Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Author Tag - 10 Questions for Authors

Here's looking at me, Enricoh Alfonzo. 



Tried to do a YouTube video, yeah that didn't....beep.
Finally, a YouTube tag I can do!


  • Where's your favorite place to write?
Mostly at my desk, which gets's uncomfortable when my butt falls asleep. Might take Jenna's advice and try the bed. 

  • Coffee or tea?
Hmm depends on the night really, if I need to stay up longer a potent cup of coffee is what I go for. If it's the morning and I feel crappy, green tea. If I have biscuits, like the awesome ones my mum gets, then normal tea is the way. So it's really about the moment, I don't understand why authors have to explicitly state they don't like something. It's not a requirement for being an author. 

  • Favorite book of all time?
Every Harry Potter book that has now or will ever exist! If you held a gun to my head (I would laugh first) then give you that answer. Generally, though I have a few in different Fiction genres. 

  • NanoWrimo yes or no?
Never done it but I've watched a lot of videos on people who have, sounds interesting. For those that don't know NanoWrimo. It's the writing challenge month of November. It's like MoVember (growing out the 'stache or beard for throughout November). Really not sure what makes November so special plus it takes forever to get here. Anyway, this year I will give it a try.

  • Genre you would write if you had no restrictions.
Haha don't know what restrictions I have now. Under Fiction, I would like to write for Middle Grade/Children, Young Adult and Adult. Think Harry Potter, Twilight & 50 Shades. Without Wizards, Vampires & billionaire fetish men. Science fiction & Fantasy. I've always escaped into books so now I would like to make my readers do the same. 

  • If you could have any super power, what would that be?
Whistle* this actually ties into my current completed manuscript and my next one. I would choose Telekinesis! Hands down, the coolest power ever thought up. If you go here, you will see all the possibilities and more that I have in mind for this power. I just believe we've only ever seen the bad that people do with this power. It's time to change that. 

  • Favorite author?
J.K Rowling! Seriously the first consciencious book I remember reading and falling in love with is Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire. Yes. Yes. I know it's the fourth book in the series but it was all my mum could get from the library. So I read four, then three, then two, the one. And then I went to five when it was released. She just opened my mind to the possibilities of writing. 

  • What kind of music do you listen to when you write?
Back to Jenna again, I've never actually written with music. When I'm playing an RPG or surfing the net then yeah I listen. My mind just doesn't focus on the scene or chapter, if the music is in the background. But after watching her video, I came to look at it in a different perspective. For fight scenes or dramatic scenes I might just try it. 

  • If you could live anywhere, where would that be?
Tokyo, Japan. Saved up and went there all on my own just after I got made permanent at work. It was the best vacation of my life. I just love the culture and people. Not to mention...Anime!!!
  • What do you do when you get writer's block?
Ok sorry to disappoint, I've luckily never had it. If I am stuck on a scene or chapter it's more like I know, generally, what it's about I just need to fish out the details. So I will take an unnecessary shower or walk around my house like a military sergeant... Just so that I can think out the scene and then I sit down to write it out. Hopefully, touch wood I will never get actual writer's block, where I can't write anything. I highly doubt it, since I'm new to this and have soooo many ideas to get cracking on. 

Thanks for reading, I hope this inspires you to write or video your own Author Tag. It's a lot of fun and a really cool way for your readers to get to know you. 

Random sketch I did for my lil 'cuz:




Saturday, 20 February 2016

Spiderman Vs Superman: Let's compare


So who came first? Spiderman or Superman?

Who intro'd their premiere superhero first? Marvel or DC?

Both these heroes have become widely known as their respective Comic giant's ultimate good guy superhero fantastico. Let's take a look at some similarities first:


I can't help but wonder if these traits are exactly what makes them so popular with readers, I can agree that they are what make them super awesome to me :-)
Mind orgasmic powers aside, their personalities and willpower are what stand out as they use these to overcome some of their most challenging moments.
After doing the above table, I gawked at it, shocked at how many similarities there are. I mean sure over the years there has been back and forth between Marvel & DC, creating characters similar to one another. But this one, this one is major for me.
We all grew up with them, cheered for them and agonized with them at the heartfelt moments of comic book history.

So the answer to the question is........(Drum roll please)............................................................
Superman!!!! Tadarattada!!

Superman's first appearance was April 18, 1938.
Spiderman's first appearance was August. 1962.







Let me start by saying I'm huge fan of Stan Lee (I mean who isn't). But it does beg the question, did Superman's fame influence the creation of Spiderman? Did Stan Lee use those same characteristics to come up with our favorite web-slinger? According to Mr. Lee, the creation was due to increased demand of Teenage readers and the desire to create a character with whom teens could identify.


I will always be a true and blue Superman Mega Mondo fan so hearing that answer to the question I posed......made me smile. I've even got a tattoo of the Superman Logo on my right shoulder. The way he uses his amazing abilities to help the world, saving people even though he could rule it as a god, yet he doesn't. The way he paves the way for humanity to accept aliens (outcasts).
I'm glad Superman came first (Cosmic justice), I also found out just how long Superman has enthralled fans for.
Sorry if you were looking for a Superman Vs Spiderman showdown debate, but it was more me just comparing them in popularity and stature.

Found this awesome post on comparisons.

******Breaking NEWS
The trailer for Spider Man Homecoming just released!!
Watch it here:


I am still a huge fan of Spiderman! I love his powers, his intellilect & how he uses them. Especially his personality and back story, even though he experienced such sadness he still chose to be a hero. #GeekLove
I can't wait for this movie!

😉Fangirl ShoutOut. GO!
#SpiderManHomecoming
video


Who's your favorite Superhero/ine & why?



© Enricoh Alfonzo ~ Alfonzo Words
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~Be Kind to One Another~ Ellen Degeneres

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

You've Written a Novel. Now what?

The Dreamworld



Imagine What the World would be like if Martin Luther King did Not have a Dream?

After watching countless videos and reading countless blogs on writing/publishing advice, all I can say is...Huh? When did we start teaching people it's not ok to dream, or to dream but dream small dreams. When did we make that our common speak? Imagine you've just written a novel and log on the internet to look for advice, the first video you see, more or less says - don't expect anything major to happen next.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? You just finished your very own novel! Do you know how impressive that is? I have so much Crazy Mad Respect for you! Well done! WOW.

According to Nathan Bransford here, about 15, 000+ people query an agent a year.... seriously? Out of 7.12 billion people....maybe that's just in the US but still! You wrote your book, never let anyone dim that excitement down. Yes, the hardest part might be what happens after you write your book. Yes, querying and getting published takes time. Yes, you might be rejected.
Say this with me:
Some Will, Some Won't
So What? Next!

We spend so much of our lives being told not to dream, not to take risks. I say DREAM! and dream BIG! Why shouldn't you? Why shouldn't you want massive success from your work? There isn't a reason, there's only an excuse. I've watched people both with insider knowledge and without, give brilliant advice but they always dim it with 'success is a myth' or 'don't expect the heavens to raise for you'. WHat? No. I believe in my work, I believe in people and I most definitely believe that success is solely possible by force of will.

It might have taken me only when everything shut down around me to write a book but I did and I'm insanely jazzed that I did. It flabbergasts me to think that so many words came out of my head and landed on pages. I never thought I would achieve that at this stage but I did. So I'm DREAMING now, I'm a big FAT DREAMER and I shout it to skies.

Some of the advice are based more on personal experience, but Veronica Roth or Rick Riordan can't really say from experience that massive success is not common or achievable. Yeah, they might have gotten some rejection but their epic talent and brilliant novel success far outweigh any of that. They can comment on it, yeah but they would be the people I would focus on. Because they DREAMED, they thought it up, wrote it and DREAMED.
Read this by Veronica Roth BEFORE she was famous, she dared to Dream it first.

So I'm going to listen to the advice but I'm definitely tuning out the whole, "Don't expect big things." speeches. Don't get me wrong those blogs and posts are amazingly helpful, especially on the "HOW TO" parts. I just believe that once we have written a novel, we should smile our cheekbones off and celebrate. Then with pride and hope, submit our queries.

Find Literary agents of fiction here.
Find awesome query examples here.

Have you been told not to Dream lately?
Reach OUT to me, I got your back.

Read The Story That came from a Dream

~Be Kind to One Another~ Ellen Degeneres

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Write short stories? Submit here

If you write short stories and need a little spending money, try the link below.
it has all these amazing places you can submit to. The cool part is if you get published, you can add this to your bio especially if you're a new writer like me.

http://thewritelife.com/where-to-submit-short-stories/

Here are some examples that I broke down:
you magazine short stories
1500 words

 info@foxandraven.co.za
13000 words

fiction@newyorker.com
1000 words must be pdf

fiction@theatlantic.com
10000 words

http://www.threepennyreview.com/submissions.html
4000 words must be word doc
online submission system

custservice@mcsweeneys.net
email them to ask estimated time for story submissions to reopen

http://www.one-story.com/index.php?page=submit
3000 to 8000 words
pdf or word under 500kbs
online submission system

http://www.bu.edu/agni/submit.html
online submission system

Jaakuna tsuitachi o sugoshimasu

Monday, 8 February 2016

Novel: Behind the scenes

Question: Why am I writing this?
Answer: It's my first blog post and my first time writing a novel.


I started my novel somewhere on the 20th January 2016 and finished my first draft on the 4th February 2016, with the irrational thought that it would be polished enough. See I've had this scene playing in my head for years and some nights just before I would fall asleep, I would play out this scene. The characters would change depending on whatever I was in to at the time, i.e. teen wolf, black dagger brotherhood series, twilight, the originals to name a few. Eventually, I decided to put it down into words, the hilarious thing is that it took me Twenty chapters, that's right Twenty chapters to get to the scene I'd dreamed about. I remember I worked through the night and most of the morning when I got close to chapter Twenty, writing like a mad man because I needed to get the chapter out. That was definitely an amazing milestone, to see your scene all there... in words. Conceptualized and visualized, taking form in this fictional world you created. There's no other feeling like it, but then again I was high of no sleep. Writing the book was an amazing journey, from having the basic outline in your mind to actually going into the chapters, splitting up the plot to lead up to one another. I don't think I ever got writer's block per say, as I wrote each chapter the next one would form but there were days when the idea for the next chapter would come but the words wouldn't come with it, not so easily as the others did anyway. So I would have to walk around, lie on a bed, go outside, have more showers than is necessary (LOL). Just do anything mundane so that my mind would wander enough to figure out the next chapter or scene.

I am probably one of the kings of procrastination, heck if I wasn't I would have started this novel last year November. I was at home, I had the time. But instead, all I did was download movies and tv series, then watch them. Every series and movie I could find that I like, I got it.

I would like to say I found the will power to eventually write but it was more like I basically ran out of the stuff I like to watch and then my cat died, leaving an empty hole no movie or series could fix.

So back to the book, I finally finished it!!! Which is awesome but I dunno, I enjoyed
the climb more than getting to the peak.... I'm definitely not at
the top yet that would be once the book gets's published but writing the draft was an awesome experience. I learned a lot about myself in the process.

What's the problem then?
EVERYTHING that comes after your first draft manuscript. I submitted my story to a few beta readers, mostly the ones that offered to do it for free but one beta was generous enough to help with the first 5000 words. Whistle* what an eye opener. Firstly in my haste to finish the novel, I left out a lot of description and detail. focusing on progressing the story and dialogue.
Here's what I need to sort out:
How much of the actual street names or places do I need to include?
Some of my characters descriptions I kind of broke up through the story, is this ok?
Dialogue reduction maybe?
Location descriptions and building the world.
Do I really have to include street names? or actual distances between objects?

Anywho, she edited some of it and gave me the sample, the errors I made were grievous I should have self-edited more before giving it out to the betas. Also since I live in South Africa and the book is based in Seattle, there were some words that we use that Americans don't.
Luckily I met a girl online named Rachel and she helped me greatly understand the American way. specifically school themes like summer vacation, subjects, schedules.

There's just so much information out there about self-publishing, agents, editing, beta reading, building a following. it's insane to try and keep up. I've read many blogs and watched many author interviews, they barely talk about the insanity after you finish the novel. I promise myself that if I ever give an interview or am talking to fans I will tell them exactly what happens after you finish a novel. because it's scary business the time frame of it all. it's been 5 days since I finished the novel and I'm nowhere near sending out a query letter.

Here are some links that I'm going to be using post first draft:
https://querytracker.net/top-10-agents.php
http://veronicarothbooks.blogspot.co.za/2010/08/strive-always-for-normalness-my-advice.html
http://blog.nathanbransford.com/
https://prowritingaid.com/en/Account/Register2?returnUrl=%2Fen%2FAnalysis%2FEditor%3Fnobreak%3Dtrue%26userTextId%3D5205%26userTextKey%3Dfff08770-38a8-4dc1-a214-4418f43ec72d#
====>>>An amazing free editing site.
https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/category/agents/
http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/young-adult-literary-agents

Now I have to go back, figure out how to creatively make the narrative more provocative, add on to character and location description then fix the dialogue tags. I'm not sure whether I should give my self a date to query with an agent.
Because I also I have the daunting task of creating a query letter. I mean how's a new writer with no writing credentials make his/her bio sound good? I can't lie, I can't go instantly get a writing credit under my name. I haven't seen any writing conferences here in south Africa to go to. Besides, all the best sellers here are mostly nonfiction or about race and a lot of historical incidents. Sigh.
I am going to believe in myself and my stories, that we will somehow change this unfairness in my country, by giving more fiction and science fictions writers a bigger market to step into.

I'll end this first blog entry now with the hope that I can get this all done in a timely manner.