Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Other than Writing

What do I do when I’m not writing? Well, I draw. And I admit it that it’s not fun, but it’s fun when the time your drawing is taking shape. Commonly in the past, I draw anime style but now, I’m in for the realisticJ. Here is some of my works (which i hope you'll consider as... um... not-sucks-that-much).

1. ) Kissing and Blushing – I have no idea why I titled it like that. I created this for about three days and this is a very, very old piece.

2.) Ali – well, this is new. I’m just experimenting with styles and this came up.

3.) Just – this one I did when a professor was discussing something boring. I like this one because it has a poem to go with the couple.

4.) Skull inside – this is me, when I’m a skull and still alive (huh?! Sometimes I confuse myself)

5.) Sinister Bianca – this the most recent, but a very old character of mine.

Soooo, that’s it, that’s my drawings. And no, this is not all, there are still hundreds that wouldn’t fit to my scanner (sucks right?). And yes, I created an artwork for each chapter of my book, you’ll just have to see it for yourself when I ePub it. :D 

Sunday, 12 February 2012

How I became a Writer

When I was about five, I said to my teacher “I want to be an astronaut”, when I was twelve I decided to be an artist, so I did summer classes, and competed in events. When I was sixteen, I enrolled to a college course I don’t know if I even need, if I even want. But on December 17, 2007 (still age sixteen), 1:06 pm, inside a book store… something happened. I suddenly decided to write. It was the time when I just watched ‘the Golden compass’ (I know it’s a terrible movie, but I like the book) and ‘Finding Neverland’ (actor: Johnny Depp). Suddenly that day, ideas came howling in my mind. Just for the fun of it, I immediately conjured a world of my own. I imagined characters, a different universe full of curiosity and alternation and a story I believe worth telling. It’s a magical epiphany for me back then, and I think I can never forget that.
When I was younger I really don’t write, I just play with my action figures and legos. They have characters in my mind, and each time I play with them, it’s like a continuing episode for they have a story of their own. It’s not writing I know, but that’s imagination.
So when I first written the very first draft of the very first chapter of my book… It was an EPIC FAIL. First of all (so many ‘first’ K), the grammar sucked, the first sentence was past tense , then the second was present. I mean literally, it really did sucked. Second of all (even the grammar doesn’t sucked) the writing was not good. I got no voice, poor vocabulary, farfetched idea, et cetera, et cetera… sigh* and I had the guts to let my friends read it! (facepalm) I was so ashamed and devastated that time for they told me the truth (and I’m thankful for that)
But… I don’t know… that didn’t stop me from writing. I still continued until I finished the whole book! Can you believe that? Well I did it with some of my friends’ encouragements (friends who is allergic in wrong grammar), which was also writing their own story. They are more talented than me in every way: their writing had voice, their imagination was far better, and their paragraphs are more grammatically correct. But the thing is, some of them stopped writing, I don’t know why, but they just did. I’m aware they have their own dreams, but their talent is such a waste (I hope they can give me their talent, lol).
Now I’m here, typing this blog-post, still having that dream that this idea of mine would be read by people I don’t know (which I’m happy to meet). I edited the whole book, and writing the sequels and novellas in between. I didn’t stop; I entertained critics with their brutal comments just to push me to my finest. And I’m glad I did it.
I have a dream, not just a hobby. Even my writing was stupidly done back then, I persevere, and I keep that dream even with all the criticism that broke my heart.
Today, my story has 195,879 words, and I’m almost done in trimming it down to its most readable form. Proof reading will be next with the help of a friend, and after that will be ePublishing.
So, before I end this, let me give you some words of wisdom:
Talent is worthless without perseverance
Not just talent… everything

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dr. Seusse and my kid-self

So its midnight and I’ve been reading a lot of Dr. Seusse. I greatly love how he rhymed those words perfectly (especially the Grinch!) “And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”. I remember watching the movie when I was a kid, being nostalgic in a sudden. I still remember when his heart got bigger and bigger and that put a smile on my kid face back then. Oh the joy of youth…
Well, looking back, my mind was pretty normal as a kid, but now, it’s kind of weird (not in a threatening way). Maybe because of over exposure to the movies of Tim Burton (remember the Nightmare before Christmas?) especially SWEENEY TODD with all the gloating of throats and singing about pretty women. And it’s pretty odd I also like Mamma Mia and Fiddler on the roof… hmm.  Maybe I’m not alone…
So, combining my kid-self and my now-self, I mimicked some of Dr. Seusse style and come out with this cursed poem entitled “Red” (Evil laugh*):
There’s a girl in this story, a girl you can’t see.
There’s nothing to worry, she’s gentle as can be.
She wears a red dress, pretty as a rose.
She doesn’t leave mess, just a bit I suppose.
She wears a red ribbon, just above her head.
Her eyes dark and lovely, she can be your pet.
Her hair is long and shiny.
And you’ll see her with no regret.

She likes looking at people, it makes her sane.
If you see her, please don’t hit her with a crane.
She likes you reading this, she likes it a lot.
So you can look behind you… wait… maybe not…

Monday, 6 February 2012

The Query Letter Experience

Do you know I queried hundreds of agents? (If you’re not a writer reading this, you’ll be bored out. So shu! Joking, stick around and see. If you a writer, skip this part and to the third paragraph) If you written a book, finished already, revised it with your blood and sweat (literally…), that’s the time you’ll make a query letter. When I first heard the words “query letter”, I said, “what in the world is that?!” and I found out… its… the…most stressful thing a writer could do. It is a letter for selling your book to a literary agent. First of all, you should be concise with it. Second, each agent differ in how they like a query letter would be (by that, you’ll revise it again for hours). And third… It sucks. I don’t have the guts to admit it back then but it really do sucks. Some writers take classes just to perfect their query letter writing.
 But maybe, I sucked too. I don’t know, but no agent had accepted my story… or its just I’m just querying all the NY agents which is really hard to please… I don’t know. But I respect the agents either way. They filtered the greats.
I have been rejected not once, not twice, but worse. Agents will reject you if they don’t like the plot of your book (obviously). But that’s too general, so I created factors that leads to query rejection (original title: Factors that leads to writer depression and unbelieving to self after receiving a rejection letter)
  1. Your book/plot is not original (e.g. vampires, hunky guys, love struck girls, rip offs)
  2. Poor writing (poor writing of the query letter)
  3. Not direct to the point (e.g. you add your not wanted achievements. Remember agents don’t care… yet [they care if you sign a contract with them])   
  4. Addressing them wrongly (e.g. when you call a MR a MS)
  5. Querying an agent not in line with your genre.  
  6. The agent doesn’t want new clients.

(If you are a writer and queried, you already know all of these, maybe more.)
So if you got accepted, feel triumphant and treat me an iPad 2. But if you got rejected… well… eat a lot of chocolates, it helps in my part. But don’t be down just yet, rejection is a part of life, it sucks big time but it helps you thrive. You can think of giving up but ask yourself “do I really need to give up”. Sadness after rejection is a process, you’ll be happy afterwards if you do what I do:
  1. Watch HBO and hope the movie is a funny one.
  2. Pat my dog and my cat
  3. Read a book
  4. Take a walk (I prefer nighttime, just so I can see the lights)
  5. Hang out with friends (<I don’t actually do this, but I think it helps)
  6. Read success stories

You have to know that I don’t know if any of the paragraphs above helps. But I hope it does. Even I’ll be publishing in kindle and other paid sites, I still want to hold my book physically, every writers dreams of that. But my dream is just to be published, even in digital form… because it’s better than nothing.   

Saturday, 4 February 2012

A writer's (very unknown writer) delusions and expectations.

So it’s the middle of the night and I have nothing to do. I’ve decided to write this. Look away now if you don’t want to hear some of my literary fantasies (strictly literary fantasies, not other fantasies which is private..)
I’m always telling to myself the past few days that “when you epublish your book, it doesn’t mean it’ll get famous!” but hope against hope, I wish I’m wrong. I know its delusional but, hey, what cha gonna do about it? I wrote a book from scratch, and I did it when I was studying a very hard course in college (it’s not even related in writing at all) with a licensure exam, and it’s been five years of waiting just so you know. I need someone who’ll appreciate it when I e-pub it in kindle. But I’m afraid of heartbreak it won’t sell… (sigh…)
I can’t easily say that my story is complex, but its complex. The topic is deep and very controversial. It’s the typical story of good versus evil, and yet intricate with all the explanation. I won’t reveal information about it just yet (my editor is still doing his job, and when I say editor, I mean a friend which is highly allergic to wrong grammar and punctuations). It have a male protagonists (which I doubt will be famous because female protagonists is now the current hype) and he’s a very loner 16 year old. It’s just something happened to him and discovered what he is all by himself. You know, just between us, its freaking (I want to use the other f word but… well, you get the point) hard to do that. I guess that’s why some of the past mainstream novels have another protagonists that when he or she arrives, all become magical and interesting (see Twilight, Mortal instruments, trylle series. Which I all love). Well, my story is not like that… it’s a bit gross, and funny at some point in the story. I don’t know, I’m not in the proper place to decide that its actually is, I’m the author for Pete’s sake, no one read my book completely except for my girlfriend, so, how should I know? I just hope whenever I publish it these coming months a single reader would love it.   
And somehow (and I mean it), I don’t care about the money… well that’s not entirely true. I want the money to pay for my necessities like food, clothing, etc. The main thing I want is for the story to be heard… well… read I mean.
So if one day (IF one day) you read my book and discovered this ancient and outdated blog. You see what I felt before e-publishing it… dread, excitement, nervousness…um… (You, give me another adjective. Wait. I can handle this)… horror and disgust to my delusions (damn it! I’m out of adjectives again).