Friday, July 24, 2015

Happiness is finding a new tool in Word

I just finished typing my Sleeping Beauty short story into the computer (while rewriting along the way, of course, though it still needs copious amounts of work). It's longer than I expected! I thought it would be around 7,000 words. Maybe 10,000 if I was lucky. It's always hard to tell when you write the first draft in a notebook.
The story ended up being 12,727 words long, and forty-five pages! Woo-hoo!
There are several specific problems I'm going to tackle tomorrow before printing the whole thing out so I can go over it with a fine-toothed pen (not a comb, as some would suspect. I find that combs do absolutely nothing for my writing). One of these problems is as follows: today, about two or three chapters from the end, I decided to change one of my main character's names from "Ronan" to "Rory."
I dreaded the thought of searching for all of the "Ronan"s in the story. I dreaded the thought of switching them all to "Rory." I'd be sure to miss one. Or more. Probably more. Many more.
And then, my dad came to the rescue (thanks, Dad!). He showed me a glorious little button in the top right hand corner of Word called "Replace." When one clicks on this button, a box pops up that says "Find what: ______. Replace with: ______."
Problem solved! I typed in "Ronan" in the former space, and "Rory" into the latter space, and seconds later, lo! yet another box appeared! It said: "183 items changed."
Hip hip! Huzzah! Woo-hoo! Yay!
Now I have more time to focus on the actual story! And the characters! Yay! Yay... yay. Oh, great. Now I have to focus on the actual story. I have to work out all the plot holes and add foreshadowing and figure out if the beginning is too slow and if the story is Sleeping Beauty-ish enough. And don't get me started on all the problems the character's have.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


My mom and I are in Minnesota with the grandparents. Those who are familiar with Midwest summers may find it strange to hear that it's nice to escape the heat in the Pacific Northwest to the coolness of Minnesota! It's been about 70 degrees with a cold wind the past few days. At home on the west coast it's been in the 80s and 90s the past few days!
So what have I been up to?

I've been getting a lot of writing-relating things done in the past month! In June, I wrote a Sleeping Beauty retelling. My motivation for this was for this story was Rooglewood Press' writing contest, but I don't know if I'll end up submitting it. I'm not sure it's Sleeping Beauty-ish enough. However, I fully plan on editing it in July (and perhaps sending it to a beta reader or two?) and, if I decide not to enter it in the contest, share it via installments on my blog. 
I've also just finished a whirlwind week of editing/beta-ing a book for a friend. Now that I'm finished, I have more time to work on my own projects. Not only will I be editing my Sleeping Beauty story this month, but I will also be working on my fantasy story. Remember that mysteriously hinted-at story that I wrote last year? Probably not, because I'm far too secretive about my writing and don't tell you anything.
Back in March I did a post proposing my editing plan for my fantasy story. I started Step Two—"Go through story again, this time writing down each scene on a separate note card. Also, note (in the notebooks) all character traits and quirks with sticky notes"—and got through the first notebook (of three) and then realized my plan wasn't working. I had written out, scene-by-scene, the first twenty or so (out of sixty-some) chapters and I already had fifty or sixty note cards! That was too many! So, I cut up all the note cards that I had already written out (because I'm that paranoid that someone will steal my ideas. That's why I don't talk much about my writing on my blog, too) and decided to write out a synopsis of each chapter on separate note card instead.

The cut-up note cards.

I began writing out the chapter synopsis' the other day and it's going so much quicker than it was when I was writing out each scene! I've already gotten through one notebook and am hoping to get through the second one by tomorrow night. After I finish writing out each scene, I am planning on going through them all and changing the ones that need changing (filling in plot holes and such).

Then I will rewrite it and it will be so great that I will feel confidant enough to share it with a few select people. And then, taking their suggestions in mind, will continue editing until the book is finished. And then, I will publish it and it will become the next New York bestseller. And then, I will take over the publishing world and make millions of dollars and then it will be turned into a movie and then the next best seller will come along and I will be all alone in my New York apartment rocking back and forth on my knees wondering what went wrong while surrounded by ten cheap, knock-off sequels to the first book that I wrote to try and reclaim some of my former fame.

...I may be a tad overconfident.


I am currently reading...
The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas. However, I fear that this one may have to be put on hold until August. This month, I have too many other things to read! I'm really enjoying it thus far, though. Alexander Dumas is funny!
Mistborn: The final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. This was my June fantasy read for my 2015 reading challenge. Oh, dear, I'm falling behind. Anyway... Mistborn is FANTASTIC! Any fan of fantasy should pick up this book. I haven't enjoyed a book this much in a really long time. (I especially think one of my cousins would enjoy this book... once he finishes with Wheel of Time, of course. :D).
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This is one of my favorite books. I'm rereading it before the sequel comes out (ONE MORE WEEK!!!). We are planning on going to Sioux Falls to pick it up and I'm so excited!
The Gershwins by Robert Kimball. This is my nonfiction for the month. It is a book all about my favorite person and his brother: George and Ira Gershwin! I love this book because it has SO many pictures of George Gershwin that you wouldn't normally see, including pictures of his paintings.

"Self-portrait in an Opera Hat" by George Gershwin. Did you know that he was a painter as well as a brilliant composer? And he never had an art lesson in his life.

What I will be reading soon...
Homecoming by Christie Golden. This is a Star Trek novel that tells what happens after Voyager returns to earth (because the TV series ends as they enter earth's orbit). This one has to go back to the library in the next two or three weeks so I need to start it soon!
The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson. Mistborn, book 2.
From the Earth to the Moon (& Around the Moon) by Jules Verne. This is my reading challenge book for July. I haven't started it yet. Whoops. Since August's book is Cinder by Marissa Meyer (I changed it from an Isaac Asimov book, which I still plan to read this year), I think I will survive if this month's book trickles into August, like June's book has trickled into July.

I was SO happy to stop playing my senior recital songs! After playing solely the same songs for six-nine months, I was desperate for new music. Now, I'm playing a boogie woogie version of "Awesome God" by Rich Mullins; "The Russian Rag," which is a ragtime version of Rachmaninoff's "Prelude in C# Minor" (which I played for my recital); and another Claude Debussy song: Arabesque no. 1.

So, what have YOU been up to this summer?

Live long and prosper.