NaNoWriMo 2014: Final Wrap Up

30 November 2014

It's the final week of NaNoWriMo and I survived! I must confess though, I didn't make my original intended work count. But in all honesty, I'm okay with that. I am so much closer to a first draft of my unfinished novel than I was a month ago, and that would not have happened if it wasn't for NaNoWriMo. Along this journey, I've learnt so many incredible things along the way. It only seemed fitting from this last update that I would share the things I learnt from this experience!


  •  No matter how many times you think you can't write anymore, there is always something to put down on paper. Maybe it's a random sentence that you can't find room for just yet in your story. Write it down, and it'll make sense in time.
  • Who says you can't leave pages blank and continue on with the rest of the novel? Writer's block can only ease itself - in small doses. If it isn't working for you, move on and come back later. Give that section a break.
  • It doesn't matter if you can't put your thoughts down perfectly on paper the way you want to, all that matters its down on paper. Ready to be edited.
  • Editing is everything. It will make your raw ingredients sound like perfection. You would never have even known what it came from!

Despite not reaching my intended word count, I couldn't be more happier with the results. I am one step closer to finishing my novel, and two steps closer to Christmas! I may even participate in new year's NaNoWriMo. So until next year, folks!


Fellow NaNoWriMo-ers, tell me your thoughts? How did you find this year's ultimate month of writing? Let's talk!

Trailer Talk: The DUFF

24 November 2014

The DUFF - Watch the trailer here.
The DUFF tells the story of Bianca, a senior in high school who finds herself coming to an identity crisis when she realises she is labelled as the 'DUFF' - Designited Ugly Fat Friend. I've been excited about this adaptation since hearing about it several months ago. Not only is this story so quirky but it's also relate-able. Let's face the facts - at one of point of our lives - every single person has felt like the 'DUFF' in their friendship group. I loved the message of the story, which is why I couldn't wait to this young adult novel on the big screen. But by the looks of this trailer, this adaptation is far straying away from its original source material.

Thoughts
I have very mixed feelings about this trailer. On the one hand, I understand why CBS decided to turn it down the sexual tension a notch. It makes sense - the novel was slightly riskay afterall. But to change the entire premise of the story is something else entirely. The DUFF was never about 'reinvention', but learning to accept and love the quirks and qualities that made you unique - your individuality. The good and the bad. There is so much more to Wesley and Bianca than just their labels on the social ladder, and this trailer doesn't really showcase that. 
If I hadn't read the book, I would pass this story off as a typical high school cliché story, which it is far from. 
In the novel, Bianca never sets out to change herself and learns to accept herself for who she truly is. That's part of the reason why her her character is so iconic, and why I'm concerned for this adaptation. In this trailer there is also no mention of Bianca and Wesley  - other personal dramas involving their family, which is something 
I hope has been omitted from the trailer - not the actual movie itself. Based on this trailer alone, it feels as though Hollywood has decided to take this story and tried to turn it into - or at least advertise it as - this generation's She's All That. That being said, this is a first look trailer. There may be so much more than we haven't been shown. Maybe this is all a marketing tactic to gain some further interest in the story. The thought of that alone, leaves me feeling pretty optimistic. 

Highlights
Despite some major changes to the plot, I still feel like this story holds potential. It's possible that the themes and events that take place in the novel, may be explored on camera - just without so much sexual tension. That is my greatest hope for this film.

I absolutely love the quirky nature of this trailer. Mae Whitman nails that quirky, quick witted yet humble persona that Bianca holds. It's hard to say anything more about the other characters since the trailer solely focuses on Wesley and Bianca - but here's to hoping that they stay true their novel counterparts, (and are more than just the typical high school type-casts).
 As long as the stories core principles and issues are stuck to in this adaptation, I'll be a happy bunny, and so thoroughly entertained. But anything otherwise oh ho ho - CBS, you will have disappointed me big time ... 


What are your thoughts on The DUFF? Have you read the novel? I'd love to hear more about what you think ^_^


NaNoWriMo 2014: Week Three Wrap Up

22 November 2014


I can't believe how fast time has flown. Here we are, closer to the end of this year's NaNoWriMoWeek One was a steady slope with words flowing at ease. Week Two - a definitely struggle with writing and an on going battle resisting temptation to edit everything. Week Three is almost shameful. I've been struggling to sit down and commit myself to write this week. Throughout this process, I've noticed how writing has slowly become central to reaching the ultimate word count. I've found myself procrastinating - a lot. While I love the fact that you can pop out a novel in this month, I'm not really a fan of squeezing words out just for the word count. Maybe it's the fact that November's a busy month ... but gosh, I actually miss the slow paced process of thinking through the events, guiding characters and letting their actions guide me to write. I've noticed how many "come-back-and-visit-later" signs I've put into my work, and how I'm struggling to continue on without filling them in. Being a perfectionist - does not help my cause here. Nope.

Popping out 1000 words per day, without planning most of what I'm trying to say is difficult. Much more difficult than Week One - where I exhausted the surface ideas I had, and Week Two where I filled in the missing gaps between those plot lines. I really appreciate the ideals of this month, but I miss the writing without pressure of reaching a word count. And the feeling of disappointment if I don't. So from now on, instead of demanding 1000 words per day to reach the word count, I'm just going to try to write however much I can daily for the duration of NaNoWriMo.

Can anyone else relate? Fellow NaNoWriMo-ers, how you finding the challenge?

A Letter to My Future Self

17 November 2014


When I was in Year 7, my English teacher gave my class an assignment - to write a letter to our future-selves that we would open in our final year of high school. At 11 years old, I remember thinking it was a strange concept. I couldn't imagine myself
 five years down the line as a 16 year old young adult, ready to take on the world. What would I want to say to myself? What would I want to know? I remember writing that letter so clearly, and also the day I opened it. Its a memory that I've always held very dear to me. So when I came across this tag on my Bloglovin feed, I instantly jumped right at that opportunity. What better what to honour that memory than writing another letter to my future self. I'm also at a significant point in my life where anything can happen, and with that, you can't help but wonder where life may take you. So without further ado, here is the letter I'm sending to my future self 10 years from now ....


NaNoWriMo: Week Two Wrap Up

15 November 2014

NaNoWriMo has been the perfect platform to write the story I didn't know how to write. By committing myself to put pen to paper, I've been able to write fragments of the story I've envisioned for so long. The story, that I've had so much trouble putting to paper, is slowly working its way towards the image in my imagination. I know more than half the things I've written probably will not make the final draft of novel. Not everything I have right now will make the cut; so much will be changed! But those words that I hold on the page are a starting point, and isn't that worth something in it's self?

Throughout this process - when I've actually had the opportunity to write-, I've found it really hard not to edit for a number of reasons. Editing is where the magic happens, where words that initially have no meaning or just don't run smoothly become lyrically awesome. Where raw ideas are polished and primed. It really is like music to the ears, when you hear those words climb off the page and perfectly encapsulate the moments you see enfolding before you. And that magic does not happen the first time round! This je ne sais quoi 
happens the second-third or even fourth time around, where you're whizzing through the words, and polishing the raw material into a masterpiece - prepared to wow the reader. It's so hard for me not to edit during this experience, because editing adds so much more value (and sometimes more words too!). It's where a simple expression can become legendary - worthy of being quoted one day. But without the foundation of words on the page, editing is not possible. It simply can't happen. That is one of the most important lessons I've learnt along the way, and is one I hope to remember long after the end of NaNoWriMo 2014. 

For all of you participating in NaNoWriMo, have you been feeling the same pinch? Let's talk about our experiences!

006. The Raven Boys

10 November 2014

From it's original synopsis, I was expecting The Raven Boys to be a paranormal romance about a girl named Blue and her forbidden true love with a boy, who would die from her kiss. But that is not what this story is about. The Raven Boys is about how Blue's life gets turned upside down when she meets the infamous Raven Boys, who are on an adventure of their own. 

I decided to pick this book up after a recommendation from a friend. I've heard some pretty incredible reviews of things from the online book community, so I decided to see what the fuss was all about. For majority of the novel, I found myself rather de-attached from the story. But once I reached the turning point of the novel half way through, I found myself feeling drawn into the mystery and suspense of the story. While The Raven Boys has some enjoyable moments, - I'm sorry to say fans of the book - I found myself far from impressed with it. This book did not live up to its hype at all, and was overall pretty disappointing. 

NaNoWriMo 2014: Week One Wrap Up

8 November 2014

I love to write. It's my passion and my favourite past time in the world. I could list all the reasons why I love to write, but since I've already done that earlier in the year, I'll tell you a little secret. Ever since I was 14, I have always always dreamt of publishing my own novel some day. It's a long term dream of mine! So when I heard about NaNoWriMo several years ago, - the ultimate month of novel writing - I couldn't help but feel so excited about the possibility of it! Imagine being one step closer to publishing your own novel .... Just the thought gives me chills!

In the past,
I've always been put off with participating as November is literally one of busiest times of the year for me - with essay writing, deadlines, upcoming Christmas and birthday plans. But this year - as a last minute decision - I thought I'd put those excuses aside and at least try. Honestly what's the worst that could happen? I told myself, 'Instead of trying to reach the goal of 50,000 words, I'll aim for 30,000. 1000 words per day give or take. That seems manageable.' And so far, it's been going pretty well. I made it through the week with almost 7000 words right under my belt. To say I'm feeling good is an understatement, but ... it did not come easy I'll tell you! This is literally the thought process I went through this week ...


Day One: A proud 1000 words - yay. I'm off to a good start. I'll have myself a little snack.

Day Two: Just about reached 2000. A little bit trickier than yesterday, but I got there. Awesome!

Day Three: 
 I've got the urge to major edit everything I've just written, and I don't know if I can shake it. Must resist ... must resist ... 

Day Four: I'll try and get a few words in before bed ... I'll just nap for two seconds ... just resting the eyes ... zzzzzz

Day Five: Gotta make up for yesterday. Double take; I got this. Sorted. Not as poetically awesome as day one though ... Editing will make this all sound awesome in the end ...

Day Six: Can't think of what to say ... Guess I'll skip this scene and move onto the next ... and the next ...

Day Seven: Finally, the scene I've been waiting to write forever has arrived ... let the juiciness begin!


Overall, I'm really happy with the experience and enjoying how it's going so far. Can anyone else relate? If you're taking part in this year's NaNoWriMo, tell me how it's go
ing. I'd love to hear from you all!


005: The Fault In Our Stars

3 November 2014


The Fault In Our Stars tells the story of two cancer survivors Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace, who fall in love for the first time. I'll confess - I was pretty nervous about seeing this movie adaptation. Not because I had no faith in the director Josh Boone - as I loved his previous movie Stuck In Love -, but because I know the story. I was so desperate to see it, and yet reluctant to have my fangirl heart ripped to a million pieces of feels. But it was well worth it. This adaptation was not only faithful to the story, but it provided an added depth that I was really not expecting. It was a touching tale that perfectly encapsulated the characters of Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace.   

For all of you who haven't seen this film, you seriously must! This is a story that needs to be told and shared. It perfectly shows that these teenagers are not just cancer patients. They are just not defined by their condition – but their heart and soul. If you take anything away from this story, that should be it! 

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