Sunday, April 29, 2012

I do Things With Style

Fellow blogger and follower recently asked me in a comment, "what is your favourite writing style?"

To which my answer was: "I prefer to write narratives in third person with an omniscient narrator."

To elaborate, I actually find it a little difficult to write in first person. When I try it, I believe that I use "I" too much, especially at the start of a sentence and it just drives me crazy. I know that there are many people out there who are masters of this particular art, but I feel that I am not yet one of them.

On the other hand, when writing a short story, I write in first person almost instinctively. It's short and I have to fit a lot into it, so there's not as much time for elaborate descriptions of what the main character is thinking and feeling and seeing and sensing. I feel comfortable writing in first person if I am writing short fiction, but when it comes to chapter-length pieces, my brain switches straight to third person, generally with an omniscient narrator.

I guess that with practice and proof-reading, I will become better and more confident with writing in first person for longer stories. But for now, the fact stands that I am a third person writer.

If there are any questions from anybody, please feel free to ask me and I might even make a blog entry about it.

- Bonnee.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Walking Naked

One of my favourite poems in the world, and I stumbled upon it after reading the book Walking Naked by Alyssa Burgman. The book was a wonderful read with some well-explored, real, brutal, honest themes. I was captivated by this book and honestly could not put it down.

Back to the poem!

A Coat - by William Butler Yeats
I made my song a coat
Covered with embroideries
Out of old mythologies
From heel to throat;
But the fools caught it,
Wore it in the world's eyes
As though they'd wrought it.
Song, let them take it,
For there is more enterprise
In walking naked.

What's your favourite poem?

- Bonnee.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dots or Commas?

Just yesterday, one of my friends asked if he could read my manuscript. I know this kid likes reading, so I gave him a copy and told him to let me know if he finds any mistakes. Well... he's done a great job so far. He'd read the first 12 chapters by this morning and came to me with a document of things I could change: spelling, wording, punctuation... mostly stuff an author misses in their own work, because they know how it's supposed to read and automatically reads it as such.

There were some suggestions I disagreed with however, but there was one particular instance which I thought I'd get a few more opinions on before I decided whether or not to go with it. A piece of the manuscript reads:

 "... oh my, my, my, my, my," she mumbled... 
My friend's suggestion is that instead of commas, I should use three dots (...). I disagree with this, but with a reason. I intend the reader to hear this being said very quickly and I believe that using the three dots will make them perceive this bit of dialogue as said slowly.

Is my reason valid enough, or do you think that it would be punctually incorrect for me to use commas instead of dots in this instance?

* Please note: the (...) at the beginning and end of the quote are not part of the original text. They are simply being used here to show that this is not the whole sentence the quote was taken from.  

Your input and thoughts would be lovely and much appreciated.

- Bonnee.

Saturday, April 14, 2012 Award: WriteUp of the Month

A quick note before the good stuff: I have to thank the Writer's Digest blogs, namely the Poetic Asides blog,  with all it's writing prompts and competitions etc which have gotten my arse into gear over the past week (which is roughly how long I have been following). I'M WRITING ON DEMAND AGAIN! Anyone else who needs some writing inspiration, head on over and see what they can do for you!

So over on my account, which you can find a link to in the Find Me tab, I received an award for a poem I have posted on a few writing websites now, Colours of Sunset and War, which I may have mentioned a few posts ago. Head on over and check it out if you fancy.

I don't attend to this account so much, and I'm not 100% convinced that the site was worth joining. No one seemed to have even read the poem until I got the award for it. But I'm cool with the award and the slight boost of attention it got me :) You can find the original version of this poem on my FictionPress account, and the same version that won the award on my Wattpad account. Just check out the links in the Find Me tab.

If you scroll riiiiiight to the very bottom of the blog page, under the huge list of blogs I follow, you will see the 'badge' I received for it.

- Bonnee.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

This and That About My Writing

First up, here's the most current version of the excerpt I posted from my manuscript a couple of posts ago, after a few people gave me some good feedback:

It was warm inside the Training House. The room was large, with tables and chairs against one wall. A stone fireplace crackled with life at the far end of the room. The three children walked into the changing rooms at the back of the building where they put their training gear on. Their uniforms were white, but Chihiro’s uniform had a golden insignia of an Evergreen Tree sewn into its back and on its breast, signifying that she was a Master of the Arts, just like Master Yuusan. Her siblings were still only students. The last parts of their uniforms were their belts: all black.
Feel free to give me more feedback!

Question: Should I workshop snippets of my manuscript on my blog again? What do you all think?

In other news, I won a free signed book, which I think is pretty cool: Love-Shy, by Lili Wilkinson. I read a snippet of it on her blog which I enjoyed and I am looking forward to reading more!

Last up, I finally finished reading The Rugmaker of Mazar-e-Sharif by Najaf Mazari and Robert Hillman, which I am studying in English this term. And I am now a quarter of the way through a screenplay which I am studying in literature: Bastard Boys by Sue Smith.

And just because I managed to edit another three pages of my manuscript since the last blog post (good effort, I know right?), here are the last few characters who I managed to visually create using THIS programme.

Madam Koi: This is the closest I could make her. Her hair is meant to be really crazy! But otherwise, this is pretty cool. I love the way I was able to make her eyes.

The Witch of the White Lands: Again, best impression, but I'm quite pleased with it. The programme didn't offer black lips though.

The Witch of Thorns: I can't complain that much about this one. She's not that big of a character in A Fallen Star, but I do plan on making a sequel in which she plays a much bigger role. I just thought I'd make her too because the programme wouldn't let me make male characters and I was really bored.


- Bonnee.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Trump Cards of the Slack

Happy Easter, folks!

So I managed to go from following 60 blogs to following 89 in the space of an hour on Good Friday. Damn you Jane Friedman for posting so many good links... The number of blogs I follow has since increased. I have probably just signed myself up for a suicide mission, as I wasn't reading all of the new posts from blogs I was already following... and I've just increased my list by half. Oh well! The more resources the merrier! :)

In other news, I have been such a slack writer/editor person and hardly touched my manuscript whatsoever since before the Easter school holidays, except from the little workshop I did on the short passage I posted last blog entry. And now we are more than half way through those two weeks of freedom from school. I'd like to blame the amount of holiday homework which was mercilessly dumped on me, but in all honestly, I've hardly touched that either. Oops...

So here is my blog-worthy trump card. A few years ago, during the inception/first draft of Evergreen: A Fallen Star, I stumbled upon a female anime creator on deviantART which I can no longer find the link to (if anyone recognizes the programme and knows where I can find it, a link would be lovely), and so I created some of the female characters from Evergreen to the best of the programme's and my own combined ability. Here are the results.

Chihiro: I could only find long hair which was straight in this programme, so this is as close as I could get. I would have liked to make her hair a bit wavier, curlier, crazier... not over the top, but with a little bit more life. Now that I look at it, her eyes and eyebrows are not right. At least not this combination. Her eyebrows should be more raised; she's supposed to be a confident character. This picture highlights her motherly/gentle side more than her overall personality does. The smile is right though, and I can't complain about the rest.

Sakura: This is probably the best visual recreation of any of the characters that I could generate. Her hair should be perhaps a touch darker, and I wrote it as braided, not like this. Otherwise she is perfect and I lover her too much for words.

That's all for now! Tell me what you think of these characters and I will get back to you soon (either next post or the one after that) with a few more visual recreations of my characters.

- Bonnee.

Edit: Thank you to Giora for helping me find the programme which I used to create the visual images of these characters. Please click here to check it out! 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Apparent Link and the Lucky 7 Game

First of all, this is the link I was given for my short story 'Walking to the Shop', which was recently published in an online magazine (see previous blog entry for more details):

For some reason, the 5 keeps changing to a 1 when I open the link and I keep getting a message saying 'Undefined'. When I try accessing it through the site, it comes up with a message saying 'Your session has expired. Please login.' I wouldn't mind so much if there was a login/create account page. If anyone can figure this out for me with some mad computer or hacking skills (or skillz, whichever you dawgs prefer) that would be great :) 

IN OTHER NEWS! I was just reading from Elizabeth Norris's blog where she talks about the Lucky 7 Game, which is apparently going around writer circles at the moment. I thought I'd try it out for myself :) 

What to do: 
1. Go to the seventh or seventy-seventh page of your WIP.
2. Count down seven lines.
3. Copy the seven sentences that follow and post them.
4. Tag seven other authors.  (I don't think there are 7 authors who come to this blog often enough for me to do this part, so whoever wants to try it can try it!) 

This excerpt is from page 7 of Evergreen: A Fallen Star, which I still consider a WIP because it's still being edited. Please note that this passage may be subject to change. 

It was warm inside the Training House. The room they stood in was large and had only a few tables lined up against one of the walls and some chairs stacked beside them. A stone fireplace crackled with life at the far end of the room. The three children walked into the changing rooms at the back of the building where they put their training gear on. Their uniforms were white, but Chihiro’s uniform had a golden insignia of an Evergreen Tree sewn into its back and on its breast, signifying that she was a Master of the Arts, just like Master Yuusan. Her siblings were still only students. The last part of their uniforms were their belts; all black. 
I'll admit now that this was originally one of the passages I liked least, and although I've done lots of work on it (it was a lot longer than this at first) I'm still not 100% satisfied with it. I'd love to hear your opinions here, any criticism is more than welcome. Just to show you what I'm talking about, here is the same passage from the first draft (yes, I still have the first draft which was completed in 2009. What of it?)

It was toasty inside the Training House. The room they stood in was large and had only a few tables lined up against one of the walls and some chairs folded up beside them. A fire place with a safety guard crackled with life at the far end of the room, keeping it warm. There was a door on either side of the back wall, leading into change-rooms. The teenagers and their little sister headed for those doors, Chihiro and Sakura to the left door and Zutto to the right, crossing the smooth wooden floor as they went.
Inside the change-rooms, they all went to their lockers. Chihiro was locker number four. Sakura had the twelfth locker and in the boys change room, Zutto had the ninth. A uniform for each of them was locked inside their locker, shirt and pants of orange with blue collars. Well, Sakura and Zutto had a blue collar, but Chihiro’s collar was golden. A gold collar symbolized that they were Master Students of the Training House – a Master of Kung Fu. Sakura and Zutto were not yet Masters. When they became Masters, they would be presented with a new shirt with a golden collar.
Quickly, the three of them got changed from their day clothes into their uniforms. The last thing they pulled out of their lockers was their belts – all black.
Your thoughts? Which version did YOU like better? What should I still be changing? Would you guys be interested in seeing some more old draft/current draft comparisons like this? Because I might be interested in doing it.


- Bonnee.

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