Monthly Archives: May 2014

Dumbing down is harder than it sounds


Just when you think you have a decent starting point for a rather brainless, easy-to-write romantic YA sci-fi novel…

“Oh, hey, look, this is a great opportunity for commentary on the pros and cons of genetics and the value of human life!”

While I’d looove to write something like that, I don’t think YA is the way to go about this kind of subject, and at this point, I’m looking at my chances to sell this thing. I have to eat, simple as that, and the brutal reality around here is that YA romance stuff has the highest chance of getting accepted.

Then again, a lot of YA books are bought by actual adults, so maybe there’s a chance, if there’s enough romantic fluff to make up for it (I hate writing it, but let’s face it, YA romances tend to be horrible anyway, so no worries there). Also, I can sneak in Star Wars in-jokes that probably only I understand. Wee pop culture references! :D


Why can’t anything ever be easy? T_T


Writing… you’re doing it… weird?


I hate writing feelings. It just weirds me out sometimes, and even on the best of days, I have to make myself write through particularly emotional scenes. So sometimes, I’ll put in a placeholder and move on, promising myself that I’ll do it “as soon as I’m in the proper mood!”. Then it goes like this:


Getting to a touchy-feely scene: “K, I can’t do this right now, let’s put in my placeholder and come back to it tomorrow.”

Two weeks later: “Mhm. Not sure I can write this the way I want it right now, so let’s put a placeholder and- wait, there’s still another one waiting… ah, well, as long as I don’t have more than two or three at a time…”

A month after that: “Okay, I wrote one of the placeholder scenes, so I can add a… sixth one? Crap, I have to get to these soon…”

Six months later: “Goddammit.”


If this goes on, I’ll type “The End” under a half-finished manuscript. I just KNOW I’ll forget some of these, because the scenes technically exist… in my head, and don’t show up as “missing” on my imaginary checklist… And I’ll probably lose the paper one somewhere along the way.

This would be where something like Scrivener or Storybook would come in handy, but this kind of software is much too cluttered with things I don’t need, and the features I could use just don’t outweigh the hassle that comes with sorting through all the useless stuff. Is it too much to ask to just have a software that has the bare essentials and nothing else? I’d make it myself if I could, but I never quite got the hang of programming at school (I think I made those tiny virtual practice robots want to self-destruct sometimes…), and the time spent learning it now is time I can’t spend writing. Meh.

(Also, it’s kinda boring, and I’d rather read about how we are related to maw worms than what number to put into brackets there and where to put this weird sequence of cryptic symbols that don’t make sense…)


Is there any non-cluttered word processor out there that still has some useful features like sorting by scene and chapter and stuff? I doubt it, but it doesn’t hurt to ask…