Eustacia Tan (avatar)
updated 2 years ago

How I Write|Book Review: Elegant Entrepreneur by Danielle Tate

Just realised that looking at how late I wake, I shouldn't even need breakfast :p

But my overnight oats! Used kefir, milk, bananas and some sugar, and it tastes really good 😋😋😋

By the way, it's probably gonna be another lazy day today, so if anyone wants me to answer any questions, I'm game! XD

Mummy wants to read my book 🎉🎉🎉

But first, I must prepare her for the worst. The only thing she's read from me previously was a Parable retelling, which was totally different The Nutcracker King.

I'll be attending this from tomorrow till Sunday, so gotta read a bunch of things to prep 😁😁😁😁

I just want to have something intelligent to say....


How I Write

@rideofvalkyries asked me about my writing process, so here it is! It's still changing though, so I'll be going through it in stages. Oh, and I'll probably be covering the writing/editing process at the same time 😁

So, I started as a...

Complete pantser

A pantser is basically someone who doesn't plan out what s/he writers (as opposed to a plotter). I've heard from multiple people that plotters are faster (and probably write cleaner, because they can figure out potential plot holes) and that you can switch from a pantser to a plotter, but I haven't been able to do that yet.

For my first two NaNoWriMos, I pantsed my way through them, with the same predictable result: first few chapters were good, but then it fell apart.

Using Plotting to Edit?

There's this book called Take Off Your Pants, and it's supposed to be a really good book on how to plot. I was certainly inspired by it when I read it.

I tried using it to rewrite Mi and You (one NaNoWriMo novel that I really like and want published someday), and... I ended up being told that it was a bit too fast.

For the record, I'm on the third rewrite of Mi & You (actually it's on a hiatus but...)

Let's Try this Plotting Thing (Sorta)

For last year's NaNoWriMo, I decided to try partially plotting the book using story beats. Story beats are basically this idea that you can sum up your chapters in short paragraphs, so you don't have a detailed outline, but a rough frame with lots to work on. And because I can't see more than a few chapters ahead, I only wrote a few beats at a time, adjusting and writing more as I wrote the actual story and learnt more about the characters.

I'm not sure how that worked out (you'll have to ask @backattwentysix or @bekahlime about that, since they read it - sorry to put you in a fix! But be brutally honest, because I need to know if this method doesn't work), but it was so much easier writing this than my other NaNo projects. So much so that I'm currently doing all my WIPs this way.

I guess I graduated to becoming a partial plotter 😉

Case Study: The Nutcracker King

The Nutcracker King was entirely pantsed, but because it was really short (I think it was less than 15k for the first draft), it wasn't terrible.

As for editing - well, I normally use WriteOn for feedback, but this time, I wanted a professional's opinion, so I hired an editor. I figured I'll probably have the same mistakes for everything, and it'd be cheaper to have a short work edited than a long one.

Best. Decision. Ever.

With the feedback from my editor, I rewrote The Nutcracker King. WriteOn (my writing site of choice) helped me find the typos and point out some minor plot holes.

And after a fellow author friend gave me a free copy-edit, I got the cover done and the rest is history 😊

One More Editing Technique

Because I pants most of my writing, I think most of the improvements take place in the rewrite. The first draft is really me getting to know my story.

Anyway, for Beauty's Daughter (sequel to The Nutcracker King), I decided against using the story structure method in Take Off Your Pants, because the structure wasn't that bad. Instead, I used this editing technique I learnt from this book: 2000 to 10000 by Rachel Aaron

Basically, I went through my story and made a scene list - bullet points of what actually happened. That let me see problems with time (a timeline was also recommended) and other plot holes easily. If The Goblin Apple (third book in the series) comes out relatively clean thanks to the partial plotting thing, I'll probably use this as well.

Oh and yeah, I have several WIPs that I'm working on simultaneously. One is a first-draft, and two are rewrites (I have more on the back burner 😅😅)

The reason why I do this is because of the Plot Bunnies, and me being easily distracted. If I have three main projects, it's easier to work on one of them every day, because there's no way I will get writers block on all three.

I could theoretically just work on one at a time, but I would probably end up very distracted and starting too many new stories. This helps me focus enough to be somewhat productive.

And that's it. If anyone wants more elaboration, let me know!


So Scribd has just informed me of these changes. I'm on the free months, but I've always been tempted to subscribe because Japan = expensive English book. Plus they have a decent catalogue.

But with this...

If I assume at least 1000 yen/book, then yeah, this is still worth it, but that's only if I buy paper books. For ebooks, not really. And with the NLB eReads, it means after chionging through this month, I have no reason to sign up to pay for this.

Book Review: Elegant Entrepreneur by Danielle Tate

Time for a book review before bed! The only other people I know who's interested in starting a business are @rachelgreen and @rideofvalkyries but for all prospective entrepreneurs, this is for you!

This guide is basically geared towards women who want to set up their own companies. It basically takes you from idea (start) to selling your company (end, if you choose)

Each chapter is fairly short, with a roundup (Takeaways), a 'How it Feels' (basically action steps) and at least one quote per chapter. Plus, lots of examples of successful women entrepreneurs, which is definitely motivating. There's also a list of relevant books which you can read for more insight at the end of each chapter.

Oh, and there's a glossary of terms at the back of the book too, though I didn't need it at all. But I'm also a business/econs student so quite a lot of this (especially models like SWOT and Porter's Five Forces) are familiar to me.

Actually, I think that this book will be helpful not just to women, but to the men too. The advice is really basic but useful stuff, and some of it (like raising funds and seed rounds) are things that I don't really remember seeing in most intro books.

I'd say that this is a very good book to buy if you're thinking of starting a business and you're new to the whole industry. It has a lot of resources, it explains things very well, and since it starts from the idea stage, it's perfect for those just starting out. And after you narrowed down what you want to use, more specialised books like The Business Model Canvas might be easier to use.

And yes, all the examples are exclusively female, but in this (hopefully more enlightened era), I believe even guys will find this useful. Plus, if girls could use books that were male-example dominated, there's no excuse why guys can't use a book with examples taken from successful women.

And this is my next read. I actually watched the movie 'Hotel Rwanda' while I was in MG (and yes, I cried), so I'm very excited to read the story from the man who ran the hotel, in his own words.


Day 48

Wednesday, 17 Feb 2016

22 16
iLing (avatar)

iLing Add honey instead of sugar next time!! 😋

2 years ago

eustaciatan (avatar)

eustaciatan @iLingg ok!! 😋

2 years ago

rideofvalkyries (avatar)

rideofvalkyries Would you be able to share your process of writing stories? Or have you done it before? Haha

2 years ago

eustaciatan (avatar)

eustaciatan @rideofvalkyries Not yet, so ok!

2 years ago

rideofvalkyries (avatar)

rideofvalkyries Great! I love to read it. The only process of writing stories I managed to get through was Stephen King's On Writing. So, would like to read the thinking process of someone my age and from the same country! Haha

2 years ago

eustaciatan (avatar)

eustaciatan @rideofvalkyries Done! I hope it's what you wanted to read about haha

2 years ago

rideofvalkyries (avatar)

rideofvalkyries It is helpful! :D

2 years ago

backattwentysix (avatar)

backattwentysix i can't remember if i left a comment when i completed the story (i'm so bad at this, sorry! T^T) I think partially plotting partially worked? the subject you took on was honestly quite tricky and i think it might have been quite dangerous to not plan at all? not sure if related to the plotting or if i have mentioned but i did feel a little let down by the ending? i feel like there's a need for a sequel? maybe because i read and forget the previous chapters but i felt you were building up for something more. the front few chapters and the story setting was great but i had questions left unanswered at the end (^ ^;) not sure if that's intentional?

2 years ago

backattwentysix (avatar)

backattwentysix yikes, i end with too many question marks. sorry if my comments are not very useful! its been a while and i am basing my comments on whatever i can rmb. though i should go reread it again...

2 years ago

eustaciatan (avatar)

eustaciatan Haha no problem! Yeah, I was intentionally leaving it open, but endings are my weakest points, so I'll pay extra attention to it when I finally start editing(: Thank you so much! All the comments were really helpful(:

2 years ago

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