CampNano July 2015

So apparently CampNano has come quite a way since the last time I participated. Now, not only can you choose your own genre, you’ve got a much more varied selection of categories, including a “revision” option.

Huh.

Along with the fact that I can change my “word count” goal, I might just wait until July starts to start working on editing Ashes. One hour of editing equals 1,000 words, so I’m pretty sure I can find the time to do at least 25 to 30 hours of editing, even with class everyday and working.

And on that subject, does drawing a big, giant X over multiple paragraphs count as editing? Because that’s what I feel like doing with parts of this work. I’m going to wind up scrapping whole pages of this piece, I’m pretty sure. I’ve already taken out whole chunks of the outline. I’m also hoping to make the chapters shorter, too. When I put the current version of the document into the formatted 6″x9″ form, the chapters have gotten way too long.

So, at this point, I am giving serious consideration to doing CampNano. If anyone is interested in adding me as a friend there, or sharing a cabin, feel free to send me a message, either here or on there. My author name is MayuuyaHakusho there, too.

In other news, I have a new little writing area. I did away with my drafting table in favor of a writing desk, since I’ll get more use out of a desk, I think. The desk came from my grandmother, the same IMG_20150610_010524695one that passed away last november during NaNo, as did the two lamps on either side of it. It isn’t usually quite this cluttered, since I’m actually a bit of a neat freak about my work spaces like this, but I was working on several things at once when I took this picture. The little folded up things that are spread around on my laptop are a series of like 100 or so prompts that I found online and put on to little half size notebook cards then folded and put into a bag to use if I need them later.
The desk is a bit small, but it suits my needs for the time being.

Cheers!

Mayuuya

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Editing Weirdness

This is so very random, but I just have to say something about it while it’s on my mind.

Apparently, when editing, some pages require more attention than others. Case in point:

15 - 1

Pg. 27

Some pages look like this. The corrections are in purple, this time. I don’t like to use red. Reminds me too much of high school. I apologize for the quality of the pictures. The lighting in the library right now is… interesting. I suppose they don’t think people will be taking a lot of pictures of what they’re working on.

Anyway. This is one of the pages of Witch Queen that I just got finished rereading, and this is what came of it. Strike outs everywhere and ten million things rewritten and changed.

And yes, when there’s this much and more, it becomes a bit of a challenge to figure out what correction I wanted to go where.

15 - 2

Pg. 28

So that was page… 27. Page 27. Then here’s page 28: There’s hardly anything there. A few words, and even then, I think I really just kind of swapped words out. I don’t really think I added anything new to it at all. These pages are literally back to back, no pages between them.

I question myself a lot, but apparently some pages just seem to come out better than others.

Does anyone else have this happen to them. Sections that sound really, really good, and then, like the very next section, you read it and wonder if you forgot the most basic rules of your native language?

Or is this just another weird, nitpicky thing that I do to myself because I’m apparently some type of masochist?

Cheers!

Mayuuya

A Lesson in Grammar Humility

Some thoughts after working on this week’s French homework. Bear with me, this will eventually have a little something to do with writing. 

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m extremely picky when it comes to proper grammar. Yes, call me whatever type of name you want, it’s true, and it doesn’t really bother me. Also, understand that I live in East Tennessee. It’s… not always the friendliest place as far as proper grammar is concerned. I lose track of how many times a day I bite my tongue when I hear double negatives and the word “ain’t”. 

It hurt just to type that.

Now, I’m not someone who will go around pointing out things to complete strangers, because really, even I don’t want to be that person. Also, I have no problem with text speak, so long as I don’t see it in any kind of published, serious writing. I use it myself. Though not to the point of looking illiterate. Seriously? 2 for to? Dropping one letter..?

Uh, anyway.

The point of all of this is, I pride myself on having excellent grammar. My grandmother was an English major, whose parents were from New York, and she taught all of her children, and in turn, grandchildren, how to speak “properly”. 

I often wonder what she’d think if she could see how text speak has taken off in the last few years. She’d probably cry. 

But I’ve always been good at grammar. English has always been my best subject, even topping my major. My English score on my ACT was a 29. My reading was a 30. I never had any trouble with things that seemed to confuse my classmates, like active and passive voice. 

But hey, once you’ve done that in Latin, English seems like a breeze in comparison. 

But it was only a breeze because I had struggled and fought my way through it in Latin. And that brings me (Finally, I know. Hey, I said I had good grammar, I never said I was succinct.) to the point of of this post:

There is no better way to teach a grammar snob some humility than to put them into a foreign language course. 

Seriously. It was indirect objects/pronouns and partitive articles in French this week. When she assigned it, my first thought was an enthusiastic ‘no problem!’

Then, I actually sat down and looked at the worksheet and online lab. Oh. Dear. Lord. All of the sudden, I’m looking up

This book is now squarely  at the top of my hit list.

This book is now squarely at the top of my hit list.

things in French that I don’t even remember learning in English. And after a moment of thought, I realized I didn’t ever really learn them, per se,  It just wasn’t difficult for me, and I just picked up on them. Everyone with even a high school education should know pronouns.

Yes, I know they all don’t. 

But it really is pretty basic. That’s why I felt so absolutely ridiculous, and frustrated, having to look up things that, to me, should be so basic. I whined on my facebook that I felt like a 3-year-old, having to learn all of this. And to make things all the more frustrating, this isn’t my first foreign language class. I’ve already had a year of French in high school and college, and I’ve had two years of Latin

Latin v. French: I’ll let you decide. 

It was a serious wake up call, though. My grammar is great, so long as it’s in English. Put me into a foreign language class? I’ll do okay, but it’s certainly a bit humbling for someone who takes such pride in her abilities. 

People are never perfect, even at the things they’re really talented at. Writers can often be an interesting mix of haughty and humility when it comes to their craft.  If you think you’re good at something, great. Just remember, there are still things out there that can challenge you.

It’s frustrating, it’s disconcerting, and it’s humbling. 

But it’s also gratifying. Because there really is no feeling like that “Aha! Now I totally get how it works!” moment. 

À la vôtre!

Mayuuya

Ghosts of NaNo’s Past

 Originally posted on October 10th, 2013

NaNoWriMo Countdown: 20 days

Not sure how I feel about the 8-bit theme this year…

       The Kick-Off Party for the region has already been planned, and I’m getting excited. Every year that I’ve done NaNo, I’ve always just wanted to start writing. I’ve got so many ideas that I want to get them down on paper and flesh them out. I may start filling word prompts with characters from previous years.

       Speaking of previous years, the updated NaNo site is finally allowing people to re-post their novel information for years prior to 2011 when they did the major site overhaul. I wound up going back through my Livejournal (remember when LJ was actually legit and not almost constantly down for another DDOS attack “maintenance”?) to hunt down the summaries that I couldn’t seem to find anywhere else. I had forgotten that I actually really did like those stories. I didn’t cringe with every sentence I read.

       And I’ve actually gotten far better at summarizing. Yeah, I have a hard time believing it, too. The “summary” of my 2010 Novel, Nuit de Glace, was about a page long. (I’d pull a piece of it and put it up here, but, surprise, surprise, LJ is down.)

       But it was good!  I liked it. Ask anyone who’s listened/watched me self-edit. That hardly ever happens. I love writing, I always have, and I write mostly for my own enjoyment. But I’m a perfectionist. Writing or drawing, I want it to be perfect.

      Yeah, I’m one of those odd people who seems to enjoy the editing process. I don’t know why. I may sort through the summary and some of the printed parts I’ve got and post them on here later. Lots of things to do.

       Also, I just realized that I’ve had a Fanfiction.net account for 7 years now. I feel old…

       Cheers,

       Mayuuya (Chelsea)