#amwriting Novel 1

Let’s Talk About My Writing Process…

Sunset in San Francisco, 2009
Sunset in San Francisco, 2009

Today’s post is special because it’s part of a larger project: My Writing Process Blog Tour. Back to regular programming next week!

Thanks to one of my favorite writers and good friend, Craig Lancaster (author of books such as 600 Hours of Edward & The Summer Son), I am partaking in this little blog tour. The premise is to answer four simple questions regarding my personal writing process and then tagging three additional writers to join in on the tour. Easy, right? 🙂

1. What are you working on?

Remember Novel 1, aka Writing the Past? My very first novel from NaNoWriMo 2007 (yes, that was my first time participating in the frenzy). It is now nearly seven years later: at the beginning of this year, I finally got the manuscript going again with some editing from Shonell Bacon, another fellow writer but also excellent editor. Just last week, I got around to organizing her comments on my manuscript and have started working on some grammatical issues, chapter by chapter. I want to get this novel published before my 30th birthday next January, but I will also be content to just have the final manuscript ready for agents before my birthday.

I am also working on getting some freelance blogging gigs, so if you know of any good leads, holler at me!

2. How does your work differ from others of its genre?

At the moment, I don’t know which genre Writing the Past should be included in. However, I do know that when I started writing this novel, I knew that I wanted to write the story of a family without fitting the family into a stereotypical box that other Asian-American writers tend to fall for in their novels. Unsure of if I’ll be successful with this notion in the final manuscript.

3. Why do you write what you do?

If you’ve noticed via my blog categories, I have written more than one novel since 2007. Granted, the rest of these are all at first drafts currently, but nonetheless, I got the words down. My novels have dealt with light and dark themes stemming from personal observations and sometimes personal experiences. I like to think I write what I write because I ultimately want to live vicariously through my characters.

4. How does your writing process work?

So far, my writing process has been just writing on the fly, especially during NaNoWriMo in November. The community in November really gets me motivated to get my word count up for each of my novels. Then, as you can see from my experience with Writing the Past, I wait out several years before I get around to edits and revisions, haha.

Naturally, I would love for this process to change so I can get more of my novels ready for publication after Writing the Past!


Now it’s time to tag the next writers!

Christin Haws is a long-time friend of mine online: we’ve known each other since Livejournal days (I believe that’s how we got connected). Christin writes short stories and just recently released her first self-published novel, A Tale of Two Lady Killers. She’s a huge baseball fan and rerun junkie.

Shonell Bacon is another long-time friend of mine, probably also from Livejournal; I don’t remember anymore! Shonell is: author, editor, educator, and sexy coffee lover! You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Megan E. Evans is a newer friend and fellow Denver resident. Megan is a freelance graphic designer, artist, and creative writer. She recently launched her blog Womb of Words as an accountability project on completing 100,000 words in nine months for a new work of fiction.

Thus continues the blog tour next week with these fine ladies!

editing NaNoWriMo Novel 1

Back to My First Novel.

Scene Setting Novel 1, Jan. 2009

You might have read my post about how I have trouble focusing on just one goal.

So of course that leaks into my novel-writing. Since 2007, I have been penning novels. None of them have set titles yet; I just keep naming them Novel 1, 2, 3, and so forth.

In early 2009 I became really really motivated to get my first novel revised and ready for submission to agents (read all about that over in the “Novel 1” Category).

But, as with my side projects, I became distracted and the progress on that novel has halted.

Now I am making a point to myself to really work on this novel. When I wrote the first draft in November 2007, I was so elated to know that I could complete a novel in that whole month (thanks to NaNoWriMo’s encouragement). And, I really liked the plot. So I don’t know why I have stalled with getting the manuscript polished down.

Today is the day I start improving from square one and getting myself past that “first-draft” doldrums phase.

goals life Novel 1 Year in Review

2009 Reflections & 2010 Goals

I might as well write my “remembering 2009” entry now, as I may not have much time to reflect during the last days of the year. I’m currently far away from a place I used to call home, and I’ve been contemplating a lot about what this next year, 2010, has in store for me.

This year has been a good year for me, writing-wise, but of course, with any progress, there’s always a few steps taken backwards as well. I launched my domain,, earlier this year to be ambitious about my writing, to get the word out. The website has drawn a decent number of viewings, but I admit that it’s pretty plain in terms of design. I’ve posted short stories on my website and through other outlets such as Scribd and GoodReads; was featured on Scribd for my story, “From Riches to Rags”, which really helped my online presence. Later in the year, I was featured on the “i live here:SF” project. I’d say these two instances were great accomplishments through the online world.

Aside from these recognitions, I’ve also kept myself busy online with contributions to Muni Diaries, blogging on “Cinnamon Juice” (my food blog; currently on hiatus), and writing reviews on Yelp!. I’d say indeed that it has been a busy year on the Internet for myself.

In terms of my writing progress: I began 2009 with a lot of vigor for editing and revising my first novel. However, as is typical of some writers, I began to get distracted with other projects (writing and non-writing related), and have put my editing on hold. I hit a dry spot in inspiration early in the year, and attempted to muster up that Muse through writing exercises found in books. I’ve written a few short stories through online prompts and daily observations, but have yet to get around to finalizing the stories for public reading. NaNoWriMo this year was difficult for me, as November was a really trying time for myself in my personal life. My novel is still unfinished, but I do not feel as sad about it as I thought I would; I understand sometimes that other priorities must take place in my life, and that, sadly, my writing has to take a backseat when it comes to these other priorities.

Do I regret not writing as much, not featuring as much, from this year? No. Life happens, and, as much as I’d like to focus more on my writing, I understand that I have other dreams and goals that must take my full concentration at times. I already have some plans for 2010 though:

  1. Really, seriously, edit and revise Novel 1 and get it ready for agents. Out of all the first drafts I have written so far, Novel 1 is the most promising for the public. The other novels are still promising as well, but they have a lot of kinks that I need to work out over time. However, ever since writing Novel 1 two years ago, the plot still holds onto me as I think about the story and how it unfolded when I first pounded out that draft. I had begun the process of editing/revising earlier this year, and I had hoped to have the book ready for agents before June. As we all know now, that didn’t happen; I will seriously focus on getting this draft ready by April 2010 at the latest. I’ll track my progress here so you all can keep me on track.
  2. Write/Edit/Revise/Post one short story per month (12 all year). It seems like too little, but it’d actually be a lot for me to do this. It’ll be something to look forward to each month, right?

There will be more goals along the way as the year starts out; for now, I hope you, my readers, will keep these two in mind and help keep me on track.

In the meantime, I wish you all a wonderful end-of-2009 and many great things in 2010.

holiday NaNoWriMo Novel 1 travel

Nearing the End of a Tumultuous Month

Well, November was certainly more than I expected yet also more than I did not expect. I’ve been away on travels for the past ten days, visiting various bookstores in Montana with my sisters and enjoying a classic Thanksgiving in all-American style.

For more of November, though, I’ve been working on various projects for work and little time to focus on NaNoWriMo, sadly. I only began participating in NaNoWriMo in 2007, but somehow this year, November has been a little crazier than in the previous two years.

In the past, I know I would have felt a little more upset over the idea of not winning NaNoWriMo on time. But I understand that, well, life happens. This year’s novel idea has been a little half-baked anyway, and although I do like where the plot is going, I just have not felt inspired enough to work on it every day. Well, it’s okay; nobody’s perfect, and I’ll keep this in mind for next time.

I have been thinking more and more how I need to get back to my first novel and begin rewriting it; out of all the novel drafts I have produced over the past two years, that first one has the best storyline so far. Of course, I’ll go back and fix up the second and third novels after the first one has been rewritten. Now I understand why it takes so long to get novels into presentable form: life just keeps coming around!

#amwriting Novel 1 reflection

"How’s Your Writing?"

Yesterday, one of my co-workers had asked me about how my writing’s been coming along. At first I answered, “It’s nonexistent,” but then I took those words back immediately and thought a little more carefully about my response.

I wouldn’t say it’s nonexistent–everyday I’m writing in my paperback journals, and sometimes, even writing myself emails–it’s more like my outlet for sharing my work is on hiatus. I write daily, but more about my own feelings than anything else.

I’ve been brewing ideas about how to go about my rewrite for Novel 1, but it seems the ideas need some time to incubate. Also, I’ve realized in the past month that it’s just futile to beat myself up over not reaching so many mini-goals that I set for myself on a daily basis. It all stems from the fact that I am a perfectionist, and when I don’t accomplish everything I want to accomplish during a certain period of time, I feel at a loss.

Well, no more. These days I’m trying to let things slide a little, to just take things a little more easily so I don’t burn out my motivation and my creative juices.

There’s a time and place for everything. When my creative muse wants to come back and knock on my door again, I’ll be ready.