May 30, 2010

Music and Writing

(via deviantart)

For me, music and writing have always gone hand in hand.

Whenever I think of a plot line, I automatically start looking for a theme song or maybe even an entire soundtrack. Using windows media player, I repeat the song or songs over and over while I'm writing.

I don't know why I do that, but I've never actually finished a manuscript without picking at least a theme song for it. For my first manuscript, I chose Bluer than Bluer by Regine Velasquez. For the second, I picked Saving Forever for You by Nina, Smile by Uncle Cracker for the third, and I Never Dreamed Someone Like You Could Love Someone Like Me for the fourth.

I'm also really fussy about the songs. It really has to "go together" with the story of my characters, and the message of the song needs to be similar to the theme of my novel. For example, I picked Smile by Uncle Cracker because the song is about being crazy in love with someone. Well, my characters from my third novel, Dave and Grace, drove each other crazy and ended up being crazy in love with each other.

Also, having a theme song has saved my manuscripts from being deleted more than once. Having a song to listen to while writing gave me ideas for scenes and even helped me internalize the emotions of the characters.

What about you? Does music help in your writing or do you prefer silence?
May 28, 2010

Cosmopolitan Magazine and Romance

I love reading Cosmopolitan magazine, even the two-year-old issues with passé fashion spreads.


Well, aside from the rather educational articles on, um, male and female relations (LOL, sorry if I can't help being immature), the magazine is a gold mine of ideas for romance writers. Practically every page contains an idea for a romance novel.

For example, I have a 2008 issue that contains an article entitled Get A Boyfriend ASAP. I don't know about you, but the article screamed idea the second I laid eyes on the title. I immediately thought of a heroine who's pretty decent, but she can't find the right guy. The entire article itself gave me a lot of ideas for her "boyfriend search."

There was also a section that asked real working girls whether they'd date a younger man or not. Bingo. Another story idea.

Also, the magazine is geared toward women in their 20s, the age bracket of most female characters in romance novels. So, basically it tackles topics that my characters will probably encounter about their careers, relationships, and families.

So, yeah, Cosmopolitan will definitely help me come up with fun, fearless heroines from now.
May 27, 2010

Posting Regularly: A Breeze Or A Challenge?

I've always had a problem with being consistent. Personally, I think it's one of my greatest flaws. For example, I had a goldfish when I was seven, and I always forgot to feed it. Well, I soon found it floating in my aquarium with Xs over its eyes. My mother said it died of hunger.

She really didn't need to point that out.

Anyway, so if I forgot to feed my pet goldfish (a living, breathing creature), why should posting regularly on my blog be any different?

I find it so hard to do something regularly. Yes, I eat, breathe, and sleep regularly, but that's about it. I become a super-student for a couple of days, and that quickly gets old. I become a fan of a particular musical genre, but then that particular genre soon disappears from my mp3 player.

Okay, so, by now, I think you get my point.

Over the past couple of years, I think I've started about twenty blogs, and they all died slow dwindling deaths. This one is actually a record-breaker since I managed to post every month (that's a big achievement for me) since I started it.

According to every blog-writing article I ever came across, posting regularly is one of the golden commandments a blogger should follow.

And I find it really difficult. So, thank God I managed to post today.

What about you? Do you have trouble posting regularly on your blog?
May 26, 2010

The Big Block

(via deviantart)

As a writer, I think it's a part of my job description to worry about writer's block. I've never actually believed in it. Personally, I believe that a writer shouldn't wait for inspiration to strike. You should just jump right in and inspiration will come sooner or later.

But the thing is I haven't written a word in two months, and I'm asking myself if I've finally been struck by writer's block.

All the symptoms are there. I want to write but the words just won't come out. All I do is stare at the blinking cursor on my screen, wishing I could come up with something.

I don't know. Maybe it's fear. Maybe I'm scared about where my writing is going, or I'm just being hugely insecure again, asking myself if I'm even good enough to call myself a writer.

Or maybe I'm just being lazy.

Okay, so after I post this, I'm going to battle that blinking cursor again, and I'm going to make sure I win. This time, at least.
May 25, 2010

Being A Tagalog Romance Writer

Some people think that being a Tagalog romance writer is easy.

Unfortunately, I used to be one of them. When I first tried to write a Tagalog romance novel, I thought: "How hard can it be? Two people fall in love and live happily ever after. The end."

As I plodded along on the first chapter of my romance novel, I realized that writing a Tagalog romance novel is actually VERY DIFFICULT. It's hard to make two characters fall in love, especially if they don't want to. You have to force them to be together and the catch? The characters actually have to like each other or have some sort of connection before they're able to say the three magic words.

Yes, readers expect a happy ending but the characters have to work hard for it. If the characters' conflict wasn't resolved or there was no conflict at all, readers will most likely feel cheated.

Also, there's a long way to go between the first word of your novel and "The End." Aside from the characters, the plot, the conflict, and the ending, finishing your manuscript is the main thing you should worry about. According to Nora Roberts, a bad page is easier to fix than a blank page. I completely agree with her. The same can be said with a rough draft and an unfinished manuscript.

Basically, don't sweat the small stuff. Your manuscript won't be perfect but you can fix it later. It took me eight months to finish my first Tagalog romance novel. It sucked but I was glad it was finished.

I've written more novels, and I think I've improved. At least, I hope so. What are you waiting for? Grab a pen or open a new word document. Get started now.
May 23, 2010

Mamma Mia!

I haven't written anything new lately, and I'm still stuck on Manuscript #5.

On the bright side...

I can't get the songs from Mamma Mia out of my head! I saw the movie yesterday, and I'm absolutely in love with it.

My main thoughts:
  • Pierce Brosnan will always be HOT.
  • Colin Firth... *Sigh.*
  • Meryl Streep is a goddess. I loved her in the Devil Wears Prada, but I never knew that she could sing.
  • Lastly, kudos to Amanda Seyfried for being so adorable. I first saw her on Mean Girls a couple of years ago. She played a dumb blond, but, hey, look at Lindsay Lohan now. *Cough* Coke whore. *Cough.*
Sorry if my main thoughts are barely coherent. LOL. :)

And here's Meryl Streep's rendition of Mamma Mia:

May 20, 2010

I'm Alive! (Again...)

I've been really busy these past couple of days with summer school.

Now, that sounds like another excuse...

But I've really been busy taking in all that stuff about ionic bonds, electrons, protons, cations, and all that chem stuff I have no interest in whatsoever.

I'm still stuck at Manuscript #5. I hope to finish it after the craziness that happens to be summer school is over.

Cheers y'all.