Java Ideas

Writing Survey

In an attempt to get myself writing on here again, I re-organized all the tags/suggestions, and deleted anything that didn’t have enough “me” in it.  I also have a list of not-too-personal surveys from LiveJournal which I intend to post here as well.

1. Do you outline?
Not usually.  This is probably why I rarely finish anything.  I don’t know why I have such a difficulty with this.

2. Do you write straight through, or do you sometimes tackle the scenes out of order?
Usually I write straight through, however, I have been known to tackle scenes out of order (namely when I don’t have my story in front of me and I want to work on it).  It is difficult to work in scenes written out of order though.

3. Do you prefer writing with a pen or using a computer?
Computer.  When I write by hand (I used to do this all the time), my handwriting ends up not looking nice, and I have scribbles and additions and it’s near impossible even for me to read.  That being said, usually when I’m writing out of order scenes, those are written on paper.

4. Do you prefer writing in first person or third?
I don’t have a preference between the two; I feel like the type of story lends itself only to one or the other.  My fanfiction is almost exclusively third person, whereas the story I’m working on right now is about someone discovering herself and needed to be written in 1st person; the story wouldn’t have made sense in 3rd person.

5. Do you listen to music while you write?
I keep meaning to create a playlist just for a specific story to keep my mind focused on it, but that doesn’t ever wind up happening.  I actually did have a playlist created for one story, but I never remembered to have it on when I was writing.  The story I’m working on now technically has a playlist (the story and playlist have their inspirations in the same source), but I’ve never tried writing the story with it on, partially because the playlist is music that I do not normally listen to.  I don’t find music to affect my concentration; when I’m really into writing, I tune out everything around me.

6. How do you come up with the perfect names for your characters?
Meh, I don’t.  I usually just pick names I like.  If I’m writing a period piece, I will research applicable names and pick what I like from there.  My current story, I wasn’t even sold on  the names, I just used them as placeholders and had intended to change them later when inspiration struck.  However, I had shown the story to a friend and he started referring to the characters by name and they just stuck at that point.

7. When you’re writing, do you ever imagine your story as a television show or movie?
I do.  When I read, I know it’s successful writing when I’m picturing it as a television show/movie, rather than words on a page.  Therefore it’s important to me for my story to visual.  Of course there are certain things that you can do with a visual medium that you simply can’t do on paper. 

8. Have you ever had a character insist on doing something you really didn’t want him/her to do?
Yes.  Every time I try writing an emo-esque Anne of Green Gables fic, Gilbert always finds a way to try and get with Anne, and I’m like, noooooooo, not in this fic.  I don’t have such a problem with my original characters, mostly because I let them control the story.

9. Do you know how a story is going to end when you start it?
Rarely.  Maybe my fan fiction more so, because they’re relatively short.  But never with original work.  I was writing one and suddenly new the ending, so I jotted it down so I’d remember it.  My current story, not so much.

10. Where do you write?
Usually in the living room.  I need to try cleaning off my desk and seeing if writing in my bedroom works any better.  If we’re slow, I’ll write at work.

11. What do you do when you get writer’s block?
Get frustrated and walk away.

12. What size increments do you write in (either in terms of wordcount, or as a percentage of the fic as a whole)?
Until I have to stop either due to hitting a mental roadblock, or real life interferes.

13. How many different drafts did you write for your last project?
Uhhh. . . technically two.  I started writing, then I had someone beta the progress, then I re-wrote most of what I had so far.  It’s still a WIP.

14. Have you ever changed a character’s name midway through a draft?
I mean to often, but then don’t because I just get used to that name being that character.  Although I feel like one time I had two characters in the same piece with the same name; obviously that would need to be changed.

15. Do you let anyone read your story while you’re working on it, or do you wait until you’ve completed a draft before letting someone else see it?
Depends.  I usually don’t have betas.  My last piece I was sending to someone because he was sending me his mid-draft.  My current one I’m sending chapter-by-chapter because I want to make sure everything is working smoothly before I get too far in as it is a topic I’ve never dealt with before.

16. What do you do to celebrate when you finish a draft?
I really don’t celebrate it.

17. One project at a time, or multiple projects at once?
Multiple.  If I get an idea, I want to go with it.  I don’t want to make something (or someone) wait just because I’m stuck on something else.  That being said, I’m only active with one at a time.

18. Do your stories grow or shrink in revision?
Grow, because usually what revising does is fill in those “insert skipped time here” breaks.

19. Do you have any writing or critique partners?
Not really.  I have a couple of people who have done it in the past.  My current piece, the only reason that friend is critiquing it for me is because the story was completely his idea.  (One of those jokes, “You know what you should write?”  “Challenge accepted.”)

20. Do you prefer drafting or revising?
Drafting.  Usually when I get to the revision portion I’m sick of the story and don’t care.  That’s why I’m revising my current story as I go along.

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Update and a meme

I’m sorry, but I’ve kind of run away from here again. Partially because as I’ve mentioned before, I’m trying to get my niche going on here, and partly because I haven’t had the time to do a serious blog entry. However, I was directed to a book meme over here, so I decided I should post it here.

1. What’s your favorite time of day to read?
I don’t have one, so maybe that’s part of the reason I’ve fallen out it.

2. Do you read during breakfast? (Assuming you eat breakfast.)
Nope. I’ve tried, but I don’t like sitting at a table and reading, and much less, I don’t like sitting in the kitchen chair for reading.

3. What’s your favorite breakfast food? (Noting that breakfast foods can be eaten any time of day.)
Bagels or homemade breads or cinnamon/orange rolls or scrambled eggs/omelets/quiche.

4. How many hours a day would you say you read?
Not nearly enough.

5. Do you read more or less now than you did, say, 10 years ago?
Less; I didn’t have a full time job then.

6. Do you consider yourself a speed reader?
No, but I’m not slow either.

7. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Make things work out.

8. Do you carry a book with you everywhere you go?

9. What KIND of book?
Whatever I’m reading; which I’m sure some people would think is nuts right now because I have been taking my Ordinary Heroes with me.

10. How old were you when you got your first library card?
Uhh, I want to say 3rd or 4th grade because I’m pretty sure I knew cursive.

11. What’s the oldest book you have in your collection? (Oldest physical copy? Longest in the collection? Oldest copyright?)
In the collection, I want to say. . .maybe a Nancy Drew book? I don’t know what books are in the basement, so I really don’t know my collection right now. Oldest copyright I’m pretty sure is The Clue of the Rusty Key by Carolyn Keene: copyright 1942. Wouldn’t that also be oldest physical? Unless we go off of original copyright, then Anne of Green Gables which was first published in 1908 I believe, though my copy was copyrighted in 1986.

12. Do you read in bed?
I have.

13. Do you write in your books?
Rarely. Ordinary Heroes has highlighting. That’s the extent.

14. If you had one piece of advice to a new reader, what would it be?
Don’t try to read above your reading level and try different genres, different authors before deciding what you do and don’t like. Don’t start with a classic.

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Hockey + Baseball + Update

I haven’t been around here much.  I think in part that’s due to the fact that I need to find a better organization for the tags and categories, partly because I’m still a bit hazy on what exactly I want this blog to be, and partly because I don’t have a loyal fan base.

I do come baring a new article though: NHL: Brendan Shanahan as Disciplinarian Bodes Well for Consistency in the NHL.

I’m interested to see how this pans out.  Obviously I’m a fan of Shanny, and I trust him to do well in the higher roles of the NHL.  What I like though, is that by putting him in this position, there will be someone who understands the marriage between fighting and hockey, someone who in the past has been disciplined by the NHL in the role.  Normally this role seems to be given to someone who has never played the game, someone who just doesn’t seem to “get it”.  Hopefully Shanny will be able to bring his NHL experiences with him to the job, to help him determine which actions should be punished and whicht shouldn’t.

The Tigers won’t be setting a new club record for consecutive wins this season.  But, that doesn’t mean that they are over or bad or anything.  I think this team has fought to get where they are, and should be congratulated, not ridiculed, for what they have done.  I just wish the media would stop trying to make something out of nothing, and realize the Tigers are a competent competitor in the post season, and quite often a team has to beat up their own division to be able to go very far.  It happens in the NHL quite often; even with 8 teams making it out of 4 divisions, the teams are not evenly divided.  For example, in the 2010-2011 season, in the Eastern Conference, the teams which made it were as follows: Washington (Southeast – 107 pts), Philadelphia (Atlantic – 106 pts), Boston (Northeast – 103 pts), Pittsburgh (Atlantic – 106 pts), Tampa (Southeast – 103), Montreal (Northeast – 96 pts), Buffalo (Northeast – 96 pts), New York (Atlantic – 93 pts).  Each division had 1-2 teams with 100+ points, and one team with 70+ points.  Teams don’t make the playoffs without beating up on at least one team in their division.  You have to be able to beat your division to be able to advance, because in both hockey and baseball, that ‘s who you play the most.  And in baseball, if you  have dominant team in your division, chances are the rest will be around if not below .500.  That’s how it works.  Still don’t believe me?  Vancouver made it the last round last year (hockey).  They had 117 points, making them the top team of the league.  The rest of the their division had points ranking 94-62 (the worst team in the league).  Did they beat up Edmonton to get them to the top?  Of course they did.  And did they have troubles in the playoffs?  Not in the grand scheme (which is what people are saying will happen to the Tigers; they argue they have so many wins playing against below .500 teams and the playoffs will be their first time playing above .500 teams).

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A weekly meme about (mostly) books and reading.

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