December 27, 2011

November summary

Okay. So the Christmas preparations and a little contest on DeviantArt took my attention away and I realized that I won't be able to remember in detail , so... with my little NaNoWriMo postcard before me (which has wordcounts and happy or neutral or sad smileys on it and even some red worms) I'll try to sum the whole month up.
I mean, what remained after the 1st week (since I already have a post on that one).

There were all in all, 4 days in November where I haven't written a word (including the one on the 1st week), my best day was 27th, with more than 6k words written.
I struggled to catch up with myself in the first half of the month, so I can have 75k words at the end of November. But I had to learn that MLing and writing a novel isn't such an easy feast. It pained me, but I think it was around the 3rd week when I gave up on my 75k goal and decided to pursue 50k, which I aimed for in the earlier years. And I think that helped greatly.
I let myself lower my aims. I gave myself permission to write less, permission to suck, permission to just write and don't care about expectation - whether they be from myself or others. The only expectation I held onto was the 50k goal.

I wanted to finish on Sunday, but something came up during the weeked, so I wanted to finish on Tuesday, then. The 29th. I didn't...
I crossed the 50k line about 45 mins after midnight, so I finished on the 30th. So, in some ways you could say that I disappointed myself, but if I look at it in another way, then... I wonder if I wouldn't set such high expectations in the beginning, would I still be called a NaNoWriMo winner? Or would I watch the goal line from far away, below 50k?
We might never know. It doesn't matter. What matters is, that I reached 50k and had a wonderful month, with several write-ins, organizing events and encouraging Wrimos and it was exhausting during November, but when I look back on it now... I wouldn't change it in any way.
I'm looking forward to MLing with Poggi next year, too! And to spend a month of crazy writing with my fellow, wonderful and brave Wrimos!

So, Wrimos, let's meet again next November!

If you do NaNoWriMo, do you check on the regional forums once in awhile during the non-Nano period?

I do ;)

December 05, 2011

NaNoWriMo summary - Week #1.

I... wanted to write every few days or at least once every week, but... well, yeah, it's been hectic. So I'll do a series of 5 posts for every week in the following... weeks. I hope it'll be every few days, then again... I'll try.

We had the Kick-off party on 31st of October, from 4 PM till 8 PM at a café in downtown (the same one we used last year). 16 people showed up and got a little package to survive November, I mean, NaNoWriMo and we had a great time, I think.
Then when we got home, we had a virtual Kick-off from 22 PM until after midnight on the regional chat. Loads of people showed up there, as well. So, I was very happy when I went to sleep after the first wordwar of 2011, which started at midnight ;)

I aimed for 75k this year and to finish my novel. But, it turns out, it was hard enough to write and ML a region. I postponed my 75k challenge to next year or the year after (because, you know, I'll be writing in English next year).
MLing is fun, we created a Facebook page and tried to post there every day (sometimes more than once per day) something that would be useful or inspirational or fun. And we had a regional website this year, which is maintained by Poggi, my senpai ML :)

I think it was the first week when I went around looking for place to have a write-in. I was really excited when a smaller library wrote back - we had 2 write-ins there - and the café near my home was open to us, as well. So all went well, except the 75k goal escaped from me. I don't exactly remember what happened on the 3rd day, but that's when all started to go down. Then I didn't even write on 4th. Not. A. Word.
It's really been like a wavy ocean - this NaNoWriMo :)

I thought I got the second week depression (SWD) earlier, because I wrote more than the minimum average wordcount.
That is, until the third week, but I'll tell you more about that later.

Non-NaNo related events: a birthday get-together at a teahouse on Friday. Ooooh, right! That's when I didn't write a word! It was only in the afternoon, but now that I think back on it - it was hard for me to write before nightfall. Maybe because of the nature of the novel I was writing?
The first part is definitely horror. In the dark.

And I took a day or two off from MLing at the weekend - I needed to get my energies stored back up again (as I've mentioned, MLing is fun, but it's also exhausting) - and Poggi was doing all the work that weekend. Thank you, again, Poggi! That really saved me; actually I think I had sore throat.
Ah, sore throat... it followed me around the entire month...

How did your NaNoWriMo start this year? Did you also struggle with sore throat or other illness during November? :(

PS.: The picture shows the days when I wrote in November and how much I wrote (I mean, the minimum, more, or just something little or even smaller amounts or none).
Feel free to decode it :P
And for my Hungarian friends, especially Poggi: a (piros) pöttyös az igazi!!! ;)

October 22, 2011

Historical (Regency) Novels & PREPARING!

My notes are very short on this genre, that's why I try to cover more topics in this post.

I) Historical (Regency) Novels
Historical novels became popular in the romantic period. Its characteristics includes the accuracy of details and language usage.
And this was it. Plus, books from this genre, e. g. Possession by A. S. Byatt, The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfield, Waterland by Graham Swift (which has parallel editing - there are 2 families' stories which are connected from time to time, by people's stories). Like this:
Looks interesting, doesn't it?

II) Preparation for NaNoWriMo
November is just around the corner and this year, I'm a co-ML of my region. And there're quite a few helpers, so we have manymany new things this year! For example, the 'HuNoWriMo' facebook page we made for our region('s Wrimos), which you can find on the right side of this page.
We're planning the Kick-off party, write-ins and other, online-events. It's so exciting!

As for my NaNo novel, this year, I'm writing it in Hungarian. I decided I change what language I write in, every year. I mean, one year it would be in English, the next in Hungarian, then English, then Hungarian, etc. You get the point.
I see some details quite clearly about the story, but then again, I should probably write a draft down to see how it looks and where I need to put some 'bridge' between two scenes. And to clear up a few things, as well. It's kinda... like a floating fog around my head right now.
It's going to be dark, (hopefully) frightening (horroristic?), and of course, the usual: supernatural elements and romance! And the line between darkness and light is blurred, again. Hmmm, I should really write down my ideas to clear it up!

Are you going to participate in NaNoWriMo this year? How do you prepare for it?

October 04, 2011

Utopias & Distopias

Continuing the series about the creative writing course which I attended a year ago, the next topic is about utopias and distopias.

They are about ideal (utopian) and non-ideal (distopian) societies. Distopias are always warnings. 
Most utopias deal with the meaning of life.
Who makes your decisions in your life?
                                                 /  \
                                       utopias  distopias

Individualistic utopias are, well, a mess, but collectivistic utopias are well-organized and can even overthrow dictatorships.
There are two kinds of utopias; 1) you don't have to work 2) you must work. If it's the former, then it deals with the meaning of life. What would you do with your life (if you didn't have to work)? For example it fits the description of 'heaven' in religions.

I gave an example for utopia from the Bible, but you can also find distopia there. Like Sodoma & Gomorrah.
For some reason we didn't have enough time for distopias, so I have a couple of books here listed and that's all. 1984 and The Brave New World. So let me talk about distopias from my experiences.

Everybody knows about 1984, even if they haven't read it. But not everybody knows it was inspired by a Russian novel, 'We'. It was written by Yevgeny Zamyatin, in 1920. It was published in New York, in several languages, before it could be published in Russian. 1988 was the year when it was finally released legally in the Soviet Union, in Russian.
Orwell was very inspired by this work and he wrote 1984 in 1948. So if you read both novels, that's why you might see some similarities.
I find it curious that while 1984 is world-wide famous, the story which inspired it isn't that well-known. 'We' became one of my favourite novels.

There's one more book I must mention. It's also a favourite; a young adult distopia, The Giver by Lois Lowry. I read it when I was around... 13? It's a bit hard read for a young teenager (I mean, emotionally - it's a bit dark and very serious), nonetheless, I still think it's one of the best books out there.
If you haven't read it already, I recommend you both The Giver and We. You won't be disappointed if you're looking for a good distopian read ;)

We have these topics left: Historical novels (Regency novels), Fairytales and Humor! Maybe I should challenge myself to write these posts in October.
... If I can't (because you know... it's almost that time of the year! Yes, NaNoWriMo!), then I aim to finish this series this year. Knowing that I'm not a frequent post-writer and November with all those preparations is just around the corner, that feels like a more possible goal to accomplish than in October. Nonetheless, I will try :)

What is your favourite utopian and/or distopian novel?

August 25, 2011

Book Review: Red by Kait Nolan

This isn't the first time I've read a book by Kait. She's working on a series, including novellas and short stories in the Mirus Universe she created. But Red isn't one of them; actually, it's a YA, different than Kait's other books.
I thought I was over my YA reading period. But since the excerpt Kait posted on her blog back in December, I was curiously waiting when it'd be finished.

Red is about Elodie who inherited a 'curse' from her mother. A long line of her ancestors died very young because of it. Even in the opening scene and throughout the book, we can feel her preparation for death; to follow in her ancestors' footsteps, because she doesn't know of any other way.
And it's about Sawyer who had just moved to this new place with his father to try to overcome his mother death, to find his place in the world again. But he's still full of bitterness and anger at the injustice her mother suffered.

When they first meet, Elodie is testing herself to prove she's stronger than her mother and Sawyer misunderstands, thinking he saves her from suicide. But their paths cross again when Elodie finds out her boss for her summer internship is Sawyer's father.
That, and he can't stop thinking about her. He's intrigued by her secret, wanting to figure it out while Elodie is adamant on being careful.
But Sawyer, too, has a secret and when we realize what both of theirs is, it's like watching Elodie and him dance. They're attracted to each other, but believe they can't be together because they think the other is human. When in reality, they are similar.
Elodie's change is closer with each page as well as a hunter who wants her dead. Can she escape her ancestors' bitter fate? It depends on Sawyer figuring out her secret in time and how the encounter with the hunter would go.

First love, secrets and danger; a book with lovable characters and dynamic interactions between them, propelling the story forward, which makes Red for a very enjoyable reading; perfect for these hot summer days when all you want to do is to have a cold drink and a great book in your hand, lazing in a cool room.
I suggest you get an e-reader. Sadly, I don't have one (yet!), so I was worrying the whole time not to let my netbook become too hot. I stayed up late to finish reading the book and it was so worth it.
It feels like a whole, round story and I'm sure this is one of those books I'm re-reading. And I really like the characters and how something always happens in Red. There's not a moment of boredom; Kait manages to hold my attention through the entire book.

I recommend you to buy it now, because -if all goes right-, then you won't be able to have it in this format for much longer.
I hope I'll be able to hold the physical book in my hands soon ;) <knocks on wood>

Where you can buy it: Smashwords, Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon DE, Barnes and Noble, All Romance EBooks.
Kait Nolan's website with infos on this book and her other works (and of her, of course!): 

PS.: Loved the references to a certain popular YA right now ;)

And here was my very first book review. Whew~

August 11, 2011

E-paper for Writers

This is a (very) unscheduled post, but I've just noticed these news about e-paper and its possible usage in advertisement, newpapers, ticket-selling, etc. And suddenly remembered that I decided to buy a printer in the near future, which is quick, can print a lot with one cartridge and the quality is great.
Add the two of them together and... I realized e-papers can be extremely helpful for writers, as well.

First, let me introduce the technology a little (here you can find the article with more details). What is important to us that it can be re-printed 260 times and the developers at ITRI aim to increase it to 500 in the next two years, when they plan to commercialize the technology.
That means, after you printed on the paper, you can delete and print it another 259 times. It can be printed with thermal printers (such as in fax machines), electrical and physical technology.

Even if writers love e-books and electrical gadgets to make their life easier, we still love the traditional paper books and lots of us do edits on paper and like to see our research printed so we can see the whole. And I'm betting there are many literary agents and editors who print out their work and like to read on paper. Because you can still catch mistakes, inconsistencies, etc. more likely in the printed form. And... you know, it does feel different when reading on the screen or on paper.

Imagine, what we could do with e-papers?  Because you don't need to worry about wastes and costs, you can:
  • see your scenes in printed form and edit more easily
  • re-print your drafts every time you update it
  • have less/smaller pile of papers on your desk (nowadays, because you don't want to waste paper you recycle them - as in, using the back to write on it)
  • if you print extra material (timeline of story, storyboard, research, summaries, character sheets, etc.) and later you need to change them or realize you don't need them, you can just re-print it with corrections or with something you need or simply delete the page.
You can do this all without wasting paper or ink! Isn't it exciting? An effective and cost-friendly way to protect your workspace/home from a huge mess and Earth, because you don't need to cut down loads of woods just to get paper and then throw it out when you're not satisfied with what you wrote on it.
And now it's in our reach, no longer science-fiction or a dream of the future!

I only gathered these 4 things from the top of my head, but I'm sure there's more. Help me collect these here. What other ways can you use e-paper in your work?

June 04, 2011


I apologize for the long wait. This is my last semester at University and everything's been kind of hectic because of that. However, I didn't forget about my plans to post about all the remaining genres we have yet to discuss here. And my promise to show you the fairy tale and the excercise which goes along with it ;)

I'm planning on posting more regularly after I'm done, I'm thinking about book reviews, or whatever excercise/topics I find on creative writing and, of course, we're going to have a NaNoWriMo month in November, just like last year ;)

You're welcome to leave suggestions in the comments, as always :) And thank you for your patience.