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Book 4, S S C 5, Other Stuff

Auserv: Toa-Kal of Emotion


It's been over two weeks since I've made a blog entry. >_>


Story of the Dead's writing has caught up to its posting. In other words, I now have to pump out two chapters (around 4000 words) a week. I also have at least six (usually more) hours a day spent on schoolwork and several more hours spent on other responsibilities that keep me from writing as often as I can, meaning my writing time is usually limited to about 4 hours a day at the very most. That's 1680 minutes a week for writing, and 4000 words to be written in those minutes, meaning I have to write about 3 words a minute to make the time. Which isn't really too bad, but I usually don't use all 4 of those hours for writing (see the tip of the week below), and a lot of the time I don't actually get 4 hours. So it's challenging. I write whenever I can and hope for the best.


In case anyone was wondering, I am entering SSC5 with a Dairuno Toa series bonus short story. It involves Auserv and Eilaiki. I chose Auserv because he allows me to write without filtering things through another character's viewpoint: his viewpoint is my viewpoint, since he is me. And Eilaiki was chosen because her entire purpose in the story is as Auserv's romantic interest. Anyway, the story beings directly before the Great Cataclysm and ends in the immediate aftermath of it, making it (aside from the temporarily discontinued Tyaseri's Blog) the most recent entry in the Dairuno Toa series. Auserv, Eilaiki, and their team (who actually get names in the story :D) have made it their goal to make a map of the entire universe. In this story, called Honey (dual-meaning title there), the team arrives at a southern island that seems to be uninhabited. Of course, you know how it goes with seemingly uninhabited islands in my universe. ;)


The Matoro story that I mentioned in the last blog entry is indeed going to be posted soon. It's finished (final title is Smile, another dual-meaning title) and I'm going to post it as my 1111th post special, so just hang on until I get there and you'll see the story. To tide you over until then, here's an excerpt from it:


Matoro groaned. “What happened?” he muttered. The words seemed to come out of his mouth without his mind’s permission.


“You saved the universe, Matoro.” It was Hahli, kneeling over Matoro, who now lay on the frozen ground. Snow fell from the heavens, landing on his mask and melting.


It doesn’t snow underwater, said the logical part of his brain. “Where are we?”


“Ko-Metru, of course! You put on the Mask of Life, brought Mata Nui back to life, and then we were all teleported home. It’s a good thing you did that, too, because the Barraki had almost killed us. I’ll tell you the story another day.”


“Where’s the Mask of Life?”


“The Toa Nuva are returning it to Voya Nui."


“Is Mata Nui awake?’


“Not yet, but the Toa Nuva are going to do that as soon as they return the Mask of Life to its rightful place. Even so, all the evil has been banished from the universe. The Brotherhood of Makuta was destroyed, along with all of the corruption they spread. The Dark Hunters are gone too.”


“Wow... I really did save the universe, didn’t I? There’s no more danger. Just... Life.”


But Matoro should know that I never let my characters get off that easy. XD


In other news, I'm taking a college course now. It's called Academic Affairs and essentially tries to get you to learn how to be a "master student" (someone who has gotten so good at learning that they can do it without consciously using techniques). We meet once a week at my local community college on Tuesdays; I'm the only one in the class who hasn't graduated high school yet. (Actually, one other guy hasn't graduated yet, but he's a senior while I'm technically a sophomore, so I'm still the youngest.) It was nice: yesterday, our professor had the flu so instead of hiring a sub, she got some lady to come in, write down who came on a piece of paper, collect homework, and send us off after 10 minutes from what was supposed to be an hour-long class. On top of that, she told us that everyone who turned in the homework got extra credit and everyone who didn't could still turn it in next week for full credit. So now I have more than 100% in the class. :D


Writing Tip Of The Week (And Last Week And The Week Before)


Since I've been doing a lot of writing lately, I wanted to share some tips about how to write really fast and get a lot accomplished quickly. I call this "The Crash Course On How To Just Sit Down And Pound Out A Story".


First off, decide how much time you have or want to spend. Don't worry if you have a short attention span (I know I do XD); this plan never makes you do anything for more than half an hour at a time. Of course, you can adjust it to your attention span, but I usually need a break from something after half an hour, and this plan was originally designed for me. Anyway, pick as much time as you think you'll need. I usually do this when I have 3-6 free hours.


Next, schedule your time in 15-minute blocks. Here's an example of my schedule from last night:


4:00-4:15: Writing

4:15-4:30: Writing

4:30-4:45: Break

4:45-5:00: Writing

5:00-5:15: More planning time

5:15-5:30: Writing

5:30-5:45: Writing

5:45-6:00: Break

6:00-6:15: Dinner

6:15-6:30: Break

6:30-6:45: Writing

6:45-7:00: Writing

7:00-7:15: Break

7:15-7:30: Writing

7:30-7:45: Writing

7:45-8:00: Post Chapter


I only had the first hour planned out by 4:00; after 5:00 (designated as "more planning time" on the schedule), I had planned to 8:00. As you can see here, I spent half an hour writing, then 15 minutes on break (which in my case was playing my DS - since you can fold it up, automatically pausing it no matter where in the game you are, it's a good device to use when you only have a short time to play). Then I spent 15 more minutes writing, followed by a 15 minute break (to plan more). Then I wrote another half hour. Then I spent the next forty-five minutes on break, essentially (15 minutes were spent eating). I came back and wrote another half hour, took another break, and then spent one last half hour writing and revising. Then I posted the chapter. Indeed, in this 4-hour period I wrote nearly all of Chapter 16, and I was only actually writing for a total of 2.25 hours. The writing just constantly flowed out until I was done.


That should give you a good idea of how to keep your mind fresh and focused at all times, so during the brief spurts of writing, you don't get bored or tired of it. It works great for me, but I've never suggested it to anyone else before, so I can't attest to if other people find that the frequent breaks keep them from getting writer's block.


If you do feel your thoughts starting to drift to other things - your next break, perhaps - gently lead them back on track. My Academic Affairs textbook put it nicely: (I'm paraphrasing here) "Accept the distractions, and then go back to the task at hand." Don't mentally scream "No! I can't think about that! I HAVE TO WRITE!!!" Just accept that in a few minutes you will be able to do whatever you want, and then turn back to the blinking cursor against the white background of your word processor, put your fingers to the keys, and keep typing.


If necessary, allow yourself as much time as you need for things that don't count as breaks or writing time. For example, if you promised your friends you'd see a movie with them from 6:00 to 8:00, and you're writing from 4:00 to 10:00, simply classify those 8 blocks as "obligations" and leave it at that. Immediately schedule half an hour of writing after the long break though - you'll have a clear head and your brain will be ready to get back to work.


Really, this type of technique can apply to not only stories, but any writing at all, including assigned school writing. But I've only ever used it for fan fiction. In any case, I plan to continue to use this technique to get further in Story of the Dead. Perhaps I can get significantly ahead of the posting again and have a few minutes to breathe! :P


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I like the look of both your SSC5 entry and Smile. Looking forward to them!


Don't mentally scream "No! I can't think about that! I HAVE TO WRITE!!!"


XD I loled at that!


I suppose your timetable type thing should work if you need to write something within a deadline, but i've never had to do that, so i'm not totally sure. I'll be sure to try it if I need to in English or something.

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I suppose your timetable type thing should work if you need to write something within a deadline, but i've never had to do that, so i'm not totally sure. I'll be sure to try it if I need to in English or something.

Yeah, it's designed specifically for me when I have to just sit down and write a chapter, which I have to do twice a week now. In fact, just now came out of another such a session, in which I completed Chapter 17 of SOTD. If I do another one or two over the weekend, I'll be ahead... :D

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