Thursday, April 19, 2007

Hee hee, this blog is reviewed on Quill

I got reviewed on Quill, together with John Ling and Ted Mahsun's blog!! (How exciting!)

The blurb says:

"The blog is dedicated to the birth of Xeus's debut novel titled Dark City. It is indeed a celebration for Xeus's book as her blog displays the thunderous support and review snippets from fellow writers, local newspapers, magazines 
and bookstores.

One reading her blog would be engrossed in her ups and downs of realising one's dream to be a writer in Malaysia. She is not shy to share personal perspectives, so prepare to be thrilled with her credible entries. Not to fall behind in the rat race of the literary scene, make sure you follow her up-to-date entries on local fellow writers, gatherings for writers, promotions from bookstores and much more!"

Wow. What a blurb. I feel guilty already for not living up to it

For example, I've been guilty of not updating this blog enough. I've been reallu busy lately, because have you ever noticed how the words seem to fly when you are nearing the end of writing your novel? I'm almost at the end of writing Billy Lang, so the chapters are really flying, all loose ends are being tied, and I'm so anxious to finish it I'm averaging one chapter a day.

Which comes to the question: How many words can you write in 1 day? 1000? 2000? 3000? When does it all turn to mush and you fell like throwing up your computer and saying, "What I'm writing is crap! This will never get published!"

How much should we aim for without alienating our family and going mad?


Kak Teh said...

xues, congratulations!! I must get my copy of quill!! anyway, write 1000 or 2000 a day? hmmm there'll be bloodshed and stuff that your novel is made of; all splattered in the front room. All because four or five people fighting for one PC!

Argus Lou said...

There is a season for reason and there is a season for unreasonable time spent in front of your computer. You'll make it up to your loved ones after you're done and happy that you're done. And they in turn will be so proud of you and happy that you're happy.

Yours philosophically,
Ms Manors

P.S. The most I've ever managed was 3,000 words a day - and that was a rare one!

Xeus said...

Kak Teh, thanks! Quill is a wonderful magazine, full of tips and stuff for the Malaysian writer. Recently, they've also called us for a photo shoot. We're going to be made up nicely and given designer clothes to wear! I'm allowed to keep on my dark glasses and they just might dress me in Matrix style clothes!

Is there anything you can do about the PC situation? Like buying your husband 1 and each of your children 1 to share?

My husband has 1 PC and I have 1.

Xeus said...

Argus, very philosophical indeed. But sometimes your loved ones don't understand and say "you're playing computer."

This of course would not happen if one is a full time writer.

Hoping to complete Billy Lang by this weekend so we can concentrate on getting Dark City 2 out.

3000 words calls for applause!

Yvonne said...

Hi dear! Great to see you updating us again.

Got a copy of Quill already. THis issue is stuffed with goodness from people like Eric Forbes, Sharon Bakar and I love the pieces on Ting Ling Choong, Tan Twan Eng and Jennifer Too too. Great advice there. Eh, Xeus, you must join the club and I'm sure lots of Quill readers will benefit from you. ( But the price rm8) is a tard pricey, don't you think, for those who don't have MRC card?

Back to your question what's the amount one can write in a day?

I can sit for one stretch non-stop, and produce up to 4000 words, just typing and not looking back to correct anything. ( Love that feeling, and love the editting after that too, which involves lots of axing out the superflous words and ideas that don't sharped the whole piece. BUT, hated the pain that comes with it. That's why I have Panadol Muscle & Joint pain reliever and also Salonpas in my medicine box. I swear by them!

My record time for working non-stop happened with The Sky is Crazy, it was 7 hours at a stretch, with a break for makan at home. I did that because I just wanted to get done with the ending part.

Seemed convulated but after more re-writing, it's ok.

Last note, I like to associate the fast writing routine with jogging routine.

If you've latched on firmly to that routine, try not to break it. Once you break it, it gets harder to start. Set a routine like one hour in the morning or before bed time for that 1000 or 2000 words. Don't look back. Once you've gotten the whole 80 000 words or more, you can start getting the pleasure of re-writing.

Oh, I must mention that that sort of writing gets easier too because my hubby bought me a laptop last year. Either he got too irritated that I hoarded his PC most of the time or he 'kesian'-ed me.

Laptops are affordable nowadays. Go get one.

Xeus said...

Yvonne, you have written for Quill too, yes? I know, they keep asking me to write, but I no time lah. So I even asked (cheekily) Dato Ng whether Quill should pay us for contributing, and he said yes!

I feel pai seh lah.

But I find it very difficult to contribute because of no time. I write exclusively from a laptop. Have done so for 10 years.

7 hours is one record!

44 Cemetery Road said...

Hey nice one Xeus with the blog plug in Quill.

I read somewhere that when a friend asked James Joyce how much he wrote today. The renown Irish writer said "7 words."
"Really?" said his friend "That's very good, even for you."
"The problem is," said Mr Joyce, "I haven't worked out what order they go in yet."

So maybe 7 words a day is good enough?

Xeus said...

I think yours will be reviewed next, TH :)

How's the book coming along? Haven't seen it out yet.

If we do 7 words a day, how long would it take to finish a book? (Or, if like Harper Lee, we only write 1 book, and it's a masterpiece for life.)

Kak Teh said...

xues,it is a chicken and egg situation. to buy each one of us a PC, i need to write a blockbuster, and to write a blockbuster, i need a pc...and it goes on and on!
psst, am typing this, while my husband is entertaining a salesman at the door...he has a half written article on this pc! and son number two is lurking in the background, ready to jump when i leave the chair.

Xeus said...

Hmmm, Kak Teh, PCs are quite cheap in Malaysia nowadays. Only a couple of thousand ringgit only. With your husband earning pounds, it's just a few hundred pounds!

Kenny Mah said...

That Joyce quote is brilliant! :D

I think it doesn't matter how many words a day, so long as when the writer has fixed on a number, she/he keeps to it, and not go with her/his mood. You know, good mood, write a chapter; bad mood, go drinking at the nearby pub. :P

Like you mentioned to me once, discipline is the most important thing.

O by the way, expect some illustrations in your mailbox sometime round Friday. For DC2 interior. :D

Xeus said...

Yay, Kenny! Can't wait to see them! Don't forget to put Illustrations by Kenny Mah in the cover page yah?

bibliobibuli said...

like the quote tunku halim!

try the nanowrimo in november - 50,000 words in 30 days (about 1,700 words a day). the surprising thing is it is doable, and in a couple of hours per day, even if the resulting manuscript is a very rough first draft!

i'd say 1,000 good words a day is perfectly achievable and quite comfortable so maybe take 3 months to write a first draft of sufficient length

(note to self - get on with it!!)

Tunku Halim said...

Xeus - Latest news is that 44 Cemetery Road may be hitting the book shops even as I type this!!! :)

Sharon & Kenny - I love that Joyce anecdote too!

Kenny Mah said...

Okay, ya --- almost forgot. Thanks for reminding me. :)

Xeus said...

TH, congrats! We'll all look out for it!

Bib, I think my limit is still 750 words a day, in no order at all :)