go make sure my static pages are good enough.

Happy Friday the 13th.

“Some Sort of Fitting Title”

So I guess  my previous posting was somewhat depressing, or at least on my end it was. I really did enjoy the break that writing the book would give me, and as I stated in a previous blog posting it kind of reignited my love of writing. I think what really went wrong was that I hadn’t done enough planning.

When I was initially considering this as my goal, I was debating between making it 100% of my first draft done or just 60-75%, which would allow me more time to plan and outline what would happen and who it would happen to. All I really had to start with was that one scene that song left me with and however it had developed by the time I began to write. I think if we don’t have another 20% project for 2nd semester, I’d like to sideline this story and develop it more and work on another story I’ve been developing and turning over in my mind for much longer. I know I definitely don’t want to abandon writing again. I can feel myself getting better and learning more with each letter typed and each sentence rewritten and edited.

I am really happy I could use this as my goal in the end, however, even if I didn’t necessarily meet my goal. Going into this year, I knew I’d have a class where once a week I’d spend a day job-shadowing a company in a field I’d like to study in college. I decided that whether I’d go to a fashion company or something writing-related would be what I’d end up studying. Obviously with the slim pickings for creative writing, I ended up choosing fashion as what I’d shadow, but this project aided me in realizing just how much I’d love to become an author, and gave me an idea of how difficult it’ll really be.

I feel like that last paragraph ended abruptly, but I’ve never been good with writing concluding sentences.

I guess now all that’s left to worry about for this project are the remaining blogs and the dreaded “Ted Talk” where I have to stand and talk for five minutes straight. I already have an okay outline going but I have no idea how I’m going to stretch it to five minutes or stop “uh” “um” and “like” every other word. Once a friend of mine was able to count every time I said like within a three minute window of me talking, and if I remember correctly he counted at least 28. I mean the pitch/gallery walk was bad enough, and those required me to either talk for nowhere near as long or be answering questions.

The only reason I’m not backing  out of it entirely is because I know everyone else has to do the same.

After my first three postings I found that while I write I can usually come up with some sort of fitting title, but nothing’s come to me for this one. And wow, a blog post actually submitted on time. How did I manage that? It doesn’t feel like I had to force myself to write so I could get it in on time either.

Also I just noticed there’s a word counter in the corner of the screen. Who knew I could actually write 583 words so easily. Maybe I should make this whole blogging online thing a habit. Maybe I could turn that into a book. It’d definitely be easier to write, that’s for sure.

Happy New Year

Incredibly late here. I should have had this in ages ago. Better late than never though, am I right?

I guess with the end of the 20% project so close I can’t really lie to myself anymore. I never managed to make as much progress on my book as I’d have liked to. I just got caught up in so much school work and the stress of this being my senior year and what it means. It just got to be too much for me to handle, on top of some other things. Now I have a project due for another class the final TED talk due for this one, both of which require a lot of planning, and all of the work I should have done before it was due and planning for and probably having panic attacks over semester exams.

I just didn’t have the time.

Assuming next semester is any less awful and we’re given the chance to do another 20% project I’d really like to continue work on my book. I’m just really disappointed with myself over how poorly I did this semester, and since my brain always goes into “worst case scenario” mode over whether or not I’ll actually graduate or if any college will even accept me.

Happy new year.

Even Robots Could Write Better.

One thing that’ll really find myself getting caught on a lot is my style of writing. I always feel like it’s stale and plain. I mean here it’s really not that hard since it’s really just a portion of my inner monologue, so I can just type as I think and usually leave it at that.

But with writing I feel like I’m using the same words all the time or having everyone talk with the same inflection, or like they’re not different enough as characters (though that last part I’ve been doing better with.)

It’s weird to explain, since this isn’t really something I’ve really thought about, but mostly kinda “felt.”

It honestly feels really repetitive. I keep getting stuck when I’m working on getting into that flow that I keep mentioning. I’m at a point where I can kind of hit it if I keep writing long enough, but I’m never writing for long enough. Lab sessions I designate as writing labs aren’t long enough when I’m constantly checking the clock, and when I have 20% time in class it’s especially hard on an iPad since they kind of lag behind when I type fast. Plus recently I’ve been spending most, if not all of my lab time working on late assignments.

I guess the fix is do most of my writing at home when I have at least an hour available, but I really want to do some of my writing at school since it kind of serves as a sort of break between all the math and English assignments. And I’m not going to lie, I can get pretty distracted at home, which is why I’ve also been doing a lot of writing in the library.

But then the library closes at 4, and it’s also where I’ve been catching up on that late work too. I don’t know. If we end up doing this 20% project next semester (which I really kind of hope we do) I can use it as an opportunity to continue and keep working on my book.

I’ve gotten off track. I always feel like I sound so robotic when I write and I’m not like, “in the zone” or whatever. It’s weird. And I can’t think of anything else to write, and this post is past due, so I’m just gonna go ahead and post it.

Pantsing.

I never realized how much I missed writing. I don’t know why I ever stopped. I can make these people in my mind do absolutely anything I want. I just made one back-flip across a counter, in fact. It’s not part of the story but I did anyway.

There’s this one book that I’ve reread a few times, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, where the main character is a writer as well, and whenever I read it I desperately want to write. Now that I finally am again I’m actually kind of mad at myself for never actually following through with that desire. I’ve definitely found my flow now, no denying it. There’s no stopping this story from happening. I used to worry that I wouldn’t know what to do and get stuck a lot, but almost every word I write leads to a new idea for what should happen next. I remember when I was looking up tips for aspiring writers I learned that this kind of writing was called “pantsing,” which basically is the shortened version of “writing by the seat of your pants.” The alternative to this kind of writing is planned writing where you’ve outlined your story, details ranging from “just enough” to “meticulously cultivated.” While I did do some outlining and planning before the actual writing it really wasn’t that much, especially since I only had about a month to do so whereas most who outline take several months to several years, even.

I really don’t have much else to add this week, since almost everything I had to say was in the blog post I submitted earlier today (which should have been made two weeks ago (thank you Thanksgiving break)), so I think I’ll keep it short n’ sweet and end it here.

All Hope Is Not Lost.

I think I finally managed to find a kind of flow. It’s not the greatest and kinda bumpy, if that makes any sense, but it’s still something. Now to face challenge #2: writing around others.

Usually when I write I’m alone in my room, just me and my computer, which makes it pretty easy to focus on writing. But when I write in school I’m always afraid someone’s looking at my screen and reading it, and unless I can find the right lab the environment around me is really loud and distracting. I mean it’s already pretty difficult find just the right way to word each sentence and just the right words to use without having to do it in what feels like the loudest room in the world. I guess music helps sometimes, though, since it definitely works to drown out the sound. But then sometimes the tone of the song will influence the tone of my writing, or make it harder to tap into that “flow” I keep mentioning,  or just completely stop the process because I’m too busy singing along to whatever song is playing.

I also worry that when I write I’m spending too much time on writing and not enough on school, but then when I do my school work I worry I’m not writing enough.

I feel like I’m writing too many blog posts based off my worries. I guess something I could mention that isn’t negative is how I kind of found the flow? There really isn’t much to it, though. I just finally found the way to write the scene I wanted to by essentially changing everything about it. I literally ended up with 6 different google docs open to test different ideas and ways to write the scene, and each one I’d get stuck half a page in. Literally just yesterday did I find the magic I’d been searching so desperately for. The characters can finally move and stretch without feeling like its (too) forced, and I’ve managed to move forward into parts I don’t have as much trouble writing. I do however attribute a small part of this to the fact that I just changed the font in google docs to something you’d likely find in a book.

The very last thing I’m going to bring up is how funny I find it when I’m in the middle of writing dialogue and my finger accidentally slips over the caps lock key so SUDDENLY EVERYONE IS SHOUTING.

I really should start turning these in on time. I’m always afraid every Friday I’ll have absolutely nothing to talk about and yet always manage to find something when I write them the Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday after it’s due. Plus it’d be nice to see if I’d ever be able to get the “Top Blog” thing.

Just Keep Writing.

I feel bad. I haven’t been posting here like I should be, and I’m worried since I’ve been having trouble writing and lying to myself about it. When I try to write, nothing comes to mind. I keep rotating between a few different attempts to inspire myself, but everything else falls flat too. I keep getting stuck on one particular scene, so I figure what I need to do is try writing it in different ways. I’ve tried writing it in third person, second person, first person. I’ve tried starting in the middle of dialogue or a scene, I’ve tried by having my main character talk about her backstory a little, or at the beginning of her day from the moment she wakes up.

I’ve also tried writing a few scenes ahead and seeing if it gives me any ideas for how to write the scene, but those get me stuck too. I’ve even considered to switching to another story idea that I’ve been developing for a lot longer and even wrote out before and seeing what I can do to make it longer, but then I run into another problem that I’ve been having with this one, too.

I know where I want everything to start and how I want it to end, but I’m having trouble thinking of what obstacles I want my characters to face in between. I need to find a way to make it longer, essentially. I mentioned somewhere before that I wrote something before which ended up being about 7 “parts” long, and through google I’ve found that on average a paperback novel has about 250-300 words on each page and that a 50k word novel would be about 170-ish pages in Word or Google Docs. It makes me feel a little better though, since I was expecting something way crazier.

The final problem is that I’m afraid it won’t be good, even though I chose specifically to write a first draft so it didn’t have to be good. I just can’t get it through to myself that it won’t even have the chance to be good if I don’t write it at all, and since I’ve made a commitment through this project I have to at least try. Everything else I’ve tried to make a commitment to has failed, and I just keep putting this off because I’m afraid that it’ll fail too, even though that’s a 100% guarantee that it will.

I’m actually really glad these blog posts are part of the project, since it really helped me think through some of the problems I’ve been having. I even have some ideas for how to get through that scene, and generally when I can find that “flow” I have almost no problem writing afterwards. Even in n writing the last sentence in the previous paragraph I feel a lot better, since all I could think of in the back of my mind is a little blue fish giving me the best advice anyone could: just keep writing.

I hope this isn’t confusing or anything, I just kind of wrote what I thought as I thought it with little editing or revision.

3rd Post

To start, I’d just like to address how weird it feels to submit a blog post to a teacher. The writing here is so much more informal and personal compared to the writing on any other assignment. I talk on this blog in a way I’d probably never talk in front of a teacher, though that’s mostly because I’m too awkward when I can’t organize, edit, and straight up delete my thoughts like I can online. Plus I’m already used to sharing my thoughts and feelings online, so this just feels natural to me.

Yesterday I pitched my project to my teacher and it took a while after to calm down. My mouth was really strangely dry and all I wanted to do was make myself as unnoticeable as possible. But I’m glad now I have that and the after-school pitch/gallery walk out of the way, so now it’s all just writing until the oh so dreaded “Ted Talk.”

I should probably talk about the after school part, too. It  was ok. I mean at first it was weird cause some people had their family there taking pictures by their boards and I was just standing there like… “ok.” It took about 30 minutes for someone to finally come ask a question, and after that I got a few people. Though the only question most people asked me was “What’s the story about?” which I get, but it got boring just repeating the same answer over and over, especially since it’s just about the only thing I said. I felt like a scratched record, just repeating the same thing like 5 times. I really appreciated the people who stopped by and recommended a book or talked about their own book-writing projects though.

The last thing I really feel the need to talk about is the actual writing. I’m gonna start tonight, which I’m looking forward to. I want to write during my lab time in school too, but I really don’t like writing where people can peek at my screen and read it. It’s weird but it makes me uncomfortable. I might just start bringing my computer to school and find a more private hidden place to write, or just look for an empty corner in the labs. Its distracting when I feel like people are reading while I’m writing and makes it hard to find that kind of “flow.” I’ll just have to deal with it as it happens, I guess. I hope I have enough to talk about here after this.