Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Computers May Hate Me, But I Love -LY Adverbs

Unfortunately, I've been having some computer troubles once again. I don't know what it is, but Technology seems to hate me. I've had computers inexplicably dying on me since 9th grade...

This go around it's my desktop. It randomly crashed on me about a week ago, but I was able to overcome that through the use of my revived laptop. Well, about Saturday or so my laptop decided to go on the fritz as well. Every time I turn the darn thing off - which is just about every time I no longer need it, since I typically change which outlet it's plugged in - the date and time reset to midnight, January 1, 2009... Because of this, I spent just about all of Sunday fighting with the darn thing in order to get it to go online.

It's also lagging like crazy. Normally I'd just shrug it off because this is a smaller computer; I shouldn't expect it to be able to do too much. However, it is a NETbook. It's designed to do little more than go online, and I rarely ask for it to do more than that. But when it lags while loading a single tabbed page of Facebook? Well, that's frustrating.

I was able to jump on to Google Drive in order to do some more edits/rewrites to the Devon/Willow story "Please, Let Me Explain". However, that was only managed via my smartphone, which I'm still learning how to operate. There ended up being too many typos, and I deleted things I didn't intend, and the whole thing was just troublesome. Maybe I was just too tired this past Sunday, I don't know. Point is, I only managed to edit a paragraph before giving up. Shame too, since I was planning on putting the next part up for you guys this week.

See, I didn't really want to post the second chapter/part until about a month past since I first published the story. That way there was more than enough time for Ronoxym to get back on board and get to writing again. However, he started working faster than I anticipated. We chatted a little bit, and he finally advanced the story. First time since last March, I believe, that he's added to our collab! I'm so excited that the muse seems to have returned.

Granted, he only managed a few paragraphs, but it's still something. I consider it a win! Enough of one, at least, for me to want to put up Part Two of our tale. Especially since he just started us up on Part Four. Yay, buffer zones!

Perhaps life will go a bit more as planned this week. That way Ron can advance the story, and I can edit Part Two in order for it to go up by next Wednesday.

There will be a bit of a pull for my time, though. I only JUST realized that it's the final days of the month, and I haven't even STARTED reading a novel yet. I want to complete my resolution of one novel a month, and so I really need to pick one - even if it's a small one - and really plow through it within the next few days!

On a more positive note, I DID keep my resolution to go on to Writers’ Huddle at least once a week. In fact, to make up for missing the first couple weeks, I went on multiple days in a row. It's becoming quite routine for me to check in daily and read at least one or two threads. I've also made my presence VERY well known. I must have Necromanced about a half-dozen threads.

For those that don't know, when a forum thread hasn't had any new comments for a few days, weeks, and/or months - depending on the frequency of forum activity - the topic is considered "dead." When a person responds to a "dead" topic the thread becomes one of the first listed on the page. This "bump" due to new activity is "reviving" the thread, or "bringing it back from the dead". Since a common term for a spellcaster that revives dead bodies is a "necromancer" the act of reviving dead threads is Necromancing.

Point is, not only did I log in and read a bunch of posts - sticking to my resolution - but I also responded to these posts, regardless of the fact that the last comment tended to be in late November/early December. I hope no one minds me throwing in my two-cents about three months too late...

One of the threads I commented on extensively was a dialogue about fanfiction becoming professionally published. Just like my other article-response posts, my reaction was a bit ranty and VERY long. However, I am seriously considering polishing it up for a near-future post. Maybe free me up on a Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. We'll have to see how this week goes...

I also did something a bit on the brave side for me. I openly submitted stories for critique. Now, I - on the rare occasion - have had some critiques posted within reviews of my stories. Most rave reviews, I might add. I don't mind these comments because they are always done kindly, and they help me grow. I can't learn if my mistakes aren't pointed out to me.

However, everyone over at Writers' Huddle either already had a book published, or they are already having their book professionally edited, or they are on their manuscript rewrite, or some other stage far further than I am at in my writing career. Even people who appear to be younger than me and/or have been writing for a shorter amount of time. These people are incredibly dedicated to the craft and incredibly focused. It amazes me the focus these people have.

Because of all of these factors, I feel like a hobbyist that stumbled upon a professional convention. The "simple fanfiction writer" pretending she's some big shot writer.

Let me clarify that these are MY hang-ups and by no means reflect how the people at the Huddle really are. No one is condescending or treats me like I am not on equal footing with them. Doesn't stop me from feeling inadequate though. I then remembered the one article I responded to: Why Writers are the Worst Procrastinators.

See, I was stuck in the Schrodinger Writing World. I was both an excellent author and a complete hack at the same time; I wouldn't know which statement were true until inspected, by way of beta reading/critiques by another person.

Therefore, I sucked it up and posted my original works: The Divine Legends and The People of Gyateara. I then waited to open the box and see if my writing was alive or dead.

Today I received some feedback from fellow Huddler Maria. She told me something that I was told at least twice before: I over-write sometimes. I "over elaborate", to steal Maria's phrasing. I also have a tendency to use "-ly" adverb; this affinity I didn't know I had. I guess it's like someone telling you that you say "um" a lot when you're speaking. You don't realize it until it is pointed out, and then it seems painfully obvious.

Two things I now know I need to work on, or rather, one thing to work on and another I need to focus harder on. It will be a bit tricky since this "over elaborating" is part of my written voice. However, if I can polish how I speak in order to become a better orator, I should be able to streamline my writing voice in a similar manner. Fixing both will be tricky and a bit of an uphill battle for me, but one that I know will make me a better writer once I master them.

I'm calling out Ron and ChibiSunnie on this one. Chibi was one of the people who once before pointed out my over-explaining of everything. She and Ron are also the ones that seem to read my stuff most frequently and relatively quickly after I publish my stories. So, I'm sort of relying on you two in order to help me out with these struggles. If you - or any of my readers, for that matter - notice that I can streamline my sentences and/or I use "-ly" adverbs too frequently, I need you to point that out to me until I learn to catch it myself.

So now I throw this out to the rest of my readers. Any other places for improvement that you see in my writing? Remember, the only way for me to learn and become a better author for your enjoyment is for you to let me know where I'm failing.

I thank you all in advance. Until next week where I'll either have that new article response ready, or the next chapter for Please, Let Me Explain.

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