My WIP aesthetics (and blurb!)

Happy Wednesday!

Have you ever played pranks on a telemarketer? Recently, when a telemarketer called, I couldn’t resist. It’s kind of a funny story:

Telemarketer: Hello, my name is Susan. I am calling you from The Organization that Do Surveys about Cereal Products.* Do you have a few minutes to participate in a survey?

Me: Sure.

Susan: You can only participate in this survey if you are 18 years of age or older. Are you over 18 years of age?

Me: Yes, but is there a maximum age for this study?

Susan: No, we have various age brackets.

Me: I am 120 years old. Do you have an age bracket for that?

Susan: …

Susan: All right, ma’am. Have a good day.

Me: But-but the survey-

I couldn’t help but burst into laughter when the phone call ended :’) I am 26 but I have the maturity of a 6-year-old.

*To protect the confidentiality of the telemarketer and the telemarketing company, names have been replaced with fictional ones. It’s also because, well, I forgot the actual names.

My WIP Aesthetics

Anyhow, today I am hoping to tell you guys a bit more about the WIP that I’ve been working on. Children of the Sun is a science fiction novel that takes place in present day. (Is there such a thing as an “alternate present” novel?)

This is the blurb:

Since the discovery of DNA in the 1950s, there has been tremendous interest in the potential of modifying the human genome. How soon can genetic diseases be eradicated? Can we push the boundaries of human fitness and intelligence? Now, in the year 2018, genetic modification of human embryos for medically necessary purposes is endorsed by the World Health Organization.

Meanwhile, there are rumours of a new genetic disease, one that can give rise to spontaneous combustion and allow its host to breathe underwater. Those that carry these mutations, Deviants, must be medicated and controlled. It is the job of the Deviant Investigation Unit to track these people down.

Fifteen-year-old Meredith doesn’t have a last name or a passport. The only family she knows is Rio, Edene, and the other detectives in the Unit. When Edene, her best friend and guardian disappears, Meredith investigates the unexplained deaths of three young women, and uncovers her own past and the darkest secret in the history of genetic modification.

Meredith

Meredith

Rio Matsui

Rio

Edene Adams

Edene

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Do you ever prank telemarketers? What are your thoughts about human genetic engineering / genomic editing / genetic modification? Should it be allowed, or are the consequences too great?

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The Writer’s Tag!

The Writer's tag

Happy Wednesday!

But… but… What happened to WIPPet Wednesday, you ask!?

Usually I post a snippet of my WIP on Wednesdays, but this Wednesday, well………. I actually have no snippet for you guys.

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This is because I am still plotting and researching my new novel, and I want to make sure I get all the kinks ironed out before I put pen to paper (or rather, fingers to keyboard.) No worries: I am actively working on it, every single night.

So, instead, I will be doing The Writer’s Tag. Thanks to The Orang-utan Librarian for tagging me. Be sure to check out her post and her blog, because both are absolutely awesome.

What genres, styles, and topics do you write about?

The novel that I just finished is a contemporary fiction about art history and depression. It’s… pretty heavy, and now I am ready for something lighter.

My new project is a young adult science fiction novel about human genomic editing, space exploration, and pharmaceuticals. Did you know that in February 2017, the first human embryo was genetically edited in the US? (Fact.) Can you imagine a world in which editing of the human genome is accepted and even preferred?

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Long story short: A bit of everything! I am still experimenting with which genre(s) jive with me the most.

How long have you been writing?

Ever since I picked up a pencil and learned to make coherent sentences! I remember writing my first short story when I was in my ESL (English as a Second Language) class in grade 3. I used to fold printer paper in half and staple them in the middle to make a “book” :’)

Here is little Asian me:

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Why do you write?

I have people in my head who talk and if I don’t write I will probably go crazy.

When is the best time to write?

All day everyday! However due to adulting demands, that is impossible :’)

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What parts of writing do you love and hate?

I love…

  • Creating characters and worlds
  • Being able escape real life (come on guys, adulting isn’t what it’s hyped up to be)
  • The feeling of being so absorbed into your world and your story that you forget that you are just a writer punching words into a word processor

I hate…

  • Writer’s block
  • Hearing about the plot of another book that sounds similar to your own (Hey, WE had that idea first)
  • Showing my story to other people (“Sophie, I just read this part in your novel and-” “AHHHH NO DON’T TALK ABOUT IT- IT SUCKS!!!!” [plugs ears])

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How do you overcome writer’s block?

I stare at my laptop screen until a word comes out (it works.)

Are you working on something at the moment?

Yes!

What are your writing goals this year?

In the next 40 days of 2017 (What?! 40 days?! Really?! I know right?) I am hoping to finish planning this novel and start writing it. Small steps :’)

Thanks for reading, you guys!

I tag these fantastic folks: Marie, Dani, Beth, CaitJW Martin, Phil Taylor, Jeanne G’Fellers, AM Leibowitz, and Fallon Brown. And of course, any other writer reading this post!

(You absolutely do not have to do this tag, if you have done it before, or if you just don’t like doing tags.)

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How long does it take for you to jump from one WIP to the next? What do you like and dislike about writing? What are your writing goals this year? How is Nanowrimo going?!

WIPPet Wednesday: Harmless Crimes

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Happy Hump Day!

After arriving back from China, I am hit by the super cold weather here in Canada. I am not a big fan of the cold (brrrr), but this singing bear cheers me up:

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Oh, bear, you are a true Canadian. (I am obviously a fake one :’) )

As for the current state of affairs: My manuscript is now in the hands of my trusty beta-readers (people are reading my novel! eek!) And I have been (slowly) researching and plotting my new project, which is a science fiction novel titled Children of the Sun.

Which leads to my question for the writers out there: How do you guys go about researching your novel? Children of the Sun will dabble a bit in astrophysics, genetics, and pharmaceuticals. Though I deal with pharmaceuticals on a daily basis (legally), my Genetics 101 course is a distant memory, and my knowledge of astrophysics is… well, non-existent. I am hoping to find a few good books, and of course, there is always good old trusty Dr. Google :’)

Also! I should mention that Children of the Sun will be a rewrite of a Nanowrimo novel I wrote 10 years ago (when I was 16). You know that amazing feeling when you read something that you wrote a long time ago, expecting it to be terrible, only to find that it’s… kind of… good? That’s how I feel about this one :’)

Because I haven’t picked up the pen yet for this project, I am cheating a bit by sharing a snippet from my original draft, which I may keep, since it captures the essence of the novel:

The best way to deal with this situation, the government said, is to go about it silently, under everyone’s noses. Only through this will the threat be safely eliminated with the least complications.

So much for “a handful of harmless crimes.”

WIPPet Math: 3 sentences for Wednesday.

WIPpet Wednesdays is a blog hop where writers can share a snippet from their WIP. The only stipulation is that the excerpt is somehow related to the date. Be sure to check out some of the other lovely WIPpet snippets here. Thank you Emily Wrayburn for hosting.

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Do you like cold weather, or do you fear it, like me? How do you go about researching your novel? Have you reread any of the works you’ve written a while back?

WIPpet Wednesday: The Price

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Happy Hump Day!

It was SUPER hard to choose today’s snippet, because this is going to be the last snippet that I will be posting from Matt and Olivia’s story*. Now that I’ve trimmed, formatted, and compiled the novel into a neat PDF for beta-readers**, it doesn’t quite qualify as a WIP anymore. It’s a bittersweet feeling :’)

Curious about the final word count of my novel, after revisions? Well, I was able to reduce the length from 147K to…

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103K!!!

Not bad, I’d say 🙂

My other announcement is that I will be taking a break from WIPpets for the next 2 weeks. That is because I will be away in China with minimal, if any, access to WordPress (thanks to the Great Firewall of China.) After 2 weeks, I promise to be back with a snippet from my new WIP, a young adult / adult science fiction titled Children of the Sun.

*I’ve cycled through 3 titles for this novel, only to leave it unnamed :’) If you guys have any novel-naming tips, do let me know!

**Although I already have a few trusted beta-readers, let me know if you want to join in. (My story does contain sensitive content such as suicidal ideation and self-harm. Please please please don’t ask to read if any of these can be potential triggers for you.)

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Today’s snippet is from a deleted scene that I absolutely love. On the way to a concert, Matt makes fun of Olivia for rolling her eyes too much, because apparently excessive eye-rolling can cause your eyes to fall out.

“I mean, for all you know, maybe your eye fibres are already loosening up,” Matt says. “Since you roll your eyes so much.”

“No!” Olivia says.

“Although, I hear that there’s a way to remedy that.”

“What?”

“Oh… I don’t know,” He says. The corners of his mouth lift up into a smile. He can’t help it. He’s having too much fun.

“Come on, you gotta tell me,” She says.

“At a price,” He says.

“What? What’s the price?”

“Hmm,” He says.

Except, there is something that Matt wouldn’t mind doing. As they walk side by side, they are so close that their shoulders are just an inch apart, which means their arms are just an inch apart, which means their hands almost touch. Matt’s hands feel wet and clammy, he wipes them on his jeans.

“Come on, Matt!” Olivia says.

“We could, maybe, you know, hold hands,” Matt says. But at that moment, a streetcar screeches past on its tracks, and a group of teenagers chase after it, pushing between Matt and Olivia. When they are gone, and the street is quiet again, there is a wide gap between them.

“What’s that, Matt?” Olivia asks.

WIPpet Math: 25 sentences for the 25th of October (Phew! That was easy :’) )

WIPpet Wednesdays is a blog hop where writers can share a snippet from their WIP. The only stipulation is that the excerpt is somehow related to the date. Be sure to check out some of the other lovely WIPpet snippets here. Thank you Emily Wrayburn for hosting.

 

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How is your week going? What is the title of your WIP and how did you think of it? Any naming tips? Are you guilty of rolling your eyes?

6 Reasons to Write

Hello everyone!

Since I just finished my novel, I’ve been reflecting a bit about… well, writing. Today I want to share with you guys the reasons why I write.

1. Create a universe

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Have you ever wondered what it’s like to live in a space station, float in zero gravity, and devise battle plans against a neighbouring intergalactic colony? Have you ever wanted to go to a school of vampires, or werewolves, or wizards? How about just a small town in northern Canada, where people start going missing one by one, and the townspeople have to figure out whodunnit?

Whether it is an alternate universe, or just a small pocket of everyday life, the world that we create becomes real.

2. Live vicariously through our own characters

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To be honest, guys, life isn’t always the most interesting, and life isn’t always the most kind. Adulting kind of sucks. Whether we are angry, or sad, or just bored, writing is a great way to jump out of our own skin and into someone else’s. The best part is: we get to create who that character will be.

3. Create a story

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There’s something amazing about stories, isn’t there? What I love about stories is that there is a beginning, a middle, and an end. I love that there are characters that we can relate to, and a message that stays with us even after we turn the last page.

As a child (and, well, as an adult), I loved to daydream and think up stories in my head. Writing lets us bring these daydreams into reality and share them with the world.

4. Pass on a message

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Do you have a passion? Do you have a message that you want to scream out to the world? Is there a group that you want to represent? Do you want to empower women by creating a kick-ass female character? Or do you want to fight stigma? Or, do you simply want to inspire courage, or compassion, or perseverance?

I believe that, more than anything else, stories can change hearts.

5. Learn about the world

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If you are writing about something that you are unfamiliar about, chances are, you will have to do some research. And believe me, researching for the sake of a story is more fun than any research that we would ever do for school or for work.

For my novel, I’ve learned more than I will ever know otherwise about art history, mental illness, and prescription drug abuse (I know, heavy stuff). Although not all of these topics made it into my actual story, I enjoyed every bit of the research that I did, and I am so glad for what I learned about the world in the process.

6. It’s about the journey

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When I mention that I am writing a novel to my friends or family, a common question I get is, “Are you going to publish it?” The thing is, I’ve always wanted to publish a novel. Who doesn’t? All writers want to get their story out to the world. Our story is like our baby, and we want to watch our baby grow and blossom.

I did some research about publishing (that really ought to be a whole blog post blog of its own), and… well, the harsh reality is that it’s really darn hard. And I realize that if I write for the sake of publishing, then writing wouldn’t be fun anymore. When I write for the sake of writing, that’s when I enjoy it the most and when I produce the best work.

As you guys can see, I am quite inspired by The Sound of Music today :’)

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If you are a writer, what do you love about writing? How do you go about doing the research for your story? Do you want to publish a novel / have you published a novel? If you are a reader, what kind of stories do you like to read?

WIPPet Wednesday: My novel is FINISHED!!

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Happy Hump Day everyone!

YES! You heard me right! I’m finally done my novel!

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And it’s a weird feeling to be done, you know? My novel has been such a big part of my life for the past few months. I was either writing about my characters or thinking about about them every single day. And it’s kind of weird to… not be thinking about them. It’s like having friends who have moved to far away places.

The reassuring factor is that I’m not done done with this novel. Right now, I am working on cutting down on the length: The final word count is 147617, which is astronomical for the contemporary romance novel that it is… and I want to be kind to my beta-readers. But guys, is it me, or is it super hard to take out scenes??

Also, this is the 4th draft that I have finished, but I know for a certainty that there will be a 5th, and maybe a 7th… and maybe a 96th. So I am in it for the long haul :’)

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In today’s snippet, Olivia and Matt are having a studying session at Matt’s place. It is close to dinner time and Olivia is getting hungry:

“Oh, is that what it’s about, Matt?” Olivia says.

“No.”

“It is so what it’s about. You’re offended because I didn’t eat your sandwich.”

He has to admit, that touched a nerve.

“Maybe.” He says.

“Sorry.”

“You have to say, ‘I sincerely promise’…” He begins, then pauses, waiting for her to repeat.

“I sincerely promise.”

“That I will eat all the sandwiches…”

“That I will eat all the sandwiches.”

“That Matt will ever make…”

“That Matt will ever make.”

“And never be on a diet again.” He finishes.

“And never be on a diet again?” She says.

“Yes.” He says, nodding at her.

She hesitates for a moment, as if having a debate in her head.

“Okay,” She says. “And never be on a diet again.”

WIPpet Math: 126 words, first digit 1, second digit 8 (by adding 2 + 6) to make the 18th of October

WIPpet Wednesdays is a blog hop where writers can share a snippet from their WIP. The only stipulation is that the excerpt is somehow related to the date. Be sure to check out some of the other lovely WIPpet snippets here. Thank you Emily Wrayburn for hosting.

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How do you feel when you finish a novel or a long-term project? Do you also find it hard to cut out scenes from your novel? How many drafts do you usually write before a story is finally done? Doesn’t it suck to be on a diet?

 

WIPpet Wednesday: How fast can planes fly?

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Happy Wednesday!

A question for all you writers out there: Do you ever get nervous about showing other people your writing?

The reason why I ask is that, now that I am about 99.9% done my novel, my friends and family (aka. my beta-readers) are asking to read it. And that terrifies me.

I mean, on one hand, I want to share with others what I’ve been working on for the past year. I am proud of my novel and I believe that people will enjoy reading it.

On the other hand, my novel is not perfect. Although this is the 4th draft, I know for a fact that there are inconsistencies and spelling/grammar errors abound! Some scenes are unnecessary! Some scenes I don’t even like! There are so many things that I want to go back and tweak! (Which is why I wrote the 2nd and 3rd and 4th draft without showing anyone…)

I swear, this will be a conversation between me and my (future) grandchild:

Grandkid: Gramma, when can I read your story?

Me: Hang on, dear, I will show you once I finish my 96th draft…

No kidding :’)

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Today’s snippet takes place shortly after Matt meets Olivia. Matt’s usual babysitter, Tanya, is away, and Olivia offers to look after his daughter for the evening. Matt and his daughter clean their apartment before she arrives.

Matt arranges the shoes neatly on the shoe rack, while Zelda picks up pencil crayons and plastic bags from the floor. Then, Matt pulls out the vacuum from the cupboard.

“Daddy, why do we gotta clean before Olivia comes?” Zelda asks.

He pauses before inserting the plug into the wall socket. “Well,” He says. “That’s because Olivia is a guest. We want her to feel comfortable at our house, right? When you go to Tiffany’s house, is it clean?”

“Yeah. But Tiffany’s house has a cleaning person who does all the cleaning. Can we have a cleaning person?”

That’s not a surprise. Tiffany’s family lives in a penthouse on Bay Street. Matt and Zelda, on the other hand, lives in a five-story walk-up.

“Maybe one day, Z.”

“Why don’t we clean before Tanya comes?” Zelda asks.

“Well,” he says, stretching out the word. They’ve been used to Tanya coming over to babysit that he’s been slack with the cleaning. “Look, Z, a plane!” He points out the window.

“Oh, really?”

She races over and leans over the windowsill, looking up at the sky. “There’s no plane, Daddy.”

“Oh gee,” Matt says. “I guess it went by too quickly. You know how fast planes can fly?”

“Hmm,” Zelda says. She turns back around, pressing a finger to her lips. “As fast as a car? As fast as a train?”

WIPpet Math: 10 (for October) + 2 (for 2nd Wednesday of the month) = 12 paragraphs

WIPpet Wednesdays is a blog hop where writers can share a snippet from their WIP. The only stipulation is that the excerpt is somehow related to the date. Be sure to check out some of the other lovely WIPpet snippets here. Thank you Emily Wrayburn for hosting.

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Are you nervous about sharing your writing with others? Do you clean before guests arrive?