April 24, 2010

I'm Alive

So, I haven't posted anything in a while. I want to say I was really busy, but that would be an excuse. I was just really lazy.

Here are a few updates:
  • I celebrated my 19th birthday a couple of days ago.
  • My fourth Tagalog romance novel was accepted. I'm still working on the fifth one.
That's basically all for now. :)
April 11, 2010

The Ugly Truth

I saw The Ugly Truth starring Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler a couple of nights ago, and I loved it.

Gerard Butler's character, Mike Chadway, was crass and a bit of a pervert, but when Katherine Heigl's character fell in love with him, I wasn't surprised. In fact, despite the presence of a prettier and more, shall we say, polished male lead, I was rooting for Mike Chadway the whole time.

When the movie ended, I sat up and wondered, "How the hell did The Ugly Truth make me start rooting for someone like Mike Chadway?"

I couldn't believe it, especially since his rival (in the movie) looked like this:

Isn't he pretty?

For me, Mike Chadway was a different kind of romantic hero. He's not the kind of guy you'll fall in love with at first sight, but stick around and you'll surely love him.

In a movie where I was already expecting a happy ending, it was a breath of fresh air.

Romance, as a genre, is already a bit predictable. The readers (or audience) already expect a happy ending. The challenge is how to make it new, and to search for that kind of hero who's not too perfect but just right.

Like Mike Chadway, for example.

I've been asking myself the past couple of days how I could make my heroes refreshing. It seems like it's all been done before. There was even an article about the different hero archetypes (the alpha, the bad boy, the lost soul, etc).

What about you? How can you come up with a new kind of romantic hero?
April 09, 2010

Helping With Words

In high school, my classmates used to call me the "walking dictionary." Every time they didn't know what a word meant, they asked me.

So, as a result, I've always been smug about my vocabulary. Well, that is until I stumbled on www.freerice.com.

Fight World Hunger

The premise of the website is that they give you a word, and you have to pick the correct definition from three choices. Each time you get a right answer, a company or organization sponsors ten grains of rice through the World Food Programme.

Sounds simple, right?

Well, not exactly. The game completely annihilated me.

The first word you have to define is always easy, but they get harder with each level. Here are some of the insane words I encountered:

Appel - stomp.

Bahuvrihi - compound noun.

Balister - a crossbow.

Curtilage - enclosed area of land adjacent to a dwelling house.

Gadwall - a duck.

Pantofles - slippers.

Seel - to sew up the eyes.

Soave - white Italian wine.

Subvene - support monetarily.

Tsuris - an effort that is inconvenient or trouble.

I've been speaking English my whole life, but being faced with these words reminded me that I don't know everything about the language. It is always evolving, and, as writers, we must evolve with it.

Have you encountered these words? Will you ever use them in your writing?
April 07, 2010

The Brilliance that is Harry Potter

Harry Potter illuminated my world as a kid, mostly during elementary school right after my parents split up. It provided me an escape filled with people more miserable than me who had the means to solve their problems (magic and Hogwarts, dude!).

I memorized all the spells and even made my own wand from a barbecue stick (okay, somewhat embarrassing, maybe I should delete that part).

Wow. I just realized I was totally obsessed with Harry Potter.

But, anyway, the bottom line is that the Harry Potter series made me feel good about being a kid again, despite my problems and feelings of loneliness at the time.

The series even led me to become friends with other Harry Potter fanatics, most of which are still my friends until now (I was nine when I started reading the series and I'm about to turn nineteen).

When I finished reading the seventh and final book in the series, I felt like I lost a friend. I mean, like a billion other kids, I grew up with Harry Potter. I waited in line at the bookstore each time the next book came out, and begged my mother and any relative who would listen to buy it for me.

No book has ever made me feel that way. Ever again.

Update 8:15 PM:
I just saw this video on YouTube. It turns out some fans made A Very Potter Musical, and it features this laugh-out-loud feel-good song (gee, I love dashes, don't I?):

April 04, 2010

Wannabe Writers #1

Wannabe Writers is a weekly meme hosted by Sarah at Confessions of the Unpublished. I love the idea of the meme, and this is my first time to participate in it.

Where I am in the writing process:
Since I started my yet untitled YA fantasy last March 27, I've reached a word count of 8,167 words out of 40,000-50,000.

My current problems:
I keep wondering if what I'm writing is good enough or if it's total crap. If it's good enough, then I want to keep on going. If it's total crap, I want to delete the whole thing and start over again. But how exactly do I do that? I have no sure way of knowing, so all I can do is keep on adding more words. I can worry about making sense later.

My questions this week: How do you know when you're good enough?
Like I said before, I have no sure way of knowing if I'm good enough. I guess all I can do is ignore my insecurities, and just keep going.

I might not be good enough now, but I have to keep in mind that I will be someday. As long as I keep writing, reading, and living, I'll continue to be a better writer. As long as I learn from my mistakes and forge on, I'm giving myself a chance at success.
April 01, 2010

Tagged: Fill in the Blanks

Rebecca from Rebecca Knight: Writer in Progress recently tagged me. I had to complete the following sentences:

I like
hot chocolate.

I like Sterling Knight.

I like Taylor Lautner.

I like Sterling Knight and Taylor Lautner. (Okay, I'm cheating here.)

I like watching fantasy flicks.

I like putting a book down with a really goofy I-just-read-an-amazing-book grin on my face.

I like reading blog posts from other writers. Their take on different aspects of the craft are always interesting.

I like blogs with outfit posts.

I like staying up late and reading Scott Westerfeld novels.

I like playing with my dog Ice.

I like walking on cracks just to prove I won't break my mother's back. (I'm kind of crazy that way)

I like doodling on my notebooks while pretending to listen to my teachers.

I love John Hughes' movies, and colorful shirts.

Today was a relaxing day spent reading The Secret Hour.

I hate snooty people who think they're always right.

I hate Jamie Kennedy. I don't know why. I just find him really, really annoying.

I hate rainy days with nothing good to read.

I hate mullets.

I hate being interrupted while reading a really, really good book.

I hate people who judge someone before they get to know them.

I hate giving speeches in front of people.

I hate chores. Yeah.

I (secretly) like Avril Lavigne's songs. They're so catchy. Don't tell anyone.

I love being swallowed up in the world of my current work-in-progress.

According to the rules, I have tag three people. So, I'm tagging you, you, and you. Hahahaha.