I found a page, again. I’ve already stumbled upon it some time ago, but I didn’t think much of it. All I saw there was fan fiction and teen fiction, lots of it. Just not my cup of tea. However after time I found some works that caught my attention, hidden deep. I decided it might not be that bad of an idea to try post something of my own there, in the name of practice. The format of the site in a way forces you to write, even better for me. So I started writing. I had much harder time writing this so far than the writing prompts. I once spent about an hour writing two short sentences, deleting them, writing them again, over and over. Still not happy with the result. I wrote 2105 words so far, i’m happy with that.
You can read the story here.
For the side tasks. I did not read as much as I wished for, I read very little, only 175 pages of “The Drawing of the Three” since my last entry. The rest of time I was consumed with the writing. I hope however in the upcoming days I’ll have the strength to overcome my laziness and find the time after work.
I did not falter. That’s what I would like to say. I didn’t write much, I didn’t write at all in all honesty, I just wrote first few words couple minutes ago. Another writing prompt on reddit. I finished ‘The Gunslinger’, it was a pleasant read, although there were moments when I did not understand a word. Language so sublime and foreign that sometimes even the dictionary was of little help. But I finished reading my first book in foreign language. I can tick that off and add it to my progress sectopm. I started reading the next book in the series, not what I expected so far.
Summary since the last post:
Reddit prompt : You sold your soul to the Devil, but he’s fallen behind on his payments. It’s time for a repossession. – 533 words
Reading : finished ‘The Gunslinger’ by Stephen King 111 pages, started reading ‘The Drawing of the Three’ 53 pages
Transcribed another 922 words of the book.
There are many techniques of improving my language I try everyday. Today I started with yet another one. This one was used by Hunter S. Thompson, many before him and many after him. He re-typed books like ‘Great Gatsby’ in order to feel what the authors felt when they were writing them, to learn from them. So I did just that.
Today I started transcribing the book I’m reading currently. ‘The Gunslinger’ by Stephen King. I wrote it the old way, on paper, reading every sentence multiple times out loud, making small notes on words I didn’t understand. I transcribed only 635 words and I think it took me almost two hours, but it is by far the greatest method so far, although very tiring. Beside that I read another 30 pages of ‘The Gunslinger’.
In light of my efforts to improve my English I learned a new word today, ‘trove’. Hopefully it won’t be forgotten like many of them are. It’s hard to track how many new words I actually learn per day. I may know them today, but give it a week and I will have just a faint memory of ever knowing their meaning. For example today I’ve watched a video about procrastination, the enemy of getting things done. ‘Dissertation’ was the word that kind of stuck in my mind, “what’s that” I thought and as I started typing it into dictionary I suddenly knew its meaning. I just used it so rarely that it took some time to process it.
Today I wrote two more WritingPrompts on reddit, if you really want to read beginners writing you can read them below. Critique is more than welcome.
You wake up on the battlefield of WWI in 1918. Suddenly, you start to realize you can’t die. A soldier on the other side notices too. – 450 words
Three tough-as-nails bikers take a break at a hipster coffee shop. A gang of nerds enter and are about to confront a rivaling group. – 348 words
I also transcribed dialogues from another episode of Babylon 5 – 2267 words. Unfortunately I did not read today which I hope I can fix tomorrow.
I tried my best today, but as it often happens my best was just not good enough. The more I try to learn the more I doubt my ability to read or write. But the practice makes perfect so I persevere, as it is better to write something that is bad than to write nothing at all. So I wrote another WritingPrompt, even shorter than the previous, this one stands at smashing 223 words. It’s a beauty.
For one of my side ‘quests’ I transcribed another episode of a tv show. This time an episode of Babylon 5, 2201 words in total. The dialogs were fairly simple with little to none of the sci-fi jargon. Most importantly they were very clean, both in the quality and the manner of speaking. I can certainly see or rather hear an improvement, which might be just a result of me paying more attention. As to what effect it will have on my writing is yet to be seen.
I also read 20 more pages of the Gunslinger.
The time has come. The journey did not start a long time ago, in all honesty it has only just begun. I could read all of the dictionaries in the world, I could know all the words but a story is more than just words and you can’t write a decent story without practice. So today came the day I wrote my first shirt story. Short being the key word here. It’s exactly 450 words long and it took me around 45 minutes to write. Which in all honesty I think is not that bad considering I had to use a dictionary plentiful. I even had too to use it now for the word ‘plentiful’, I remembered the word ‘sparsely’ which was quite the opposite of what I needed so I just searched for that. If you really want to, you can read the story here, it’s a story posted to the Reddit WritingPrompts subreddit which I think might be a good place to get some highly needed critique. Having critique in mind you are VERY welcome to it, if you think anything could be improved, changed just go ahead and do not hold back.
I also read another 40 pages of the Gunslinger today, I remind you this is my first book I am reading in English and I hope every other book is written in this way. I just have to say, the book is to my eyes as whatever is the correct counterpart of ‘music to my ears’. Not gonna lie I do have problems with some of the words, but even that can’t stop me from enjoying the book. It’s great.
The best way to become a better writer to is to write. I did not do that today. As much as I would love to just jump into the loving arms of the English language I do not have the time to do so. But I did two things today that count towards the improvement area. Kind of.
First one, the first one is a tiring thing and I do not know what the effects of it will be besides my hands hurting. I thought, what a wonderful idea it would be to get something more out of all those tv shows I watch. So I did. I started transcribing the audio of the dialogues, before I did my first one I though that this will be easy I can write fairly quickly and there is not that much dialogue anyway. No big deal. Wrong. It turns out there is a lot of dialogue and I couldn’t keep up even if tried my best. So I skimmed picked the best parts and when there was silence I would fill it with descriptions of what is happening. The transcript is a total mess, unreadable. But besides the pain I got something out of it, I learned a few words which may or may not stay in my memory and I listened much more carefully to what was said. The show I transcribed was the last episode of Westworld Season 1, Episode 6. In total I have transcribed 2881 words, probably a little more than half of what was actually said.
The second thing, I started reading a book, a first book in English. Never read one before in another language. I picked a book by Stephen King, I have already read a few of his book translated so I thought it’s the best way to start. The book of my choice was Gunslinger. For the first few pages I doubted my ability to read, but I managed to read 30 pages on my daily commute.
All in all I did not write anything today.
No, it’s not actually. In order to fully immerse myself in the idea I decided to get a pseudonym, one that would not make people break their tongues and rip hair from their head as my real one would.
I’ve studied the English language over the course of almost my entire education, I sometimes use it at work, the websites I visit are mainly served to the English speaking audience, nearly all of the movies and tv shows I watch are in English. One could even think that my command of the language should be enough after all of that time and effort. The problem is the overwhelming percentage of that time I’ve been only a passive listener, a traveler through the words. I don’t speak much of the language, I don’t write much in the language and I often find myself struggling to find the words and even when I finally find them they are not quite the right ones. Even writing this post gave me quite a headache with all the big words and whatnot.
So I had an idea, a pretty silly one. I already scribble here and there in my native language, and it helped me to somewhat broaden the vocabulary and make me at least a bit more articulate, I hope. So I thought why not try doing the same in English, then I thought I could do more than just scribble, I could write a book. I want it to be a journey.
“I can’t help but feel a great sense of pride… And success. Because, as we discovered, our mission is, and always will be, the journey itself.”
I just really wanted to use this quote from Stargate.
I’ve come up with a various set of tasks i’ll try to perform to better myself alongside my writing, for a start reading a book in English. I’ve never in my life read a book in another language. I just hope I find the time and most importantly I hope I will be able to force myself to do this.