October 10, 2012
This is my entry for this week’s photo challenged: Happy. It is very interesting, indeed, to know what makes a person happy and to put a set of gallery in portraying these happiness make it even more interesting. To me, what makes me happiest all the time is to see the smiling, innocent, and cute faces of children, may they be a relative or not. I especially love children, even there are times that children don’t like me, haha. But even then, I still love them, anyway.
Oh, by the way, I don’t know how to use the new gallery feature. I tried looking at the media settings, and I don’t see this “Display all your gallery pictures in a cool mosaic,” text thing. Gah. I’m using Jetpack carousel. Well…
October 5, 2012
So you’re a novice in this year’s NaNoWrimo. Good. You’re not alone. Every year there are thousands of first timers in nanowrimo. And every year there are many others who accept this writing challenge even without having an experience about writing at all. Nonetheless, even without a good background in writing, you still have this itchy desire to write your own novel! And no one can stop you. So you ended up in NaNoWrimo, knowing that this will help you in reaching your dream—yes, that first novel.
Below, then, are my personal tips and encouragements on writing your very first NaNoWrimo novel.
1. Oh, so you want to participate this year! But, gah, you don’t have a plot? That’s not a problem! You want to write a novel, right? Then that alone is a good motivation in your writing! Never limit yourself just because you don’t have some brilliant book ideas unlike some writers. You have hands, you have a brain, and you have feelings, therefore, you can plot your own story!
2. Here comes the grammar-boo-boo that never fails to disappointment you. You want to write a novel in English but you’re not good in it, not only that, but you can’t express your ideas in the story because you’re not comfortable in English. That’s easy to solve! Forget English! Just write in your own native language then! NaNoWrimo does not require the participants to use English as the language medium in their novels! You can write a book in whatever language you prefer. The word-count validator, however, doesn’t handle non-Latin character sets. But other than that, no worries! Language is not in any way a barrier in writing your first novel.
3. Have you read my 10 Tips for NaNoWrimo Beginners? Not yet? You should and everything else will be made easier for you, or, at least.
4. If you have the plot now in your brain, and the characters and settings are already set, then start writing them. I strongly suggest that you use Microsoft Word as a writing tool than using Notepad. Because Microsoft Word has a default English spelling and grammar features in it, and though it’s not perfectly reliable, it surely helps your writing flow much easier and convenient. While Notepad, on the other hand, is best handy when it comes to saving pop-up ideas, but I don’t recommend this tool for your writing’s sake!
5. Always save your chapters every now and then—if it’s convenient for you, then save it every minute or every after typing your 1-paragraph! Although Microsoft Word has an autosave feature, it is still better to play safe!
6. Furthermore, don’t trust your computer’s hard drive alone, and never trust your memory because it can be deceiving and confusing, but rather have a copy of your novel into your other devices such as: flash drive, memory card, or save it in an online free storage such as DropBox! Believe me, it will somehow eat up your courage to continue writing if your first, second, and third chapters were accidentally erased! Better be safe, yow!
7. At the middle of your writing, there are times that you’d have a writer’s block—or simply, you cannot write anything at all. Don’t worry about that, it’s normal. In this case, however, use this moment to relax and after some time, go back brainstorming your story and ideas that you’ve outlined from the start. Or simply find some motivation to keep you going! After that, go and continue writing your novel.
8. Check your outline all the time. Don’t use too many scenes and words that are not closely related to your chapters or story flow. It will just increase your word counts, yes, but if you really want to end your novel before November ends, then write simply and straight to your plot. Don’t go overboard. You’ll just get headaches.
9. If you think that others are doing well than you do, then you think right. There are people who do far better than you, and there people who do less than you.
10. DON’T QUIT. Even when it seems to be the best solution.
There you go, NaNoWrimo first timers. I hope this helps and encourages you. By the way, if you won’t mind, if this is your first time in NaNoWrimo, please leave me a message and let’s keep in touch. I would love to hear from you.
October 4, 2012
Initially, I have no intention of outpouring my opinions about this recently issue of Cybercrime Law here in my country Philippines, a Republic Act No. 10175. I mean, well, I think it should have been done long before. And now that it’s in the action, I could not care less other than say, “It’s too late, actually.”
To a greater extent, this cybercrime law is not in any way a bad thing for me. Although I’m a Netizen myself, and that I use internet as a mean of communication and entertainment, I find no argument about this act. I don’t understand people who seems to raise a red flag against the government just because of this law. Recently, whenever I open my facebook account, almost all the friends that I have so far are talking about this cybercrime law.
A lot of people have already changed their profile pictures into that one solid, black square photo to support their petition about this issue. Know what? I think that’s just ridiculous now. Sorry, my fellow Pinoys, though my terms seem to offend you please do not be deceived by that feeling–because my intention is far from that. So if you think that I wrote this article to offend the protestants, you think wrong. This is not just a matter of opinions, because if we’re talking merely about opinions, then, no one will win and no one is wrong. Because everyone else have their own opinions. The issue itself has clearly presented itself.
This is about CyberCrime Law, the Philippine government, and the Pinoy Netizens–in short, this is a matter of who’s in authority and who’s not.
I think, however, that this uprising of the Netizens is indeed necessary. But later I came to notice that everyone else now is exaggerating this issue. Posting anti-cybercrime status, sharing anti-cybercrime videos, changing profile pictures, and so and so–to a point that it’s already a nag. These compelling reactions and declaration of “we want Internet freedom” has gone too far, yes, I do really think. How the people react and how they respond to this cybercrime law—is it not simply a display of rebellious hearts?
Come to think of it, the people who take this too much as a really BIG deal, are the ones most probably doing the illegal stuffs–not that I’m innocent of this but, I think that this cybercrime law is really good stuff. WHY? Haha. Well, this will discipline Filipinos from different walks of life–including me, of course.
Yes, of course, by this law everything online (business, entertainment, blogging, etc) will be affected, and sure thing is, the entertainment via internet will surely go down to some less-than-average level. But if this cybercrime law can lessen the underground online-businesses, including the prohibited sites, and downloading of illegal materials, will it not lessen the mind-control medium? I think that would be a good idea!
I don’t say that this Cybercrime Law does not have a negative side, by the way. However, I think that there are a lot of good things about this law than its negative effects. That’s all to it.
Netizens…why is it so big deal?
If it’s a big deal, then, “ARE YOU AFFECTED?” For what reason? You can’t freely download stuffs in the internet, that stuff, and that stuff? Come on, don’t waste your precious time in arguing over the government for this matter, because whether you like it or not, the decision for this law is upon on the hands of the Higher Authorities.
Besides, one must read thoroughly the LAW completely before complaining about it. ‘Coz a lot are already complaining and exaggerating it because they simply don’t know the WHOLE THING. What an irony. And yes, if you’re asking me, I have read–scanned more probably–this RA Act. 10175, and so far, I have no argument against it. BESIDES, I don’t complain about this matter.
If you want to go about complaining, can you please READ the chapters of this law–I mean, the WHOLE THING? Because that will answer your complaints. And perhaps, it will give you peace.
So far, these are the good benefits I see coming about this cybercrime:
- There are thousands of illegal stuffs around the world, less one then because of this cybercrime law.
- Less media-influence. Less pornography access for your children, and yes, including the adults, especially married.
- Less time on internet because you won’t be able to freely watch, read, or download copyrighted materials. In short, more time for your family and friends.
- Less anime-and-game-freak people.
- More time for you to go and repent for the things you’ve done illegally and shamefully ever since who-knows-when.
- No more increasing of introvert people!
- Personal relationships? Deepened more through personal communication! And so and so…
The bad thing about this CyberCrime issue?
Limited freedom when it comes to internet access. But I don’t see that as a big deal. The bad thing that I see…is that people are complaining non-stop about it and it’s already a nag. Have they not realized? They’re just exaggerating this issue to a point that it’s quite pointless. Wake-up, Pinoy Netizens! Should you not be more concern of your salvation?
October 4, 2012
It’s October. The start of a brainstorming period in nano-writing your novel for this year’s National Novel Writing Month. As a participant of last year’s nano-writing (yes, I call it that way) I’ve learned lessons, tips, guides, and different styles when it comes to writing your first novel. Of course, there are things that we have to avoid and must pay attention to if we want to win the challenge this year. Cramming days, sleepless nights, pressured moments–yes, it sure is a word-war! But if this is your first time in joining the NaNoWrimo, of course, you’d be looking around for tips and advises from previous nanowriters. Congratulations! then, let me first tell you.
My 10 Useful Tips for NaNoWrimo Beginners
1. Design your story. First and foremost, you create your plot. You create an outline for the flow of your story. You must have an overview of what will happen first and will be the end of your story. As a nano-writer beginner, this is the most important part that I’ve came to realize. Even more important than creating your characters. Why? Because you can create characters and assemble them much easier and accordingly to your taste when YOU already have an overview of your novel.
2. If you take tip #1 for granted, then at the middle of November, you’ll find yourself realizing that your story have gone too long–and it will be difficult for you to end it. I swear, it’s a struggle. Design your plot first according to your taste! And everything will flow much easier later in the process.
3. Describe your characters. If you have a profound view of your novel, creating your characters will not be a problem. You can now easily describe the types of characters that will perfectly fit your story. Make an outline of your characters, too.
4. Character check. Always make a character check during the writing process because you might swap their roles and it will confuse the flow of your story–unless, of course, if you want it that way!
5. Overdoing it is a No-no. So, after creating your plot and describing your characters, then of course you’ll be writing them. You’ll find yourself loving what you’re doing. And you’ll love what you’re writing. Because this is your first time in nano-writing, you are driven by the fire of finishing your novel no matter what it cost–and the sooner is much better! Eventually, since you accepted this challenge, you will have sleepless nights, disturbing days, and pressured moments–well, welcome to the NaNoWrimo world! It can’t be avoided! But hey, don’t overdo it! Sleepless nights are normal for nanowriters, but overdoing it is not normal, yes you! Always find time to relax and rest. If you’re writing to death, it will stress you out and you will not enjoy writing anymore. Eventually, if you overdo it, you’ll end up traumatized.
6. Join NaNoWrimo Forums. When you get to the point that you’re lacking out of words and ideas to fit into you story,
and yes you’ll experience this point, don’t freak out. NaNoWrimo communities exist! You can always join the discussion and seek help from others. NaNoWrimo writers and liaisons can always help you. When you need assistance for your novel, check the forum! It will never fail you. As a beginner, this is a great help.
7. Have a life, yes, YOU. So here comes November, and you’re cramming to write in order to reach that one 50,000-word count before the month ends. You would be so determined to finish your novel, of course, everyone else does! But because of your determination you would sometimes forget to get out of your room–but oh come on, see some sunlight! If you want to win the challenge healthy and sound, then eat healthy foods, have enough rest, take time to relax, kneel down and pray–perhaps intercede for new ideas. And yes, you’re still alive so go and HAVE A LIFE. Never forget to interact with your family and friends, even when NaNoWrimo’s already pressuring you. Relax….and write later.
8. So you have a writer’s block. Now what? When you get to this point, congratulations, ‘coz it means you’re a writer! Every writer experiences this, so don’t eat the feeling of disappointment because you’re not alone. If a writer’s block is eating up your brain, then you can’t really do anything about it than have time to relax–yes, again! Don’t let this situation bother you, mind you. Instead, make this as an opportunity to go outdoors and have time for your self, family, friends and a quiet time with the LORD. And if you’re ready to write once again, go brainstorming. Read your story and create some reflection about it. Don’t forget to check your outlined plot, once you do that, it will help you to accumulate new ideas and helpful words.
9. Always carry a pen and notebook. I did this last year and well, did it really work! A pen and a small notebook in your bag or pocket is an awesome trick for your writings’ sake! There are times when you’re just going to suddenly think of an idea out of nowhere and you know that it will be useful for you novel–but oops, what if you’re in the middle of somewhere and you don’t have your personal computer or writing device with you? That’s where a pen and notebook comes in a handy, which is why I recommend you to really carry this two all the time. We all know, ideas can either come and go. And it will be such a waste to waste that idea just because you were not able to take them down on your notes! A tablet or your smart phone will do, too!
10. Winner or not, when November ends, celebrate! If you are able to come up with the 50,000-word count before November ends, congratulations! It’s a celebration. If, by any chance, despite your endless pursuit of reaching that 50,000-word count in one month, despite reading these tips, and you’re still not able to reach the target–don’t lose hope! NaNoWrimo won’t end this year! There is still next year, you know that, don’t you? Well, winner or not, you still have to congratulate yourself for embracing the challenge!!! Whether you completed your novel or not, celebrate! Because you can finally drop the status of being a: beginner. You can proceed to the next level and replace the word beginner with this heartwarming phrase…
“I’m a NaNoWrimo Novelist!”
October 3, 2012
It was around October 2011 when I first heard about National Novel Writing Month. I was not a writer. But I was a reader. I knew I could not be one of those professional authors, ‘coz I didn’t have the skills. All I have is an immature experience. But my desire to write at least one book motivated me to pursue. Just one book. Only till then I can finally say to myself, “I’m a writer.”
You know that feeling, don’t you, when you can’t even tell your family about your desire to write a novel because you’re simply afraid to meet their unusual reactions. Why, of course, I don’t even know how to construct grammatical-error-free sentences back then! I’m not even eloquent in speech. What else could they expect from me? I who was just a sickly girl back then.
In my lonely quest of finding motivation and tips on becoming a writer
it was a self-proclaimed dream and only me knew about it, I stumbled upon the NaNoWrimo site. It was a writing challenge that have no requirements and does not even require a writing experience.
All you have to do is to write a minimum of 50,000-word counts and viola–you’re a NaNoWriter! My initial reaction upon getting to know the NaNoWrimo must have been like that in the photo. That pathetic moment when you desire to become a writer without skills but you suddenly realized that you still have hope in writing because of NaNoWrimo! That feeling when you were presented a good writing challenge without experience but with good benefits plus helpful writing tips–yes, that kind of feeling! How else should I react? Eyes would be teary while your mouth slightly opened in awe, as if you’ve met a superhero saving your almost hopeless dream. Yeah, I knew that feeling! I had that feeling just last year.
I joined the writing challenge. 50,000-word count was my target–but more than that was my desire. And so by the middle of October I started brainstorming my plot, characters, scenes and story flow. November was coming near–the NaNo Month. But NaNoWrimo allows brainstorming even before the actual month.
By the start of November year 2011, I was already able to come up with more than 5,000-word count. And I never stopped writing since then. Every night I had a goal to at least increased my word-count by 1000 or so. But I never once overlooked my outline in order for me not to lose track of my story. I did a lot of research about my settings because it was a foreign country, and so I must admit, that I had consumed more time just doing the research than to actually write!
I continued writing and I was around 20,000-word counts, until I realized that it was getting hard for me. If only my characters were just normal people living in not-so-elite-world, then it could have been easier for me. But the great challenge was that the characters I plotted were not the common people, they’re nobles! At the middle of my story, I was like, “Why o Why?” I loved my characters, yes, especially since I had long conceived them even before I’d met NaNoWrimo. I especially loved the character of Stephan, the young earl in my novel, but I could not miss to notice that I was already losing words and ideas to proceed the chapters.
At the middle of November, everyone else had written more than 50,000-word counts, some exceeded the number much more I can imagine. Yet I was left in my 25,000-word count and I could no longer write after that. I had the plot inside my brain. I’d written the outline and had saved it on my drive.
But there were really days, or some weeks, that I could not write anything even if I re-read everything from the start. Writers call this situation, a writer’s block. I call it, hopeless days. But I did not give up. I won’t give up my novel just like that. Eventually, I joined the forums and NaNoWrimo community and asked some tips from previous NaNoWriters. I brainstormed for once again and refreshed my idea about the characters and places–especially the settings wherein I lacked knowledge of.
It is not easy. But it’s worth it. Now repeat that everyday.
Around 3rd week of November, I regained back my writing ideas. And since then, I was writing non-stop every free time that I had. And honestly, I lacked sleep during those days. Not a good result though. But this year, I learned my NaNoWrimo lesson and I bet I’m already improving. Eventually, I reached up to 40,000-word count so little did I know. And yes, finally, I was getting there–that 50,000 word count.
Of course, I had sleepless nights after that. It was, after all, a semestral break. My parents were sometimes curious why I was always facing the desktop, typing something that I alone could understand. There was even one time when my Mom reprimanded me about it, ‘coz it was too late at night and I was still facing the computer. But no one could stop me nonetheless, because aside from wanting to win the challenge, I was well enjoying it. Writing, in the first place, is my passion. Even though I admit that I’m not really good in grammar and paragraph construction. Nevertheless, good in writing or not, I love what I’m doing. And so I pursue my NaNoWrimo novel despite the sleepless nights and disturbing days.
Last week of November, I’m nearly freaking out. I’m nearly 50,000-word counts, yes, of about 3,000 more words and I would then complete my target. However, what surprised me most was that, my novel was still half-way to its finale part!
I realized that I was nearly 50,000 word-count but my story was still on its climax. Seriously….! I did not notice that. I was so determined to reach that 50,000-word count that I haven’t realized that my story had gone too long–and to end it was kind of 50-50. But then, it was okay. After all, there was no requirements other than reaching a 50,000-word count. To finish your novel or not is up to the NaNoWriter. Moreover, in NaNoWrimo, as I have gone asking around the community, there’s time for polishing and editing of your novel after the month of November. So, I still have time to polish and end it. That relieved me. But for a meantime.
November ended. And I reached 51,150-word counts. Wew. Almost didn’t get there. But oh well, who cares? I won. Yes, I won the challenge, anyway. Even when it was just a hundred more words than the minimum.
I won—gah! *sniff
That day when I won the 2011 challenge I was the happiest in the family. Even though no one knew about it other than me, of course. I kept the joy to myself alone, and yeah, I think it was kind of selfish. In return of my several sleepless nights, and cramming days of writing, I got the winner certificate and some winner goodies such as writing software discounts, winner banners, and a coupon code for CreateSpace–wherein I can publish my novel and have a 5-free printed copies of my own NaNoWrimo novel. It was an EPIC WIN! I got at least 6 months to polish and edit my NaNo Novel before the coupon expires. But the sad thing was, I got busy in my school
it was back-to-school-time then I’ve got many things to do other than writing. Not that I regretted it. The thing was, I missed the chance of my 5-free copy books and of getting published. I wasted my coupon code, in short.
I actually counted the days where the coupon expires, until I could count the days with my fingers. And yet, of course, I could not complete my novel–though I’m almost getting there. Even when I did finish it, I still had no time in polishing the book. And I got no one else to edit nor proofread it. I was alone in that area of my life–my hobby to write was something I could not tell to anyone. June 2012. And the coupon for CreateSpace expired. The end of my dream. I could no longer finish my novel. And I could no longer get the chance to get published. But the good thing was, on April 2012
just some months before the coupon expires, I was able to create my own Christian site wherein I write Christian articles. And I call it, WriteForACause.
Even though I haven’t completed my NaNoWrimo novel last year, even though I could not polish it before the coupon expires, NaNoWrimo has contributed a lot in molding my writing skills and style–in which, because of the lessons I learned from the challenge itself, I was motivated to create my own site on April 2012. True, my first NaNoWrimo entry was written for selfish purposes, just so I can finally call myself a “writer“. However, this year, I would make a big difference. Not only for myself, but for everyone else. And not only for everyone else, but for God.
NaNoWrimo 2012. I am joining the writing challenge this year. I will no longer write for selfish purposes, for selfish aspiration and dream. But I will join the challenge and write a novel that will not bring glory to myself–but will bring honor to God. And this time around, I will complete the novel entry. This year, too, it will be polished and edited. This year will be more than a success! National Novel Writing Month 2012…yes, here I come.
CAUTION: Novelist at Work!