Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Procrastination... >:|

Of all possible problems, my NUMBER ONE problem with writing is procrastinating! OH MY GOODNESS, you don't even know the half of it! If you know me... I'm not great with deadlines... which isn,t a very good attribute fro a writer! (oops!)

So, I'd try to teach you how to avoid procrastination, but obviously, I wouldn't be very "fit for the job"... but I'll see what I can come up with... maybe I'll even help myself!

If procrastination

Tip #1: Organize your project into several blocks. Divide it up, so you can easily work on small chunks at a time, instead of leaving the while thing for the very last day.

Tip #2: Schedule in time to write AHEAD of time. Plan out how long you're going to write, and what you plan to accomplish in that time slot. Ex:

October 3rd: chapter 3-brainstorming

  • general idea of plot
  • introduction to new character
  • "                          " new setting

Tip #3: Don't make the job look harder than it is. I have done this a million times! I think it'll take long to write, so I skip it, saying, "I have better things to do" which I don't. The job gets harder the more you perceive it as hard. This sounds weird but it's true. A cool quote I stumbled across: ”Putting off an easy thing makes it hard. Putting off a hard thing makes it impossible.”
George Claude Lorimer

This quote is so true, yet we hate to admit it. 

Tip #4: The first step is always the hardest. Once you start, you can somehow get in the "flow" and keep writing. If you never start, it'll always be more and more unattainable, until you eventually give up. Giving up is not what we want... 

Tip #5: (for this tip, I'll give you the quote right away, seeing as it's perfect for this context) “Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.”
Dale Carnegie

It's sort of self-explanatory, but, if you get your stuff done early, you have time for other things... If you do all the "fun stuff" before getting the job done, you end up forcing the whole job for the last day, which stresses you out, and the quality of your writing could be affected.

I wouldn't want to just paraphrase some online tips... so, visit the site yourselves! (Better advice than my own! ;) Site with better advice than my own ;)

Hope this helps!

-Zemmzemm =)

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Sorry for the Delay...

Sorry for not posting in a while...

I've run out of tips... just kidding! No, I have tips and stuff, but I just want to make sure that people are still reading...

:) Zemmzemm

P.S I would greatly appreciate ALL comments and suggestions for my blog. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My New Blog

Hello everyone,

I'd like you to know about my new blog Verse of the Day.  

For more info, check the first post of the blog.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Interviewing Monique Polak!

Hey everyone!  Today, I have the honour and pleasure of interviewing Canadian author Monique Polak! 

Where do you get your inspiration for your stories?

Often my inspiration comes from my own students. I teach at Marianopolis College in Montreal. That means I get to hear teenagers all day long. And they have lots of interesting things to say!

Is there a central message in your writing?

I'm not sure about a central message. If there is one, maybe it would be 'Hang in there!' 

 What’s the best advice you could give to writers?

My best advice is to WRITE and READ all time time and a lot!!

What is it about the genre you write that attracted you to write it?

I love teenagers. I can't think of any age group that is more interesting. Teenagers question the world. I really like that!

What is a typical writing day for you?

Hard to say because when I teach, it is sometimes hard to fit in writing time. In the summer, I try to get to my computer by mid-morning and stay until I have written my daily quota of words, which tends to range between 500 and 1,000. 

Do you have a particular writing ritual you must follow?  For example, a set of rules you must obey when you write.

Well, I like to go for a run first. (I think of good ideas when I am running!) And I like to scrub the bathroom sink before I sit down at my computer!!

Do you prefer to write in the morning or in the afternoon?

Morning is my preferred writing time. 

How much time do you spend writing each day?

When I am working on new material, I try to write for at least two hours a day. 

When you write do you listen to music, or do you prefer quiet?

I prefer quiet. 

Where do you like to write?  At a desk, outside, public area… etc.…

I like my desk at home. But I can write anywhere. I've even written while sitting on a rock!!

How do you create your characters?

It starts for me when I begin to hear a character's voice speaking in my head. 

Do you base your characters on people you know or do you invent them?

Mostly, I invent them. But some of my characters are loosely based on people I have met. 

How long have you been writing?

Forever! I think I started writing stories when I was about nine years old!

How long does it take you to write a book?

Hard to say. The first draft takes me between four months and a year. It depends on the length of the project. The re-writing can take up to a year too. 

What do you do when you are having a case of writer's block?

I just keep writing! In fact, knock on wood, I've never had a case of writer's block. I get frustrated yes, but the trick, I've found is to KEEP WRITING. Write past the block!

What's the best book you've ever read and why?

Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland -- because it's about everything... including the human search for identity.

Who is your favorite author?

Lewis Carroll.

 If you could compare your writing to a famous author's, whose would it be and why?

Don't know. I am fond of Dutch authors. I like to think my style is a little like theirs. Clear and direct.

What are you currently reading? Do you like it? Why did you choose it?

I just finished reading John Green's The Fault In Our Stars. I read it because I was reviewing it for the Montreal Gazette. I loved it. It's a story about two kids with cancer, but it's also hilarious -- so I'm super impressed that Green was able to pull it off. Reading great books makes me want to do better in my own storytelling!

Thanks for allowing me to interview you Monique, it was a pleasure having you on Writer's Passion!  

If you'd like to know more about Monique Polak and her books, visit her site.

Thanks again,

Zemmzemm :D

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Author at the school!


Yesterday our school was visited by author Monique Polak!  She is a Canadian author who has written many books!  She is a really fun person, I was so honoured to meet her.  Monique gave me tips about writing, and a fun enthusiastic look on writing poetry.  She said: Only use the words that have to be there.  She read my poem and those were her words of advice for me.

 Good news, I might be able to have the honour of interviewing Mrs. Polak on my blog!  I have asked her, and waiting anxiously for her response!

Let's all hope for the best!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lesson 6: Italics- when to use them

Hey guys! Today's words of advice are about italics. Have you ever asked yourself where you should use italics in your stories? I'm here to answer that!

Ok, so normally you either use italics to:

  • emphasize a particular word (ex. Mr. Scott wanted me to go up and present!?)
  • write a word in a foreign language (ex. "Buongiorno!" he said joyfully.)
  • when isolating the use of a single letter (ex. I often type w when I meant to type e)
  • 'free-standing' titles of books, movies, etc. (ex. Yesterday I did a book report on Magick)

CAUTION: Italics may be over-used. In a single paragraph, no more than a sentence or several words be italicized, never the whole paragraph.

Some authors choose only to use italics for the previous reasons, but others continue to go further.

Let's take a look at using italics in the different perspectives:

  1. First-person POV: only use italics for the above reasons.
  2. Second-person POV: only use italics for the above reasons.
  3. Third-person POV: italics can be used to quote a thought from a particular character. In this case, thoughts must be in the first-person (ex. Maria loved how she looked in her new dress. Wow, this dress really makes my figure look slim, and my legs look so much longer!)
I hope this information helped all of you, as I know doing the research helped me!
Here and here were where I found all my information about italics, I also used a bit of my own knowledge :D

Hope this helps!

-Zemmzemm :P

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Poll is over....

Ok, readers, the results are in.... 3 voted for book review, and 2 for interview an author. Well, guess what? We'll do both!

-Zemmzemm XD