What to Not Watch in the New Year

Dear readers,

 

Happy New Year!

Have you watched “Maniac”? If not, you’re lucky. Because it’s a feel-bad movie.

Actually, it has a great story. Of course, “great” from a crime writer’s point-of-view. But not “great” from a regular person’s point-of-view.

It’s about a man who makes mannequins. He, like, sculpts them and gives them wigs. One day, a beautiful photographer takes interest in his mannequins. She hires him for her first art show.

The two characters eventually fall in love and become sort of like sweethearts. But she does not know that the wigs of his mannequins are stolen from real people. People whom he’s killed.

She starts to suspect him when one of the prominent people in her industry gets murdered. The victim’s scalp had been ripped off. He had actually been excluding our dear photographer from his routine killings because he, well, loved her. But as she starts to get frightened of him, a violent man’s love will be put to the test.

I like the conflict in the story. You know, he’s talented and still has some goodness left in him. He’s just too disturbed and way too deep into the mess that he’s created. If only I can rewrite that movie.

The primary annoyance about the movie is the way it was filmed. You can’t help but ask, why the hell does the whole movie have to be filmed from the eyes of the killer? And why, when he’s killing someone, does the camera suddenly leave his “mind” and focus on his face? It was dizzying, especially in such an intense plot. The director should have chosen only one angle all throughout the movie.

Aside from that, the lack of lighting, the visions that don’t make sense, and the weird color of the blood (the blood was like, dark red with spots of black; real blood is alive red), the movie might have been a good horror movie. It was well-acted and a bit of the screenplay was well-made.

If you’re fine with 1 hour of wasted viewing, alright, watch it if you like. But if you wanna start the year right, don’t watch it. Save it for Halloween. It will be good for Halloween.

Things I Noticed About NaNoWriMo

Hi, how are you? I wish that you’re fine.

It’s 10pm on November 30 here and I’m so sleepy. I have this rule in which I shouldn’t write blog posts late in the night, but I’m disobeying that ’cause I should somehow blog something for November. (Sorry for skipping October.) It’ll be December in two hours.

Anyway, be warned that this blogger is tired. Outside of the online world, I tend to mumble when I’m extremely exhausted. I “sound” the same in writing when I’m tired. People hate it when I write like that. But let’s try to proceed as usual.

I became one of the winners of NaNoWriMo 2014 this November 27. It’s my second NaNoWriMo win. In one of my log ins, I read that the NaNoWriMo website had a “makeover.”

There are a few changes I noticed.

The design is neater. There are fewer elements on the homepage, helping the user focus only on the key functions of the website (like signing up, etc.).

The website offers more badges. Users get virtual badges with every progress that they make. We used to get badges only for creating a novel, adding writing buddies, etc. Now, we get badges for writing 25,000 words and more.

I didn’t test this, but I read that our word count can now be updated via Mobile Web. I tried to update my word count via my smartphone last year, but the site won’t respond. I hope they changed that for all devices.

Our novel stats now show the day on which we won. The novel stats used to simply run out of numbers once the user has reached the word count goal.

There could be other changes in the website, but I didn’t have time to explore and observe enough. For example, I didn’t go to the forums this year. I didn’t read the pep talks either. (I was also studying and working while writing my novel, so the schedule was pretty tight.)

Based on the only things I’ve seen, the NaNoWriMo website has gotten better. The only thing that I didn’t like was how the Winner Certificate no longer states the date on which the user has won, but that’s not the website. The logos in the website have become neatly arranged far away from the text, helping the user focus more on each of them.

When I say good things about organizations, people think that I’m working for those organizations. I’m an independent author and I don’t write for anyone except you (there would be no one to write for without you). When I say that an organization is good, I mean it. In this case, the website is good. 🙂

Anyway, here’s what the NaNoWriMo 2014 Winner Certificate looks like. It’s beautifully designed and I appreciate the effort that they’ve put on all those drawings.

nanowrimo

Have you been participating in NaNoWriMo also, or a similar event? What are the changes that you noticed from the previous event?

To Kill a Character

I’m supposed to write at least one blog post every month. I’ve read on Google that the smallest frequecy of blogging is once in every month. If you skipped that pattern, your blog will be as good as non-existent (unless you work hard on bringing it back to your fans’ attention).

Well, I didn’t plan for this post and can’t think of a good topic so today, I will be just like those other bloggers who like to write about their day. No, I won’t tell you exactly what I’ve been doing; novelists like to keep secrets. This will be about only a small part of my day.

For some backstory, I’ve been having this routine of watching random videos on YouTube before bedtime. My favorite videos used to be music videos, but since I joined Harvard, I developed a fascination for cartoons. I loved “Winnie the Pooh” while I was in my Greek Literature course and I liked “Invader Zim” when I was in Neuroscience.

I won’t mention the name of the cartoons that I’m currently watching (another secret), but one of the lead characters got killed off last night and I’m pretty bummed out.

I was just talking with another cartoons fan this Sunday afternoon and we shared our sentiments about how certain storytellers like to kill off the best characters.

When I write my stories, I don’t care that much about who dies. I’m more focused on maintaining the plot. Now that I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of the storytelling, though, promise, I’ll think twice each time I kill a character. (My first public horror story, “Crab Mentality” had quite a reputation for having too many deaths.)

Have you been in a situation where your favorite character (book, TV, movie, etc.) died?

Writing Update

Dear readers,

 

How are you doing? I hope that you’re doing well.

I had joined the Camp NaNoWriMo this July 2014 and here’s the synopsis of my novel:

In order to live well, one has to have at least a little ray of optimism. They say, “Forget the bad things. Focus on the good.”

Stella had turned optimism into a lifestyle. Even though she had just been through the most traumatic experience in her whole life (she got kidnapped, but she escaped), she managed to forget it and go on with her cheerful life. But this decision just kept her from realizing that she knew more than she thought she knew.

One day, the counter-terrorism unit came knocking on her door. The agent was saying something like “Generations of Hesiod.”

After having struggled hard to forget her experience, Stella’s initial reaction was to force the unit to leave because those were the exact same words that her kidnapper had told her when he had taken her: “Generations of Hesiod.” She did not want to recall it all over again. Not again.

The agent kept knocking. Stella had to let them in.

The agent said that they had just found out that her kidnapper was connected to a terrorist who had been threatening to attack the city. When, where, or how; they didn’t know. Perhaps Stella can help them by recalling her moments with him in more detail? Because she never told the full story and she had lied about some parts of it to cover up the violence.

If there was anyone who was least capable of telling a depressing story, it was Stella. The most positive people can be the worst when forced to confront their demons. But was saving innocent lives really worth one’s sanity?

I reached my goal of writing 50,000 words before July 31, 2014. I finished on July 27, 5 days before the deadline.

JulyCampNaNoWriMo2014

After this, I will revisit my novel for Camp NaNoWriMo April 2014, “From the Human Chain,” to begin its editing process.

Thank you for dropping by my blog.

Good luck this coming school year and happy writing!

 

Sincerely yours,
Charlene

Kind of an ‘About Me’ Post

Dear readers,

How are you? I see some of you checking the “About” page of this blog from time to time, but that page has been empty. It seems that you are looking for an introduction.

My name is Charlene Delfin, author of “An Unknown Narrator.” My website is currently not updated on my works ranging from November 2013 to the present, but it presents my works prior to those dates. For now, you may get to know 75% of me on that website. I will add the other 25% when I get some free time.

I started this blog because my blog on Blogger wouldn’t load and NaPoWriMo was already starting; I had to post as soon as possible. This blog was created in an emergency. This blog can be about anything, but it will focus mainly on writing.

I successfully finished NaPoWriMo and these are the 30 poems that I wrote within the 30 days of April:

  1. The Past and the Future in a Jar
  2. Among Us
  3. Just Another James
  4. What to Do
  5. Pom, Pom, Pom, Pom
  6. To Hell with ‘Em
  7. Devil on a Leash
  8. Wireless
  9. High-risk
  10. From My Army Brothers
  11. Fiery
  12. The Other Cheek
  13. Crocodile
  14. Twirling Exclamation Point
  15. From Poet to Poet
  16. Look into the Mirror
  17. From Morning to Evening
  18. Circle
  19. Poetic Sleepiness
  20. Cold Air that You Feel
  21. My god Apollo
  22. Shobenuamasimern
  23. Secret Love
  24. Mightier than the Sword
  25. Round and Round
  26. The Reader
  27. To Die for You
  28. Writer’s Block
  29. Thriller Dreams
  30. Third Eye Testimony

 

I also won in Camp NaNoWriMo and this is my winner’s certificate:

certificate

I will be gone from WordPress for a while because I need to focus on studying. Hopefully, I can get back here before the end of 2014.

I’ll be putting my poems on Bubblews. Bubblews is a website where users get to post about a wide range of topics. Posts that are less than 400 characters are not allowed. Users also earn revenue with every view, like, comment and even dislike. I spend time on Bubblews because it does not take too much of my time and they have a friendly community.

See you again soon,
Charlene

My Story is Finished, but It’s Only 31,810 Words …

Dear readers,
How have you been? I hope that you are still doing fine.

Here is the synopsis for my Camp NaNoWriMo April 2014 novel. The current working title is “From the Human Chain” and it’s in the Thriller/Suspense genre.

It was the final day of summer break in Mount Shepard, a mountain that was known for its tall trees. It was also the final day of vacation for Abe, Joel, Mark, Keanu, Sean, Bennie and Myrtle.They were a group of tourists.

Abe was recently divorced by his wife, who had been blaming him for the death of their son. He was an obese man who loved eating and he wasn’t the traveler type, but he went to the mountain in an attempt to get away from everything and bring his life back into focus.

Joel was the older brother of Myrtle. They used to be orphans, but Joel had grown up and became Myrtle’s surrogate father.

Mark was an adventurer who loved summer and all things concerning adventure. This one summer was bad, though, since his older sister made him look after his nephew, Bennie.

Keanu was unemployed. He had just quit his job in law-enforcement after his assignment failed and he had decided to climb the mountain in order to figure out what he really wanted to do in life.

Sean was a businessman. That was all that he said about himself.

Their tour guide, Shaun, invited them to a picnic on the huge branch of a giant tree. Both the beauty and the thrill about it was attractive. They had a breath-taking view of the lake below the mountain as they were suspended in the air meters from the ground. A place where they can take pictures for priceless memories of a beautiful summer. A place that was not what it looked like.

Suddenly, the branch broke off and all of them fell, clinging to each other. Abe caught another branch on their way to the ground and held on to it as Joel held on to him, Mark held on to Joel, and so on with Keanu, Shaun, Sean, Bennie and Myrtle.

Some of them had to go in order for Abe to save himself, or else all of them would fall to their death. Shaun had to decide fast who would go and who would stay. What do people do in the face of death? Their real personalities come out, the ones that they had been hiding and denying. Some will accept their fate. Some will sacrifice their luck for others. And some will do drastic things to stay alive.

I always prepare a novel outline before writing a novel. I made my novel outline for NaNoWriMo 2013 very long because 50,000 looked very big to me back then, but the novel ended up going beyond 50,000 words. To avoid that from happening again, I made my novel outline for Camp NaNoWriMo April 2014 very short. As it turns out, the novel ended in only 31,810 words. I finished writing “From the Human Chain” on April 25.

I checked the NaNoWriMo forums to see what to do when your novel ends in less words than the goal, and the other novelists advised that you should go back to the beginning of the novel and fill gaps in the plot, add back stories and add plot twists until you reach 50,000 words. Other novelists advised writing separate stories for each character just to give yourself a chance to reconsider certain parts of the novel and adding those stories to the manuscript to reach 50,000 words. I chose to do the latter.

Since finishing the main novel, I have been writing about my protagonist’s past, his family, how his father met his mother and the ups and downs in his parents’ love relationship before my protagonist came around (things that are never mentioned in the main novel). I also plan to write about my villain’s past, his father’s career, his love life, etc. I will not include these back stories when I publish the novel, but I’m thinking of creating a prequel, or a sequel, that features these parts in the characters’ lives.

Thank you for reading. Have a nice day and happy writing.
Charlene

 

Photo credit: me.

Information About My Missing Poems

Dear readers,

How are you? I hope that you are fine.

I did not get to publish my poems for April 5 and 6 because my broadband stick got broken, but I published them via Facebook Zero. Here are the links if you have been looking for them:

 

https://www.facebook.com/notes/charlene-delfin/pom-pom-pom-pom/701542756551220

 

https://www.facebook.com/notes/charlene-delfin/to-hell-with-em/701924826513013

 

Thank you!

 

Charlene

Changed My Mind

Dear readers,

Have the snow began to melt in your neighborhood? Or do you live in a place that does not get that much snow? Wherever you live, I hope that you are happy and doing well.

A few days ago, I made an update in my social media profiles that I joined Camp NaNoWriMo and will continue writing “10th Commandment” for the challenge in April 2014. After posting that update, though, I realized that if I won in Camp NaNoWriMo, my certificate will show that I wrote the same novel that I had written for the National Novel Writing Month contest in November 2013. Changing the title for the sake of what the public sees while still writing the same novel makes me feel silly, so I’m taking back what I posted in my social media profiles. Instead, I will be writing a whole new novel this April 2014.

I’m also thinking of joining NaPoWriMo, an event that takes place during Camp NaNoWriMo. Participants in NaPoWriMo are required to write a poem everyday for 30 days. I’ll announce my participation via social media once it’s official.

Thank you for reading and Happy Writing.

Charlene