Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Self-Training

I want to development myself in storycrafting, and here are some of the stuff I've been focusing on to help me take my skills higher up the ladder.

1) Reading - I'm reading. Yes, I'm reading. After assailing myself with reading a few novels (The Alchemist, Vita Brevis, Automated Alice), I've decided to take the easier route by going for short stories. The distance between beginning and end is not that long and can be downed in less than 30 minutes, hence quickly satiating my need for some literature. Right now, I get selections from the site simply called shortstories, and my very limited literature-appreciating sense tells me that they're pretty good. The first one I read was Sarah Salway's Painting the Family Pet, a character study that got a full five stars from the site's editors. I liked it, too, but don't ask me why.

2) Reading Part Two - Non-fiction is still my reading field of choice, though. Before, it's all really for the sake of knowing. Recently, however, I've been flooding my brain with information and hopefully I'll be able to come up with a good concept for a story. The Net has been of great help; literally a 'cornucopia of knowledge.' One site I've discovered is How Stuff Works, and it's pretty comprehensive. It's got a wide range of topics from How Stun Guns Work to How Recessions Work. I choose a topic almost everyday.

3) Vocabulary Building - Words, words, words. I've subscribed to Dictionary.com and Merriam-Webster.com to give me their words of the day. That's two new or obscure words to learn everyday. Now I know what "supererogatory" and "potamic" and "comity" mean. For Filipino, I've invested in those Tagalog romance novels and bought a really thick English-Filipino dictionary.

4) Writing - My next Hinirang piece is still unfinished. I've been toiling over it for the past few days and I don't seem to have the fire for it anymore. I should take Dean's advice to put it aside for a while and try something else. It's good that he's been giving us writing exercises to do. June 15 is our gang's deadline for a short story.

Aside from the above, I still have to train more in drawing and design, and those require another set of activities. What fun! *sigh*

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