Category Archives: writing trivia

Message to fellow writers

For young writers, who have their Pinterest filled with quotes and notes under them “I can use that”.

Writing is imperfect act.

The purity of thought is not another quote from somebody else’s mouth. It’s your thoughts. If you write your story using quotes, it’s like writing a literary essay with references to other writers, or people.

We already live in the world of copy-paste, wouldn’t you want to stand out of that? Think for yourself. Write down your own thoughts.  I want to read a story, not an essay.

I pick up your story to read your thoughts. I want to read the classics, I go straight to them.
But I am not. I’m interested in you!

So.

Have confidence. 
Impress me with yourself.

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Filed under elements of writing, writing trivia

Let’s talk about describing your online fiction piece.

I read a lot of short stories and novel-length things stories that don’t always get categorized as published book. Lately I have noticed that there are few things that bother me about them. Not the actual stories, for most times they are quite fun and if it comes with some grammar mistakes or misspelled words or timing mistakes, they don’t matter, because I know they are not professionals.

However, there are few things that could be done differently. So I decided to add a little list for any aspiring writers, who post on fictionpress or wordpress or fanfiction or any other platforms so they may get readers to read rather to skim past them:

  • Describing your story should really be a one-two sentence description, not “I’m not good with this describing thing” or “You decide after you read” or “I don’t own these xyz-named-firm’s characters, whaaah!”. Or “Your avarage fiction of…” or “I know I’m bad, but it’s actually quite good!” . Oh, and my absolute astonishment “Read to find out!”
    And “Don’t like it, don’t read.” Truly, if I wasn’t interested, I wouldn’t have picked it out of the line of hundreds, now would I?
    There is time and place to spread your insecurities, it should not be the description where the reader expect to find out whom the story is about and what’s the situation. I am consciously skipping every story that “dares” me to find out how good they are, for 3/5 are actually bad. Often not because the idea is bad, but the entire thing is often written sloppily, with little care and almost no editing. I loath stories where one paragraph turns out to be 215 word long sentence with no punctuation, small or capital lettering and pretty much remind me of Timothy Dexter, who added his in the end of his novel. Only, it was annoying 1797 and is annoying now.
    “This is going to be…” is also a kinky way to actually say nothing about the story and thus lose your reader, for after reading the description they still are not much wizer on who did what or what the conflict is about.
    When I am in searching mode, then a simple who did what or conflict description goes a long way. Or if the story is based on some incident.
  • Acronyms, for example   T/S, M/C, P&T&S or anything else that gets invented on the go, should not be in the description unless it is well known. That trend is actually moving into temporary romances as well and it is a big turnoff. Takes forever to understand what you could have either added in the first paragraph in your introduction rather than in that description where “After x-movie timewerse, Tony met Sally on his way to school and they decided to have a lunch” works so much better. Leave the acronyms for the first introductory paragraph, so they are still there, but they don’t take away that tiny description space that can actually pull in the readers.
  • “OC was just a normal person”. Alright, I understand that this is a common noter of a younger writer, which I’m not discussing more than I wish to bring out that if you say normal, try imagining what that “normal” character is doing. If you can imagine them reading a book, eating, drinking coffee with their eyes searching blue sky – maybe there is a better way to describe your OC you wish to mix in the already existing realm? Skip “normal” and say “Patric tested out his new toy and opened up a portal to Avenger movie”.
  • “Disclaimers: I don’t own the characters/movie/realm/etc” should be enough. But mostly it is followed by “If I did, I’d be *something f-u-n-n-y*”. Aside the disclaimer, I have developed a quick finger syndrome to skip whatever rant follows, for one can read only so many witty disclaimers before you get overloaded.
  • Begging for reviews or threatening to quit writing if you don’t get likes or using emotional blackmailing in the first sentences… Blackmailing goes down on no-one unless they have some emotional investment in you. Rather keep your dignity and don’t beg. “It’s my first story, so please be gentle” – it’s like setting up a sign asking all the trolls to gather for lunch. If your reader finds it interesting enough, they’ll let you know. If you are out to get “texts from your readers”, then most see it as time to leave.
  • Which brings me down to the last, and most important reason why I began in the first place – don’t apologize for your writing in advance. If you posted it, you are taking responsibility for it anyway. You already agree that what you’ve posted might be offensive to some, so why apologize to them in advance? Just say “This story deals with mature topics, sensitive topics” rather than apologizing in advance in case they didn’t like your story.
    The thumb rule, at least for me and most of the writers, is that you post only what you are ready to stand up for. If you are uncomfortable or feel insecure about it, then don’t post it. Look it over, think it through and then, when you are ready, then put it up. But what you DO put up, you take full responsibility for. There will always be somebody, who feels they need to point out some moral rule based on their world view or think you should not write this or that. So you have to be sure.
    If you think you can avoid it by warning ahead that this will be “hardcore violent” or anything else, you need to know that it makes you look worse if you don’t deliver. When I read, I deliberately start searching out the promised “warning” and I’m afraid, a lot of beginners don’t deliver what they promise. Can’t blame them, really, for often they need more experience to know better. So my advice would be – don’t do it. Don’t warn people – if they picked your story out in M section, they already expect it to be for adults and thus have no need for warnings suitable for PG-13. Think, when is the warning necessary and when you are overdoing it. 

These were my grains in the pot. Something that has been bothering me, and will continue bothering me, when reading online. Hasn’t stopped me from reading yet, but sometimes it’s better to learn from other’s mistakes than repeating them yourself.

Have a nice writing day!

 

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Filed under Drama, elements of writing, kirjutamisest, Writing, writing trivia

July Nano, homepage and boxes

It has been very busy lately. Firstly because I am finally leaving the dormitory life behind and, well, it takes some work to do that. Mainly things like packing and ordering a moving help and all that and I only have this last week end for it.

Secondly, because Nano is around the corner again. I doubted if I’d want to take it up. Because of the reasons up there. I thought it will go to half way to July, but then I was told I can finish the contract earlier and I went for it. So suddenly I discovered that I do get the time! Well, as much as it is available, but I can do it!

The idea, what to write, came to me few days ago  too, so now I’m super exited as if on coffee rush and can’t wait for it to start! For that I even made the Friday Flash Fiction entry a bit earlier. Oh, and because I don’t have any internet for the week-end. No time for writing either. Or not at least before Sunday.

But the idea!

rare-pearl-cover 

Gale Wenalan , a gargoyle has a rare pearl he knows dragons would want – his baby brother. And thus, he hates dragons with a vengeance. It doesn’t help that Accark, a dragon, has moved across him in his apartment building and seems desperate to become his friend. Accark’s logic seems clear – he wants the pearl. But when the dragon shows up again, wanting to hire him, things don’t seem so clear any more.

I’m exited! Maybe it’s a fluff story, maybe something more, maybe lots of tears, maybe tragic – god knows. I have no idea! And that, my dear readers, is what makes it so deeply exiting. Ok, so maybe i already have some idea, but that has to end on paper now 😀 . Clicking on the image will take you to the homepage, where the character profiles are.

Speaking of which – I have filled out all the empty articles I had for the purpose of building the system, but got left to wait due the time that the publishing took. I still have a book at editing stage, but I figured it didn’t look right to have empty places, so I just gritted my teeth and went and did it. The only part that has no entries yet, is Feher’s characters. There are two reasons for that – Nano is starting and at the moment I think the publishing rate is full enough. So I’ll concentrate on Nano for now and leave that for the August, which would give me a nice prep for the next Nano, when I’ll take up the last alien book again and finish it – there are a lot of characters of that section, so it will take a lot of time to fill them all up.

I also began a new section there, which I hope to continue – LC Sunday Journal. It’s a bit different, so I hope you’ll be nicely surprised when you visit it.

I will hopefully have time for a movie though, after I have exhausted my energies on cleaning and packing. I decided that I just will make the time, because the last time I went to cinema was with my niece and half a year ago. So, a little grown up movie would be good for change, and the perks of going to see that at 22 in the night is soooo tempting.

But I gotta go back to work now – still have some boxes to sort out before I can go and collect the next punch and I still have some cargo packing to do as official work.

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Filed under Drama, kirjutamisest, Working through ideas, Writing, writing trivia

Planning

With the new homepage, although I doubt I can call it new as I’ve had it over half a year already, I realized that I haven’t had much time to actually write here. However, I have learned tons about managing my own page, making e-books and editing. And how to plan my time.

When I started the whole homepage thing, I confess, I thought I will run into error pretty much after I have started it, making it into another dead end project.  I am very pleased that somehow I have managed to work out a schedule and it is working nicely so it won’t be a dead end project. I know I still have a lot to fix there, and I am working on it, but in general it has become pretty much what I was hoping for. Maybe tweaking the design later a bit.

Another good thing to announce, although  a bit late duo all the work we’ve been doing in my day job, for something has to pay rent too 😀 , I have a book out! My very first one. If you click the image, it will open the window to my Amazon page – I still can’t believe I have that! – and you can buy it from there.

 

gargoyle amazon finished

Selene Ferguson is falling off the wagon. Her life has taken step for the worst and now she shares her living space with rats, cockroaches and a singing neighbor, who wakes up at three. Not to mention the odd pair two doors left, whose colorful arguments rock the small community every passing hour for the past two days.

Enter – a goblin! With simple enough task for the lady – open a box and get paid for it. Selene is no simpleton to forget the mistakes of Pandora, but with money running out faster than sand through the fingers, she decides to close her eyes and just do it. She doesn’t know what this little box is for and little does she care.

Until the distraction that box was suppose to create in the hall is suddenly hunted down by a gargoyle…

I know the first book was supposed to be Third Law. I haven’t set it aside yet. Only, this book’s editing ended before that and I decided not to wait. In truth, I have one book more that is edited to its last form, so I am planning to let it out before Midsummer’s Eve, as the book itself is about Midsummer. Sad news to my English readers though – that book is in Estonian. I do have English version too, but as that is only the first draft, then this will stay as free read on the homepage. Or, let me rephrase it – it will come there as free reading instead of Estonian, which will be published soon.

Another news, I am adding this blog into the schedule list. I was thinking… Sundays are still free? 😀 I am learning how to use the Tasks in Google Calendar. The last week has been under the star of removing and learning how to use the new writing systems next to Scrivener. I like that program, but it has become clear that if I want to be productive, then I need to arrange myself somewhat more relyable system than my hardware is at the moment. Too many blue screens and other problems, which both send my brother into laughing fits. So to make up to it, I am moving my writing around, organizing my writing and how I write, schedule the homepage things and see that I have few off days there too.

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News!

(If you are following the homepage, I’m sorry, this sort of repeats the news section sometimes)

With a new year come new challenges and hopes and dreams!

As you can see my homepage (<<- Follow the link here) has taken a month worth pause on updates. Mostly duo my daily job. However, the pause is over now and starting with the first Sunday of this year, the updates should become regular once more. So who hasn’t visited yet or would like to join – now’s the time!

I hoped by now to have good news on upcoming publications, but editors are humans too and they too have had their daily life to struggle with, so unfortunately we are still waiting updates on anthologies.

As of a complete book of my own – the editing of Huntsman’s Daughter  is 2/3rd done and I am planning on getting it out there on 29th of February. Yes, folks, I’m giving you a real deadline for an unpublished book! Still so much to do yet, but no point of waiting forever.

Here’s the pitching for the Huntsman’s Daughter.

Huntsman’s Daughter tells a mystery story with romantic and paranormal elements of Evelyn Helder, who has a mission – stop her father. Easier said than done, when her plans are neatly crushed by Saul-Erik Reigner, a man, whose only mission is to protect his people and doing so, he sees no place for a chemist, who has invaded his territory with a secret that puts them all in danger.

What else? I’ve been in writing mood lately too. I am still reading the 9 Day Novel book – still getting pissed over the personal input, but like the method. So yeah, I hope to keep this working schedule as long as possible before the rest of my life goes boom boom again. Which it most likely will do. So yeah, working mood! Woohoo!

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Happy New Year!

winterHappy New Year, everyone!

Because writing wasn’t going so well and we had a small break from the workload, I decided to fill an old promise I had made for my niece a month ago before NaNo began – new set of doll clothes.

It was partly inspired by a revelation that I had mom’s sewing machine only meters away from my writing desk and that I haven’t sewn anything or done any other handwork in a while. Well, little things excluded like teaching niece how to make snowflakes after her ballet class.

As of writing, I think of taking up Flash Fiction this year on my homepage. It is very hard to write and do things without deadlines it seems, so perhaps setting myself some goals again might help it.

 

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Half of the result of the 5 hours in the kitchen.

I had a little surprise this Christmas, too. It’s hard not to get in mood, when your folks declare that they are heading to the forest and you are left with kitchen duty on Christmas Eve morning, so after 5 hours I finally did “go in the mood”, sort of. I think it was more like this soothing feeling that even if you are not in the mood, traditions don’t ask and still happen. Which, considering my mood, was a soothing palm.

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Pinky Cooper, later named Poppy.

Also, who can stay angry when the Dwarf Express decided that as my niece had asked a dog doll from Santa, because the doll is so different from the rest, her aunty must need one too. So my only present this year was this on the right. To everybody’s surprise they are very nice! Soft on touch, articulated hands and feet, entire body toned with blush and beauty marks, soft changeable hair, DETAILED and WELL MADE costume (which compared to some of the Barbies and others I’ve seen – wow! Yoke! With buttons! SEWN ON!). My niece loves it and I love it.

So, as to fulfill my promises before the new year starts, I picked up the sewing machine and went for it. Lessons learned: don’t trust the pattern sizes and the newbie mistakes are bound to happen no matter how many times you do it.

 

We have this old piece of white polyester cloth that got ruined thanks to a little puppy nosebleed on the most inconvenient time, so it has been sitting for about 15 years. As nothing big can be made of it, but as you can skip doing edges for it melts, it was perfect candidate for this.

The first dress was actually the easiest. The reason it looks pink underneath is doll’s swim suit. My first time trying to make sleeve like sleeves. There has to be an easier way to sew them! Must be! Thank god I couldn’t break the machine as it is not mine or I would have pushed it off the table so many times. Fixing the mistakes I made with the machine took more time than sewing it all by hand. I would know, because I have done this by hand for a long time. But in the end The dress got made and I am very happy about it. It fit! And who can deny that satisfaction!

The white dress was an experiment. The lacy part is the back to add some spunk. I tried to make a layered petal dress. Relatively easy, given the pattern didn’t fit at all in the end and this was the dress that proved to me – I do not like patterns with seam allowance. It drove me nuts when I spent the next 2 hours fitting it on the doll.

The puff pants bad image – haven’t got another image. That’s testing my own made pattern. After I had enough of all the off size measurements, I decided to make one of my own. I recall it being far easier in school. Oh well, it was fun :D.

And the last, but not the least my joy and pride – a coat. Because my niece likes to take her Barbies one by one to kindergarten, then she might as well use a coat to cover up their dresses so they don’t get dirty. This is made of the same material I had my own old coat made of. It is heavy though, but I loved it. This piece alone took me a whole day – all the seam allowances had to be stitched over or it would be a very short lived. I still like Lolita fashion on Barbies :D.

And now, as the last sunset of 2015 has ended, the second picture of it for you. A pink sunset for the ending year.

May the coming year be filled with inspiration and will to work, stamina, coffee and friends. May it carry only the best and bring you lots of publications and good reviews. 

winter 2

 

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Nano background

I discovered that Nano page has tiny little feature I hadn’t noticed before – it shows you how many words you’ve written over the years. Mine, as it turns out, is only 80k short from 500 000. I don’t think it actually includes CampNano statistics, but that sort of gives me different goal for this year – 80k instead of 50k. Can I do it? Maybe, won’t know before I try.

But as this means the number of words I need to finish for certain days is different than official Nano, I made myself a little reminder. Just a fun half an hour project. So if there is anybody else trying for 80k – here’s a little thing for you – a background for your 80k goal for Nano.

nano backround

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