(no subject)

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012 01:58 am
forestsofthenight: (end of the world switch)
Oh hey, this really needs to be updated.

I haven't abandoned this journal, I promise. I've just been really lazy about getting stuff posted here. I'll be taking care of that soon. You can thank my thesis for this burst of non-laziness. Depending on how hard I'm trying to pretend that it's not due in a month and a half, I might even post some fic recs.
forestsofthenight: (slightly mad)
Let's have an English lesson. These are common errors that I see in my reading around the 'net--even in the work of (theoretically) professional writers!

Today, I'm going to mention two common errors in which people confuse homophones, perhaps because they've never actually seen the correct words (which, while they aren't particularly exotic, are also not incredibly common). There are a lot more than two, and some of them without the excuse of the words in question being mildly uncommon. I blame the popularity of phonetic spelling.

Let's start off with pique. The most common use of this word is as a noun, and I have not seen it misspelled in that context. However, pique can also be used as a verb, in which case it generally means "to stimulate". I almost always see "peek" or "peak" in cases where a writer clearly means pique in this sense. A reader with an extensive enough vocabulary to notice it will be pretty well thrown out of the story by an error like this. So, if you're writing and you're about to say someone's desire/curiosity/interest/(insert object here) has been peeked or peaked… don't. Someone's desire/interest/whatever can peak, but in that case you're saying it has reached its apex. I can't even think of a situation offhand where peek would make sense in relation to the sort of things that can be piqued.

The other word is eke. To eke is another verb. It has several related meanings: "to manage to support oneself or make a living with difficulty", "to make an amount or supply of something last longer by using or consuming it frugally", or "to obtain or create, but just barely". The word I most often see used in place of eke is "eek". "Eek" is a sound effect, not a verb.

Of course, the best thing to do while writing is keep a dictionary and thesaurus close at hand. Any time you have even the slightest bit of doubt about a word, look it up! I'll often stop and do this in the middle of a sentence (and I just use the dictionary & thesaurus on my computer, nothing fancy), but I know some people prefer to get it down on paper before getting down to the nitty gritty bits. If you don't want to interrupt your flow, I suggest putting a star or other mark next to words you're not entirely sure about so that you'll remember to check them out once you've got your first draft down. Whatever you do, take the time to make sure you're saying what you mean--after all, in writing, the right words are everything.

Bonus: Vile is not a noun. Vial, however, is.

(no subject)

Thursday, July 7th, 2011 12:49 am
forestsofthenight: (blog)
Ok, so apparently another thing I'm going to do here is talk about writing.

Tonight I managed to beat my per-session word goal by 591 words (for a grand total of 1,591). That may not sound all that impressive, especially when you consider the fact that I only sit down to write once or twice a week most of the time, but it's a big thing for me for a few reasons. For one thing, this session got off to a dreadful start--I think I wrote one whole sentence in the first hour and that was it. I had the place where I had stopped, and I had a moment I needed to get to… and I could not bridge that gap. The ideas just weren't coming. By the time I hit the end of the second hour (or maybe it was the third--did I mention that it was awfully slow going there for a while?) I had resigned myself to making half of my desired word count. I was at about 450 words, and I decided that if I could just make it to 500, I would be satisfied for the night. Somewhere around 491, the creative part of my brain finally kicked in and things started picking up, thank god. For another thing, I haven't done much creative writing at all in the last year or so, and even when I was writing more regularly, I was abysmal at finishing things. This is the first time I've really sat down and determined to finish a project, even if I'm not totally pleased with it, and I'm actually doing it! Lastly, this most recent chapter that I finished tonight may be the longest I've written yet, coming in at a bit over 2300 words. For me, that's practically an epic. I'm much more likely to bang off a little 300 word vignette than I am a multi-chaptered anything, so writing chapters 8 times that long (that actually need to be that long, not chapters full of useless junk) is a major accomplishment.

So, there's that. I'll be posting the story here when it's complete.

(no subject)

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011 01:15 pm
forestsofthenight: (Default)
Hello! This journal will be functioning as an archive of my completed fanfiction, as well as some original fiction.

Well, that's the plan to start with, anyway. Goodness only knows where it might go from here.


forestsofthenight: (Default)
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