Welcome To Fake Paradise!

This is the personal writing blog for Joana Hill, creative writing major extraordinaire! Here you'll find the random ramblings and occasional writings of a girl obsessed with gay romance and the yaoi manga FAKE. You've been warned.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Progress Wednesday, January 26th

No readings this week,so I'll just get straight to writing.

Artistic License is officially entered into ABNA. The YA category hasn't closed yet (it'll close either February 6th or when it gets 5,000 entries, whichever comes first) so until then, I'm free to keep editing and upload a new version of the manuscript and excerpt as I see fit. I haven't actually done any of that yet, but I plan to.

I've also been working on Nowhere Fast, of course. Getting close to 30k, and I'm hoping to get at least 50k by the end so that I don't have to do too much extending when I finish and get to editing. Of course, there's plenty I could add-on anyway, so I think I should be fine when that time comes. As I tell my friends, the first draft is for getting it down; editing is where you make it make sense.

Meh, this entry was kind of short without the reading part, but I've been so busy that I don't really have time to read for pleasure. I'll be sure to read at least one book when I go home for February vacation, though :) Until next time.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Joana's Tips on Writing: Adverbs

This came up as an issue on the NaNoWriMo forums, when talking about the new features of the EditMinion. Someone pointed out that it doesn't like adverbs (although that feature can be turned off if you like) and so they didn't like the program.

This seems to be a folly of new writers. I posted a brief response, which is as follows:

"Adverbs often make for weak or redundant writing. Like everything they have their place, but for instance, why would you say "He ran quickly" when "ran" already shows that someone is moving fast, and if they're going even faster than that, you could use a different verb, such as "He sprinted"? Verbs and adverbs aren't like nouns and adjectives. There's a verb for running really fast, but there isn't, for instance, a single word for "pink dress" so you use an adjective."

As I said, it has its place. It's completely, grammatically correct to use one, or two, or a million (but please don't use a million!). But in many instances, they're not needed. Another example would be using them in dialogue tags. For instance,

"I'm not going in there," he said loudly.


"We'll get her out of here so we can get the party ready," she said conspiratorially.

Both instances could be written better. The first example would be completely fine as

"I'm not going in there!" he said.

And perhaps adding some action to show where the adverb tells.

The second example might be trickier. Depending on the person, they might just take out the adverb, as they would find it clear that the two characters are conspiring to set up a party without their friend knowing. Another option would be to completely chop off the dialogue tag and, like the optional part of the first example, use actions to show rather than tell.

I suppose that's all for now. I may come up with more writing tips, but for now, goodbye!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Progress Wednesday, January 19th


Well, unfortunately I'm back at school so this place will either be pretty much blank or a place for me to rant about the stuff I have to read for the three English classes I'm taking this semester. I did manage to get one book read before I came back, though! Matched, by Ally Condie. It was a really interesting, and I think the only true dystopian I've seen in a while. People seem to, these days, misunderstand what a dystopian actually is, and that is a society that seems perfect at first, and the book is dedicated to the main character or characters finding out how it's not. Kind of like The Giver, a book I read several times over my junior high and high school career (and with good reason; it's an amazing book!).

As for Matched itself, I really enjoyed it. It gets strong on emotions at points (my friend Ashlie was reading it the other night and was all-out bawling to me) and the prose itself is almost lyrical! There will be two more books after this one, and I'll be sure to check them out.


As always, I'm editing Artistic License and chipping away at Nowhere Fast. But I'm taking Advanced Nonfiction this semester, which means I'll be writing essays about the real world for the next few months. Boring? Perhaps. But it was either that or poetry, and I'm not taking poetry :P (no offense to you poetry enthusiasts; it's just not my thing). Currently for Nowhere Fast, I'm up to 19,900 words and am working on the next chapter, so we'll see how this goes.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Progress Wednesday


I read three books over the last week, which has to be a record for me lately. I don't get much reading done at school that's not for class. The three books I read were The Forest of Hands and Teeth, The Lying Game and Along For The Ride, again, all on my To-Read List.

I got The Lying Game back in early December and have just been putting it off in favor of one thing or another, and I'm glad I finally got to read it. It's by Sara Shephard, the same woman who wrote the Pretty Little Liars series. I've never read that one, but The Lying Game was pretty good and I'll definitely be looking out for the second book in the series, which comes out sometime this year.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth was also interesting. At its essence it's a zombie novel; the things known as the Unconsecrated are zombies, but there's so much more to the story. Of course, I don't normally read things like this, so I'm not sure how typical this is of the genre. Still, the author has another book out and I'll definitely look for it.

And of course, Along for the Ride is a Sarah Dessen novel. She's one of my favorite authors; I've read all but, I think, one novel by her. I've really gotten into writing gay romance in the last few years so I can't imagine myself writing stories like hers anymore, but they still inspire me. And of course, what author doesn't wish for her kind of success?


Not much new to say about my writing. I'm still writing for Nowhere Fast while editing Artistic License for ABNA. It's going as well as can be expected, but the closer ABNA gets to opening for entries, the more nervous I am. I have, of course, sent out queries and such before, but those were all rejections without even one request for a partial. I've edited AL a lot since then, but me being nervous is... understandable, right?

Ah well. That's all for now. Until next time.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Progress Wednesday

So I've decided that in an attempt to keep the followers of this blog interested, I'd post every Wednesday on just what I've been doing as far as writing and reading. It might not be that exciting at first, but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it!


I've been doing a lot of reading lately. Specific books I've finished in the last week are Paranormalcy by Kiersten White and Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick. Both were on my mile-long To-Read list (that you can see on my Goodreads account) Crescendo because it's the sequel to Hush, Hush which I've already read, and Paranormalcy because when I was on inkpop, it was pimped so hard that I couldn't help but be curious.

If you're a follower of this blog, you probably saw me talking about Paranormalcy before. I'm not going to group Paranormalcy and Hush, Hush/Crescendo together, but many people seem to think they're both "answers to Twilight." Obviously I can see this with Paranormalcy, and I can see where people are coming from with Hush, Hush/Crescendo. But as far as Hush, Hush/Crescendo goes, I get a bit annoyed because most of the people calling it Twilight with angels haven't actually read it. But then, I guess you can say that about a lot of books.

I'm not going to put reviews here because I suck royally at things like that, but you can see my rating of them on Goodreads if you're curious.


As you probably know, I participated in NaNoWriMo last November and punched out my next novel, Fortissimo. Currently, it's sitting on my hard drive collecting dust. I don't intend to start editing it for a while. This is a bit different for me, because last year, I started editing Artistic License before I even finished it (though that was mostly because I had to have 10k words to post it on inkpop). I got an extra proof copy code and sent a copy to my friend Jessica because she's a huge fan of the original version, but that's about it.

Currently, I'm editing Artistic License scene-by-scene. I'm determined to have it in some ready condition by the time I have to submit it to the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, which means I have to have it in by February 6th. After that, I may start editing Fortissimo, since once I have the materials into ABNA, I can't edit my entry.

As far as actual writing goes, I've pounded out about 12k words of my new novel, Nowhere Fast. It's going pretty well, and I'm posting it on FictionPress just to gauge interest. Only the first draft will be online, and it's likely that after I've edited it enough to try out some agents, it'll come down. But it's always nice to have people pushing you along!

Well, I think that's it for this Wednesday. Until next post.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Show Me Yours blogfest

Since I love participating in Blogfests, I decided to do this one. This is the Show Me Yours blogfest, where we're supposed to post 500 words of our 2010 NaNovel. Supposedly edited, but I found this today, and it's due today, so I'm just sticking it up here XD Enjoy this excerpt for Fortissimo.

Noelle shrugged and tossed the thing onto her bed before falling over, though her millions of skirts got in the way and she kind of bounced. “So Keith finally just
came out and told you, huh?”

“You knew?” I said it in an incredulous voice, just so Noelle would be able to tell just how much I didn't appreciate her latest shenanigans.

She shrugged, though, the left shoulder of her dress falling a little. She tried to reach over and fix it, but it looked like the rest of the costume was pretty much restraining her. I told her she should've just been a witch, but she wouldn't listen to me. She said I had no say in what she was going to be considering I wasn't going to the party.

“But what was it like?” she asked, rolling over so she was at least facing me. “You kissed him, right? Was it as good as you thought it would be?”

I blushed, putting the tips of my fingers to my lips. “I've never actually thought about kissing him before,” I said as way of answer. There was no way I was going to tell her what went through my mind in those few seconds. She would laugh at me forever and I'd have to kill her.

“Aw come on, that's not an answer.” Noelle finally stood up and actually started stripping right in front of me. When she turned around and saw my wide eyes, she scoffed. “I know you're not interested, Rin.”

“That doesn't mean I'm okay with you just stripping right in front of me!” I said, my voice going increasingly higher as her dress dropped to the floor. She was wearing extremely elaborate underwear, though, and so if I tried really hard, I could pretend that they were pajamas. She started to remove the corset, though, and I stood up. “If you're going to be doing that, I'm leaving.”

Noelle grabbed me before I could make a break for it, though, and when I looked, she was frowning. “Come on, Rin. If you want me to change in the bathroom, I will. Or you can go downstairs and watch TV while I get out of that stupid costume. But don't go yet. Please?”

I couldn’t help it. She just looked so pitiful that I couldn’t say no to her. Then again, when I had I ever been able to say no to Noelle?