★ lily. the writer

oh, such grace while skidding backwards.

relatable

You know when you set a whole day aside to study for a midterm but end up spending every single hour writing instead? Like, you just feel compelled to work on the sequel of a novel that doesn’t have a chance of ever being published? And after winging the midterm, you arrive home, fully aware you screwed up and sunk your grade in that class, and you go right back to working on that unpublishable novel until 6am? Yeah, exactly, me too.

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hkljklsahfjklasf MY ANIMORPHS BOOK COLLECTION IS FINALLY COMPLETE

THIS IS A ~~BIG~~ DEAL TO ME. I’m somewhat ashamed to reveal that this is the greatest accomplishment of my sad little life.

I. HAVE. FINALLY! COLLECTED!! ALL THE ANIMORPHS BOOKS!!!

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createspace shenanigans

Which book is deadlier to humans?????? \oAo/

nqp1

hint: the Death Note is only a replica…

Just for the lulz, I self-published my “not-quite poems” on Createspace. “not-quite” is literal: I started writing these in my first year of university because I was suffering from awful writer’s block and I just wanted to write SOMETHING!!! ANYTHING!!! Writing novels in hopes of being published (rather than just as a hobby) sucked the fun out of it, so I started writing “poetry” because, hey, I’m not serious about it—I can do it for fun! I admire talented poets in the same way I admire musicians: I appreciate the art they create but I’m not moved to want to master the craft myself. Thankfully I’ve been wb-free for 3+ years so I don’t “need” to write these anymore, but it’s been a memorable—and strange—period in my life.

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welp, better late than ever

Sooo I had said I was aiming to finish this by mid-September but, okay, let’s be real, that goal wasn’t realistic at all. First, I was pretty burned out from finishing VM. Second, September was my first month having Netflix (self-explanatory, eh). And speaking of Netflix it has COMPLETELY. RUINED. MY. LIFE. But I digress….

reloadedwordcountFirst draft of Reloaded is complete @ 64k words! It was my Camp NaNoWriMo project this April but I really needed to let the story simmer before finishing it. It’s the first of a trilogy (whoo, my first trilogy! …feels like I’m copping out, lol) so it would’ve been dumb to rush it. I outlined the second and third books last month, whenever I wasn’t inspired to work on Steady the Fall. I’ll probably work on both simultaneously/slowly. I’d like to use NaNo/Camp NaNo as an excuse to power through them but I always end up choosing original projects instead of an already-outlined project. (Then again, I often cheat at NaNoWriMo by counting all words I’ve written in that month… Steady the Fall was technically my NaNoWriMo 2014 project but I ended up writing more words for Reloaded, harhar)

BAD NEWS: 2014 HAS BEEN LONG AND I AM EXHAUSTED AND MY BRAIN IS SO FRIED OMG. GOOD NEWS: FOR THE FIRST TIME, I CAN SAY THAT I STARTED & FINISHED TWO MANUSCRIPTS IN A CALENDAR YEAR! WHOOOO! Doesn’t mean they’re remotely close to being worth publishing, but I’d rather write crap than not write at all. Practice makes perfect, right?? 8Dd

Before I reward myself with an afternoon of listening to The Weeknd and vegetating on the couch, I gotta circle back to Netflix because I 100000000000% recommend watching Psycho-Pass. I’ve been cross-posting this EVERYWHERE because a friend recommended it to me back in April and I finally watched the first season a few weeks ago and I’M STILL PICKING UP THE PIECES OF MY BLOWN MIND. At the end, I was like, “yeah, that was pretty good, but definitely not good enough to make my top 10 list,” but it was all I could think about during my exam the next day (yup I’m a terrible student) and by the time I got home, it was officially on my top ten anime list at number six. *^* I think I would’ve appreciated it more if I watched it one episode at a time instead of marathoning it in three days. Gen Urobochi is an UNREAL writer. Like, he’s officially my new idol. I haven’t watched Madoka Magica (the same person who recommended Psycho-Pass told me Madoka was absolutely terrible, lol) but now I’m tempted to just because he wrote it too. I’m sad to say that recently I’ve rarely been impressed by (young adult, as it’s pretty much all I buy) novels, but good manga and anime series (Naruto! Hunter x Hunter!! Parasyte!!! ;w;/) keep renewing my faith in quality storytelling!

another first draft down!

Just a small update for myself (because I think it’d be kind of cool to keep track of dates): as of September 05 2014, the first draft of Vicious Merge is finally complete! It’s a hot mess but at least it’s actually complete!!!! OTL

vmfirstdraft

 <– At 44k, it’s a baby manuscript (shortest novel I’ve written since I was 12, lol), but I like to think it’s lean and fast-paced rather than worrying that I’m getting lazy………

Reloaded is at ~50k but it’s probably 20k+ away from being finished. I’m going to try to power through it this weekend because it’d be kind of rad to know I wrote two novels (first drafts count!! /huff) this summer (welllllll technically not “summer”, but “between school years”, close enough…) SO GOOD LUCK, SELF!!!! Then I’ll be working on Colors Bleed (poor thing lost my attention to Vicious Merge this June) and then it’s NaNoWriMo time and then WILL I EVEN HAVE TIME TO WRITE ANYTHING BECAUSE SCHOOL UGHHH MY SANITY.

this is what happens when i try to write romance

Whether I like it or not, romance is everywhere in YA/NA. If it’s not the main plot, it’s a subplot. And hey, when done right, romance can be pretty magical. My issues are 1) it’s almost never done well (imo), and 2) I have verrrry little patience/interest/tolerance for romance. Being fed-up + uninterested = yeahhh romance is not what I like to write. But I’m not close-minded when it comes to writing; I’m willing to stretch as far as I need for the sake of storytelling. Sometimes, I do try to write romantic subplots, but my attempts always seem to go awry…

Prompted to pen this list because my current NaNoWriMo project is my first *successful* attempt at a cute romantic subplot in a standalone! =u=b But writing romance is never that straightforward with me…

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Protected: “stop writing and go do drugs like a normal person”

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Protected: “survey”

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no more slacking off! + proof that graveyards should be left undisturbed

In preparation for my upcoming “two novels in three months” writing sprint (that starts tomorrow!), I’ve been pacing myself by typing up some of my old handwritten stuff, which is a cheap way for me to feel like I’m making progress without expending much actual effort. So I’ve been bumping into some “gems” (i.e. hilariously terrible excerpts from my high school days) like this one, and it’s so bad that I can’t not share it.

The working title for the project was “4 Wishes” because the story was about a high school girl bumping into a forest sprite (if you’re wondering exactly what I mean by forest sprite… so am I) who grants her (dun dun dun) four wishes, and she messes up on the fourth and curses herself to die early.

This excerpt features absolutely NO semblance of a plot… (whether that’s a good thing or not, because the “plot” is very much terrible)

I wish I could say I was, like, twelve when I wrote this, but I think it was conceived and written some time in my last two years of high school, so I was sixteen or seventeen… I’ve salvaged a lot of ideas from my youth, most from when I was thirteen-sixteen (stopped writing when I was seventeen because I had to focus on my darn senior year grades), some from as early as ten, so I don’t want to think I was totally hopeless back then, but… this kind of cringeworthy prose makes me wonder how I ever thought I was cut out to be a writer!

Aimee Cobalt stared at her reflection in her vanity mirror. She applied her third coat of crimson lipstick.

“Aim, just sit down and do your homework.” Justin sighed. He started patting at the annoyingly huge load of schoolwork that was innocently sitting on Aimee’s neon pink bedsheets.

“Eww…” She shot an angry look at the mirror before reaching for more black eyeliner. “Are you a teenager or are you my math teacher? There is an incredible party going on at Jimmy’s.”

“Incredible?” Justin scoffed. “More like enough booze to make everyone have sex in someone else’s living room and not remember it in the morning.”

“Oh, you goody-goody,” Aimee sneered, twisting her volumizing mascara’s cap back on the tube. “Just one more party, okay? Then we can hang together tomorrow morning.”

“There’s school tomorrow morning.”

She stared at him expectantly. “It’s called skipping.”

“Aim, it’s called go to school or you’ll end up flipping burgers for minimum wage,” he snapped back.

Aimee pouted, batting perfectly groomed eyelashes. “Then it’s all absolutely your fault. Hey, can we get going now?” she said as she reached for her overstuffed purse. She made a big act of trying to hold it, but failing.

Justin dealt with this every day.

He marched forward, grabbed the bag from the bottom, and plunked it back onto her bed.

She beamed. “Thanks, cutie. Hey, the door is this way-”

He emptied the bag. Honestly, it took a couple of minutes, and he slightly regretted doing it.

Justin pointed at:

– 2 lipsticks (bright red and crimson)

– 4 pencil eyeliners (black, green, gray, red)

– 2 liquid eyeliners (silver, blue)

– 2 minibooks (“How To Keep Your Boyfriend”, “How to Steal a Taken Man”)

– 8 eyeshadows (too many for Justin to focus on)

– a pack of pink tissues

– golden body glitter

– 3 foundations (liquid, pressed powder, cream-to-powder)

– stick concealer

– loose setting powder

– about 31785 lip glosses…

“Okay, you’re making figures up now,” Aimee said defensively.

“Well…” He quickly looked away from all the other stuff before he was too nauseated. “Where’s your wallet?”

“Hmmm?” She parted her lips, revealing a slit of bright white teeth. “What do you mean, sweetie?”

“No ‘sweetie’! Why don’t you put your wallet in this sea of junk?”

Junk?” she shrieked. “I look better than any girl you could ever get with!!”

Which was false. Justin Coleman was known for his charm and good looks, minus the bad attitude. But he’d give anyone a chance, from a nerd to a model. (The latter especially.)

Aimee seemed to be measured on a different scale. She wasn’t nerdy-like or model-beautiful. She was the kind of person that others had to try very hard to like. She loved having fun, she had no friends, she refused to have a job, and apparently she wan’t afraid of looking like a clown.

In her eyes, her nose was a piece of art that no surgery could achieve. Her lips were perfect: not too thin, not too huge, not too small, not too wide, stained a naturally cherry tint. Her sandy blonde hair was the idol of every girl, and it was weird that nobody had alerted a hair products company to beg her to be their spokesperson.

Her face was perfectly symmetrical, with beautiful hazel eyes that looked good with any eye or lip make-up. Not to mention a beautiful, even glowing golden complexion.

Justin saw someone with hair so poofy that it was embarassing, barely-there eyebrows, dull brown eyes ridiculously racoon-eyed with black eyeliner and charcoal eyeshadow, old-lady lipstick and so much face makeup that he was afraid it would all fall off like a mask.

“Right, you look great,” he hedged, quickly stuffing Aimee’s crap back into her purple (she liked to call it ‘grape’) huge tote bag (she called it her purse) and wondering what his chemistry teacher would say when he didn’t hand in his work for the thousandth time this semester.

“Geez, why you lookin’ so down?”

“Well, maybe you don’t care,” he said tersely. “But I’ve dropped from a ninety-five average to a seventy-five.”

Aimee grabbed her purse off his lap, swinging it eith ease that was only given to dedicated shoppers. “You’re right, I don’t care.”

“Well, it’s your fault.”

“Fine, then I’ll blame my fourty-five percent average on you.”

He gasped. “You’re failing!”

“Uh, yeah. Hey, if we get to Jimmy’s early, let’s drive around a bit so we don’t look like eager losers.

Justin rubbed at his forehead, not quite sure why he had dumped a blonde swimsuit model for this.

Mmm, most of it makes no sense (in my defence, I used to write these kinds of excerpts on a daily basis, testing out ideas to see if they had potential for becoming a novel… although I did write one more excerpt after this ((where Aimee flips out at her reflection in the mirror because she thinks her last wish is sapping her of her beauty and youth, but she’s actually just looking at her regular never-been-beautiful image, revealing that she’s actually a crazy teen idiot… /facepalms forever))) before abandoning this project for good.

Just for “fun”, I’ll spoil the ending, because even though I never sat down to outline the project, brainstorming the beginning/middle/end comes before writing excerpts: the MC ends up committing suicide, realizing she might as well succumb to her fate because her life isn’t that great anyway, but she had (somehow) misunderstood and hadn’t actually wished for a soonish death (either the forest sprite lied about there being a fourth wish ((because I imagined there’d be a lot of silly back-and-forth about how the convention is three wishes, not four, so… ummm maybe I thought it’d be clever?)), or she had just worded the wish differently and the sprite was just fucking with her and pushed her into believing she’d die on account of the sprite didn’t like her ((because, honestly, could you blame her, Aimee is quite obnoxious no))) aaaand it just abruptly ends on that depressing note. I was a jaded little kid in middle school/high school, and most of my material can’t be salvaged because it’s in the same vein as this; a brutal bloodbath featuring unlikeable characters…

(AM I MAKING ANY SENSE? NO? W/E BRO LET ME BE, I NEED TO VENT SO I CAN PUT THIS WHOLE DISASTER TO REST AND MOVE ON WITH MY LIFE kl;lkhgsfljhaklsf)

………………thankfully, I don’t think I have it in me to write something this dumb anymore… XD; So. Yeah. Let’s never speak of Aimee Cobalt/4 Wishes ever again, eh? I definitely won’t be channelling any of this in the next few months!

NaNoWriMo: Day 6!

Just hit 20k! Hoping for 22.5k by tonight, then I’m going to try sprinting to 30k tomorrow. Don’t have much confidence in my first person, but it’s too late to turn back now…

…I also just realized that in a previous post, I referred to NaNoWriMo ’12 as NaNoWriMo ’13. And now I definitely know that querying a novel without having it beta read would spell disaster.