Sunday, February 26, 2012

Beta Reading and Drabble Woes

WOAH! 800+ page views!? That means I've had 100 hits in about 20 days! I'm averaging 5 page views a day! Whoot! Well, technically it's more like 17 hits every time I post an update... but that's still AVERAGING 5 hits a day! I feel all warm and fuzzy like moldy toast! ^_^ OK, moving on to the actual post....

So I've continued with my Beta-Reading tasks and boy has that gotten crazy!
Monday I spent like four hours talking with DarkAngel1326 about her next chapter of Keep Love in Your Heart. She's been in a slump lately. Partially because the next chapter is really depressing, and even someone whose penname includes DARK in the title can have a hard time writing super depressing stuff - especially when she fears it will alienate the fans. She's also in a slump partially because she refuses to believe she's a good writer. Not only do I constantly tell her she is, but also one of our Hey Arnold! friends AJSky7 posted in her Author's Notes that DarkAngel inspired her.
AJSKY7: "One of [DarkAngel1326's] stories, Fast Cars Can Only Take You So Far, is one of my favorites and it made me confident enough to write in this style....[DarkAngel1326] you are an amazing poet and a writer, and I feel a personal connection to your work, so don't doubt yourself either!"

Bah, regardless of us constantly telling her how good she is, DarkAngel still refuses to believe us. I blame 1) All the people in her past who told her she wasn't good, and 2) Her brother who is supposedly a better writer with even less confidence than she has. If HE would just believe he was a good writer than maybe she could as well... PWAH!

So anyway, please, PLEASE check out DarkAngel's stuff and let her know how you truly feel about her work! In the meantime, she's at least getting back in to writing by doing daily writing prompts on her DeviantArt account. She even borrowed one of my plot bunnies in order to write a drabble. She recently re-assured me that she's getting ready to get to writing her next chapter, but our darling Brokenrose24 gave her yet another plot bunny about Suzie and Oskar Kokoshka separating, bettering themselves alone, and then re-meeting in the future. Who knows which story she'll go with. If you have a preference, let DarkAngel know!

I've also started up beta reading for Devious.Editor. Started the same way it did with Delaroux - I made a contructive criticizm on her story and she asked me to beta future chapters. I'm not sure why I keep agreeing - aside from loving the idea of getting to know the next chapter before anyone else! Beta Reading is a lot of work, but it's fun. Plus you have the old adage of "Those who can't do, teach." I guess I'm just up to the "teach" part of writing. LOL. Anyway, I feel guilty that my epic Valentine's Day story made me push back my edits for Devious for a week! Poor thing, waiting for me! Sorry, Devious' readers! She's slacking on posting because I'm lazy!!! On the plus side, we've gotten a dialogue started and I think she might really have something super-good for the next chapter!

By far the toughest Beta Reading I took on is for a mutual friend of my husband and mine. I can't even recall how far back it was, but some time between 2005 and 2007 I was introduced to a webcomic my husband's friend drew. Although the comic itself wasn't terribly entertaining, the thing that really hooked me was that the friend designed his characters off of his friends. So my husband had a character designed off of him, and even I got a character eventually. Anyway, the comic eventually got its own forum set up, and on this forum, Mekonraiba posted a sampling of a story he had been working on. Poor thing... my husband and I ended up MSTing every sentence the guy wrote! To this day we joke about one of Mekon's phrases: Thrashing the Flowers. As we play Legend of Zelda my husband jokes about thrashing the flowers as he has Link cut the blossoms growing throughout Hyrule and Skyloft.

Well, it's been years since then, and Mekon feels he has improved with his writing, but would feel more confident with a Beta to back him. I just couldn't say no to his friggen puppy-dog eyes! I went back through his old fanfiction to re-acquaint myself to his writing style. Boy was it a rough go when reading that old stuff, but I have to admit, the stuff he wrote in 2009 wasn't all that bad. Sure, it still needed polishing, but that just means I have something to do as a beta, right? :D I have faith that he really has grown to a point where he could be just as good as the girls! I just need to ban him from using the words 'And', 'Nodded', and 'Seemingly'.... Sure, he got in to a bit of a Writer's Funk when I critiqued him, but who wouldn't? He seems to have his writing-mojo back and is ready to work. We'll see how this goes, and I'll be sure to link you to his latest stuff once that gets going.

This brings me to my other bit of news. Since Mekon wants to focus mostly on his original story, we would have to work through Fanfiction's sister site FictionPress. This means now that I have a FP account I can start working on original works as well as my Hey Arnold! fanfiction. I might post some stuff about my Dungeons&Dragons character - although I guess technically that could still be fanfiction, who knows. Perhaps I'll convince Delaroux to set up a FP account for all of her Flite11 adventures... Either way, I might go back to my D&D character, tweak things a touch here and there, and post something on DeviantArt as a trial. We shall see; we shall see.

Kind of stemming off of all the beta-reading, there has been something that's been kinda nagging at me lately. My husband's one groomsman's girlfriend Cyhyr has become like my only female friend in my new home. Love her dearly. She glomps me, so she's awesome in my book. ^_^ However, I commented on Monday about my astonishment with people who can write drabbles. These are, basically, stories that are between one hundred and one thousand words - something like that. Point is, they're tiny. We all know how long-winded I am. I'd be surprised if I could write a blog post with less than one thousand words! This is why I have trouble with Twitter.

Because of this, I'm just amazed at the people, such as my FanFiction idol Rachel Cabbit, who can not only write in drabbles, but also tell such compelling stories with so few words. The people that can say so much with so little.

Well, Cyhyr - who is a bit of a hardass when it comes to things she studies, and she happens to be a fellow writer - sternly said that all writers should aspire to the point where they can write a drabble. Publishers want shorter stories with more punch in them.

I know she didn't mean it as such, but it felt like a punch in the gut. I honestly don't know if I can write concise enough to write a drabble. Therefore, I don't know if I could ever truly be professionally published.

I'm too damn long winded and I don't know how to condense! Am I doomed from the start? When I was little I used to be succinct in my stories, but then I was always bombarded with questions when I was done. Clearly I didn't include enough details. Slowly I added more details to my stories so people wouldn't have questions when I was done. Somewhere along the line I past that "happy medium" and now I get too detailed. My mom and even my husband tell me that when I verbally tell stories I just go on forever! Something that should be a two minute conversation turns in to an hour-long one.

In fact, I can feel me doing the same thing with the above paragraph, and yet I'm gonna leave it here as a mini-diary for you to read.

I don't know. This "every author should strive to write short, concise stories" thing is really bugging me. I mean, Delaroux and a fellow FB friend even teased me about it. "And now time for essay writing with [LycoRogue]".... Granted, they both said they loved how detailed I get, but still. Them joking about my FB comments being "essay-like" sends me back to high school when people would comment on long-winded emails and other such letters as "being [LycoRogue] like"... GAAAAH! WHY IS THIS BUGGING ME SO HARD CORE!? *sigh* Pwah....

And my husband is kind of passive-aggressively complaining about the massive time I spend both writing and beta-reading: "You should give THAT up for Lent! LOL"


I guess I really DO need to work on that stuff and how time-consuming it is - especially my overly-detailed stories. I mean, check out this blog post? And ChibiSunnie got a long-winded response to her review of For Whom The Bells Toll. *scratches head* I dunno... I'm off to fold laundry and do dishes and other such housework while I figure it out.

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