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Brian J. W. Lee is a writer. When he's not writing, he's plotting to plunge the world in a deep chasm of terror, darkness and screams. Sorry, did I get carried away?

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Lamentations Post-Publication

Ever since hitting the publish button on Amazon, I felt joy. My baby girl is going to school, hooray! But there wasn't just joy. Being a writer is all but a simple occupation, in my case, still a preoccupation. Nope, I get the whole cocktail of emotions running high.

I get to feel elation when the number of downloads soared during the free book promotion. Then I get to feel regret, when I realised there are still errors in the book. Then I began to fear for my future. And get depressed over it. The stark realisation that I am helpless despite my best efforts dawned on me pretty quickly.

The very timeframe and deadline that I released my book on ensured that it will be released imperfect, as it meant my book will only be edited half-way by my proofreader. Then, of course, it's never enough, especially not when I'm working on a shoestring budget.

That said, I can only depend on myself, and my peers. If there's nothing else, it's the people who'd been exemplary. The guy behind limelight book covers, my proofreader, Abigail Sim, the folks at kboards who advised me... Hell, one guy wrote a message to me, single-handedly moved me into fixing a glaring issue with my book, a mere 45 minutes from when a major ad with Freebooksy kicked in!

I'm not going anywhere with this post, really. There's no outline, no objective for it. I guess I just want you guys to know how it's like. Writers, or aspiring writers, it's going to be tough all the way, just like raising a kid. For readers... I'm trying my best. I'm truly sorry if I disappointed. But know that I'll keep at it no matter what.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Brian Reviews #1: The Boat by Clara Salaman

Don't worry, the Boat won't eat you. This novel isn't authored by Stephen King, you know.

Rating: 3.0 / 5.0 Stars

I can still vividly remember where I got Clara Salaman's The Boat from in the first place. It was a warehouse sale, and it had been going on for something like 3 days by the time I went in. I expected that I had to sift through a lot of unwanted books to get to the honey-pods, and I found it decently surprising that most of the books were actually good stuff. George R. R. Martin was there, and so was Robert Jordan.

Then I came to Clara Salaman's book. I saw the huge, silver-lined title. The ominous boat in the background. It looked pretty good to me. Fits the title and blurb at the back very well. Straightforward, but compelling. Did I mention the blurb? Yes, it gave me exactly what I wanted: The makings of a thriller, or even... I was thinking of horror. Back then, I figured that I need to read more than Stephen King and H. P. Lovecraft. And looking at Clara Salaman's book, I decided that I should take a chance with her. Here's the blurb, by the way:

"It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime...

Johnny and his new bride Clem have arrived in Turkey for a year's honeymoon. Young, blissfully happy but poor, they are surviving on love, luck and a spirit of adventure.

So when a boat appears out of a raging storm, crewed by a bohemian couple who represent everything Johnny and Clem want to be, they do not think twice about stepping on board. But all is not as it seems. And when they finally open their eyes to the truth, the boat is in the middle of the vast open sea..."

Two young adults stuck on a boat with some VERY liberal-minded folks, isolated out at sea? I'm game! Gimme, gimme!

Except it wasn't all that it was cracked up to be.

My biggest gripe with the book is the painfully slow and unimpressive development and pacing. The thrill/horror isn't even a vague, constant throb, more like half-hearted spikes that wore off quickly, and even then, much of it can be attributed to its shocking subject matter, which I won't spoil for you. Important moments are ruined consistently by long-delayed reveals of the truth surrounding the boat and its occupants. Said important moments that act to move the plot are like calm waves on a sunny day. I'm not swept by them, nor moved in any way.

There isn't even a real sense of danger, and as a result, I don't fear for the characters - In fact, it's very hard to be afraid for the good guy (and girl) when their very survival is very much mandatory for a strand of the plot to function.

All this goes on for something like 75% of the book. That's way too much content dedicated to developing the plot, with much of it being wasted on the slow-burn that didn't exactly cook the meat. Normally, 25% would have done it, +/- 10%. I was nearly done with the book around the middle, but thankfully my reading stamina was better than that.

Then there's the editing. As a writer, I can understand that it's impossible to whack every grammar-mistake-mole in the book. Still, it's something that needs to be said. While the errors in the book isn't plentiful, they're noticeable. The book is saturated with enough errors that it gave me pause, but not enough to turn me off completely. I'm talking about something like one error for every eight to ten pages - Sounds infrequent, but it adds up.

All of this leads up to a crescendo in the story, which, again, is lacklustre. The antagonist is dispatched too easily for all the build-up about how he's an insurmountable killing machine. The eventual fate of the characters, including the protagonist, is hard to believe, especially considering the amount of control they have to just sail into the sunset, happily ever after - protagonists and supporting characters of other thrillers and stories of the horror genre aren't so lucky. Mine certainly wasn't (hehe hyuck-hyuck-hyuck!) In the end, it feels forced and convenient, written for the sake of having a bittersweet ending.

So, we're left with a book that doesn't work well as a thriller or horror, and ends poorly. Why read the book? Well, beyond the cover and the blurb, the other things done right on my book, I feel that the prose isn't a total loss. I think Clara Salaman is better off writing drama or tragedy, contemporary and literary stuff.

The characters are well written, with enough depth to sink The Little Utopia in. This goes even for the very minor characters who exists for a mere few pages. Similarly, Johnny and Clem's backstory is enjoyable, and their tragedies enough to dredge up a tear or two in my eyes. They feel as alive as some of my closer friends. The same goes for the their counterparts too, the so-called Bohemian Couple. They aren't your usual monsters. Just to be clear, they're humans, not actual monsters, by the way. That's about as much as I'll spoil for you.

Conclusion: Clara Salaman's The Boat suffers horribly when it comes to the plot, pacing, even the atmosphere, which isn't strong enough. However, it is redeemed by its characters, their development and backstory - Just far from enough to cover the 3rd degree burns inflicted by its highly-compromising shortcomings.

Monday, 24 October 2016

The Sum of My Words

It has been something like a week since I first published my novel. So far, there hasn't been any miracles yet, but that is to be expected.

It's why I have a marketing plan in place. This is very very important...

Basically, my book is going to be free from tomorrow onwards until the 29th October 2016, just two days shy of Halloween. So if you're reading this... Pick up the skull here:

Check kidding, here's the link: The Keeper of Pulau Purba

Don't forget to follow, like my Facebook page and stay tuned as the magic unfolds!

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Looking Forward: Plans for the Years Ahead

So, I now have a book in Amazon. It will get the usual treatments that E-books get. For me, I'll have to get the other half's editing down. It'll get the standard marketing buffet for Halloween and 30 to 90 days in the future, depending on the type of promotion.

But what am I going to do from here? Well, write! It's what writers do.

I have big plans, and many things to write.

But the general strategy of my work will differ from many other indies. I'm not going to have a series springing from my first book. Eventually, yes, but I've got other projects.

My strategy is basically 'Whatever the Hell I Want' (Guess where I adapted that line from? Hint: The title has a number)

And my next big project is a series of short stories, and it may include flash fiction and poetry. The latter two forms weren't in the original outline, but reading Stephen King gave me ideas (as usual). It was the book, Skeleton Crew, which tipped me off to the better way of doing things.

The way I see it, flash fiction and poetry can act as a kind of 'palate cleanser'. Prepares the reader for the next story with something wildly different. Sometimes, readers could get tired of reading stories of similar length.

10,000 x 10 words could become a little numbing, especially when we keep going through the same old-as-dirt Intro-Climax-Resolution story structure. I certainly felt it when I watched horror film anthologies. It doesn't matter how good the content is - because stories are more than just the content. It's plot, story, characters, structure, vocabulary, grammar, style, the vibe, personality of the author, stuff and things.

Anyway, that's my next immediate plan, and it will likely take anywhere between 2-4 months to finish the first draft, maybe 6-8 months to get it out, assuming that I learn from my experience with Pulau Purba and do things more smoothly.

Beyond my short story collection, I've finally got something related to The Keeper of Pulau Purba lined up. I'm thinking of doing an interquel, and not just any interquel. It'd be a collection of maybe 3 novellas, taking place during the events of the first novel.

Hmm... But anything can happen so far into the future. I might just decide to come up with a sequel. Interquel or sequel - Both are equally likely. I can see the appeal in both. But what is a guarantee is that I want to revisit the world of Pulau Purba.

So that just about covers my plans for the next... Oh, 2 years. Unless I achieve a paradigm shift in writing speed or something, in which case, 1.5 or 1 year.

Monday, 17 October 2016

The Keeper of Pulau Purba is OUT!!!

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the captain speaking. Flight is a-okay and we will be landing shortly. The weather is hell and I am going to kill you one by one. Please remain in your seats, the stewardesses will be with you shortly.

The Keeper of Pulau Purba is out!!!

Actually, it's been out for a few days, but I had to make a few tweaks here and there to format the book correctly. I'm going to have a victory meal for dinner today!

Below are the links to the book at Amazon, enjoy:

Cover's looking hot after a tiny change.

The horror novel has been enrolled in Kindle Select, and is available in Kindle Unlimited as well.

Links to The Keeper of Pulau Purba on the many international Amazon platforms:

Sunday, 16 October 2016

I Did It!


I finally did it!

I've been formatting the Keeper of Pulau Purba for the past few days and I've finally hit a real milestone!

My e-book has been uploaded and it's currently being reviewed! Check it out:

It's now just a matter of time...

The only mistake so far is the cover. I forgot to upload the final version made at the very last minute that includes a 3-4 pixels wide light grey border. It'd fade into the white background as you can see, but it's nothing major and permanent. It'll be the first thing I fix when The Keeper of Pulau Purba goes live.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

I'm Always Blue: Distribution Platform Blues

So, now that I've implemented most of my proofreader's edits (at least those she managed to crank out in the past month), and am now awaiting for my front and back matter to come back from her, there remains but two or three simple steps left to publication.

Funny how, after wading through writing the 155,000 words long manuscript itself, editing it to the tune of 8 times including my proofreader's input and commissioning a cover for it, I'm freezing up inside from the prospect of needing to format the novel and get it through a distribution platform.

Formatting could be easy, and it could be difficult. I've been doing some research and working up some courage, stopping short of fuelling myself up with some liquid courage. The conclusion: If I go Amazon, it's going to be tedious but doable. Smashwords will kill me, eBook Partnership is off the beaten path, and I'd have to come up with my own epub and mobi files - It's going to maim me up real good. Draft2Digital appears to be the most author-friendly of the lot, and will treat me like a writer instead of a multi-tool.

So now it's not so much that Formatting is THE issue. It's now the platform, and the kind of formatting problems I get biting at my heels will come from my choices.

Here's what I narrowed it down to:

1) A Trek Deep into the Amazonian Jungle (1

Amazon being Amazon is huge, and if I go full in and drink their Kool-Aid with Kindle Select and their exclusivity requirement, I need only format my novel once for ebook and once for CreateSpace. From what I've seen, it's not that hard, doable but with a moderate learning curve that I think I can surmount - with a small investment in time.


  • Requires moderate effort in formatting.
  • Amazon is only one platform. Big as it may be, it can only cover so much territory.
  • The Amazonian tribe that rules there is selfish.
  • The United States will suck 30% of my royalty away.
  • My fellow Singaporeans will have to go on a Journey to the West to read my stuff.

2) Around the World in 80 Days (2

I use Amazon, but opt out of their Select program and make up for the loss in exposure with Draft2Digital. As D2D won't tax me with additional formatting burden, it seems like the obvious choice. It'd even be my solution to CreateSpace! So it'd mean even less effort than an expedition into Amazon country.


  • Still requires some effort in formatting.
  • Draft2Digital is new compared to the likes of Smashwords. Their reach is limited.
  • My Amazon expedition will be smaller.
  • The United States will still send its army of squirrels to squirrel away 30% of my royalty. But! This issue is mitigated with multiple distribution channels.
  • Draft2Digital demands a 10% tithe. It's on top of what fees that'll be cut from my royalty on all platforms. I'd gladly kiss the ring, but still...
  • Reduced control over books with D2D.
  • It's still tough for my fellow Singaporeans to take a gander at my books.
3) The Wild Card (3

Then there's eBook Partnership, which pretty much distributes to every single platform on the internet, including Amazon. Might even have a deal with aliens, their Library of the Old Ones or something, you never know. Amazon, Scribd, even weird places I've never heard of. And Bookmate! Oyster! There are some services on their list that has set up shop in Singapore! As well as all corners of the world!

  •  I'll need to come up with my own epub or mobi file, as well as 101 others. There are some services that I have no idea uses what file.
  • Does not have the same visibility as other distribution aggregators like Smashwords and D2D. I have trust issues.
  • Has a yearly fee. And it's paid per title. It'll stack up the more I write.
  • Further reduces control over my books - It's not the fastest service, data will be slow to come, and there's a price to relying on a single service for your worldwide distribution. This, however, is counterbalanced by the fact that it solves the US tribute issue, and it's a fixed amount.
4) A Trip to a Mental Asylum (4

I can always start pumping out all the formatting myself, and risk losing my sanity. Smashwords would make a good distribution platform for this, combined with the effort already required on Amazon and any other platforms I choose. Oh joy.

  • Beware, soulless man inside!
  • What I don't pay in cold, hard cash, I pay with my time. My schedule won't apply.
  • The US will still make off with 30% of my money because I'm a foreigner.
Choices, choices...

Monday, 10 October 2016

Writing Report #20: Final Edits

This writing report is for last Monday to Sunday (an entire week! How did I...), and will likely be one of the last writing report dedicated to Project Green, also known as The Keeper of Pulau Purba (03/10/16 - 09/10/16).

The pacing of my work slowed down, but it wasn't because I was tired or disillusioned or something. I was hovering just behind my proofreader, and I needed to give her space. Besides, there are other things that a book requires.

On Monday, I finished editing Chapters 17 and 18. It's the last day of sustained editing, the quota was reduced here.

On Tuesday, it's only Chapter 19 and Wednesday, 20. I took a break on Thursday. It is also around this period that the book cover is being worked on heavily. There were many decisions to make, and I leveraged on kboards.com to help with the decision-making. This was also where I started worrying about the front and back matter of the book as well.

On Friday, I did chapters 21 and 22, as well as making a minor change to the backstory in chapter 6. I removed the Prime Minister's name from one of the companies on Pulau Purba. Figured there's someone who's actually dead that I can use. I took the name of Singapore's first President instead, Yusof Ishak.

It was at this point that I was thinking, 'What was I thinking!?' It's not the first time though and it won't be the last. The novel can never be perfect. Gotta accept that and move on.

I took another break on Saturday. Okay, this time it's because I was feeling tired and lousy.

But I made up for it on Sunday with editing chapter 23, and finishing up on the front and back matter so that I can push it to Abigail for proofreading and other kinds of editing.

The road map is nearly filled with X marks. I've accomplished nearly everything that a new book requires. All that's left are some straggler front and back matter pages, chapter edits that could be pushed to after publishing, some formatting, and then the PUBLISH button.

Friday, 7 October 2016

The End of My Book Cover Struggles

Beautiful, isn't it?

Yup, my book cover is done!

Makes me wish I'm not speaking in an empty auditorium :D

Thursday, 6 October 2016

An Introduction to Pulau Purba, Chapter 7: The Warrior Woman

Whew! It's been a long while since I last did this! But never mind, let's carry on!

The second most prominent character in my book is referred to as 'the warrior woman' at some points in The Keeper of Pulau Purba. Nur Aidah Binte Da'wud, but she's almost always referred to as Aidah.

A Malay ex-professional soldier who volunteered to be on the reserves despite the law requiring only the men to do so. She's spunky, she's brave and witty at times, and she's a maverick who defied authority when it is wrong. I guess it's pretty obvious here what I'm going for. The prevalent strong woman character that feminists love - That anyone with a decent way of thinking and life would accept.

But that wasn't what I was thinking when I conceived of the character. I am not a feminist, and neither do I just go with the flow and write what is popular. I am more of an 'equalist', holding both men and women with equal regard.

No, the character is based on a group of three Malay women I met while on summer holiday, back when I was just a humble university student. It was at the conclusion of my second year, I believe, and I needed the money. So I ended up in a newly-opened warehouse with an endless amount of aggravating administrative problems. I was hired alongside a few Malay women.

They are all divorced, two have children to feed, and one of them (as far as I know) suffered the most vile and inhumane abuse. Her husband fled without paying her maintenance after the court case and divorce.

But one other thing they have in common is that they are rejects of the Malay community. Two of them, I think, is ostracised because they have Chinese blood in them. With one of them, it resulted in a kind of mixed-race beauty. She's a wonderful gal, a strong single mother who could stand on her own, but she was certainly suffering. She's only a year older than me. I might have fallen for her then, but I didn't want to be unprofessional even if I was just a temporary worker. It helped that she, well... I'll leave it up to your imagination.

But Aidah's personality came from a pure Malay girl with an attitude. An individualist, she had no qualms about doing things her way and expressing what she felt and thought. She'd 'given her husband back to his mother', I quote, and lives in a rented room. I saw a Facebook post from her lamenting a rejection from a guy she was chasing.

I wasn't close to her by any means, but I felt for her the same way I felt for the others. She's probably the girl who would have won me over from the Miss Mixed-Descent if things had gone the way of a soppy romantic-drama series. But alas, I'm no Casa Nova and I'm hopeless when it comes to romance. I'll probably die alone and be found two weeks later by the police all juicy and taken apart, chewed up half-way to oblivion by rats, cockroaches and ants.

*Clears throat* Anyway, let's get back on track.

So yes, Aidah is an amalgamation of these 3 women. I'd forgotten their names, even though I promised myself to remember them, but yes, Aidah is made up of Girl #1's tragedy, Girl #2's *ahem* romantic potential and strong maternal instinct and Girl #3's personality and mannerism. There's some overlap.

If you're a writer, the take-away from this is that inspiration can come from anywhere, including the people around you, and it is only when you get to know them that you'll be able to get to it, and of course, live a full live. Don't spend all your time in one room, banging away (on your laptop) 16 hours a day.

If you're a reader (which most, if not all, writers are), then know this: there's always a basis in reality for fiction. Your favourite character may be real somewhere sometime as an alternate version. Just ask J. K. Rowling about Snape and you'll know.

And for anyone with a husband or wife, be a good spouse, okay? It's no good to anyone if abuse or some deep shit happens.

Have a good day, Brian J. W. Lee signing off.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

5 Things That Will Improve Your Writing Space

I don't know about you guys, but whenever I finally sit down after a long day to write my story, I want my writing space to be just perfect. It never totally is, but I'm always striving to please my animal body so my mind could transcend the physical plane and travel across dimensions.

It's not easy. Our bodies are fragile creatures, and any slight deviation from a tightrope-area of one given property of our environment will illicit a response, a distraction, and soon, the magic is broken.

No matter how much I conditioned myself to less-than-ideal environments, I know I would eventually break. That's when I realised: Training is only half the battle. The other half is your environment. Put a whale on land, and all that muscle and resistance to asphyxiation goes down the drain. Put a fully trained cop behind a desk for 8 hours a day and a few years, feed him loads of donuts, and he won't look like a cop anymore.

It's the same with writers. As much as some misguided laymen think we're some kind of magical creatures, we're absolutely not. We're just like anybody else. If you're going to write your story in a dingy, moist toilet that smells like decayed shit all day and every day, you're only going to get crappy work.

So, to avoid that, here are five things that will improve your writing environment - Just don't put them all in your toilet and expect them to work like a charm.

5) Night Light (5
Your sole source of light for a life of darkness.

It's one of those little lamps you can plug directly into your wall sockets, and BOOM! No, it doesn't explode (unless you put gunpowder in the lamp), but it's instant campfire for you to tell your story to... Well, your future audience.

To blast your room with your super-bright fluorescent ceiling lamp might seem common sense, but I challenge you to rethink that if you have an office job in a super-bright office where you stare at a computer screen 8 to 9 hours a day. Even if you don't, having bright light is straining on the eyes, especially in the morning or night, which happens to be the period many of us write.

Go easy on the eyes, pal. If you can't see, you can't write. If your eyes feel like going 'pop!', all you'd think of doing is lying down - And soon you'd be asleep, I say that from experience. There was this once, after a long day of work with very little sleep that I thought I was going blind. It didn't help that I've switched all the lights on as if there are creatures in the dark out to get me.

So, a night light is in order. It blocks out unwanted visual imagery, and lets you concentrate on you, your laptop, and your story.

4) Air Conditioner (4
For that soft, smooth skin.

Or a radiator, depending on where on Earth you are.

Would you feel like working on your Shakespearean masterpiece if you're panting and sweating in the park? I highly doubt it. It's the same anywhere else, including your bedroom. As human beings, our body is actually pretty poor at handling temperature.

We can, no doubt, survive in a huge range of temperature, but there's a reason why most members of the human race aren't free to weave tales out of thin air until recently, and temperature is one of them. Too high, and we're all clammy and sweaty. Too low, and our fingers would be shaking too much. Way too low, and you won't have fingers for long to write your epic saga.

So, an air conditioner is indispensable. Find your sweet spot on the temperature readout, and BAM! Another part of the environment you won't need to worry about anymore.

This is one thing I can't seem to get right though, as I tend to set the temperature too low. As a result, it'd put me to sleep after, like, half an hour of work. To be fair to myself, I was pooped after work. Don't make the same mistakes as me - Set your temperature right!

3) Radio (3
Non-standard, but it sings all the same.

And finally we come to something that isn't quite so basic! Up till today, there's just something about the radio that's so arcane. Television sets? Pfffff! Common stuff. But a radio! Boy, a radio!

Not too long ago, I decided to turn my gaming laptop into a poor man's radio by logging in to a radio streaming site whenever I wrote. My writing experience has since become better.

My guess is that, us being sensory creatures, we need all of our senses stimulated in order to work properly. Back to the basics - our ancestors rely on sounds to understand their environment, and in a way, so do we. When crossing the road, for example, I know exactly what I'd hate to hear: The screeching of tires, a car horn blaring. That would mean my life will be over in seconds. There's a reason why sensory deprivation is torture!

But I believe it's not just about placating a primitive part of us. What do we get from radios? Music and a DJ. It's not noise, not like your neighbour upstairs, or that damned motorcycle in some street next to your house. It drowns out noise, and it's soothing. It's ethereal art, coming from an arcane box.

Through the radio, we connect with our fellow artists. Musicians, singers, songwriters, DJs, sometimes even storytellers - Just that they manipulate sounds, and like us writers, words. It's inspiration.

2) Couch + Foldable Table (2
Don't! It'll swallow you whole!

Have you ever had one of those times when you sat for hours until your butt became sore? Or when you decided to lie down in bed to write, but hours passed instantly into daylight?

Even the simple act of sitting down for the express purpose of writing needs more scrutiny than some people realise. I've had both experiences, sometimes in a single day.

Bottom line is, you need something that's a cross between a hard chair and a bed to work. I discovered that a couch works pretty well. You're not lying down vertically, so you won't feel the need to close your eyes and time-travel to the next day. The soft cushioning will minimise tissue-damage from hard surfaces. Perfect!

But then you'd discover - If you haven't already - that a couch presents its own conundrum. See, that desk you used to use when you're on a chair? It doesn't work with your couch. Neither is it going to be healthy for you to put your computer on your lap, no matter how much your laptop is telling you to.

Enter the foldable table. You can get either a cheap wooden/plastic one for maybe $50 - but you'd have to make sure it's the right height for your couch. I got lucky, as I guesstimated my way to the perfect height, but don't count on luck to work every time! You can always get one for a few hundred bucks though - They'd probably be bigger and more flexible to account for different kinds of couches.

1) Writing Laptop (1
Your magic window to your dream.

And now we finally come down to one of the most important thing in your writing space. Without it, writing will be impossible. In general, I mean writing devices, from the most current iPads down to the typewriter and even pen and paper.

Sometimes, the medium on which you write on can determine how you write. Ancient Sumerians used clay tablets, and their writing script is based around those unwieldy things. Nothing cursive and fancy, just straight marks with indentations and dots.

While I don't know how it would have impacted your story if you decided to write on paper or typewriter (that would be a subject for a specialist scholar), I know exactly how it's like to write on different laptops, and I know what kind of laptops I'd rather avoid using:

- Those pocket laptops you can keep in a pouch, with a screen size of around like 11 inches, up to even 12-13 inches. The reason why I hate these little guys is mainly the keyboard, which turned out to be too small for my hands. The small screen is a bother to my eyes, but not as bad as when I need to push a story out with the keyboard. It took me something like a few hundred dollars, a tablet with a keyboard-casing attached and an 11 inch laptop for me to realise that going small and light is convenience at the cost of your soul.

- Low-spec comps. 32gb solid state drive and something like a 564mb ram. Cheap, but slow as grandpa. All it takes is a single Windows 10 update to max out the storage space, and Chrome to reduce the FPS to sub-24. While word processors generally aren't affected, you'd probably sigh every time you need to do some research or watch a video, or even surf the net and check your email for your editor's reply.

- On the reverse, gaming war-machines pulled from UFOs. Not recommended especially for beginner writers. You'd probably have a hundred games installed there (I'm not kidding), not to mention a million apps (now we're talking hyperbole), all your videos and music collection. It takes discipline just to write, something which beginners often lack. I was able to write on it, but the temptation is always there, which is why I left it behind on my 2-months-long writer's retreat, and nowadays, whenever I write or edit.

Right now, I'm suffering from the second point, as I thought performance to be secondary when considering a writing laptop. I won't be so foolish the next time I visit a computer store! A mid-ranged laptop will just about do it.

So there you have it! 5 things that are bound to maximise your writing space! Take them home and enjoy!

Monday, 3 October 2016

Writing Report #19: Post-Absolute Wreck

This belated writing report is last Wednesday to Sunday (28/09/2016 - 02/09/2016)

I have, as of late, eased myself into editing my novel the second time in a row (third time, counting redoing the first 13 chapters).

On Wednesday, I was able to work through 3 chapters, while on Thursday, two.

On Friday, despite the Absolute Wretchedness I suffered when I was unjustly banned from the Water Cooler, 2 chapters, but on Saturday, just one, because I was still a little overwhelmed, plus I was sourcing for a good cover artist.

I made up for it with 3 chapters on Sunday though. I am fast catching up with my proofreader. I'd even told her that I am fine with her not finishing by the 10th or 15th of October, and so she decided to slow down. It is from here that I will be able to see just how disciplined my proofreader is. As of now, I'm not seeing anything exceptional.

Progress in other areas is steaming ahead just fine. The cover's in the hands of a professional now. Although he won't be using any images custom-made for the book, the result got me excited.

It is simple, with only two separate images used, yet it brings across the message so well. A black skull with toy soldiers on top, below a greyish abstract vector map of Singapore. Horror, the setting and the theme could be deduced from all that alone, if the reader is perceptive enough.

Yet, it is far from done however, which is why I refused to show it. What I saw wasn't cleaned up, had watermarks all over it because the images weren't bought yet, the font used was placeholder, and the Singapore map wasn't final.

But it was encouraging. Could use as much of that as possible.