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February 3rd, 2011

A Reminder and Invitation

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Paris
Hey!
Just here to remind you that my blog has switch to Wordpress.

I made a new post with writing advice, about how to handle rejections.
Please come visit and feel free to subscribe!

Link to the new site:
Zora's Writing

February 1st, 2011

This may come as bit unexpected, but I have decided that Zora's Writing needs to move on. The blog will continue to run, and will NOT be deleted. However, I have transferred all my posts (and all the comments made on those posts) to Wordpress.

I believe Wordpress gives me more flexibility and more advance tools than Livejournal, so I have decided to switch.
I am sorry if this causes any inconvenience and I urge you to subscribe to the new version of Zora's Writing. Trust me you will not regret it. I am hoping to post more advice soon, and you can expect some new updates as well.

Also, keep an eye on Write Anything. Their new website will officially launch this month and I will be one of their new writers!

Sincerely,
Zora

January 30th, 2011

A Praise to Bookstores

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Paris
All right, considering this is an unofficial post (since it has not been two weeks since my last post) I am actually going to write about something that may seem a little unexpected, I suppose. Maybe not entirely, but sort of. (To be honest I feel like I am just avoiding homework, although not really, because I've been meaning to post this for a while.)

Anyway, the other day I realized something, and that is why I love bookstores so much. The result of this realization was the article I now post here:

Many of my wonderful and nerdy friends tend to praise the library for its perfect silence and ambiance of study. However, for some reason, even though I love libraries, I have always found bookstores much more magical. Every time I find nothing interesting going on in the campus or near by in the city, I tend to walk the few blocks to the university's bookstore. Sometimes I have even found myself doing homework there instead of the library.

It is hard to describe the reason. Perhaps it is the lack of a rule that requires absolute silence, therefore allowing interaction with people. Sometimes is the presence of that nearby coffee shop, which the library lacks -a small, warm place with the wooden chairs and the smell of coffee, chocolate and pastries. Mostly, though, I think the bookstore calls me because it is a place where a writer can see dreams come true, and where he or she can dream of being published, if he or she is not published yet.

Bookstores are the places where publications are sold. They are where those written words, those shed tears, those mad screams and dances and God knows what other crazy events or actions, along with the joys and laughs, come together and form part of a special community of books that are being read and bought by both friends and strangers. Of course, publication also brings hardships to writers, and I've been told that many people get hundreds of more hardships before they feel any joy. Yet, bookstores are the places that make me believe that all is worth it, because the ultimate goal of a writer is to have his or her work become something tangible for the world and to feel the joy of seeing that tangible form out there for the public.

Such is my believe at least. Thus, I find myself in a bookstore often, not only exploring the market but also dreaming in some deep part of me.

I'm pretty sure this whole post may sound pointless for some people, but I am guessing there are some souls and minds out there that feel the same way or that can appreciate a writer's feelings. So here it is for those who can relate and for those who just felt like reading.

Until next time, when I hope to post some writing advice.
Zora

January 21st, 2011

The time has arrived!

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Paris
To get myself organized...

All right, so as you all know last semester my college life took a big toll on my writing. This is why I am now going to establish some rules for myself and work on a schedule.

First of all February is going to be polishing week for Bloodbound. Yes, I am still working on it. Every Wednesday and Friday I have an hour and a half of break between classes and work. There is no way I am going to use that little break for homework (not because I can't, just because I know myself and I won't). Thus, this little break sounds like a wonderful time to edit. After I am done with Bloodbound, I can work on a schedule for my short story writing and for my agent search.

Mean while, I figured I can't blog every week, but I will blog every two weeks either on Monday, Wednesday or Friday. Like usual, sometime I will just post updates and other times it will be useful stuff.

I know this is a short blog, but I really want to get started on my editing.

Until next time,
Zora

January 16th, 2011

A Few Good Updates

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Paris
I am actually starting to catch up on my writing again. I have been working on some short stories. First of all Death's Life Note (a story I've mentioned a couple of times before) is going through some major changes. My main character's age is changing first of all, which gives the story quite a twist. On the other hand I'm pretty sure The Sickness is going to turn out to be my next novel. I feel very excited about this! =D

I also got a wonderful email from Write Anything. I'm not sure if I mentioned it before, but I'd applied to become one of their new bloggers. After a few months of no response, I thought that maybe they'd decided on other writers. However, a few days ago that changed. Apparently, they were working on a few other aspects of the site and so they had not sent out emails to the writers yet. So they asked me if I was still interested and told me that they were hoping for the new writers to start introducing themselves in the site soon. I said yes, obviously. =D I'm still waiting for the reply, but I'm sure they'll send it soon.

On a non-writing-related note, I go back to Boston tomorrow. =D I am very excited. I missed home, but now that I'm home, I miss Boston. I can't wait to get back, even though I have wonderful friends and a great family here. I've gotten used to Puerto Rico's tropical heat again, though, so I must brace myself once again for the cold. And SNOW o.O. I had not seen any snow yet when I left. Snow is going to be a totally different experience for me. But I am ready!

Anyway, wish me luck!
I promise this semester I will not abandon this beautiful blog, and my few loyal readers. =)

Zora

January 11th, 2011

Writer's block, all writers have been there. That hateful place which makes you feel stuck. Either you started a story and don't know what to make of the middle or the end, or you want to write something but don't know what.
I have a confession to make. That's were I am right now: stuck.

So what's the cure for writer's block? Well, let us be honest, it can be many or none.
Everyone gives you different advices: read something new, read a random page of a book and try to develop the story from there, do something spontaneous, go for a walk and think, etc. Sometimes the suggestions work, sometimes they don't.
I can't pretend I have the cure for writer's block. Still, I can say one thing about writer's block: as soon as the wall moves a little and some inspiration comes, you have to take that inspiration and start writing. Maybe it'll get you somewhere, maybe you'll just stop after a little while and be stuck again, but hey, at least you have a sentence or two. Progress is progress, and progress helps you break the wall.

I can also give you  the four suggestions that have helped me  the most when it comes to writer's block. Give them a shot if you're looking for some inspiration, and feel free to let me know if they helped.

1. Go to your favorite search engine and type in "fun things to do". Click on the link you like best and read the suggestions. Then you can do one of these two things, or both!:
a) chose one thing and have one of your characters do it
b) do one of the things suggested, try to choose one of the craziest, and see if you gain inspiration from that
 
2. Write a thing of things you want to do, in life or in a certain amount of time. They don't have to be realistic things, just things you think would be interesting or fun, and then write about one of those things. Keep the list. You can use it for another occasion.
I actually did this yesterday. I posted the list on another blog of mine. Feel free to read it at Words of the Wise, Maybe? (And yes, I was very bored when I wrote it)

3. Talk to someone. Anyone. Either on the phone, online chat, or in person. Let it be your best friend, your mom or dad or a total stranger (please be careful with this last one, though). You don't have to mention your block, but you can if you want. Sometimes people are the best source of inspiration. I actually mentioned this in one of my first posts.

4. Go to Facebook, or Twitter and read the status or twitts in your home page. Someone has to have done or seen something interesting enough to inspire you.


Those are my suggestions. Feel free to let me know yours or just tell me what you think.

Zora

December 29th, 2010

Oh Short Story Wonderful

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Paris
Sometimes for an aspiring writer the novel seems like the ultimate thing. It is the great deed of the writer! The thing to brag about. You can go up to your friends and say "Hey, I wrote a novel!"

On the other hand, the short story is often underestimated. I mean, I'll admit, I feel proud of my short stories. They are my creations and they are wonderful. But, come on! They are not as impressive as writing a book.

Now you may disagree with me on the previous comments, or you may not. Either way, I want to take this little post to pay a special tribute to the wonders of the short story.

Short stories are short. (Well, that's obvious.) It is this briefness that makes them so wonderful. With them it is simple to switch!
When you are writing a novel or a story you have to stick to one style. If you start your story by using simple vocabulary and then halfway through the book you start using long complicated words, you might cause the reader a big headache (trust me, that's not something you want to do). With a novel, it is very hard to discover whether you like using long words or short words, or some other characteristic of writing. A novel's length makes it hard for the writer to go back and change everything. A short story's shortness, on the other hand, allows you to go back to the beginning of the story easily. Also, you can end a short story much faster than a novel and edit it much faster than a novel. Therefore, you can start a new story much faster and dedicate to a new story with a new style. Same as with gender. With one story you can only focus in one gender or in one mixture of genders. You can start a suspense story about a serial killer and then turn it into a dark fantasy story by making your serial killer an evil fairy. However, you can't just forget the serial killer and start writing about happy pretty fairies, without giving your past story an ending. If you don't ever end a story, you don't ever really finish a work. Thus it is much easier to use a short story than a novel to discover your favorite style of writing and your favorite gender.

It is not impossible to discover your writing style with a novel. I discovered a couple of things about my style by writing my first novel. Like for example, I discovered I like revealing details through dialogue and using simple words. I learned that when I write dialogue, I don't like using words like "wanna"  or "gotta" but that I can manage to write good dialogue without those words. Honestly, I believe it takes a special talent to use those words correctly. Yet, it was only when I started writing short stories that I realized I liked writing mainstream, aside from dark fantasy.

Also, I may have discovered through editing my novel that I needed to work on setting descriptions, but it was through short story writing that I was able to work on my descriptions. That's another wonder about short stories. They work as writing exercises.

Other writers name other reasons for why short stories are so great: they help you stick to a word count, they allow you to express a complicated message in a brief manner, etc.

I told you what I find wonderful about short stories. Feel free to tell me what you find wonderful about them, or if you really don't see the big wonder.
In fact, if you want to, I dare you: write a story no longer than 3,000 words long and tell me what you learned from it or what you didn't learn. If I get enough answers I'll make a special post with them on Wednesday January 9, 2011. The post will appear on this site on my deviantART profile, and will be promoted on my twitter. As part of that post, those who leave a link to their own blog or website will have that link posted, but even if I have you as a friend on Livejournal, please leave the link to your page if you want it to appear on a post. If you don't want the link to be posted, you don't have to leave one. Be warned, the post will only be made if I have 4 or more people do this exercise.

December 26th, 2010

I'm back!

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Paris
Hey there!
As you can see now, I'm still alive.
Unfortunately, my blog is looking less alive than it should. It's been more than a month since I last wrote, but I'm going to try to make it up to you during my small winter break! Starting now!

First some updates!
Sadly, Nanowrimo was a fail for me this year. I made it only to about 11,000 words, but I might keep working on Neutral Magic, or I might not. I'm a little bored by it so far...

On a happier note... I don't know if you all remember, but a couple of months ago I wrote a story called The Green Chair (it started out with the title True Names, but that all changed after editing). I submitted that story to Rebel Books for a Young Adult fairy anthology that they were building. (I tried to find the post in which I told you about this but I couldn't.) Well, my story made it to their short list! Unluckily it didn't make it to the final round. =( But they encouraged me to submit in the future so that's good. And I'm very glad to have made it to the short list -it shows the story has potential. =) This happened a couple of months ago. Then yesterday I made a lovely discovery, while I was bored and decided to browse the internet. I discovered a new e-zine, with the name of Scape. It's supposed to come out on January 2011 for the first time and it centers on Young Adult Speculative fiction! Thus, I, as the huge nerd that I am, got all excited about this.  =D It's the perfect place for me to start submitting! Its not well known, since it's starting, but I'm starting too. One publication, is one thing I can add to my portfolio. So I submitted The Green Chair to Scape, hopefully I'll get their response in a few days, or a few months if they decide to leave me for their next issue. Wish me luck!

Also, I'm working on a new story. I still don't know if it'll be a novel or just a short story, but it's growing to be very interesting. Its temporary title is The Sickness. It sounds cliche for its type of story, though, so I'll probably change it later. For now all I have is a narrator who had a twin brother. Her brother got infected by a pandemic that attacked a country after some sort of war (probably a civil war). He dies of the sickness. The really story starts years after the sickness is over. It's supposed to develop into a dark fantasy thing, although it starts of as sounding like science fiction. And that's what I have so far... I'll let you know if it turns into a short story or a novel. However, don't expect me to tell you how it ends. ;)

See! Long update. Progress, uh?
I promise something more interesting next time, maybe some more writing advice or an interesting new site that I discovered.
I'll let you know,
Zora

November 6th, 2010

I know it's been a while...

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Paris
Once again, 4shatteredstars has revived me.
It's been a while since my last post but here I am, alive and well, yet very busy.

But no matter what I am still writing! Especially now in November! =D
Nanowrimo has started and I SO excited. I'm way behind in my word-count though. It's currently 3,825/50,000 and I'm supposed to have 10,002 words by the end of today XD. But I can do it! I hope...

Especially with Write or Die:



=D =D
It's a wonderful tool that helps you just get to work and start writing.

Zora

October 23rd, 2010

Update?

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Paris
So I haven't posted for this week.
I guess my writing schedule has become unofficial, but my blog's still going and it's going to keep going.
This is a short post, but I'm going to keep going.
Anyway,
I guess I'll add more later
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