5 Gift Ideas for the Writers in Your Life

It’s that time of the year again. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, there’s got to be something to look forward to during this end-year.

I personally love December.

Not only do I get some time off from work, but I also get to spend my days celebrating the holiday season with my family. There’s just something magical with end year gatheringsyou know, with all the scrumptious food and decadent desserts. And since I didn’t even try to hide my jittery excitement towards the end year, it may come as no surprise at all when I say that above all that, I also love giving presents to my family and friends.

I love giving presents.

But I couldn’t say I love receiving them.

Not because I don’t love receiving them, of course. But it’s more because people rarely give me presents I actually want. Of course, I know I have to be grateful for receiving any presents at all, but when you’ve spent your whole life getting socks and t-shirts for Christmas presents, you’d eventually get sick of it.

So here’s a list of 5 Gift Ideas for the writers in your life. If you know an aspiring author or even an established author, I’d hazard a guess that they’re probably getting tired with all the uninspiring, run-of-the-mill, boring presents they’ve been getting all their lives. Granted, these are more like my own personal wish-list, to say the least, but I think writers like me would appreciate these items just the same. Continue reading

Why I Started Blogging & How I Blog Regularly for Over a Year

With the coming of December, this means I have been posting regularly on my blog every single week for one whole year.

Okay, maybe more than a year.

emma-matthews-973230-unsplash.jpg

Photo by Emma Matthews on Unsplash

Back in 2017, when I challenged myself to be more active in this blogosphere, I half-expected myself to quit halfway through, just like how I usually do my new year’s resolutions. In fact, looking back, I am astounded by my own persistence in writing blog posts, to the point where I started questioning why I started doing it in the first place. Continue reading

How to Decompress during a Busy Week

Lately, I’ve noticed that my schedule has been getting more and more congested. While I could manage to write blog posts every week in the past, nowadays it feels like I’m straining my brain in order to produce words.

And I can’t really blame it on myself, can I? People get busy; some of you might be having exams at school. Some others might just land on their dream jobs and are currently working their best in the new environment. Some might have even reached parenthood.

Whatever stage of life you’re in, there’s bound to be something that is draining your energy.

aaron-sebastian-705195-unsplash.jpg

Photo by Aaron Sebastian on Unsplash

I am no exception.

Lately, I’ve been involved in two increasingly demanding projects that I have to babysit every single day.  I even had to come to the office during weekends to ensure the deadlines are met. This is certainly not an ideal situation for me to channel my creative writing passion. Continue reading

Of Downed Flight, Grief, and Flowers

The other day, I saw the news about the JT610 plane crash. This wasn’t the first time a plane crash had happened, of course, but as I scrolled the feed on my Twitter and Instagram, I had come to realize that more and more people were posting news about the incident.

milos-prelevic-532780-unsplash.jpg

Photo by Milos Prelevic on Unsplash

I found it fascinating, that instead of the cold, monotonous, professional tone of a newscaster voice that dictates how many people died, how the engine failure happened, and what the airline company promised to compensate, there were more and more people commenting about the victims’ lives.

Inside that airplane, there were more than 100 people aboard. Some of them were newlyweds. Some of them were expecting to be married. Some of them were going to see their family and friendsonly to end up in an unfortunate accident.

I shuddered when I thought about being inside that very airplane. What if I were in there? Who would be the last person I contacted before I took off? What would I have said? During the time when the plane fell, would I even stop to think about somethinganything? Continue reading

NaNoWriMo 2018 Prep: Setting Up a Writer’s Notebook – Part 4

NaNoWrimo 2018 is just around the corner, guys. How is your writer’s notebook coming along? If you haven’t started filling in the information for your story’s settings, then I hope this blog post is what you’re looking for. (But even if you’re not doing NaNo, I hope these articles will prove to be useful to anyone who’s planning to work on a novel project.)

NaNo-2018-Writer-Facebook-Cover

Previously, we have covered how I set up my project statistics, plotting, and character sheets in my writer’s notebook. I’ll leave the relevant links down below, in case you’ve missed some of them:

Read more: NaNoWriMo 2018 Prep: Setting Up a Writer’s Notebook – Part 1 (Project Statistics)

Read more: NaNoWriMo 2018 Prep: Setting Up a Writer’s Notebook – Part 2 (Plotting)

Read more: NaNoWriMo 2018 Prep: Setting Up a Writer’s Notebook – Part 3 (Character Sheets)

When you work on your plotting, you are defining “what happens with your story” and “how does it happen”. Similarly, when you work on your character sheetsyou are defining the “who is involved” and “why are they involved”. Settingson the other hand, is simply defining “where does the story take place” and “when is this happening”.

A good story doesn’t only need to have a solid plot and characters, but it also needs enough information about the when and where the story takes place. Imagine watching a stage play; settings are the backdrops behind the characters; the ambiance and lightings. They never take center stage, but they are important nonetheless.

tom-kulczycki-406023-unsplash.jpg

Photo by Tom Kulczycki on Unsplash

Personally, my golden rule with having a “good enough” settings information for my novel project is to have just enough information so I can imagine being in the story with no problem.

It sounds rather vague, I know. But I will elaborate this in more details below. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo 2018 Prep: Setting Up a Writer’s Notebook – Part 3

It’s the third week of Preptober, and NaNoWriMo 2018 is just around the corner, everyone! Now that we have our project statistics and plot established, we’re going to move on to perhaps the most exciting bits to write in your writer’s notebook: characters!

Read more: NaNoWriMo 2018 Prep: Setting Up a Writer’s Notebook – Part 1 (Project Statistics)

Read more: NaNoWriMo 2018 Prep: Setting Up a Writer’s Notebook – Part 2 (Plotting)

IMG-20181005-WA0039

It is no secret that what I love the most about writing a book is the characters. After all, they’re the ones keeping me awake at night, pleading to me so I could stay up for a couple more hours and write the continuation of their stories. Most of the time, this means pulling an all-nighter just to get the story written.

And although it means me catching a cold, familiarizing myself with my characters allow me to write my stories faster.

Disclaimer: As my previous post, unfortunately, I wouldn’t be able to disclose the characters of my upcoming project, since:

  1. They are still very confidentialI haven’t written the manuscript yet!
  2. They are mostly incomplete, as I tend to add more information as I draft my manuscript.

With that said, here is how I record information about my characters inside my writer’s notebook. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo 2018 Prep: Setting Up a Writer’s Notebook – Part 2

We’re less than a month away from NaNoWriMo, everyone! In the last post, I’ve talked quite extensively about how I set up my writer’s notebook in preparation of NaNoWriMo—especially in defining the project statistics and brainstorming for the story. This week, we’re going to tackle the heart of any novel: the plot.

Read more: NaNoWriMo 2018 Prep: Setting Up a Writer’s Notebook – Part 1

The plot is what makes your story. It is what happens to your characters, and also what happens after it happens. It is the action and reaction, the cause and consequence of everything that transpires inside your fictional realm. It could be the most exciting part of writing a book, as well as the most frustrating.

 

bag-book-classic-159618.jpg

Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/brown-wooden-desk-159618/

Personally, I’ve never been a good match with plotting. More often than not, I would know all about my characters, locations, and even wrap up my research for the project—but still, have no clue about what happens inside my book. Sounds crazy, I know, but it happens all the time. Continue reading