Lillian's Blog

May 28, 2015

Mental and Verbal Reading

Filed under: Uncategorized — register1 @ 9:46 pm

It’s actually tempting for me to solely read silently, which is reading in my mind. I think, okay, I wrote the chapter and it’s completed after editing, but I also understand that I can’t take a short cut. Even when I feel that a chapter within the whole manuscript doesn’t need a second view, I cannot edit the next chapter until I read it out loud.

I think mind reading is to expand more creative thoughts before including some of it on paper and verbal reading is more towards making the writing comprehensible. I have three ways to give clarification.

One, I think of a manuscript as a thick object that contains words as if it’s pieces of metals that can make a sound when it passes through a metal detector. If something is off, meaning a grammatical error, syntax, redundancy, and/or sequences, then the sound will be alerted by voice when read out loud.

Second, I think verbal reading gives structure to the pages as if it was puzzle pieces and mental reading gives structure as if it was the board itself. Doing both silent reading and verbal reading makes the chapter come together and hold has a complete puzzle on the board.

Third, I view verbal reading as literally reading it through like an important letter or a contract just to make sure that the content isn’t confusing and made clear.

Once reading it out loud, the chapter is moving easily such as a paragraph that was meant to be shifted somewhere else is moved to its rightful place on the page.

Writers should not confuse this explanation with the artistic approach. I believe every author, especially those who write fiction, have their own style of writing and overall rhetorical approach, but I also think every author can make a wise guess when the story is in conflict with unnecessary errors. First be creative and then read it as a prose. With verbal and mental reading, one is needed for a certain element to strengthen the manuscript and the use of both tactics maximizes the evolution of the manuscript.

June 21, 2014

Removing A Writing Obstacle

Filed under: Uncategorized — register1 @ 12:17 am
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I don’t believe in writer ‘s block. I’m sorry, but I don’t buy it. I think it’s better to dissect the two word’s ‘writer’ and ‘block’ to make my thoughts much clearer to you. Writers write. Simple, right? You take a pen and begin to create words on paper, but it’s not that simple and many complain it’s because of writers block. Metaphorically speaking, a block is something invisible that hinders you from continuing writing more on paper.

Ask yourself this question. How long, how many hours have your wrote? How many pages have ink on it? How many days did you move your pen left to right and right to left. Has your hand started to ache a little. Are the muscle in your fingers cramped, even slightly? Are you getting migraines after a while? Would you continue to write if this frequently happens? Do you notice that your words do not flow better, because you keep stopping to care for your hands or even need an aspirin for migraines from stress of wanting more words to fill up on a page? Can it be the same for your brain? What about another example. Many work 9 to 5, 35 hours a week, but rarely does anyone work 7 days a week. What happens if you do? Can you function? Sure, you can walk, talk, hold a briefcase or a tote bag, but can you really function and do your daily tasks. Would your employer even want you to come into work, because he or she knows there’s a good chance you will not function properly? Why bother. So why is writing any different. Yes, it’s creative. That’s the fun part. It’s a hobby-that’s if you’re not pursuing your materials to become public on a later date and doing the promotion process after. When a writer experiences a point of fogginess in their mind, it may be time to take a moment to get away from the computer or your notebook. That’s the hard part and this is when writing is not that simple.

Just fathom on this. In a way, having ‘writer’s block’ is exactly a special moment, a standstill period where it’s okay to say thanks. A moment where pushing yourself very hard for words and being aggravated seems useless for a reason. It’s that moment you can do things you feel you need to do other than writing, but relating to writing.

I’ll explain it a little further. Once you’re away from your desk, your mind is recharging. It’s preparing.

Your eyes are wondering. So much ideas are beginning to filter in your head. Sometimes it takes a day or two and once in a while it takes a week or two and this is still good. your allowing yourself to absorb your dreams, imagination, the everyday real world events. I think writer’s block means you’re blocking you. Allow yourself to remove this by observing opportunities ready to be at your full potential. Inspiration can strike at any moment if you take a break and allow it.

August 19, 2013

Making Your Website Easier For Readers

Filed under: Uncategorized — register1 @ 6:49 pm

An author asked me to review their website on creativity, grammar, word flow. I was surprised for I am not an expert with creating a website. I agreed to tell the author my honest opinion, but I also found myself wearing several hats. I was an editor and a temporary website designer. Sure, I created my website with the help of templates and other helpful tools included, but I was still thankful to have an opportunity to make my suggestions. Generally speaking, asking someone else for a valid opinion is always a smart idea. I, myself, asked others for an opinion on various projects.

As I reviewed the website, my first impression was the clutter on the first page.  The paragraph was very long (and I’m not exaggerating). It also included many images on the first page of the author’s website. I think websites should be short and to the point in each web page you have. If you want to add more things, add an extra page, but don’t go overboard with it! I understand why the author put almost every detail of words and images about the book on the first page, this is where readers will look first, but also believe that you shouldn’t hurt the reader’s brain, because your readers are already reading two hundred plus pages of your novel. Let them gradually know about your books, and other relevant details by organizing your web visit.

Before creating your site, put on paper an outline. What do you want the first, second, third, fourth, and the last page to look like? Design each page on paper or on the computer using word document. Treat your creation of your website the way you write your book, meaning, edit and revise. Before you publish your website, always have someone else look at it. Have a few people review and offer their opinions (you don’t have to agree to every single opinion offered to you). Even though you are editing your words the same way you edit your stories, know that there is a difference. The words on the website have to be very short. This is known as copywriting. Make it short and to the point. Read ads in magazines or on billboards for to get examples.

Lastly, if creating your website on your own, even with templates, is difficult, or if you only have the patience for writing, try hiring a web designer to help you. Major companies such as Vista Print, 1 and 1, and Intuit have a website design team service that can help you customize your webpage. Remember, when welcoming people to view your website, it is important to let them read with ease.

February 2, 2012

A Positive Book Review Brings More Test To A Novelist

Filed under: Uncategorized — register1 @ 11:56 pm
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I was ecstatic after receiving positive reviews for my mystery novel called, Dismantling Vindictiveness. Being overjoyed also came with considerable responsibilities. Two book reviewers wrote that they could not wait for the next novel. One reviewer, who gave me both a positive and negative review in her statement, said she knows by this book, my next book will be good. It leads to a level of optimism, uncertainty, and a challenge all at once for me.

As a novelist, you write the stories that are true to you and not what sells in the market. That said, you’re also trying to satisfy readers and book reviewer’s expectations. I agree with those who critique my work that each book gets better and better. It is because you know your mistakes and your success before and after the novel is published. Still, there’s sense of fear and doubt that I believe needs to happen not only to me, but to other writers as well. The doubt and fear of publishing the next book creates a challenge. I believe it pushes a writer to be ready for the next test and motivates them. I have no idea how my next book reviews will be, but I know the expectations among readers and reviewers increases, and I am up to the test again as a novelist.

Fear and doubt is not supposed to take hold on a writer. Also, not having a sense of fear in your bones most likely brings tremendous mistakes, because you become over confident and not humble.  When a sense of fear kicks in, you don’t stop writing or leave it aside for a while until you decide to get to it later. You find a way to make your writing better and stronger to create a great story.

December 14, 2011

THE QUESTION WE REALLY CANNOT ANSWER

Filed under: Uncategorized — register1 @ 10:34 pm

Ever had someone ask you in the middle of a conversation or an interview this question, “What made you decide to write?” or “What made you want to become a writer?” I can never understand why they ask that question. I never thought that was the best question to ask; at least for fiction writers. I wrote since I was able to write. I enjoyed reading and putting words together since I was a child. Writers, such as myself, wrote until people told me, “Oh you’re a writer!” As a kid, you don’t know what the word “Writer” meant.  The reality and imagination combined was like a movie playing in my head and I had to write it down on paper until it made sense.

Writers write because that is what we do best as a hobby first and then as a career. We enjoy writing and we want to say something that we believe is meaningful. Not picking up a pen isn’t an option for us. Our eyes get fatigued in front of a computer after awhile and we get a slight migraine. We get finger cramps and wrist pains here and there, yet we can’t stop because, well, we just can’t. If you believe in God, then it’s a gift from God. If you’re not into religion, it’s still something unexplainable. The urge to say something on paper satisfies you, calms and relaxes you, and at the same time, gives you a thrill from using your creative mind. In my opinion, in life, you don’t have much of a choice when it comes to the talents you have. You feel as if there is an itch you have to scratch when you don’t use your talents frequently. Writing is very hard to stop. But you do have a choice whether to make it a career which time and time again, you will hear those same questions from curious people on why we write.    

November 9, 2011

Are You Ready For A Review

Filed under: Uncategorized — register1 @ 11:24 pm

As a first time published novelist, the stakes are higher. Everything in the publishing process of my novel is new to me. Of course, I am a little relieved to know that I have a publisher who helps on their end. Yet, when the novel is out to the public especially to reviewers, I get a bit nervous. Do you? Many readers will be reading reviews and making their judgments before buying the book. Again, this just tells you, the stakes are higher as a first time published novelist.

Some authors take reviews very seriously. Others do not take it too much to heart. Many authors, such as myself, do both.

Each reviewer is entitled to their own opinion. Many of them are professionals at it. I guess, when reading reviews, you almost have to judge which review is worth reading. You can sometimes almost tell when they are straight on in what they write.

Am I ready for a review? In my opinion, like all published novelists, generally we have no choice. The only physical choice we have is either opening our eyes or keeping them closed. Which is the better choice, yes, opening our eyes. We want to see the reviews, yet we don’t want to either. It’s like going into a fitting room to try on an outfit you think is great and then waiting for an answer from your most trusted and honest people around you. You painstakingly want to hear the truth even if you love the outfit. I view book reviewers the same way.

Sometimes authors say to themselves that some reviewers should not write reviews. Yet, if many have similar opinions, then they are right in their reviews. Whether I agree or disagree with it, it says something. It lets me know and be prepared for my next novel.

Am I ready for a review? I am now.

 

October 1, 2011

A List And A Schedule

Filed under: Uncategorized — register1 @ 7:19 pm

We have a list of writing projects and sometimes some writers want to finish their list (depending on how long it is) at once. Can it be done? Yes. Yet, the next question is, is it smart? In my opinion, the answer is no.

We can complete six or seven projects, such as few novel chapters, poems, short stories, articles, next novel outline, etc., in weeks or a month. Then, there is a good chance that you will be disorganized. Your mind will be filled with a list to do and you will miss out on what you really want to write. You really don’t want to complete something, because of a time table you give yourself because of other works (before you give it to publishers). Then when you submit it in, you realize you should have added something that will make your work much stronger and more effective. Of course, if you have a deadline set by editors, by all means, do what you have to do.

Think of setting a schedule. I first make a list that includes future novel, short stories, poems, and other works. Then I look at my list and see what I can really do now and what I can save for later. I try to even my list. Depending on how long it is, for example, if I have six writing materials I need to do, I do three until the three are completely done. Then I do the other three.  After all six are completed, I start on a new list and I take my time while I do it again.

If it is a novel as one of the three, I know it will take longer, but I finish one of the other two and then replace what I completed with another one on my list. If I completed two on my list and still I’m working on my novel, I add another two. As for the days, I put one or two things on my list for two to three days straight. Then I put one project to the side and do two for the next three days, and then so on.

I found that my work was better because my mind was clearer; waiting to add more information in what I write before I submit it in. I was also eager to add more potential writing materials on a new list.

In my opinion, your list will get shorter until you’re ready to add more. You won’t be consumed like before.

September 9, 2011

A CHARACTER OR THE DIRECTOR

Filed under: Uncategorized — register1 @ 7:13 pm

When you write stories, do you imagine yourself as one of the characters or do you imagine yourself as a director. For me, I imagine myself visually directing my characters even though as writers, we direct them through our writing style. I remember taking a film class in high school, and I was the director as well as the writer of the script my classmates had to play out. I held the big and slightly heavy video camera and directed. When I said, “Take 1,” the story came alive through the actors. When I said, “Take 2, or Take 3,” the story was getting better as the errors and mishaps were slowly disappearing from them. As a novelist, I do a take 1, take 2, and take 3 by scratching sentences and paragraphs with a pen and revising continuously. The story was getting better as the errors were being replaced by polish plots and characters. I think if it wasn’t for the film class, I would imagine myself as one of the characters most of the time. I do imagine myself as one of the characters sometimes, but I enjoyed seeing every part of the story; looking from the outside as the director. Of course, I hear other professionals tell novelists to imagine themselves as a character, and they are right. Yet, I find myself more comfortable as the director. Do you imagine yourself as one of the characters or do you imagine yourself as a director when you write?

September 7, 2011

The Letterhead and the Professionals

Filed under: Uncategorized — register1 @ 7:39 pm

Submitting a query letter is one step closer to submitting your manuscript. Having a cover letter with your manuscript is necessary. We take our time writing the letter and let others review it before we submit it to editors. I think that when we write a letter, we have to be professionals at it. Of course, we make sure the grammar is correct and the letter is structured the right way. Yet, we can do much more to the letters before it is sent to professional people who have a whole load of letters to read. There are two things that make editors and literary agents want to read. First, it is the potential story itself, and then it is the letterhead. Many publishers want you to submit by email. Still, with those that want materials to be sent by regular mail, it’s good to put more effort to it. It’s easy to take regular paper from the printer, create a letter head, and print it out.  With the letter head you have a variety of different shades of colors or small print designs in the background of the letterhead. In my opinion, the type of paper should be similar to a resume paper. The creative print or different colors are not what you would have on a resume paper, but the letterhead represents the individual as a professional author, novelist, or poet. The best suggestion I can give is to treat your submission process the same way you treat a job application or a job interview. Your letterhead is a reflection of your professionalism as a professional writer. Of course, there isn’t any problem with just printing out a regular paper from your printer. But I believe professional writers should consider putting more effort when submitting to editors.

August 10, 2011

The Different Degrees of Enthusiasm

Filed under: Uncategorized — register1 @ 2:40 pm

I believe many think about how enthusiastic they will feel after submitting a bunch of cover letters and manuscripts out to editors and getting the reply they want. When I first send out the first and second cover letter, I imagined I would be jumping with excitement when opening a letter that says that my manuscript is accepted. In reality, for some writers, the feeling of happiness is there, but the enthusiasm is delayed.

The busy tasks of purchasing stamps, envelopes, and other necessary purchases, sending the letters by mail, and emailing cover letters, takes a good amount of time. Then I get emails from editors responding with a pending notice of two weeks to a month or they want to see the whole manuscript and I will have to wait again. Then I go back and forth doing the same thing. Yes, it takes time, but it is also fun. With the busy tasks of submission, once I got the note of a contract, I was instead in a bit of a daze. I knew right then and there that my book would be published by a publisher, but the feeling of hard work in the process and submitting to multiple editors, took over me at that moment. I was of course happy, but I did not experience the feeling of jumping up for joy like I imagined months ago when I first started submitting.

The next day, it all sunk in to me. The fatigue, but enjoyment of the submission process was replaced with enthusiasm. The enthusiasm I felt from the note by a publisher who accepted my manuscript and then gave me a contract led me to jump with excitement. I was ecstatic.

I also noticed something else, seconds later. I truly believe that I am more overjoyed and full of excitement because of the hard work I put into it. I think I would have been happy if the first or second publisher accepted it, but I would not have this great and special feeling that I have now. It was more of the feeling of my manuscript being accepted. It was the feeling of the whole process, which at times felt like stumbling blocks and delays. It taught me more of what many novelists go thru and the rewards they reap whether it is small or large.

I believe there are different degrees of enthusiasm. I enjoyed this one. It was indeed a fun process. What is your experience? What is your opinion on this?

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