Others

No ‘Proper’ Post This Week — It’s The New Year!

This post has been scheduled in advance, since I’m not around to physically hit publish–as this goes up, I’m likely at my aunt’s place for my yearly family reunion dinner. But wait, isn’t the New Year on January first? Well, yes and no.

If you live in Asia, you might find yourself an extra holiday around January or February. Schools will be on a short break, while most companies close for a few days. After all, it’s the Lunar New Year!

The Lunar New Year is a tradition for East Asians. If you’re not married, you’ll follow your parents back to their hometowns to visit your relatives. You’ll also receive red packets containing money. There’s a reunion dinner, house visitations, and… a lot of sitting around and snacking on festive treats. So, with the excuse of being away, I’ve not written a proper post for today.

For those who’re celebrating the Lunar New Year, I hope you have a great time with your family. For those who’re on holiday because of it, I hope you also have a great time with your family. And for those who wished they had a break but don’t live in Asia, I’ll be back next week with what I hope to be an exciting post (if my schedule goes as plan). So until then, have a great week ahead!

GET SOCIAL WITH ME!

Guess what? I’ll be posting excerpts of The Slave Prince on my Facebook and Twitter timeline leading up to its publication. If you’d like to sample what’s in store, follow me on these two platforms. But… if you’d like to get even more personal, I’m on Instagram! I don’t post much about writing on Instagram but focus more on my other two passions: travel and fitness.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

Writing Journey

Set A Quota, Meet The Quota

setaquotameetthequota

Let’s be honest, I wouldn’t know what to kick start this year of blogging with if not for Zoey’s comment. Aside from my writing journey, Zoey has also asked about my writing process and how my average writing day looks like. Thank you for asking, Zoey! I’m more than happy to answer.

So, let me get right to it. When it comes to book projects, I go by the practice of ‘Set a quota, meet the quota‘. This is how I complete books within a set time frame. How do I go about it exactly? There are two ways.

The first is, A Book In A Month.

When I graduated from university, I spent the first month after graduation writing The Slave Prince. I told myself I would get a job after I was done. I gave myself 20 days to complete the book, and I did so by meeting the quota of one chapter a day.

My chapters for novels are a minimum of 2,500 words (more is welcomed, less is not). Without fail, I sat down in front of my laptop around 10pm every night and wrote until I met the word count. I didn’t go to sleep until I was done. I didn’t give myself an excuse to skip a day (unless it’s the weekend). And there was no such thing as a writer’s block, because I pushed through them. If I had to write a sucky chapter, I did it anyway – I knew I could edit it later. In 20 days, the novel was done.

These days, since having a day job, this isn’t something I can do unless I’m writing something short of a novel. My novellas and novelettes usually follow this A Book In A Month practice because of a shorter word quota, but not my novels. Which brings me to the second route: Two Chapters A Week.

Two Chapters A Week is exactly that. I write two chapters a week, usually on Tuesday and Friday. On Monday, I rough edit the chapter I wrote on the previous Friday. And on Thursday, I rough edit the chapter I wrote on Tuesday. Wednesday is kept empty just in case I haven’t prepped anything for this blog – sort of a last minute thing.

I would set the quota of 2,500 words or more and complete it before I go to bed. This was how I got Trails of the Wind (book one of my work-in-progress trilogy) done. I wrote Trails of the Wind between August to October last year, with a holiday break in Japan in between. Two Chapters A Week gets a novel done in around 3 months.

Again, there’s no such thing as a writer’s block. I MUST write on Tuesdays and Fridays. No excuses – fix horrible chapters later – just keep writing. I know that if I break my pattern, I risk never finishing the book, and that is something I will not do. It’s against my character to start something and not finish it. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t dropped books before – most of the time a result of not having a chapter list.

“What’s a chapter list?” you ask.

As a standard procedure prior to writing any book, no matter which direction I go, I spend a day or two mind-mapping and drafting out a chapter list (a.k.a a skeleton). I create a timeline where I write a few short sentences to describe each chapter. Most of the time, when I start writing, I deviate from the original plan. But I still create a chapter list, because it helps me to keep going. Should I feel lost in the middle of my writing, I can always look back at the chapter list and see if I should incorporate some of the ideas to push the story in the right direction. Since I impose no rule in following the chapter list by heart, it is simply there to keep me accountable – to help me finish the book. And there is no doubt that those short lines have been of great help.

So, there you have it! My writing process and how I go about it.

If you’re curious as to whether I participate in NaNoWriMo, my answer is ‘no’. My writing schedule always happens shortly before or after NaNoWriMo. With all the planning and writing, jumping on board would be too taxing. I also don’t want to hold on to an idea just for the sake of participating in NaNoWriMo. I prefer to write while inspiration is still fresh. Perhaps one day, my schedule will align and I’ll get to participate.

Now how about you? What is writing process like? Is your practice similar or do you have a different procedure? If you don’t have one, feel free to give my ‘Set a quota, meet the quota‘ a shot. It might work for you too 🙂

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I hope this post has been helpful. If there is something you would like me to write about, leave a comment below or send me an email. I’m not a writing prodigy nor do I have ample of experience, but I’m happy to share whatever niblets I own 🙂

Thank you for reading dear reader, and have a wonderful weekend. Oh, and to all who celebrates the Chinese (lunar) New Year, 新年快乐!

Others

No Post Today!

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Technically, this is a post, but at the same time, this isn’t a normal post. What I’m trying to say is that this post is written and scheduled in advance to post today… because as you read these words, I’m most probably out doing family visitations in occasion with the first day of the Lunar New Year. Oh, and if you’re celebrating it too, 新年快乐! Happy Chinese New Year!

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Potterheads will get this reference.

Anyway, since there will be no The Clubhouse post today, the polls will be extended till this Sunday. For those who need time catching up, here’s your chance! But if you’re not into The Clubhouse and you want something to read, you can check out my short stories and fan fictions. And if short reads are not your cup of tea and you want something more solid, check out my bookshop. Also, consider making an investment, by pre-ordering my newest novel by Inkshares. Yes, today’s post is a shameless plugging post 😛 And I’m not done!

How indecent!

If you want to get in touch with me and stay updated, head on to Facebook! And Twitter! Follow and Like! I’ll probably tweet and post my outfit or the amount of ang pows (red packets filled with cash) I’ve collected today. Who knows? Maybe I’ll tweet/post about random stuff too, like a normal person. I’ll be more active on social media the next few days, because the holidays are the only time my life seems a little more exciting. Haha! So be sure to check out my pages 🙂 I’ll appreciate any response to my shameless plugging. Oh yes, I would.

Well, that’s it. I guess that’s all for today. Happy ang pow collecting and have a great weekend ahead!

*Btw I saw a real owl last week and I posted the story on Facebook. See, you’re missing out! The owl perched on my windowsill while I was sleeping. Can’t help but wonder… perhaps it had a letter for me 🙂

Others

3600 #Fangirl

I’m not a big fan of hash-tags, but I’ll get to that part of the title later.

Hello there! As you can see, there’s no banner in this post as I’m literally squeezing this in before I hit the road for the Chinese New Year holiday. I know I could always wait till I get back to write this post but I’m too stubborn to wait. So here it is, another ‘thank you’ post!

I’ve hit 3,600 subscribers and I just wanna thank all of you for your support. Without you guys, I won’t be writing, and without writing I would be sad. What would my life be without words and without people to read them? So thank you so much for your readership, it means a lot to me 🙂

Now on to the hash-tag part; I stumbled upon an image on a fellow blogger’s blog and thought, ‘Hey! This would be fun to do!’ It’s about #fangirling and since I consider myself as quite a #fangirl sometimes, I couldn’t resist. Below is the image of the questions and my answers!

#fangirl

#1 Hmm, most probably Tom Felton.

#2 Harry Potter. Always.

#3 Don’t really have one. Maybe I can consider Rascal Flatts as a favourite.

#4 Adam Young.

#5 Hard to pick one, really.

#6 1A.M Revelation concert a.k.a my church’s first album launch.

#7 Hard to pick one too.

#8 Leonardo Di Caprio.

#9 Tom Felton, wait, no, Jesse McCartney.

#10 Yes, for liking Owl City and Harry Potter.

#11 Bible. Even though, you know, it can be boring sometimes. I’m being honest here! Still my fav though 🙂

#12 Desperate Housewives. Nothing beats it. I’m still sad it’s over.

#13 Draco Malfoy. Obviously.

#14 The community. Slytherins unite!

#15 House stereotypes. Not all Slytherins are evil!

#16 No. Haha!

#17 Sometimes… nah, why would I hide my love for something/someone?

#18 No, and I’m ok with that.

#19 Merchandises of a fandom I’m in, yes.

#20 Dropping my jaw in joy when I receive a fandom gift.

I think these answers revealed a few new facts about me… on top of my love for Harry Potter. Haha!

If you think these questions are fun, do it! You can even answer them in the comments because I love getting to know you guys better 🙂

Well, I have to run now! Thank you once again and have a great holiday to those who are celebrating the new year!

Others

3500 & A Captive’s Choice

3500 and a captives choice

Oh my, what do we have here, another thank you post? Yes, yes, another one.

Like its predecessors, I just wanna say a big thank you to all 3,500 subscribers on my blog. Both old and new, I really, really, really appreciate your support by simply following and reading my posts. You guys give me a little space on the Internet that I can be proud of. Without any of you… I will eventually cease to exist on the blogosphere and the World Wide Web. Gasps*

You may not know it, but your presence and words help boost my confidence on days that I feel unskilled or untalented. Knowing that, ‘hey, people do read my stuff and are entertained or touched by them,’ helps me keep my posting schedule because I know people are looking forward to my stories. I’m just blessed to have you guys 🙂 So thank you, oh so much!

Anyway, for a little update: I will not be posting a story next Thursday because I would be celebrating Chinese New Year. As much as I want to, I’ll probably be internet-less and out for the day. So, I apologize in advance.

Moving on, I’ve decided to accompany this post with another blog prompt! I find that blog prompts really gives me a chance to show who I am without being boring. And since today’s WordPress prompt is not out yet (at the very moment I’m typing this), I’ve decided to do one that caught my attention.

You’ve been kidnapped and given a choice: would you rather be stranded on an island, dropped into an unknown forest, or locked in a strange building?

I did some thinking and I finally decided on ‘locked in a strange building’.

My logic is this, if I’m on an island I would probably die waiting for a ship to come to my rescue, if I’m in an unknown forest it would only be a matter of time before a bear eats me, but if I’m locked in a strange building I might just find a way out. That is if it’s a building that did not come out of a Stephen King novel.

Now I know what you’re thinking, there is a chance that the strange building is in the middle of nowhere. But… I could probably find something useful in it to help me find civilization once I escape. I think there’s more hope with that choice than the rest.

So what does that say about me? I don’t know. It’s an honest answer though 🙂

Which would you pick? Let me know your choice in the comments below, I would love to hear your rationale on it too!

Well, that is about it for this post. Thank you again for your support, and to those celebrating Chinese New Year, xin nian kuai le!

Others

Overdue Gratitude

I have reached over 1.2k subscribers! And I’m a little overdue with gratitude because I was away for Chinese New Year. Time and internet was scarce while collecting ang pow and getting an obvious tan line on my arms. But now that I’m back home; in the bustling city with no more sea breeze lingering in my hair, I can finally type down a simple ‘thank you’ post.

So… here goes a big thank you to all who have subscribed to my blog. Both old and new, I’m really grateful for your support. By now, many would have read my ‘thank you’ posts for every 100 new subs. And though it may seem like I have over said those two words, I still mean them.

Each and every subscriber has really showed me support. Whether by commenting, liking, or just merely following me, I am truly encouraged by the small gestures. I do hope many of you would continue to support me  in the future as there are much more in stored for me and my readers!

Hey, I’m really counting on all of you 🙂

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Anyways, I have promised a Joanna Chen wallpaper quite some time ago. And here I am delivering the promise!

Joanna Fan Fic Art

As you can see, the art is finally colored! There is another wallpaper version available, and both should fit the average laptop/PC screen with a few adjustments.

You can download the high resolution copy from my Facebook fan page album (The picture is not clickable here for copyright safety).

If you have followed and read the Joanna Chen Fan Fiction, I hope you liked it!

For this awesome wallpaper, I have to thank Ivan W. for drawing it, and Jewel Y. for coloring. Do check out their pages by clicking on their names. They are both very talented people; there’s no doubt there.

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Well, that is about it!

A big thank you once again, and I hope to hear from all of you soon. Your thoughts and comments are always important to me, and I do hope I’m not boring you with my originals 😛 As always, let me know what you think, and have a great weekend!