Ate my own words

Ok I ate my own words and hadn’t been writing for several months again. Good news: part 1 is finally complete. Bad news: I structure a book into 4 parts. The procrastinator in me always thinks: Why toil over something I constantly get stuck on when there are so many Chinese BL out there waiting for me to read them? I can’t even write well anyway. Then again, I do want to finish telling this story so I can move onto the other ideas in my head.

And thus, I realized yet again I’ve almost forgotten all the previous research I’ve done, as my notes were incomplete. Spent half of today researching back what I forgot, and now I finally have a direction again. Let’s just hope this time I can persist a little longer amid recruitment and all the fics in my to-read list… Hopefully I can at least get part 2 done by the end of this month.

Getting Back into Writing

After a hiatus lasting almost a year, I guess it’s time for me to get back to working on the series “Between Heaven & Earth” before things get hectic. I personally forgot a lot of settings too so I’d need to do a lot of double-checking for book 3.

At least I got past chapter 4, which I’ve been stuck on for almost a year, so that’s a start. As a storyteller, sometimes you have a grand plot in mind, but in the end it’s just plot points and general ideas, so weaving them together with details is difficult. Especially if one is a pantster like myself. Usually having an outline helps with writer’s block, but then you kinda just veer off completely, and the result is nothing like the original plan. It’s more organic that way (hopefully), but also a bit tiresome.

In my case, for almost an year I had no idea how to progress in an interesting (to me) way. I could not even outline. Worse, due to various reasons, I had no motivation to spend time or energy thinking about how to get past that writer’s block, not even while I’m on the commute.

Writing fiction was no longer an enjoyment, but a responsibility and torture. I wasn’t getting any emotional fulfillment anymore and didn’t feel my effort was worth it.

I loved my characters and I was pretty confident about the big plot I had in mind, which was at least to me, several ways unique from what I’ve read, but I lost interest in completing the story I wanted to give a form to.

However, after one year of respite, I guess I’m ready to continue on with Book 3 now. I probably need to set goals for myself again, like write one chapter or so a week. I’ll work on outlining some parts of book 3 so I’d have more of a direction. The goal is to finish book 3 before I go to the States at the end of August~

 

Too Busy Gaming or Reading

So…it’s been a long time since I’ve written as I’m basically stuck and have also lost quite a lot of motivation due to various reasons. Good news is I’ve gotten accepted into an MBA program. Bad news is once I start it is even more unlikely for me to be writing.

Basically, for the past few months I’ve been either gaming like mad (bought a lot of games from Steam, replayed Dragon Age II and played Dragon Age Inquisition), or reading Chinese BL like mad (though, thanks to my niche tastes, I have DNF’d most of the fics I happened to try).

I’ve also stopped using  Saowen.net because of some stupid unbelievable drama where an author ended up successfully requesting the deletion of all her works (and thus all the negative reviews) from that site. I was so angry at the author and at the site (which was a personal project that got sold to JJWXC after the ruckus) that I backed up my reviews and will be deleting them all some time in the future.

I left a lot of reviews on that site and there is no quick and easy way for me to delete them all, but the mere fact that authors can remove their work & reviews from a (no longer) third-party site was a serious violation against my values. The author in question was known for deleting negative reviews from JJWXC, which was why all the negative reviews popped up on that site, and now even those reviews are gone. Mind you I never got past the totally Gary Stu and boring fics the author wrote and didn’t read the most controversial fic she wrote (she’s on my blacklist because I tried to read two of her fics and dropped them for the same reasons: 攻蘇破天,受是SJB,無三觀,劇情無聊拖沓). However, I know what happened and I do not like the author.

As an author of course I know negative reviews can hurt and demotivate authors from writing (*cough*). But so? Doesn’t mean the author is entitled to having everything reviewed on the website it was published on, especially if they are charging money, which that author was. You put your shit out there, then prepared to get some criticism and a reality check. The Chinese BL community is great mostly, but this drama was totally messed up, mostly thanks to the author’s immature, zealot fans who have no logic when the shit blew up on Weibo and other forums. Esh. All Chinese BL fics are published as serials online so several authors think they’re entitled to asking every reader to leave (positive reviews) on the site it was published. Meh.

Anyway despite all the drama that totally pissed me off, I did get really immersed in several fics over the past month. Very satisfying to have finally found dynamics to my taste, too bad I finished those fics and now I am forced to read (more likely drop) a lot of ‘meh’ fics.

As for writing…eh. I keep saying I will get into it but I am not very motivated anymore. I want to finish the series of course, I just don’t know how to get past this part I’m stuck on…I’ve been stuck at chapter 4 for months now, and whenever I try to write I get distracted by other things. Sorry any readers who are waiting for book 3… Might be until 2017 for it to be published.

 

Erasing Shame Ficlet

Characters: Shicai and Xuechi
Prompt: Lullaby

To be honest, Shicai did not know how to feel about Xuechi’s current indoor confinement. Should he be gleeful this meant Xuechi would not be able to visit a whorehouse? Or….

“I can’t sleep without a woman at my side!” came in the complaint that had been annoying him all night.

A jade pillow flew over, and Shicai tilted his head to avoid being hit, letting the expensive rock clunk down on the floor and roll away.

Read More at DSP Publications

Why I Read Chinese BL

So…. I read a lot of Chinese BL fics. In fact, it’s pretty much all I read nowadays. Some people may be curious about why I read Chinese BL and write in English / publish with an American MM publisher instead, and others may be interested in the difference between Chinese BL and American MM(Romance). Firstly, as I spent my childhood mostly in English-speaking countries, I am more comfortable with writing in English. I know my English writing itself needs a lot of improvement especially as I’m an ESL author (sorta), but it still beats my Chinese writing. Not to mention, I wanted to share my love of BL to a non-Chinese audience (lately I am less motivated LOL it’s just not working out well and I’m also busy with RL). As for the difference between Chinese BL vs. English MM, I can only surmise the contrasts based on my shallow opinion, since I haven’t read much MMromance and I’ve picky-as-hell tastes. So, discrepancies I see are through sheer observation of…summaries and people’s reviews, LOL. I’d like to say beforehand that one of the differences between BL and (published) MM is the mainstream in BL is to have romance as a secondary element (so it’s closer to slash), while in MM, romance is still the mainstream. All in all, take my pretentious assumptions with a grain of salt.

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Vacation to Suzhou and Hangzhou

There’s a saying in Chinese: “Heaven is above, while in the mortal realm there is SuHang” (上有天堂下有蘇杭)

“SuHang” being Suzhou and Hangzhou. So, thanks to this saying I’ve always wanted to visit those two cities. Now I finally had the chance, and I’m back with nice photos of how Jiangnan Water Towns look like~

Hangzhou (West Lake):

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Suzhou:

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Guest Post: Genre Talk With Carole Cummings and DSPP Author Yeyu

guest post at TNA

The Novel Approach

DSP Publications

Hello and happy Humpday, everyone! I’m here today with DSP Publications author Yeyu to talk about her new release The Relics of the Gods (Between Heaven and Earth Book 1) and something I bet you haven’t thought about before—Chinese Historical Fantasy.

I know, right? You’re all in for a pretty awesome glimpse into Chinese history and literature. So buckle up, because I think you’re going to be as fascinated as I was.

Dividers

o-the-relics-of-godBlurb:What is worse: Being so broke you can barely afford food, getting hired for dangerous missions way out of your league, suffocating under mountains of unanswered questions—or wanting to sexually dominate someone who can kill you without lifting a finger?

Lu Delong is a mercenary who evaluates antiques most of the time and deals with the paranormal on rare occasions—even though it’s supposed to be the other way around. When he joins a dangerous quest for…

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Guest Blog at Fang-Tastic Books on Tropes

My stories aren’t original.

Hm…let me rephrase that a little.

As everyone knows, stories are made up of tropes. If you broke my story up into little pieces, you can probably match everything to a trope. What’s more, I usually write historical and use existing concepts and things, so it’s even less “unique”.

Nonetheless, since human civilization has been telling stories for thousands of years and it’s now 2015 C.E., nothing is truly “original” anymore. However, a storyteller’s job is not to create something original, but rather to put their own spin on existing tropes, to weave things together and add their own unique flavor so the audience would feel a different experience.

Of course, when you speak of tropes, you inevitably will also think about “clichés”. Tropes are usually thought of as okay, but clichés are usually looked down on with disdain. Yet what is a cliché, but an overused trope?

First of all, we have to think about why these tropes are overused. It’s simple: the mainstream digs it. They consistently pick those (often highly unrealistic) tropes up for the same reason I tend to steer away from those popular tropes no matter how well-written they are: tastes.

Read More at Fang-tastic Books

Other Guest Blog at Mythical Books on how Chinese Culture plays into the Relics of Gods