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THIS IS MY 200TH POST!!!

Hot damn, I’ve actually physically written 200 posts, including this one. So I probably should talk about what I’ve done since last year. Hmm…

Well, I’m quite happy that this blog is still very much alive and will continue to be, at least til I reach another major change in my life schedule. It’s still and will be filled with whatever I feel like writing. I think dropping down to three posts a week is a lot more manageable, although I have run out of buffer posts for lazy days XD At the point of writing this, it’s literally the last post I’ve written (am writing? will have written? I’m always confused about which tense to use :P), although I do have a lot more topics in draft mode.

I’ve found that personal recounts have been the easiest things to write. Like, duh, I’m just writing out what I did, with a few opinions sprinkled here and there. Posts I write that have a lot of emotion behind it (rage, sadness, etc) seem to be the next easiest. It always feels like the words just flow from my fingers. I don’t really have to think much about what I want to say, just how I want to say it. Of course, I always go back and make sure it’s as diplomatic as possible before I actually release it, unless I’m aiming to insult and injure.

Reviews were pretty tiring to do, because I found it difficult to balance how much should be summary of the context, how many spoilers I should reveal and how much of the post should be my actual opinions. Critiquing something, be it a book, or a movie, or even a person, is really not up my alley.

I’ve also discovered the joys (and pains) of writing fiction. Back when I was still doing a lot of R&D on love, dating and relationships, I created a series called Through His/Her Eyes (THE) which was supposed to be story pairs about how couples I knew in real life actually got together. Well, each story isn’t a hundred percent true; I make stuff up to fill in the gaps. The point was to write something around a kernel of truth. So far, I’ve written three story pairs, but I’ve lost interest in writing them.

I also started and shelved a trilogy I was writing – The Minders Trilogy. I thought I had a cool concept that interested me enough to build a story around: superhuman mental abilities. But I sorta scrapped it, partly because I was in NS Monday to Saturday and partly because I felt it was a bit too ambitious for me. I’ll return to it in future, perhaps rewrite the whole thing, but for now, no more chapters will be coming out anytime soon. If I’m honest, the lack of appreciation for the whole project was a factor as well. I mean, no one is missing my work. There’s no incentive for me to continue. I know I started writing it just because I wanted to, but I guess some support would have been nice.

The most recent fiction project I’ve started is Birthday Stories – short stories I write in dedication to my friends’ birthdays. So far, I’ve done two – True Blue and Slice of Life. My inspiration for this project was actually drawn from three blogs I follow. Not surprisingly, all three are authors in their own right.

K. Jered Mayer, who writes Word Whiskey, actually does write birthday notes. I always enjoy his flash fiction, although he hasn’t done one since December. He’s been busy writing an actual book, As the Earth Trembles, part three in The Convergence Trilogy. He shares a lot of life experiences which are very insightful for me. But no matter what he writes, I can always count on them being nice, long, entertaining reads.

Lynette Noni, Australian author of the newly released Arkarnae, shares a lot on her life and journey as an author, as well as writing tips. She’s really funny and knows how to use memes appropriately, which always gets a laugh from me. I think it was from her that I learnt how to create a mystery; a reader should be able to jump in the middle of a story and want to keep reading. I can’t remember exactly where I read this from, but I think it was her. The closest post I could find was this one. It’s probably not the exact quote, but my takeaway was huge. I suddenly understood why I shelved the Minders Trilogy: I’d spent too much time building and establishing the world. It stagnated and even I got bored of writing it.

This lesson was very apparent when I read Angela Floratos’ snippets. She writes at My College Odyssey and this was her first snippet. I finally understood that I wasn’t supposed to spoon feed everything to my readers. If the reader just jumped into the story knowing neither head nor tail, like Angela’s snippets, then he/she is more likely to want to find out why. At least, I felt that way. This was how I needed to pique a reader’s curiosity.

During my sentry duties, I have a lot time to just sit there and think. Sometimes I get cool ideas that I can build around, like the sapphire that vibrates when a lie is told to it’s wearer, or the knife that heals your injuries if you cut yourself with it. These two things were the basis of the birthday shorts, and were my first attempts at creating mysteries and questions, leaving the rest up to the reader’s imagination.

It was in writing these stories that I discovered that writing in third person was a lot more comfortable for me than writing in first person. I tend to use the word “I” a lot, which I’m acutely aware of even in these personal blog posts and I’m doing my best to stop sounding so selfish. Also, there are more pronouns to use in third person.

Oh, and in case you didn’t notice, the title of this post is the number 200 in roman numerals.

-Jace

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